Best Practices for CRM Marketing Integration


If your business is considering investing in a customer relationship management (CRM) platform to create synergy between your sales and marketing teams, the way you implement it into the workflow matters.

Using these best practices, your business can successfully integrate CRM marketing to get the most out of the CRM and the data it offers.

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Train Employees on How to Use CRM

Spend time working with employees in the sales and marketing departments to train them on the effective use of the CRM. Understand that some employees will take the training seriously, while others may not. Fifty four percent of employees say they’d be more likely to perform a task if it included game elements, so gamification of the training experience can help encourage participation.



Use All CRM Features

Many CRMs include a number of features and integrations with other tools and apps you’re already using. Closely look at the features your CRM has and determine how you can use them to not only improve company workflow and productivity, but to improve the customer experience.

If your business involves managing projects for your clients, why run a completely separate project management system? If your CRM has a built-in project management system, use it to:

  • Create tasks and milestones for various projects.
  • Track email correspondence.
  • Keep an eye on who’s doing what over the course of a project.

Take advantage of CRM reports. These reports can provide critical information about what’s going on in your business, including:

  • Which employees have created the most sales opportunities over the course of the month.
  • Which clients produce the most revenue for your business.
  • Identify the main reasons you’re losing business.

Automate Where Possible

Some everyday tasks are repetitive and boring. Use tools within your CRM to automate parts of your company’s workflow, such as assigning tasks to members of the team. Task automation tools like Zapier integrate with your CRM to perform file backups (saving a Gmail attachment to Dropbox, for example), create contacts in your CRM, add contacts to your email marketing lists, and more.

Process All Leads Through the CRM

Once your staff is comfortable with the CRM, create a plan for a smooth transition from your old method to the new technology. The sooner you completely integrate the system, the better off the company will be in the long run. Set a date and require all new leads be processed through the CRM by this time. An incomplete transition to the new system could wreak havoc on internal communication or cause valued customers to fall through the cracks.

Meet with Employees to Discuss Refining the System

After the employees have had time to actively use the system, meet with them to determine how well it is working for them. Find out what they love about it, what improvements they’d like to see made, and any difficulties they’ve encountered. Use their feedback to make adjustments where possible. Forty eight percent of employees say giving them a chance to provide feedback, and then seeing it implemented, is part of what entices them to stay with a company. So working with and listening to your employees plays a key role in the success of changes within the company.

Use CRM Marketing with Social Media

Using social media for business plays a critical role in the sales and marketing process. So if your CRM integrates with social channels, make the most of it. Using a contact’s email address, CRMs can detect social profiles attached to the contact. Use this information to bring your clients and social media together whenever and wherever possible. As your relationships grow, you can collect information from their social profiles to foster long-term relationships. Use social CRM to engage customers directly, as well.

In 2009, Best Buy launched the Twelpforce initiative to integrate the Best Buy Community team with Twitter. Their approach allows anyone in the community team to respond to respond to questions directly from the social network. Not only does the community see an average of 600,000 visitors, and more than 22 million pages of content, the initial community engagements provided a $5 million benefit (PDF) to the company.

Bosch used social CRM to target select trades on Facebook. With the tool, they were able to determine their Facebook audience was a separate, and younger audience. Bosch also learned a higher than average number of their Facebook fans were woodworkers, so they adjusted their marketing to the group with staging of power tools in woodworking.

Taking time to craft a CRM marketing strategy and determine exactly how your company will use all the features of your CRM can make implementing it much easier. With the robust features of CRM, social media and employee support, your business will continue to grow and see increased profits.

CRM Image via Shutterstock

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Megan Totka


Megan Totka Megan Totka is the Chief Editor for Chamber of Commerce. Chamber specializes in helping SMB's grow their business on the Web while facilitating the connectivity between local businesses and more than 7,000 Chambers of Commerce worldwide. Megan specializes in reporting the latest business news, helpful tips and reliable resources and provides advice through her column on the Chamber blog.

One Reaction

  1. Aira Bongco

    Refining the system is a must. There are some aspects of the system that some businesses don’t really need. It is best to minimize and just stick with the useful functions.

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