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The Benefits of Integrating Marketing Automation with CRM

One of the biggest challenges companies face is the disconnect between marketing and sales. Both areas of the company have the same objective, which is to create additional revenue for the business. However, each area goes about that objective differently.

A company that is able to combine marketing and sales and integrate the two areas has a significant advantage over a company that fails to do this. However many companies use two different systems, one to track sales activities and the other to track marketing efforts.

Some companies have systems in place that don’t even communicate with each other at all. Other companies have systems where the marketing automation system retrieves data from the CRM system, but fails to share valuable data in return. The video refers to this phenomena as “CRM bullying.”

A better approach is to have the marketing automation system communicate with the CRM system BOTH by retrieving information and sharing information in return. Doing this allows both marketing and sales to have access to vital data that can result in increased sales and revenue opportunities.

Integrated marketing and sales performance

For example, suppose you have a business in which you sell employee benefits to companies. You have a website that explains the value of the benefits offered. You also have a sales force that goes out and meets with human resource personnel to explain the benefits and answer questions. Here is typically how the customer interaction process takes place:

  • Initial contact by sales.
  • Tracking interaction in CRM.
  • Providing customer with information.
  • Customer accesses information online.
  • Sales rep follows up with customer.

The first interaction typically is for the sales person to reach out to a prospect in human resources via a phone call. Let’s say the phone call is successful and the prospect is interested in more information.

The sales rep will typically log the information into the CRM application. The marketing automation system may even pull this information at some point. It may even be advanced enough to make an intelligent decision to send out an automated email to the prospect.

Here’s where the disconnect often happens:

Since most marketing automation systems do not communicate back to the CRM application the sales rep has no idea that the email was sent out. If the prospect actually opens the email and visits the website, the sales rep has no idea this happens either. The sales rep may wait 24 hours, 48 hours, even a week or more before following up. By that time the prospect may not be as excited and the sale could be lost.

However, with a marketing automation system that is completely linked to the CRM application, once the prospect visits the website, this information is shared with the CRM system in real time. The sales rep receives immediate notification that the prospect has visited the website.

In some cases, the sales rep may even know exactly what pages were visited in order to effectively assess hot buttons and be able to incorporate this information into the follow up call.

Instead of taking days or even a week to make the follow up call, the sales rep can make the follow up call immediately. The sales rep is reaching out to this prospect at the hottest and most exciting part of the sales process. The end result is the sales rep is significantly more likely to make the sale.

This is why companies who have both of these elements linked together are dominating and have an unfair advantage over companies that do not have these elements linked together.

If you would like to be one of the companies that dominate, click here to learn about our Premium service plan, which includes both a CRM application and marketing automation.