While CRM and marketing automation may sound similar, there is a vast difference in how they work and the benefits you can drive through each.
The prime difference between the two is that they serve two entirely different purposes. While CRM is an essential tool that assists you in sales, marketing automation is mostly used for various marketing tasks and outreach.
Integrating them in your operations can have magical effects on your business. It will improve your customer experience as well as business capabilities.
So, let’s dive deeper into their usages and differences, and how you can use both in combination for the best results.
What Is A CRM?
CRM, or customer relationship management, is a tool many industries use to manage customer contact and relationship data. It’s focused on sales and the existing relationship a business enjoys with its customers.
For example, if a customer has a savings account, a personal loan, a credit card, and health insurance from a single bank, it would be their existing relationship with the bank.
So, a CRM is a tool that tracks and manages customer relationships throughout the entire sales funnel.
What Are the Benefits of CRM Software?
The most significant advantage of using a CRM is that it increases your chances of converting prospects to loyal customers.
Here are some significant benefits a CRM offers:
1. Streamlines customer data, i.e., name, address, and phone number (NAP.) for easy tracking and organization. It enables everyone in your organization to access and use customer information for better customer support and lead generation.
2. CRM also saves your time by reducing the routine tasks that consume more time.
3. It also improves customer engagement by ensuring consistent, personalized, and targeted messaging.
4. You can use CRM to identify increased sales opportunities by tracking your customers’ buying patterns. You can use this information to get insights into themes and trends that can help you identify new sales opportunities.
5. CRM also enables centralized sales to progress tracking across your entire organization, which is vital to pushing the prospect down the funnel. It will also help you identify areas of improvement, bridge gaps, and assign leads to salespersons.
6. Have you ever seen highly personalized communications from brands you buy from? CRM helps you do that.
For example, a customer browses sports shoes on Amazon or any other eCommerce site and soon receives personalized emails or messages about offers and discounts on selected sports shoes. It’s possible because of a robust CRM that tracks everything. Today, even AI is being used along with CRM and other marketing tools to closely predict what a customer has on their mind.
How to Personalize Your Communications?
Many CRM platforms provide tools for personalizing your messaging to customers. It boosts lead conversion. An Infosys study reveals that 86% of consumers reported that personalization influences their buying decisions in a big way. There are many ways you can personalize your communications, such as:
- Adding customers’ names in your emails
- Target campaigns based on their buying behavior
- Sending emails based on where they are in their customer journey
Things You Can Achieve With a CRM Software
You can achieve the following with the help of a CRM software:
- Increased engagement
- Increased customer satisfaction
- Increased sales
You can easily drive sales through CRM by tracking the customers’ stages in their buying journeys.
What Is Marketing Automation?
Marketing doesn’t work in a straight line. There are various steps and aspects, and automation allows you to automate and streamline critical marketing tasks and workflows.
Automation covers everything from lead generation to segmentation and lead-nurturing. Marketing automation also facilitates account-based marketing and customer retention.
The primary purpose of marketing automation is to speed up processes and eliminate repetitive, manual, and time-consuming tasks.
Marketing automation is also used to create targeted marketing campaigns for individuals using targeted content. The result is a better customer experience.
How Does Marketing Automation Work?
With marketing automation, you can save time by automating vital marketing tasks. When you free up your resources and eliminate wasteful activities, you can utilize your time and money to implement other targeting strategies.
What Are the Benefits of Marketing Automation?
With marketing automation, you can achieve a high conversion rate, improve workflow, boost productivity, create custom content, and enable personalized buying journeys. The most significant advantage of marketing automation is that it helps you generate high-quality leads, faster.
How Do CRM and Marketing Automation Work Together?
We have discussed the benefits of both CRM and marketing automation. What if, we combine both? The combined strengths of the two can do wonders to your marketing campaigns. Marketing automation supplies detailed info to your CRM, so your entire team can get actionable insights about your prospects and existing customers.
It’s crucial to understand the difference between the two, so you can figure out why it’s best to integrate them.
Marketing automation facilitates lead generation and nurturing, while CRM is a sales tool and doesn’t serve your core funnel marketing needs. But, when you integrate the two, you can do the following:
- Build a relationship and engage your prospects. It also helps you push them down the funnel using targeted content before sending them as a hot lead to sales. This, in turn, minimizes the uncertainty and pressure on the sales team.
- Use detailed and closed-loop reporting aided by micro-analysis to see what’s working and what isn’t.
- Improve lead quality.
- Help sales reps understand the entire customer history and their behavior from when they come to your website as a visitor, until they become interested in your product.
- Send targeted messages to support and nurture leads.
Key takeaway: When we combine marketing automation with CRM, it becomes our biggest marketing & sales weapon. It ensures a consistent flow of leads and sales.
DashClicks’ white-label platform offers CRM and marketing automation through its apps, such as:
- Deals App: It helps you manage leads and deals within your sales pipelines CRM software.
- Projects: Our white-label project management app provides the easiest and most powerful way to manage your projects, teams, customers, etc.
- Inbound: Helps you manage all your inbound leads across multiple third-party platforms. You can also share these leads with your sales team so they can follow up and convert them.
- Contacts: DashClicks’ unique contact management CRM software helps you manage your contacts easily.
What’s more, you can access all these apps through a single dashboard! So, no need to open multiple tabs and repeat logins.
Why Do CRM and Marketing Automation Need Each Other?
CRM and marketing automation are the two most essential tools businesses use to grow in the digital ecosystem. Marketing automation can’t replace CRM, but it sure can help increase the efficiency of your sales department. It reduces the tedious and repetitive manual tasks such as emailing and calling the prospects.
Content marketing automation helps you craft engaging content for different stages in the buyer’s journey. And it’s proven that care automation improves customer support. Together, they can help generate qualified sales leads for your fledgling business.
How SmartBear Software increased inbound leads by 200% using marketing automation and CRM together?
SmartBear Software is a B2B cloud software development company. The business owners decided to take advantage of technology and deploy marketing automation and CRM as an integrated process to boost their sales.
The plan was simple but effective. According to Keith Lincoln, VP Marketing, SmartBear, the management chose three objectives:
- Easily implemented
- Can integrate with the new CRM system
After finalizing the vendor, they called in a third-party engineer to implement the software. The consulting engineer introduced specific training programs for the in-house employees to speed up the learning curve. The modus operandi led to the automation solution functioning within a work week.
The initial days were challenging and full of implementation hassles and struggles. So, the engineer suggested that the teams go slow and keep their activities limited to running a few email campaigns. However, soon the systematically designed training sessions started yielding results, and the teams quickly learned how to implement lead-nurturing and handle a high volume of leads in different segments.
Soon, they also integrated automation with their webinar platform, adding to their outreach armor. The results proved the efficacy of combining CRM and marketing automation, and their efforts paid off. Lead volume skyrocketed to 200%. In the meantime, 80% of total leads generated came from an automated software trial download campaign. The leads generated through this trial download campaign generated 85% of SmartBear’s total revenue.
The absence of CRM and marketing automation software integration may lead to many missed opportunities for your business. A marketing automation system is used mainly to automate marketing tasks, such as sending personalized messages to prospects based on their various stages in the buyer's journey. It can be a total game-changer and open the doors to a plethora of new opportunities for you!
The nature of integration will depend on the business needs. So, you should have a system where you can combine the best features of both types of tools. Or else, you can outsource digital marketing services from an agency that integrates both the systems into their services. DashClicks offers a white-label platform for agencies of all kinds and sizes where you can use our CRM and various automation apps together.
Further Reading: Does Your Organization Really Need a Marketing Automation Platform?