Most businesses understand, or somewhat understand, that customer relationship management (CRM) is a way of archiving and organizing customer data to make it accessible, and in this way to increase customer satisfaction. Most marketers understand that marketing automation is a way of making marketing tasks easier and more effective, or as Hubspot defines it:
“Marketing automation refers to the software that exists with the goal of automating marketing actions. Many marketing departments have to automate repetitive tasks such as emails, social media, and other website actions. The technology of marketing automation makes these tasks easier.”
CRM Plus Marketing Automation: A Powerful Combination
What many companies—and the marketing officers who represent them—don’t understand are the benefits of integrating CRM with marketing automation. Those benefits can be game changers for small, medium-size and large businesses. Consider for example these metrics from Salesforce:
• More than 77% of marketers say they’ve integrated marketing automation primarily to boost revenues
• Companies that use marketing automation for lead nurturing increase qualified leads by more than 450%
• Marketing automation increases sales productivity on average by 14.5%
• By 2020, customers will handle 85% of their business relationships without ever talking to a human being
How Can Joining CRM to Marketing Automation Help Your Business?
There are several reasons 3 of 4 businesses that have combined CRM and marketing automation see a positive return on investment within 1 year. Here are 5:
1. You’ll enhance lead nurturing: for many marketers, lead generation takes precedence over lead nurturing—but you need to nurture your leads to effectively move them through the sales pipeline—and to close more sales. When you join CRM with marketing automation, you can automatically send relevant content (for example, through email marketing) in response to actions your leads take. This dramatically increases qualified leads, conversions and sales.
2. You’ll increase business intelligence: the automation tools you use will capture key customer data, data you can then use to further personalize your messaging. For example, an automated CRM program will tell you what pages customers have viewed, how long they stayed there, what content they downloaded, and what forms they filled out. You’ll gather similar data about the emails you send. Simply stated, the more you know about your customers, the more relevant and personalized your communications with them will be.
3. You can more effectively prioritize your leads: the best marketing automation software can assign scores to your leads based on their online behavior, and in this way, tell you which leads are most likely to make purchases. That means you’ll be able to focus your sales team’s efforts on the most qualified leads, and therefore to close more sales.
4. You’ll shorten the sales cycle: the longer it takes your business to move leads from window shoppers to loyal customers, the less money you’ll make—and given the increased skepticism of today’s consumer, the average sales cycle has increased by more than 20% over the past 5 years. When you integrate automation with your CRM, you’ll be able to send content that’s more relevant and more effectively answers customer questions and removes barriers to sales, thus closing sales more quickly and increasing your revenues.
5. You’ll more effectively measure results for continual improvement: by itself, CRM software can’t measure with precision which of your marketing actions were most effective. When you add marketing automation, you can dive deep into your marketing data to learn what strategies are working, which need tweaking, and which you should abandon. That means your marketing program will become more effective over time, and that you’ll be able to close more sales.
As noted above, bringing together robust CRM software with state-of-the-art marketing automation can be a game changer for your business, but it’s not the only one.