After over 25 years in the CRM business, Collier Pickard has a deep understanding of the importance of data and data integration. If your business is using both a CRM and accounts systems, you need the data to be identical across both systems. Why? Well, read on and find out.
At Collier Pickard we talk a lot about the ‘single version of the truth’, this is, put simply, where all of your separate systems are integrated, so will always show the most up-to-date information, regardless of which system you are using.
Put simply, knowledge is power. The more information a salesperson has, the better placed they will be to sell. If they know the month-to-date spend, year-to-date spend, last year spend and current credit status, they can decide how best to approach a client.
If a change happens with your accounts system, say a client of yours hasn’t paid their latest invoice, that will impact future selling efforts. It will be much easier for your salespeople, who already have a relationship with the client to get them to settle their outstanding payments. However, if your sales team don’t have access to this data, how will they know?
It will also save you a lot of admin time. A saying that we use is ‘capture once, use many times’. Instead of having to manually input the data across both of your systems, the data will automatically be synced from your CRM system into the accounts software. This will also hugely decrease the risk of duplicate data, incorrectly entered data and improve efficiency within the company.
A question that you may be asking yourself is, ‘when is this necessary?’. The short answer is at any time.
We work with clients where there may only be a team of five and a part-time accounts person, because they are part-time, they aren’t always there to answer any questions that the sales team may have. Having that integration means that the sales team can get any information that they may need in front of them whenever and wherever they need it.
In other cases, a business may have highly complex orders that consist of several different items that will make up one order. Manually inputting each item can take up a lot of time that could be better spent on making sales.
In many cases, there will already be integration between the two different systems that you wish to integrate, in which case, it can be very easy and affordable to complete the integration. However, this isn’t always the case and it can become costly to create that integration from the ground up.
Your accounts department HAVE to know what’s going on with Sales, otherwise, how are they going to know which orders to process? How the payments have been agreed? Are they paying the entire sum upfront? Or, are they paying in instalments?
With a fully integrated system, all it takes is for the salesperson to update the record in the CRM system and the order will automatically be created in the accounts system. Simple.
This doesn’t just help the Sales and Accounts teams; your Marketing team can use this information to fully track the customer journey. This will help them fine-tune their marketing efforts and become much more effective at their jobs.
Company directors can easily view the sales team’s performance, customer spend and more. They can create a dashboard in their CRM that will give them a bird’s eye view of everything that’s going on within the business so that they know what’s happening at any given time.
There is a huge amount to be gained from integrating your accounts and CRM systems, it carries benefits throughout the business and, in most cases, it can be done very affordably.
If you want to see an example of how integration can help your business, here is a case study from SageCRM and Blue Sky International.
If you have any questions about integrating your accounts and CRM systems, or about CRM in general, feel free to get in touch by heading over to the contact page or by giving us a call. We are more than happy to help.