While closely intertwined, many businesses make the mistake of seeing customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation as distinct entities addressed by separate departments (sales and marketing). However, seamless integration of a company’s CRM system and marketing automation is essential for automating lead qualification and increasing lead conversion. As Janelle Johnson’s blog post demonstrates, this bi-directional relationship between sales and marketing ultimately provides a stronger return on your sales, marketing, and software investments.
Many CRM software solutions have taken note of this interplay, and they are increasingly incorporating marketing automation strategies into their customer relationship management. For businesses looking for a single tool to integrate CRM and marketing automation, the following software have proven successful at bridging the connection:
1. Salesforce: Salesforce boasts a user-base of 5 million, with over 100,000 direct customers. In the past Salesforce was known for working directly with marketing automation vendors like Marketo and Eloqua but Salesforce is now focusing on their Marketing Cloud which incorporates ExactTarget and Pardot to bring much of this functionality into one single solution. Other marketing automation parters listed in the Salesforce AppExchange include Silverpop, Salesfusion, Act-On, Sales Genius, CallidusCloud, Manticore and MarkesBridge.
2. NetSuite: NetSuite is one of the only CRM solutions that provides applications for enterprise resource planning (ERP), accounting, financials, and customer relationship management in one solution. Being able to link these directly into the ERP solution and leverage a single customer database from the CRM solution is very powerful — particularly for mid-sized firms. NetSuite offers analytics to track and measure prospects’ activities, and then send targeted messages that are individually catered based on the prospects’ marketing automation profile. These marketing campaigns are supported by features for target list creation, database management, and email personalization. Marketing automation partners listed in Netsuite SuiteApp include Callidus Cloud and Silverpop.
3. Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Microsoft Dynamics CRM interface resembles Windows 8 and comes with multi-stage, streamlined customer relationship and supply chain processing programs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed to be integrated with Microsoft Dynamics Marketing, a connection that makes it simple to create compelling email campaigns that are mapped back to CRM. This allows your business to accurately measure your marketing ROI, thereby giving your company the ability to make marketing decisions based on concrete data. Marketing automation partners listed include Marketo, Act-On, ClickDimensions, CoreMotives, and Target 360.
4. SugarCRM: SugarCRM is an open-source, web-based CRM solution, that has over 1.5M users. The solution supports all business processes to help manage the complete customer lifecycle and was named a “Visionary” in Gartner’s 2014 Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant for two consecutive years. Marketing automation partners listed on their website include Marketo, Act-On, Net-Results, and eTrigue.