What CRM Integrators need to know about Marketing Automation

CRM integrators lead the charge of digital transformation for their clients. They take processes that were on spreadsheets, and emails, and were manual processes, and consolidate and automate. And while most CRMs started out as sales tools, CRMs are frequently expanding into project management, and inventory management, and either using built-in features or through integration: marketing. And while there’s quite a bit of art to marketing, many CRM integrators are well-positioned to handle the technology and infrastructure aspect of marketing in 2021. Many CRM integrators should be deploying CRM+marketing automation together. If those integrators are going to bring their clients up to date on sales infrastructure, they could also do the same for the marketing department. Read about how Flowbird, a UK-based agency, deploys CRM+marketing automation for their clients.

Marketing + CRM

While some CRMs come with comprehensive or rudimentary marketing capabilities, many benefit from integration with a full-fledged marketing automation platform like ActiveDEMAND. These marketing automation platforms:

  • manage prospects pre-sales
  • use comprehensive workflow and automation to market to prospects
  • include advanced lead distribution for enterprise customers
  • use intelligent re-marketing to existing customers to encourage upsell, warranty/maintenance sales, or just increase customer satisfaction
  • aid in tracking marketing lead sources and connecting which marketing campaigns are driving leads

Ultimately, the same steps that a CRM integrator would go through in assessing and evaluating sales needs for a CRM are exactly the same as assessing and evaluating marketing needs for a marketing automation platform. Adding on the customer consultation time will give time to consult with marketing and understand how both sales and marketing work in the client’s organization. This up-front consultation work can help bridge the marketing-sales divide.

You may want to work with your client to build a full user journey that includes marketing and sales together. These combined user journeys can help make some necessary infrastructure connections a lot more obvious. One thing that even marketers forget is that marketing doesn’t stop once the deal is won. Marketing automation can help with after-sales processes, satisfaction surveys, personalized content to upsell and help clients, and the like.

ActiveDEMAND integrates with

Scoping Marketing Automation into a CRM Deployment

Deploying marketing automation along with CRM has some advantages. CRMs and marketing automation platforms need to transfer contact data and be in sync. Typically, the marketing automation platform is the system of record until a sales-ready lead is created. After that point, the CRM is the system of record. We’ve written before on this concept if you’re interested in reading more.

One new task for some CRM integrators will be in integrating marketing platforms with the automation platform. Most automation platforms have their own email system, call tracking, appointment scheduling, etc, but they still need to integrate with ad platforms like Google Ads, and Facebook, as well as with website analytics platforms like Google Analytics. These integrations are crucial to ensuring the infrastructure can connect marketing efforts to their results. It’s very easy to spend a lot of money on marketing and get nothing, so tracking results has to be a priority.


Popular CRMs have excellent native integration options, but many marketing automation platforms can be somewhat limited in their connection options. Beware that some will list integrations, but actually need a third-party connector (at extra cost) to handle the connection.

ActiveDEMAND natively integrates with tons of CRMs like Salesforce, Pipedrive, MS Dynamics, Pipeline, Sherpa CRM, Zoho, Nimble, Freshsales, NoCRM, and more.

When integrating, consider:

  • What contact data will flow back and forth, and when
  • Funnel specific automation

For best practices on integrating CRMs and marketing automation platforms, see this video:

Scoping Additional Sales Enablement

If you get into the consultation and you quickly find out that your client doesn’t do traditional marketing and instead they use an outbound caller strategy to generate leads, you may want to consider scoping in additional sales enablement infrastructure. Some CRMs come with these kinds of features built in, some do not.

Outbound callers typically benefit from a sales system that:

  • Allows calling from their laptop or phone anywhere on the go
  • Manages outreach sequences that include
    • Calls
    • Emails
    • Social outreach
  • Allows recording of these calls, plus auto-posting the recording/transcription to the CRM
  • Gives each caller an appointment scheduler
  • Tracks email opens/clicks/site visits
  • Integrates with the CRM

Shameless plug, our sister product FunnelFLARE does all of the features above.

It is evident that technology is rapidly evolving for CRM integrators and offers new capabilities to clients that implement it. And while simple marketing automation is being incorporated by many CRMs, they cannot compare to the advantages of what a full-fledged marketing automation platform like ActiveDEMAND can do.

Curious to see how your CRM integration with ActiveDEMAND marketing automation works for you and your clients? Why not book a live demo? Want to jump in a start trying it out? We also have a 14-day free trial.