If you didn’t know by now, CRM and Marketing Automation are an incredible combination – when integrated and managed properly. Marketing and sales teams can do more (e.g. increase leads, close business) and do it more effectively. These technologies joined together help organizations cut costs while also increasing revenue.
CRM Marketing Automation Options
There are a number of options for integrated CRM Marketing Automation Solutions. You can either use:
- Customer Relationship Management + Marketing Automation Software All-in-One (e.g. Hubspot or Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
- CRM software that also acquired marketing automation software (e.g. Oracle CRM on Demand + Eloqua)
- Independent marketing automation and CRM systems that have deep and seamless integration into one and other (e.g. Salesfusion/Sage CRM, Net-Results/Dynamics CRM).
All of these options are viable; your choice really depends on a few issues, including:
- Do you already have a CRM? If so, what marketing automation systems integrate with it?
- Does your existing CRM company also have marketing automation tools in its product set?
- If your CRM doesn’t integrate with marketing automation, are you able and willing to migrate from your current CRM to one that connects well with a marketing automation platform?
- If you don’t have a CRM, would you want an all-in-one CRM Marketing Automation platform?
- Alternatively, would you like to get the best-in-class CRM and Marketing Automation platforms available that have solid integration between one and other?
What To Look For in a CRM Marketing Automation Integration?
Now that you know there are different combinations and questions to consider when putting together a CRM Marketing Automation platform integration, you have to know what to look for. Some of the key elements of the integration include:
- Bi-directional sync of data. Make sure that your CRM can create and update records in your marketing automation platform and vice versa, including getting real-time marketing dashboard displays with lead scoring, activity tracking and other pertinent sales data
- Run segmentation in your marketing automation platform on CRM data. Being able to segment and run lead generation and lead nurturing campaigns based on information gathered in the CRM is imperative, e.g. running specific marketing campaigns to all people who meet a certain criteria, for example an account that is an active opportunity worth $XX,XXX or more
- Tying your marketing efforts to revenue. Marketing automation now becomes the core of your marketing campaigns and reporting management including email marketing, social media marketing and more. Connected to your CRM (home to revenue reporting), you’ll get a measure on what specific sales and marketing activities are driving the most revenue with the best ROI.
Selecting CRM and Marketing Automation Platforms
Between the different combinations available and the different issues you face depending on your current technology environment, a CRM Marketing Automation project selection becomes a daunting task.
You’ll first have to gather all of your marketing automation requirements. You may also need to gather CRM requirements if you aren’t already using the technology or are looking to switch. Using a requirements gathering template to manage the project is an excellent place to start. We’ve actually built out these templates for you to use. Further, we’ve put together a step-by-step Marketing Automation Buyer’s Guide and CRM Buyer’s Guide to help you make the selection process easier.
The combination of a solid CRM Marketing Automation stack, deployed expertly, is a huge benefit to any organization. The individual functionality of each technology can provide great improvements in marketing and sales efficiency and effectiveness. Joined together, the CRM Marketing Automation combo creates new functionality that, once begun, marketing and sales team simply cannot do without.
If joining CRM with Marketing Automation is a project that is currently on your to-do list, get started with our CRM Marketing Automation requirements template to help accelerate your selection and implementation process.