How marketing automation & CRM keeps sales coals burning

Your marketing automation and CRM should be connected so your sales team has the right tools to close a deal.
2 April 2020

An aerial drone view of Salesforce Park. Source: AFP

It’s pretty much a given now that automation tools, in whatever function of the business they’re deployed to, drive efficiencies that create time for more valuable work.

In the world of technology and business, there are hoards of applications, but it’s perhaps in the sales engine rooms – where every second of the day counts – where we can see these efficiencies pay off quite tangibly.

One study by Nucleus Research found that customer relationship management (CRM) software for automation marketing functions can drive sales productivity by 14.5 percent.

The same study, however, uncovered that among CRM-users, less than 50 percent were leveraging marketing automation solutions that were available.

Traditionally, marketing departments tap into automation software with the goal of creating and promoting content, as well as to automate certain action and distribution processes, such as sending out email campaigns to contact databases, or scheduling social media posts and boosting social ads.

Over time, marketing software has become inbuilt with handy data analytics and reports which inform the marketer’s decision-making and budget expenditures.

These analytics report on various user behavior and engagement patterns, which can create a picture of the interest with the product, service or brand. That could be frequency or time of webpage visits, number of pages viewed, email open rates, landing on specific site landing pages, even liking or commenting on social media output.

However, CRM software can help track data attached to specific customers – after they have registered an email address, for example – such as past purchasing history, records of correspondence, including the dates of each interaction along with any related history such as screenshots, emails, and customer service representatives’ remarks.

Of course, the two functions of marketing automation & insights and CRM in most cases aren’t isolated. For example, software can house CRM and marketing automation tools within one dashboard, allowing for a real-time ‘picture’ of a prospect to be built and tracked day-by-day, ensuring sales teams can deliver a tailored strategy based on the prospect’s individual interests and perceived readiness to purchase.

This combination of tools becomes evermore vital as the company grows and services a broader market, be it in terms of expanding the product range, or opening new locations, or diversifying to serve new communities, or something else. To put it simply, automated marketing tools can help reach and engage with existing and new users, while CRM will help to convert a potential lead into a buying customer.

When marketing automation and CRM software work in symbiosis, these tools supply a complete, seamless journey for the end-user – from a browsing visitor to a potential lead to a solid prospect, all the way through to a satisfied, and ideally repeat customer.

Integration of the two platforms will unpack a complete dossier of a potential customer’s experiential journey with the company, which could provide myriad historical insights for the sales reps on how to tackle not just this customer, but all customers stretching as far back as the data has been recorded.

That journey can also be assessed for its efficiencies and where it could be enhanced for future prospects.

The sales and marketing departments can now match up their goals and product messaging as well. Plus, having these software solutions in place will be extremely beneficial when the departments need to scale up or down, as there will be plenty of data to support decision making and planning of next steps.

And to top it all off, now that the marketing team and the sales team directions are finally simpatico, cross-departmental cooperation and relationships can flourish, which can only mean positive growth potential for two of the critical arms of any major enterprise.