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Most smaller website use forms to gather leads. Information collected by the forms is then sent via email to a mailbox (e.g., This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) where they are then distributed to salespeople or manually entered into a CRM system.

As sales pick up that email system can become a bottleneck. A few days may slip by before the leads get entered in. Some names and names might be entered wrong. Or worse, leads could be lost altogether. Relying on any manual system like this once a certain level of traffic is reached is risky. Here at Radar Media, we're seeing this more as our smaller clients grow up into larger, more successful ventures.

Fortunately this problem has been solved many times before, so there's no need for you (or your integration partner) to reinvent the wheel. What's needed is an automatic link, or integration, between your company's CRM system and the website forms. These days, many companies use one of the leading CRM systems such as Salesforce.com, Microsoft Dynamics or Zoho.com to keep track of their leads. Many such systems are sold on a service basis and are in the cloud. They help salespeople enter customer information, track pipeline activity, set up reminders, share leads and even calculate commissions.

Getting the information from your website into the CRM is a standard request that these CRM systems have been getting for several years now. So it's no surprise that virtually all of them have developed plug-ins and other pieces of software that make the process pretty easy, especially if your site is built on one of the popular content management systems such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal. This code is typically installed on your website, often in tandem with your forms, so that the information being entered into the form is then passed automatically into the CRM.

In some cases, the form itself will reside inside the CRM system and will be "framed out" on the website. To make this work, developers typically use an "iframe." In this way the form appears to be seamlessly integrated with the rest of the site, even though the form part of it is "in the cloud" running on, say, Salesforce.com servers.

Whichever way the CRM integration is handled, suffice to say it's been done before. If your sales department is constantly asking about the new leads in the email pipeline, perhaps it's time to automate the problem away.

Until next time....

quotes

"People are very impressed with how slick and professional our new site looks, and that it gives us a 'big company' look even though we're small."

Aaron Sherman,
Marketing Director
NextComputing

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