Sales & Marketing Automation and CRM: Their Differences and Similarities

What is the difference between Sales and Marketing Automation and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)? And which one is more useful for your business? I’m sure it’s making your head spin.

In the beginning there was much more of a distinction between the two. It was generally believed that CRM was more about customer service and possibly upselling or reselling new and existing customers, while Sales and Marketing Automation were about the sales cycle and how to prospect and initially sell to new customers or clients.

CRMs were hard to learn and quite expensive, most small business owners didn’t bother looking at them.

Sales Automation and Marketing Automation tools were often better priced but seemed to lack power or could only handle ONE or TWO of the necessary functions requiring you to purchase multiple tools and figure out how to transfer info between them to make them work together.

Here’s a rundown showing the differences between the two so you have a better idea what they are, what function they serve, and how you can incorporate them into your business.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

  • Customer Profile
  • Searchable notes and account data on each customer
  • Sales History that amalgamates up to departments and the entire company
  • Tracking of all customer communications
  • Customer service tools
  • Customer support tools
  • Customer retention tools
  • Sales campaign tracking and data utilization

Sales Automation and/or Marketing Automation

  • Contact Management
  • Calendars
  • To-do Lists
  • Email Automation
  • Sales lead assignment and categorization
  • Sales Funnel
  • Surveys
  • Customer Records
  • Salesperson tracking and goal and target feedback

Although they seem similar, their purpose is quite different. Sometimes it’s hard to tell apart which of the two you are currently using. They could be used interchangeably but there’s also an overlap, or they could be used as complementary tools.

How about Today?

The great news is, there are many tools today that blur the differences even more which can be used as a substitute especially for a small business (under $3,000,000/year in sales). For example, you can get software such as Click funnels for $100 a month to handle just the online funnels aspect for you.

No longer do you have to pay thousands of dollars to have these tools. They can actually be quite affordable. In fact, there are some companies that integrate both the sales automation with customer management like Salesforce, Hub spot, or Marketo. But for a vast number of small businesses and small shops they are still too pricey. For example Hubspot starts at $200 a month for the very basic package.

Small Business Dream combines the power of Hubspot, Marketo, and Salesforce for just $99 a month and can be customized to fit the needs of every small business owner. With their suite of tools you’ll get:

• Contact Management
• Automatic email follow-up
• Calendar integration
• Survey Engine
• Social Media semi-automation tools
• Twitter functionalities
• Sales Funnel
• Business Card Scanning and Transcription service
• Mobile app
• Web App

Visit us at to learn more about our suite of tools

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