The Difference between a CRM and a Marketing Automation Platform
In the last 10 years, automated platforms have redefined the sales and marketing process. Companies have been continuously striving to implement new ways to align the efforts of both teams. Companies that have succeeded, work under common sets of definitions of each stage of the sales cycle and utilize RPM disciplines that allow them to quicken and increase sales conversion.

This post, however, is going to revisit the concept of sales and marketing and redefine the objectives of both as the separate entities that they are.

Let’s begin with a CRM.

The most important tool for customer relationship management is a CRM.  A CRM is the solution for prospect and customer record-keeping and is used by the sales teams to track all activities that occur with each contact and account. A CRM records and tracks things like phone conversations, e-mails, downloaded publications, appointments, meetings and more. All this is documented and kept in the CRM for sales teams, CEOs and CMOs to access at any given time.

Depending on the type of CRM you are looking to adopt, each one has its own interface. For the most part, a CRM is populated with the following modules:

Home – Your Home page

Calendar – Timeline of your events

Dashboard– Graphical representation of your sales pipeline

Leads – Cold calls

Contacts – Your contact at the Account

Account– Company name

Opportunities – Progress report

Activities – Schedule calls and meeting

When data is kept clean and each new activity is properly documented, these modules produce a sales pipeline report that reveals the entire status of a company’s sales effort. Your sales pipeline ensures that you have clear objectives and that you are able to influence the buying behaviors of your prospects.

On the other side of the spectrum, is a marketing automation platform; a system that enables marketers to do more with less while eliminating the entire manual marketing process. From lead nurturing to email campaign execution, from demand generation to segmentation, a marketing automation platform enables organizations to execute unitary and multi-channel campaigns with a single click while having access to the buyer journey at the same time. The right automation technology in the hands of a sophisticated marketer means executing campaigns like never before – automatically, with precision and with the ability to imagine any workflow possible and make it happen.

Marketing automation creates programs that run lead scores and manage data while taking up an end-to-end responsibility of running any campaign with minimum manual effort, time and money investment.

While a CRM takes care of the sales department and allows it to have access to any and all information pertaining to individual contacts, a marketing automation program elevates marketers to a whole new level of marketing campaign execution.

Have you considered which automated solutions you will be using for your sales and marketing efforts?