CRM and Marketing Automation Integration to improve sales
Let’s start by drawing clear lines between a CRM and Marketing Automation, because I have seen people getting easily confused into thinking both are more or less the same. This misjudgment underpins their ability to realize the great potential of a CRM and a Marketing Automation system working in tandem. This results in having a disconnected sales funnel and big gaps in nurturing prospects in the long run, adding to the pain if your average sales cycle pans over a couple of months.
The most basic difference between a CRM software and a marketing automation software is that the former is sales-focused and concentrates on the sales relationship and account building aspect of things, while the latter is marketing-focused playing around creating brand recognition and recollection, feeding the lead funnel..
Marketing automation “empowers businesses to organize, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows, so they can rapidly improve operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.” as quoted by some of the prominent providers of Marketing Automation Solutions
Salesforce, one of the heavyweights within the CRM software segment, defines CRM as “a strategy for managing all your company’s relationships and interactions with your customers and potential customers.”
A study by Digital Capital Advisors, a premier Investment Bank, found that in a survey of 220,000 small businesses, only 5% used marketing automation tools,while more than 50% of larger businesses use them. Smaller companies have been reluctant to adopting technology when it comes to streamlining their sales and marketing processes, primarily because of their resources being multi-functional and the overhead of increased housekeeping. Usually they believe a customer relationship management system would suffice to ensure sales.
However, to scale up as a business, it is vital to equip your sales and marketing teams with the right set of tools and automate processes wherever possible. It is also of utmost importance to facilitate a very seamless integration between the two teams mirrored by having a smooth bridge created between the two systems to enable a smooth handover of leads to the sales team, at the same time enable useful insights for the marketing team to build strategies. But said that, only 46% B2B companies are adopting a CRM-marketing automation integrated system as of now and there big room for improvement and large opportunity areas.
Integration of Marketing Automation with your CRM is paramount when it comes to building a coherent and powerful marketing and sales team that is seamless in its processes and works without any data leaks, as well as there is a clear line of accountability and easy tracking of metrics to drive your business.
Why have CRM and Marketing Automation Integration done?
- Streamlined Marketing and Sales processes
As an organization one of the biggest benefits of such an integration is how it enables a cohesive environment for your marketing and sales team to operate as one single team instead of becoming isolated silos. Compartmentalized software systems have too many open ends, which might become the direct reasons for data leaks and cause gaps in customer interactions. A centralized system would mean a treasure of data that can be tapped by both the teams to extract strategic insights to mould processes and quickly adapt to changing needs as a team. A unified system also helps in plugging any leaks in processes at the same time relaying useful and timely feedback needed by both the teams to coexist.
- Improving the quality of leads
A marketer would say that the number one advantage of marketing automation is the power to generate more and better leads over a period of time. In fact, 70% of marketers say converting leads is their primary goal. However, you can only enjoy these benefits if you have enabled a seamless integration between the CRM and Marketing Automation systems. Assuming the leads are rightly scored and pushed into the CRM, the sales team would understand the opportunity and prioritize the leads that they need to spend most of their effort on. Another factor to consider the CRM being synced with the Marketing Automation tool is that a lead can be passed on to a sales resource as soon as there is an action/event from the lead to immediately follow-up, resulting in better conversion.
- Equipped and Empowered with the right set of information
82% of B2B decision-makers think sales reps are not usually prepared with the right amount of information while approaching a lead. Sales in itself is a tough enough job and add to it the lack of insights about a prospect before approaching them. This is a very visible pain-point within the B2B sector, where businesses want to empower their sales resources with as much information as possible, and this is exactly what a closely knitted CRM and Marketing Automation System is meant for. The latter provides sales teams with so much more customer information than just demographics. They reveal how the said leads are reacting to campaigns, the kind of content they consume, key interest, engagement areas and touch-points etc which enables the sales resource to have personalized conversations and consistent messaging which ultimately helps in driving the right impact.
- Metrics and Effort tracking
It is murky waters when it comes to pin-pointing the exact reason or a group of activities that lead to a closure. One of the reasons it is so tough is because a closure is rarely a result of an isolated person or effort, but is rather because of the combined effort of both the teams and a number of stakeholders.
But irrespective of the challenge in identifying the conversion points, it is vital to uncover them in order to analyze and replicate the activities for a sustained sales process. Also this exercise is essential to prevent confusion among the members of the marketing and sales teams, resulting in disillusionment and low morale. An integrated system ensures that a closure can be rightfully accredited to the activities behind it. The data generated within the integrated system helps the management to clearly understand where to focus effort and spend to maximize revenue.
Bizmindz works with a number of OpenSource Marketing Automation as well as CRM tools that can be implemented as one integrated solution for your business to ensure a cohesive environment for your Sales and Marketing teams.You can drop us a message at Contact Us