A Total CRM platform combines both marketing and sales force automation to merge your customer and sales data to improve the utility of each piece exponentially. Read on to learn about Total CRM. For more information about marketing and sales force automation, check out Part 1 and Part 2 of this blog series.
Both marketing automation (MA) and sales force automation (SFA) platforms are specialized tools within a CRM solution. While both tools offer great support for your team, they are limited in the insights they can deliver. As standalone systems, their value is directly dependent on the company’s use case. Although you could get by with just a marketing or a sales force program, you would always be missing the essential pieces of customer data that you need to create broader insights.
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Together, SFA and MA tools brings a unified view of your customer and sales data. When you integrate this data into a CRM solution, the utility of each improves exponentially. When your SFA and MA initiatives are within your current CRM software, these mature, powerful tools — such as Marketo, Pardot, Act-On, and HubSpot — expand CRM beyond its typical definition. It becomes Total CRM.
The core concept behind Total CRM is the integration of these tools, creating a depth of reporting and insight beyond the scope of any one tool. Integrations across these systems can take many forms, however, each with varying degrees of value, utility, and technical complexity.
Here are different degrees of integrations:
- Shared Export/Import: A basic form of integration where staff manually exports raw data from one system and imports it into another.
- Conversion-Level Integration: Data can be pulled directly from the SFA or MA, automatically updating the same data within the CRM. The data isn’t truly integrated, but merely synced across the platforms so that any change to a record will be reflected in both.
- Shared Query Integration: Allows for queries to work across each tool. A user can be inside their MA tool, for instance, and pull a query or a filtered segment from within the CRM.
- Total Integration: When these tools — SFA and MA — are able to sync their available data together in real time, these systems can be considered fully integrated. It’s all there — every ad they clicked, every white paper they downloaded, every webinar they attended — providing a 360-degree view of the customer.
Once total integration has been achieved, new options, such as lead scoring and form submissions, become available to the business.
The deeper and more comprehensive the integration, the more sophisticated the options for handling lead and customer data becomes. As a result, lead management can become much more efficient.