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How to Integrate Act-On Software and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Not every CRM integrates with every marketing automation platform. Luckily for users of either Act-On Software or Microsoft Dynamics CRM (or both), there is a native integration between the two platforms. This makes it easy to develop a closed-loop system for lead generation, contact management, and marketing and sales integration.

The Benefits of Integrating Act-On Software and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

When using multiple platforms for marketing automation and contact management, it’s ideal for the two systems to be able to “talk” to each other. Not only does it eliminate a significant amount of manual work passing data between the two systems, but it also enables the following:

Marketing/Sales Integration

Typically, your marketing department will spend more time in the marketing automation platform, and your sales team will spend more time in your CRM. When the two are integrated, your sales team can see valuable information about how your marketing efforts are impacting prospects, and your marketing team can see valuable information about the status of leads, prospects and customers.

Seamless Lead Generation

If leads are being generated by a marketing automation platform like Act-On software, but never making it to the sales team, it’s wasted marketing effort. Integrating platforms allows an organization to pass these leads to sales automatically and with all of the essential data your sales team needs.

Lead Scoring

Leverage the ability to take valuable user behavior (like visiting high-value pages on your website or opening important emails) and assign scores to leads based on their activity. Pass that lead score into CRM to empower your sales team to be able to prioritize leads as they come in.

Native Integration

With Act-On Software, connecting to a Microsoft Dynamics CRM instance is easy through what is called a “native integration.” This means that the “bridge” (or API) between these two systems is already built and doesn’t require any additional third-party platforms or development resources.

Act-On Bi-Directional Sync

Bi-Directional Sync

Passing data from one system to another is valuable, but if only one “person” is talking, it’s not much of a conversation. That’s why Act-On Software allows bi-directional sync, which means data can both pass from Act-On Software to Microsoft Dynamics CRM, and vice versa. This means both systems will have the most up-to-date data, and it also gives you the option to choose exactly which data is passing back-and-forth down to a field level.

You’ll also be able to set a synchronization schedule, meaning you can choose how often the two platforms sync data so you have complete control.

Integrating Act-On Software and Microsoft Dynamics CRM

As of early 2019, Act-On Software supports the following versions of Microsoft Dynamics CRM:

  • Cloud versions CRM 2011 with update rollup 12, 2013, 2015 including Office 365, 2016
  • On-premise versions CRM 2011 with update rollup 12, 2013, 2015, 2016, and CRM 4, using ADFS (Active Directory Federation Services) with IFD enabled

Before you begin, you’ll want to make sure you have the following Microsoft Dynamics CRM information:

  • A Supported Version of MS Dynamics
  • MS Dynamics Login
  • MS Dynamics Password
  • MS Dynamics URL
  • MS Dynamics Version

When integrating the two platforms, here are some of the things you’ll want to consider:

  • Fields/Field Names – Document which fields you’re going to want to import and use in Act-On Software. It’s better to not import all fields right away, because it will make managing field data quite cumbersome in Act-On.
  • Behavior Score (Lead Score) – If you’re planning on leveraging lead scoring, you’ll first want to identify a lead scoring system. Think about your digital touchpoints and consider how valuable they are. As an agency, we often run a Lead Scoring workshop to develop a Robust lead scoring system before entering scores into Act-On.
  • Import – Will you be importing leads and contacts? What about opportunities? Are you importing all, or just segments? Do you have Marketing Lists that you’d like to import? Make sure you document this before integrating.
  • Push/Pull Data – You’ll also want to identify what data you want to push and pull from both systems. It’s ideal to have one source of record, usually the CRM, meaning this is the authoritative location for a specific set of data or all of the data.
  • Users – Who from your organization will need access to Act-On Software? There are typically two kinds of users: marketing and sales. Marketing users will be leveraging more of Act-On’s marketing features, as they name suggests, whereas sales users may just need access to specific features or data.

Working with an Act-On Software Partner

While the process of integrating Act-On Software with Microsoft Dynamics can be done without assistance, it can be helpful and beneficial to work with a certified Act-On Software partner. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Experience/Expertise – Let’s face it, the first time you do something new it’s always a bit foreign. An Act-On partner will have integration experience to make the integration quicker and smoother.
  • Digital Marketing Experience – If you’re working with the right partner, they’ll also have experience necessary to provide additional assistance with Act-On, including building landing pages, email templates, a lead scoring system and more.
  • Strategy – We’ve seen too many organizations invest in a marketing automation platform without first having a well thought out marketing automation strategy. A digital marketing partner can help your organization craft a strategy catered to engaging contacts, driving lead generation and sales, and successfully integrating software platforms and sales and marketing.

Whether you’re already using Act-On Software and/or Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or you’re simply evaluating the platforms, Aztek has extensive expertise with both platforms. As an agency, we’re also able to provide a complete digital marketing strategy to go along with these platforms, including paid advertising and content marketing to drive traffic, email marketing to engage and nurture leads, and analytics to ensure that your investment and efforts are paying off.