Software integration, crm

3 Steps to Sync your contacts and reduce double (or triple) entry

If you are like most businesses, you have a handful of softwares that your business can not run without. In today’s day and age, data is king and syncing that data between your softwares can be a challenge.

You may have a CRM to manage your contacts and projects, finance software, email service provider, and more. Keeping the data up to date and consistent across multiple softwares can be a real challenge. Entering data in multiple locations is SO frustrating and can lead to data errors. Here are 3 simple steps to keep your data clean and hands free.

Step One: Where is the clean data?

Start by getting clear on where you data is stored and how information flows from one software to the next. Identifying the process will help you identify where the cleanest data is. Here is an example of data flow:

Data, syncing software

In this sample data flow example, Mailchimp has the most accurate data. The lead entered their own information through the webform and it is stored in Mailchimp. At this point, you may not have the address and phone number of your leads but that can always be added to. Your data flow may be more complex than this example. If it is more complex, take the time to map out not only the software that you use but also the types of data in that software.

Step Two: Synchronize your data fields

A common issue with storing data in multiple softwares is that each software stores slightly different contact data. For example, your email service provider will store a lead’s email address.  Further down the line, a salesperson may receive a phone call and add the lead’s phone number to the CRM. Once the lead purchases, the address information will be added to finance software for invoicing. Each software holds a piece of the puzzle but may not have the complete data.

Before you set up data synchronization, you will first need to create matching fields in each software. In addition to the basic contact information, add any custom fields that are vital to your business intelligence. If you want to know where each lead came from, create a field to store that information in all of your softwares. Having your custom fields complete in all software maximizes your ability to pull a variety of reports.

Step Three: Choose a syncing software solution

Setting up the synchronization is the fun part! From now on, all of your data will be up to date without any effort on your part. There are 3 software options that I recommend for setting up your data sync.

Option #1: Zapier

Zapier is a web based software solution that enables your other software programs to speak to each other. It is easy to set up on your own and costs an average of $20 per month.

Zapier Pros:

  • Works with a wide variety of software.
  • Can automate lots of different processes, not just contact information. For example, it can create a task or a project automatically.

Zapier Cons:

  • Not setup to override existing data or determine which software wins in a data discrepancy.

Option #2: PieSync

PieSync is also a web based software solution that connects software programs. PieSync is geared specifically for moving contact data. The cost averages from $5-$49/ month depending on how many programs you are syncing.

PieSync Pros:

  • Works with most popular software and has a growing list of integrations.
  • Will enable you to choose a winning software in a data discrepancy.
  • Can do 2 way syncing in a single integration and keep the most up to date information.
  • Simple setup.

PieSync Cons:

  • Does not automate any other processes

Option #3: Custom API Coding

Want your data to do something that is not available with Zapier or PieSync? This is where you need a custom API code to be written. API stands for “Application Program Interface”. APIs allow data to be pulled or pushed from one software to another.

API Pros:

  • Have all data and actions on that data automated.
  • Create a custom solution using your favorite softwares.
  • More functions available than through PieSync or Zapier.

API Cons:

  • Your cost will be higher to have this coded. Once the code has been created there will most likely not be ongoing cost.
  • Make sure you are going with a vetted programer to get it right the first time. We have a great partner for this if you need help.  

What is your next step?

I would love to hear back from you on if you are planning to automate the syncing of your contact data. Need help knowing what is the right solution for you? Book a time with us here to talk it through.

So What do YOU Think?