Imagine that you call your supplier of, say, a widget that you use in your company. You have just ordered a new shipment, but you are unsure if you ordered too much or too little. Also, you have a technical question you need answered.
When you call your widget supplier, you tell them who you are and pose your questions. However, the service agent is only able to answer your product question because he/she doesn’t have access to your account information. As a result, you’ll need to make another call, or wait to be transferred to the finance department, and repeat your details and questions again in the hope that the new person will be able to answer you.
Sounds familiar? This doesn’t look like a customer-friendly experience that you would like to receive, does it?
The difference between the two systems
It’s very common for companies to keep their product and pricing information in an ERP system, while using a CRM system to keep all their customer-related information.
The reason for keeping CRM and ERP apart is that the two systems support very different business processes. They are built differently and have different strengths.
Your ERP solution is a back-office system. It automates and manages back-office activities, such as accounting, purchasing, pricing, transactions, and reports.
In the meantime, CRM is a front-office system that streamlines customer interactions, manages sales pipeline, customer support, and tracks customer information.
Both systems serve the customer. Both systems improve productivity and streamline processes. Each product works well on its own. But there is huge potential to increase your ROI when the two get integrated.
For example, although you keep most of your customer data in your SuperOffice CRM solution, you might also have some customer data in your ERP system. This means that people in your company work with two sets of data and need to spend time on updating the same data in both systems.
Now, that does not sound productive, does it?
The benefits of integrating SuperOffice CRM with your ERP system
Integrating both systems not only gives the users a better customer experience, but also streamlines the way everyone in your company works.
Here are the 6 main reasons why you should consider integrating the two systems:
1. Save time and increase productivity
Let’s face it – not only is it tedious and boring for people to repeat doing the same thing twice (or more), but it also negatively affects overall productivity. What all businesses want is to save time! By integrating your ERP and CRM systems, you won’t have to enter the same information into more than one system.
2. Reduce the number of errors in your database
When you are doing the same boring task more than once, chances are you’ll start making errors. It’s rather easy to accidentally copy and paste information into the wrong field. Or, when copying you may omit some information and miss a letter or a number. Then, all of a sudden, you have discrepancies in the databases that you need to discover and correct. Yet another time-thief! Reducing the potential sources of errors means you’ll make fewer of them.
3. Improve the way you do quotations
Here is a typical scenario: a sales person, first, has to create a quote in one system, then use another system to track and manage a sales opportunity, then use both systems to finalize a quote, and then enter the same information again to produce an order!
To put it mildly – it’s a time-consuming nightmare. At worst, such process results in a poor customer experience. More so, using two systems may lead to costly errors, especially if a sales or a discount calculation is not right.
Automating this process will free the sales person to do more valuable things and provide the customer with a more professional (and quicker) experience. And you would agree that it is easier to trust a company if the customer experience was hassle-free and professional.
4. Give your marketing and sales team more tools
When sales reps don’t waste time on fighting the systems, they can instead focus on finding and working with new sales opportunities. Most sales people rather be out there talking to and understanding the customers’ needs, rather than spending time entering data into systems. Especially, if they have to do it more than once to finalize an order! Just imagine how many more sales could be closed, if the accompanying processes were automated.
5. Help your customer service team to excel
The ability to give your service team access to all relevant customer information in one place is a great thing! Instead of having to log into other programs or ask other people just to find basic customer information, you can equip your service team with tools that will help them respond better and faster.
Once again, if a customer has to repeat his or her problem to more than one person simply because they don’t have the right information, then you’re not creating a good customer experience. Eventually, you may end up with a whole lot of dissatisfied customers.
6. Create a better customer journey
Success in business boils down to your ability to offer your customers a better customer journey than your competitors. It means you’ll have to ensure that doing business with you is easier and more professional.
This could only be achieved if your teams are not working in information silos. When everyone has access to information and can perform their tasks efficiently, the overall customer journey tends to improve significantly.
In fact, if you ask your customers what they would like to see improved in the way they experience your company, you’re likely to find that most of their suggestions are in one way or another mentioned in the 6 reasons to integrate your ERP and CRM systems above.
Time to streamline your processes via CRM-ERP integration
There are many benefits to integrating CRM and ERP and automating your processes. And if you haven’t done it already, it’s time you evaluated how the lack of integration affects your everyday business processes.
When your sales, finance and customer support teams work in information silos, it can result in wasteful manual processes. Trying to quickly get the right information from the two different systems – is not an ideal way to work, not to mention the amount of errors this can lead to.
Without integration, your salespeople won’t necessarily have access to the ERP application. This means they won’t be able to track their sales from the prospect stage to opportunity, from “closed” to “invoiced”, then finally, to “paid”.
The lack of visibility into the full sales cycle can be costly for both the sales rep (underpayment of commissions) and the company (overpayment of commissions).
Similarly, it can be costly to give sales people full access to your ERP application, as they first would need the license, then the training to learn how to use it to find the information they otherwise could get at a glance.
These examples only scratch the surface when it comes to issues your company could be facing without an CRM-ERP integration.
How to get your SuperOffice CRM integrated with an ERP system?
Integrating SuperOffice CRM with an ERP system is the most common form of integration our customers do, as there are plenty of modules, apps and customized integrations available.
However, there are things to consider before implementing an ERP/CRM integration, as it’s not a case of clicking “Next, next and finish”. Our experience tells us that the advantages of integration far outweigh considerations, especially if you go about them the right way.
Here is an article where you can learn more about how you can integrate your SuperOffice CRM with your back-end systems.
You can also contact us to learn more about the different ways an ERP/ CRM integration can benefit your business.
There are many local partners that offer modules and help with integrations. You can find the list of our partners on our website.
Also, CRM Online users may see which ERP integration modules are available in SuperOffice App Store. However, if you can’t find what you are looking for, then contact us and we will help you.