An interesting interview published in eMarketer came across our desks recently about integrating a marketing automation platform with your CRM. The subject was Kevin Quiring, managing director of sales and customer service at Accenture. It caused us to reflect on a few points Mr. Quiring made during the interview.
“Businesses are placing renewed emphasis on generating new business… either through acquiring new customers or growing existing customers.” Lead management is a critical part of that effort because companies are competing for fewer real dollars as the U.S. continues to stumble out of the recession. Brands need to know their customers well and target suspects effectively. They also need to nurture leads towards a sales engagement. Thirdly, they need to be able to analyze individual pathways to conversion and global trends in organic search. Integrating marketing automation and CRM platforms can do all that.
“There is a chasm between marketing and sales. The two aren’t working together.” The integration of a marketing platform with a CRM platform brings the two teams together. It starts with lead scoring, which provides qualitative and quantitative metrics that indicate how ready a lead is for sales engagement and how close a lead is to conversion. One benefit: system synchronization transfers marketing scores to sales pipeline rankings so sales reps know how hot leads are when they enter the CRM.
Sales and marketing need to work together to establish lead scoring parameters. This way, scoring parameters and benchmarks are defined with a common understanding and accountability structure connected to lead management. Also, the lead distribution capabilities of a full-service MA platform assign ownership from first touch to last touch. Sales reps are connected with a lead at a deeper level as they progress through the qualification and nurturing processes.
“Trying to close a deal when prospects have the potential to be interested in so many diverse products requires multiple sets of activity.” A primary benefit of MA and CRM integration is to have the ability to seamlessly cross-sell through multiple channels. Companies with myriad product lines can serve multiple buyer chains within a single interface. Sharper analytics from integrated platforms allow product managers to understand their markets better. Sales managers can forecast more clearly with data collected through the integrated systems.
“They’re finding the salesperson’s intuition and the marketer’s opinion on what lead will be good or bad is interesting—but not predictive.” Companies are able to analyze both the attributes and online behavior patterns of their markets through analytics provided by both platforms. A customer persona can then be built that accurately reflects statistically significant characteristics. Instead of relying on intuition an opinion, executives have hard data to shape decisions around.
We appreciate that Mr. Quiring sees the value in marketing automation and CRM integration. If you’d like to find out how our Lead Management Automation™ platform integrates with CRMs like SFDC, request a 10-minute free personal demonstration.