The benefits of combining CRM and marketing automation are tremendous and very profitable. In fact, one of the primary reasons businesses decide to implement their first CRM solution is to get their customer and prospect list organized to enable email marketing and other outreach.
Frank Paterno detailed these benefits here. A few of the highlights include…
- 451% increase in qualified leads!
- More informed customers make larger purchases. 14.5% increase in sales productivity!
- Greater focus on the best leads through lead scoring and lead nurturing.
- Measurement and visibility into customer behavior.
Achilles heel of combining CRM and Marketing Automation
Frank’s article also hints at the challenges of combining CRM and Marketing Automation… “Activating bi-directional synchronization…. will keep both marketing and sales teams updated on recent customer activity.”
First, doesn’t “activating bi-directional synchronization” just sound like a picnic?! For small and even medium sized businesses, there just isn’t anyone on staff that has the time to figure that out and maintain it.
Second, marketing and sales teams are separate and notoriously divergent in their priorities and approaches. In many businesses there is minimal communication between the teams and often outright antipathy. This is not an environment where it’s like that marketing messages sent my the marketing automation system are going to be well tuned with the sales messages being delivered by salespeople. Without tight coordination, automating the marketing piece can by detrimental to sales success.
The most common scenario that develops is the following…
A surprisingly large amount of time and money is spent to set up the synchronization or integration between the two systems but, due to technical limitations and practical considerations, leads move through the funnel like this:
- Lead lists are loaded into the marketing automation system where they receive on-going messages.
- Once they’ve achieved the requisite “score”, they are passed over the sales and the CRM.
- At that time, the marketing messages stop. The sales team does their thing with the lead and periodically, marketing mines the CRM for leads that didn’t purchase and are not being actively pursued by sales.
- These leads go back onto a marketing message drip.
This approach is time consuming to maintain and is not at all likely to deliver results like those described above.
Why Typical Implementations Fail
- If the marketing messages succeeded in engaging the customer, then turning them off when the salesperson takes over is highly likely to let their interest wane quickly.
- When a prospect tells a sales rep that they’ve decided not to proceed, its within the next few days or weeks that the right marketing message could win them back. If it takes 2 or 3 weeks for marketing to pick them back up again in the marketing automation system, it’s too late.
What if CRM and Marketing Automation were all one solution? What if you there was no “synchronization” required?
For any business, this leads to the ability to deeply personalize the experience of every customer all the way through the funnel. When the salesperson learns that the customer has strong interest in a specific product line, the marketing messages they receive provide education about the benefits and strengths of that product or service. As soon as the status of the prospect changes from hot to warm or cold or a cold lead calls in to reconnect with sales, the marketing messages instantly change.
In addition, no one on the team needs to manage the movement of leads from one system to another. Things are in sync all the time and there are no issues like duplication, etc.
In a business that’s small enough to have a limited marketing and sales support staff, combination of CRM and Marketing Automation into one simple solution is the difference between fast, meaningful return on your investment in marketing automation and having one more under utilized piece of technology in your “stack”.
For a look at how SalesNexus has made nurturing leads and customers easy to do within the CRM watch this video.