Don’t Let Your Integration Become a Mafia Mixup

In the Mafia, clear communications are vital. If different people have different perspectives, the wrong people die. This is just as true in an Eloqua CRM integration; well, except for the actual death part!

The first problem is that the word “integration” means different things to different departments and sometimes those ordering (or executing) on an integration do not take into account other perspectives. What “integration” means to Sales, Marketing, IT even Accounting can be very different.

Don’t Miscommunicate in The Mafia!

In a lot of ways a Mafia family is structured similarly to a business with a top-down power structure spanning multiple departments each assigned with different responsibilities.

So, how bad would it be if the big boss tells his underboss to tell his enforcers to “integrate another family’s gambling operations” into their own… but the term “integrate” means something completely different to the boss than it does to the enforcers?

The enforcer might take “integration” to mean that they are supposed to take over the operations of the other family. Yet, to the big boss at the top “integration” simply means to create a partnership or relationship between the two operations for greater profit.

The next thing you know, you’re waking up with severed horse heads in your bed and your friends are getting whacked because you didn’t properly communicate with the rest of your team. Nobody wants that.

Eloqua CRM Integration Communication Mistakes – Not as Deadly, But Still Pretty Bad

If you don’t communicate with your team about what an “integration” exactly entails, I doubt it’s going to result in a Godfather scenario, but it’s still going to cause some serious mix-ups and a lot of distrust across departments. Somebody could get fired!

For example, let’s say the IT team orders an integration and – to them – an integration simply means to transfer contacts between systems.

Then, after the integration, the sales department calls up and says, “Where are all our leads?”

Because the IT department didn’t sit down with the sales department and establish what exactly needs to happen during an integration, there was a mix up that can kill otherwise highly profitable campaigns within the sales and marketing departments.

But “wait” IT might say… “The leads were in the CRM system. The contacts DID move over! The integration worked!” The miscommunication here is regarding process. The contacts may have moved between systems, but did the fields get set properly so that they move to the right rep? Did they get assigned by territory? Did the lead flow through telesales get handled properly? Did it show up on a list where the rep is planning to look?

Big Pictures and Pinpointed Process

In order to ensure that everyone in your organization is on the same page about an Eloqua CRM integration, you need to discuss two important aspects, which are as follows:

  1. Big Picture – There are two primary types of Eloqua CRM integrations – tactical and strategic. From a big-picture standpoint, a tactical integration entails simply moving data from one database to another while a strategic integration entails integrating the businesses processes behind the scenes of each database.

Take a step back with your team, look at the big picture, and decide what it is you actually want to do:

  1. Just move contacts between systems?
  2. Or also get data all the way from prospect form entry through to rep follow-up?

If you just move data, is there someone on your team within the sales and marketing department that is assigned to implement those vital processes?

  1. Pinpoint Process – Next you want to define which processes you want the integration to cover. For example, on the Oracle/Eloqua side you need to consider forms & imports, how leads flow through a data washing machine, data appends and so on. On the CRM side you need to define funnels, telesales or telemarketing departments engagement , territory definitions, and what happens when the reps don’t call.

So, before you jump at the chance to request an Eloqua CRM integration ask all affected departments questions like these to make sure all are clear on what “integration” really entails.

  • Is our responsibility to just get the contacts in your system… or do you need us to integrate with your processes?
    • Which processes?
    • How are they triggered?
  • What will you do with the data when it’s in your system?
  • What do you expect others to do with data your team has entered?
  • How will your people use the data?
  • How will your people know that it’s new?

There are many more questions than these… in fact 4Thought Marketing has over 200 questions many of which are much more specific to best practice specifics that we ask in a strategic integration.

But only by drilling into the processes behind the integration… or getting clarity that someone else will do so, can you ensure that the needs of these departments are represented in the breadth of your integration goals… and that you won’t wake up with a horsehead on your desk some unpleasant morning!

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