Understanding the Differences Between Marketing Automation Software and CRM

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Marketing is a broad concept covering a range of promotional activities used by an individual or organization to generate business. Some important differences in marketing software must be understood for people in business to make effective choices. For instance, marketing automation and customer relationship management software have different focuses. Both can be used to increase productivity and to streamline promotional and sales efforts.

Marketing Automation Software

This software is used primarily for lead generation efforts of the sales team. Depending on the organization, there may be several types of leads or just a couple. The company might rely on a call center to establish viable leads, for example. At the most basic, the two categories classified in this aspect of marketing are information qualified leads and marketing qualified leads. There also are inbound and outbound leads. With the inbound category, potential customers contact the organization first.

Customer Relationship Management Software

Commonly called CRM, these products are generally used by account executives and sales reps for three main categories. Sales accepted leads and opportunities are the first two categories the rep is still working with to close sales deals with potential clients. Closed leads are essentially current clients and customers.

With some of these clients, account executives mainly accept new orders and encourage the customers to try additional or new items. Other clients may need regular promotional contact due to their own hesitancy or intense competition from another sales organization. A pub owner, for instance, may like the idea of advertising on the radio but may have a very limited budget. Account executives know that only running the spot once every other day is an ineffective advertising strategy.

Using the Products

Some men and women may be interested in how these products work, while others don’t care about the nuts-and-bolts as long as the software gets the job done. Some companies offer both types of products in one integrated software package, which is convenient as long as the package includes all the features that the workers and the business owner prefer. This way, the information from the initial marketing efforts can easily be utilized by the sales personnel.