What is the Difference Between a CRM & Marketing Automation Platform?

Two of the most important tools for any business are a CRM and some marketing automation software. 

While they are used in conjunction, they are not the same thing. Let’s take a closer look at what they do, how they are different, and how each can benefit your organization.

What is a CRM?

Customer relationship management (CRM) software has become a staple for businesses. The primary purpose is to help you manage the relationship with your customers. To allow you to do this, the CRM will store a wide array of important information. You can learn more about the customer's preferences. This is designed to allow you to take a more personal approach, tailoring your communications to suit their needs.

These systems also allow you to gather a lot of data. You’ll know names, email addresses, contact numbers. You’ll also be able to track what stage of the sales pipeline your customers are in. You can also keep notes about any interactions you have had with them. You’ll be able to tell how strong a potential lead is.

Many of these CRMs will focus on an easy-to-read dashboard. You’ll be able to get all the information you need at a glance. This will allow you to make more informed decisions about the future of your company. It will also be a huge benefit for the sales team. They’ll have a good way of knowing which leads they should be looking at and which ones aren’t as likely to make a purchase.

 

Why Do Businesses Use a CRM?
Now that we know what it is, we can start to understand why a business might choose to use a CRM. Here is a quick overview of some of the most common reasons.

Easier Than a Spreadsheet

One of the most common mistakes that companies make is relying on a spreadsheet. This is good for smaller businesses. But as the number of customers you have starts to balloon it gets more difficult to manage. It’s easy for people to slip through the cracks. A CRM system will make managing your customer list a breeze.

Customer Data and History

Your sales team will be able to learn the ideal time to reach out to your customers. You will also have a better idea of their preferences, making it easier to start a conversation. You can find their sales history quickly, by just pushing a few buttons. This ensures that the sales team has all the information they need at their fingertips. This lets you create a more personalized conversation.

Setting Important Reminders

You will be able to know when important customer milestones are coming up. For example, you can set a reminder to talk to them on their birthday. Another common example is when their membership is about to expire. You can give them an email or a call alerting them to the risk of a lapse. This simple service can be a great way to reduce customer churn.

Boosting Communication Within the Sales Team

Many CRMs allow the sales team to send notes and set reminders for each other. Sharing information seamlessly will make it a lot easier to convert leads.

Better Segmentation and Lead Analysis

You will also have the ability to better segment your leads. You can get data based on gender, location, or where they are in the sales funnel. Because of this, the sales team will have a clearer idea of where they should be focusing their attention.

Stronger Customer Relationship

The more you know about the customers, the easier it will be for you to anticipate their needs. Because of this, you will be able to build a stronger relationship with them. This builds brand loyalty, so you will be able to get long-term sales.

Syncing with Social Media

Increasingly, social media has played a vital role in our lives. Your CRM will be able to help you track these interactions. You can see which channels are driving the most traffic. This data will tell you where you should focus your marketing efforts in the future. You can also use it to see what your customers are saying about your company. By knowing what issues they are facing you will be able to stay one step ahead, reacting quickly to negative opinions.


What is an Automated Marketing Platform?

On the other hand, an automated marketing platform has a greater emphasis on selling to customers. These are designed to focus on making ads. You’ll be able to design the campaign and use these platforms to manage it.

The automated nature of the platforms makes it easy to run the campaign. For example, it will be able to help you find the ideal time to post on social media or write a blog post. It can help you make more personalized emails, tailoring them to your customer’s preferences.

In most cases, the automation will be following a series of steps. Once a customer completes one action, it’s time to move them on to the next step. All these actions will be driven by data. It will be able to adjust to the customer’s actions in real-time.

These also come with a dashboard. This will allow you to keep track of how the campaign is progressing.

Why Do Businesses Use an Automated Marketing Platform?
There are plenty of reasons why automated marketing software has been adopted so widely by the business community. Let’s look at some of them.

Efficiency
Businesses have a limited amount that they can spend on marketing. Because of this, they want to make sure that it will be used as effectively as possible. This software can help you with this. You will be able to better track where you are spending your money. Also, since the process is automated, it will be relatively cheap to run.
 

Tracking Results
This software comes with a dashboard that you can use to measure results. From here, you’ll be able to get a clear understanding of how the campaign is tracking. For example, you will be able to see how much you have spent and how many leads you have generated. This will allow you to make tweaks to the system as you try to make it more effective.

 

More Effective Conversion and Gathering Data
When you are running a campaign, it’s important to consider how many conversions you will be able to get. Generally, an automated system will be easier to tailor to suit the customer's preferences. Because of this, it will be easier to get them to take the actions that you want.

While you are running the campaign, you will be learning about the customers. You can get plenty of information about what they are interested in. This can all be tracked and recorded. Later, it can be sent to the sales team, allowing them to sell more effectively.

Growing a Customer List

If you are starting the business, you often won’t have a large customer list. Growing this list should be a priority for your company. This is the ideal task for marketing automation. You can use it to send a lot of emails and manage social media campaigns. When done properly, you should be able to start to see results within a few weeks.

Sharing Content
Sometimes, you will have plenty of great content, like blog posts. But you might struggle to get in front of the right people. Marketing automation platforms might be able to help you with this problem. For example, you can send out emails alerting people when you have published a blog post that they might be interested in.

What Are the Differences Between the Two?
Now that we have a better idea of what each of these programs is, we can look at some of the most significant differences between them.

 

The Focus of the Software
The CRM will be more focused on the long-term. It helps you build a database of customers. This is best for your sales team, helping them get to know their target before they make the call. It can also be used to assign tasks to those who are on the sales team.

On the other hand, marketing automation software tends to be more short-term. It’s focused on getting them to make a fast purchase.

 

Stage of the Process

The marketing automation software will usually take place at the initial stages of the process. It will be used for acquiring new leads and getting them warmed up. From there, the CRM system will be primarily used.

The CRM system will be used by the sales team to manage the relationship and assign tasks. They have plenty of information about the customer, making it easier to form a personal relationship. By working with warm leads, they will be able to become more productive.

 

Techniques Used

Another huge difference is the techniques that each of these systems will use. For example, marketing automation will use things like segmentation and campaign management. It can use things like emails, surveys, and other campaign tools.

On the other hand, CRM will have a greater focus on managing relationships. It uses tools like databases of customers and data management. This is best for lead management. It also has a focus on how the sales team relates, allowing them to make notes and set tasks.

Benefits of Integrating These Systems

If you decide to use these systems, it’s best to integrate them. This means that they are linked, feeding information from one system to another. Though this might be a little more expensive to set up, there are plenty of reasons why this is a good idea.

 

Funneling Leads

When used together, a CRM and a marketing automation platform can be a formidable pairing. The marketing automation platform will be able to help cultivate leads. It lays the groundwork, getting people warmed up and making them more receptive to your message.

Then, this information can be passed to the CRM. They will then be added to the database. Since these leads are already warm, it will be easier for the sales team. They will be able to boost productivity, increasing the number of sales your organization is making.

This is also a good way to get the marketing and sales team to work together. This can give you more insights into the process and how it can be improved. For example, you might notice that you are losing a lot of leads in one section of the funnel.

Consistent Messaging

You want to make sure that you are building a strong relationship with your customers. The best way to do this is by making sure that you are providing a consistent message. If you have both of these systems, you will have a clear history of what the customer has been told and how they have responded. This will allow you to inform what approach you take going forward. Plus, your sales team can use this information, helping to formulate a strong message.

Scalable

As your company grows, you should expect your marketing and sales systems to support this expansion. Whether they do this will depend on the way that you set them up. If you are relying on a spreadsheet to track important data, you could be in trouble.

Setting up these systems can be a good way to protect the future of your business. As it grows, your CRM and marketing will adapt. This makes scaling seamless.

Making Managing a Database Easier

One of the most valuable assets that your company has is a strong database of potential leads. Both the CRM and the marketing automation platform will have their database of users. One of the most common mistakes is failing to bring those lists together. This can taint the customer relationship.

For example, imagine someone who downloads a promotional e-book. The marketing platform would record this. But, without integration, the CRM won’t know about it. Because of this, the sales team will need to get this information by asking questions. This can risk irritating the customer as they need to keep repeating themselves.

Another common issue is that the databases can contain duplicates, which can make it hard to find the right information. Simple mistakes like this can sabotage the relationship you are trying to build with the customer. Integrating these systems will ensure that each customer only has one entry to their name. As a result, they will be a lot easier to track.

Better Customer Relationships

Ultimately, though, the reason why integration is about more than just improving sales. It’s about building a strong relationship with the customer. This is often the best way to grow your business. Positive word of mouth is one of the most effective forms of marketing. It’s estimated that 92 percent of people are more likely to pay attention to a business if a friend or family member tells them about it. You can only achieve this if the customers feel genuinely happy to interact with your organization.

 

Implementing a CRM and Automated Marketing Platform

Now that we have a better idea of what these platforms are and how they work, it’s time to look at how you can implement them. This will need to occur in a series of steps.

Choose Which Platforms You Want to Use

The first thing that you need to consider is what platform you want to use. There are dozens to choose from. But they aren’t all made equally. It’s generally best to stick to some of the biggest platforms. These will have the best support, so you can sort out any issues that you experience. It’s often best to choose HubSpot or Marketo. Salesforce is another popular option to consider.

Onboarding

The next stage of the process is to complete the onboarding. This is where you get everything set up properly, operating effectively. Sometimes, you might need to migrate existing databases and information into the platform.

Training

As with any new system, it’s important to make sure that you train your staff properly. This will ensure that you are getting the most out of the platform. This should allow you to have a seamless transition from the old system to the new one.

 

Creating and Implementing Campaigns

Once you are familiar with these systems, it’s time to start using the features. You might want to set up a chatbot to interact with customers. Or you can start a campaign, to start generating new leads. You might need some ongoing support, helping you make sure that the systems are functioning properly.

Contact S.R. Pro

You can do this process yourself. But it will take a lot of time and effort. The good news is that our team can help. This gives you peace of mind knowing that everything has been done properly. We can also provide training and ongoing support, to help you get up to speed with the software.

Conclusion

CRM and marketing automation are two of the most important elements for modern businesses. Marketing automation is focused on getting new leads and warming them up. Then, the CRM takes over, used by the salespeople to close the deal. It’s common for them to be closely integrated, which tends to produce the best results.
Contact us now: info@SRpro.marketing.