When you think dynamic duos, chances are you think of people and things similar to Batman and Robin, Bert and Ernie, Peanut Butter and Jelly, Wine and Cheese. But as a marketer, you should be thinking about Marketing Automation and CRM. This powerful pairing can completely revolutionize your marketing efforts, taking sales and ROI to the next level.

While CRM and Marketing Automation are useful to have on their own, when integrated they make a truly powerful marketing tool. Most marketing automation platforms integrate with 3rd party CRM’s, sending data back and forth between platforms. Others make you use their built-in CRM. SharpSpring stands out as the first CRM-agnostic marketing automation software. We offer a fully-integrated CRM of our own, but sync seamlessly with all major CRMs, including Salesforce.com and SugarCRM, so there’s no need to switch from your existing platform.

5 Benefits of CRM Integration

CRM integration with marketing automation can improve both your marketing and sales efforts, and can be the difference between closing a sale, or generating a greater volume of leads. Here are a few examples of the impact full integration can have. 

  1. Better preparation for your sales team – see the history of your entire lead, from pages visited to phone calls and form fill outs. Tailor messaging to them and gain insight from past interactions.
  2. Faster and more relevant response to new and existing leads – with marketing automation, send exactly the right content at exactly the right time. Instantly respond with automated follow-ups to new leads in your system, while sending relevant messages to your current leads. You can even set alerts, so your sales team is instantly notified by text or email when a lead becomes hot or preforms a specific action on your site.
  3. Target opportunities with lead scoring and nurturing – Lead scoring allows you to target the most sales-ready leads, set by your criteria. This enables your sales team to dedicate efforts to leads that are most likely to convert. Lead isn’t quite ready? Add them to a nurturing campaign to send regular, informative and relevant communication to turn them into a hot prospect.
  4. Prove End-to-End ROI – Tie sales back to the exact campaign that they came in on. Because SharpSpring includes fully integrated call tracking, this encompasses accurate attribution of all leads, whether they come by phone or form. Accurate attribution also allows marketers to determine which tactics are performing the most effectively, in order to allocate more effort and money into those campaigns.
  5. Save your sales and marketing team time – while marketing automation isn’t as “set it and forget it” as you might be lead to believe, there are still a number of time-saving benefits that can be gained from automating tasks. Set up workflows and automated emails for some of the most common actions on your site in order to cut down on repetitive tasks. Craft helpful and informative emails that can be automatically sent out when you’re in the process of nurturing a lead, and use them in addition to personalized emails.

5 Benefits of a Native CRM

It’s important to remember, not all CRM integration is created equal. While the process of bi-directional syncing works in many instances, there are even more benefits that come from a marketing automation platform with built-in CRM.

  1. Instantly allow your leads to experience the benefits of marketing automation. The second a lead comes into the system, you are able to dynamically segment into lists, add to a nurturing campaign, calculate the lead score and send an automated email tailored to the lead’s specific interests. Now that’s some powerful stuff.
  2. More cost effective – two platforms means two payments. With a native CRM, cut down on costs. And with SharpSpring’s price point at literally a fraction of the cost of competitors like HubSpot, Eloqua, Pardot and Marketo, you are able to save even more money for your client.
  3. Don’t run into the issue of your CRM not being compatible with your marketing automation software. A built-in CRM ensures that it will work seamlessly with every aspect of your marketing automation.
  4. Never worry about syncing issues – as much faith as we’d like to put into machines, sometimes things don’t always work as perfectly as we plan. If a lead from your CRM somehow doesn’t sync into your marketing automation platform, that lead doesn’t receive any of the benefits and could be lost as a result.
  5. Only one platform to maintain – what good is all of the time saved with marketing automation if you’re wasting time maintaining two platforms?

With everything that the unbeatable combination of CRM and marketing automation is capable of, there really is no reason that every marketer shouldn’t be running with both. Whether you are using an integrated CRM or native, the benefits of combing the two are unparalleled. Request a demo of SharpSpring, and take your marketing and sales teams to the next level.

Nick Mangold