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Most modern B2B marketing organizations have adopted CRM and marketing automation tools to help drive B2B marketing ROI.

Marketing automation campaign metrics may garner attention, but marketing ROI can remain elusive and vague, leaving marketers and business leaders struggling to prove their worth. On the other hand, sales teams struggle when marketing campaigns deliver poor quality leads who aren’t ready to buy.

Marketing wants to demonstrate that marketing investments and the marketing automation tool are delivering results, and sales wants marketing to produce more and better leads. That’s where a CRM and marketing automation ecosystem can help achieve these goals, lean-out the lead management process, and provide data, metrics, and analytics everyone can rely on. 

It’s paramount to understand the differences between B2B marketing ROI automation and CRM tools to optimize a CRM and marketing automation ecosystem…

B2B Marketing automation tools are best suited for:

  • Streamlining digital campaign creation
  • Managing and automating prospect interactions (engagement)
  • Email marketing
  • Lead nurturing
  • Scoring and grading

CRM tools are best suited for:

  • Being the primary source for Account and contact segmentation attributes
  • Tracking the lead management process and lead funnel
  • Associating leads and contacts to Opportunities
  • Managing and sales team activity
  • Tracking sales opportunities generated from leads as they move through the pipeline
  • Measuring campaign influence, beyond direct campaign attribution

     

Integrating CRM and marketing automation tools is technically straight-forward. However, mapping an integrated marketing-to-lead-to-opportunity end-to-end process can be complicated. The inherent complexity with an integrated process is what often results in the disconnect on how ROI will be measured.

Based on our experience, we see CRM and marketing automation integration efforts primarily focus on getting email marketing automation up and running as fast as possible to generate leads for the sales organization. Marketing automation vendors claim that ROI can be measured within their solution, and for simple use cases, they can provide insight into ROI.

For comprehensive B2B marketing ROI measurement, the CRM system is best.

If your organization is struggling to measure marketing ROI, we first recommend a thorough refresh of the end-to-end marketing-to-lead-to-opportunity process.  This process should accurately reflect the differences between CRM and marketing automation solutions capabilities for measuring B2B marketing ROI.
 

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