CRM vs. Marketing Automation: what is the difference between a Sales CRM and an Automation tool?

A common question we receive is: should I hire a CRM or Marketing Automation tool? Know how they differ and when to use them!

Before our lives were dominated by the internet, social media and the endless consumption of content, the only channels to find out more about a product were to call a sales professional or go to the store. At the same time, what was understood as marketing was reduced to advertisements to attract customers.

The way we shop has completely changed. Today, in addition to no longer needing to go to a physical store to buy, we can know everything about a product on our own, with a few clicks, in minutes. All this autonomy also changed marketing practices, which became much more focused on informing, educating and involving customers before selling.

In this context, much more control, intelligence and agility are needed in commercial processes, as well as creativity, planning and analysis in marketing actions.

And, like everything else in the digital revolution, there are tools to make these functions less bureaucratic and more fluid. These are the Marketing Automation and CRMs tools recommended by the team of Sky Marketing, the main theme of this post!

What is a Digital Marketing Automation tool?

If you already work with a sales funnel like that of Blue World City, you understand that Digital Marketing is the starting point to generate Leads and select the most qualified to pass on to sellers.

This function involves, among other things:

  • Creation of forms and capture pages to generate Leads;
  • Creation and maintenance of its own website and/or blog, to disseminate educational content and information about the company and products/services;
  • Management of the contact base  (Leads), with data organization and security;
  • Sending Email Marketing, to keep in close contact with Leads and lead them to purchase;
  • Management of social networks, frequently publishing attractive content to strengthen the brand and the relationship with prospects and customers;
  • Analysis of the results of each action and campaigns performed, in addition to monitoring business goals and metrics.

As you can see, there are several parts that unfold in their own tasks and strategies, which provides a greater level of complexity for your Digital Marketing operation. Therefore, automation tools were created, which help to perform each step with more organization.

Tools such as RD Station Marketing are specialized in automating the generation and management of Leads, keeping all the captured data registered and secure and generating important reports for monitoring actions.

It is this type of tool that the Marketing team uses to also play the Leads nutrition and qualification process during the Shopping Journey process.

It allows the Marketing team to understand the profile and interest of Leads and customize the relationship actions with the base. The increase in the number of sales, retention of the customer base and the reduction in the Company’s Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC) are the main advantages of the strategy.

Finally, automation – as its name suggests – performs some tasks automatically, without the need for a dedicated employee, such as:

  • Email triggering;
  • Marking Leads as sales opportunities;
  • Posts on social networks;
  • Sending Leads to CRM;
  • Generation of graphics and results reports;
  • Creation of email flows for trigger-conditioned communications. Example: if the Lead visits a page, it receives content; if you ask for a quote, you will receive a confirmation email; you receive a proposal and in 3 days you receive a reminder, etc.

When to hire a Marketing Automation tool?

To define the hiring of an ideal automation tool for your business, it is necessary to take into account its ability to improve your routines and optimize your team’s time.

Also review the reports and analytics it provides. It is important to be able to customize your goals and follow the daily evolution of results, as well as access complete reports with all the numbers and details of a campaign.

Finally, consider a tool that grows with your business, one that can support the growth of your contact base, the volume of emails sent and the new needs of your operation.

And what is a CRM?

After generating and qualifying Leads, Marketing sends the contacts with the best profile to be approached by the Commercial. We can say that the salesperson role has become much more specific and complex, selling to more informed and critical leads.

These Leads are called sales leads. The CRM is the tool that records and organizes all points of contact between the company and the opportunities for the business process.

Returning to the sales funnel, CRM only enters the sales opportunities stage, that is: only Leads that have been qualified by Marketing as “ready” for sale go through this platform.

As it is focused on the sales process, CRM allows a more specific mapping of each negotiation through:

  • Notes;
  • Comments;
  • Documentation of activities;
  • Value;
  • Product detailing, etc.

In addition to this information, it is possible to understand which stage of the sales process the prospect is at and the moment of the won or lost, that is, the customer’s gain or loss.

The impact on the salesperson’s productivity and time optimization is the most important, especially in complex sales processes. For sales management, RD Station CRM concentrates all operation data in an organized manner, allowing the evaluation of salespeople’s performance, the variation of the average ticket and the duration of the sales cycle, for example.

When do I need both?

To answer this question, first it is necessary to understand the real objective of the organization:

  • An automation tool will assist in structuring a new sales channel, that is, in the generation and nutrition of Leads via Digital Marketing ;
  • A CRM is primarily focused on monitoring the sales process and, consequently, optimizing the conversion rate of opportunities (Leads that have a profile and minimal interest) for customers.

These tools work very well together, as when integrated they optimize the entire business process, end-to-end.

However, it is not enough for your tools to be integrated if your company does not have an efficient agreement between Marketing and Sales. This agreement is characterized by Marketing focused on the generation of Leads and, therefore, on the delivery of business opportunities to the Sales operation.

At the same time, one of the goals of the Sales operation is to provide feedback to the Marketing team, in order to increase the conversion rate and shorten the sales cycle.

If you are structuring your SLA (Service Level Agreement) between both areas, access our eBook on the subject and find out how to define these criteria more clearly.