Transforming Too-Many-Tools into a Competitive Advantage
As sales teams around the world roll out HubSpot as a central place to manage contacts and leads, one of the biggest threats to adoption can be keeping client information in sync across multiple software tools. Organizations commonly use different solutions for estimation and quoting, document storage, acceptance tracking, project management, customer service support, and accounting, among others.
For account managers in these organizations, getting the full story about what has happened with their customer since the last conversation they had can be a time consuming and frustrating process. Entire CRM (customer relationship management) projects can stall out in the face of this issue, as team members make their way through the learning curve for the new tool in addition to re-programming themselves to remember to keep it up-to-date.
It takes a measured approach to solving the problem, which can be very simple or very complex depending on the organization’s workflow.
Mapping Customer Data
The first step toward any digital transformation strategy is understanding the current status. Creating a list of all of the current places where important customer information is stored can be a great way to start the internal feedback process.
A simple flow chart can be assembled using this information and input from team leaders in Google Drawing, with paper and pencil, or any mind-mapping tool. It should demonstrate in simple terms the times when customer information is added to each tool in the list and for what purpose.
It may be helpful to create a “current” and “future” map. This can be a useful exercise to take on as a team, or with each team, depending on the size of your organization. It is important to allow team members the time and space to voice concerns and questions openly, as their feedback is critical to a smooth and successful transition.
Bridging Your Systems
If your software stack is not already supported in the HubSpot Connect portal, a system automation tool like Zapier or Workato may provide some quick relief. Most IT professionals can help get automations in place for supported services in a short time, so that every time you create a new support ticket, for example, it leaves a note on the contact or company in your HubSpot CRM. This can be a low cost setup, but costs can scale quickly as new services and automations are added.
The point at which it makes sense to build the bridges so that your team doesn’t have to pay every time you send information varies by organization, based on complexity and frequency of use. While the up-front cost of custom integrations is higher, the per-data-sync cost is essentially alleviated.
Accessing the Information
Business leaders have never had more information available to aid their decision-making process. Still, most struggle to get access to the information they need in a timely manner and in an actionable format.
As we make decisions in real-time, the culture of manually running reports is holding us back. Organizations focused on growth will create the access that their leaders are seeking. Insight tools automatically pull information as often as needed to make sure decision-makers are properly informed.
These solutions can take the form of data visualization delivered by web and mobile dashboards, proactive emails, push notifications, chat bots, and other creative, interactive forms.
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Get in touch if you need help with your digital transformation strategy, or if you are are interested in new and creative ways of interacting with your organization’s data.