In this comparison article, we will examine CRM vs marketing automation. To choose the ideal system for their teams and improve company processes, marketing and sales executives need to grasp the distinctions between these software types. A poor decision may slow down or even stop a company’s funnel, affecting its bottom line. That’s why we’ve got an ERP vs. CRM definition comparison for you, and it’s time to conduct another assessment.

CRM software and marketing automation tools may seem similar at first, but they work towards two distinct goals. As a result, it’s critical to know what each program tries to achieve and how incorporating them into your company might be beneficial.

CRM vs Marketing Automation: What do they mean?

“CRM” may be a little hard to understand. Marketing automation (or “email marketing automation”) is sometimes confused with CRM, although it’s a different category. Both streamline the customer journey and improve sales efficiency by automating the process.

Automate Your Workflow With The Right Solution: Crm Vs Marketing Automation
CRM vs marketing automation: What are they?

What is CRM?

A CRM, in a nutshell, helps you manage customer interactions, contact management, and sales, as well as improve agent productivity. You may keep track of customers’ purchases, phone conversations, and email correspondence. Most importantly, a CRM allows you to enhance one-on-one interactions with clients by optimizing them.

CRM benefits

Customer relationship management (CRM) has many advantages, including:

  • Prompting sales reps to contact customers at the optimum moment with ulterior motives and offering them timely alerts on account renewals, birthdays, and anniversaries assists them in keeping their days organized.
  • Workflows that are integrated eliminate time-consuming everyday activities and spare staff time.
  • Sync your social media pages to improve customer service and promote customer loyalty by following what consumers talk about you on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and other channels.
  • To boost conversion rates and establish trust with customers, provide specialized promotional material.

What is the best CRM software?

These are the some of the best CRM software:

  1. Salesforce
  2. Zoho CRM
  3. Odoo
  4. Dynamics CRM
  5. Act!

What is marketing automation?

Marketing automation allows you to analyze, automate, and streamline processes and marketing activities. You may keep track of prospect actions such as website views, blog reads, email opens, and form fills. These applications are used to plan and monitor email campaigns and mass communications. If you’re unsure how to choose marketing automation software or need more information about it, don’t worry. We’ve already compiled a handbook for you.

Marketing automation benefits

Marketing automation may provide several advantages, including:

  • Prospect segmentation can improve customer engagement based on prior interactions or interests and desires.
  • A unique lead scoring method of it aids in the identification of leads with the greatest conversion potential.
  • At the end of each campaign, analytics generates updated data that assess performance and insights.
  • Automatically send emails when prospects are most interested in a product or service. You may also create drip campaigns to schedule email series.

What is the best marketing automation software?

These are the some of the best marketing automation software:

  1. MailChimp
  2. HubSpot Marketing Automation
  3. GetResponse
  4. Infusionsoft
  5. SendinBlue

Why comparing CRM vs marketing automation is important?

Although marketing automation software and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions often share features, they are two distinct concepts. Knowing the distinctions between CRM and marketing automation can help you make better decisions about when to utilize each and why (spoiler: in most situations, both should be utilized).

Automate Your Workflow With The Right Solution: Crm Vs Marketing Automation
CRM vs marketing automation: Why comparing CRM vs marketing automation is important?

Marketing automation focuses on the top of the sales funnel by helping you automate repetitive tasks around creating awareness and building interest in your business. With it, you can send targeted mass emails or text messages, nurture cold leads, and monitor the results of your efforts.

CRM takes over as those at the top of the funnel get closer to buying something. These tools focus on helping you build deeper relationships with potential customers by tracking their movement in your sales funnel, logging interactions, and giving your sales team the tools they need to close the deal. CRMs support lead qualification, actions early on in the sales cycle, quote generation, order confirmation, fulfillment, etc. While the two have similar features, their purposes are significantly different. You’d use both of these solutions in a perfect world because neither does the whole funnel.

Rather than working independently, marketing automation and CRM work in tandem. Consider the two systems to be runners in a relay race. Marketing automation prepares prospects ahead of time and hands them over to your CRM so that they can sell at the optimum moment. Instead of choosing one technology over the other, focus your resources on aligning marketing automation and CRM to your company. There’s even a term for it: “marketing.”

We are living in the age of hyperautomation. You may check what is hyperautomation and how it works, but not yet. Now is the time to do a CRM vs marketing automation comparison.

CRM vs marketing automation: The difference

CRM and marketing automation solutions are often mistaken because they help you reach out to consumers and nurture relationships. The distinction is how each technology helps you address specific client demands and nurture connections with prospects throughout the buyer journey.

Automate Your Workflow With The Right Solution: Crm Vs Marketing Automation
CRM vs marketing automation: What is the difference between them?

CRM vs marketing automation: Type of users

Marketing automation solutions are utilized by marketers, whereas salespeople use CRM software. Both provide automation, analytics, and reporting capabilities to simplify daily activities while also providing users with key metrics and insights on the success, efficiency, and effectiveness of marketing campaigns and sales efforts. Customer data may be handled by the same personnel but used for various purposes and operations.

CRM vs marketing automation: Key function

The main purpose of marketing automation is to produce leads resulting from marketing efforts. A lead may be an individual or a firm that expresses interest in your goods or services and might arrive as a consequence of referral or through direct response to your campaigns, such as promotion, publicity, or advertising.

The marketing team uses any top marketing automation software solutions to produce leads that are potential consumers. The marketing must first know everything about the lead or contact, including email address and purchasing habits.

On the other hand, CRM helps salespeople nurture leads from data gathered in the contact or lead database. Salespeople utilize CRM to analyze data, group and qualify people, follow up with offers or discounts, and similar initiatives to convert leads into buying customers.

The sales team makes use of CRM to keep current clients. The software includes tools for collecting data and feedback from various customer channels and analyzing that information to provide the sales team with customers’ behavior, interaction history with your firm, and purchasing trends. Salespeople can use their knowledge of the customer to develop targeted offers and loyalty programs to increase client retention.

CRM vs marketing automation: Goal

Marketing automation is meant to help marketers generate marketing qualified leads (MQLs) for sales. Meanwhile, CRM’s objective is to convert MQLs into sales-qualified leads (SQLs) and, eventually, into sales. MQL refers to engaged leads, whereas SQL refers to validated prospects. The objectives are different, as you can see where one comes to an end and the other begins in the sales funnel. Still, marketing automation and CRM have overlapping responsibilities to convert leads into customers.

Let’s take a look at an example. Your company’s marketing staff generates landing pages and collects clicks on your website and leads interacting with your content. These leads are beginning to communicate, but it remains to be seen how interested they are, so your team engages them by providing useful information to get them started. Contact leads are then rated depending on the actions or reactions they take. These people become MQLs when they are ready to be passed on to marketing.

The process continues when the sales team takes control, engages with the leads, and assesses their level of interest and capacity to buy. Leads that have been deemed viable prospects are now labeled SQLs. Marketing automation and CRM features and capacities come into play in this specific pathway from MQL to SQL and the overall process that covers the stages from lead to customer. Lead prospecting automation tools may now assist you in achieving the goals mentioned above.

CRM vs marketing automation: Role in the buyer’s journey

You can infer the roles played by marketing automation and CRM from the preceding example. The former raises consumer awareness of your items and services, while the latter is to get people ready to buy. The two funnels that make up the buyer’s journey are split into different responsibilities. Yet, they are also complementary and combine the two funnel systems within the sales process. The following image displays marketing automation and CRM’s involvement in each phase of the sales pipeline.

How to choose between them?

CRMs and marketing automation solutions are designed for various sections of your company.

Automate Your Workflow With The Right Solution: Crm Vs Marketing Automation
CRM vs marketing: How to choose?

The ideal option is Customer Relationship Management software if you want to streamline or standardize the sales funnel. It has a lot of management capabilities that cover every stage of the sales process, from when a lead enters the funnel to when a deal is closed and beyond. You’ll want to invest in a CRM tool if you aim to enhance your relationship with prospects and existing clients.

Marketing automation software is an excellent choice for marketing teams looking to save time without sacrificing quality. It manages many publication platforms simultaneously, allowing marketers to use one central location for all of their campaigns and activities. If you want to automate your marketing processes while also focusing on lead creation, you should choose marketing automation software.

Can I use CRM and marketing automation software together?

It’s typical for mid-sized and huge businesses to combine tools from various departments. This helps to keep data isolated. CRM and marketing automation solutions are ideal complements since they give a comprehensive insight into the customer lifecycle.

Automate Your Workflow With The Right Solution: Crm Vs Marketing Automation
CRM vs marketing: Combine them

You’ll be able to manage the sales cycle from beginning to end, delve deep into leads, and utilize various tools by combining sales and marketing teams. You can send email marketing campaigns for existing clients and change which milestones influence sales and lead qualification.

Use the table below to see which option is suitable for you:

NeedsSoftware Solution
If your company’s primary goal is to close more deals, speed up the sales pipeline, and handle contracts and accounts, we have what you need.Sales CRM
If your organization’s main goal is to automate campaigns, simplify marketing workflows, and enjoy hands-free control over communication channels, this solution is for you.Marketing Automation
If your company’s primary need is to link sales and marketing personnel with synchronous, personalized software, choose both.Integrated CRM and Marketing Automation Solutions


The two terms are frequently used interchangeably, and while they may seem similar, they’re not. Marketing automation software and CRMs operate under different principles in the same class. While CRMs are focused on the sales aspect of a company, marketing automation tools are more concerned with top-of-funnel marketing-related activities. Both are useful in their ways, and they are quite beneficial to firms of all sizes, whether they collaborate or operate independently.

Would you choose CRM or marketing automation if you had to pick one? Do you prefer a system with integrated capabilities or two distinct solutions? Is it better to utilize a CRM and an MA, or vice versa? Let us know your thoughts on this post in the comments section below!

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