Many people assume CRM and marketing automation systems as synonymous. Though the footprints of both CRM and marketing automation seems overlapped as both provide features to maintain leads, contacts and companies, they serve two distinct purposes.
Before we conclude which software your business actually needs, let’s first find out the difference between CRM and Marketing Automation Software.
What is marketing automation?
Marketo, a leading marketing automation software provider, defines marketing automation as a system that, “allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows”.
Marketing automation software stores information, such as your lead's contact details (email, address, phone number, company name, job title, etc.). It also enables you to follow a prospect’s funnel activities, such as when have they visited your website, open an email, read your blog, or fill a form.
Few major marketing automation tools include:
Advantages of marketing automation:
- The ability to segment prospects into the proper mailing list based on their interests, preferences or even past interactions with your company.
- Lead nurturing, which allows you to automatically send triggered emails at the time when a person is most interested in your services. You can also schedule a set of emails in a “drip” campaign so that your company stays top-of-mind with prospects.
- Once the campaign ends, the system automatically generates analytics showing how successful the campaign was.
Why businesses use Marketing Automation?
Businesses commonly use marketing automation software to schedule and track marketing campaigns, especially email campaigns and mass business to customer communications. When a company automates cross-sells, up-sells and customer follow-ups, there is automatically an increase in the customer lifetime value. All this combined with better lead management and prioritisation, can lead to a better ROI.
“On average 51% of companies are currently using Marketing automation. With more than half of B2B companies (58%) plan to adopt the technology.” – Emailmonday
What is CRM?
Salesforce, a leading CRM software provider, describes CRM as, “a strategy for managing all your company’s interactions with current and prospective customers”. A CRM system saves information such as a customer's name, address, phone number, and interactions with the company. CRM systems ensure sales by making the sales process a more personal experience for the customer.
Few major CRM tools include:
- Salesforce CRM
- Zoho CRM
- Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Advantages of CRM:
- Sales personnel can track where a customer is in the sales process that helps them close a deal.
- By offering targeted promotional material that will more likely to convert a lead to a sale and build trust between you and your customer.
- While speaking to a customer, you can have a full picture of your customers’ and their history with your company that helps to make the conversation as personal and successful.
- Many CRMs can also sync with social media platforms so you can keep track of which platform is leading to the most traffic and what people are talking about your company.
- The CRM system can send an internal alert like when a call is scheduled, when a client’s account is set to renew, or even customer’s birthday so that your sales and service reps know to reach out.
Why businesses use CRM?
The sales and customer service teams use CRM information to optimize the one-on-one interaction between the company and the customer to boost sales and customer satisfaction.
“Sales reps saw productivity increase by 26.4% when adding social networking and mobile access to CRM applications” - study by Nucleus Research reveals social and mobile help align CRM to greater business objectives.
Differences between Marketing Automation and CRM
In today’s Digital world, If you want to focus on the real activities within your business and greater conversions and ROI, your CRM and marketing automation software has to be fully integrated.
Basically, businesses begin by choosing a CRM to optimize the bottom of the funnel and close deals, and then as they grow and invest more in marketing, they select marketing automation that will integrate with their CRM.
CRM and marketing automation systems cater to different roles in an organisation, and these differences make them more valuable to the unique teams they serve.