If you’re like many executives out there, you may be wondering if you need both CRM and marketing automation. Or, if its cost-efficient to just invest in one or the other. A survey of 220,000 small businesses by Digital Capital Advisors found that only 5% used marketing automation tools. The report also mentioned that 25% of these companies are not sure what marketing automation is.

First things first, let’s define the two solutions and the benefits they offer. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool used to house prospect and client data. It can be used to cultivate deeper relationships with active customers and interested buyers.

Marketing automation is used primarily to measure and strengthen marketing’s impact on funnel activity and pipeline development. Salesforce defines it as “a technology that manages marketing processes and multifunctional campaigns, across multiple channels, automatically.”

Having problems with your marketing and sales funnel? It’s probably because you are not utilizing the right software system to streamline your workflows. It’s not enough that you have a marketing automation software for your team. To increase operational efficiency, you need to integrate marketing automation with your CRM.

Here’s why you need to integrate CRM with Marketing Automation:

Sync marketing and sales efforts

A common source of misalignment between marketing and sales involves transferring premature leads. A recent study found that 61% of B2B marketers send all leads to sales too early thus, only 27% of them are qualified. It is wasting massive revenue opportunities. With an automation system, it is easy to determine if leads are ready to move along the sales cycle. As a result, marketing and sales can work in unison and achieve a higher success rate.

Integration of marketing automation with CRM also creates a centralized system. This makes organizing, tracking, and reporting data way easier. On the other hand, segregated software systems have too many open ends. This can cause data leaks and disorganized customer interactions. A unified platform puts your marketing and sales team on the same page, allowing them to produce better results.

Get the most qualified, nurtured leads

The marketing team is in the front line the purchasing process. Buyers travel through 57% of the journey before they even talk to sales. More so, 75% of them do not reveal their interest during the early stages. Thus, the marketing team takes on the burden of retaining them for an indefinite period of time. Unfortunately, the longer it takes to convert leads from potential buyers to loyal customers, the less money you’ll make.

Instead of manually sifting through data collected on every lead, marketing automation can do it for you. The Annuitas Group reports that companies that use marketing automation in nurturing prospects experience a 451% increase in qualified leads. An analysis of more than 2,200 American companies also found that those attempting to reach leads within an hour were nearly seven times likelier to have meaningful conversations.  

Prepares your sales team

 

When sales reps have no idea about the interests of their prospects, the sales cycle becomes tougher to close. B2B decision-makers think 82% of sales reps are unprepared. This can change with integration. CRM-marketing automation integration shortens the sales process by automatically sending relevant content to leads at the best possible time. The sales team gets so much information about the customer other than demographics.

Integration can reveal the type of content leads are interested in, how they respond to campaigns, and even the websites they are visiting. As a result, sales reps can personalize each interaction and make the right kind of impact.  

 

Giving credit where it is due

One of the challenges faced by businesses is tracking which marketing and sales effort led to a closed deal. With an integrated system, you can pinpoint which actions brought success and which did not. This is because automation tracks developments from beginning to end. As a result, there will be less confusion among team members regarding who sourced the deal or what campaign was more effective. It also means you get to give credit where it is due and employees can be more fairly compensated.

Some businesses settle for just CRM because it has given them fairly good results without the automation. However, if you have a growing list of customers, you will soon find that it’s impossible to manually handle them. You need integration to continue nurturing your contacts and pass good leads to your sales.