Today’s increasingly sophisticated, informed, and distracted customers are lighting a bonfire, so to speak, under businesses—forcing companies to deliver more unique, intriguing, and engaging interactions than ever before. By integrating customer relationship management (CRM) software, marketing automation platforms (MAP), and creative content, your business can stand out to prospective clients and loyal customers—turning warm leads and growing accounts into hot sources of revenue.

We believe there are five key reasons to automate your sales and marketing.

#1 Align Your Sales and Marketing Teams

Sales and marketing are no longer separate pieces of the money-making pie. Marketing is responsible for more of the buying process than ever before, often overlapping with buying stages traditionally owned by sales. With so many resources for gathering information, customers are relying more on online content to guide their buying decisions. Those customers are often using self-serve options to limit even having to talk to a live salesperson.

Combining marketing automation with CRM, you can bridge the gap between your sales and marketing teams and ensure they are growing in the same direction. Marketing automation helps you intelligently collect leads, nurture them, and feed them directly to the right salesperson at the right time. Technology does the heavy lifting—starting by segmenting leads, monitoring prospects, and scoring their sales-indicating behavior. It then helps you personalize the customer journey based on data and alerts the sales team to engage a lead when he/she is most likely to buy.

And with responsive, automated campaigns, your company can engage leads quickly and effectively at virtually any scale.

#2 Measure Your Success

Today’s CRM and marketing automation tools also give your company actionable insights into your sales and marketing activities—from campaign results and closing rates to revenue earned. The ability to closely track sales and marketing activities can help you identify which activities result in the most revenue for your company. Move past just seeing how many likes your Facebook posts received. See how many leads were created, the qualifications of those leads, and the revenue produced in the end.

By quantifying the performance of your sales and marketing strategies and A/B testing your creative content, you can make smarter budgeting and marketing decisions leading into the future. Imagine walking into a budget meeting and being able to say with gumption, “We want to double our ad budget and move 70% of it to social media because we know that every dollar invested in social media results in $52.53 in revenue.” It would be hard to turn your request down.

#3 Gaze into The Future

Speaking of the future, you don’t need a crystal ball to forecast your revenues. CRM and marketing automation tools can give you a forward-looking view into your company’s revenue stream. By tracking every stage of the buying process—from a prospect’s initial exposure to your brand, to a won deal or many contract renewals—you know exactly how many leads are in every stage. As it looks at historic trends, your CRM can estimate how likely each lead is to produce revenue and when that revenue is likely to hit.

#4 Tackle More Deals Without More Staff

With each additional sales person, your sales efficiency drops—your college microeconomics teacher called this “decreasing marginal utility,” but you probably just call it frustrating. As your sales and marketing teams grow, it’s critical to establish consistent processes that increase the likelihood of closing the right deals quickly. CRM and marketing automation let you consolidate information and create repeatable processes that have proven to be successful in the past. Imagine taking your top sales person, cloning them across your entire sales team, and taking them into every customer interaction. Build templates to guide your sales and marketing teams through various stages of the customer journey, and automate certain activities to enforce best practices and increase efficiencies.

#5 Get Personal with Your Customers

In a world where customers expect to be able to communicate and buy how they want, it’s more and more difficult to meet their demands and stand out from the competition. Getting up close and personal with your customers using CRM and marketing automation helps you tailor messages, content, and other engagement to their unique preferences. Spark their initial interest and help them blaze their own personalized trail to becoming your customer. With detailed information about customer demographics and behaviors at your fingertips, you can craft targeted marketing and sales activities—creating that personal touch that drives buying decisions and loyalty.

As the lines between sales and marketing become increasingly blurred, CRM and marketing automation offer a distinct way for these once-independent processes to work together—igniting customer engagement and creating a powerful source of revenue. When you implement these tools, you ensure:

1) alignment between your sales and marketing teams,

2) intelligent insight into which marketing strategies are working,

3) accurate revenue forecasting,

4) improved sales practices, and

5) a more personalized customer experience.

Stay tuned for more of our thoughts on CRM and marketing automation best practices, benefits, and success stories.