What are the primary differences between CRM and Marketing Automation?
Customer relationship management (CRM software) and marketing automation software are separate tools, but work best when bundled together. CRM software is used to build relationships with customers with the intention of increasing sales, while marketing automation software is solely marketing focused.
Many would argue that the two platforms really don’t reach their full potential until they are being used together. To get a better understanding of both software solutions, let’s take a deeper look at a few key differences and similarities between the two.
In it’s simplest form, CRM is a sales and lead management tool, and marketing automation is a sales and lead generation tool.
CRM software is built to help make the sales process easier and more convenient for your sales reps and the service functions faster and more efficient for the customer service reps. It is focused on one-on-one interactions with a prospect or customer.
Marketing automation focuses on targeting a mass number of potential prospects. It is designed to make it fast and easy to send out mass communications and see when a potential prospect does something like fill out a form, visit your website, etc.
Managing the Sales Cycle
While both tools will store information like company and contact name, phone numbers, emails, addresses, etc., CRM software is built to turn a prospect into a customer through easy tracking of communications and saving of important data and information.
Marketing automation software is built to send out mass communications to the contacts and record any feedback, including data that would indicate the contact is ready to be considered a prospect.
Sales vs Marketing
While a customer relationship management solution aims to collect customer-centric data through building relationships between sales reps and prospects, marketing automation collects data through the internet, your business’s website, etc. to establish some sort of rapport.
CRM focuses on selling through person-to-person automation—marketing automation relies on the internet, email marketing, etc. to push out content and get noticed.
While they have their differences in approach and style, at the end of the day CRM and marketing automation are deployed to help make selling and business development easier for your business.
A powerful customer relationship management solution will help track and manage existing customers and prospect lists, while marketing automation will help fill those lists and bring in more opportunities for your sales reps.
Benefits of Marketing Automation Software
Marketing automation software features many benefits that can bring about positive changes to your business. Here are some of the benefits businesses will begin to notice upon implementation:
- Generate business leads – use marketing automation software to track where customers go on your website and what products they have the most interest in. Sending follow up emails can help encourage customers to purchase from you and generate business.
- Create more specific marketing campaigns – knowing more about your customers can help you create specific marketing campaigns in an effort to encourage customers to purchase from you.
- 360 view of your customer – marketing automation software is your sole hub for business information. It is the place where all users plug in information about your customers and can use when needed. This information gives you a complete view and understanding of who your customers are and how you as a business can move forward in engaging them.
Benefits of CRM Software
CRM software is designed to help strengthen the relationship between a business and their customers. Because customers are a huge priority for businesses, you need as much help as possible from a software to create those close ties. Here are CRM software benefits:
- Improved data – when information is placed into your CRM software, it is updated in real time for all of its users to see and use when needed. The software is your single source of truth. This makes it easier for different departments within a business to utilize information when needed and eliminates duplicate data entry, which helps to ensure accurate data.
- Everyday business tasks automation – along with bug business projects, there are other small, time-consuming tasks that can take up time. CRM software automates those smaller tasks, taking it off of your shoulders and completing them for you.
- Analytical data insights – Incorrect data can cause a host of problems, but thanks to CRM, your data can see improvements through automatic generation of reports and personalization of dashboards to quickly see business data.
So, which one should I get?
You should be using both. You can’t manage leads if you are unable to generate them, and you can’t close a sale if you are unable to properly manage the leads you are generating.
For smaller companies and upstarts, budget can surely be an issue when investing in a new software tool. But with vendors like WorkWise combining CRM and marketing automation tools into a single native solution, budget should be less of a barrier.