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A How-To Guide To Fusing CRM And Marketing Automation

Digital transformation paves the way for emerging business technologies in the modern era. Customer management, sales and marketing tasks have become quicker, more accurate and more scalable than traditional manual, paper-based methods. While human intervention is still there, data analytics and automation open more business opportunities, regardless of size, niche and target goals.  

Two of the most popular business technologies nowadays are customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing automation.  


What Is CRM Software? 

To begin, CRM is a software program that helps business owners handle customer relationships across the sales funnel. Sales teams use this technology to gather relevant data, track customer behaviours and actions, personalise customer communication, and obtain alerts of customers’ interest across all digital platforms, including websites, emails and social media platforms. 

Are you trying to find reliable and secure CRM software? The market has many CRM options available for any type and size of business. Check out Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce to learn more about different CRM software programs. 

What Is Marketing Automation Software? 

Marketing automation is a software program that hastens the development and implementation of marketing workflows and campaigns to boost conversion rates, generate quality leads and personalise buyer experiences. This technology helps marketing teams in audience segmentation, lead capturing, nurturing account-based marketing and other marketing tasks. 

The CRM software focuses on sales, whereas marketing automation software concentrates on attaining marketing objectives. While these software programs are different, fusing them can make a powerful sales and marketing technology engine. 


Fusing CRM And Marketing Automation 

Check out this guide to fusing CRM and marketing automation to help boost business capabilities and customer experience.  


Step 1: Align Goals And Set Proper Expectations   

The first step in fusing CRM and marketing automation is reviewing sales and marketing goals and strategies, ensuring they align. The sales and marketing teams must brainstorm to align goal and strategy data points in terms of service level and lead marketing.  

The sales team must know what to expect when the marketing team passes a lead. On the same note, the marketing team must be aware of the qualities of an ideal buyer based on the sales team’s parameters. Therefore, the service level agreements (SLAs) serve as the core of all the things each team needs to know to initiate the integration of CRM and marketing automation successfully. 

Here are the essential tasks to help align goals and set proper expectations when fusing CRM and marketing automation: 

  • Define the separate responsibilities of the marketing and sales teams.  
  • Set communication goals or the information marketing and sales teams need to obtain from each other.  
  • Determine the triggering points (like a prospect asking to talk to a live rep or requesting a free copy via email) for marketing to pass a lead to sales using CRM.
  • Set clear standards to qualify leads (lead qualification) using marketing automation. 


Step 2: Synchronise CRM And Marketing Automation 

Businesses can obtain the best return on investment from CRM technology by integrating it with marketing automation.  

Once teams have clearly set and aligned the goals and expectations of each team, the next step is to work on the technical side of things. At this point, it’s crucial to determine both teams’ communication and workflow tools to synchronise CRM and marketing automation.  

To sync CRM and marketing automation, both teams must be aware of how the entire process works with the help of a system integration specialist. Marketing and sales teams need to understand the following important tasks when synchronising the two software programs: 

  • Determine the exact timeframe for synchronising the two platforms.  
  • Identify the relevant data that requires a system override to create a centralised information hub.
  • Define the priority information (like updates) to share between teams.  


Step 3: Align Marketing And Sales Data Fields 

Once the initial data synchronisation is complete, the next step in fusing CRM and marketing automation is aligning relevant data fields.  

Mapping data fields is a critical task for both teams to be able to build personalised campaigns. At this stage, it’s essential to define the account and contact fields and ensure they align to avoid future data synchronisation problems. For instance, one field in the marketing automation platform says ‘Customer Name,’ and the same field in the CRM platform says ‘Lead Name.’ Both fields should match. Therefore, admins must agree to change one field to align both platforms.  

Some organisations prefer to create custom data fields. In this case, CRM and marketing automation platforms must be capable of supporting each other’s custom data fields. By doing so, the system integration can handle special marketing and sales campaigns.  

Step 4: Manage Leads To Avoid Duplicates 

Lead assessment and management are important to prevent the marketing and sales teams from dealing with duplicate leads, which can cause confusion and delays.  

However, duplicate leads arise, causing lead generation issues. For instance, a prospect downloads a whitepaper or report again because the first one was deleted, creating a duplicate in the database. Another example is a prospect contacting another rep today, whereas there was already a similar contact yesterday. 

Multiple duplicate lead records confuse marketing and sales team members, causing inaccurate recording and reporting. Moreover, this problem is time-wasting for staff who need to update the records every time.  

How can a company prevent facing duplicate leads? Ensuring proper coordination between the integration team and CRM and marketing automation platform admins is the answer. For instance, platform admins can create pre-determined lead parameters or lead matching rules before updating the records to avoid duplicating prospects.  


Step 5: Implement Closed-Loop Reporting  

While the sales team is at the end of the entire process of fusing CRM and marketing automation, it’s also important for the marketing team to find out if its strategies are effective or not. That’s when closed-loop reporting comes into play.  

Implementing closed-loop reporting involves moving new customer data back to the marketing team. This step can also help the marketing team check its strengths and weaknesses. Marketers can use the new client data to create more effective, strategic and efficient campaigns. 



To sum, CRM and marketing automation are, indeed, must-haves in a business toolkit. Combining these technologies can help sales and marketing teams achieve their short- and long-term goals. With CRM and marketing automation, businesses can generate more sales-qualified leads and implement more effective engagement and marketing campaigns. This improves customer experience to establish trust and loyalty to boost sales and attain impressive long-term business revenues.