Several of our latest enhancements to Manticore Technology VII involve improvements to the way the system interacts with Salesforce.com. For today’s post, I thought I’d take a dive into why a strong integration between your marketing automation system and your CRM system can accelerate your sales cycles—especially when used in support of a defined process. Integrating marketing automation with CRM serves to connect both sides of the marketing-to-sales cycle. This consolidated visibility enables both marketers and salespeople to become more responsive and more relevant given their expanded access to pertinent information about the prospect.
Today’s B2B prospects don’t have a lot of patience for irrelevant dialogue. Funnily, just as your prospects don’t want to be “stalked,” they also expect vendors to be mind readers, delivering just the information or interaction they need—exactly when they need it. Thankfully, technology is enabling the insight required to perform this feat gracefully.
A few of the challenges that are answered by integrating marketing automation and CRM include:
- Improved lead disposition. Lead scoring is a powerful tool for ensuring that your salespeople are not chasing prospects who aren’t yet ready for sales conversations. The ability to score based on both CRM fields and those housed within marketing automation improves the evaluation of a lead’s readiness, regardless of whether the lead was generated by sales or by marketing. This way, your salespeople are spending their time with opportunities, not tire kickers.
- Connecting salespeople with prospects at the right time. With rules-based sales alerts that marketers can create on the fly—in response to defined behaviors—salespeople can be notified when a conversion event happens. They then receive the background information they need so they can connect with a business reason, not a “checking in” call. With this structured process in place, more initial calls result in productive conversations instead of dead ends.
- Proof of marketing contribution to customer wins. The ability to build reports based on any field—default or custom—within Salesforce.com provides marketers access to the information they need to prove their contribution to all stages of the buying cycle—including deals. Accountability for marketing is the new imperative—and often quite the challenge.
Tracking the disposition of marketing leads from start to finish has been a leading challenge that kept marketers from proving impact to revenues. The alignment of marketing and sales has also been difficult. Improvements to the integration of marketing software with sales software is enabling the two departments to work together—hand-in-glove—to drive improved levels of customer acquisition.