Why choose a marketing automation platform from your CRM provider? Best Practices | Marketing | Product News | Sales by Val Riley December 14, 2023 You’ve chosen Insightly CRM – great! Insightly is a modern CRM platform that provides scalability, flexibility, and easy customizations. Organizations of all sizes find CRM to be a great way to grow their business. As your organization evolves, you might consider trying to grow using some marketing tactics. Your goal is to feed your sales team by driving more leads, nurturing those leads and optimizing your marketing spend. Perhaps you are doing some informal marketing or advertising. You may be posting on social media. However, starting a true marketing function will catapult your results to a new level. This could take many forms. It could mean that you add a marketing resource to your team, engage with a marketing agency, and/or add some marketing applications to your tech stack. Well, this is a great time to look at a marketing automation platform like Insightly Marketing. Let’s start with what a marketing automation platform is. What is a marketing automation platform? A marketing automation platform is a comprehensive digital tool that streamlines and automates various marketing tasks, allowing businesses to execute targeted and personalized campaigns at scale. It allows marketers to automate repetitive processes such as email, list building and maintenance, landing page building, and forms. A core function of marketing automation is the ability to nurture leads throughout the sales funnel by delivering timely and relevant content based on user behavior and engagement. You can have a marketing automation platform without a CRM. You can have a CRM without a marketing automation platform. However, the effectiveness of these two applications are compounded when you use both together. Let’s learn more! How do marketing automation and CRM work together? CRM and marketing automation are two distinct yet interconnected systems that, when integrated, can enhance overall business efficiency and effectiveness while also aligning your sales and marketing teams. Integrating CRM and marketing automation ensures seamless data flow between the two systems. Here are some examples: Customer data captured in CRM is automatically updated in the marketing automation platform, and vice versa. This shared data ensures that both sales and marketing teams have access to a comprehensive view of the customer. When leads are scored (based on intent) and graded (based on demographics) in your marketing automation platform, they can be passed into the CRM with that data and prioritized for the sales team. When leads meet certain criteria in the marketing automation platform, triggers can be set up to launch automated workflows in your CRM to notify the sales team, send targeted content, or perform other predefined actions. Integration vs. the same platform – what’s the difference? You may decide to purchase a CRM from one vendor and your marketing automation platform from another. Here are some reasons why this is not the best idea: You’ll need to integrate the two. It’s clear from the points above that these two applications must work together well. You’ll need a powerful integration. If you use a no-code/low-code drag and drop integration tool, this can be fairly simple. But if you need to build an integration using IT folks or developers, this can get pricey quickly. Plus, if either application makes an upgrade that affects the fields you’ve integrated, your integrations can break. This causes havoc while you wait for the integration to be fixed. Two-way sync can be trouble. You’ll want records that are updated in your marketing automation platform to be also updated in the CRM. For instance, if a contact’s phone number changes. Setting up a two-way sync can be complex, so in most cases, firms will have one platform supersede the other in terms of which is the ‘most correct.’ This often becomes confusing. You’ll need login credentials for both platforms for your team. If you want your marketers to know what’s going on with sales and vice versa, you’ll want to give them logins to both your marketing automation platform and your CRM. Since you often pay by seat, this gets costly very quickly. Shared logins. When paying for logins for each person becomes cost prohibitive, some firms will have team members share logins. This is not a good idea in general. First, it can violate the terms of service with the vendor. Second, the platform assigns actions performed by anyone using that login to one user, so if any error is made, you’ll be unable to see who on the team made the mistake and may need additional training. Terminology blues. There is often a point where leads get passed from marketing to sales and therefore from the marketing automation platform to the CRM. It helps when both platforms assign the same meaning to words like lead, contact, prospect, opportunity, etc. This can vary widely across marketing automation platforms and between your chosen platform and your CRM. It creates confusion among your teams as well. Finance doesn’t like multiple vendors. It can help out your accounting team to reduce the number of vendors you are using. Fewer invoices means less work for them and gives them more power to negotiate if needed. When your marketing automation platform and your CRM are from the same vendor, you can skip all of the above issues. Why? Here’s how Insightly CRM and Insightly Marketing solve for this: There’s no ‘integration.’ The apps use the same data set. There’s no sync. Again, same data set. Logins are not a worry. Insightly Marketing has unlimited users so all marketing team members and all sales team members can have a login to the marketing automation platform at no additional cost. Terminology (e.g. contact, lead, etc.) used in Insightly Marketing are the same as those used in CRM. One invoice per year…easy peasy. Why would you not choose to use the same vendor for CRM and marketing automation? Here are some reasons why people may not choose to use the CRM and marketing automation platform from the same vendor. We bought one…then the other. It’s possible that when you purchased your CRM that there was no marketing automation platform available from the vendor. (Psst…Insightly Marketing came along years after Insightly CRM.) So perhaps it’s time to ask a bit during your next QBR or renewal meeting. The CRM and marketing automation platform can’t possibly both be ‘best in class.’ This was probably true years ago, but advancements in SaaS in general have helped all martech apps be better, faster, and more feature rich. It’s worth a demo to see what features are offered today. Also, be sure to zero in on the features you use everyday vs. added bells and whistles that are cool, but not super useful. We’re in a contract. For a while. Leaving your CRM or marketing automation platform can take some time, so don’t wait until renewal time is here. Start researching what your vendors offer so you’ll be prepared to make a change and you won’t be rushed. Migrating our data will be a pain. It’s not as bad as you think! The professional services teams in today’s SaaS companies have done every kind of migration out there, so it’s always an option to see how they can help mitigate this work. We like what we have – integrations and all. This is a great spot to be in, but it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t look for other options and challenge the status quo. Amplified results from CRM + marketing automation We’ve talked about some of the benefits of having your marketing and sales teams on the same platform. Now let’s hear from real businesses with real results. Example 1: Sullivan & Stanley Sullivan & Stanley is a UK-based consulting firm that chose Insightly CRM and Insightly Marketing. Kevin Corne, COO, says his team was on a mission to select a platform that could provide a single version of the truth across sales and marketing and grow with the firm as well. The team selected Insightly and he says it “drives the frictionless model that we wanted.” The marketing team agrees. “Now that we have a platform where we can have both worlds [marketing and sales] in one, it’s a real game changer,” said Callum Chambers, Head of Marketing & Brand. “It is much easier with the simplicity of accessing the data at the tip of your fingers.” Insightly has helped marketing and sales become more cross-functional informing the teams, whether your in marketing, sales or delivery, as to what’s going on,” Corne says. Learn more in this short video: Example 2: Sport Court Las Vegas Sport Court is an industry-leading modular sports flooring designer and builder serving both residential and commercial customers across the U.S. and in more than 170 countries. Sport Court’s Las Vegas location wanted to grow and scale, but was lacking in the proper tech stack to get them there. They needed a CRM and marketing a marketing automation platform that was customizable and would scale with them. After implementing Insightly, the business grew its revenue by 242% through lean systems and new processes, and also saw improved customer service outcomes. “Customers, in general, are busy and have a life outside of their relationship with us and our product,” says Mike Reynolds, owner of Sport Court Las Vegas. “That’s why we’ve set up a constant email drip campaign with previous customers in Insightly Marketing – because sometimes customers will call me after six months, a year, or even five years down the road when they’re ready to build a new custom home. We need to be sure we’re not forgotten about in that time.” Learn more in this short video: Explore the benefits of marketing automation and CRM in one Peanut butter and jelly. Peas and carrots. Burt and Ernie. Some things just go together. CRM and marketing automation belong on this list. If you’re not using the same platform for both, it’s a great time to check out Insightly. With a best in class, modern CRM and a powerful marketing automation platform, your teams will be aligned and you’ll see amplified results. 1 + 1 = 3. Watch a demo of each today, or ask for a personalized walk through of both! Marketing Automation | Sales process Val Riley Val Riley is a tech marketer with more than 20 years of experience. She specializes in Content Marketing at Insightly and previously worked for a marketing automation platform as head of Product and Content Marketing. Also known as The Decaf Marketer, Val is a regular contributor on LinkedIn.