More to CRM than Sales Automation?

CRM is an umbrella term for Sales automation, Marketing automation and Service automation. Too often, CRM is used to only define Sales automation as this was the first expression to be widely used. This insight explains the difference between Sales Automation, Marketing Automation, and Service automation as well as their value and use.

Joz Van Acker -

CRM, Sales automation, Marketing automation, Service automation: what is the difference?

What is CRM really?

CRM is an umbrella term for Sales automation, Marketing automation and Service automation. Too often, CRM is used to only define Sales automation as this was the first expression to be widely used. This insight explains the difference between Sales Automation, Marketing Automation, and Service automation as well as their value and use.

Sales (automation) software

The principal aim of Sales automation is to increase the productivity of your sales team. Additionally, it is used to provide the sales department (and sales director) more insight, enabling them to predict deals and workload.

The simplest tools are contact managers that allow you to gather all information about your customers and prospects, so all authorised personnel can access the same data. All data can be centrally accessed, whether it be an address, phone number, the latest proposal or mail sent by a colleague, etc.

More advanced tools allow your sales team to handle a lot more prospects/customers. Workflows can be built with reminders but also with automated interactions. These can vary from automated personalised messages (e-mail, SMS, social messaging) to digitalised processes like online signatures and automatic contract generation.

Popular software is: Salesforce , Microsoft Dynamics, Sugar CRM, Hubspot CRM

Marketing (automation) software

Marketing automation aims to grab your consumers’ attention, build their interest in your products and services and prepare them for a purchase in your (on-line) shop or your sales team.This during every stage of their customer lifecycle: from lead to prospect to customer to repeated customer and even to brand ambassador.

There are 2 main types of Marketing automation tools:

 Service (automation) software

Service automation aims to delight your customers in the use of your products or services at every stage of their customer lifecycle. Where phone and e-mail used to be the main communication channels, social media and chat programs have become increasingly important.

Lately Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Hubspot end Selligent have added a service module to their offering. The advantage being that all data collected in Sales, Marketing and Service are available for use in the other modules.

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