Sales and marketing form the two gears that are responsible for accelerating businesses towards profitability. In the modern business landscape where competition is rife and customer-centricity has become the basis of success, sales and marketing teams need to work hand-in-hand to retain and acquire customers. With 58% of the global population spending more than six and a half hours online every day, digital customer touchpoints today have become the key channels for brands to market, sell, and uniquely position themselves. These digital channels have become a gold mine for businesses. The fusion of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and marketing automation technologies offer an effective tool to explore the mine and unearth precious information that can be leveraged to scale business affordably.
While CRM is primarily focused on streamlining sales, marketing automation is dedicated to generating the leads the products or services will be sold to. When combined together the two create a sophisticated system that provides a holistic approach to revenue generation with customers at the center. The CRM-marketing automation integration not only enhances the customer acquisition and retention efficiencies but also empowers organizations to quantitatively and qualitatively evaluate and correlate marketing efforts to sales and revenue generation. Besides this, the integration of these tools is driven by the trends shaping the future of marketing. Here are the reasons why it is necessary to integrate CRM with marketing automation:
The consumer demand for personalized marketing has been on a rise with reports suggesting 90% of consumers labeling generic marketing promotions as annoying. Although 87% of marketing leaders claim to be trying to inculcate personalization in marketing, only a few among them are expected to make it to the other side. A recent report reveals that 80% of marketers will abandon the efforts to improve and introduce personalization in marketing due to the lack of return on investment. This, in turn, will open an extensive consumer base for brands that personalize marketing. Businesses can capitalize on the situation by leveraging marketing automation and CRM combination. When integrated with CRM, marketing automation tools will function as channels bringing crucial customer information to be stored in a central CRM database. This information collected from various channels can then be analyzed to discover crucial customer pain points which can be used to personalize promotions and win customers. Target marketing strategies can, thus, be implemented with ease and effectively.
Pushy generic sales pitches and the minimum knowledge of the customer and their pain points often repel prospects. When marketing teams generate leads, they do so by pitching a solution to a customer pain point. However, in the absence of centralized storage for this data, its transmission to the sales team becomes a hassle. When trying to close a deal, sales teams can access the central CRM database created by marketing automation tools to close deals and acquire new customers. The easy and quick access to data also ensures there is no miscommunication between sales and marketing teams and a smooth cross-departmental workflow exists between the two teams. With the central repository at dispense, companies can evaluate processes across departments to maximize proficiency and productivity.
Repeated follow-ups and lead mismanagement can result in a loss of productivity which translates to a loss in revenue and profitability. According to a report, these factors cost businesses approximately (https://www.cmocouncil.org/thought-leadership/programs/lead-flow-that-helps-you-grow) USD$ 1 trillion every year. The CRM-marketing automation combination is an effective solution to prevent losses and nurture leads. Marketing automation tools are tailored to automate follow-ups and nurture leads. The sophisticated tools analyze user behavior, personalize interactions, and periodically contact prospects through their preferred channels to nurture them before transferring them to sales teams. This ensures sales representatives are focused on closing deals while marketing teams leverage the automation tools to nurture leads that can then be converted. The automation tools also enable sales teams to prioritize leads based on their intent and leverage real-time information to contact them. A great example of the use case is the integration of conversational AI with CRM. Conversational AI can work lead using natural free-flowing conversations and warm them up for calls. The data and information can then be leveraged by sales teams to contact and convert leads. In these ways, marketing automation grades leads, improve conversions, and bolsters sales team productivity.
Manual management of databases can be time-consuming and is prone to errors. Mismanagement and erroneous data can translate to huge losses in the long run with sales and marketing strategies becoming increasingly data-dependent. Automation will ensure duplicate entries are appended and a single record for every customer exists. The data can then be used to identify upselling or cross-selling opportunities. Besides this, the analysis of error-free data also allows organizations to identify shortcomings in their processes, and quantitatively identify how much sales and marketing are contributing to the bottom line.
Marketing automation and CRM integration are becoming increasingly necessary for businesses with the combination of shortening sales cycles, evaluating marketing campaigns, identifying consumer pain points, buying cycles, and enabling opportunity tracking. With the world increasingly moving towards digitization, the combination of CRM and marketing automation presents marketing and sales leaders with a lethal weapon to scale businesses and uniquely position their brands in the market.