Top 5 headaches of CRM integrations according to a Salesforce MVP
Without the right solution, integrating multiple CRMs can take months (or years). Plus, the integrations needed can end up looking like a bowl of API spaghetti. Our guest and Salesforce MVP, Rebecca Lammers, a Director at Slalom, covers five of the most common headaches you will need to overcome when combining multiple CRMs.
The five headaches of integrating CRMs
1. Salesforce talent is limited
CRM talent has been in short supply for years. COVID-19 and the Great Resignation have exacerbated the talent problem. According to an IDC report from 2021, it is estimated that Salesforce will create 9.3M jobs by 2026. In other words, talent supply will keep going down while talent demand will keep going up. If you think it’s hard to find CRM talent right now, it’s likely it will only get worse. The current approach isn’t sustainable: You can’t just hire more CRM experts in order to support your growing infrastructure setup because it doesn’t scale.
2. Data model mapping exercises never end
Every CRM has a unique data mapping approach that creates a lot of complexity when you try to combine multiple CRMs. Just mapping to one partner, and ensuring the fields are mapped and set up right, is time-consuming. Now add a third partner (or a fourth, fifth, etc.), and both the complexity and time spent on mapping data grow substantially. Not only is it a huge effort to set up and maintain, but when you think you’re done, someone will ask for a new field or a change—and the process starts all over again. So, your internal processes are evolving faster than you are able to respond, creating the problem of inaccurate data. These breakdowns can, in turn, lead to end-users not trusting the data.
3. Integration patterns are only designed for the here and now
Integrations are often designed to solve a pressing problem or need “here and now” without much consideration or flexibility to adapt to future changes. Most integrations are meant to do nothing more than move data from point A to point B. They are not designed to push data in a fan or multiple-point pattern. These types of integrations are often built with a single use case in mind, meaning that over time, different integrations can overlap. These overlaps are not well-orchestrated, and they create a huge obstacle in changing integrated fields and adversely impact other systems downstream.
This also means that depending on when one organization is making a call to the other, it can end up with a slightly different answer than the previous organization making the same call. It all depends on when data is batched and processed—and how fast.
4. Imperfect integrations lead to mistrust and low user adoption
CRM owners spend a lot of time trying to make the system perfect, but dumb integrations that do not consider data content and simply process the data at certain intervals can gut data integrity and create a breakdown in user trust. If the data updating process relies heavily on the end-users themselves, who might have to update data in multiple systems, it can lead them to revert to the path of least resistance (including old habits like using email or spreadsheets). End-users need to trust the system. Without trust, they will not use your system.
5. Privacy, compliance, and ethical considerations add another layer of complexity
Once your system is set up, you will have to consider security and privacy compliance requirements. Standards and requirements change over time, so this adds constant overhead and complexity to your CRM maintenance. And if you are now also managing a system spanning multiple organizations? Things just got even more complicated.
Companies collaborating with businesses in the same industry will also need to consider anti-trust regulations, which might require an even higher level of reliability and transparency.
Not convinced? Read this blog post to learn more about why CRM data sharing is business-critical.
What is the best way to combine multiple CRMs?
If your organization has two or more Salesforce instances, if you collaborate with other companies, or if your company just went through a merger or acquisition, you know that important data tends to live in multiple places.
By combining CRMs, you can open up new co-selling opportunities, unlock new insights across your organization, build new partnerships, and reduce manual processes for teams in sales, customer support, supply chain, and manufacturing.
The sooner you can reap these benefits, the higher your ROI will be on your investments, and the more valuable your CRM will be to your organization.
If you are looking to combine or integrate multiple CRMs, watch our webcast, The future of CRM data sharing. Jump to 22:36 to learn more about how Vendia tackles these challenges, or go to vendia.com/meet to request a meeting with one of our CRM integration and real-time data sharing experts.