Imagine manually tracking your leads and customer information on spreadsheets or, heaven forbid, using physical records!
As your company grows, you need a solution that can help you scale business operations easily…
Enter CRM automation.
As your business and contact lists grow, using CRM automation software can make life easier for everyone involved.
This post will help you understand CRM automation better and also assist you in picking an excellent CRM automation software for your business.
What is CRM Automation Software?
Generally speaking, we use software to reduce the manual effort in monotonous tasks – work that can make you doze off.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) automation software can automate many generic day-to-day sales and marketing activities that could bog down your team.
We’re talking data entry, standard communications, calendar scheduling and management, and contact updates.
This will let your team focus on evolving your business strategy.
A good CRM automation software simplifies many daily tasks and helps you build a positive and long-lasting relationship with all your customers, even if you have thousands of them.
In recent times, cutting-edge advancements in artificial intelligence have drastically changed how a business can use automated CRM tools to further its business progress.
Marketing Automation vs. CRM Automation – What’s the Difference?
Many people think that marketing automation and CRM automation are the same.
This is far from the truth.
Though they sound similar and have certain functions that overlap, they have major distinctive uses. Most businesses require both of them to perform efficiently.
A CRM software can perform some marketing automation tasks, but it can’t be used as the sole platform for your marketing processes.
Let’s check out the key differences between marketing automation and CRM automation software.
Marketing Automation Software
- Analytics: A marketing automation software has automation that measures, analyzes, and quantifies data for different aspects of the marketing process, including campaigns.
- Nurturing leads: Secondly, a good marketing automation software has all the necessary tools to capture and nurture leads. For example, it has pre-built email templates that you can use to send content easily. By automating the process, the software can choose a template, populate it with personalized content, and send it to leads at the right time.
- Lead prioritization: You can use marketing automation software to prioritize your leads so that you don’t waste precious resources on unreceptive leads. The software uses a lead scoring system and winning probability to determine which leads to focus your efforts on.
- Workflows: Finally, a great marketing automation software lets you quickly build both simple and complex workflows, which can be customized based on the target audience and broadcast channels used.
CRM Automation Software
- Record customer interactions: A CRM software automatically logs in all customer interactions with your business, including phone calls and emails. This enables you to understand where your prospect stands in the overall sales process.
- Data automation: Data entry automation is boring, dull, and sometimes even painful. With the right CRM software, your sales teams can save a humongous amount of time and effort – resources that could be used elsewhere with better returns.
- Customer support: Finally, the software logs and records all customer service-related queries. This allows you to get a bird’ eye view of the customer’s engagement with the company.
The Essential Features in a CRM Automation Software
A great CRM automation software offers a mother lode of quality information and lets you view every single interaction your customer has had with your organization.
This includes queries, purchases, subscriptions, customer service automation, ticket issuance, and much more.
It lets you do this with ease. Let’s discuss some of the key features a good CRM marketing automation software must have.
- Form integrations: The CRM automation software should populate the names and other details of a lead into the database whenever they sign up for a free trial, complete a form, opt-in for newsletters, or contact the service team with an inquiry.
- Segmentation: Segmentation is a must-have for any CRM automation software. Segmentation lets you segregate your customer base into buckets based on demographics, geographical location, and other factors such as income, age, lifetime value, etc. This enables you to launch highly relatable and personalized marketing campaigns.
- Customer history: A CRM automation software records every interaction between customers and your company.
- Performance tracking: Finally, since the software tracks every lead throughout the complete customer journey from initial contact to final sales, it can help you understand which marketing campaigns are successful (and eliminate those that are not).
A great CRM software lets you automate these tasks efficiently so that your marketing and sales reps can have a holistic view of each customer.
These automation features allow you to target your audience with personalized content and build a positive and caring brand image.
Our Pick of the Five Best CRM Automation Software
Not all CRM automation software products are the same. Some are great, some are okay-ish, and some outright bog you down. Here, we have carefully hand-picked the five best CRM automation software for your business.
The first software on our list is EngageBay.
EngageBay is the most affordable CRM automation platform in this list, designed for small and medium businesses, and startups. Even so,it is a power-packed solution with all the features you need to scale and grow your business.
The best thing? EngageBay has a free forever plan.
How cool is that?
EngageBay is an all-in-one CRM automation software with marketing, sales, and service bays all integrated seamlessly. All these tools work together and offer a smooth marketing and sales experience. EngageBay offers contact management, visual deal pipeline, lead generation, data entry automation, workflow customizations, and so much more.
- Free All-in-One Suite: This plan is free for up to 15 users, and offers contact management, email tracking, email campaigns, landing pages, CRM automation features, and calendar integrations. You even get Live Chat, Help Desk, lead management, and autoresponders, with 1,000 branded emails a month.
- All-in-One Basic Suite: This plan starts at $14.99 per month and includes 1 GB of cloud storage, conversational inbox, canned responses, email templates, 3,000 branded emails a month, web popups, predictive lead scoring, SMS marketing, and much more.
- All-in-One Growth Suite: This plan costs $49.99 a month and allows 50,000 contacts, with 25,000 branded emails a month. It adds marketing automation, push notifications, A/B testing of email broadcasts and landing pages, custom domain for your brand, call records, and much more.
- All-in-One Pro Suite: This suite is $79.99 a month, and adds advanced features like web analytics, dedicated account manager,role management, uptime SLA, phone support, custom reporting for all aspects of your business, and much more.
All of the paid plans get a 20% discount on annual subscription, and 40% discount on biennial subscription.
Who’s it for: New, small, and medium businesses looking for an affordable yet complete and easy-to-use CRM automation software.
HubSpot is a great CRM and marketing automation platform and is another one of our favorites.
Its drip campaign feature lets you create personalized emails tailored for the specific needs of the customers. You can then assign your customers to various email lists based on their behavior. HubSpot also provides a comprehensive view of each of your customer’s journeys.
HubSpot also offers a complete package with various tools, including landing page and form builders, analytics, sales and customer support automation, and lead management.
Finally, HubSpot offers live optimization ideas and tips during content creation – a boon for content marketers. With advanced segmentation, targeted workflows, and email templates, you can launch smart marketing campaigns.
HubSpot is pretty expensive and might not offer the best value for companies that are just starting out. Let’s look at the pricing for the bundled plans.
- Starter Growth Suite: This plan starts at $50 a month and offers email marketing, deal pipelines, canned scripts, and mobile forms.
- Professional Growth Suite: This plan starts at $1,343 per month and offers A/B testing, custom reporting, and web analytics.
- Enterprise Growth Suite: Pricing starts at a whopping $4,200 and includes Events API, webhooks, call transcripts, and conversational routing.
Who’s it for: For large enterprises looking for maxed-out tools and features.
ActiveCampaign is another good CRM automation software and offers various tools for marketing and sales.
The platform’s tools like goal tracking, autoresponders, and multichannel broadcasting make marketing automation pretty easy. Moreover, ActiveCampaign lets you integrate your calendar with third-party applications, like Google and Outlook – and allows for easy appointment scheduling.
With its advanced CRM features, you can segregate your audiences based on demographics and other factors to empower personalized campaigns.
Also, ActiveCampaign’s unique machine learning tools are the icing on the cake, with advanced tools like conditional content, predictive sending, and split automation.
Finally, ActiveCampaign’s feedback systems, product recommendations, and engagement tracking will grant you the tools necessary to publicize your products or services and connect with your prospects more powerfully.
- Lite plan: It starts at $9 a month and offers you basic features like automation and social media tools, contacts importing, and autoresponders.
- Plus plan: This plan starts at $49 a month for additional features like conditional content, database sync, and subscription forms.
- Professional plan: It starts at $129 a month and adds predictive sending, split automation, and customer attribution.
- Enterprise plan: Starts at $229 a month and adds advanced features like premium phone support, custom URL, and uptime SLA.
Who’s it for: Medium to large enterprises looking for dedicated marketing and sales solutions. The plans get pretty expensive as the number of contacts increase.
Freshworks is yet another CRM automation software with amazing features.
You get access to an AI-based lead scoring tool, a visual sales pipeline, apps for both Android and iOS, and workflow automation.
A two-way email sync lets you view all your emails right from the CRM’s inbox. With additional tracking metrics, including open rates and click-throughs, you can know how your customers respond to your campaigns.
You can also call your leads/customers directly from the CRM using Freshcaller, add notes, set up appointments, or record calls. Finally, you can get insights about the behavior of your potential customers for lead scoring and prioritizing.
- Growth plan: This plan costs $29 a month and gives you access to a visual sales pipeline, custom reporting, journey builder, and deal management.
- Pro plan: This plan costs $69 a month and adds answer bots, conference calling, behavioral segmentation, and territory management.
- Enterprise plan: This plan costs $125 a month and adds features like audit logs, sales forecasts, and a dedicated account manager.
Who’s it for: For both small-scale businesses that need an integrated solution and large enterprises looking for cool customizations.
Insightly is another reputed CRM automation software with strong features like lead routing, workflow automation, contact management, and sales alignment.
Insightly lets you track important information about your leads using a timeline with details on sources, meetings, emails, and calls. Routing lets you assign your leads to the right sales rep for better follow-up.
With its intelligent multi-step workflow automation, you can create complex workflows that streamline your work process.
Additionally, you can strengthen your relationships with your customers using Insightly’s relationship linking tools.
- Plus plan: It starts at $29 per month and gives you access to lead management, calendar sync, and project management.
- Professional plan: The plan starts at $49 a month and includes lead assignment and routing, business intelligence dashboards, and configurable reports.
- Enterprise plan: This plan starts at $99 per month and gives access to advanced tools like custom apps, price books, and real-time insight cards.
Who’s it for: Growing, medium-sized businesses.
Finding the Right CRM Automation Software for You
Using CRM automation software can help you reach your sales goals faster.
The right CRM automation software will collect thousands of contacts from different apps, organize all the customer data in one place, update all the data automatically based on the behavior of your contacts, and build clear visual sales and marketing workflows for you.
All this and other CRM automation features can reduce manual efforts and help you scale your business without having to use a million different applications.
The right CRM automation software can also attract more leads and customers to your brand by improving your customer service with its automation features, such as autoresponders and Live Chat or Help Desk.
Ultimately, any one of the five CRM automation software listed here will do wonders for your business.
That said, EngageBay’s highly affordable yet power-packed platform is the best choice if you want an all-in-one solution that won’t burn holes in your wallet.
Check out EngageBay’s demo in the video below: