August 9, 2016
When it comes to marketing technologies, marketing automation and CRMs are two of the most complementary tools out there. When paired with a CRM, marketing automation can unlock much of the key functionality top‐performing…
When it comes to marketing technologies, marketing automation and CRMs are two of the most complementary tools out there. When paired with a CRM, marketing automation can unlock much of the key functionality top‐performing sales and marketing teams now rely on — like the ability to run reports on campaign performance, jumpstart lead generation efforts, and increase ROI.
If you dig into the design and capabilities, you’ll find that while CRM systems provide indispensable value to any kind of sales organization, the reality is they fall short for most marketing departments. CRM systems are designed and optimized for a very different purpose, which is what creates the whitespace for marketing automation vendors.
From a functional perspective, CRM systems typically do not provide functionality for things like email marketing, prospect behavior tracking, and marketing program management. It’s true that many CRM systems can be customized to handle things like automated campaign flows, lead scoring, and de‐duplication.
Together, the two systems create a single sales and marketing funnel, with marketing automation acting as a gatekeeper at the top of the funnel, bringing in new leads and moving them through the funnel. Let’s take a closer look at some of the differences between these two tools, as well as some of the ways that marketing automation can help unlock your CRM.
Poor lead management can pose a huge risk to the health of your sales funnel. Fortunately, marketing automation combines lead scoring and grading, automated lead assignment, and streamlined data collection to help you optimize your lead management processes. The combination of these features ensures that sales reps always have a store of prospect data at their fingertips, the marketing‐to‐sales lead handoff runs at peak efficiently, and high‐quality leads are being passed to the right reps at the right time.
It’s more important than ever that your buyers are getting the information they need, when they need it. Using the lead nurturing capabilities of a marketing automation solution, marketers can automatically send valuable content to leads over time, nurturing them to a sales‐ready state. This reduces the heavy lifting for sales and prevents reps from wasting time pursuing leads who aren’t yet ready to buy. Marketers can in turn increase the value of their database by preventing cold leads from slipping through the cracks. Data from these lead nurturing campaigns, like emails sent and opened, can be viewed in your CRM so that reps can stay up to date on how their prospects are engaging with these campaigns.
The efforts of your marketing and sales teams are meaningless without a way to track and measure their success. Tying marketing automation to your CRM allows for more detailed reporting, from individual email tracking to closed‐loop ROI reporting, opportunity tracking, and more. With these two systems working together, it’s that much easier to attribute revenue to the right team, reducing some of the gray area between marketing and sales. You can also gain additional insight into the opportunities in your pipeline and the overall health of your sales funnel — making it possible to optimize your sales process for maximum speed through the pipeline.
Even though a lead is connected with the CRM, that doesn’t mean Sales is paying attention to that lead every step of the way. Your marketing automation platform can help Sales by sending reminders and other updates when an owner’s lead does something new on your website. Lead score changes can help Sales prioritize their lead queue. Send notifications to directly to the lead owner when a lead crosses an important score threshold.
Integrating the two systems can provide your organization with a supercharged suite of tools that can give sales and marketing teams a dramatic edge over the competition. Check out this infographic to see exactly what integrating these two tools can do for your company.
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