Marketing Automation Vs. CRM: What’s the Difference

There is a misconception that marketing automation and CRM are exactly the same. These two different tools do have similar uses that overlap in certain aspects but are far from the same.
Both systems are great for handling leads, contact information, and companies in a sales funnel.
The following will outline the differences in the use of marketing automation and a CRM system. 

What is Marketing Automation?

Automation is going to continue to shape the way business is done throughout the world. Marketing automation allows for the streamlining of marketing while gathering important data.
The measurement of marketing tactics can allow a company to utilize far more efficient ways of marketing in the future. Marketing workflow being optimized will also improve the productivity of the marketing team at a company of any size. Experts can help with consulting to see if you need automation and how it can almost immediately impact the business positively. 
The ability to track a customer’s journey through the sales funnel will provide invaluable data. The analysis of leads coming in will allow a company to determine which forms of marketing have worked best. The following are aspects of your marketing plan that marketing automation can assist with:
·Email blasts that can help track visits to the website, clicks, and time spent on the website. 
·Organizing responses by organization in order to reduce pitching the same prospects constantly. 
·Automated follow-ups reduce time spent by sales staff on organization of where a prospect is in the sales funnel. 
·Contact information can conveniently be updated. 
·The ability to do A/B testing in order to perfect pitches and follow-up emails. This provides data that will allow a company to see what types of pitches attract the most qualified leads.
·Cuts down on labor costs through automation which could otherwise result in a member of the staff handling tedious administrative tasks daily. 

How Do Companies Utilize a CRM?

Every interaction with a customer is noted in a CRM is imperative. The staff needs to be dedicated to taking meticulous notes about client calls, emails, and face to face meetings.
The usage of a CRM can allow a potential customer or current customer to feel far more valued than with a company not using a CRM. 
The ability to remember small details due to notes taken about the vision of a project works wonders. A client seeing the dedication of the staff to their project can help improve customer retention vastly. The CRM is used at the bottom of the sales funnel after leads have been qualified and are interested in pursuing a purchase. Customer engagement will continue to be stressed in the coming years as the common customer has far more options than in the past.
The following are great ways to use a CRM:
·Reach out to clients far before a contract is set to expire to renew instead of doing this reactively.
·Email clients on birthdays or other important dates to improve customer engagement with the company. 
·Seamlessly hand off clients from one department to another. Rough transitions can lead a customer to opt for another company that has a far smoother workflow. 
·Follow-up with leads that were interested that simply didn’t have the budget or need for a product/service in the past. 
·Easy access to all contact information throughout an organization. 
·The ability to track leads through the sales process and change statuses to keep the sales funnel up to date. 

Importance of Marketing Automation and CRM

The goal of making the customer’s experience as seamless can be achieved with both of these systems. There is no one size fits all system as a CRM could work great for one company while it slows down a company immensely in comparison to marketing automation. Finding experts to help integrate a top of the line CRM combined with the best marketing automation platform available might be essential. The setup of some of these integrations can take an expert and you do not want to cut corners in terms of your company!
The integration of a CRM with the right marketing automation platform can improve a business’s sales process/customer experience levels in huge ways. Being able to automate processes can save a company time, money, and to convert a higher percentage of leads. Once customers are qualified, interested, or have bought it is time for the CRM to take over!