CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software is a system for a set of processes that enable companies to manage customer relationships. Examples of CRM systems are Salesforce, Zoho, and Sugar CRM. Features typically include:
- account and contact management
- opportunity tracking
- lead scoring
- task and event tracking and reporting
CRMs include basic email marketing functionality and can manage quotes and be integrated into call centre systems providing data about the contact to the call centre agent’s screen in live time.
The main function of a CRM system is to manage the workflow through the sales funnel.
A of the data collection methods are offline – meaning they are a result of someone manually inputting the data into the system or fed from another system that is integrated into the CRM.
Marketing Automation, on the other hand, offers more possibilities all because of how data can now be collected online. Think of landing pages, web forms, and email autoresponses. When data is fed into the Marketing Automation system it triggers automatic and appropriate responses in the form of email and personalised web content.
A good Marketing Automation system will identify the contact regardless of how they interact with your company. For example the contact can be identified from a phone call, visiting your website, clicking on a link in a personalised mail.
Both Marketing Automation and CRM systems aim to collect customer information which is used to trigger certain sales or marketing actions. CRM has more of a sales focus while Marketing Automation starts with an online marketing focus.