Much has been written – and sung – over the years about having ‘the best of both worlds. While we get the concept, as did Hannah Montana and Van Halen, we do not always see it in action. But if you are a marketer, you are luckier than most. If your company’s CRM and marketing automation software operate in tandem, then you will definitely get the expression.
What you will learn in this article
- Why CRM and marketing automation software matter
- What marketing automation software does
- What CRM does
- Why they need to work together
- Getting started with CRM
Why CRM and marketing automation matter
The headline news about CRM and marketing automation software is not that it makes life simpler or easier. The real story is that when these two business aspects work hand-in-glove, you and your company will convert more prospects and leads into paying customers.
It’s said that auto marketing software alone increases sales by over 14%. Team it up with CRM, and the impact is multiplied. That is the reason you need to integrate the software and work in concert.
What is marketing automation software?
Before looking more closely at their integration, it’s a good idea at this point to define what we mean by marketing automation and CRM.
Marketing automation software
Processes: Marketing automation software enables marketers to remove manual intervention from email marketing campaigns and social media posts.
Content: Marketing teams can use the software to create and promote content.
Reports and analytics: Marketers can gain insights into visitor behavior, such as when leads visit your site, open your email, complete an online form, or read your blog.
The ultimate goal of auto marketing is to streamline the entire lead nurturing process and turn them into sales-qualified leads. In essence, it’s entirely about lead generation and personalizing content. You will know when to invest in marketing automation when you:
- Don’t have enough marketing qualified leads
- Need the means to distribute your content
- Have an enormous email contacts list
What is CRM all about?
Conversely, CRM is a technology that leads you and your team to manage pipelines and the processes involved in lead qualification.
Data tracking: A CRM lets you track all your customer data, including phone calls, email, buying history, dates, etc. You and your sales team will have the fullest picture of prospects, leads, and customers. And their history with your company.
Sales funnel: CRM allows sales staff to usher prospects into qualified leads and then to paying customers
You will know when you need CRM when:
- Your sales team lose track of prospects
- Follow-ups get forgotten
- You have outgrown your current lead tracking system
Why they need each other
Now that we have established each of these technologies, why do you need marketing automation software and CRM to work together?
This is an excellent query and one that your sales team will be asking as well. The short answer is that when marketing automation and CRM team up, they provide your customers with a friction-free buying journey from casual observer to qualified lead and then a customer.
Integrating these two technologies will give you and your staff the fullest picture possible of a prospect’s interaction with your business. Plus, when auto marketing and CRM get integrated or mesh into one platform, you can be sure your marketing team is always on point with their messaging. And you will doubtlessly be aware of how important being consistent is when trying to delight customers.
Shortcomings of your current system
- It’s a flawed manual system
- It suffers from human error
- Prospects slip through your fingers
Systems displaying these symptoms simply cannot be scaled up. Marketing automation is not enough on its own; it needs to be connected up to CRM to give your sales teams the proper tools to close their deals.
It’s only through integration that your marketing and sales team can achieve the level of collaboration required by today’s modern business world. By working closely together, they are more likely to be successful and drive you and your company towards sustainable growth.
Even the small things can have a big impact in ensuring joined-up thinking. For example, your marketing guys can leave important notes for your sales teams in the customer interaction record. This helps you avoid customers going over the same ground when the sales team contacts them.
Integration of both systems will be instructive in helping you understand where there are friction points and gaps in your marketing and sales process.
Critical integration benefits
- Generating more qualified leads
- Better visibility for customer-facing staff
- A faster sales process
- Unification of data
- Improved customer relationships
- Enhanced pipeline management
Getting started with CRM
The argument in favor of integrating CRM and marketing automation software is difficult to challenge. The benefits far outweigh any of the very few – if any – downsides. If you have marketing automation software already and want to step up a gear with CRM, now is the time to do so.
For small businesses, the go-to CRM solution should be cloud-based. This is because cloud CRM providers are an inexpensive entry point for small businesses. You choose your subscription tier to suit and then scale up when you and your business are ready.
Getting marketing automation and CRM to work as a tag team isn’t as complex as you may fear. They are, in many ways, just different aspects of the same thing; strengthening customer relationships and making more sales. From that perspective, it’s not unreasonable to conclude that joining them together will make them greater than the proverbial sum of their parts. And you wouldn’t be wrong. If this article has intrigued you, please contact us. We are the cloud CRM specialists for small businesses and will be delighted to help guide you.