Business Tips 3: Integrated vs Best of Breed

New Business Tips series aimed at helping sales operations.


One of the traits of many Millennial’s is the desire to have access to the latest software tools, and their tendency to want “best of breed”.  In times gone by we saw more interest in an integrated package.  You could argue that Salesforce started this by having the CRM of choice outside of other integrated offerings from the likes of NetSuite or more recently we see people adding Pipedrive or running online marketing out of MailChimp or the big jump to Xero for accounts.  Initially these were pretty much stand alone; now we see many integrations to make sure the data is available across platforms. In the end, they are separate apps with an integration.

Integrated vs Best of Breed

There is not a clear answer with Integrated vs Best of Breed as it comes down to functionality and how good the integration is.   I have seen companies promote Suite style products that have often been tacked together through acquisitions that have appalling integration.  The devil is in the detail.

You need to spend the time understanding what integration you need and what benefits it brings.  Having a fancy dashboard for opportunities loses it’s gloss if you cannot drill directly down to the detail.  To have an efficient team, you need good integration.  A final example I can highlight is the need to integrate email with CRM – a basic feature many of you will say – the fact is that not enough use this.  Most communications are still via email; you need to capture communications in your CRM!

Zoho Business Platform

I am doing a lot of work with Zoho CRM where I can not only see email trials but also integrate fully with campaign management, Social Media activity and Web site access.  Add to this financial visibility through Zoho Books and you get a fantastic customer view.  This is just one example of integrated.

We are seeing Google, Microsoft and others working hard to cover your business needs with integrated solutions.  You still need to understand the benefits some very clever point solutions offer, perhaps with sufficient integration to your core needs.

Understand System Requirements

Take the time to document your system requirements with a keen eye on efficiency and customer service.

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