Marketers use various tools and technologies in the digital marketing world, and marketing automation is necessary to succeed. A full-service marketing automation platform offers concrete solutions to the most common problems companies face today, as marketing and sales alignment, ROI, and sales cycles depend on its automated processes and organization.
Historically, marketing was the “other” technology that existed outside of CRM, even though 2 out of 3 marketers believe that data-based decisions are more effective than gut instincts.
Today’s marketing automation solutions combine email marketing, web analytics, and other emerging channels such as social media, and add tremendous value to traditional CRM deployments and, more than ever, have the attention of the C-suite. However, about half of marketers have teams with a skillset at par or below expectations, leaving room for improvement. They also feel overwhelmed by the incoming data.
Marketing automation solutions, like Sugar Market, can embed demand generation technology and processes into your CRM. If you struggle with poor adoption and usage of CRM deployments, adding marketing automation to the mix has proven to jumpstart, invigorate and align the sales and marketing executive teams to fully leverage the CRM investment.
We’ve compiled a list of five ways on how integrating marketing automation to your CRM can save a troubled deployment and increase overall usage:
1. Gets sales excited about CRM: It’s hard to find a salesperson who doesn’t get excited about having qualified leads delivered to them on a silver platter. Marketing automation allows you to leverage lead scoring (traditional or powered by artificial intelligence (AI), lead routing, and stack-rank leads based on behavior and engagement.
When a lead scores to a certain level of interest, that lead is routed to the appropriate rep. Sales reps then receive email alerts when their leads meet certain criteria. Reps get information about how the lead came to the website and what they did when they got there. A quick link allows the rep to open the lead in the CRM directly from the email. This simple functionality gets sales excited about lead generation and dramatically reduces follow-up time. Catching leads when they are “engaged” and “hot” ensures better conversion to qualified status in CRM.
2. Aligns marketing and sales: When sales and marketing operate as independent entities within a company, they don’t communicate, share definitions, or interact with one another. But with marketing automation integrated within your CRM, marketing and sales will collaborate on processes for scoring inbound leads. Process improvements stemming from this collaboration will lead to a better CRM deployment overall, and to better aligned sales and marketing teams.
3. Keep your CRM database clean and efficient: Marketing automation solutions will police lead flow traffic into your CRM. The marketing database is often used as a lead staging area where “marketing-ready” leads (MQLs) are marketed and nurtured to a point at which they become “sales-ready” (SQLs). Only then the marketing automation platform moves the SQL into the CRM. This methodology and process keeps the CRM uncluttered and ensures the sales team is only working the highest value (i.e., SQL) leads. Your CRM database size is also reduced, which can substantially reduce your costs in a cloud-based CRM model.
4. Improving Lead Conversion: Marketing automation will gather vital information in website visit activity, campaign touches, campaign responses, and much more. The system will then append this information to the lead and contact records in your CRM. This information is at the fingertips of sales when they are tasked to follow up with a high-value SQL. Sales can then quickly view their leads’ contextual history to get clear visibility of their interests based on the pages viewed on site, emails opened, links clicked, form submissions, and general responses contained in the record history. This makes that first critical sales call more effective and will greatly increase the probability of lead conversion.
5. ROI on marketing and lead generation. Marketing automation connects the leads generated from campaigns and the cost of acquiring those leads, to the opportunities in your CRM. This allows the C-suite members of any B2B company to stop throwing darts at a board concerning marketing spend and pinpoint exactly how, where, and why they should most efficiently spend marketing money.
Marketing automation’s biggest benefit is its ability to automate previously manual processes.
The advantage of marketing automation software is it can be as integrated, automated, and intricate as you need.
If you’re thinking about integrating marketing automation to your CRM you should consider the following to ensure success:
- Involving the right people in the decision
- Outlining marketing goals and how technology can help you achieve them
- Choosing a platform that can grow with your needs
If you’re just starting to look for a marketing automation platform and want to learn more about why you shouldn’t settle for less than a “seamless integration,” don’t hesitate to download our CRM and Marketing Automation Integration Simplified eBook, and find out the value you gain from an integrated solution. You may know why you need it, but we can help you understand how you will use it to your maximum advantage.