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Integrating Marketing Automation with Sales CRM Systems
Asish Kumar Patra Senior Technical Architect, Digital & Analytics | July 31, 2020
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A strong marketing and sales collaboration is crucial for shortening the sales cycle and increasing the revenue. Without the proper alignment of marketing and sales, the debate between quality leads from campaign and sales effectiveness will continue.

A strong marketing and sales collaboration is crucial for shortening the sales cycle and increasing the revenue.

Here are some critical questions to reflect on:

  • As a marketing or sales leader, what kind of experiences are you creating for your buyers?
  • How well do you understand future customers?
  • Are you helping them meet their goals on their buyer journeys, or are you trying to force them down the funnel?
  • Do your sales and marketing teams work together to serve buyers, or do they work against each other?
  • Do your processes and technologies support the buyer’s journey or disrupt it?

Sales vs Marketing | How can we close the gap?

Marketers need to be buyer experts, instead of just product experts, in order to make marketing and sales more coordinated and complementary. Their focus should be on understanding buyer personas using the data captured through buyer interactions. Marketing is not about appealing posters or impressive slides. Factual clarity about what buyers in a market think about your company and your way of business is the core concern of a marketer. It is the key to adding tremendous value to the sales process. At the same, working alongside their marketing peers, the sales team needs to work on better leads to create better sales experience and build credibility.

How the Integration between Marketing Campaign with Various CRM Tools Can Help in Closing the Gap

The integration of the campaign with CRM for sales can help drive topline growth. Connected sales and marketing automation software enables enterprises to:

  • Create a unified view of your customers across their unique journey and deliver personalized customer experiences across touch points and channels.
  • Unify sales and marketing around shared goals and provide them with actionable insights so they can work together more effectively.
  • Connect your content, data, and processes, and unlock the intelligence in your data so you can make better decisions faster.

Life Cycle of Sales and Marketing Integration | Closed Loop Marketing | Quality Lead Generation | Increased Sales

Quality Lead Generation

Effective Lead Scoring Automation to Determine Qualified Leads

In order to identify the qualified leads and carry them over to sales, it is very important to score the leads automatically based on customer behavior. This needs some collaborative effort from the marketing and sales teams to do some analysis and study on past sales to understand the typical path of conversion when a new prospect becomes a buyer. Once we understand the pattern of user actions across various touch points and channels before a closed deal, we can effectively use marketing automation software and add score points to each user’s actions.

Let us consider the below user actions in a typical conversion path:

  1. A user clicks on a promotional email to land on the offer page
  2. They usually download a piece of content about the product
  3. Most of them go to the product review page
  4. They typically visit similar product pages
  5. They always go to the pricing page

Now add point scores to each action:

  1. A user clicks on a promotional email to land on the offer page– 5 points
  2. They usually download a piece of content about the product– 2 points
  3. Most of them go to the product review page– 3 points
  4. They typically visit similar product pages– 1 point
  5. They always go to the pricing page– 4 points

When we add the above points, we could see that a typical lead with a score of above 15 points is more likely to buy the product. Hence, such leads need to be handed over to the sales department to help these prospects in their buyer journey. The sales and marketing teams need to work closely together and automate the lead scoring process to identify the qualified leads.

In this process, the marketing team creates targeted campaigns to attract prospects with the help of the sales team and pass it on to the sales team when they reach the specific score. On the other hand, the sales team will be able to close the deal faster working on better quality leads rather than wasting time on leads that are not mature enough to convert yet. As a result, conversion rates will increase and so will the revenue for the organization.

Cold Leads Nurturing

In the lead scoring process, if a prospect’s lead score is below the benchmark, it doesn’t mean loss of opportunities. ‘Not so great prospects’ shouldn’t be ignored just because they are not ready to buy yet. Sometimes, the timing is not right. The marketing team can help in nurturing those leads by keeping them engaged with various promotional and educational campaigns for the product of their interest. Marketing automation can generate a sequence of campaigns to help move them further along the buyer’s journey. When they reach the point of readiness to buy, these cold leads can be passed over to the sales team for conversion, which can be possible through intelligent marketing automation.

Conclusion

Integrating marketing automation with CRM systems make it a breeze to share information efficiently and provide a unique platform to bring a great customer experience– reaching the right customers at the right time through the right channel with the right content. By aligning sales and marketing, both teams can tell one story of the customer journey– from pre-prospect to prospect to lead, and eventually, to buyer.

The collaboration between marketing and sales teams brings a win-win for both. Marketers are able to understand the buyer persona better from sales to effectively score the leads for better-targeted campaigns with optimized relevant content. On the other hand, the sales team can reduce the average length of the sales cycle by working on better quality leads from the marketing funnel.

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