How CRMs and Marketing Automation Work Hand In Hand

CRMs and Marketing Automation

When it comes to managing customer relationships and marketing for your business, it can be a lot to handle all at once. However, there are tools and software systems that you can utilise to streamline the processes. If you aren’t already familiar with CRMs and marketing automation, then this blog is for you! Keep reading to learn how these two systems work in tandem to create a better marketing experience for you and your customers.

How Are CRMs and Marketing Automation Different?

While they may seem similar from the outside, CRMs and marketing automation tools do offer different benefits. Here are the main differences between these two tools:

Customer relationship management software, or CRM for short, helps you organize contact and sales information, including productivity and relationships throughout the marketing funnel. CRMs also allow you to store customer information, such as purchases, client notes and more. Ultimately, CRMs allow you to optimise the interactions your employees have with the customers while increasing sales and satisfaction.

On the flip side, marketing automation (also referred to as sales automation), can help you automate specific tasks and workflows. This will save you time and money from manually have to complete tedious tasks. A great example is sending emails, often called email automation. If you’d like to learn about the best marketing automation tools for your business, be sure to check out our blog here.

To break it down even further, you can think of a CRM as a sales tool and marketing automation as a lead generation and sales nurturing tool. When CRMs and marketing automation are used in conjunction, a powerful tool is created for your business. These systems allow you to maximize their individual strengths and bring them together to create a meaningful customer experience in the process. 

How Can CRMs and Marketing Automation Be Used Together?

When combining a CRM and marketing automation system, here are several ways that these tools can be used together:

  • Begin by building a relationship with a customer before sending them as a lead to your sales team. A great way to do this is by nurturing them through the marketing funnel.
  • Analyse reports to determine what marketing efforts are working and what’s not. This includes workflows and automation processes.
  • Create/assign scores to your leads. What this means is you can use data to determine their readiness to make a purchase/book a service. Think of it as a thermometer; cold means they need more nurturing while hot means they are more likely to go through the entire marketing funnel.
  • Provide consistent/personalised messaging. With email automation, you can send your leads through an email flow to prepare them for the next level of the marketing funnel. These emails will support and nurture them until they are ready for the next step. In turn, it also helps to give leads a seamless journey from start to finish.
  • Create a timeline/picture for employees. Sometimes, sales reps can’t always see the entire picture. With a CRM and marketing sales automation combo, you can provide your sales reps with a lead journey so they understand how they can better their sales tactics in each stage of the journey.

Tips for Integrating Your CRM and Marketing Automation Systems

Now that you understand how CRMs and marketing automation work together, let’s talk about how to integrate them. The first thing to consider is how the two systems will work together. Depending on the systems you are currently using, it’s possible the two won’t integrate well together. As a business, you will have to decide if it’s best to try a new system with better integrations or continue using the systems you have in place. Keep in mind that some tools are all-in-one marketing services, such as HubSpot. 

To help you out, here are a few tips for integrating the systems/platforms you use:

1. Personalise Your Marketing and Sales Messages

When you combine systems, you have to make sure your messaging is personalised to not only your brand but to your customers. Put yourself in a consumer’s shoes. If you got an unbranded email that seemed cookie-cutter, would you actually read it? Probably not. By using consistent messaging across the board, it will allow you to target your audience and begin generating leads.

Your CRM is able to transfer demographic information to your marketing automation tool. After this information is transferred (and much time is saved), your employees can use this information to create campaigns relevant to your target audience. The more relevant the campaign means more leads, and more leads mean more conversions. 

2. Remove Duplicate Information

Because many businesses use automation, customers are receiving more and more emails than ever before. When it comes to your combined systems, you want to make sure that duplicate tasks, emails or communication are not sent out. The last thing you want is unhappy and irritated leads. 

While this does take some work on your end, making sure duplicate information is not sent or created is a vital task. Of course, accidents can happen but make sure you have an employee checking for duplicate information on a consistent basis. Keep in mind that duplicate information is also bad for your business as it can skew data and lead to false reporting. When in doubt, delete the duplicates! 

3. Create Lead Scoring

As mentioned earlier, lead scoring is a way to determine how “ready” a customer is to make a purchase or book a service. By using lead scoring, you can easily send out messages or email automation flows when their score increases. The faster a lead gets the information they want, the more likely they are to follow through with the action. 

Lead scoring helps make the process of getting a lead through the marketing funnel fast and efficient. With personalised messaging in place as well, you can truly speed up the process. You can learn more about lead scoring in our blog

4. Adjust Your Practices As Necessary

After you integrate your systems, it is crucial that you make updates or adjust your practices as bumps in the road come along. It’s inevitable that problems will arise at some point in time. By being prepared, you can have a plan in place to avoid any costly mistakes and quickly implement new practices. 

Optimising your practices is also a good thing to consider. Marketing will change over time, so being on top of these updates is key to making sure your business stays relevant in your industry and the digital world. If you don’t plan on fine-tuning your systems and practices, it’s likely you will fall behind or major errors will go unnoticed. Don’t let your hard work go to waste by not monitoring your systems.

How to Get the Most Out of Your CRM and Email Automation

Now that you understand the basics of CRMs and marketing sales automation, let’s dive into some more specifics focusing on email automation and marketing. With over 3.9 billion active users utilising email marketing, it’s safe to say that it must be included in your marketing strategy. 

Email automation allows you to send triggered emails to your potential leads or email subscribers when they take a specific action. A CRM will provide the data you need to create targeted and personalised email marketing campaigns. With CRMs, the focus is placed on specific individuals rather than a generalized list. 

Due to email lists being so large, email marketing can be tedious if it needs to be done manually. Is your email list lacking? Head over to our blog for 13 proven ways to build your email list. When you combine a CRM and email automation plan, it allows the CRM to do the bulk of the work in terms of actually sending the emails. Many CRM options use artificial intelligence (AI) as well as omnichannel communication, which can help boost customer service efforts and improve how tasks are completed. 

When using your CRM and email automation system, here are some of the ways they can work hand in hand:

1. Send Internal Alerts

While email automation can do the bulk of the work, there are still some email tasks that need to be completed by employees. CRMs can send internal alerts that remind your employee of scheduled calls or to send follow-up emails. Being timely is essential with current and potential clients. If you wait too long, it’s possible they will stray away or change their mind. Internal alerts will keep your employees on top of their game.

2. Track History

Keeping track of your customers’ history is vital to understanding the next action they will take. When you track a customer’s path through the marketing funnel, it shows you where they are in the funnel as well as how close they are to the next step. History examples could include if they opened or clicked on an item in an email or if they clicked onto your website and visited certain pages. These small moments help you determine their lead score and if they are ready to be pursued as a lead.

3. Sync Information

Do you use a system that was designed exclusively for your business? Or maybe a system that is cost-effective? In many cases, CRMs will sync lead and customer information to other systems that you use. Combining CRMs and email automation make things more versatile to the systems you already have in place without needing to give up anything. 

4. Provides Detailed Information

As we mentioned earlier, personalised marketing is key to success with any type of marketing automation, and the same goes for emails. We bring this up again because it is such an important aspect of marketing to potential and current clients. CRMs give you the data, such as basic demographics, phone type, lead score and many others, to create campaigns through your email automation systems that are unique. 

If you would like to learn more about email marketing, we have a blog that gives a simple tutorial to get you up to speed in no time. Check it out here

Final Thoughts

This was a lot of information to take in, but we hope it helps you understand the importance of having a CRM and marketing automation in place for your business. If your business is just getting started, take the time to research and invest in systems or platforms that will work for you. It’s best to start from scratch with a new system then try to make a switch after you’ve already established a platform.  Not sure where to begin? Our team at Zeidan can help with your digital marketing and marketing automation needs. We know the ins and outs of marketing like the back of our hand. Head over to our services page to learn all the different ways we can help your business be found online. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us