CRM-Integrated Marketing Automation – 5 Ways to Boost ROI

October 20, 2011

Commentary by Robert Cowes, President & Co-Founder SmartTouch Interactive.

Without a doubt there is a lot more value in having an integrated CRM & Marketing Automation solution in place. The timing of when event based activities take place are critical to sales in the same realm to instant visibility to the performance of campaigns and different media buys is for marketing. Having sales and marketing with transparency and visibility enriches the organization by improving efficiencies. If you are considering migrating from an old CRM or introducing a marketing automation platform, below are a few factors to consider in your decision.

1) A complete all in one solution or an independent CRM & Marketing Automation platform integrated by API.

2)  Customization:  Most of the solutions in the market place come as a base tool kit that will require an investment in either your time, a consultants or the solution provider to understand your business process and customize the applications accordingly.   You will want to make sure that you budget for this and put in the time and effort to make it work.

3)  Look at cost structure:  Most solutions are priced by a single or combination of users, storage, number of e-mails or contacts.

4)  Put in place an internal champion/owner.   A successful CRM/Marketing Automation implementation will be dependent on the level of service and support provided by the solution provider combined with go to resident expert inside your organization.

5)  Be practical.   It typically takes anywhere from 2-12 months of power using to see a true difference in your efforts and results of an investment.   The most important effort for sales to take the discipline to enter the data and leverage the features/tools.   Marketing uses the platform to nurture and reengage leads.

6)  You want to make sure you understand your terms of service on e-mail and list management.  Beware that most marketing automation solutions provide e-mail service and under their terms of use they may not allow for users to send e-mails to third party lists.   Be sure to READ THE TERMS of MAILING Service.

7)  Be practical #2. Marketing automation mailing systems can provide some powerful 1 to 1 marketing features that can make very personalized communication with your mailing list.   You want to consider the size and profile of your list.   Consider that e-mail marketing is like any other direct marketing, you are playing the law of numbers.   So build out a marketing nurturing campaign that puts the effort involved in creating the content and strategy in perspective with the size of your list.

The Smarttouch Platform is an integrated CRM & Marketing Automation solution.  If you would like to schedule a personalized demonstration click here.

CRM-Integrated Marketing Automation – 5 Ways to Boost ROI

By: Debbi Qaqish

ROI as a topic and as a goal for marketers is here to stay. Leveraging tools, people, and processes to effectively contribute to revenue and demonstrate ROI is job number one for all revenue marketers.

While I am passionate about the softer elements of this success equation, it needs to be understood that it is the integration of a full-featured marketing automation tool with CRM that creates the foundation for establishing and reporting on ROI success.

Lead Generation & Marketing ROI, a recent study sponsored by The Pedowitz Group and conducted by Lenskold Group, found the connection between CRM and marketing automation as an enabler of ROI to be critical. In the study, marketers without marketing automation, marketers with marketing automation, but not integrated into CRM, and marketers with marketing automation and integrated to CRM were compared. The study refers to marketers with marketing automation and CRM integrated as “Integrated Marketing Automation.”

One of the key findings in the report is how marketers using both CRM and marketing automation perform better. “Companies using full-featured marketing automation integrated with CRM or sales automation indicate much higher rates of reporting and forecasting metrics.  Compared to marketers with no marketing automation, integrated marketing automation users were more likely to report performance metrics (average 58 percent vs. 36 percent per metric), report financial metrics (average 46 percent vs. 22 percent per metric), and forecast metrics (average 56 percent vs. 35 percent per metric).”

In the study, performance metrics were items such as reporting on number of opportunities, percentage of leads converting to opportunities, etc. For the marketer, these numbers clearly indicate the value of an integrated solution.

And this makes sense. It’s the integration of marketing automation with CRM which creates a complete revenue picture and process. I recently had an interview on Revenue Marketer Radio in which the marketer referred to the joint sales and marketing organization as the revenue team. This type of continuity and clarity can only be achieved with the integration of CRM with marketing automation. This integrated foundation allows for the tracking of every lead from the top of the lead funnel to the bottom of the sales funnel.

With this key finding in mind, here are five ways for improving marketing ROI based on research from Lenskold Group:

1.  Target high value, high potential leads. This is one of the most powerful features in marketing automation in that it allows you to segment during any and every stage of the client buy cycle and do it automatically. With lead scoring, personalization, and automatic segmentation based on behavior, this can be a huge ROI winner.

2.  Improve conversion late in the funnel. For most clients, this is an area of low hanging fruit and huge impact. One recent example is a client we are working with where they only convert 2 percent of all trials. A trial occurs very late in the cycle and a 1 percent uptick in conversion rates has an immediate and incredible impact on revenue and marketing ROI. Using marketing automation, we can effectively nurture the experience and do it dynamically based on response and use or non-use of the program during the trial.

3.  Reduce leakage with better integration. We call this “No Good Lead Left Behind” and with marketing automation, this is an area of big upside. Take the time to map out the life of a lead from lead to close and look at those key areas where leads are leaking out of the process. Once you understand where and why they are leaking out, you can plug those leaks with automatic nurturing through your marketing automation system, especially when it is integrated with your CRM. An example is when a lead is passed to sales and the lead is not ready. Typically what happens is this lead is lost or re-bought at a later date. With marketing automation, either the rep can place that lead back into a nurturing program with two clicks when marketing automation and CRM are fully integrated or marketing can set up an automatic sweep of aged leads back into the nurture program.

4.  Accelerate leakage of low-potential prospects. This means take out the trash, frequently. Taking this noise and distraction out of the system can have huge benefits both in terms of ROI and marketing-sales relations. By working on data quality in both CRM and marketing automation and instituting a highly effective lead scoring program to take out the trash early, you can diminish this noise and revenue drainer.

5.  Gain efficiency and eliminate low impact media. Efficiency and spending money on high return marketing programs is the hallmark of an effective marketing automation program. The number one reason marketers buy marketing automation is for proof of results and decisions. Ever fought with sales in the effectiveness of going to a trade show or on running an ad? With marketing automation and the reporting that comes with it, you can now have a business discussion with proof points.


Leads + CRM + Marketing Automation = More Sales

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