The world is treading the tech route with a more zealous intent than ever. Technology has woven into our lives in such a manner that it is impossible to ignore its presence.
Businesses today are thoroughly dependant on technology to row their boat forward. Reducing operating costs, increasing efficiency and saving time has become the core principles for a business to survive in a world of constant flux.
Business automation is the new-fangled strategy of businesses to enhance their work structures, bring better control over processes and personnel, create transparency and take the business forward towards its pre-determined goal riding on greater efficiency and productivity.
While there are a plethora of tech tools to automate business processes, CRM and marketing automation tools are the ones businesses are gunning for.
So, what is the difference between CRM and marketing automation?
Let’s start with marketing automation, eh! Well, marketing automation is a software that takes care of all the processes at the top of the funnel. Performing mundane & repetitive tasks, handling the entire mail spectrum, keeping up with social media updates, managing marketing campaigns and looking after the conversion rates.
In a nutshell, marketing automation sparks interest, nurture leads, turn them into prospects and prepares them for the rest of the customer journey.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) takes over the rest of the funnel where it collects data garnered from prospects, analyses them and comes out with insights about every customer to help sales reps figure out which part of the buying journey of the customer needs to be given attention.
The CRM software keeps an exhaustive record of customer information including email addresses, phone numbers, websites and social media profiles. This information gives sales reps a crystal-clear picture on the customer’s journey.
The goal of CRM software is to enhance sales force efficiency, improve customer service, create customer-centric products and services and build good relationships with customers by connecting with them on a single platform.
Why do you need marketing automation software?
- Contact management & segmentation: Marketing automation takes into account all customer information and segregates them according to their behaviour and interests. The segmentation is done on the basis of age, subscription, gender, location and contacts function. Marketers can thus personalize messages that resonate well with the interest of the customers.
- Trigger automated emails: Emailing thousands of customers is a painstaking job. Marketing automation cuts the effort by understanding which emails to be sent to customers depending upon their specific actions and sending them instantly. The emails range from filling a contact form by website visitors, placing an order and booking an appointment to signing up for a product demo, registering for a webinar and subscribing for a newsletter.
- Nurture leads: With marketing automation, you can communicate with the leads by introducing yourself to the audience, sharing content that resonates with the audience and guide them to the next stage of the funnel. Lead nurturing helps to distill the best prospects that are ready to get converted into paying customers.
Why do you need CRM?
- Overview of the customer journey: CRM software is needed to map a customer’s journey by analysing every interaction from his first contact with the business to buying the product. The software detects every step of the customer and records his experience until the end of the journey.
- Integrates different contact channels: With the help of CRM, you can integrate all channels your business is on into one place. So, when a lead likes your page on Facebook, or visit your website directly or sign up for a product, everything gets recorded on the CRM software.
- Automate petty tasks: The best thing a CRM can do is to automate all petty tasks under the sun and allow sales reps more time to focus on productive things that can be of immense benefit for them. They can focus more on closing leads and resolving customer pain points while the CRM can take care of all the processes in between.
Do you need both CRM and Marketing Automation?
The debate may rage on. But one thing is starkly clear; if you want to optimize the sales funnel, get a healthy pipeline of leads and achieve maximum conversions, you need both of them under one umbrella.
The customer journey down the funnel has become trickier and more unpredictable. Since customers are becoming more aware of business strategies, businesses have to whip up unique ideas to attract customers and goad them into buying products. And to do this, marketing automation and CRM have to join forces and collaborate with each other on a holistic note.