Customer relationship management (CRM) software is designed to help you nurture relationships in every stage of the customer journey—from marketing to customer support. It does this by organizing contact databases and managing sales conversations and pipelines, but it can also be made even more critical to the success of your business by connecting it with other productivity or management tools through a process known as CRM integration.
How CRM Integration Works
The best CRM Software has built-in functionality to help you manage leads and organize contacts. Some also offer additional specialty in various features, such as having a native phone dialers. However, these added features are often limited to the higher-tiered plans. As a result, you might wind up paying for functionality you don’t need. They might also come at the expense of something else, like a highly desired intuitive interface.
Integrations provide a way to address gaps in features or increase user adoption by connecting the CRM to other popular third-party tools favored by small business teams, such as QuickBooks, Trello, or Slack. The most common means of integrating your CRM with third-party software is through an app developed either by the CRM or third-party business tool provider, which allows the two pieces of software to communicate directly. Actions you take in one tool are then automatically updated in the other. This is a great option as it does not require any coding skill, but some CRMs limit how many integration apps you can use, depending on your plan level.
Another integration option that does not require coding skills is by going through an intermediary like an automation platform, such as Zapier. This method is considered an indirect integration; it works by setting triggers for one platform and the actions they would activate in the other.
6 Examples of Top CRM Integrations
There’s no shortage of powerful CRM integrations available for every industry. The most successful sales professionals focus on those that add value to the sales process, save time, and help close deals faster. We’ve examined some of the most beneficial third-party integrations for sales teams that streamline communication, collaboration, accounting, and ecommerce functions.
1. Email Integrations
Email is one of the most common channels for communication with your customers, especially for business-to-business (B2B) selling. Email integrations enable users to synchronize contacts and emails from their respective email service providers.
Here are a few of the top email integrations for CRMs:
Streak CRM for Gmail
Streak CRM has a tightly-woven Gmail integration that enables you to manage mass emails, track email engagement, and automatically categorize emails right within your Gmail inbox. This integration provides a browser extension that allows you to access your CRM system while using Gmail, so you can work with both platforms without the need to switch between them. Streak is featured in our top picks for the best Google CRMs.
HubSpot CRM Email Integrations
HubSpot CRM’s integration with Outlook and Office 365 allows you to log emails and monitor opens and clicks in real time. It also enables you to access HubSpot CRM’s email templates, sequences, and meetings manager directly from your email platform. This integration brings HubSpot CRM to our list of the best CRMs for Outlook integration.
Daylite’s Mail Assistant
Daylite is a CRM designed specifically for Apple devices, such as MacBooks, iPhones, and iPads. It integrates with native iOS and macOS software, including Apple Mail. Its integration with these software enables users to synchronize contacts, emails, tasks, and calendars. It is one of our top choices for the best CRMs for Mac users.
Salesforce & Mailchimp Integration
This integration enables you to have a two-way contact synchronization between Salesforce and Mailchimp. It also allows you to send targeted emails to various lead lists. Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and one audience, and paid plans start at $14.99 per month.
Not a Salesforce user? Discover other CRM providers that integrate well with Mailchimp by reading our best CRM for Mailchimp integration list.
2. Social Media Integrations
Social media is one of today’s most popular channels for marketing and customer engagement. Integrations with social media platforms enable users to manage posts and comments and track engagement directly through their CRM platform.
Some of the best social media integrations for CRMs include:
Agile CRM Facebook Integration
Agile CRM provides an all-in-one social CRM that enables you to manage your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts. You can manage your social accounts for sales, marketing, and customer support. It also has a social listening tool that provides insights into what customers and industry influencers are talking about. It is one of our top picks for the best CRMs that integrate with Facebook.
HubSpot’s Integration With LinkedIn Sales Navigator
HubSpot CRM’s integration with LinkedIn Sales Navigator enables you to communicate with your contacts through email and live chat. This integration also allows you to generate leads from LinkedIn and automatically add them to your sales pipeline. A LinkedIn Sales Navigator subscription starts at $79.99 per user, per month. HubSpot CRM is featured on our top choices for the best CRM for LinkedIn integration.
Looking for more CRM software that you can use to manage your social media accounts? Check out our list of the best social CRM platforms.
3. Phone & SMS Integrations
Phone and SMS (short message service) are two other popular communication channels for engaging customers and leads. Integrating dialers with your CRM system enables you to perform outbound calls within the platform, record them, and log them. SMS integrations enable you to create drip campaigns for text messages, automating a constant follow-up campaign with your contacts through SMS.
Below are some examples of robust phone and SMS CRM integrations:
Salesflare & RingCentral Integration
RingCentral’s integration with Salesflare through Zapier enables you to synchronize contacts between the two platforms and have calls directly within your CRM system. It also allows you to log these calls and notes and set triggers and actions. For example, when you miss a call in RingCentral, you can automatically set a task to follow up in Salesflare. RingCentral plans start at $19.99 per user, per month, billed annually.
HubSpot Phone Integration With Nextiva
The Nextiva-HubSpot CRM integration enables you to view customer information and interaction history before making your next call. HubSpot CRM automatically logs calls as activities in the contact records, making it easier to track customer interaction history. Nextiva plans start at $25.95 per user, per month, billed monthly.
Bitrix24 CRM Messaging Integration
Bitrix24 is a popular CRM for sales teams who connect with their customers through messaging platforms. It offers free integrations with well-known messaging providers (including SMS messages), such as Instagram, Slack, Viber, and Telegram, allowing you to message clients, route conversations, and use canned replies right in the CRM.
Some CRM providers with mobile apps automatically integrate with mobile phones’ built-in calling and SMS features. This integration is particularly beneficial for field sales. If you are looking for CRM software for mobile devices, check out our top picks for the best mobile CRM apps.
4. Collaboration Integrations
It is important for sales teams to be able to collaborate with one another in one place. Some CRM software is built for teams with features for collaboration, such as user permissions and agent profiles. However, some still integrate with third-party team communications and project management tools for a comprehensive, customizable experience.
Some of the most popular collaboration integrations for CRM include:
Salesforce for Slack
Salesforce’s integration with Slack streamlines team collaboration by making it possible to search CRM records on Slack and share them within the platform. This integration also allows you to share messages from Salesforce Chatter to your Slack channels and vice versa. Slack offers a free plan for up to 10,000 messages, while paid plans start at $6.67 per user, per month, billed annually. Salesforce is featured in our top choices for the best CRMs that integrate with Slack.
Pipedrive’s Integration With Trello
Trello is a Kanban-style collaboration tool that enables users to create and share projects with one another. Its integration with Pipedrive streamlines collaboration by automating the creation of Trello cards when you move deals throughout the sales pipeline. It also enables you to draw deal information directly from Pipedrive into Trello. Trello offers a free plan for small teams, and paid plans start at $10 per user, per month, billed annually.
5. Accounting Integrations
Integrating CRM software with accounting platforms enables bookkeepers and accountants to keep track of bills and invoices per customer or per company. It also enables users to manage payments within the CRM platform.
Excellent accounting integrations for CRM worth mentioning include:
Method:CRM’s QuickBooks Integration
Method:CRM itself has comprehensive billing tools that enable users to open self-service customer portals and payment gateways that streamline billing processes and make it easier for customers to pay their invoice. QuickBooks pricing starts at $8 per month for one user and $12.50 per month for up to three users. Method:CRM is on our list of the best QuickBooks CRM options.
Freshsales & Xero Integration
Freshsales enables you to search for and view your Xero invoices within the CRM platform. It also provides a summary of outstanding balances for each account or deal, removing the need to consolidate them manually. Xero subscriptions start at $11 per user, per month. Freshsales is included in our top picks for the best CRMs that integrate with Xero.
6. Ecommerce Integrations
Integrating CRMs to ecommerce platforms helps users nurture relationships with their customers and maximize online sales. If you are looking for a CRM for your online store, check out our top picks for the best ecommerce CRM software.
Some of the most robust ecommerce CRM integrations include:
HubSpot Ecommerce Plugins
HubSpot’s ecommerce plugins enable you to synchronize with ecommerce programs, such as Shopify, and manage contacts, products, and orders. You can also maximize your sales by automating ecommerce campaigns for different cases, such as new customers, abandoned carts, and re-engagement.
Salesforce & Magento Integration
This integration also allows you to automatically synchronize data like customers, product categories, and orders from the ecommerce platform Magento to the CRM software, Salesforce. This real-time synchronization streamlines inventory tracking, customer records, and order management by updating them automatically. Magento pricing starts at $25 per user, per month.
Benefits of CRM Integration
Drawbacks of CRM Integration
CRM integrations are a huge part of bringing together many of the tools and resources you use to keep your business running smoothly into one place. When choosing a CRM, make a list of all the software you use regularly. Look for CRM providers that offer integrations with the main tools you use to streamline your sales process, save time, and improve team productivity.