March 10, 2018
Some people think that the terms CRM and marketing automation refer to the same type of software. While there is some overlap in the type of information each system utilizes, the two systems are very different in terms of who uses each one and the tasks the systems support.
The term CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. A CRM system is one that helps a company manage their relationships and ongoings with all of their customers and potential customers. CRM software offers a number of useful features, including:
A CRM is used to improve productivity for anyone managing customer interaction because it automates a number of tasks that are typically performed manually. It allows one user to manage a much larger group of contacts
Contactually is one of the premier
While marketing automation systems store some information that is similar to a CRM, their main purpose is to bring leads into the top of the sales funnel.
Overall, a marketing automation system is great at nurturing leads to bring them to the point where interaction with the sales team is beneficial. The top marketing automation systems available include Marketo, Pardo
CRM and marketing automation systems focus on managing very different types of interaction. However, the easiest way to understand the difference is to look at the users of each one.
CRM Users: CRMs are primarily used by sales and customer service representatives. It's a tool that manages and optimizes the interactions that the sales and customer service teams have with past, current, and future customers.
Marketing Automation Users: Marketing automation systems, as you would assume, are primarily used by the marketing department. Marketers can use the system to draw leads into the sales funnel, where they would then be transferred to the CRM system. The ability to respond to opportunities based on marketing initiatives gives your company a leg up on the competition and allows them to feed your sales funnel with qualified leads.
It's not really a matter of CRM systems being better than marketing automation systems or vice versa. Each one has its place in business today and they can work cohesively together.
As a business grows, the need for a CRM system usually comes first. It's important for a business to support its sales team with tools that will improve productivity and effectiveness. The ability to manage a large number of contacts while minimizing manual tasks will result in higher sales and profitability.
In addition, a CRM system that can be shared between sales and customer service brings new opportunities. The salesperson will be aware of customer service issues that arise with a customer, and the customer service staff can quickly determine the actions taken by a salesperson to contact a customer or resolve an issue. If customer service handles a problem they can easily inform the sales team by updating the details in the CRM.
When a company's marketing operation grows and becomes more sophisticated, the usefulness of a marketing automation system increases. At that point, a company will typically implement a marketing automation system and integrate it with the CRM. The integration avoids storing redundant information, reduces costs and improves customer relationships because all information regarding a customer is available in one place.
Between CRM systems and marketing automation systems, it’s incredible how businesses can leverage technology to deliver huge improvements to their productivity, effectiveness, and bottom line. As a business manager, you have the opportunity to provide automated support for both sales and marketing operations. You can increase the number of leads you attract with a strong marketing automation system, then nurture them through to conversion via your CRM system. In addition, you'll also increase the effectiveness of personal relationships with your leads and customers. All of this results in more sales and higher profitability!