Zak Pines | April 24, 2017

Fueling Growth by Coupling ConnectWise with Marketing Automation & CRM Systems

ConnectWise Manage is a powerful software helping thousands of MSP and IT companies manage all aspects of their business.

We've seen from our customers that pairing ConnectWise with powerful marketing automation and CRM software is a recipe for fueling growth.

So we invited a panel of three speakers to discuss common use cases for fueling growth with ConnectWise.

Read the webinar highlights below (or skip this and watch the recorded session anytime, on any screen):

  • Leveraging marketing automation systems with ConnectWise to drive marketing targeting both new & existing customers
  • Pairing ConnectWise with CRM systems as Salesforce to meet needs of both sales & support teams
  • Multi-system integrations featuring ConnectWise & other systems including HubSpot, Marketo, Pardot, Act-on, Eloqua, PhoneBurner, NetSuite & Microsoft Dynamics

Why integrate ConnectWise & marketing automation systems?

There are many marketing automation systems out there that companies are leveraging to help them scale their marketing and get more out of their database as they're looking to grow.

Those systems include HubSpot, Marketo, Act-on, Pardot, Eloqua, and Infusionsoft. There's a range of options out there, but the common theme is that ConnectWise, when coupled with those marketing automation systems, can be a killer pairing (in a good way) to help companies drive growth.

What we're seeing from these customers is ConnectWise offers a number of strengths, but the marketing automation systems help those companies take that to the next level.

Grow your database

It starts with leveraging and growing your database of both customers and prospects. Leverage your database, take full advantage of your customer database and your prospect database to maximize the opportunities that you can create from that database.

Repeatable opportunity growth

A big part of marketing automation today is repeatable opportunity growth; looking at marketing practices that can scale, that are repeatable by leveraging your marketing database, leveraging your website, and creating more predictable growth in your business. That's a huge, big picture benefit here. Many companies who we see leveraging marketing automation are doing that in conjunction with their website and building their website as a key mechanism for demand generation.

Closed loop marketing

Another key piece of this is all the marketing automation systems, when well-integrated with ConnectWise, as we're talking about today, they give you an element of closed loop reporting where you can have visibility into what marketing investments you're making, what kind of marketing activities you're driving, and how those are leading to that growth, which gets to the potential for repeatable growth.

Top Use Cases for integrating ConnectWise & marketing automation systems

If you are a ConnectWise partner and agree that there's potential for your business to grow by leveraging marketing automation what are some of the advantages of connecting those systems?

We boil it down to the four key use cases that we see from partners.

Automated lead delivery

The first is automated lead management and delivery. As I'm running marketing programs, as I'm generating marketing activity, an integration gets those leads into ConnectWise as quickly as possible so they can be followed up by sales teams or BDRs.

Sales visibility

Here we have the ConnectWise interface.

 

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One of the best practices we see for connecting ConnectWise in a marketing automation system is you've got, salespeople and account managers in ConnectWise.

We don't want to train them on an new interface. We want to leverage that ConnectWise system that's using every single day.

One of the best practices that we recommend is leveraging custom fields in ConnectWise to map to key marketing data, whether it's HubSpot, Pardot, or Marketo, all these systems have some key marketing interactions, some key marketing data, like a lead source.

What was the most recent piece of content that they engaged with?

These are things that can map to custom fields to give your sales team, your account managers, the right contacts and this is how it looks. Right there on the ConnectWise interface, you can make those fields visible to your ConnectWise users.

Once you do that, creating the visibility of your sales team into these key marketing interactions and data gives your sales reps the context to have effective conversations with those prospects.

Targeting your database

The third use case is leveraging your ConnectWise database back into your marketing programs. Targeting your customer database, targeting your prospect database, doing that in an automated fashion where you're not manually pulling lists, where you're not having to go deep into the delves of CRM administration in order to run marketing campaigns to your database.

Closed loop reporting

The fourth key reason is connecting your marketing activities through to sales results to give you that closed loop marketing reporting and visibility.

 

How a ConnectWise & marketing automation integration works

connectwise-marketing-automation-integration.png

 

Contacts & leads

There's a set of objects that Bedrock data connects to in both systems. It starts with leads and contacts.

We recommend a multi-directional sync that keeps a cohesive and connected sales and marketing database between your systems. The marketing automation system typically houses your entire marketing database. It's everybody that you're reaching out to. It includes your organically grown marketing database. It includes lists that you've acquired. You are targeting this database with different types of nurturing and prospecting campaigns.

Once those leads become marketing qualified, you're going to push them over to ConnectWise as your CRM system. That's a trigger that you can control through the Bedrock data interface.

What we also find is that there's many reasons for leads to be created directly in ConnectWise. It could be a list that's uploaded by the sales organization, it could be an inbound phone call. It could be a new contact on an account.

Those are leads that you also want to keep connected to your marketing automation system. Bedrock data is a multi-directional sync whereby regardless of where leads come from, they will de-duplicate and connect to existing records in the corresponding system, if they already exist, or create new records if they don't exist, giving you a de-duplicated, single view of your customer and prospect database between your marketing automation system and ConnectWise. Very powerful.

Opportunities

Opportunities sync back from ConnectWise to the marketing automation system. This opportunity data is what powers closed loop reporting in your marketing automation system, allowing you to analyze the impact of marketing investments through to opportunities, pipeline and revenue.

Contacts & accounts

Your contact and account data will sync back to your marketing systems. Each of these marketing systems have some concept of smart list or dynamic list and by syncing the contact and account data over to the marketing system and leveraging that dynamic list or smart list capability, it is empowering to marketing teams, whereby they can now build automated segmentation.

Let's say,you want to target all your customers of a certain company size or a certain industry. You can build that smart list once and as that data continuously updates back from ConnectWise, you've always have a fresh list, right there in the marketing automation system. No extra work, no spreadsheets, no uploads. Everything is right there for you to run your automated or one-time marketing campaigns.

 

Integration tip 1: Sales reps enter leads too!

Three tips that we recommend for connecting ConnectWise in your marketing system. Number one is forget that, and actually, embrace the fact that sales reps may be entering leads directly into ConnectWise.

Some integrations are limited in one direction, which can create friction between marketing and sales. We don't see that as the best practice. We recommend embracing that sales should be using the CRM to upload leads or enter leads, and it's important that any synchronization between marketing systems and ConnectWise takes that into account.

Integration tip 2: Get key lead intel to sales

The second tip is use custom fields in ConnectWise to get your sales rep key visibility to marketing data in the system they're using every single day. Not too much, though. We see a best practice of three to five fields giving that right level of insight. More than that, it's going to overwhelm, it's going to confuse. That's the right number of fields, three to five fields, to get that intelligence to sales.

Integration tip 3: Score customers to identify upsell opportunities

The third tip is don't forget about your customers. We see many ConnectWise partners have a solid and strong customer base and that often can be low hanging fruit for incremental revenue.

One of our great customers leveraging ConnectWise is taking their different offerings and, through the marketing automation system, scoring customers based on how they engage in content around each of those topics that align to those upsell offerings, and providing that intelligence back to the account managers, which is all stuff that can be done leveraging a ConnectWise marketing automation integration.

Why integrate ConnectWise with CRM systems?

The most common CRM that we see paired with ConnectWise is SalesForce, although there are others.

Everything from Microsoft Dynamics to NetSuite, and even other CRMs like a Pipedrive or Insightly, Base CRM. These are all CRMs that can be connected to ConnectWise.

Now, why would you connect ConnectWise in a CRM? Let's start with that question.

Different departmental needs

A best of breed approach to software means that different departments have different softwares that are going to help them maximize their performance. Sales team may have identified SalesForce or another CRM as their preference for how they want to manage pipeline and opportunity development, while your service team, support organization and business operations team is probably leveraging ConnectWise.

We see that as not something to push back on or fight about across departments, but rather embrace that best of breed is possible.

Sales visibility to key support activities

This is all about letting your sales team have their cake and eat it too, so to speak.

Sales can leverage best in class CRMs, and the rest of your business can leverage ConnectWise for everything that it's doing for you. Connect those systems so you have a consistent view across both systems.

Sales gets visibility into those key support activities that are taking place in ConnectWise and they have insight into the status of an account. For instance, support status is important for sales as they look to engage with customers for any number of reasons, whether it's a regularly scheduled check-in, or an upsell. It's important to keep support and sales well-aligned and connected with consistent data.

Consistent view across two systems

The way the Bedrock Data ConnectWise CRM integration typically works is we look to have a bidirectional think between accounts and contacts in both systems. Accounts and contacts represent your customer data and you want to have accurate and complete customer data in both your CRM and your support system.

Bedrock Data accomplishes this with a bidirectional sync such that contacts can be added in either system and de-duplicated by email address to ensure that you have a de-duplicated view of your customer base.

The other piece of this is pushing tickets, which are typically managed by your support team in ConnectWise, over to your CRM, so that as cases are completed, your sales team get visibility to that full support history.

Integration tip 1: Embrace the best of breed

The first tip we see for connecting ConnectWise and your CRM: embrace best of breed, don't push back on it. Best of breed is a good thing.

If your marketing, sales and support teams can all be satisfied, that is a good thing and a pre-built integration can allow you to achieve best of breed without a lot of friction, without any custom work or custom development or maintenance in order to connect the systems.

Integration tip 2: Use support & service data to inform sales & marketing campaigns

There's a lot of power in connecting your support system with your CRM to allow you to leverage support and service data to inform sales and marketing campaigns and conversations. This belongs below tip 3, next section data is very powerful for identifying customer advocates remove, new sentence who are my customers that have the most positive support experiences?

Integration tip 3: Use support data to identify customer advocates

Maybe you're doing NPS surveys after your support cases. That's a further use case in connecting support and marketing.

At Bedrock Data we love telling our customers' stories and identifying which customers are most eager to engage to share their stories.

Taking that idea of best of breed to the next level to ensuring that all departments are well-equipped to do what they need to do to drive and manage growth for the business.

Why connect multiple systems?

Last up is true best of breed - combining a marketing automation system, a CRM system, and ConnectWise. We've seen use cases where all three systems are in the mix: a marketing automation system, a CRM system, and ConnectWise.

The equation is one plus one plus one equals ten, meaning, you get more out of these systems with a best of breed strategy and connected data.

Scott Brinker, Chief MarTech, his recent quote in the State of Marketing Technology 2017, Integrated Best of Breed Marketers Get the Most Value From Their Technology Stacks.

Marketing automation + CRM + ConnectWise

One of the recent use cases we've seen amongst Bedrock Data customers is leveraging Pardot for a marketing automation system. Could be Pardot, could be Eloqua, could be HubSpot, could be Marketo.

In this case, it's Pardot.

Leveraging Salesforce for the BDR team and could be SalesForce, could be Pipedrive, could be any number of these modern CRMs that can be well-aligned to your marketing programs, marketing campaigns, marketing departments. Then leveraging ConnectWise for sales and support.

What does that look like?

Screen Shot 2017-04-24 at 3.08.10 PM.png

We've got a three way diagram here to show how the process works.

Marketing programs emanate from Pardot. Once leads are qualified by marketing, they're pushed into SalesForce, along with a task for the BDR team.

The BDR team is using SalesForce and they're engaging these marketing qualified leads with conversations, they're leveraging marketing activity and key marketing data to have context for how those leads have engaged and what kind of topics and issues should the be discussing.

Once those leads are qualified by the BDR team, then they're pushed into ConnectWise for the sales team.

As those leads progress to closed opportunities, that opportunity data is synced back to Pardot for closed loop reporting, populating accurate data into Pardot's prospect lifecycle reporting. Once those leads become customers, that customer data syncs over to Pardot to become part of customer marketing campaigns. There's a multi-directional sync of contacts and accounts. What this kind of structure allows for specialization across these systems. The whole marketing database is in Pardot. It's not cluttering up your ConnectWise, that's kept separate.

Only at the point at which leads are qualified do they move into ConnectWise. It keeps your ConnectWise instance very clean.

It allows for the BDR team to use a specialized CRM that's well-connected to the marketing system. Maximize the effectiveness of the BDRs by giving them visibility into key marketing data so that BDRs and marketing are working in lock step.

Lastly, it ensures that your customer data can be fully capitalized in your marketing automation system.

We have another customer who has both a subscription offering, as well as a set of service offerings. For them, when someone signs up for a subscription in their CRM system, that becomes a key trigger for them to be part of marketing upsell campaigns to customers.

Recap of multi-system integrations

A big advantage of this is you can keep your systems very clean and the way that we recommend thinking about it: what are the triggers? What's going to move somebody from one team to another? What are the specific actions? What are the specific stages that you're tracking?

That allows you to keep your systems very clean. You accumulate great data with a process like this. It allows you to manage by the numbers, look at your conversion rates, understand what's working what's not working.

Tasks can be a nice way to drive a process. In this example that we gave, finding tasks from Pardot into SalesForce, or whatever the CRM may be, is a powerful way for them to manage the process between marketing and a BDR team.

Key Takeaway

ConnectWise is a powerful system, and even more powerful when paired with best-of-breed marketing automation & CRM systems.

See a rundown of sales & marketing systems that Bedrock Data connects to ConnectWise

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