Let’s start with an easy question, what is paramount to the success of any business? The answer is simple – customers. When combined customer loyalty will determine whether businesses grow and whether they make a profit. As well as this, long-term customers can also help to spread the word about your business as well as the products and services that you offer. Despite the fact that there are many ways in which your business can provide the best customer experiences, making sure that your ERP and CRM systems are fully integrated is the first thing that needs to happen.
Before we delve into the ways in which your business can benefit from ERP + CRM integration, let’s define what an ERP and a CRM are?
What is an ERP?
Enterprise resource planning (ERP) refers to a type of software that organizations use to manage day-to-day business activities such as accounting, procurement, project management, risk management and compliance, and supply chain operations.
What is a CRM?
CRM stands for “Customer Relationship Management” and is a software system that helps business owners easily track all communications and nurture relationships with their leads and clients.
So, what are the main differences between the two?
An ERP system focuses very much on the back-office functions of your business whilst a CRM system focuses on the front-office tasks of your business.
Now, we’ve defined what an ERP and a CRM system are, let’s provide you with 4 ways that your business can benefit from ERP + CRM integration.
Comprehensive & full visibility of your customer base
If you have your ERP & CRM systems fully integrated, you’ll be seeing a full 360 view of your customer base at every touchpoint as information will be collected across all the core functions of your business such as marketing, sales, finance and therefore is more consolidated. Having this information at your fingertips enables your business to make better decisions and work out how to keep existing customers and take their overall experience to the next level.
Less data duplication and errors
If both your ERP and CRM systems are siloed off, you could find that both sets of teams are entering the same data into both platforms which can cause a whole host of duplicate customer data & discrepancies. These problems are automatically removed if these systems are fully integrated and customer data is being stored in one central location.
Improved accuracy for sales quotes & order management
Having your ERP and CRM systems fully integrated will help your sales teams to give more accurate quotes and delivery times for potential customers. This is largely down to the fact that they can now access data in real-time which includes being able to access the latest pricing, discounts & much, much more. In addition to this, your customer support teams will be able to have more accurate information at their fingertips when dealing with customers.
Game changing forecasting
In addition to the benefits above, your business can also take full advantage of improved sales forecasting once both systems are fully integrated as financial information is linked in with demand meaning more accurate sales forecasts can be plotted. As well as this, your finance team will be able to improve their financial forecasting as they will have more accurate information around the sales pipeline.
The first step that you need to take is to choose the right ERP and CRM system that will meet the requirements of your business now and in the future. In most cases, businesses learn that they find it easier to work with an ERP system that already has CRM capabilities (like Dynamics 365 Business Central), whilst some larger businesses have greater marketing and sales requirements so need something that is a fully dedicated CRM such as Dynamics 365/CRM. You may also find that you already have Microsoft ERP and Microsoft CRM but they aren’t fully integrated for whatever reason. Give our team of Dynamics 365 experts a call today to find out more about both ERP and CRM integrations and what best fits your business requirements.
Want to get benefits like the above sent to your inbox? This can be done if you are a member of our marketing list.