CRM and marketing automation - 4 people crossing arms and holding handsCustomer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation are renowned for managing and boosting a company’s sales and marketing efforts.

CRM software acts as a database of your leads and customers. It’s a central hub for your salespeople to view the status of leads as they move down the sales funnel.

Marketing automation, on the other hand, focuses on the earlier stages of the sales funnel. It facilitates lead generation and fires off automated communications based on visitors’ behaviours and interactions with your business.

These automated communications can include anything from welcome emails for new subscribers to text confirmations for appointment bookings.

Do you really need to integrate your CRM and marketing automation software?

Technically it is possible to manage your CRM and marketing automation separately. However, you are missing a trick if you don’t integrate them.

Marketing automation boosts the functions of your CRM. You can use the information from your CRM database to acquire, engage and retain customers.

In this article, we go through the specifics of why an integrated CRM and marketing automation system is such a useful tool.

What Are The Benefits Of Integrated CRM and Marketing Automation?

Centralised location for data

A lot of time is wasted switching between different apps, platforms and systems to access data. With an integrated CRM and marketing automation system, everything is in one easy-to-access location. You can access all your contacts’ information, including lead scores and form fills, in just a few clicks.

This makes life easier for staff members across your business, including sales, marketing and management.

Alignment of sales and marketing departments

Is there a disconnect between your sales and marketing teams?

An integrated CRM and marketing automation system can help. With both teams working from the same system, their goals are aligned and communication becomes easier. They work with the same data and both have visibility of leads across the whole sales cycle.

With both teams working to achieve common goals, they are encouraged to work collaboratively rather than competing and passing blame.

Consistent interactions with leads and customers

When your prospects or customers interact with you, they’re interacting with your brand. It doesn’t matter to them whether it’s sales, marketing or customer service: they expect the same service and experience regardless of which team they’re talking to.

Because of this, it’s important to offer a unified experience to contacts no matter where they are in the sales cycle.

An integrated system allows you to provide this level of consistent communication. Your contacts experience a smooth transition as the system passes them from sales to marketing.

Not only does this improve the experiences of your leads and customers, it also improves your brand image.

Visibility of the bigger picture

Reporting should be easy and intuitive. With parts of your sales and marketing activities inevitably overlapping, it makes sense to manage them within one system.

As a manager, an integrated system gives you visibility of what’s happening throughout the whole sales cycle. On top of this, you can analyse how your marketing automation strategies are impacting your sales results. This is difficult to do without an integrated platform.

You can see what’s working across both your sales and marketing efforts and then work on improvements and adjustments for both.

Nurture leads before passing them to sales

Ever find your sales team struggling because the leads they’re pursuing aren’t ready? We’ve all been there. It wastes time and resources while also decreasing morale.

Without marketing automation, leads may enter the hands of your sales team before they’re ready to be closed. Not only is this a waste of everyone’s time, but it can also result in leads being pushed away.

With an integrated platform, your marketing automation system uses information stored in your CRM database to send out personalised communications to the right leads at the right time. This happens through the collection of visitor information, form fills, segmentation and website activity.

Once your marketing automation system identifies a lead as sales-ready (based on their interactions with your website, content and emails), it automatically passes the lead along to your sales team. Leads are primed and ready to be closed by your salespeople. This will ultimately result in an increase in conversions.

CRM and marketing automation work well individually, but even better together. That’s why we always recommend platforms that integrate the two. To find out more about the systems we use and which one is right for your business, contact Flowbird today.

Download eBook: 25 Things Every Small Business Should Automate
25 Things Every Business Should Automate