CRM and Marketing Automation
Are you wondering how marketing automation works in a customer relationship management (CRM) application? CRM systems are not just great for sales teams, some have fantastic marketing automation tools.
As a business, what does your marketing approach look like? Is it still based on trade show attendance, printed spec sheets and glossy brochures? Or maybe you have a large sales team that dedicates their days to in-person meetings and client calls?
Although there’s still no substitute for physical presence and human interaction, there are ways to increase your outreach without expanding your sales or marketing teams. CRMs with marketing automation allow existing teams to work more effectively while simultaneously reaching more people on a regular basis. How? By streamlining their approach to client outreach and helping management back-up decisions with customer information.
Many marketing departments are already benefiting from automation and CRM. The Content Marketing Institute reported that 55 percent of B2B marketers use marketing software. One of the main reasons: automated systems allows a big bump in productivity while simultaneously reducing costs. According to a study by Nucleus Research, automated marketing increases sales productivity by 14.5 percent and reduces marketing overhead by 12.2 percent.
Will Automated Marketing CRM Systems Replace a Sales or Marketing Team Members?
Nothing can truly replace the human interaction with a client. Marketing automation fills in gaps and ensures your customer is hearing the right message at the right time. While automation can ensure outreach happens, and in a more regulated and easily traceable way, your team will continue to be an essential part of the process.
CRM solutions are simply making marketing more manageable. In much the same way that automation revolutionized the manufacturing industry, by taking labor-heavy processes and streamlining operations, automation takes time-consuming and repetitive processes out of the equation.
They’re also fantastic at removing the guesswork. CRM with marketing automation can improve on everything, including email marketing, website monitoring and management, lead filtering, digital advertising, and social media marketing.
CRMs that Automate Marketing and Sales Processes
The most important thing to track in both marketing and sales is a lead. This is where marketing automation excels. CRMs with marketing automation allow businesses to monitor exactly how leads are engaging with their company. Tracking this activity can provide insights that can be used to engage effectively with potential customers. For instance, a contact that opens and interacts with most of your emails is fundamentally different from someone who only opens an occasional message from you. CRMs can tell you who’s engaged and who’s not, allowing you to laser-focus your messaging to those most receptive to your product.
But more importantly, marketing automation can help you re-engage with clients in meaningful and timely ways by scheduling drip campaigns to help you re-warm cool leads. If you’re a company that thrives on personal contact with customers, CRMs can help there too. Automatic reminders for sales reps can be set for when an important customer has been silent for a defined set of time, or if a follow-up is necessary to close a deal. Powerful segmenting tools help sales teams understand where their client is in the sales process to also make outreach more meaningful every time.
Should you Automate Everything in your Marketing CRM?
Automation is an amazing tool, but a personal touch should never go out the window. Even as technology continues to advance, personal relationship turn prospects into customers. You don’t want your clients to feel like they are only ever interacting with technology instead of real people. Building meaningful long-term relationships with clients still should be the end-goal of any marketing initiative.
That said, more and more, businesses will inevitably utilize any tool that can increase sales productivity, decrease overhead, and serve as a differentiator. But here’s the thing: Marketing automation is by no means a panacea that can be deployed to quickly solve all of your marketing challenges. It is simply a tool that can provide meaningful value to certain marketing tasks. The question is this: When does it make sense to use marketing automation and when does it not?
Where Automation Makes Sense
Automation makes sense when time can be saved, because time, after all, is money. As a general rule, it’s best to use CRM marketing automation for the tasks that take up a lot of time. For instance, digital marketing is ultimately only as effective as the content created to support it. But getting that content in front of the right people and on the right channels can be a tedious and time-consuming task. In this case, you should consider automating the publication to channels such as websites and social media.
Email marketing campaigns can also benefit from automation. For companies with large email lists especially, automation cuts down on a lot of monotonous labor. More importantly, automation can help segment leads based on buyer personas. This ensures your emails are customized to each person. It puts a bit of a human touch on every email that goes out in a minimal amount of time. And, as an added bonus, marketing automation tracks the results of your campaigns which provides helpful feedback. That allows you to tweak messaging to continuously improve its effectiveness.
Where Automation Still Falls Short
You can’t automate experience or insights, so be aware there are no shortcuts here. Only a human and an expert in the field can provide and share on-the-ground realities and personal findings, so when focusing on content creation, keep it human-focused.
Along with automating your messaging, phone calls and in-person meetings may still be necessary. It’s important to put faces in front of the products and services. No amount of automation builds trust and long-term relationships built by customer interaction. Used properly, however, it can provide marketers and sales teams with the time they need to do the valuable one-on-one work that closes contracts.
The top reason all businesses should embrace marketing automation is the increase in productivity. When employees aren’t spending their time on manual marketing tasks, they can focus on more valuable activities like client outreach or trend exploration.
In other words, CRM marketing automation gives you the freedom and flexibility to spend your time growing your business.
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