There’s no shortage of software to enable go-to-market teams to work efficiently, do more, and make better decisions. But the more we use specialized systems, the more we run the risk of operating in silos. Disparate systems force users to create workarounds or work outside the systems altogether, potentially undoing any of the productivity gains you were supposed to get from the software in the first place.
Without an integration solution, you run the risk of being overwhelmed by data or rendering it useless. You’re also limited in how much you can automate, and users waste time manually entering data that should flow effortlessly between systems.
Here’s how to assess whether it’s time to invest in data integration.
End users are creating their own workarounds
When end users feel like they need to make their own workarounds because the systems they use don’t talk to one another, it’s the sign of an integration gap. If users are downloading data to Excel, making the changes they need, and then uploading that file to another system, that’s a process error that can be fixed through software integration.
Not only is it time-consuming to create these workarounds, but it’s also easy to make mistakes. Integrating systems eliminates duplicate work and greatly reduces human error. And, by reducing friction for users, you enable them to spend more time on their actual job duties. The incremental time savings integrated systems offer adds up, and that’s what helps clear obstacles to generate revenue.
You use a mixture of specialized systems, old and new
As a company grows, it’s normal to adopt new systems that perform increasingly specialized tasks, resulting in a diverse tech stack. You may start off by adding tools that come with native integrations to your CRM or marketing automation system.
But over time, there’s no way that every tool you choose will have native integrations with every other tool in your stack. You need to be able to identify the best tool based on how well it performs the tasks you need and then determine the best processes to eliminate data silos.
Plus, ops plays a role in the entire customer lifecycle, which can include sharing data between systems outside of the sales and marketing departments. From payroll to finance, that can be quite a few systems— companies with 100-300 employees use roughly 100 SaaS applications. The only way to automate processes between those systems is to add an integration solution.
Users need quick access to data that’s hosted in a number of systems
Let’s say that your leadership is asking to significantly reduce the time it takes to respond to inbound leads. Because these leads are coming through marketing channels (and therefore, marketing technology), a handoff needs to occur between your go-to-market teams. It’s not uncommon for there to be a delay in the process, so the sales team may not even see the lead for a number of hours, or even a day.
Efficient automation and processes are the solution. Effective integration solutions offer you the potential to speed up the data sharing process so sales can get real-time access to hot inbound leads and all the information they need to craft a personalized follow-up message.
You’re scared of losing data or creating errors every time you make a change
When you have a complex, diverse tech stack, one small change can create a massive ripple effect. That’s actually what led to the founding of Sonar. Our co-founder, Brad Smith, made a mistake that cost his employer $100K, and he did it with a single click. The worst part is, he had no idea how it all happened.
This is the kind of stuff that keeps ops professionals up at night. Yet, many have grown so accustomed to creating workarounds and figuring out other solutions. Better integrations, along with a change management solution, help prevent these kinds of costly mistakes.
The goal of ops is to create harmony between teams. And that means you need harmony within your tech stack. If any of these scenarios ring true for you, it’s time to invest in an integration solution that helps you operate more efficiently, and ultimately, remove barriers to generating revenue.