Customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems can improve your business operations dramatically. But the best results come when your CRM and ERP systems work together to optimise external relationships (CRM) and internal processes (ERP).
CRM systems help you manage customer data. They start with the basics, such as contact details, job titles, social media handles and websites. Then they add the extras that matter to your business – interaction history, position in the sales funnel, product needs and likes. They bring plenty of business advantages across five broad categories:
- finding customers
- building relationships
- improving productivity
- sharing knowledge
- improving the customer experience.
CRM helps you find customers
Converting leads into customers is a priority for every business – and CRM can help. CRM systems connect all your marketing tools. Your email, social media channels and marketing automations combine with existing contact data and other information about a prospect.
These connections give your sales team a holistic view of leads and prospects. And that makes it easier to customise your messages and offers.
CRM builds better relationships
By providing a single repository for customer information, CRM systems make it easy to build a complete picture of your customers’ wants and needs. Your sales team will be able to follow up on conversations and requests with full notes in the CRM, so other team members can get up to speed fast and assist if needed.
CRM improves productivity
Customer relationships are every business’s most precious asset. CRM systems free up your customer-facing team members’ time. They can concentrate on building those relationships rather than searching for information or wrangling existing data into usable formats.
CRM systems typically provide templates, automations, reminders and other tools to help your team stay on top of requests, meet commitments and understand their customers better.
CRM facilitates knowledge-sharing
Customer relationships are personal, but salespeople and account managers aren’t always around. They take sick days, go on holidays and sometimes they leave the business.
CRM systems make it easy for other team members to deal with an unfamiliar customer. They make all the important information available, from contact and sales information to personal notes about a customer’s likes and quirks.
CRM improves the customer experience
CRM isn’t just good for your sales and account management teams. It’s also good for your customers. Just as your people benefit from access to information, reminders and transaction data, so too will your prospects and customers benefit from high-quality service.
Your customers will enjoy regular calls and follow-ups on requests to sales and account management contacts who know them and their needs. They’ll enjoy fast, efficient, personalised and well-informed service – the kind of service that will keep them on your books.
CRM and ERP: better together
ERP systems help you manage business processes by standardising and sharing data. They allow different teams to access information about shared processes and offer management instantaneous, enterprise-wide operational snapshots.
CRM and ERP systems are designed to gather, organise and share data. Operating from a common database improves security and efficiency from the get-go, but there are plenty more benefits.
Your CRM system will provide information about your interactions with a customer, while your ERP will provide information about transactions and finances. A sales rep preparing for a call will want access to both, which a unified solution can easily provide.
A good example of how integration between CRM and ERP can benefit your business is creating a configure, price, quote (CPQ) engine. CPQ tools need to draw data from CRM and ERP systems; vendor integration tools are available for most solutions, but an integrated solution will be quicker and easier to operate.
At Eagle360, we use and recommend Microsoft Dynamics 365. We believe it’s the best, most integrated CRM and ERP solution on the market. If you’d like to learn more about deploying an industry-leading customer relationship and resource planning system that can help your business, contact us today.