In 2012, SiriusDecisions predicted that the adoption of marketing automation would increase 50% by 2015 — it’s now 2015, and according to David Raab, the marketing automation industry has shattered that growth year after year.
Why? Because more and more B2B marketers are realizing the benefits of creating a complete marketing and sales ecosystem using marketing automation and their CRM (okay, maybe not quite like the aquatic ecosystem pictured in this post’s header image…).
In today’s B2B organizations, marketing and sales alignment is critical to success, but these two teams will only work well together when they’re pursuing the same goals and have access to the same actionable information. Marketing automation is designed to bridge the gap between marketing and sales by working with your CRM to create a single source of truth for your organization.
Why Create a Marketing & Sales Ecosystem?
Many of the tensions between marketing and sales teams stem from breakdowns in the lead management process. All too often the marketing team is passing over leads that aren’t sales ready, and the (understandably frustrated) sales team is choosing to pursue their own leads instead.
This leaves customers lost in the mix — and unfortunately, when left to fend for themselves, your buyers will likely find a friend in a competitor that is doing a better job of catering to their needs.
When these alignment issues exist at the top of the funnel, your company is losing out on new business, and marketing is losing a chance to showcase their value as a revenue generator. To shore up these holes and perfect a lead management process that works for both teams, it’s essential to build an all-in-one marketing and selling tool that everyone can rely on.
This is where marketing automation and your CRM come in.
Marketing Automation & Your CRM: The Dynamic Duo
“Creating a lead-to-revenue model is an integrated sales and marketing effort,” comments Tyler Lessard, CMO at Vidyard. “You have to break down the barriers between marketing and sales and start thinking about your revenue engine as an integrated model, from lead generation to lead scoring and all the way through the funnel.”
The first step to building this integrated revenue model is enabling your sales and marketing teams with the technologies they need to align their objectives. Your sales reps are likely used to working primarily in a CRM, but imagine a system that displays all of the relevant prospect and campaign information needed by both teams, all in one place. That’s exactly the kind of ecosystem you can create by integrating a marketing automation system with your CRM.
Think of it this way: if a CRM is primarily a sales tool, marketing automation is its marketing counterpart. Integrating the two systems allows you to sync information bidirectionally, meaning that an update to a record in your CRM will automatically be made in your marketing automation system (and vice versa). This keeps sales and marketing on the same page by giving them valuable insight into prospect activities, increasing the efficiency of the lead management process, and smoothing out kinks in the sales funnel that might cause leads to drop out of the sales process entirely.
With marketing automation working in tandem with your CRM, you’re creating a sales and marketing tool capable of streamlining troublesome sales and marketing workflows. The chart below takes a closer look at how marketing automation and your CRM can cover the full spectrum of day-to-day sales and marketing tasks.
Get more details about building a sales and marketing ecosystem in our e-book, Marketing Automation & Your CRM: The Dynamic Duo, by clicking on the banner below. The e-book will walk you through the benefits of integrating marketing automation and your CRM — for both marketing and sales — and give you a quick look at the implementation process.