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9 need-to-knows about web to CRM integration

01 Dec 2010

Your website is a major marketing function for your organisation, so it is of great importance that you are making the very most of it you can. With the majority of people using the web as their primary source of information, your website’s potential to improve and expand your organisation is impressive. Integration with your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system could be the answer.1. Fuss-free lead captureYour website is one of the simplest sources of lead capture for your organisation – especially if you know how to turn it into an easy, strategic process. Integration between your website and your CRM system is a fuss-free way to automate lead capture. When a customer fills in and submits a web form, data will be automatically updated into your CRM system as a lead with all corresponding fields accurately completed.2. Knowledge is powerOnce you have obtained basic information about a visitor to your website, you can begin to build up a detailed profile about them. There are even tools available now to do this for you, capturing valuable information on when they visit your website, how they got there, what they viewed and for how long, right within your CRM system. This information can give you great insight about an individual that can be leveraged to build a quality and profitable relationship.3. Quality leadsYour website is the easiest way to get not just leads, but quality, qualified leads. If a visitor fills out a web form on your website and sends it to you, they are surrendering their interest to you by their own free will. Once you receive this information it is up to you to act and develop the lead into business – which should be made easier by the fact that they qualified themselves.4. The web movementWebsites are slowly but surely replacing the typical storefront with innovative online strategies. If your organisation has not done so already, you should develop a strategy for your website and a process for making the most of the leads that come in. 5. Data entry eliminationWith data from each web form being automatically updated in your CRM system, the need for tedious manual data entry will be removed. You will also be able to reduce the likelihood of error creeping in, which would result in inconsistency and could potentially harm communications.6. Power of automationFor example, when a potential customer submits an information request via a web form, on submission the inquirer can receive an automatic reply email thanking them and informing them you will be in touch shortly. The inquiry could then be automatically routed to a certain department or assigned to a particular person and a task generated to follow up. Once a lead has landed in your CRM system you are able to set automatic rules to ensure it is followed up in a timely fashion, and an escalation process can occur if it is not responded to in that time.7. Superior customer serviceWith such an integration, your customer service has the potential to improve immensely. The wealth of information that you gather will arm you with insight that can be leveraged to created tailored and targeted communications that will really resonate with your potential customer. If you take advantage of automation tools you can also be more responsive, ensuring opportunities do not slip by.8. What’s working? What isn’t?By collecting information consistently, you can compare website inquiries with your marketing efforts, which will give you insight into what is getting you results and what isn’t. This allows you to focus, refine and improve future actions. If your CRM system has campaign capabilities, you can also add incoming web inquiries as campaign responses and then use reporting functions to further analyse results.9. Keep connectedConnection within any organisation is highly beneficial, and not only connection between business systems, but between people. A web- to-CRM integration can be taken to a level that connects business departments, functions and team members. Marketing will gain insight into what is driving website interaction, and sales people know immediately who to contact and what they are interested in.