As we begin to see an increase in the number of applications aimed at automating the management of marketing, we're also starting to see a corresponding increase in efforts to integrate those systems with the customer relationship management (CRM) systems that we use to automate the sales management process.
A good example of this is LoopFuse, a provider of marketing automation software-as-a-service (SaaS) that today released an Integration Wizard that steps customers through the process of integrating the company's software with a CRM system such as Salesforce.com or SugarCRM. Given the complexity of most CRM systems, anything that automates the integration process even to the smallest degree is a welcome development, especially when you consider how often CRM systems are left in isolation.
You might understandably be laboring under the mistaken assumption that there is more integration between the sales and marketing department than there actually is in most organizations. In fact, it's not uncommon to see these groups warring over budgets, with sales managers invariably favoring more feet on the street over dollars spent on marketing campaigns that are usually tied up in fuzzy return on investment (ROI) metrics. LoopFuse CEO Sean Dwyer says his company is trying to narrow that historic divide by giving both side quantifiable metrics
The good news is that as IT gets more pervasive inside marketing departments, it's becoming easier to track the closure rate of sales leads generated by specific marketing campaigns. Of course, to do that you need to integrate the marketing and CRM applications. But nobody will want to do really do that unless it really easy, hence the need for integration wizards.