Everything you need to know about CRM integrations for 2024

Discover how these add-ons can supercharge your customer relationship management systems and propel your business towards success.

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In the fast-paced world of modern business, your success can hinge on whether or not you have effective customer relationship management (CRM). 

CRM software allows businesses to anticipate their customers’ needs, provide personalised experiences, and address concerns promptly – leading to improved customer satisfaction and retention rates. 

From sales and marketing to customer service, there are plenty of standardised systems on the market today. But there is a way to take your CRM game to the next level. 

Below, we’ll explore the top CRM integrations and how they can help scale your business operations.

What is CRM?

At its core, customer relationship management is a strategic approach that businesses use to manage interactions and relationships with both current and potential customers. 

It involves using the system to streamline, organise, or automate processes like sales, marketing, technical support, and customer service.

While it does store and manage data, it also creates outlets to utilise said data to understand customers’ needs, preferences, and behaviours to guide decision-making, create better experiences and foster long-term relationships.

Here are some of the benefits CRM software can offer: 

  • Organise all your customer information in one place: keep details like contacts, interactions, purchases, and preferences together for easy access.
  • Automate repetitive tasks: save time and reduce mistakes by setting up automated responses, scoring leads, and follow-ups.
  • Strengthen internal communication: create organised channels for personalised and timely interactions with customers.
  • Keep an eye on your sales process: manage and oversee the sales journey, from potential customers to finalised deals to gain insights and form predictions.
  • Boost marketing efforts: utilise customer information to create targeted marketing campaigns, group audiences, and measure campaign success.
  • Handle customer service: manage customer inquiries, complaints, and support tickets efficiently for quick and satisfying resolutions.
  • Use analytics and reports: generate reports and analytics from customer data to guide decisions and assess performance.
  • Encourage teamwork: share customer information across departments to enhance collaboration and maintain a consistent approach throughout the organisation.

CRM app stores (+ 3 case studies)

CRM add-ons are apps that can be  seamlessly integrated with your existing CRM system to enhance its capabilities. While Slack, Mailchimp or Trello can be used independently, integrating them with your CRM will allow you to sync the data and save you time. Using automations, the connection also allows you to create custom “if this, then that” actions to speed up the workflows that you and your team perform every day.

Add-ons are hosted and tailored specifically to your business in their own personal “app stores”. Most CRM systems have their own hubs that offer an array of tools and functionalities that can be integrated with your system. 

Here are three case studies of CRM add-on stores and the companies that use them:

1. Zendesk Marketplace (+ Airbnb)

Zendesk Marketplace

Airbnb’s quest for the perfect customer service tool led them to Zendesk – and it turned out to be more than just a good match. Shirley Lin, Product Lead for the Support Products Group at Airbnb, highlights the pivotal role Zendesk played in growing with Airbnb’s evolving needs.

“Scalability, reliability, and 24/7 uptime were big factors,” Lin explains. Zendesk’s early adoption by Airbnb evolved as the company’s requirements became more intricate. “We have customers booking room listings, experiences, and restaurant reservations. When they reach out to customer service, the agent needs a comprehensive view.”

By integrating Zendesk with Airbnb’s internal tools, the product was customised to meet Airbnb’s unique requirements and achieved a 360° view of each customer and their history. This empowered their agents to respond accurately and swiftly, with most phone calls answered within minutes – even during peak times – and emails were addressed within 24 hours.

You can find Zendesk’s CRM add-ons in its Zendesk Suite, and even further credits and premium services here.

2. Salesforce AppExchange (+ Spotify)

Salesforce App Exchange

With the power of Salesforce, Spotify (and Spotify Advertising) has been able to offer amazing customer service since its days as a small startup.

By leveraging Slack as its primary CRM add-on among account teams, Spotify Advertising built automated workflows and increased collaboration, leading to a 40% increase in productivity across the team by cutting down on meetings and email traffic. 

Spotify also chose a number of Salesforce products to automate operations, including Marketing Cloud, Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and Tableau. 

“As we’ve become spread out geographically, Salesforce helps us work as if we’re all still sitting in the same office,” says Jonathan Forster, VP of Sales, EMEA. “Connections are important to our business – that’s why we love Salesforce.”

3. Hubspot Marketplace (+ Pleo)

Hubspot Marketplace

Pleo was on the verge of transitioning to Salesforce, but when they brought their concerns to HubSpot, the fintech company was swayed by HubSpot’s responsiveness and future plans. Today, Pleo has consolidated four external tools onto the HubSpot platform, resulting in an impressive annual saving of over £277,000.

Initially faced with the challenge of navigating through multiple tools for various tasks, Pleo aimed to centralise and integrate everything into a unified platform.

Jeppe Wienziers Stenbæk, Head of Business Architecture & Technology at Pleo, emphasised the importance of a streamlined workflow for sales reps. “One tool for every aspect of their job is essential. One sales rep should not have to go to multiple tools to do their job.” 

This centralisation fulfilled the goal of providing a cohesive workspace for sales reps and it paved the way for enhanced automation and the elimination of redundant tools.

Benefits of CRM integrations

CRM integrations can slash the manual effort required by automating processes, and enable teams to focus on strategic tasks rather than mundane data entry.

They can allow you to obtain an even wider-reaching view of your customer data, which provides your business with in-depth insights into their behaviours, preferences, and needs – information like that allows you to create tailored and responsive services.

By bridging sales, marketing, and customer support systems, CRM integrations facilitate a seamless and efficient flow, cohesive information sharing, and a unified approach to customer interactions.

How to leverage CRM integrations

To choose the best CRM add-ons for your business, you’ll need to consider what your business needs, whether you’d prefer to use your system’s pre-made add-ons, or try to code your own.

Assessing business needs

Different businesses require specific functionalities, and choosing the right add-ons tailored to your requirements can significantly enhance your CRM experience. For example, use this sentence to direct you to your most important add-on category: 

“In my business, it would be most beneficial for me to…”

  • Automate my marketing: businesses benefit from marketing automation add-ons from HubSpot or Marketo because they streamline repetitive tasks, such as ecommerce marketing and lead management. This saves time and enables targeted and personalised communication with customers.
  • Enhance my customer support: Zendesk and Freshdesk are renowned for their integrations in this category because they allow support teams to manage queries efficiently, provide timely responses, and access comprehensive customer information for swift and satisfactory issue resolution.
  • Automate my sales pipeline: Salesforce and Pipedrive offer add-ons that help manage leads, track sales activities, and optimise the sales pipeline. Better sales automation means shorter sales cycles, improved conversion rates, and efficient sales pipelines. This means increased revenue and business growth.
  • Have more powerful insights and analytics: analytics platforms like Tableau or Power BI integrate seamlessly with CRM systems, providing in-depth analytics and reporting capabilities. Improved analytics drives better decision-making, helps identify growth opportunities, and allows businesses to adapt strategies for higher efficiency and profitability.
  • Get better integration with my communication platforms: add-ons by companies like Mailchimp or Intercom allow for seamless integration with various communication channels, including email services, social media platforms, and communication tools. This integration can also empower businesses to efficiently manage stakeholders, clients, partners, and team members across numerous platforms.


There are typically two types of add-ons that will be compatible with your CRM system: built in add-ons from the provider, or custom-made add-ons (created using the providers API) that you can make yourself.

When it comes to choosing between built-in or custom-made add-ons, it often depends on your business’s specific needs and your own personal technical expertise. Let’s explore:

Built-in add-ons: CRM platforms typically offer a range of add-ons that cover a diverse range of business requirements. These pre-built options are user-friendly and cater to standard enhancements without requiring extensive coding knowledge.

Custom-made add-ons: for highly specific or unique requirements, businesses may consider custom solutions. Coding expertise allows for the creation of tailored add-ons that precisely fit business processes. 

While being able to customise things with coding is great, it does require time to build and test. 

The ready-made add-ons you can find for your CRM are often a perfect fit for what most businesses need – they are quicker to set up, cover a diverse range of aspects, and usually work great unless you want or need something niche for your business.

So, for most businesses, these ready-made add-ons are a fantastic way to upgrade your CRM with less hassle.

Implementation strategies

Here are some tips and strategies to implement your integrations: 

  • Start small, scale gradually: instead of attempting a full-scale integration overnight, start with a small, manageable phase. This allows your team to adapt gradually and minimises the risk of disruptions. Once the initial phase is successful, scale up with additional integrations.
  • Communicate and provide training: prepare your team for the changes by providing thorough training sessions. Familiarise them with the new tools and processes to ensure a smooth transition. 
  • Test at each stage: conduct rigorous testing at predetermined stages to validate the functionality and performance of the integration. This will help you avoid confusion and ensure you won’t have to retrace your steps. 
  • Backup and secure your data: ensure that your critical data is protected using backup procedures and data security measures. In the event of any issues, you have a reliable backup to restore operations promptly.

With these phased implementation tips, you should be able to integrate your new CRM integrations effectively and mitigate the risk of disruptions for yourself and your team.


Let’s recap the most important perks that CRM integrations bring to the table:

  • CRM integrations tidy up your operations, making everything flow smoothly.
  • You get the inside scoop on your customers‘ likes and dislikes, while add-ons unlock additional insights that can help you cater to their needs.
  • Your add-ons can foster teamwork, making collaboration a breeze across your company.

If any of this sounds exciting to you, then it may be time for you to start exploring CRM integrations for your business.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • Are CRM integrations hard to implement?
    Many CRM integrations are designed for ease of implementation, and have straightforward setup processes, but some customisations might require additional effort. The difficulty will vary based on the specific integration and your existing systems.
  • How do I know if my business needs CRM integrations?
    If you find your current CRM lacks certain functionalities, struggles with data accuracy, and hampers collaboration between teams, or you’re simply looking to scale, then you should consider integrations.
  • Can CRM integrations work with different CRM platforms?
    Yes, many CRM integrations are versatile and can work with various CRM platforms. However, it's essential to ensure that the integration is compatible with your CRM system.
Written by:
Stephanie Lennox is the resident funding & finance expert at Startups: A successful startup founder in her own right, 2x bestselling author and business strategist, she covers everything from business grants and loans to venture capital and angel investing. With over 14 years of hands-on experience in the startup industry, Stephanie is passionate about how business owners can not only survive but thrive in the face of turbulent financial times and economic crises. With a background in media, publishing, finance and sales psychology, and an education at Oxford University, Stephanie has been featured on all things 'entrepreneur' in such prominent media outlets as The Bookseller, The Guardian, TimeOut, The Southbank Centre and ITV News, as well as several other national publications.

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