Written by: Sheryll Chua
When using SharpSpring as both a marketing automation tool and a CRM system, a typical customer lifecycle looks like this:
Summary of FunnelBud full customer lifecycle:
From different sources, the lead enters the system as an Open lead.
It goes through some nurturing processes created by marketing team. Marketing team also qualifies the lead manually or automatically through automations.
Qualified means marketing qualified, Contact if the person is not a prospect (employee, vendor, partner, competitor, etc) and Unqualified means the lead is not interesting, not a contact and has no potential of becoming a prospect.
If a lead is set as marketing qualified, it will appear in the Qualified section in the Opportunities dashboard. This is where sales team can check the leads, evaluate them and decide if they should create an opportunity or not.
If lead is sales qualified, sales team will create an Opportunity for the lead. If not, sales team can mark the lead as unqualified.
The opportunity then goes through the sales process where it can end up as a Customer or a lost deal.
When the full customer lifecycle is available, marketing team, working together with sales team, can better understand the impact of their marketing activities on customer acquisition, specifically which among these activities are generating more quality leads that convert to deals and customers, and know how they can effectively fine tune their campaigns and strategies to achieve this goal.
Using a 3rd-party CRM
When using SharpSpring only as a marketing automation tool and integrating with a 3rd-party CRM system, the customer lifecycle is divided into two parts where the marketing end happens in SharpSpring and sales end happens in the CRM.
This is what the first-half of the customer lifecycle looks like in SharpSpring:
With only half of the customer lifecycle available, the marketing team won't have the insight on whether the leads they generate are actually converting to deals and sales.
The alignment with the sales team is interrupted because the two teams are working in different systems.
However, it is possible to set up a SharpSpring- CRM integration where the full customer lifecycle can be tracked and available in FunnelBud. This allows marketing team to continue monitoring the performance of their marketing activities, which when done right results in better quality leads and higher conversion rates.
How to set up SharpSpring - CRM integration
It is important that the nurturing and qualification process is retained in SharpSpring. There must be a clear method of qualifying leads that will be sent to the CRM as well as identifying who these leads are. This advanced lifecycle management process is a good example.
In the CRM, there must be a qualification process where the leads sent from SharpSpring are marked as Accepted (if they are sales qualified), Rejected or Sent back to marketing (if they need more nurturing).
If the marketing leads are accepted as sales leads, an opportunity will be attached to the lead and the sales process will take over until the opportunity is closed as won or lost.
Ideally, these sales qualification and sales process information should be sent back to SharpSpring to create a full customer lifecycle.
The resulting process should look like the chart below:
Recommended SharpSpring - CRM integration process
When done this way:
Marketing will know what happened to the leads they sent to sales - how many were accepted, rejected, convert to opportunities and ultimately became customers.
Sales will be able to communicate to marketing the kind of leads that they want vs the quality of the leads they are getting.
By working together, both teams will get an insight on what activities are driving not only leads, but also sales and what they need to focus on to achieve their goals.
High level requirements sheet for download
The below sheet can be used to specify your needs and requirements, and learn more about how a FunnelBud integration with a CRM may work, and what to consider.