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The Power Trio: CRM, Email and Marketing Automation

The Power Trio: CRM, Email and Marketing Automation

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Lead generation is an important part of digital marketing, and the tools you use to manage those leads can have a massive impact not only on the customer experience, but on your sanity.

Take the humble “Contact Us” form on your website. If you are a small business with long lead times and big invoices, you might be able to handle the one or two enquiries you get weekly via your email inbox.

But if you are B2C or if you are looking to scale up your lead generation and lead capture efforts, managing those form submissions directly from your inbox will drive you crazy and likely cost you some business through lost opportunities.

You need to manage your leads with tools designed for the task. In most cases that will be a Customer Relationship Management platform, or CRM. This is a piece of software, most often hosted on the cloud and offered as a subscription service, designed to help manage relationships with your customers.

How Can a CRM Help?

CRM, Email and Marketing Automation

A CRM will allow you to manage and nurture your leads, collaborate with your team and keep track of how those leads interact with your team and your content on the journey to become your customers.

But marketing today is as much about nurturing customers post-sale and making them brand advocates as it is landing new ones.

In a perfect world for today’s full-funnel marketer, you would use an integrated CRM solution that works for marketing, sales, and service or customer success.

Using a shared CRM between sales and marketing can give you full visibility of where your customers are coming from, what marketing channels provide the best ROI, and where opportunities exist to delight and retain or upsell your current customers.

HubSpot is a leader in that space for integrated tools. It’s a done-for-you marketing, sales, and service tech stack in an easy-to-use but powerful SaaS tool.

But in our no-so-perfect world, Marketing and Sales often have different preferences, requirements, and workflows. Your sales leadership may prefer Salesforce, for example, the market leader in the sales CRM space.

Because of its popularity, most major marketing technology vendors offer integrations with Salesforce to varying degrees. HubSpot and ActiveCampaign are our favourites, and we are partners with both. Marketo Engage is notable in the enterprise (read: expensive) space, and Salesforce’s own Pardot needs a mention here too.

Processes and Workflows

If you are new to the CRM space, be aware that by its nature the system will require you and your team to adopt a standardized, repeatable sales process workflow – and let’s face it, that’s not a bad thing.

Those workflows will involve “stages” or statuses such as New Lead, Contacted, Proposal Sent, Junk Lead, etc. They range from the simple to the complex, and depending on the size of your organization, might even involve handovers from one team to another.

For example, marketing might manage leads at the top of the sales funnel until they take an action that “qualifies” them for further attention like submitting a form to see a demo. That is often called a Marketing Qualified Lead, or MQL.

An MQL might then be handed over to a sales development representative (SDR) for further qualification or research before becoming a Sales Qualified Lead, or SQL, at which point the big guns on the sales team are called in.

First Form – the Benefits of Automation in CRM

Let’s go back to that humble “Contact Us” form. In the most basic of use cases, form submissions get emailed to the designated guy or gal on your team, and they follow up with that lead.

If that form was linked directly to a CRM, simple automations could directly assign the best member of your team for follow up. For example, if the form asked the user to indicate whether they were interested in either Apples or Oranges, an automation could assign the former to your Apple expert Bob and the latter to your Orange specialist Jane. You get the idea.

Multiple lead capture forms can also be used so that different tailor-made forms could appear on campaign – or vertical-specific landing pages, for example, and automatically tag or segment leads as they come into the CRM.

But going beyond lead assignment, tools like HubSpot and ActiveCampaign also provide the marketer with:

  • Lead Scoring. Scoring users by how they interact with your specific web pages and emails.
  • Automated Email Drip Campaigns. Send a series of emails to a new contact to nurture them, or a new customer to onboard them.
  • Chatbots and on-page messaging, both automated and real-time.
  • Attribution. What brought that lead to that form?

All of these are tools designed to enhance the user experience and increase personalization without being too in-your-face or creepy.

The relationship between your sales and marketing teams intersects at your CRM. At Salween Group, we’ve worked with companies large and small to improve their processes and their sales pipelines through a tighter integration of the tools their teams use.

When sales and marketing work in unison, great things can happen.

The implementation of those tools does not need to be daunting, and we provide marketing operations support to our retainer clients as part of our agency’s managed marketing technology offering.

We are a HubSpot Solutions Partner and an ActiveCampaign Agency Partner because we really like those products, but we’ve also worked with Salesforce and Zoho, to name but a few.

We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t work through first-hand experience, and are more than happy to share our expertise and opinions on what might work best for you and your business.

We are here to help. Drop us a line any time.

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All rights reserved. Privacy Policy
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