In an era when customers are becoming more and more demanding, aligning your marketing and sales efforts is crucial. Marketing automation platforms are great when it comes to automating certain tasks within your organization, and they also help you creative innovative marketing campaigns, boost your ROI and revenue, etc. But what if you could improve leads quality? What if you could make the communication process between your marketing and sales department more efficient? What if you could maximize your marketing and sales efforts? Well, this is entirely possible once you integrate your marketing automation platforms with your CRM (Customer Relationship System).
One of the major benefits of integration your marketing automation platforms with your CRM system is the increased efficiency within your organization. Sales want to focus on what they do best- selling, and marketing want to focus on creating innovative marketing campaigns. So, how do you align the efforts of your sales and marketing teams? Your marketing automation platform alone won’t help you achieve a seamless communication between your teams. That is where Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms comes into play. Thanks to its customer-centric nature, a CRM will help you improve lead quality, which in turn makes it easier to launch targeted and personalized messages (emails, newsletters, e-books, etc.)
Integrating your marketing automation platform with your CRM will not only help you improve lead quality, but it will also help you exchange data back-and-forth in a seamless manner. Once you achieve this, your sales and marketing teams will be in a better position to get on with what they do best. In addition to achieving seamless data exchange between your teams, the integration process helps you ensure that leads get messages at the right time, without having to resort to manual and cumbersome procedures. Furthermore, by integrating marketing automation with your CRM you can optimize your campaigns, thus leading to a higher conversion rate.
When integrating your marketing automation platform with your CRM, you should ensure that the process is bi-directional. You marketing automation system and your CRM should ‘talk’ back-and-forth, i.e. they have to fetch data back and forth. This would help them become more efficient in their efforts. After all, the more seamless the communication process within an organization is, the higher the chances of success.
Achieving seamless communication between your sales and marketing teams is of paramount, but so is being able to update and synchronize information in real time. In order to make the most of your sales and marketing efforts, there has to be a fast and seamless synchronization between your marketing automation platform and your CRM. For example, if something is updated in your CRM, that change should also take place in your marketing automation system. For instance, if you update information regarding a lead (say a phone number or the position within the company), you should sync that update back to your marketing automation platform. This is what makes the integration successful.
You may be asking yourself, “That’s amazing, but how do I achieve all that?” Well, you’ve come to the right place. The process is straightforward: you simply map fields from your CRM into your marketing automation platform. The field mapping process is automatic or manual, depending on the vendor (most offer an automatic mapping process). Once the mapping process is complete, all data changed in your marketing automation system will automatically update in your CRM platform and vice versa.
Marketing automation and CRM are inextricably linked; they have to be synchronized in order to make the most of their respective strengths. A marketing automation platform may automate chores within a company and create great marketing campaigns, but a CRM system is the best tool in managing prospects and existing customers. Together, they will help you gain valuable insight into your leads behavior, which in turn will help you tailor your messages to your targeted audience. Once you integrate the CRM into your marketing automation platform, you will have real-time, updated information at your fingertips, allowing you to identify high-value leads, marketing campaigns with the highest conversion rates and so on. Plus, you get to track your team’s performance throughout the sales process.
“What are some of the things I should take into consideration when evaluating a marketing automation platform”, you might ask. Below are the 10 most important question you should ask when assessing a marketing automation system:
- Does your marketing automation platform offer pre-built connectors to the [insert your CRM system] CRM system?
- Can you quickly reference new fields within your marketing automation platform and add them to your integration?
- How frequently does your system synchronize with the CRM system?
- Can your system send leads to the CRM system based on a lead score?
- Can it send leads based on buyer behavior or a campaign outcome?
- Can the system assign leads to sales reps based on score, campaigns, etc.?
- Can the system synchronize campaigns with the CRM system?
- Are you able to import flat files into your marketing automation database?
- Can a sales rep remove a lead from a campaign from within the CRM system?
- Can you pass implicit or behavioral activity information to your CRM?
Integrating CRM with your marketing automation platforms yields huge benefits such as improved lead quality, huge insight into your customer behavior, a shorter sales process and a seamless communication process between your sales and marketing teams. Furthermore, you can prioritize leads based on their respective values. If you get your sales and marketing teams on the same wavelength, you’re on the right track. The same goes for work processes: if you manage to synchronize work process within your organization, you’re way ahead of the competition. That’s what CRM integration is all about: increasing efficiency, saving time and money, boosting your ROI and revenues, and offering a great customer experience all the way through.