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Data Integration in Sales

Data integration in sales is the process of joining data from different sources and using it to create a single source of truth. This allows everyone in the team to access relevant information without having to search for it multiple times, thus saving time and reducing costs.

The main goal of data integration in sales is to create a consolidated view of all your sales-related activities.

Based on the type of integration you use, the benefits vary and can include:

  • Improving sales team efficiency by automating sales processes
  • Reducing costs by getting rid of duplicate entry errors
  • Have a bird's-eye view into your salespeople's data
  • Keeping the salespeople motivated and executing things in fun
  • Improving customer satisfaction by providing them with personalized services
  • Analyzing your combined data and creating plans for achieving targets and improving ROI

What is data integration?

Data integration is the process of bringing disparate data together into a single system. This process can be automated and can happen at varying levels of complexity. The goal of data integration is to create a single view of all the information in your organization so that it's easy for everyone in the team to use and understand. 

Data integration can help your business:

  • Increase collaboration across teams
  • Improve internal processes by automating manual tasks
  • Give employees access to relevant information they need to do their jobs

Why are data integrations important for sales?

Data integrations are important to sales because they allow you to see all the insights associated with the sales process at once. It helps you understand your targets, what's achieved by the team so far, who are your top performers, and more.

Data integration also helps with scaling your sales team. Suppose you have multiple teams selling different products in different regions. In that case, it will be difficult for them to coordinate their efforts without having access to real-time data about leads and customers across all verticals.

Why should you integrate sales data with your CRM?

Integrating sales data with CRM allows you to pull up all the information about any particular lead or customer in one place. This makes it easier for sales reps to understand what stage of the sales funnel that specific customer is in and enables them to make more informed decisions about what to do next.

Here are some key benefits:

  • You can see where your sales opportunities lie for each product or service.
  • You can use this information to target specific companies and individuals.
  • You can identify potential customers before they become actual ones.
  • See how well sales reps are performing relative to others in your team. Get valuable insight into how they should allocate resources and support each rep's development efforts.

What are the enterprise benefits of data integration?

Data integration has many benefits for enterprises:

  • Reduced complexity: By reducing the number of systems you have to deal with, data integration helps reduce complexity for end users and IT staff.
  • Better consistency: With fewer systems involved, it's easier to maintain consistency across them. 
  • Easier reporting: Perform more complex queries across multiple sources simultaneously, making it easier to create reports based on historical data or advanced analytics tools.
  • Enhanced security: Reduce the risk of a breach by ensuring that data is encrypted, stored in one place, and only accessed by authorized parties.
  • Saves cost: Allows you to reuse existing systems instead of building new ones from scratch whenever something new gets added to your business model.
  • Improved efficiency: Data integration makes it easier for employees to access the information they need to do their jobs efficiently.
  • Increased productivity: Employees can spend less time searching for information and more time working on projects or tasks.
  • Better decision-making: When data is integrated, it is easier to find patterns and correlations between various datasets. This can help in finding trends and applying them to the business.
  • Prevent data errors: Eliminate manual errors by automating repetitive processes.
  • Faster problem resolution: When businesses have access to all the data they need, problems can be identified and resolved faster than ever.
  • Improved customer service: With data in one place, it becomes easier to serve customers better with personalized service experiences rather than generic ones that could potentially alienate them.

What are the major techniques used for data integration?

There are several techniques used for data integration:

  • ETL (Extract-Transform-Load): This involves extracting data from one location (such as a database), transforming it into another format (e.g., changing column names), and loading it into another location (such as another database). ETL tools are often used for batch processing, where workflows are scheduled at certain times or when certain events occur (e.g., when there’s new data available).
  • Streaming: Streaming refers to the real-time processing of events as they happen rather than after they have been accumulated into batches. 
  • Data virtualization: It is an approach for integrating multiple disparate data sources based on their schemas, including metadata such as structure, constraints, and relationships. It acts as middleware between applications and storage systems so that each application sees its view of the data without having direct access to underlying physical storage systems.

What are some data integration use cases in the real world?

We all know that data integration is essential, but we don't always think about what it means in the real world. Here are some examples of how companies use data integration in their business:

  • Data integration for product development: If you're building a new product and want to integrate information from different sources, data integration software can help you. 
  • Data integration for market research: Using data integration tools allows companies to analyze consumer trends and better understand their needs to plan future products and services. This analysis helps businesses make more intelligent decisions about where they should spend money on advertising or marketing campaigns, which products they should develop next year, and so on.
  • Data integration for customer service teams: Customer service agents often need access to information about customers' past purchases, their payment history, and other details to quickly resolve any problems that may arise during a call or email session with those customers. Data integration can help achieve all of these faster. 
  • Data integration for e-commerce: Connect your CRM system with your eCommerce platform so you can easily access customer information when making sales offers, sending newsletters, etc. This way, you don't have to manually enter customer data into each application, which is time-consuming and error-prone.
  • Data integration for supply chain: This allows you to see where the bottlenecks in the supply chain are and optimize it accordingly (for example, by creating a new route). To do this, you need an end-to-end view of all supply chain processes: from raw materials to finished goods delivery.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.

eNPS:

eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

What is the relationship between data integration and CRM?

The relationship between data integration and CRM is that they are two separate things. Data integration refers to the process of bringing together multiple data sources into a unified model. On the other hand, CRM is the technology companies use to manage customer relationships.

It is necessary for any business software (such as CRM) to have an effective way of gathering and keeping track of data about its customers. Data integration is one way of doing this because it allows all the different types of information about customers (and other subjects) to be brought together in one place where they can easily be accessed by all employees who need them.

What are the challenges in data integration?

Data integration is not a simple task; it can be difficult to get all the pieces to fit together. There are several challenges that you may face when integrating data across multiple systems, which include:

  • Data quality issues: Data integration requires matching data from different sources, requiring both data sets to be of high quality and have a standard format or structure. Matching becomes difficult or impossible if the quality is not up to par.
  • Incompatibilities with data type: Data from one system may be stored as an integer value while another uses a string value for the same concept. This makes it hard to compare them to find matches between records in different databases.
  • Data volume issues: Data volumes can differ significantly between systems, making it hard to match them up accurately without losing information in either database while merging data into one coherent set of records.
  • Lack of security protocols: There are many different ways that companies store sensitive information like customer credit card numbers or social security numbers; however not securing these confidential data can cause issues. 

How does data integration adds value to your business?

To help you get started on the path toward a more prosperous future, here are ways that data integration can add value to your business:

  • Accelerate decision-making by providing real-time visibility into information across systems.
  • Enable faster and more accurate decision-making by combining data from various sources into a single source of truth.
  • Eliminate duplicative efforts across teams and improve collaboration between teams.
  • Reduce costs by streamlining processes through automation and consolidation of resources across multiple systems.
  • Increase compliance with regulations such as GDPR by ensuring all data is encrypted and secure.

How can Compass help with data integration?

We use standardized methods to integrate sales data from multiple sources like Spreadsheets, CRM, ERP, DMS, or ERP and merge it with Compass in a few hours.

  • The initial setup process typically involves the tech teams of both sides discussing and implementing the integration pilot.
  • Once set, Compass's integration method automatically fetches data in the next cycle.
  • In order of preference, we usually suggest integrations via CRMs, Webhook, SFTP, and SDKs to have the best experience of the Compass integration.

How can data integration help you manage your CRM?

Here are just some of the ways that data integration can help you manage your CRM:

  • Allows you to integrate your data from different sources into one central location.
  • Helps you synchronize data across multiple systems.
  • Allows you to customize how you view and use your data.
  • Share information with each other, which makes collaboration easier and faster.