In the mid-nineties two systems ERP and CRM emerged, and became the two major platforms to support business growth and success. Today’s CRM systems are dedicated to managing the customer lifecycle through sales, marketing and customer support, and ERP systems handle back office workflows by linking the financial and operational systems.
These two systems have overlapping functions, such as automation and business performance improvement; both act as databases that can exist on the same platform or integrate with each other to share data.
We’ll outline the basic functions of each system and try to explain when a business might require ERP, what kind of needs CRM can cover, and when it’s time to adopt both.
CRM: core functions
CRM is a hub where sales, marketing, services, and trade teams can simplify and build strong and productive relationships and coordinate their joint efforts to deliver multi-channel and personal customer experience. According to Gartner, the 2020 Customer Relationship Management Leaders Public Landscape began this way:
Toward turning should CRM consulting, organizations have the ability with create a CRM strategy, move forward client securing and retention, support loyalty, and, consequently, increment income. Let’s take a gander at those significant CRM works clinched alongside point of interest.
Getting a comprehensive client sees.
A CRM framework aggregates and techniques various sorts of client information by means of diverse information sources, make it inner frameworks alternately coordinated third-party apps, such as email, ERP, CMS, social media, POS, call centres, alternately information analytics instruments. When information may be moved clinched alongside a solitary platform, it permits customer-facing groups to be on the same page the point when they cooperate with customers, accordingly giving work to a predominant client encounter.
1- Marketing teams: where media are lured into waiting for deportation. And according to the full service, the customer is expected, from the first inquiry to the deal. During the comprehensive view of each customer, their affiliate marketing reps can in the appropriate content
2- Sales Representatives: Helps in implementing decisions that help in making decisions more than a vision plan, a clear vision of the sales steps. Thanks to the insights into customer needs, their chances of more opportunities to increase selling and complementary selling.
3- Contact representatives: contact with contacts also run, delegate, role, responsibilities to chat programs or other self-service activation.
4- Trade teams: They will scale the commerce business by introducing new delivery methods, adapting B2C practices for B2B clients, using merchandising equipment, and more.
The CRM system acts as a central location where all customer-facing departments can store their data and, most importantly, make it visible to anyone in the company who may need it. This vision is a collaborative and public vision.
For example, service agents can see if a customer has already contacted departments or service agents, use the conveniences of communication, feel dizzy (and even sell them additional products or services).
Intelligence automation and utilization
Managing CRMs helps automate the number of time-consuming tasks, freeing up the alternate time of email assistance. Run jobs can be run, create run, bundled run, or directed to employers.
Further on, keen calculations could anticipate client behaviour, discover hidden opportunities, What’s more, identity test client journeys dependent upon these insights.
7 signs you need a CRM system
Although CRMs are very popular with companies of any size, some are not ready to invest in this type of platform and instead resort to other customer experience techniques.
However, there are some indications that this gap in CRM needs to be filled:
1- You can’t keep up with business
You’re experiencing sudden growth or entering new markets only to realize that you can’t keep up with the flow of leads, especially when it comes to sorting, analysing, and prioritizing the most promising. You have a vague idea about properly allocating additional resources due to poor visibility in sales and marketing activities, where each representative has their own way of doing things. The marketing and sales team rarely communicates and feels that managing leads and deals needs to be simplified.
2- You have too many customer channels
You understand that your customers are trying to interact with your brand via a range of channels, such as email, phone, chat bots, social media, messengers, surveys, etc. You cannot track all attempts to connect, follow through, or understand feelings, let alone provide consistent and personalized experiences.
3- Lack of data for a 360-degree view of customers
You don’t have all customer data sources connected to a central location, which leads to a fragmented view of your customers and less informed decisions by your teams.
4- Customer Service Struggling
Your customer service reps work hard but because they have to manage a few screens at a time and lack customer service automation, response times increase and service quality decreases. As a result, clients do not get comprehensive information and lack the personal touch.
5- There is a large percentage of manually repetitive tasks
Your employees have to enter data, follow through, and generate reports manually, which leaves less time to complete more valuable tasks and frees up space for errors and data redundancy.
6- You have administrative silos
Sales, marketing, and service teams do not share data with each other and do not have a single source of truth. As a result, instead of enjoying seamless experiences, customers have to repeat their details, send reminders, or just switch to your competition.
7- Your reports are not efficient
You can create reports manually by entering data into spreadsheets. It affects planning and forecasting and prevents you from interacting with data in real time.
ERP: core functions
An Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system acts as a central data and operational hub where companies involved in sales, logistics, and manufacturing can efficiently manage their resources. ERP supplier leadership looked like this in 2020:
ERP systems embrace many more business processes than CRM and can even include CRM as one of their modules. Here are their main functions:
- Enhance data integrity
Typically an ERP system is built on top of a common database of all financial and operating data, replacing standalone data warehouses and spreadsheets. The system links different data sources and ensures that each department, be it finance, logistics, engineering or human resources, operates on the same data, can access information necessary to carry out its responsibilities, use common definitions, and share the same processes, standards and tools for collaboration.
With accurate, current, and complete data, C-suite and their subordinates alike can generate regular or customized reports to access insights, such as inventory trends or employee overheads, simplify data interpretation, and make plans based on accurate forecasting.
- Managing and aligning business activities
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems are usually associated with financial departments, helping them with general ledger management, budgeting, and accounting. However, today’s ERP systems may extend to inventory and demand management, supply chain, production and distribution, ERP e-commerce, and human resource management. ERP systems help align teams and workflows in pursuit of bottom-line growth:
1- Finance departments: have full control over budgets and cash flows, increased security with role-based access to sensitive data, faster financial close enabled by automating tasks related to billing, standing accounts and receivables, payroll, etc.
2- Supply Chain Managers: Take advantage of tools to monitor order fulfilment and delivery, timely warehouse replenishment, up-to-date and personalized pricing, collaborate with partners and vendors, and more.
3- Production managers: They have access to tools to monitor real-time product development, control product quality and production security, manage production expenses, and optimize schedules, work capabilities, and use of materials and resources.
4- HR departments: Use tools to simplify hiring, on boarding, organizational learning, salary and benefits plans, retirement payments, diversity management, and more. ERP systems can collect and analyse employee records, such as personal details, skills, KPIs, certifications, and salary.
5- Compliance Officers: They can see where data is stored in the system, and by following data privacy and security regulations, they can ensure that necessary customer approvals are received. ERP systems also help identify additional measures and safeguards that must be put in place to protect customer data in accordance with applicable regulations.
5 signs you need ERP:
If you don’t have ERP or are using standalone applications for separate ERP functionality, watch out for the following situations – this might be a good time to move to a full-scale ERP system.
1- Insufficient citation efforts
You cannot estimate the true cost of the products you manufacture due to limited intelligence in the costs of all production processes and market fluctuations, resulting in poor quotation.
2- Your business systems do not communicate with each other:
You have a few databases, spreadsheets and an offline accounting app. As a result, your accounting team may use one system of accounts receivable and payable, your sales team will use another system to record orders, and warehouse employees will have their own system for tracking shipments. With data in silos, employees have to waste time manually downloading and verifying information, which can lead to errors, inaccuracies, and redundancies.
3- Reckless inventory management:
Sales, customer, and inventory data are not synchronized, which leads to situations where you have excess or insufficient inventory, your storage space is full with slow drives, there are items missing in orders that have been delivered, and you can’t keep track of inventory on multiple sites.
4- You have production planning problems:
You can schedule production based on incomplete supply and demand data and limited visibility of available human resources, raw materials and equipment, impairing your ability to produce products profitably and in a timely manner. Manual scheduling prevents employees from seeing a bigger picture and takes up a significant portion of their time.
5- Accounting is slow
Your employees have to download and manually enter data into different systems, rely on spreadsheets, and work with paper invoices. Accountants have to request IT assistance to reconcile data and generate financial reports with consolidated data from multiple systems. Book closing is not automatic and takes a few days.
The differences and similarities between ERPs and CRM:
As a rule, ERP systems deal with the overall organizational processes and can include a CRM module. CRMs, in turn, cannot operate like ERPs independently. In cases where CRMs use transaction data, this means that they are integrated with the ERP system and pull the data from there.
Aside from the fundamental difference in the end-users of these systems, ERPs and CRMs differ in how they improve the bottom line. ERP systems help improve and automate business processes to reduce overheads and improve company health. CRMs, in turn, is designed to improve customer experience and reach the ultimate goal – increasing sales. For this reason, each system has its own metrics.
CRM’s success depends on customer acquisition and retention rates that can be impacted by multiple efforts, such as marketing and advertising campaigns, website optimization, customer service improvement, and more. The success of ERP translates into increased revenue and cost savings as well as improved KPIs. Simply put, ERP systems help businesses save money, and CRM helps them earn more.
At the same time, the two systems have one fundamental similarity – they are both fuelled by data, which is their most valuable asset. For this reason, data collection, consolidation, and analysis are the essential elements of its work. Both systems provide users with the tools to make decisions based on accurate data and forecasts. Based on accurate data and forecasts.
ERP/CRM Integration for Advanced Enterprises
A company’s decision to invest in a CRM or ERP depends primarily on its business model. If it deals with complex financial operations with a moderate client base, then this company is more likely to choose an ERP system. When a company grows its customer base with direct financial operations unencumbered by logistics and manufacturing, it turns to CRM.
However, as its operations expand, any company eventually realizes that it can benefit from adopting both systems:
– CPQ capabilities help CRM users to configure custom pricing and realistic bid or quantity.
Resource management helps CRM users improve resource allocation and directly saved funds where they are most needed.
Users of both systems can synchronize and share records, access updated data, act on a single source of truth, and gain insight into any stage of their company’s activities.
Synchronization will prevent duplication of records, free up employees to download, enter and verify data from multiple sources, and provide comprehensive analytics.
It is possible to manage both systems via a single platform or integrate standalone CRM and ERP systems.
In many cases, platforms have pre-made connectors that allow discrete process synchronization, which can be sufficient for some businesses. However, if it is necessary to connect both systems seamlessly, it is a good idea to enlist the assistance of your IT team or seek enterprise application integration services. This way you will be able to implement a custom integration that will require little maintenance in the future and ensure long-term operation.
Cooperation, not competition
It is now clear that ERPs and CRMs do not compete with each other – they are designed to support different business functions. However, when synchronized, it creates a productive environment for companies to grow, win new markets, and provide outstanding products and customer experience.