Marketing Automation Systems really must do two things well with CRM systems. First they should properly integrate with them so that it supports the marketing-to-sales process to effectively drive revenue. In addition, Marketing Automation systems must be able to operate independently of CRM systems for those companies that either haven’t installed a CRM or who are struggling for adoption.
Marketing Automation systems should be able to move lead information – demographics and behavior to the CRM system as either leads and/or contacts. Additionally, this should be bi-directional allowing information to flow back from the CRM system into the marketing automation system for closed loop reporting of the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. There should be control over which system becomes the master of information to avoid “data” collision.
Marketing Automation systems should also provide marketing support for companies not happy with their CRM system (if they have one). Marketing still must provide “sales ready” leads to their sales force. Marketing still must nurture leads not ready to buy. Marketing still must understand which campaigns give an ROI and which don’t generate needed revenue.
Certainly having a fully integrated marketing-to-sales process and marketing-to-sales automation is best to drive the revenue we all desire. But the reality is that not all companies are in that situation.Even in that case, it is incumbent upon marketing automation solutions to provide marketers with the tools they need to do their jobs.
For more information on integrating marketing automation and CRM systems, visit the Marketing Automation Software Blog.