Integrating CRM and Marketing Platforms Creates Real Gains and Avoids Tangible Pains

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Although sales and marketing teams work towards a shared goal—bringing more loyal customers to your business—they are often working on completely separate platforms. The sales team is generally operating within a CRM, the marketing team leveraging a marketing automation platform.

CRM and marketing automation platforms are meant to streamline processes, provide data-driven insights, and take care of repetitive tasks to help your team get the best results. When used to their fullest, these technologies help you engage with customers at every step of the customer journey, from lead to loyalty.

But to be successful, your marketing automation and CRM platforms—and by extension, your marketing and sales teams—need to be integrated. If your company uses disconnected platforms with siloed data, neither sales nor marketing can benefit from a full view of your leads, prospects, and customers.

Integrating your marketing automation platform and your CRM marries different sources of data for your entire company, giving both sales and marketing the full picture they need to serve your leads and prospects successfully. Integrating these two robust technologies can help foster alignment between your sales and marketing teams. When marketing and sales teams work entirely independently, lacking access to each other’s data or processes, both teams are held back by a lack of information and support—they cannot boost each other’s efforts, and in fact, may be more likely to hinder one another’s day-to-day work.

Pain Points for Sales

When the two teams are siloed, the leads generated by marketing often aren’t of high enough quality when they’re passed off to sales. Your marketing team is trying to nurture leads with limited information, after all, and it may send through leads who aren’t yet ready to buy. This puts your sales team in a difficult situation; leads who don’t know much about your company when sales gets in touch with them are very hard to sell to. In fact, only 29 percent of people will talk to a salesperson to learn more about your company’s product or service when they could use a search engine instead.

For sales to be successful, marketing must be able to identify marketing qualified leads (MQLs) that are far enough along in the buyer journey that they’re receptive to interacting with a salesperson.

Even if your marketing team is accurately identifying MQLs and passing them to sales, your salespeople need context about these leads in order to successfully close deals. Without access to data tracked in your marketing automation platform—such as which marketing emails leads have opened, which pieces of content they’ve downloaded, and which website pages they’ve visited—salespeople cannot have informed conversations with qualified leads. This puts your sales team at risk of asking redundant questions and coming off as uninformed, resulting in a disjointed experience for your prospects. This isn’t only frustrating for your sales team; it also causes lost opportunities and stifles business growth.

Pain Points for Marketing 

Without access to the data the sales team keeps in your CRM, marketing lacks the information it needs to develop effective lead nurturing strategies. How can you offer a personalized marketing experience if you don’t know the specifics about who you’re targeting? Considering that 47 percent of buyers view three to five pieces of content before engaging with a salesperson, it’s crucial to give your marketing team as much information as possible about your contacts so they can get the right content in front of leads before passing them to the right salespeople.

Without access to the data your sales team has, your marketing team may also be left in the dark as to the outcome of their campaigns. Almost a quarter of marketers don’t know whether their work led to any converted leads. Without these insights, your marketing team cannot adapt future strategies to improve their success rate.

And what happens to leads that don’t convert? Marketing may not be aware of leads they could remarket to, or not understand the top reasons leads fail to convert, which can inform their lead nurturing strategies. If you don’t have a defined process for passing a lead from sales back to marketing, you may be losing potential new business.

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