Integrating CRM and Marketing Automation-The Secret Sauce for Successful Sales

Technology | 6 minutes to read

27th Mar, 2019

We are living in a world where success, more often than not, is defined by speed, agility, quick results and quicker deal closures. Yes, the modern business world is all about a swift showcase of performance because the world is moving fast, i.e. the world of your competitors and your customers.

It is about the best of service in record time – therefore, the competition is immense, stakes are higher than ever, and time is limited in the ever-so-competitive world of sales to prove your mettle.

Customer relationship management solutions (CRMs) and marketing automation solutions are in no way some new-fangled terminologies for the sales domain with every sales professional being aware of the colossal power that both these tools command when it comes to closing more customers and bringing home more moolah.

CRM, which is more sales-focused, helps you manage your interactions with your current and prospective customers while a marketing automation tool helps you streamline, manage and track your marketing activities done on the same set of people, i.e. your existing and prospective customers.

Now that the dichotomy-laced relationship between sales and marketing is getting transformed into a congenial one, their platforms of operation are also getting an integration-makeover – all for the huge number of benefits of doing so.

While singularly also, each of these solutions are immensely and equally important for driving your business towards success, when they are combined, the impact gets doubled. It’s similar to the allegory around the strength of a thumb and that of a fist.

Depending upon the size of your organisation and your immediate and long-term business needs plus goals, you may invest into these solutions separately and once at a time initially but sooner or later, in order to survive in the market, you’ll have to adopt the high road of an integrated solution deployment. As such, it’s more of a logical progression to integrate the powerful two to pace-up your journey ahead of your competitors.

7 Straight Benefits of CRM-Marketing Automation Integration

This kind of sales and marketing alliance on their basic work-platform front, may include some initial toil, but the benefits are worth that hustle. Listing down a few of them here:

Optimised Outreach
With more and more buyers engaging with sales people at a much later stage of the sales cycle, marketing campaigns with consistent messaging can have a defining impact on their conversion propensity. And with an integrated platform, all the customer conversations can be bridged to give you deeper and more intelligent insights and thus, a better relationship, leading to effective outreach.

Scaled-up Marketing Efforts
You can leverage CRM data for creating targeted and personalised marketing campaigns. And then there is an added advantage of having loads of data for market analysis with which you can do the actual discernment of ROI for any campaign.

Lesser Error Probabilities
In case of manual feeding of marketing leads into CRM, the process becomes predisposed to having some errors. At times, there may be a time lag in information inflow into the system, causing sales to lose an affable lead. With an integrated funnel, all these possibilities get lessened as automation takes up the tedious tasks, allowing you to focus on more strategic ones.

Effective Communication
With the sales team being completely onboard with all the activities being done with the customer or prospect till date and their response, they are better prepared to have a personalised connect with them. Thus, conversations are more streamlined with customers and prospects.

Enhanced Reporting
By enabling the draw-up of connections between marketing and sales activities, you get to see a holistic picture and automated reporting means a shorter sales cycle. Because the time that your teams save on this front, can then be invested into other worthwhile sales activities.

Productivity Enhancement
An integrated platform is akin to a centralised data system which means that you end up saving a lot of ‘to and fros’ between marketing and sales and have a better and automated reporting mechanism. All of it helping your teams to place focused efforts only on the best leads instead of going all-out and thus, saving time and becoming more productive. As per studies, marketing automation increases sales productivity on an average by 14.5%.

Cost Saving
With all the above-mentioned benefits in tow, this one is an eventual outcome of the compounded ROI which you get with more conversion-prone leads. Marketing automation is also reported to cause a depreciation in marketing overhead by 12.2%.

Certainly, a native integration will help you do better on this front by saving you quite some hassles and in process, ensuring that you save more bucks, in comparison to a third-party integration done later on. However, depending upon your present stance and precise requirements, this can be a fairly personal call for every business.

But remember, sales is all about the game of investment and returns of those investment. If any of your act doesn’t fit in this matrix of capital supply and ROI-benefit, then probably, it’s not worth carrying out. And all returns in sales are a factor of the effectiveness quotient of the implementation and in this case, the integration.

While the whole task of CRM and marketing automation software integration may be a bit cumbersome and not as easy as ABC, you need to be wary of some common bumps like data leaks or disruptions in customer interaction etc. as all these have the potential to snowball into major setbacks.

5 Things To Avoid For Successful Integration

While the integration brings with itself a long row of benefits, if the process of amalgamation is managed poorly, it won’t be a surprise sight to witness the whole system crash-down. Hence, it is better to be prepared with all the ammos for preventing the possible pitfalls.

Unnecessary Integration
Not everything needs to be integrated and this forms the basis of keeping the integration non-cluttered. The teams who’d be using the system would be the best judge for deciding which information is required to be integrated and which can be left.

Procrastinated Cleansing of Data
This is a certain way to add more clutter in the form of duplicated, incorrect or outdated records and are bound to bring inefficiency in the system given the bumped-up information retrieval time. A time stamp feature can be leveraged for ensuring that you don’t go in this direction.

Blind Lead Dumping
While it may sound convenient to pass-over all the leads into the CRM, but the act is detrimental to the overall revenue in a big way. On the other hand, nurtured and aptly qualified leads end up making 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads – a big win not just for the two teams but for the organization as a whole.

Confusing Briefing with Training
It is good (and necessary) to have the teams involved right from the integration planning phase, but adoption and actual implementation is a different ball-game altogether. Even if both the teams are proficient in their own systems, the integrated entity is new for both the parties. Hence, proper training of the staff is a non-negotiable in case if you don’t want any compromise on adoption or expected efficiency levels.

Going Overboard with Sharing
While integration is all about enabling sales and marketing teams to work in a shared and mutually beneficial mode, sharing of all the information by one department can often be overwhelming for the other party. A basic sifting needs to be in place with only relevant and summarised set of points being exchanged instead of causing an overabundance of information.

With a perfect integration of these two powerhouse applications, your sales engine is bound to reap scaled-up benefits. A consistent and systematic process of lead generation and lead flow steering towards successful lead closure helps you to not just have an up-to-date unified database but also enables you to create a seamless experience across customer’s journey. Thus, calling this ‘all-in-one’ solution, a success lending ingredient in the recipe for flourishing sales will not be an exaggeration.

In this age of solutions becoming smarter and sleeker with integration becoming a prerequisite, this one is a game-changer for businesses across the globe with multiple players already benefitting from the same and so many others already in a row to gain from it.

What are your views on CRM and marketing automation integration? Do you think there are other workarounds for ensuring that businesses are able to extract maximum benefits from these two solutions? Do let us know your thoughts in the comment section below.

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