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Sales automation covers the main components of the sales process including order management, inventory control, customer management and sales forecasting. Whereas marketing automation focuses on the customer marketing process and seeks to manage customer analysis & segmentation, marketing campaigns as well as lead development and conversion. While there are specialized solutions that focus on one or both of these areas, most customers will find it more effective to utilize them together with a complete CRM application.
Therefore we at ITQlick seek to identify the best sales & marketing automation solutions for SMBs, because we realize that they are key business enablers which will drive business growth. While considering the main factors for the selection we have focused on the price competitiveness of the product, how well the features are used to improve customer engagement, analyzed the complexity of the technology involved and how it can meet changing business scenarios, as well as compatibility with other products. Based on this criterion we have reviewed a number of solutions and these include the following.
Salesforce is a leading provider of modular cloud based CRM functionality. The Marketing Cloud module includes multi-channel marketing campaigns, predictive marketing to understand how best to convert leads, as well as content development to build effective campaigns. There are also dedicated marketing automation tools that can perform in-depth marketing analysis to improve the lead generation process. These can all be integrated with the Sales Cloud which includes sales forecasting, customer sales experience improvement, along with collaboration tools to provide more sales opportunities. Salesforce with its integrated solutions and scalability provides SMBs with a good option to improve both revenue and profitability.
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Infusionsoft is another cloud based CRM solution that is focused on SMBs. It provides a marketing automation module that includes email marketing campaigns, online lead generation web pages, and social media & multimedia marketing. There are detailed analytics as well, to determine effectiveness and strategy refinement if required to better target customers. This is well integrated with the sales automation module that grades the leads obtained by closure probabilities, and manages opportunities from identification to sales closure. The advantage with Infusionsoft is that it is focused only on these two areas and offers SMBs the option to configure a solution that best suits their needs.
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Microsoft Dynamics is a full ERP solution that includes CRM as one of its main modules. As part of CRM there is a marketing module which is built on lead conversion & scoring to understand which leads hold the best possibility of actualizing a sale. In addition customers can design email & social media marketing campaigns with detailed analytics to determine effectiveness. The customization of marketing campaigns ties into the Sale module that deals with sales automation, and its features include multi-channel sales management, integrated social collaboration tools for sales productivity. The sales module also includes analytics to provide better insights on customers to deliver more targeted products. Together both of these tools deliver greater value to SMBs in terms of quality of conversions & sales. SMBs can also scale their business to Microsoft Dynamics full suite of products if they require.
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With Netsuite CRM companies get a marketing automation tool that delivers a clear return on investment, regarding the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns. In addition the product focuses on both new lead generation as well as mining the current customer data base for new lead opportunities. There is support for workflows for better process management as well as greater alignment with the sales automation module. This module offers management of the full sales lifecycle including opportunity management, sales forecasting, as well as incentive management to encourage conversions. Netsuite CRM provides SMBs with powerful sales & marketing automation tools that are clearly focused on the lead to cash process, to help them achieve their revenue goals.
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This product’s unique selling point is the fact that it is highly customizable to a business’s requirements. This means the sales & marketing automation tools can be redefined along with their workflow to match the unique business processes of a given SMB. The marketing automation module covers campaign management, social media marketing as well as online lead generation. On the other hand the sales automation module includes opportunity alerts & conversions, quotations as well as assets & vendor management. Creedenz CXM provides a good option for SMBs that need a reasonably priced solution with the sales & marketing automation features of an enterprise application provider.
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