Many businesses, from the mid market to the enterprise, use multiple CRMs for different business units and divisions. While this meets the needs of individual units, it also creates information silos, making data hard to manage and decreasing its quality. This instantly hinders communication between departments, who lose sight of the big picture their CRMs were meant to keep clear.
The solution is Unified CRM, which Forbes described as the final maturity stage of CRM deployments. Instead of restricting your organization’s fluidity in the interest of reducing complexity, automatically unifying CRM platforms your employees have already mastered is the next frontier in maintaining interdepartmental cohesion and optimized revenue growth.
CRM Cohesion = Staff Cohesion
Automatically syncing information between platforms and ensuring it’s clean and usable is necessary for teams to easily share relevant customer data when it counts. While your employees are likely already good at developing the next steps in their contacts’ customer journeys, they’re probably doing so for their department’s primary needs.
When they try to hand their data off to the next relevant team, however, your entire staff suddenly finds themselves stress-testing your full MarTech stack — and each other.
At the edges between platforms, data hygiene becomes almost painfully important. Analytics and reporting automation is only as good as they are sharable because it’s all about getting the correct information to the right employee and precisely when they need it.
Sales and marketing alignment must occur at every stage. Broadly speaking, we can break this down into three stages:
- Pre-handoff to sales
- Post-handoff to sales
Only at stage three does your CRM truly become customer relationship management. Until then, you’re managing prospects.
Customers and prospects have widely different needs from each other. Before you achieve a sale, attempts to smooth interactions with leads and prospects entail unique marketing automation processes and analytics. These are often better suited to the strengths of different platforms than those used to add value to existing customer relationships.
Even this is only the tip of the iceberg. Beneath the surface, companies must keep sales and marketing teams interacting even more smoothly for the customer to experience that same level of consistency. Nothing stilts a company’s inter-operational flow like forcing teams to learn each other’s processes. This amounts to learning an alternate procedural language, which your organization needs more time for.
Instead, companies should seek to translate those “languages” via a happy medium. Enter the world of Unified CRM.
The Space Between Your Platforms
Conflicting use cases between CRM platforms may seem inevitable by 2000, 2010, or even 2020 standards — but your organization can easily overcome the need to learn them from the ground up with modern integration methods. Once teams more easily see each other’s CRM data’s value for their purposes, they get the big-picture view they need.
Only fully automated platform integration can elevate interdepartmental collaborations to achieve this big-picture view as quickly as possible. No more tripping over unfamiliar tools, no more mixed messages, and no more interdepartmental confusion. Teams can finally share clean and relevant data without creating more work.
What makes this possible is a “hub and spoke” data-sharing process that draws together relevant data from each system into a unified central sphere. Team members can then send it between platforms on demand. Automated data-cleaning procedures make CRM information flexible enough to render it useful company-wide.
Protecting Your (and Your Customer’s) Bottom Line
Data is essential to sales and marketing alignment, and as a business grows, so will its data. Suppose the same CRM solution can resolve data-management issues before and after company expansion. In that case, you’ll resolve current pain points while making your company more adaptable to future needs.
Unified CRM will optimize current and future revenue in one fell swoop, all while erasing the need to teach employees apps and procedures that aren’t relevant to their daily tasks.
As marketing departments experience more budget constraints, there’s consistent pressure to do more with less. They need to get the most out of the platforms they already have — and while reducing platforms is tempting, it may be even more costly to do so at the point of disruption.
Automatically integrating multiple CRM platforms is a highly affordable way to reduce platform-hopping fatigue and maximize each platform’s value. You’ll be able to nurture the data you already have as much as possible, undistracted by the technologies themselves. The data can speak for itself rather than require continual translation and lengthy sanitization efforts.
Healthier database content protects your company from inadvertently sending off-putting signals to customers that you don’t understand where they’re at. These kinds of relationship-damaging issues can include:
- Marketing to pre-existing customers as though they were new
- Involving B2B customers in your B2C campaigns (or vice versa)
- Trying to upsell customers who have unresolved support issues
These faux pas can easily tank customer relationships; worse, they can be caused by improperly managed CRMs. If you can treat them like one functional unit, though, you’ll be able to see through the walls of your data silos. Customers will notice that the quality of your brand’s attention has become highly consistent.
Purified Data for Greater Cost Savings
Using multiple CRMs wisely can reduce subscription fees and reduce data redundancies. It becomes easier to parse customer data your particular role or department can’t even market to but may benefit from. If you see non-ideal customers in your data set who would be ideal for your partners, you can instantly send them to the proper channel, even if it’s an entirely different platform.
Unified CRMs also allow better testing of marketing campaigns. Rather than taking a “batch and blast” approach or recycling the same unmarketable customer lists each time (which hurts brand reputation), a more cohesive CRM reach allows greater message targeting.
With a single CRM platform, you may be trying to force customers to fit your tools — but if you’re applying several platforms with finesse, it’s much clearer which tool is most appropriate for each prospect.
Related: Practicing Good Data Hygiene
Everything in its Right Place
For example, B2B webinar participants can be excluded from promotional emails. Dynamics 365 process automation for live events requires different contacts than HubSpot’s post-customer support. You might have multiple Salesforce instances that handle different regions but share certain elements that would be nice to swap easily.
What you’ve needed all along is to see through your data silos and access them on demand. Destroying data silos without a plan for what will come spilling out of them simply causes further pain points for your team. You need a plan for your new central hub of data.
Improved Data Collection
CRMs can be applied with ever-greater detail when they fit cohesively into your overall stack. You can then set unique thresholds for data automation rules according to each platform’s strengths to preserve data integrity and relevance from the beginning.
Greater Application of Data
Integration also enables sharing of techniques amongst your staff. If you acquire platform-agnostic campaign analytics, you should remove barriers to sharing them. This alone would relieve a considerable portion of upper management and RevOps leaders’ daily duties.
Unified CRMs for a Unified Presence
Above all, is your ideal customer profile ideally placed within your MarTech stack? If not, you could demonstrate the wrong values to the customer. You must keep your contacts lists, campaigns, and customer-facing communications neatly delineated by purpose; communication missteps are too familiar with clumsy CRM use. A one-size-fits-all approach, characteristic of single-platform allegiance, could have done more harm than good.Vertify has been leading automated multi-platform integration. Our no-code, hub-and-spoke integration technology helps companies sort through their data less and start using it more. To achieve the inter-platform — and interdepartmental — cohesion your company needs to compete, get started with a demo today.
CPO & Co-Founder