10 Mar Integration of ERP and CRM Software Solutions: Top 7 Benefits
What is an ERP?
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system unifies, streamlines, and enables seamless data flow between various everyday business processes. These can include inventory and order management, risk management, and compliance, as well as accounting and beyond.
What is a CRM?
A Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) is a solution that helps your business streamline interactions with existing and potential customers, allowing you to form lasting relationships with them. It aims to drive customer satisfaction by improving the efficiency of your sales, support, and marketing teams through the effective use of customer data and various automations.
Why Integrate CRM and ERP Systems?
With the definitions out of the way, it should be clear that both CRMs and ERPs offer substantial benefits to businesses. It’s also true these solutions have always been traditionally used in isolation partly due to their complex nature and diverging applications.
However, businesses are growing increasingly aware of the fact that they stand to benefit more by adopting an integrated approach. Integration of CRM and ERP systems not only helps users derive more value out of each platform but also enables them to harness the advantages that stem from interoperability between the two.
Let’s take a look at some of the important ones.
Top 7 Benefits of ERP and CRM Integration
1. Eliminates Duplicate Data
Both your CRM and ERP store customer information, albeit for very different purposes. With CRMs, goals are more sales and support-centric, while for ERPs, inventory and order management tend to be the focal point.
Between the two siloed platforms, there’s likely to be a great deal of overlap and redundant (and often inconsistent) information. This can prove problematic if you intend to leverage data for driving value across your entire organization.
A CRM/ERP Integration effectively cleanses your data and helps you do away with redundancies and inaccuracies. With the most relevant and up-to-date data at your disposal, you’re able to gain valuable insights that are more in line with your current state of affairs.
2. Reduces Manual Error-prone Data Entry
While necessary, manually transferring/updating data between a CRM and ERP can be a rather mundane affair that consumes tons of valuable time and resources. Throw in the likely chance of human error due to manual entry, and the results can be disastrous.
With an ERP and CRM integration in place, data is automatically synchronized between the two platforms. Any updates in the CRM are seamlessly reflected on the ERP side and vice versa. Moreover, your employees and resources are freed-up to direct their efforts towards more high-value tasks.
3. Provides End-to-End Visibility into Customers
Strong customer relationships are crucial for any business to thrive but necessitate a 360-degree view of all your customer interactions, past and present. When you integrate your CRM and ERP, that’s exactly what you get.
With information from across all your different business units, i.e., sales, marketing, service, and finance, a CRM and ERP integration provides you with a more holistic view of your customers. Enhanced visibility into your customers’ buying preferences and order history lets you provide them more personalized experiences in real-time and make informed decisions about how you should go about building relationships with them.
4. Improves Quote Generation and Order Management
While quotes are created in the CRM, the ERP keeps track of orders and inventory. Integration effectively bridges the gap between CRM quotes and ERP orders, optimizing the overall process.
As a result, your CRM can access all the products in your inventory, ensuring your sales reps always have access to the latest prices, applicable discounts, and available amounts for all your products when creating quotes for a customer or prospect. Moreover, reps also
get unparalleled visibility into order statuses, along with the ability to track and update them.
5. Enables Better Sales Forecasting
In a similar vein to the discussion above, easy access to inventory data in your CRM also lets you be more proactive in your approach and better anticipate product demand. If you’re using a CRM like Salesforce, you can leverage intuitive pipeline management and real-time sales analytics features to identify and focus your efforts on activities and prospects that are likely to yield more value.
6. Enhances Employee Collaboration
Bi-directional synchronization between an ERP and CRM in real-time allows for seamless communication and greater synergy between your customer-facing reps (i.e., sales, service) and those in charge of inventory and finance. Having everyone on the same page enables your organization to make smarter decisions while providing superior customer experiences.
7. Promotes User Adoption
Low user adoption rates are usually blamed for why most CRM and ERP implementations fail. Familiarizing employees with either platform can be challenging for some organizations, but getting them acquainted with them both is certainly a tall order.
Often, extensive training is required to ensure the success of your CRM or ERP project, which can be both time-consuming and expensive. Moreover, learning to use both can be very taxing for your employees and may even turn them off altogether.
With the integration in place, team members focus on using and learning the features of one singular platform. Also, in many cases, they’ll only require training for the combined system instead of two separate ones.
Intagleo Systems has over 15 years of experience, developing and adding value to a wide variety of business software solutions, including CRMs and ERPs for clients around the globe. Contact us today if you need assistance with your CRM/ERP implementation strategy and to learn more about our services.