A quick look around the web gives an idea about the growing attention given to Marketing automation, which is a component of customer relationship management (CRM).
Marketing automation is defined as the use of software to automate marketing processes such as segmentation, scheduling and tracking of marketing campaigns. Marketing automation allows marketers to classify customers by factors such sex, age, and education, which helps create a target population for more efficient customer visits performed by sales representatives.
Some people argue that it is a great tool on its own yet others claim that it has limitations and it requires other add-ons to be effective.
Sales automation tools are defined as softwares that automate the sales process such as setting-up targets and forecasts; preparing action plans and managing sales processes from proposal to contract, customer monitoring such defining actions taken and actions to achieve, and presenting sales dashboards. The software replaces the manual process and reduces paperwork . An example of sales automation software is Valomnia Sales which contributes to Marketing automation by automating repetitive business tasks like generating automatic reports with customers feedback, all needed by the Marketing department. In fact, Marketers are constantly looking for more data as sales trends in order to set up the best marketing strategy. In essence, if statistics coming from the sales reps‚ customer visits show that a product is not selling well, the marketing department has to change the marketing campaign and set a more effective one.
This leads us to say that Marketing automation cannot be powerful by itself. It requires collaboration between Sales and Marketing in order to increase the conversion rate and help businesses attain their objectives. This argument is confirmed by Mr. Craig Conrad (2013) president of Sudden Impact Marketing who states that Marketing automation takes over after lead generation, not before.
To sum up, it can be said that Marketing automation is a useful tool and a promising concept but it has to go along with sales automation solutions in order to produce the best results.