Integrating Dynamics CRM with Kentico

Dat Nguyen Dat Nguyen
May 26, 2016
Web Strategy , Kentico

You’re a mid- to large-size company with a Kentico-powered website and a separate Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system. Many website users fill out your online forms and in turn, you enter this information into your CRM application. You’ve been seeking out ways to make this process easier, which in turn would improve your marketing department’s productivity while delaying several cases of carpel-tunnel syndrome. Allow me to make the case for integrating Kentico and the CRM in a way that automates this process. If you can only read one Kentico CMS think-piece all the way through today, make it this one - because you’re a savvy project manager and there are only 10 minutes before your next meeting.

Integrating your Kentico contact management system (CMS) with a CRM application is an undertaking Kentico + Dynamics CRMthat could be quite complex if you’re not using a product that Kentico already integrates into the CMS out of the box. (Congratulations, Salesforce customers, your product is fully supported by Kentico, but you’re welcome to keep reading.) One such product is Microsoft Dynamics CRM, which provides one of the most powerful and intelligent tools for customer engagement by arguably the most recognized name in the business.

Now imagine, you’re all set up with a website that’s racking up contacts because you’ve managed to draw users to your online forms like flies to flypaper. With a well-engineered CMS-CRM integration, you’d flip a switch and your CRM database fills up with all that valuable Kentico contact data. Your website users will be targeted in a marketing campaign so fast they’ll never know what hit them - if they hadn’t filled out your online form with the implicit understanding that they may be targeted in a marketing campaign.

How exactly do we make Kentico automatically communicate this new contact information to the CRM? With the API that Microsoft generously provides, all the necessary tools are readily available for your .NET developer’s disposal. Like most other enterprise level APIs, the CRM API is one of those killer tools that unfortunately ships with a frustrating lack of developer documentation, especially for the goal of making Kentico share data with the CRM. It’s a familiar story to all programmers. Luckily for you, Roundedcube’s developers have successfully completed integration projects before and lived to tell the tale; and somehow came upon some free time to write this tastefully appointed blog post about the experience.

What’s better than direct communication of your Kentico data with Dynamics CRM? Two-way communication, of course! The synchronization of crucial marketing data between both technologies is the only way to maintain a healthy relationship. Not all of us know how/were hired to manage both the Kentico online marketing and the CRM. And yet, it’s important that the CRM data is fully synchronized with your Kentico contact data, otherwise, data on either side of the equation becomes muddled and maybe even unreliable. Imagine having a lead that exists in your CRM but not in Kentico.  A good process will pull that lead data into the Kentico CMS. Should your CRM lead re-visit your website, you could greedily collect even more data from that lead.

So what are the ingredients of a successful integration of Kentico and CRM? 

  • Defining what data is to be shared between the two systems. Map the Kentico data to the corresponding CRM data at the start of the project. Create custom CRM entities as necessary.  Flowcharts are your friends.
  • Minimizing thresholds that should be met before exporting contacts to the CRM. Not everyone who fills out a form could be a viable lead, could they? Consider making use of Kentico Scoring to determine which Kentico contact becomes a CRM lead. Score enough points, get added to the marketing list.
  • Exporting website activity data. Form data isn’t the only thing you can share with CRM. Website activities like specific page hits or file downloads can and should be exported to the CRM1. Your marketers should know if visitors hit up that one cool parallax page on your website.
  • Designating a persona to a CRM Lead. Persona allows you to quickly determine how you should market to a particular user. Visitors who frequent your articles about artisanal cheeses ought to be marketed to differently than those who are more interested in your blog posts about Kentico.
  • Customizing Kentico settings pertaining to the integration. This allows CMS administrators to control when and how data is shared between the two systems. Afterall, you can’t just expect Kentico admins to not have options.

At the end of the day, you’d like a better return on your company’s investment in both Kentico and the CRM system. Integrating Dynamics CRM with Kentico will put you on the right track. Contact us today for more information about how we can help you unlock the synergy between the two products.

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Shawn Duncan

Contact Shawn Duncan for new business inquiries:

2029 Woodland Parkway
St. Louis, Mo. 63146
p: 314-692-2823

1Custom CRM entity may be required.

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