In Marketing Automation, Marketing Technology blog & podcasts, Marketing Techonology

Companies have been using CRM systems like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, SugarCRM or one of the countless others for years now. Making proper usage of CRM really helps sales in getting better insights into accounts, having structure and in the end close more deals. Marketing, on the other hand, has often adopted an inbound marketing approach, using marketing automation software like Hubspot, Marketo, Act-On or Salesforce Pardot. This helps them in qualifying the right opportunities, nurture leads and much more. Combining your CRM with your marketing automation software really creates a synergy (1+1=3) effect. We’ll explain in this blog the 5 major advantages.

Advantage 1: Better pipeline management

Within a CRM usually, prospects and leads are imported once they got qualified by sales or were listed by Marketing as possible leads. Looking at the AIDA model, the pipeline really starts before the lead gets entered into your CRM. During the Awareness and Interest phases, marketing targets customers by serving them the appropriate content and nurturing them towards the Desire phase where sales picks the lead them up. When combining CRM and automation, you’ll get a great insight into how many visitors turn into prospects and leads (and eventually into customers). Also, you’ll see the time it takes between the stages, which will enable you to predict sales way better. You could combine 2 time periods for reference as well. An example (from Act-On marketing automation) with some dummy data:

Advantage 2: Real-time insights in pipeline value added by marketing

Only about half the marketers are able to prove the impact of their marketing spend and show what the marketing investment means in terms of ROI. A study by shows the following results:

When you’re connecting your CRM to marketing automation, you’ll be able to measure the amount (in Dollars/Euros) of the pipeline that marketing helped creating. A lead that converts to a prospect and is picked up by sales will (in a lot of cases) mean that within the CRM an opportunity with an associated projected deal amount ($/€). This amount is connected to the prospect and will be shown in your report. Various automation solutions will display this real-time, including for example Marketo:

Advantage 3: Attribution insights

The third advantage that you’ll have when connecting the 2 systems is the insights into your attribution. It will enable you to visualize and report which campaigns, emails, channels, and landing pages have contributed to your conversions. All of the touchpoints are taken into account and can be valued appropriately. The best marketing automation solutions, like Marketo, Act-On and Salesforce Pardot, will let you design both first/last-touch and multi-touch attribution models. An example from Salesforce Pardot:

Advantage 4: Better prepared calls and meetings with prospects and leads

Business and sales development reps (SDR/BDR) need to spend their time prospecting as effective as possible. An outstanding sales call starts with great preparation. Historically the BDR uses his or her CRM amongst other (external) sources. When connecting the CRM to marketing automation the BDR will get insight (within the CRM application) into the entire customer journey and all the prospect’s online touchpoints like email, web visits, used keywords for searches, social media interactions, attended webinars and downloaded content. This will make a call truly effective. An example in which SugarCRM is connected through the native Act-On connector and displays all touchpoint within SugarCRM:

Advantage 5: Account-based marketing

Account-based marketing has been adopted by many sales and marketing teams. Together the teams focus on getting the complete Decision-Making Unit (DMU) of a prospect involved with the content of the company selling a solution or product. All channels are used, so think LinkedIn (Ads), e-mail, website, paid ads, SEO and other social media. A wishlist of customers is being defined and targeted this way, using relevant content for the right personas in the DMU. Sales uses CRM and marketing uses multiple other tools in this process, amongst them of course marketing automation. Connecting the two will make account-based marketing way more effective and less time-consuming. Marketo will even let you connect LinkedIn Ads for targeting as shown in this video about Marketo Engage:

At Marketing Guys we help companies worldwide in their sales and marketing alignment, lead generation and marketing technology efforts. If you want to start using marketing automation and CRM together, we can help you in selecting the right tools/software, define the right strategy, implement the tools and help you in optimizing the tools to really make them work for you. Want to know more? Just schedule a 30-minute Zoom call and we’ll discuss your case. Book your call here (or contact us online):