January 25, 2024

CRM Integrations 2024: Trends & Challenges to Extend CRM Functionality

As companies scale, they encounter critical inefficiencies in their technology infrastructure. These challenges, spanning from predicting revenue to streamlining operations through automation, are increasingly being met through the strategic use of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems and extending their out-of-the-box CRM functionalities with native, third-party, and custom integrations.

New Breed partnered with DataBox and Censuswide Research for the State of HubSpot Report to survey 1,000+ B2B revenue leaders and analyze how CRM integrations can help mid-market and enterprise companies adapt to tech advancements and integrate complex systems for operational efficiency and profitable growth at scale.

The Current State of CRM Integrations

In 2024, the B2B market is characterized by cautious spending and an intensified pursuit of operational efficiency. Businesses are rigorously evaluating their operational infrastructure, aiming to unlock efficiencies and ensure cross-functional alignment and data accuracy. Amidst this scrutiny, CRM systems have emerged as more than mere tools for managing customer interactions.

CRMs have become central to strategic decision-making and the orchestration of business processes. This shift is crucial for revenue leaders seeking to leverage CRM integrations for expanded functionality, operational efficiency, and sustainable growth.

Key Trends & Challenges in CRM Integration for Revenue Leaders

Gaps in CRM Necessitate Strategic Integration

According to the State of HubSpot report, 95% of companies acknowledge operational gaps in their CRM and CMS systems. This highlights a widespread issue across industries – CRM systems, as currently implemented, often fail to meet the evolving needs of scaling operations. These gaps manifest in various ways, from hindering seamless communication to obstructing the free flow of data across different departments. To combat these shortcomings, revenue leaders are investing in advanced technologies to extend CRM functionality. 

Investments are being made in three key areas:

  • 42% are embracing Artificial Intelligence (AI) to enhance CRM capabilities.
  • 39% are incorporating customer success software to improve client relationships.
  • 38% are leveraging analytics platforms for deeper business insights.

These investments mark a shift towards sophisticated CRM integrations that aim to fill operational gaps, provide deeper insights, and enhance operational capabilities.

AI at the Forefront of Must-Have CRM Integrations

AI's integration into CRM systems has become a focal point for businesses, with over 40% planning increased investments in this area. The potential applications of AI in CRM are vast and varied, ranging from proactive customer service – predicting customer needs before they even articulate them – to advanced customer segmentation, offering a more personalized approach to customer interaction.

However, the journey to effectively incorporate AI into CRM structures is not without its challenges. It requires a delicate balance of technical expertise, strategic insight, and careful planning. Businesses must navigate these complexities to fully leverage AI's potential, transforming their CRM systems into more than just data repositories but into intelligent tools capable of driving meaningful customer engagement and business growth.

CRM Integrations Complexity

As operations grow and team needs evolve, the reliance on third-party integrations increases. Over 60% of HubSpot and Salesforce users, two leading CRM platforms, now depend on these integrations, according to our findings. This reliance underscores the complexity and diversity of business needs that no single system can entirely fulfill. However, integrating these varied systems with existing tech stacks comes with challenges.

Interestingly, only half of the respondents in our survey expressed satisfaction with their CRM's extensibility and customization capabilities. This indicates a noticeable gap in the market for more intuitive and flexible integration solutions. Businesses are seeking CRM platforms that not only seamlessly integrate with a wide range of applications but also offer the flexibility to be customized to their unique needs.

The Challenge of Data Silos

The challenge is further compounded by the emergence of data silos. These silos occur when non-integrated tools create fragmented information landscapes, impeding effective decision-making and collaboration. Our findings reveal that over half of the respondents face significant inter-departmental challenges due to inaccessible data. This emphasizes the need for CRM solutions that offer superior native integration capabilities and robust custom integration options, reducing the dependency on intermediary tools like Zapier for integrating non-compatible systems.

The implications of data silos are far-reaching. They not only lead to inefficiencies and missed opportunities but also contribute to a lack of alignment within the organization. For instance, when marketing, sales, and customer service departments do not have access to the same, updated information, it leads to miscommunication and disjointed strategies.

Impact on Inter-Departmental Communication and Alignment

Team alignment  is paramount for organizational success, yet it remains a top challenge for revenue leaders in 2024. A striking 87% of organizations report experiencing misalignment among their sales, marketing, and customer experience teams. This misalignment is often exacerbated by suboptimal CRM integrations, leading to communication breakdowns and negatively impacting the effectiveness of sales and marketing strategies.

The statistics are telling: approximately 40% of companies with multiple CRM integrations face communication challenges, compared to just 20% with a single, integrated system. This disparity highlights the critical role that effective CRM integration plays in fostering coherent and effective inter-departmental communication. When systems are not properly implemented or integrated, information becomes siloed, leading to inconsistencies and miscommunication that can derail strategic initiatives.

Opportunities for Revenue Leaders in CRM Integration

A Unified CRM Platform

In response to the challenges presented by CRM integration, there is a growing consensus among revenue leaders on the benefits of a unified CRM platform: 82% agree that a unified tool for sales and marketing significantly improves revenue outcomes. Such a platform simplifies the tech stack, enhances communication efficiency, and streamlines operations. It becomes an indispensable tool in overcoming integration challenges, ensuring seamless data flow, and reducing operational complexities.

For instance, 42% of revenue leaders are utilizing HubSpot to drive profitable and efficient growth through system consolidation and custom integrations. This trend indicates a shift towards unified platforms that not only enhance operational efficiency but also offer the flexibility of custom integrations to meet specific business needs.

By consolidating various systems into a single CRM platform like HubSpot, companies can streamline their processes, ensure better data coherence, and drive more strategic and data-driven decision-making. This unified approach to CRM is increasingly recognized as a key driver of growth, particularly when operational efficiency and agility are crucial.

Strategic Integration Planning

Effective CRM integration is not just about technological implementation; it's about aligning CRM systems with the company's business goals and operational needs. A well-planned integration strategy can significantly impact the success of CRM systems, ensuring they effectively contribute to the company's overall objectives and operational requirements. This involves understanding the specific needs of the business, the capabilities of the CRM system, and how to best integrate them to achieve desired outcomes.

Collaborating with Integration Experts for Enhanced CRM Performance

Partnering with experts in CRM integration and data migration is crucial for navigating the complexities of modern CRM systems. These experts provide invaluable external expertise, customizing CRM systems and coordinating integrated workflows to drive business growth and operational efficiency. This collaboration is validated by the fact that 87% of respondents who leveraged external HubSpot expertise reported significant improvements in customer acquisition.

Collaborating with specialized integration experts is crucial for navigating and optimizing these complex systems. Revenue leaders should particularly focus on selecting Solution Partners who are not only experienced but also accredited in specific areas of complex data integration. This careful selection is essential because the intricacies of CRM systems require a nuanced approach that only specialized knowledge and expertise can provide.

The Takeaway

The current landscape of CRM integration is at a crucial juncture. On one hand, there is a clear recognition of the operational gaps, and the potential of advanced technologies like AI to fill these gaps. On the other hand, the complexity of integrating these advanced solutions into existing CRM systems presents a significant challenge. As 2024 progresses, the ability of companies to navigate these challenges and leverage the opportunities will be a key determinant of their success in an increasingly competitive and technologically driven marketplace.

Partner with HubSpot-Accredited Integrations Solution Partner

New Breed, recognized with HubSpot Advanced Integrations Accreditation and Data Migration Accreditation, offers comprehensive CRM solutions. Our expertise, spanning all seven HubSpot accreditations, positions us to provide end-to-end services, from CRM implementation to advanced integrations and data management. We ensure smooth transitions with minimal downtime, enhancing user adoption within the HubSpot platform.

Our approach, focusing on custom field mapping, workflow configuration, and data synchronization, ensures that your CRM system is not just integrated but optimized for your unique business needs. 

Tag(s): Integrations CRM AI

Wyatt Borchetta-Platt

Wyatt is a Revenue Operation Specialist at New Breed. He works to implement Marketing and Sales automation to align both departments with a strategy for combined success.

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