A Deep Dive into CRM and Marketing Automation Software

By Marianne Chrisos - Last Updated on January 6, 2020
A Deep Dive into CRM and Marketing Automation Software

Your customer relationship manager (CRM) tool and your marketing automation software are two of the most important tools in your modern business strategy. Marketing automation helps you plan and deploy your marketing campaign assets while CRM helps track leads that grow from those engagements as well as manage your customer list database and all business interactions such as orders, phone calls, and more.

The relationship between your CRM and marketing automation is an important one. Both pieces can give you insight into your relationships with customers and help you improve both your marketing strategies and sales processes.

A deep dive into the differences between CRM and Marketing Automation Software

Both pieces of technology are important to your business, but they do serve different, though complementary, purposes. Some of the differences include:

  • As noted above, CRM software is sales-focused, while marketing automation is used by marketing
  • Marketing automation primarily works to generate leads, nurture those leads, and then qualify leads that are most like to convert to customers; CRM usually picks up the process at this point and works with those leads to nurture them into opportunities, closed deals and won business.
  • CRM is a better “customer history” tool and gives customer service and sales teams a better idea of past order history, main points of business contacts, and even tracks customer interactions like phone calls, emails, chats, and more.
  • Depending on the size of your business, you may need one solution more than another, but most marketing automation tools let you sync data from your CRM tool so that you can manage all activity from one database.

The Importance of CRM and Marketing Automation Relationship

The biggest benefit of having both pieces of technology is that one flows naturally into another. Marketing automation helps show businesses who their prospects are and makes sales much easier. From these leads, sales teams are able to put their tactics into action and drive revenue. While their purposes are different, they do work together and ultimately are both important parts of managing and nurturing new and existing customer relationships.

One way that sales teams are empowered through marketing automation is that not only does marketing automation help fill their pipeline, but it can also provide insight into customer interest and behavior. If sales teams know which marketing assets brought them into the lead queue or what behavior the marketing automation software captured, sales can get a better idea of their prospect’s interests and needs. This can help a sales team member build a better, faster relationship with a client

Additionally, both tools are crucial to the customer experience. Marketing automation provides insight into exactly what customers find engaging and important and allows businesses to change their approach based on their findings. This leads to better, more personalized marketing materials that resonate more with customers and better position your business as the solution they need. Armed with this knowledge, sales teams can offer a consistent, personalized experience to every customer. When these two technologies work together, they empower both sales and marketing to deliver a better customer experience across the board in every interaction.

Finally, marketing automation isn’t just important to sales when it’s helping to add new customers to the CRM database – through automated email outreach and other marketing channels, it can help grow existing client business also. It’s a crucial tool in encouraging repeat business, helping salespeople upsell, and encouraging customer loyalty.

Using both CRM and marketing automation software gives you a deeper insight into how your business is growing and why. These insights are invaluable when it comes to growing your business, training your sales team, optimizing your marketing and outreach efforts, and effectively establishing and managing your customer relationships.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a company near Dallas and contributing writer around the internet. She earned her master's degree in Writing and Publishing from DePaul University in Chicago and has worked in publishing, advertising, digital marketing, and content strategy.

Marianne Chrisos | Born in Salem, Massachusetts, growing up outside of Chicago, Illinois, and currently living near Dallas, Texas, Marianne is a content writer at a c...

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