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Data Analytics, Industry Solutions

CRM and Marketing Automation: The Path to Better Lead Management

By Jennifer Marsh | May 26, 2021

Automating business processes comes with many benefits. It can free up bandwidth, digitize manual work, and promote better lead management. However, for digital marketers and creative teams, manually managing every new lead that finds your work online can be overwhelming and detract from doing the vital work of fueling creative processes and strategies for your clients.

One way to unlock the benefits of automation is to use CRM and marketing automation systems to improve internal processes, freeing up time for creativity and client management. In addition, marketing automation best practices can help drive business growth, but it isn't always intuitive to know what is best for your team. 


What Is CRM in Marketing?


CRM stands for customer relationship management, and this useful software can help businesses automate a variety of internal processes, from time management to gathering better data. For example, in marketing, CRM systems are critical for tracking relationships, improving revenue, optimizing site elements for better engagement, and obtaining statistics for potential future marketing opportunities. 


CRM Systems and Practices


Investing in the right CRM system can help businesses of any size make the most data processing, time management, and lead nurturing. Sales teams, specifically, can employ CRM to track leads through the marketing funnel and use this data to improve conversion rates and the speed with which qualified leads are contacted.

Skillful integration of CRM systems and practices can not only help client relations teams generate and nurture more leads, but they can also help marketers. By providing marketers with essential insights into their client relation successes and failures through lead scoring, stage mapping, and lead progression, marketers can make better decisions around campaigns, communications, and more.

One of the most beneficial uses of CRM systems and practices in digital marketing is setting up triggers to target and influence qualified leads. For example, it's common practice to utilize system triggers to build automated reminders for sales personnel to follow up with leads once they've reached a particular stage in their lead progression. 


What Is Marketing Automation?


Marketing automation can vary across organizations, but in its essence, marketing automation systems include any combination of CRM software used to automate marketing processes, such as user analytics gathering, email drip, newsletter automation, lead mapping, etc.

For example, suppose that you want to send a marketing email to new signups. The new sign-up information would be added to the CRM database. With the right CRM tools, you can automatically send emails to the new signup based on your own configured cadence (e.g., daily, monthly, weekly). 

CRM automation isn't just for new customers. You can use automation to keep in contact with existing customers to nourish the relationship and keep them coming back to your site. For example, CRM automation could send discounts and newsletters to existing customers by using a coupon code supplied in the email message.


Marketing Automation Integration


There are key considerations teams must take before an automation software integration of any scale. For example, poorly managed data can lead to poor outcomes, and they can cost more than the potential revenue for each lead. To avoid potential issues, you can follow some best practices.


Marketing Automation Best Practices

Every team is different, but to employ the right solution for your lead-generation needs or data gathering, you can use marketing automation best practices. For example, teams can follow to ensure their integration is set up with correct triggers and ROI goals.


Setting Up Triggers

Triggers are the events that cause the CRM to take action. Your chosen tool should have the ability to set up triggers so that you can perform marketing actions based on automated input. For example, once a lead becomes a customer (after buying products), this event can send a welcome email thanking the customer for the business.


Lead State Mapping

A lead goes through stages as it moves from initial contact to being a qualified customer. You can even categorize a new reader on your site as a lead in the anonymous phase. There are several phases for leads but generally lead phases include engaged, qualified lead, sales lead, won (e.g., a customer buys products), lost (e.g., the customer is not interested), recycled (e.g., sales attempts contact again), and disqualified (e.g., contact information is false).


Lead Scoring and Qualification

Scoring leads helps determine necessary marketing and sales efforts. A highly scored lead could mean that the contact is interested in company products, and sales should continue their attempts. A factor in scoring is lead qualification. A lead is highly qualified if contact information is verified. Qualified leads have a higher chance of being turned into customers, so they should prioritize salespeople.


Running Targeted Campaigns

Targeted email campaigns increase the chances of a sale. Instead of sending a general email, use targeted emails based on collected contact information. For example, if you have a lead interested in insurance, use automated CRM tools to send messages, discounts, and newsletters specific to the type of insurance the lead is interested in.


How Can Marketing Automation Improve CRM and Lead Nurturing?


Through marketing automation best practices and thoughtful integration with existing systems, the right CRM solution can significantly impact internal processes and future ROI goals. Nurturing leads is a big factor in marketing success, but qualifying leads, ensuring data is clean, and using triggers for communication are also valuable advantages as your business competes online. By automating emails, you can ensure that contact continues, whether the lead gets to the customer phase of the process or becomes stale. Even if you don't sell the customer immediately, nurturing leads can turn a potential customer into a sale.


Extra Credit

  1. https://www.agilecrm.com/blog/marketing-automation-best-practices/

  2. https://www.act.com/blog/en/5-ways-marketing-automation-can-help-your-business-boost-revenues-and-grow/

  3. https://keap.com/product/what-is-crm

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