Written by   |   Jun 3 2019   |   Read 207 times
 
CRM: An Overview

CRM is an acronym which stands for customer relationship management. The main goal of any CRM is to improve business relationships. This is achieved in a number of ways, and professionals with any specialisation or working in any department stand to benefit from a CRM system. Whether you work in customer service and sales or you're involved in back-end tasks like recruiting and business development, there's a way that CRM can benefit your efforts.

But why is CRM so universally useful?

It's because with a quality CRM system in place, everybody in your organisation has the freedom to access information about how customers have interacted with your business and what outcomes resulted from those interactions. Identifying opportunities for improvement becomes a cinch when you have a top-down view of how everybody in your company interacts with customers.

CRM systems pull crucial customer data from a variety of channels, such as your marketing, sales, and customer service departments. With this data neatly consolidated and organised, picking out patterns in customer behaviour becomes a cinch. 

The Lowdown on Marketing Automation

Marketing Automation is a blanket term utilised to refer to any software which was created with the goal of automating marketing actions. This broad definition allows plenty of room for variety - some of these tools are incredibly complex and work in-depth to make smart marketing decisions; others may simply exist to help make basic tasks like sending out email campaign materials easier.

At its best, Marketing Automation:

  • Helps you prioritise tasks
  • Helps you execute tasks (or even executes them for you)
  • Allows your business to conduct marketing tasks in a more efficient and streamlined manner

For busy marketing departments, good marketing automation software can be a lifesaver. "But we're a small business and don't have a marketing department" you say, "why would we spend money on specialised marketing tools?".

You just answered your own question! Marketing Automation software is perfect for small business as it can help bridge the gap between the marketing skills you've accumulated out of sheer necessity and the ones that contribute to an excellent marketing strategy. Sure, marketing departments can leverage the software too, but couldn't frazzled business owners without a team to devote to marketing efforts benefit more?

The Benefits of Integrating CRM and Marketing Automation Software
Nurturing leads made easy

Your team can utilise Marketing Automation software to collect and analyse the data that your business collects on leads. This means that identifying qualified leads is a much easier process than tradition may dictate. From here, whoever manages your marketing will only need to analyse the data on those leads and begin making marketing moves that cater to their desires.

Shorter sales processes

It's no secret that making a sale can take longer than most companies would like. One surefire way to decrease your business' average time to sale is to integrate CRM and Marketing Automation software. The automation will already be skimming precious time off of the top of each sale; and, on top of that, your marketers will be able to act on leads more quickly when the information they need to personalise their efforts is laid out in front of them clearly.

Because communication within your business will become easier after integration, you'll be working quicker at the office, too. That means that sales will start rolling in even faster. With a more effective and connected team, it'll be hard to imagine a time when making sales was ever quite so painless. 

Opportunities to re-engage with inactive leads

It can be difficult to dedicate time to chasing down inactive leads - but any missed opportunity in business should be scrutinized. If there were an easy opportunity to pick up contact with long-disappeared leads and increase your chances of an additional sale, wouldn't you take advantage of it?

CRM and Marketing Automation software integration is that easy opportunity. While your CRM system is responsible for holding onto potential customer data and storing crucial contact information, your Marketing Automation software is hard at work determining which dormant leads are ideal for retargeting.

From here, it's merely a matter of leveraging the Marketing Automation software properly. Rely on it to craft campaigns targeted towards those lacklustre leads. A simple effort from a human on your end will be all it takes to seal the deal - it's only a matter of getting content written and directing your software as to when and where to send it. 

If you've long-relied on CRM as a means to tackle your business' customer relationship management tactics, it'll pay off to bring in an integrated Marketing Automation tool to help lend some focus to one of the most important parts of doing business. Customer relationships are about more than the customers themselves; they're about the way your company interacts with the world, and marketing is the medium through which that's achieved.

Looking to learn more about CRM and Marketing Automation integration? Download a free whitepaper How to Fuel Your Business with Marketing Automation or get in touch with us today to speak to a representative. No matter what your industry or goals, our team is well-poised to address your concerns and begin helping you craft a roadmap to future success. 

If you're feeling prepared to take the plunge and begin testing out a Marketing Automation solution today, you can take a free trial of the Act! Growth Suite that includes your fully integrated CRM and Marketing Automation software. No matter where you are on your journey to marketing nirvana, solid marketing automation software can make the difference between enviable productivity and endless amounts of wasted time. 

Cate Dempsey

As Managing Director, Cate Dempsey manages the strategic direction of the business along with the day to day management of the core team for Act Today.

Starting as CRM Consultant in 2001, Cate has an inside view of what clients need and want when it comes to CRM. Cate is able to bring her client facing experience into the strategy and decision making process, enabling Act Today to be very focused on customer experience and satisfaction.

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