Competent CRM tools have been around for a while now and as is the nature of technology, they too have evolved further. Out of everything that’s new in CRM platforms, nothing has had a bigger impact on CRM than the introduction of marketing automation. As a result, customer relationship and marketing automation has now merged and evolved into what we now call CRM automation marketing. To properly understand what that means, a quick look through the two previously separate processes of CRM and marketing automation will be helpful.
What is CRM?
Customer relationship management (CRM) in its current sense designates the digital technology which businesses use for managing most, if not all aspects of past, present, and potential customer relationships. It’s a combination of cloud-synced software platforms, multiplatform applications, and web tools that simplify and cross connect marketing, sales, and customer contact. Thanks to the tremendous opportunities that a CRM platform presents, even the smallest of businesses can now grow their business at a faster and better rate than before.
What is Marketing Automation?
By its simplest definition, marketing automation should be understood as a set of features that allows marketing and sales to automate several processes such as:
- Content distribution and promotion.
- Analysing customer interactions with the promoted content.
- Collecting and analysing data about site traffic, traffic quality, email open and click-through rates, conversion rates, and much more.
- Lead generation, lead scoring, lead tracking and content personalisation, etc.
- Presenting the derived results in an actionable format to further strategize for better results.
Automating as many processes and marketing campaigns as possible has several benefits of course, as it streamlines and accelerates digital marketing as a whole. Marketers can:
- Collect, organise, and interpret large sets of customer data automatically.
- Save time and redirect their efforts towards the more complex aspects of marketing which cannot be automated.
- Eliminate manual errors from tasks that are repetitive and time consuming, but instrumental to success.
What is CRM Marketing Automation?
CRM automation marketing is a merger of marketing processes, sales, and customer relationship management. It’s a unified software system that interconnects CRM and marketing automation seamlessly, so that all connected departments can work in perfect synchronisation and collaboration with each other.
How Does CRM Automation Work?
A CRM automation marketing platform comes with built-in tools to facilitate both customer relationship and marketing automation processes from a single platform. However, the platform must be expandable beyond the initial suite of CRM marketing automation software that it comes with. That expandability should not be limited to first-party CRM marketing automation tools either.
If a CRM marketing automation tool is worth investing in, it should offer seamless compatibility with established third-party tools for both customer relationship management and marketing automation. Nevertheless, marketers should pay attention towards ensuring that the CRM automation marketing platform and the third-party applications are indeed compatible with each other before making a purchase. This brings us to the next topic.
What are The Best Tools to Use for CRM Automation Marketing?
The list of CRM automation marketing platforms and tools is long these days, but the following few are currently on top of that list.
Keap is one of the most comprehensive CRM automation marketing solutions available today. It has a complete set of first-party tools covering all features that marketing, sales, and customer relationship departments can possibly need. Some of the most prominent features of Keap are as follows:
- Automated lead generation, scoring, and organisation for a unified view of each separate lead.
- Automated, but personalised customer interactions.
- A selected list of Keap’s own curated templates for creating interesting content in relevance to the customer.
- 1-on-1 mentoring, webinars, live sessions, and personalised guidance to create successful CRM marketing strategies via Keap Academy.
- A huge community and an even bigger library built by the 200,000+ successful entrepreneurs that use Keap.
- A decent list of compatible CRM automation marketing tools from third parties.
Sendinblue is a CRM automation marketing tool that’s designed for businesses of all scale, but the platform should appeal most to small and medium sized companies looking to grow beyond where they are now. Being one of the biggest names in CRM automation marketing, the transition experience from separate systems to an integrated CRM and marketing interface is always one of the smoothest with Sendinblue. Some of the CRM automation marketing tool’s highlight features are as follows:
- Wide selection of first-party tools, as well as wide compatibility for third-party applications.
- Automation features that support chats, email marketing, and even SMS marketing.
- SMS marketing automation allows companies to reach customers even when they are not online.
- Features to automate customer separation, segmentation, and targeted marketing message preparation.
- Auto generation of signup forms and Facebook Ads.
- Features that support successful creation of customised landing pages for each individual lead.
- Automatic data collection and actionable insight creation from KPIs such as open rates, clickthrough rates, A/B testing, real time stats, etc.
Comet uses one of the most highly developed AI algorithms in marketing automation today to power the many features of their CRM automation marketing platform. While you can expect a comprehensive merger experience by choosing any of the three platforms mentioned here, Comet makes it a little easier for established businesses that are already quite heavily invested in multiple marketing, automation, and CRM tools from various vendors. Arguably, Comet has the broadest list of support for third-party apps in the segment today. As for its highlight features, let’s quickly go over a few of them next:
- Automated lead verification and scoring via SMS, email, and even voicemail.
- Seamless and automatic distribution of content across blogs, social media channels, and emails simultaneously.
- Automatic comparison and analysis of CRM automation marketing strategies implemented by your company with that of your competitors.
- Generation of actionable insights for better CRM strategy creation.
- A long list of powerful CRM and marketing automation tools to create webpages, web content, customer profiles, training courses, surveys, forms, etc.
Why is CRM and Marketing Automation Important?
The seamless unification of the interconnected processes eliminates unnecessary steps, thereby saving time and encouraging collaboration between the various departments. Most importantly, a unified CRM and marketing automation platform enables both the management and the employees across all interconnected departments to see the whole picture.
They can see each past, present and future customer’s (lead) history and estimated possibilities of interaction with the company. In other words, the systems are designed to provide both hindsight and foresight, in addition to a customer’s present position within the sales funnel. As one can easily guess, complete vision like that has several benefits. For example:
Automatic Lead Management
Lead generation, scoring, and nurturing becomes primarily an automated process, minimising the need for manual interactions without due cause. It saves time, effort, and expense. Also, automatic lead scoring is more accurate on a merged CRM automation marketing platform, as it also accounts for past customers who can be turned into returning customers.
Better Lead Nurturing
CRM employees get a better idea regarding which leads and customers they should be nurturing, because important KPIs such as lead scores, open rates, clickthrough rates, conversion rates, etc., are no longer exclusive to the sales and marketing teams. They can focus time and resources on customers and potential customers who are most likely to make a purchase.
Personalised, Perfectly Timed Content Delivery
CRM integration into marketing automation improves the effectiveness and accuracy when it comes to delivering personalised content. Relevant, customised offers and promotional content are delivered exactly when the buyer’s intent is at its peak.
Leaning Down the System
A unified CRM and marketing automation system eliminates the numerous halting and unnecessary steps which are infamous for bottlenecking time sensitive decisions. The integration is a natural course of software evolution and a necessary step to streamline all processes that connect CRM, marketing, and sales.
What is CRM Automation Marketing Strategy?
A CRM automation marketing strategy is created with a few broad, primary goals in mind. These generally include:
- Improving revenue generation (sales numbers).
- Improving profit margins.
- Improving the quality of customer service.
- Improving ROI on marketing investments.
- Eliminating customer knowledge gaps between CRM, marketing, and sales teams.
- Eliminating unnecessary steps, expenses, and delays.
The strategies seek to utilise the best of customer relationship management, marketing, and sales automation to achieve numerous micro goals, which all come together to help the company achieve their final goals, such as the ones mentioned above.
Now, there were three primary methodologies which were used to create CRM marketing strategies. These can be classified as sales-focused CRM, customer-focused CRM, and marketing-focused CRM strategizing methods.
- Marketing-Focused CRM Strategies focus on marketing automation, message open rates, lead nurturing & scoring, automated content distribution, etc.
- Sales-Focused CRM strategies focus on sales forecasting, lead qualification, conversion rates, etc.
- Customer-Focused CRM strategies focus on content personalisation, customer tracking, customer profile creation, etc.
However, those separations do not mean much today, because all three aspects of a company’s strategy for revenue generation are now unified in CRM and automation marketing tools as one. It simply facilitates uniform cooperation without frustrating bottlenecks. Effective CRM marketing and sales strategies devised today will use the three resources as one to boost performance on all three ends.