Taming the Tech Stack: Integrating Multiple CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms

In today’s data-driven business landscape, having a robust CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and Marketing Automation Platform is practically essential. But what happens when your business has outgrown its initial system, or operates across multiple departments or locations with specific needs? This is where the challenge of integrating multiple CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms comes in.

The benefits of a successful multi-CRM integration are numerous. Imagine a seamless flow of customer data between marketing and sales, enabling personalized outreach and a unified customer journey. No more manual data entry, duplicated efforts, or siloed information. Sounds pretty good, right?

The Double-Edged Sword

When done wrong, integrating multiple CRMs can be a double-edged sword. While these integrations offer a unified view of your customer data, there are challenges to consider:

  • Data Silos and Inconsistencies: With integrations that are not purpose-built and proven, data silos can persist.  Your CRMs might have different data structures and formats.  Mapping these fields correctly and ensuring data quality is crucial to avoid inconsistencies that lead to poor decision-making. You do not want to trust your multi-CRM integration to a technology or service that has not had a proven track record of success with integrating multiple CRMs, specifically. 
  • Complexity and Cost: Integrating multiple CRMs and MAPs can be complex, especially with custom coding or third-party tools that give IT the ability to build their own integrations. This translates to higher costs for setup and maintenance, and it can be a disaster. This is why we recommend no-code data hub integration platforms like Vertify that give the power of precision and scalability to the business user. 
  • Security Concerns:  Sharing data across multiple platforms increases the attack surface. Robust security measures are essential to protect sensitive customer information. Lean on proven multi-CRM integration architectures rather than unproven, custom built concepts. 
  • Keeping Up With Updates: Your CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms are constantly evolving. Maintaining a smooth integration requires keeping up with updates and ensuring compatibility across different versions. This is why the reliance on solutions that keep up with changes for you is so critical to the long term success of your business. 
  • User Adoption: Sales and marketing teams might be resistant to using new workflows or interfaces. Providing proper training and support is vital for successful adoption.

Despite these challenges, the benefits of a well-executed multi-CRM integration can outweigh the drawbacks. And, choosing the right integration partner can eliminate these drawbacks all together. By carefully planning, choosing the right integration method, and prioritizing data quality, you can create a powerful tech stack that fuels your marketing and sales efforts.

How To: Integrating Multiple CRMs and MAPs

Here’s how you can navigate the integration process and turn your tech stack into a well-oiled machine:

Step 1: Take Stock and Set Goals

Before diving into the technical aspects, assess your existing CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms. Identify what functionalities each system offers and where the gaps are. This will help determine which data points need to be integrated and how.

Next, establish clear goals for the integration. Do you want to improve lead nurturing? Personalize marketing campaigns based on sales interactions? Streamline reporting across departments? Defining these goals will guide your approach.

Step 2: Data Mapping – The Unsung Hero

Think of data mapping as the translator between your different systems. This involves identifying corresponding data fields across your CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms. For example, an “email address” field in one system might need to be mapped to an “email” field in another.  Standardizing data formats and configuring mapping transformations based on your needs is crucial for a clean and accurate integration.

Step 3: Choosing Your Integration Method

There are several ways to integrate your systems. Some platforms offer native integrations, but they are never adequate for the multi-CRM universe. 

Option two might seem like a good option on the surface, which is a toolset that can be purchased and managed through your IT team. These toolsets are built to allow the IT team to build and code integrations and then maintain the integrations over time. But, in reality, the time to value is severely hindered with this approach, long term maintenance is often a disaster, and the business side of the house never really gets what they need to fuel their go-to-market success. This is no fault of IT; it is simply due to a lack of time and resources to support, maintain and deliver. 

Then there are the no-code data integration hubs that provide more flexibility, scalability, support, and trust. These tools are built to allow the business side of the house to get exactly what they need to fuel their GTM success. They are affordable, easy to use, and truly built to enable you to get the most out of your CRM systems. 

In short, evaluate your budget, technical expertise, and desired level of control to choose the most suitable method for you.

Step 4: Testing, Monitoring, and Refining

No integration is perfect, and data almost never takes the happy path, so be prepared to test thoroughly after implementation. This includes sending test data, checking for errors, and ensuring a smooth flow of information. Monitor the integration’s performance on an ongoing basis and make adjustments as needed. A good integration partner will do the majority of this heavy lifting for you. 

Integrating Multiple CRMs Boosts Efficiency and Trust

Efficiency is gained through:

  • A Unified Customer View: Sales and marketing teams can access all customer data (interactions, purchases, preferences, etc.) in one place. This eliminates the need to switch between systems and ensures everyone is working with the same information.
  • Automated Workflows: Repetitive tasks like lead scoring, data entry, and campaign assignment can be automated, freeing up valuable time for strategic work.
  • Improved Reporting: Integrated data provides a holistic view of marketing and sales performance. This enables better decision-making and helps identify areas for improvement.

Trust is built by:

  • More Accurate Data: Integration helps eliminate data silos and inconsistencies, leading to more accurate customer profiles and more personalized interactions.
  • A Seamless Customer Journey: Customers experience a consistent brand experience across all touchpoints, fostering trust and loyalty.
  • Improved Communication: Sales and marketing teams can collaborate more effectively with a shared view of the customer journey. This leads to more relevant and timely communication with customers.

Final Thoughts

Integrating multiple CRMs and Marketing Automation Platforms can seem daunting, but the rewards are significant. By following these steps and prioritizing a well-defined strategy, you can transform your tech stack into a powerful tool for driving sales, improving customer experience, and achieving your marketing goals.

The time to invest in data management is now. If you are considering additional revenue technology in your 2024 budget, include a unified and intelligent data management platform at the top of the list. This will enable you to win with the apps you already have and the ones you adopt in the future. Want to see Vertify’s unified data management platform in action? Get started today!