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A Beginner's Guide to CRM Integrations

CRM integration allows you to streamline customer data management, usually with software, and helps you improve customer service, efficiency, and sales.

Understanding your customers is crucial when it comes to running a successful business, and luckily, with the software tools and technology available today, it is easier than ever.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software is a particularly good asset. It can help you collect, organize, and interpret customer data, and ultimately, better strategize and generate more revenue. In fact, more than 60 percent of marketers already use some type of built-in marketing or CRM system.

It doesn’t end there, either. There are ways you can unlock the true potential of CRM software and exponentially increase its effectiveness, namely, with CRM integrations.

In this article, we will take a closer look at why CRM is so important and give you all the details on CRM integrations, from what it is and how it works to its myriad of benefits.

What is customer relationship management?

Customer relationship management (CRM) is a practice in which businesses strategically oversee all of their current and prospective customer interaction. It requires analyzing large amounts of customer data to improve the customer journey, increase customer retention, convert leads into sales, and more.

CRM systems, or CRM platforms, are software programs that make managing customer relationships straightforward and efficient. A CRM system typically comes with many useful functions, including:

  • Collecting prospect data or lead data from a variety of communication channels
  • Storing new and existing customer data in one accessible location to prevent data silos
  • Organizing all this data into a searchable CRM database
  • Segmenting CRM data for easy personalization and targeting
  • Interpreting and analyzing data to find patterns and anomalies

Overall, CRM helps you get a clear, holistic view of your customer records, empowering you to make the right decisions for your business’ sales processes.

What is CRM integration?

CRM integration is a way for you to level up your CRM software and maximize its effectiveness. In most cases, it works by seamlessly connecting your CRM software with third-party applications to pull valuable data.

With CRM integration, relevant data can flow freely in both directions between your CRM system and different applications. This streamlines the operation of your CRM system and eliminates the need for certain manual processes that can be a waste of time and effort, such as inputting customer information from another application line by line.

CRM integration can also bolster and broaden the functionalities of your CRM system. For example, certain businesses may wish to integrate their email marketing software, accounting software, or enterprise resource planning (ERP) system. ERP systems allow you to automate processes for your business on a larger scale, especially in terms of its financial administration.

Connecting these two systems establishes a link between your sales team and your administration and accounting departments. With the most-up-to date, relevant information, your sales reps can change their strategies and make data-driven decisions to improve your sales pipeline. This data integration can generate more revenue and reveal upsell and cross-sell opportunities.

How does CRM integration work?

CRM software

CRM integrations work by syncing information from other applications and channels, such as social media channels, to your CRM platform. All in all, integrating your CRM supports your business processes and sales efforts, allowing you to conduct data analysis with the highest level of accuracy and efficiency to better appeal to your customers.


CRM system integration usually requires help from an application programming interface, or API.

APIs are mechanisms that ensure accurate and telegraphed communication between two software systems. They set up a set of definitions and protocols, so your CRM system can connect with its various integrated systems using requests and responses.

A CRM API gives you the permission to access all the data that is important to future sales contained within other applications in one centralized location. This way, you save time by not having to open each individual application and sift through large amounts of data to find what you need.

What are the benefits of CRM integration?

CRM integrations vastly improve the performance of your CRM platform.

They provide a host of benefits for your business, such as:

Improved customer experience

The more customer information you know, the better you can care for your customers. So many businesses offer the same products and services and compete for the same group of customers. How can you stand out from the crowd and stay competitive?

With CRM integrations and a substantial customer record database, your sales department will have all the notes and reports they need to make every customer feel special and treasured. Leaving a good impression is key to garnering repeat purchases as well.

Workflow automation

Integrate marketing automation tools with your CRM platform. This way, your marketing and sales teams will do less busy work and have more time to engage in meaningful interactions with your customers.

Marketing automation software takes care of generating and nurturing leads, so when your sales reps reach the customer, there is already a positive relationship. CRM and marketing automation work in tandem to amass valuable customer engagement and convert leads into sales.

Optimized organization

CRM integrations access data from a number of applications to round up all the key information in one easy-to-access location. With CRM integration tools, you won’t have to worry about logging in and out of your various accounts and flipping back and forth between pages and windows. Everything is transparent and easily searchable, so no rummaging is needed.

Increased efficiency

Integrating your marketing or sales CRM will give your business a boost in productivity and efficiency. With immediate access to all the information they need, your marketing and sales teams can spend more time on what really matters — impressing your customers.

More personalized marketing

You will have a more detailed understanding of each customer with CRM integrations. From their purchasing history to what they click on when visiting your website, you will be able to target each customer with what most excites them. You can even create buyer personas and segment your audience with ease.

Increased revenue

Of course, CRM integrations can also lead to increased revenue. With all the insights available to you as a result of CRM integration, tracking customer behavior is now easier than ever. By continuously tweaking and improving your sales strategies, you are bound to see more money coming in.

How to get started with CRM integration

If you are looking for ways to start integrating your CRM system, first find out if it already has built-in integrations with certain applications and platforms.

Mailchimp, for example, offers integrations with more than 300 different applications. To access subscription and contact data, you have the option to sync with Recurly. For form and survey data, on the other hand, Typeform and Formstack are available. Keep in mind that tools made by the same company are typically automatically integrated as well.

If you are already using a certain CRM system, but it doesn’t come with any integrations, having a developer write a few lines of code to bridge the communication gap between two systems or applications can be the way to go.

However, this is not a long-term solution, as the code will need to be constantly updated and fixed as new issues arise and more integrations are utilized. Instead, finding the right API to use and reuse is typically the best choice. Consider the differences between system APIs, process APIs, and experience APIs to find one that suits your needs.

  • System APIs: As their name suggests, system APIs can connect data from different systems, such as an ERP system.
  • Process APIs: A process API couples system APIs together for a particular task. It breaks down data silos across systems.
  • Experience APIs: The goal of experience APIs is to improve the experience of your CRM's end users, which in this case, is likely your sales department. Your sales representatives will be able to see full sets of customer data and the entire customer journey to help them provide better customer service.

Leverage CRM integration to improve business performance

CRM integration can streamline and upgrade your CRM software’s functionalities. It has the potential to benefit your business performance in many ways, from workflow automation to improving customer care and reducing customer churn.

Looking to leverage CRM integration? Take it step by step and find the right CRM software for your needs first. Mailchimp’s Marketing CRM Software gives you the tools to build better relationships with your customers from day one.

Already use Mailchimp but want more integration ideas? Sync your Mailchimp subscribers and Salesforce leads or check out our integrations directory. Try Mailchimp today.

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