If you are a marketer motivated by increased Return on Investment (ROI), you need to know how to best leverage your people, tools, and processes. Although there are many key steps to this process as a whole, integrating a full-featured marketing automation tool with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) will create the foundation for establishing and reporting on ROI success.
The connection between CRM and marketing automation as a key factor in increasing ROI is impossible to ignore. Marketers that don’t have marketing automation and marketers that have marketing automation that isn’t integrated into CRM do not perform as well as marketers that have marketing automation that’s integrated into CRM. Those companies who are fully integrated will find much higher rates of reporting metrics such as performance metrics (number of opportunities, conversion rates, etc.), financial metrics, and forecast metrics.
Integrating marketing automation with CRM creates a complete picture of the revenue process. That type of continuity and clarity can be achieved only 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.
Following are several ways to improve marketing ROI:
Focus on High-Return Marketing Programs
Marketers benefit from marketing automation as it offers proof of results and validation of decisions. By seeing clearly which programs are most successful, an effective marketing automation program helps your organization’s efficiency and money allocation. With marketing automation and the reporting that comes with it, you can now have a business discussion with proof points to focus on the high-return marketing programs.
Profile the Current Customer Base
Instead of engaging in lead generation practices that market to the anyone who has a general interest in the company’s industry, sales and marketing should together define exactly what a qualified buyer looks like. This can be done by asking customers to provide concise, relevant information that will help one understand them better. Using forms, find out which industries your prospects are in, what roles they play in their companies (sales, finance, HR, executives, etc.). For more targeted results, keep forms short and do not make them mandatory.
Target Highly Potential Leads
One of the most powerful features in marketing automation is its ability to allow you to segment at every stage of the lead/client cycle. You are also armed with the ability to score all lead behaviors and demographics to assess their qualifications. With lead scoring, personalization, and automatic segmentation, you can see how your ROI is already being improved.
Improve Conversion Late In the Funnel
Your late-stage funnel is an area of high potential and huge impact. Bottom-of-funnel content should prove the value of purchase, and explain how the products and services will be implemented within the organization. With that in mind, it should be closely aligned with product, data-driven, and challenging to buyer assumptions. Using marketing automation integrated with CRM, you can effectively nurture the experience of potential customers.
Reduce Funnel Leakage with Better Integration
With marketing automation, you are less likely to pass up the good leads. It’s valuable to 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. Are your warm leads getting lost? 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.
Clean the Low-Potential Prospects Out of Your Funnel
Keep your leads cleaned out to see huge benefits in both ROI and marketing-sales relations. By working on data quality in both CRM and marketing automation, and instituting a highly effective lead scoring program, you can diminish the leads that act as excess time and revenue drainers. Weeding out the tire-kickers in your sales pipeline will increase your close rate, increase morale and productivity, and increase revenue.
Marketing automation and CRM are complementary tools that only reach their full potential when paired together. By using marketing automation synced with your CRM, you are best able to analyze your performance metrics and pass along properly assessed and highly-qualified leads. Developing the scoring and routing criteria together as a team, sales and marketing can create funnel logic they both trust and believe in. The end result is a system based on clear metrics that help determine the most successful programs and leads to fit your organization’s goals. The integration of CRM and marketing automation is a critical step to your increased marketing ROI and top performance.