CRM or customer relationship management programs have become the backbone of successful marketing and sales campaigns for several companies. It is important to understand that CRM offers a degree of automation and insights that are primarily governed through timely and efficient (often manual) data logging and predictive analysis.
CRM is cost-efficient, customisable, transparent and automated features have made it versatile for application in segments beyond just marketing and sales. CRM is making a commonplace business process governing the basic corporate tasks of HR, training and coaching, IT infrastructure and even for mapping manufacturing and logistics.
Given the above, it is important to understand that CRM offers a degree of automation and insights that are primarily governed through timely and efficient (often manual) data logging and predictive analysis. Marketing Automation Platforms or MAP’s, on the other hand, deal with assisting in generation of leads, scrutinizing the potential sales closures, decreasing the length of complex sales cycles and help create a faster, efficient and accountable marketing ecosystem. MAP’s as also credited with simplifying the management of marketing efforts by integrated management of prospective interactions across platforms by creating, deploying, and optimizing online as well as on ground marketing campaigns from a single, centralised platform.
Integration of CRM and Marketing Automation Platforms can help seamless distribution of data between the two systems, thus facilitating exchange of vital and intelligent insights to further allow marketing heads to gain knowledge about the potential success of a campaign. Holistic benefits of integrating these two intelligent systems for any business, can be broadly listed as under:
- Ensures Sales and Marketing Alignment
While CRM data and insights are valuable to shape marketing strategies and predict consumer behaviour, Marketing Automation helps supervise the efficient and timely sales process, from lead generation to closing of a deal. The integration brings great value to a business by providing a seamless and integrated process of collecting market intelligence and efficiently implying the same in a transparent, accountable and standardized process, culminating in a singular and integrated report format.
- Allows for True Automation
With the traditional use of CRM, employees needed to log data and leads to create a valuable report. Once generated, these insights would then be at the discretion of the marketing heads to draft effective campaigns and up-to-the sales heads to effectively implement the outreach to meet estimated sales targets. With the smart integration of CRM and Marketing Automation Platforms, automation in the true sense has been possible, with a seamless and standardised process of capturing insights and converting them into efficient business.
- Better Reporting
The seamless integration further provides a single window reporting structure that encompasses the intelligent data analysis generated through CRM along with the marketing and sales activities planned. From market understanding to lead generation to close a deal, the entire process is documented in a seamless manner in a single, detailed report, thus improving the quality of report documentation and resultant accountability and productivity.
- Cost Savings
With automation, standardisation, transparency and seamless and transparent processes, productivity is bound to boost while the time taken to complete the task is drastically reduced. Further, automation helps cut headcount cost while also reducing the scope of error. Further, superior data intelligence, accurate planning and efficient and fool-proof closure of leads to generate business, all cumulatively result in remarkable profits at reduced costs.
Limesh Parekh, CEO of Enjay IT Solutions points out, “The introduction of CRM was among the first signs of a true digital revolution among Indian businesses. Marketing automation, though in its nascent stages, has the promise of a full-blown digital revolution. As a next-gen tool that can cater to the ever-expanding consumer touchpoints and marketing platforms, Marketing Automation, supported by CRM, has the potential to transform the sales and marketing processes, taking them to an entirely new level!”