First, let me say that as the father of two I think of this topic—CRM and marketing automation—to be as perfect as peanut butter and jelly, or milk and cookies. They’re each much better together.
Is this making you hungry? When I think of sales reps (and I was one, for years) I always think of their hunger for quality leads and let’s face it—it’s marketing’s job to feed them. But how?
To address a few basics: The American Marketing Association defines marketing as “The activity, set of institutions, and processes for creating, communicating, delivering, and exchanging offerings that have value for customers, clients, partners, and society at large.”
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is defined as managing a company’s interactions with customers, clients and sales prospects; we’ll use the term as shorthand for the technology that performs the tasks.
The relationship between the goals of marketing and of CRM is self-evident, yes? But the case I want to make is that when we use technology to connect the two, the relationship becomes synergistic.
Marketing Automation and CRM: Better Together
Here’s the status quo today for many companies: Marketers are hustling to create and execute messaging, collateral, creative, webinars, tradeshows, ad buys, social media, email campaigns, and more. In parallel, sales is too often wasting time cold calling and focusing on inappropriate leads, even when they have the benefit of CRM technology.
Marketers might look at a marketing automation suite as just another layer of tech to manage—probably the last thing they want to do—but when marketers use marketing automation to connect with the sales department’s CRM tech, it becomes a conduit for actionable intelligence. Both departments benefit in new, profitable ways. Here are a few specific examples:
With marketing automation, marketers can:
- Create, automate, and measure lead nurturing and marketing campaigns, leading to conversion through timing and relevance. This is the old “right person, right message, right time” and it still works.
- Score leads based on specific activities, profiles and special events, resulting in lead qualification based on proven factors—actual, genuine, sales-ready leads.
- Automatically manage, recycle, and reassign sales leads based on specific behaviors, resulting in less waste of valuable leads. This is especially meaningful if you have a long sales cycle.
When marketing automaton and CRM are connected, salespeople can:
- See exactly why a lead has been qualified and assigned to them.
- Fully understand, prioritize, and interact with only the hot prospects.
- Have the intelligence about a prospect’s interests and activities that supports informed conversations targeted to demonstrated wants and needs.
The nexus of connected marketing automation and CRM is the central command center for managing and tracking campaigns across multiple channels through the entire lead lifecycle, from lead capture to revenue booked. The connection yields intelligence that can be gotten no other way, that lets marketing and sales make smarter decisions about where to invest their precious time… and validates the activities that lift the company’s bottom line.
In short: Marketing Automation + Customer Relationship Management = Revenue Automation!!
Interested in learning more about seamless integration between marketing automation and CRM technology? Make sure to check out Act-On Software. Our marketing automation platform integrates seamlessly with a number of different SaaS-based technologies including: Salesforce.com and SugarCRM.