Using CRM data to boost your marketing automation results

In the past, CRM was seen as primarily a sales tool, while marketing automation fell into the realm of the marketing department.

As powerful as the systems may be on their own, it is nothing compared to what the two systems do together when integrated and implemented properly.

CRM stores valuable data, and tracks and manages lead and customer relationships. It is designed to help salespeople become more efficient and productive. Marketing automation helps marketers streamline their communication efforts to help fill the funnel and drive leads through conversion and beyond.

The purpose of marketing automation is to automate messages, maintain brand consistency, and become more relevant and timely in the eyes of your leads and customers. The relevant nature of these messages helps businesses deliver personalized experiences to the consumer and ultimately driving conversions.

The question is, “how do you personalize without the extensive relevant data collected in the CRM?”

We are talking more than just basic personal or demographic information like location or gender. Integrated CRM lets you trigger and tailor messages based on behaviors, changes in contact data and much more.

“Personalized email messages improve click-through rates by an average of 14% and conversions by 10%”  (Aberdeen)

Data and marketing automation

Marketers can use many data points and triggers to help personalize and segment their campaigns. Marketing automation with CRM helps them do that more efficiently and effectively.

  • No loss of data due to importing and exporting from system to system. Maintains data integrity.
  • Use of extensive and in-depth data points to personalize your messaging. For example, past purchases, interests, pain points, services used, and company data to name a few. 
  • Access to sales information to help nurture leads and assist in the sales process. For example, use data from sales conversations to help trigger relevant messages to your sales leads. 
  • Automated messages when contact data changes. For example, if a customer’s status turns from Active to Inactive, you can automate a follow up to help re-engage and hopefully get that customer back on board.

“53% of marketers say ongoing, personalized communication with existing customers results in moderate to significant revenue impact” (DemandGen)

Maintaining a personalized and long-lasting relationship with your clients significantly decreases churn, increasing revenue over time. Data from both the salesperson and marketing automation efforts, including surveys, purchases, clicks, website visits and more means you can send more relevant messages based on real data - this is the art of data-driven decision making.

Find fully integrated CRM and marketing automation software with this online CRM software comparison tool

For example, a customer responds to a service stating they are very satisfied with your product. That data is stored in the CRM and then used to send a personalized message to them thanking them for the response and perhaps sending a $100 discount in return. These timely messages increase engagement, loyalty, revenue.

Consumer behavior and marketing automation

Technology has given us the tools to study our target markets extensively. Business intelligence software, including CRM and marketing automation, collect information about behaviors such as website visits, clicks, emails opened, live chats and more. When all this activity is stored within the CRM, attached to specific contact records, marketers begin to understand the type of behaviors their leads and customers exhibit. Access to this information helps you tailor customer journeys to increase conversions.

Customer journeys begin at awareness and end when the relationship between that customer and your business is broken. Personalized customer journeys include a mix of both CRM data, behavioral data, and marketing automation. From beginning to end, specific messages, follow-ups from salespeople, workflows and more are triggered depending on the behaviors of the contact in that particular journey. The journey they experience depends on the actions they take throughout, via clicks, opens, sales activities, demographic data point changes and more.

How to start with CRM and marketing automation

To get started boosting your marketing automation with CRM, use the following roadmap:

  • Invest in an all-in-one CRM/marketing automation platform or ensure native integration between your two systems. 
  • Think about your processes. Write down your sales process. List out your marketing messages. What content do your leads receive and when? How do you onboard new clients? What does this process, from start to finish, look like? 
  • Determine your data points. What data can you use to personalize your customer journey? Is it past purchases? Interests? Location? Preferences? Once you establish this list of pertinent data points, make sure you have the tools set up to accurately collect this information. Good input equals good output. 
  • Start building out your workflows, emails, drip campaigns, and triggers. Start with the big picture and get more granular as you move along the funnel. Marketing automation is a process. It takes planning, time and fine-tuning. 
  • Do not set it and forget it. Testing your process and your journeys are critical. What is the point of utilizing your data if it doesn’t meet your business goals? If emails aren’t being opened, try playing with the timing, subject lines, or the content. Timing and relevancy is everything in our digital world.

Statistics prove that CRM and marketing automation are more effective when used together. Sales and marketing teams must collaborate for better results. Using valuable sales data catches the lead at exactly where they are in the funnel. We strongly advise that the two teams meet regularly to analyze and discuss current customer journeys to help optimize and convert and drive more revenue.

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Alessandra Ceresa

About the author…

Alessandra Ceresa specializes in marketing automation strategies and successful business processes. With over 10 years in the B2B software industry, Alessandra has worked with a number of GreenRope clients and is now marketing manager at GreenRope. She manages all content, lead nurturing, social media, and other engagement efforts to help convert and retain long-lasting relationships.

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Alessandra Ceresa