How do you sync contact information between apps? In tech terms, it’s called CRM Integration. The longest standing dilemma in the small business world is that contact info needs to be connected and shared with third-party eMail, mailing list, sales and/or accounting programs. These programs usually run independently of each other. Clients constantly ask the same question, “Isn’t there something out there that I can use so I don’t have to enter this information again and again??”
Adding Contact Info Again?!
Do you find yourself adding the same name and contact info into several lists? You get a new lead. You add them to your contact list or Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. You want them to receive your eNewsletter so you add them to your email list app. Then, they become a customer so you add them to your bookkeeping program. The fastest way you know how to do all of this is via Cut & Paste or manually entering it in – piece by piece: name, address, phone, email, etc. Each of these methods takes TIME and you risk making entry ERRORS.
CRM programs focus on ways to better manage your contacts through relationship building and the sales process. They’re great at helping to
document your appointments, to-do’s and one-on-one contact such as phone calls and your email correspondence. eMail marketing programs are fantastic for creating good-looking email campaigns, managing targeted lists and providing statistics: how many opened your email, how many times it was shared, and which email addresses unsubscribed or are no longer valid. Accounting
software perfectly manages the order and invoicing process, lets you know who owes you money, and who bought which product or service.
But, you’re left with the problem of having to enter the basic contact info three different times. Or, you’re looking for them in one place only to find they haven’t been added yet so, you hunt down the information to do so! Frustrating!
Springing up everywhere is a class of software apps called CRM Integrations or CRM Sync. You choose your CRM app, your eMail Marketing app and/or your accounting app and select the information you want to sync between them
and it all happens in the background. Each program must “allow” the other to share the info. It’s done with a special authentication code called an “API” (application programming interface). There are variables that can be set
such as how often the transfers take place, whether there’s new or changed information and others. Setup can be tricky depending upon which apps you use for your CRM, eMail and accounting, but it seems we’re moving in the right direction to solve this age-old problem!
Reprinted with permission from TechOrganizing.com