Integrating CRM and Content Management
If you think about it, giving employees access to information in your CRM (customer relationship management) and CMS (content management system) in a single interface makes a lot of sense. Still, it's only recently that companies have started to think about CRM integration in the two systems. CRM integration is challenging partly because the architecture of each system makes it difficult to build communications links and partly because companies have traditionally seen these two systems as separate and distinct. But that's changing rapidly.
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What is CRM Content Management?
Simply put, CRM and CRM integration is a way to help and track your customers. Your CRM enables you to create a unique experience for your customers with your attractive graphics and design efforts. At the same time, the CRM integration will help you track site visitors and to build potential new leads.
Gary Walker, senior vice president of Applied Technology Solutions Group for RWD Technologies, which, among other things, helps build middleware connectors between CRM and CMS solutions, said there are reasons the systems have remained separate. Still, it's becoming critical to link the information in the CRM integration and CMS. "I think the architecture has not necessarily evolved," he said. "I think people see CRM as an end unto itself, and just now we are getting to a place where people realize they have a more critical mass of information than they can manage and sort through easily."
How Does CRM Integration Help in Managing Content?
Before you decide anything, you must understand why you need a CRM integration CMS system for your business. Following are some reasons that might make it clear why CMS and CRM integration is an excellent tool for your business.
This means it's becoming increasingly important to seamlessly give employees access to this information. Kyle McNabb, an analyst who covers enterprise content management for Forrester Research Inc., explained that in most organizations, employees have to move outside the CRM integration system to a CMS to get a related document such as a contract or a customer presentation, which can be problematic and inefficient. "It's always presented a challenge to those using a CRM integration system because they had to jump from one application to the next, and in doing so, they lose context," McNabb explained.
- Marketing automation
McNabb said he sees more interest in CMS and CRM integration, especially in helping marketing teams design more targeted content for customers. "They want to do something with [the information they gather from the CRM system], and what they want to do is deliver better content to those individuals, based on who they are, their segmentation, and, in many cases, what they are actively doing in an online environment."
- More helpful information for employees
In Walker's view, connecting the two systems gives customer-facing employees faster access to the latest information in the CMS while at the same time helping these employees understand who that customer is, as described in the CRM integration system. These employees are often pressured to find the correct answers and present a positive view of the company to the caller. In fact, Walker's company has built middleware to enable EMC Corp.'s Documentum CMS and Oracle Corp.'s Seibel CRM integration system to communicate. He says his company has concentrated on making these tools for the pharmaceutical industry because customer-service personnel in this market must have the latest, most accurate information when talking to physician-customers about a drug.
Walker said linking a CMS with CRM integration has broader applications beyond the pharmaceutical industry and would be helpful in any customer-facing environment with a CRM integration where employees need to make links between customer needs and available content.
As Walker points out, it's only in the past year that companies have begun to realize the value of connecting these two systems, but he believes it's an idea whose time has come, and that's why we are beginning to see organizations trying to build these links. Recent moves such as Salesforce.com Inc.'s purchase of Koral Inc.'s content management and Oracle's purchase of Stellent Inc. suggest that you should start seeing more connections between CMS and CRM integration moving forward. Regardless of the CRM integration vendor, however, as these systems evolve, it is becoming increasingly important for employees to have easy access to a range of customer information, regardless of where it lives.
Benefits of CMS and CRM Integration
- Increased lead conversion
By combining the data of both your CMS and CRM via CRM integration, you can gain better insight into customer behavior and strategize a system to deliver the content to the right audience at the right time.
The leads generated by your CMS can be fed into your CRM integration. They can create better sales interactions and customer service efforts by your staff resulting in more business for your company in the long run.
- Personalized approach to marketing
With market segmentation data from your CRM integration, you can configure your CMS solution to deliver customized content to different audience segments. Hence, your customers would be able to build a more personalized feeling relationship with your brand and, in turn, result in better chances of building brand loyalty
- Better customer service via CRM integration
CRM integration with your CMS can help you grow and retain customers better through a more streamlined customer service approach. Your employees will better know the customers via the CRM integration and provide a more satisfactory customer service experience. The CRM integration also tracks every interaction with the customer to create long-lasting relationships between the brand and clients.
- Reporting features
Your CMS and CRM integration solution can help you track your marketing and sales more precisely and, thus, predict business trends more accurately. With automated data synchronization with the CRM integration, there would be less room for human error and also make the data available instantly when needed.
These CMS and CRM integration reporting features can improve productivity within your organization.