" you said? No thank you, we are good. We have been using Salesforce CRM for our leads and its working well for us, we don't need marketing automation software to do the same. Thanks for reaching out though." Click! That was a transcription of a prospect our inside sales executive spoke to a few days ago and it wasn't the only one in which software was confused with CRM software. Comparing marketing automation technology to CRM technology is comparing apples and oranges.There is a difference! as follows:
(CRM) consists of the processes a company uses to track and organize its contacts with its current and prospective . CRM software is used to support these processes; information about customers and customer interactions can be entered, stored and accessed by employees in different company departments. Typical CRM goals are to improve services provided to customers, and to use customer contact information for targeted marketing.
Although CRM software like Salesforce can have myriads of additional functionality built into it by adding on appexchange applications, its primary objective is to effectively track and organize accounts and lead data effectively through the marketing and sales cycle. To better understand Marketing Automation, have a look at this insightful post by Terry Hedlund on the Demand Gen Biz Blog titled keywords or features to look out for in a software to identify if it's really a marketing automation tool. A lead nurturing or marketing automation tool will typically help you:
- Create and run email campaigns
- Automate responses or trigger responses and reachouts
- Program rule based campaigns and follow-ups
- Track lead activity streams
- Assign a grade or score to leads based on their 'sales readiness'
- Provide reporting and analytics
The primary objective with such technology is to automate the process of reaching out and communicating regularly with the leads and identifying which ones are ready to be engaged (based on response activity and interest shown). Eventually the two technologies work hand in hand. CRM's are needed to manage the data, and marketing automation is needed to keep those leads engaged and generate warm or more qualified leads and communicate this to the CRM. They are interlinked but solve a different challenge and provide tremendous value each in their own way.