Sophisticated organizations call upon both marketing automation and CRM systems to power their marketing, business development, and sales efforts. However, many organizations overlook an easy way to amplify the impact of these technologies. Read on to understand how CRM automation serves as the linchpin of modern B2B marketing and business development departments.

What is CRM Automation?
As the name implies, marketing automation is designed for use by marketers. Customer relationship management (CRM), on the other hand, is usually the system of record for sales teams. In most organizations, it’s used to capture and manage an organization’s information about prospects and customers, including their contact details and interactions to date.

CRM automation takes CRM to the next level by eliminating or reducing the amount of time sales or business development professionals spend updating the system with details about contacts, accounts, opportunities, outreach and more. Advanced versions of CRM automation can even provide business development and sales with a summary digest about prospects or customers before meetings. Some can even map relationships between those in your database and the world beyond it.

How CRM Automation Enables Marketing Automation
Advanced organizations integrate their marketing automation and CRM to ensure a seamless stream of data from marketing to sales. In other words, by connecting the two systems, both business development and sales understand what has happened from the time a lead is generated through the time those responsible for closing deals are engaged with the lead.

This is essential in a world where empowered buyers take charge of their research and buying, increasingly holding sales at arm’s length until late in the process. It means the onus is on marketing and business development to identify, engage, and nurture promising prospects until they are ready to buy.

Firms can enhance their marketing automation in the following ways by taking advantage of relationship mapping enabled by CRM automation:

  • Enhance lead scoring. Lead scores help marketing and business development understand when a prospective client is ready to talk to sales. Most organizations calculate these scores using a combination of behavioral data (e.g., website visits, content downloads, etc.) and demographics (e.g., company size and industry, person’s title, etc.). CRM automation adds a third data point when a lead has a relationship with someone in your firm. It can even apply different values based on the strength of that relationship.
  • Enhance list segmentation. To increase the likelihood of engaging a prospective client, sophisticated marketers try to deliver the right content to the right person at the right time. An effective way to handle this is by segmenting lists to deliver tailored content to a specific audience. Your marketing team can get even more granular with segmentation by incorporating relationship data into these lists, such as by accounting for the lead’s relationship to your organization and their understanding of your services.
  • Enhance stale campaigns. Marketing automation can be configured to deliver messages and content to leads over time, nurturing them until they are sales-ready. Sending these to the right leads at the right time depends on understanding what types of interactions and engagements are happening with these leads. And that contextual information is usually fed to the marketing automation system by the CRM system. Unfortunately, if your CRM system isn’t kept up to date with these details, your marketing automation system can’t know whom to engage and when. With CRM automation automatically capturing and logging all lead-related activities, you eliminate this risk.

How CRM Automation Enables Account-based Marketing
Account-based marketing is receiving lots of attention these days, and with good reason. Rather than target a broad category of prospective clients, it’s aimed at wooing named accounts that the sales team has identified as ideal business candidates. This approach works best for firms selling to a few large, key accounts or to accounts of a certain size in a specific industry.

Succeeding with account-based marketing requires careful coordination between marketing and sales. In fact, organizations with tightly aligned sales and marketing teams experience 38% higher sales win rates.

Account-based marketing revolves around engaging and converting a specific contact at a specific target account. With that in mind, marketing automation is used to deliver emails and content intended to engage warm contacts and encourage them to participate in select events, such as webinars and workshops. This is supported with customized landing pages, also developed and tracked in marketing automation. Hand in hand with this, business development can reach out via personalized messages using their CRM system. CRM automation enhances this outreach by connecting with email, social accounts, and mobile data to provide an organization-wide view of relationships with customer and prospects.

Ready to plug the gap in your marketing and business development efforts? Learn more about how to automate your existing CRM and enhance your marketing automation system with a personalized demo of CRM automation.