What kind of CRM do you need to fuel your growth?

What kind of CRM do you need to fuel your growth?

By Carey Houston

In the first blog of our series on CRM, we looked at the question: are you ready? Now, that you have established whether or not you are, it’s time to consider: are you marketing-led or sales-led?

We believe that sales and marketing go hand-in-hand in driving your growth.

A Sales-Led Approach

Sometimes it’s better to take a sales-led approach, where you focus your efforts on outbound direct sales or selling your product through third-party channels. In this case, marketing can be important to driving awareness and interest, but tends to play more of a supportive role.

A Marketing-Led Approach

Other times, a marketing-led approach is a better fit, in which your marketing and social campaigns are designed to drive inbound leads to the top of your funnel. Sales may play a role, or not, but marketing is the key driver of your growth.

Which is right for you will depend on your product category, your target market, how your buyers like to buy, who you compete with, and your unit economics. You can find a great post here from First Round Capital on this topic.

This is key, because your choice of tool will vary dramatically based on whether you are marketing- or sales-led.

Sales-led growth companies tend to focus more on:

  • CRM tools that allow them to capture company and contact information, including capturing the relationships among individuals in a company, in order to qualify and prioritize sales activity, and share information across the team;
  • Pipeline management tools that allow them to capture key information about a deal, and manage all their deals across various stages in their pipeline;
  • Reporting tools that allow them to capture and track key metrics about the sales pipeline, sales performance and often sales forecasts;
  • Tools that help the team be more efficient, including features like email templates, content, and so on.

Companies that see their growth as more marketing-led tend to focus on:

  • CRM tools that capture company and contact information, but also allow them to use that information to identify or validate different segments of the market that might behave differently;
  • Campaign tools that allow for the planning and execution of marketing campaigns across various channels, including assessing key campaign metrics and results;
  • Reporting or filtering, to be able to create segmented lists for different campaigns targeted at different segments or audiences;
  • Reporting tools to track key marketing metrics, including the ability to assess marketing ROI;
  • Tools that help the marketing team be more efficient, including templates, workflows, shareable content, landing page builders, and so on.


If you’re a #CRMnerd (or want to be!), join us.

We’ll be hosting a CRM Master Class with our friends at Hubspot and Platform Calgary.


We’ve been involved in many (too many to count!) CRM implementations over the years: Hubspot, Salesforce.com, Pipedrive, and others. This session brings together everything we’ve learned from decades of experience using various CRM systems to fuel marketing and sales.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

5:30 PM – 9:00 PM

Platform Beta

429 8 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB T2G 0L6

Click Here for Tickets.


This is Part 2 in 321 Growth Academy’s blog series of CRM lessons from the startup trenches. Click here for Part 1 and here for Part 3!