CRM and ERP systems have different functions that complement each other when they’re done right. Customer relationship management software helps improve sales figures, while an enterprise resource planning solution helps control operating expenses.
In many ways, they’re two sides of the same coin when it comes to better business practices. However, high sales volume coupled with inefficient business practices will eventually erode growth, while outstanding efficiency doesn’t mean much if sales are anemic.
Ideally, companies should have both a strong CRM and a strong ERP that have integrations that benefit both sides of the equation. Here’s a look at how to integrate CRM and ERP for more sales with lower costs.
Playing to strengths
ERP focuses on internal processes, integrating data and applications across business functions from finance to HR to warehouse management. Your CRM solution is focused externally, helping your sales and marketing teams with insights and responses from customers and prospects.
Both are designed to improve efficiency for your company. The possibilities are endless when you choose to integrate the two. With external and internal data available, business leaders can make better-informed decisions in real time that benefit the organization. Employees can share information across departments to gain a clearer view of customers, progress to goals, and opportunities for growth.
Many businesses have believed that it’s an either/or proposition when it comes to ERP and CRM. The power is gained when the approach is both.
New technological advances make integrating your ERP and CRM solutions easier than ever. You can deliver significant benefits to your organization with integrated solutions, including:
- Deeper business intelligence. Calculate, use and respond to key performance indicators in real time. Using the two tools together gives executives a more complete picture of the business and help to make better decisions in the moment.
- Single source of truth. Too many companies are burdened by data stored in multiple systems, requiring cumbersome and expensive third-party apps to convert and interpret data. With integrated systems, you’ll work from one source of data and reporting. Everyone will be looking at the same numbers. In addition, your data will be more accurate with the elimination of manual re-entry that leads to mistakes and inaccuracies.
- Faster billing. When your finance and sales teams are working in tandem, able to see the same information at the same time, there is a shorter time to contract completion, faster invoicing and speedier payments.
- Better business forecasting. When sales and marketing results are integrated with finance, procurement and inventory functions, your business reduces buildup of excess inventory, forecast capacity and reduce operating expenses.
- Customer satisfaction and retention. Data accuracy means updates to customer details or order changes are shared simultaneously. That means improved operational efficiency that translates to faster shipping times and deliveries, driving customer satisfaction rates. When there are problems, everyone in the organization has a complete view of customer interactions, challenges, needs and engagement.
Integration made easy
At NexTec, we help businesses identify, select and deploy software solutions. Contact us to learn more about how NexTec can assist your organization with integrated CRM and ERP solutions.