You know how ERP helps you improve and streamline business operations, and you know how CRM can be extremely beneficial for sales, marketing and customer service; but how much do you know about the benefits of CRM and ERP integration? Below are 6 ways businesses of all shapes and sizes stand to benefit by integrating these two business systems.
Transforming the customer experience:
With integration of these two systems, employees across the organization will have a complete view of customer interactions spanning the customer lifecycle. This will allow your team to resolve queiries more quickly, personalize their responses by customer, and increase overall productivity, allowing customers to get fast and relevant service. For example, when a service rep has a customer who needs a replacement part, they can see the current stock levels and use that information to tell customers when the part will be available and document the outcome in CRM.
Marketing more effectively:
With product information and customer information at their fingertips, your marketing department can devise more targeted campaigns based on real customer information. By hitting the right people, at the right time and with the right message, you will see a much greater ROI on marketing efforts. for example, marketing can create more focused and relevant lists by segmenting customers based on the frequency or value of their order. They will also have insight into surplus stick and market it to customers most likely to buy it; helping you to move inventory and decrease carrying costs in the process.
When you run CRM and ERP separately, you are asking employees to enter information in multiple places which can be tremendously time consuming and fraught with data entry errors. Integrating the systems will eliminate the need for double entry and employees can focus on value-added tasks, not fixing data errors and putting out fires. For example, your customer service team would be able to document answers to common questions about delivery requirements. Your sales team can then act on that information to improve the sales cycle and better inform customers about requirements prior to an order to help reduce the volume of calls customer service receives about this issue.
With automated workflow you can seamlessly connect different departments to allow for consistent interaction as customers and employees alike move through the processing of quoting, purchasing, shipping, and accounts receivable. For example, a business can configure the automatic sharing of financial information between sales and accounting so both departments know where customers stand; that information can then be used to determine customer credit worthiness before extending the customer credit terms.
Enhancing Visibility to Drive Profitability:
In 2013, a Sage European study of small and medium sized business found that 63% of respondents identified consistent and reliable information as a key benefit of integrating these two systems. CRM and ERP integration grants you one central view of your customer activity, giving executives the information they need to make informed decisions and run a successful company.
Easily Identifying Opportunities and Patterns:
With all of your information in one place, it is easy to identify sales patterns and opportunities for cross-sells/ up-sells to your current customer base. Additionally you can keep an eye on customer tail-off and take steps to address this with a marketing campaign or a customer service call before you lose them completely. Additionally, with the ability to report on ERP and CRM data in one place, you can avoid situations that may cause unhappy customers or a strain on the company. For example, if there is an identified delay in your existing inventory, your sales team can concentrate on selling other products and services unaffected by the delay.
While the benefits of CRM and ERP integration are many, your technology partner is what will truly make the difference. Click here or contact us to learn how our consultants can make your integration project a success.