In modern selling landscape, several business applications are available that claim to improve sales and marketing effectiveness. Two most popular tools for this are CRM and marketing automation software. As the name suggests, both are completely different when it comes to roles. CRM & Marketing Automation are completely different processes and perform distinct functions. However, both CRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365 marketing automation needs to deal with the same information that is contacts, lists, profiles, etc., and similarly, work with leads.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM):- It is a software solution designed and developed for the sales and service teams to cultivate relationships with buyers and active customers. CRM possesses information for each contact in your organization including prospect and clients, enabling teams to leverage in their client meetings and communications. In short, CRM is utilized to manage the bottom of the funnel opportunities in the sales process.

Marketing Automation:- Marketing teams use Microsoft Dynamics 365 for marketing automation software to measure and strengthen the impact of marketing on funnel activity and pipeline development. The main objective of marketing automation is to automate marketing-focused actions and tasks while eliminating the complex manual processes involved in campaigns such as email marketing, social media distribution, and other website actions.

Main Differences between CRM & Marketing Automation:-

Purpose:-

CRM software is used by sales people while Marketing Automation is used by marketers. CRM makes sales process easier and convenient, enabling sales representatives to perform service functions faster and more efficient. CRM is focused on one-on-one interactions with a prospect or customer. Marketing Automation aims to target mass number of potential prospects. It is designed with the objective to establish fast and easy mass communications. Marketing Automation Software enables you to track customer behavior as well as demographic data to engage prospects to perform buying action.

Managing the Sales Cycle:- CRM is used to turn a prospect into a customer while Marketing Automation helps in lead generations from marketing campaigns. Marketing Automation is, in fact, a communication that starts with an email blast or some action on webpage or registration. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Marketing automation systems generate huge amounts of not-very-well-structured data and analyze click streams in response to campaigns. While CRM enables the sales team to mature those leads from information collected in the contact or lead database. CRM solutions also help in analyzing the information which is gathered from the action. CRM is also used to retain existing clients.

As per role in Buyers’ Journey:- Marketing Automation helps in generating marketing qualified leads (MQLs) while CRM converts MQLs to sales qualified leads (SQLs) and ultimately to sales. For example, the marketing team has put up landing pages on the website to capture leads interacting with content. Then, these leads are scored depending on the actions or responses they take. Further, the sales team takes over these leads for engagement based on the level of interest as well as the capability to purchase. When leads have been assessed as viable prospects, they now become SQLs. This is how both Marketing Automation & CRM works in Customer Journey.

Sales Versus Marketing:- CRM collects customer-centric data by building relationships between sales representative and prospects. Marketing Automation collects data through the internet, your business’s website, etc. to establish some sort of rapport. CRM ensures person-to-person automation while Marketing Automation is about mass mailing, website action, etc. CRM enables you to track and manage existing customers and prospect lists whereas marketing automation brings more opportunities for your sales reps.