CRM marketing integration for customer experience

The evidence supporting the benefits of CRM for sales is compelling and is well documented. More and more businesses are using tech to create lean, data-driven sales teams to win more deals. The focus is on team collaboration, lead tracking, and pipeline management, creating a more efficient and effective sales process.

Meanwhile, marketers are looking to increase brand awareness and create high levels of engagement with a frictionless journey. They’re baiting visits to their web and social media sites with deals and white papers offered in exchange for an email address.

Although both departments might be working towards the same corporate goals there’s often a lack of unison in the approach. This is where having a CRM with integrated marketing helps join the dots. Uniting your sales and marketing activities creates a synergy – whereby the benefits are greater than the sum of the two parts. The customer experience is mapped from the first touch point through to the completed sale, and on to repeat sales.

This integration, essentially, provides the basis for an omnichannel experience.

Everything in one place

The most obvious benefit for having your marketing activity integrated with your CRM is that everything is in one place. Not only does your CRM keep track of your sales contact data; your calls, emails, meetings, quotations, and sales, but it will also record all your marketing activity.

There’s no need to export mailing lists to a third-party site as all the information you need comes directly from the CRM. Fundamentally, having mailed your customers their engagement is recorded automatically back to their account in the CRM. Before long, your CRM will be providing you with some very powerful behavioral insights to support both sales and marketing.

Knowing your customers

You’ll be able to see the source of each new lead, which emails each contact has opened or not, and any links they clicked on. This will give you an indicator of which products they are interested in and those they are not. The more you know about your customers and their buying habits the more targeted and strategic you can be in your marketing.

Importantly, your sales team also has access to the information and will be able to identify the best leads. Using a cloud-based CRM means you’re getting data updates in real-time and you’re always looking at the latest information. There’s no need to synchronize or back-up the system, so if your team are field-based they’ll see the most recent interactions with the customer and how they’ve responded to a campaign before they meet up or make a call.

Getting personal

In my opinion, the best thing about marketing integration with your CRM is the level of personalization possible and the segmentation options. All the data you hold on your customers in the CRM can be used to personalize your marketing. Personalization doesn’t stop at your contact’s name. You could create a message that includes details of any relevant dates, e.g. an expiry date, or their location, past purchases, and any other relevant data.

Segmentation might mean that you’re mailing customers based on their account status, value, product interest, role, gender and any information you might hold. This lets you create different designs and messages for the different groups and means you can monitor their engagement separately, identifying your best leads at a given time.

The catch here is that you need to keep your data clean. Personalization will be wasted if your data is inaccurate or out of date. Clean your data regularly and make sure your contacts have the option to unsubscribe from your messages.

Marketing automation

Your CRM integration may also let you automate your marketing, adding new leads from your website to drip campaigns, sending a series of messages triggered by your contact’s activity, or lack of it! Marketing automation helps you focus your sales and marketing effort on the leads that are most likely to convert.

Yet, however amazing an automation system you might have, it requires careful planning and talented copywriting. I’m sure we’ve all received a misplaced automated message at some point that may have had the opposite impact from that intended. So, if you’re looking to build quality relationships your marketing needs to be personal, relevant and timely.

Relationship Building

As ever, strong relationships are built around communication and common values. Create regular personal, relevant and timely communication that anticipates needs and demonstrates significant benefit. Your product doesn’t need to be the best of breed to be a hit, only for your customers to be receptive to your approach.

Integrated marketing won’t necessarily guarantee success, but it will help you get your house in order, consolidating effort across your sales and marketing and generating a holistic approach.

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Helen Armour

About the author…

Helen Armour is a creative marketing professional with extensive experience in both large and small businesses, B2B and B2C. CIM qualified, Helen is Marketing Manager at Really Simple Systems CRM and writes regularly on digital marketing, CRM and GDPR.

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Helen Armour

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