How does your company integrate CRM and ERP Systems? If your answer to that question is “Should they be aligned?” We have some news for you. Ensuring your front and back offices are aligned and flawlessly working together is a solid way to eliminate some of the biggest headaches companies today have, such as a lack of transparency, up-to-date information and data, and operational bottlenecks. So, you need to integrate your CRM and ERP tools. Still not convinced? We have some excellent reasons for you to integrate CRM and ERP Systems, and the good news is that you can start on them tomorrow.
…But First: The Difference Between CRM and ERP
Since all acronyms may be confusing and some people still use CRM and ERP interchangeably, we need to clarify what those terms mean.
- CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, and these platforms are designed to streamline front-office operations, especially customer interactions
- ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, and these tools are designed to manage back-end operations like accounting, finance, inventory, and even HR.
In other words, while CRM tools focus on customer interactions and are sales-oriented, ERP systems primarily focus on streamlining financial processes and accelerating back-office operations.
Why You Should You Integrate CRM and ERP Systems
Integrating both solutions poses a massive potential for improved business performance, operations, and revenue growth. This way of handling your operations helps you ensure that all customer information is quickly and easily accessible to your financial department for billing and invoicing. Generally speaking, when you use two sets of data in your daily tasks and operations, it’s a great idea to integrate the two data sources. This improves efficiency, transparency, and revenue. But more on the topic below.
1. Enhanced Cross-Departmental Collaboration
We always say that having a single source of truth is essential to ensure smooth operations. One of the benefits delivered by integrating your CRM with your ERP solution is that you get a single hub where you can access all essential data in your company. Such integrations allow access to all customer data, from contact information to support tickets, purchase history, and critical documents such as invoices and bills.
“Powerful CRM and ERP integrations fulfill the need for a complete ‘business operating system’ spanning across the back-office and front-office to realize maximum productivity and efficiency within the business. Together with SYSPRO ERP, the Sugar platform will do the work to unlock customer insights, improve the experience by providing a 360-degree view of the customer, enable better decision-making with real-time analytics, and enhance collaboration with a single source of truth for all customer data.”
Clint O., Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer, SugarCRM
A single source of truth in your organization will help you ensure that everybody in your company works with the same data sets and the latest version. Sharing essential information between departments in real-time enables you to ensure that everybody works together towards the same goal: improving customer satisfaction and experience.
2. Drive Better Decisions
Businesses with seamless integrations between their CRM and ERP systems can also drive better decisions. Access to real-time data and analytics features allows businesses to adapt to dynamic market conditions and internal factors. Such integrations make it easier for decision-makers to track all relevant KPIs and spot changes and dynamics. In similar scenarios, decision-makers can improve processes, develop proactive strategies in terms of resource allocation, and evaluate customer sentiment from within a single interface, for example.
ERP and CRM integrations can reveal valuable insights, like inventory items that have excellent performance or are not popular among customers. Or, they can indicate which customers tend to purchase certain products together recurrently. Such insights can be used for effective restocking decisions or developing new product lines.
When real-time data analytics are lacking within a company at an organizational level, business owners encounter numerous bottlenecks or have severe blindspots in their strategies.
3. Accelerate Your Customer Service Efforts
Properly interacting with your customers is the best way to ensure elevated CX levels and a secure market position. When your CRM and ERP systems are fully integrated, your support department has full access to a 360-degree view of your customers, including invoices, past purchases, orders, subscriptions, quantities of products purchased, etc. Having this information readily available at the tip of their fingertips within a single view is an excellent way to ensure your support reps are properly equipped to answer all inquiries and meet customer needs and expectations, thus improving CX levels.
4. Boost Revenue
Maybe one of the best ways to ensure you take advantage of all upsell and cross-sell opportunities is by integrating your ERP and CRM solutions. Such integrations give you the opportunity to make personalized recommendations because now you get a full view and perfectly understand customer purchase patterns. The aggregate data from the two solutions helps you spot trends and buying patterns that can ultimately be elevated to open new sales opportunities through targeted marketing campaigns and bite-sized interactions.
“We’ve been using SYSPRO ERP to automate our back office for several years and we’re looking for the right complementary CRM in the front office. We chose SugarCRM so that we could get earlier visibility into our sales pipeline and deliver a better customer experience.”
Petra S., President, Adhesive Applications
Integrating your ERP with your CRM solutions is the best way to streamline operations and increase revenue. Interested in other hot news in the CRM area? Read our 2024 State of CRM Report and stay updated!