In our previous articles, we’ve touched the topic of data integration in CRM system quite a bit, and all the benefits that it can bring your business. Data integration allows for incredible flexibility and customization capabilities. And in the world where personalized engagement shows incredible improvements in both the retention rates and customer acquisition, it is no wonder that more and more businesses worldwide are implementing solutions that allow building strong databases.
Customer data integration is the fuel of any CRM platform, whether you are actually engaging in personalized marketing or not. A well-structured database, containing crucial intel on your client base could never hurt.
What’s the Point of Integrating Customer Data Source?
No matter how advanced your CRM platform is, it’s only as good as the data you’re feeding it. There are numerous possibilities when it comes to data integration and each holds value. But depending on what type of business you are running you will need a different kind of information.
If you’re in the multi-channel online retail business, then you’ll probably want to know how each marketplace is performing. Moreover, in the case of ecommerce, you’ll also require a real-time data-feed of your current inventory stock levels.
The tourism industry, however, would require a completely different data, such as airline ticket offers. But no matter what there are just a few data sources that are almost universally beneficial to any type of company. That is exactly what we’ll talk about today.
CRM Data Types You Need to Collect:
Some of the most crucial categories of data that need gathering for successful sales are:
These are sets of information that describe a customer profile. Usually these include their age, location, occupation, income level, marital status and many others. What’s good about gathering this data is that it’s quite easy to do. Whenever anyone sets up an account on your website or makes an online order, descriptive data will be provided by the customers themselves.
However, you need to be wary that not every customer is willing to share their personal information easily. That’s why you should always mark some descriptive data fields as optional for customers to fill in. At the same time, try explaining to them that inputting such data as their birthdate can be beneficial – they will get access to such perks as birthday special offers.
This important data category is all about numbers – how many times a customer made a purchase, reached out to customer support, or visited a specific webpage. This data can help determine how engaged a customer is with your brand and assist in creating a more personalized customer experience. For example, you can incentivize loyal customers with bonuses and special offers, or push a prospect to buying a product that they viewed a few times with a custom message.
Qualitative data is the most difficult data type to gather and classify. This data encompasses your customers’ attitude towards your business, how they got to know about you or what made them choose you over your competitors.
This information cannot be obtained with the help of CRMs or systems like Google Analytics. You’ll need to use such methods like customer surveys and market research. Don’t hesitate to send out these surveys on some occasions, for instance, after someone made a purchase or interacted with customer support.
Lastly, referral data is there to help you understand which marketing channels make you the most profit. This is especially important for startups, as they only start to figure out which activities pay off more than others.
On top of that, this data indirectly helps personalize customer experience. If someone called you because they saw a post about you on social media, they probably don’t yet have a good understanding of what you are as a business. On the other hand, if someone was referred to you by your partner, they will likely already know a great deal about you. Knowing this, you can customize your customer interactions to better communicate with them about your brand.
Benefits of Collecting CRM Data
Some of the major benefits your business can reap from gathering CRM data are the following:
- Better audience segmentation – collecting various data categories will help you break your target audience down into segments. Filter your prospect database out by quantitative or descriptive data and create targeted marketing campaigns for better performance and higher profits.
- Enhanced reporting and analytics – provided your CRM system has reporting and analytics capabilities, you can track vital business metrics with the help of data. You will be able to make informed decisions based on the progression or regression of KPIs. Going beyond simple numbers, data can also help you assess the performance of various departments in your company. See at what stage most prospects are lost – it will show whether it is marketing or sales lagging behind.
- Improved informational organization – gathering and storing CRM data efficiently means that any information required for sales and marketing activities is within hand’s reach. Employees can search, filter, and monitor many kinds of information based on descriptive data managed by a CRM.
- Improved customer experience – having contextual information in your CRM like the lead’s job position or even behavioral patterns can allow you to make interactions with them more personalized. This facilitates strong connections with your prospects and customers and benefits conversion rates of your marketing campaigns.
5 Customer Data Sources You Absolutely Should Integrate with Your CRM
This is basically integration 101. When a customer calls your business, logging the activity can surprisingly provide you with a vast amount of data that you wouldn’t normally expect. Even something as simple as the average length of your phone calls with clients is already saying a lot.
Call tracking allows you to effectively measure the success of your online marketing efforts. Many people would much rather call a human rep instead of filling out an online form. This is especially true in a B2B sector. And it will become even more so with an increasing size of the average deal, moneywise.
Integrating phone calls data into your CRM platform also allows you to manage further client interaction in a much more effective way. Now, the actual setup of advanced call management will differ, depending on your business model. Like for example, with a return customer, you might want him or her to interact with a designated sales rep or account manager.
Social media data is one of the most powerful tools that is just lying around, ready to be picked up and used. Getting back to ecommerce, as a great example, companies learned that customers will constantly post information on what they’re buying or interested in. They then use this information to target potential customers with coupons and special offers.
But online retail is not the only industry that can benefit from social data integration within CRM. Social media can give your business a good understanding of how customers are actually interacting and reacting to your brand. Some CRMs can give key metrics and insights into:
- Market volume;
- User experience;
- Level of engagement;
This is nothing new, and most people realize the sheer power held by social media platforms. However, despite this being a common knowledge, very few marketers are actually successful in acquiring and utilizing social data.
You are probably putting some amount of resources into marketing your business through external sources. So, it is only natural that you would want to measure the effectiveness your efforts and track where new customers learn about your brand. However, not many people are willing to tell you where they’ve heard about your brand. Or, they might not care enough, while you should really put a lot of thought into that matter.
The referral sources can be anything from an organic social media post to sponsored content in an online magazine. It is important to track each known source of the referral traffic. With websites, it might be a bit easier when you have numerous web analytics tools available on the market.
There are other ways, which can help you in tracking external marketing efforts, such as creating a separate coupon code.
Web analytics data is sometimes overlooked, but it can be a major catalyst for your marketing success. Tracking even such information as mouse movements and scrolls on the webpage can tell a lot about lead behavioral patterns. However, you need to make sure that the CMS that you’re using has the capability of obtaining this kind of data. It can later be used while preparing personalized email campaigns and other marketing activities.
Another data category that is vital for designing personalized campaigns is previous purchases. This data is best at helping your business understand what your prospects’ preferences are. It can also be used to improve your customer support department’s performance. Whenever a customer reaches out to them, the previous purchase information can give your support specialists a good idea of the customer profile.
Data Integration Services by OMI
The CRM platform can become a central point of your business tools and one of the most important building blocks in efforts to grow and scale your business. So, it is important to fuel it with data that will allow you to track, analyze and improve the marketing efforts. The real-time online data integration for your CRM is crucial in this endeavor.
Here at OMI, we pride ourselves on being the first-class provider of CRM integration services for major platforms such as Microsoft Dynamic and Salesforce. With us by your side, you can have a fully unified IT infrastructure, capable of acquiring vast fields of data from a magnitude of sources. From complete analysis of business requirements and existing software assets to highly sufficient integration and ongoing support, OMI is the go-to resource for emerging mid-size companies that embrace CRM, Marketing Automation and Service Cloud platforms to grow and dominate their niche.