ERP and CRM – Benefits of
Defining Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) & Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
ERP and CRM systems are both very powerful software applications. But they have very different features and functions for your business. CRM systems manage the details of your relationships with your customers. Most of your ‘front-end’ employees use CRM daily when they work with customers for marketing, sales, and customer service.
ERP systems handle more of the finances, human resources, and operations. Employees typically using ERP applications are HR managers, warehouse and inventory managers, and senior operations.
Cost Savings and Easy Access to Customer Information
ERP software can be hard to use and very expensive to pay for everyone to have access. Training employees is also very time-consuming and expensive. Integrating your ERP and CRM provides all employees information they need at an affordable rate.
Users have access to customer information throughout the entire sales cycle. All data is tracked from the beginning stages of turning a prospect into a customer. And then continuing to track orders and support them after the sale. These two systems work even better if they are integrated together.
That is probably why most ERP vendors have purchased CRM software from other companies.
CRM Integrations in ERP Provide a Holistic View of the Customer
Businesses like manufacturers integrate their ERP and CRM systems to provide a 360-degree view of their customers. Even small companies within the supply chain will have multiple touchpoints with customers.
Salespeople try and uncover business challenges prospects face that they can solve. Product experts turn those challenges into advantages and opportunities. At the same time, customer service addresses and corrects any issues immediately.
Consistent Communication Internally & Externally
Managing all these interactions and communications with your customers can become disorganized and confusing. Especially when done in silos using different software and other technologies. ERP and CRM integration can end bad communication and mixed messages with your customers.
In other words, integrating applications allows a company to have a single source of truth. Everyone has a visible history of interactions between your team and your customers. This sort of visibility can improve the effectiveness of your in-house sales team.
Team members can avoid contradictory messages about pricing or product features. And they don’t miss following up with promising prospects or existing customers. These same efficiencies can extend to outside vendors, suppliers, and manufacturing representatives.
Visibility into the Supply Chain
Integrating your ERP and CRM can also go a long way toward becoming more responsive to customers. One way this happens is because integration can optimize your supply chain. With the right CRM and ERP integration, you get real-time insights into your inventory. These insights can come from procurement, warehouse, and production scheduling and delivery.
This visibility helps manufacturers identify ways to become more efficient in their operations. But it also provides insights that can improve the overall customer experience.
For instance, customers can get upset when orders arrive late or have mistakes. With integration, manufacturers can monitor their processes and access real-time information. Having this vital data allows companies to identify and avoid any problems proactively.
Sometimes late deliveries are inevitable and out of everyone’s control. However, by having visibility to the information early, you can take steps to communicate with the customer before they get angry.
Real-Time Customer Information
CRM and ERP integration has many other benefits that help better serve customers. For example, sales reps can use their mobile CRM to get instant information about inventory, pricing, or order status. Integrating your marketing data will send the right messages to the right audience at the right time.
An investment in CRM will benefit your business and your customers. A CRM that integrates with your ERP and other technologies is much more powerful. Please contact us at sales.clearc2.com for any questions about CRM and integration.