CRM Integration with Legacy Systems and Processes

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In this blog we explore the benefits of CRM integration with legacy systems and processes as well as how to get the best out of your data and help transform processes whilst carrying out the transformation.

It can be a huge challenge leaving a legacy system behind, but what if you didn’t have to switch from your legacy solution to a new one, but were still able to integrate legacy systems with a new CRM solution? Doing this would allow you to keep your existing software whilst maximising the benefits of a modern software tool.

Using this methodology, it means you can:

  • Integrate your legacy applications with modern software.
  • Share the data inside your legacy applications with your CRM and its users.
  • Set up automation involving the old software.
  • Reduce the amount of duplicate data entry and the risk of human error across multiple systems.
  • Provide a 360-degree view of your contacts and customers.

And you can do this for each piece of legacy technology that you still use. It’s the easiest way to bring your organisation up-to-date and gives your teams access to better functionality without having to switch entirely across to new technology.

Integrated ERP and CRM

Typically, the sales and marketing teams use CRM to manage initial leads / sales pipeline and the service teams to manage after-sales service. But for many organisations, there is a lot going on in between to connect the two for a positive customer experience. Where CRM leaves off with a deal, ERP picks it up as an order and stewards the business data throughout the business resulting in delivery of that order. Now, software solutions are bridging the gap and connecting CRM and ERP into a single solution sharing common data.

By eliminating the barrier between systems, you’re able to realise the full scope of what each has to offer. After a sales person enters the customer and sales order data, why should someone re-enter that data into a separate ERP system. By capturing data once and using a single source of customer data throughout the business, you streamline productivity, and keep everyone on the same page to improve the customer experience.

By connecting these systems you eliminate the previously siloed data and empower your organisation to access one single version of the truth across the entire value chain. In one single platform you access all relevant data types, including:

  • Company, contact and account information.
  • Detailed customer data.
  • Product information.
  • Pricing and discounts.
  • Sales orders and purchase histories.
  • Payment information and more.

Simply put, CRM and ERP use much of the same data, so they should be integrated on a common data platform for one data model across the organisation.

The Business Challenge

The idea that a single organisation uses dozens of applications may seem far-fetched. Believe us, it isn’t. Consider that each department has multiple pieces of software and systems, all of which host their own data. Across the organisation, these sources of data can include a number of existing business applications and systems such as:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software
  • An email marketing platform
  • Multiple social media accounts across several platforms
  • Your website(s)
  • Enterprise resource planning (ERP) software
  • Order and inventory management tools
  • A data warehouse or master data management platform (MDM)
  • Supply chain management tools
  • Customer service chatbot software
  • Computer telephony integration for customer services and support
  • Project management software
  • Collaboration tools
  • Document management software

Each department may act autonomously, and if its systems are not integrated with other departments, this creates data silos and poor customer and employee experiences.

CRM integration with legacy systems is essential to unlocking the true power of a CRM for many organisations. Integrations add functionality to CRMs and build a reliable single version of the truth you can count on to make decisions across your entire organisation by connecting the applications you use to do business.

When delivered correctly, CRM integrations can reduce organisational silos, save your people time, and bring an in-depth customer understanding to your entire organisation.

The abundance of available CRM system integrations can tempt you to integrate all of your legacy systems. However, it is important to analyse the need critically and stay focused on integrating only the most important business tools with your CRM software.

You may also choose to phase the integrations over time based upon your organisational strategic priorities.

Business Process Improvement and CRM

A CRM system doesn’t transform anything in its own right. It’s a piece of software providing access to key customer data in one place and a wide array of tools to help serve your customers better and raise your teams’ productivity. What will change business performance is the quality and accuracy of the data within the CRM as well as the behaviour changes in your people and the process improvements enabled by the CRM system.

Data Quality and Collection

Good quality data is the cornerstone of a successful CRM implementation and as such it is crucial that any data to be migrated across from other systems are cleansed thoroughly and any gaps identified prior to migration.

To get maximise the benefits from CRM, companies should build upon data from existing systems. Ideally, you should aim to collect a wide range of data types to obtain a well-rounded picture of your target audience’s traits and buying behaviours. The more and diverse data you can collect, the more precise your business records will be.

Some of the important types of customer data to collect include:

Basic data – this kind of data refers to the personal customer data, which is essential for a business to understand its relationship with its audience.

Interaction data – this data describes the touchpoints a customer has with your brand, sometimes referred to as “engagement”.  This data is often anonymised to protect the customer’s privacy and allow for large-scale mapping and is essential to crafting the correct customer journey for customers.

Behavioural data – refers to the experience a customer has with your product or brand. This data can help in product design and development.

Attitudinal data – attitudinal data refers to what a customer thinks and includes online reviews and survey responses.

Improve Task Management

Organisations can optimise communication and collaboration by using their CRM system. When data is stored in a single location, team members can easily access data pertinent to their day-to-day tasks. Additionally, CRM systems free up time for customer service representatives to focus on their customer’s needs.

Features embedded in ViewPointCRM allow managers to delegate tasks and assign them to team members, allowing for easy workflow tracking. At busy times, it can be easy for smaller projects to be understaffed or neglected. However, CRM systems allow designated personnel to assign tasks to individuals and routinely check their status.

More focussed Marketing Processes

A good CRM solution, like ViewPointCRM, enables you to collect and organise customer information and identify customers’ preferences (e.g., what products they need and prefer or the solutions they are seeking). It also provides the information required to tell customers and prospects what they need to know about your products or services.

Using CRM in your marketing benefits your business by helping you to do the following:

  • Get a better sense of your target audience. The CRM centralises customer information, allowing you to develop a complete picture of your customers and track any changes as your business grows.
  • Target specific customer groups. When you know your customers’ backgrounds, interests, and purchasing histories, you can focus your marketing efforts on the customers who would be interested in the right message for them.
  • Find new customers. You can use what you have learned about current customers’ preferences to create targeted marketing campaigns for prospects with similar interests and purchasing profiles.
  • Identify audience trends and preferences. CRM software helps you uncover patterns in the data to learn what your audience likes, thereby helping you connect with your customers.

In this blog post we’ve highlighted some of the key considerations for decision-makers when choosing a CRM solution for their organisation and how it can integrate with legacy systems and processes. If you would like to discuss your business challenges and how ViewPointCRM can help your organisation, please get in touch with our expert team today or book a demo.