In today’s business world, businesses are generating so much data on their clients and prospects that it is becoming one of the biggest pain points in business management. If you think about it, salespeople are generating new clients, contacts and proposals; accounting is generating sales orders, invoices and managing credit holds; warehouse and shipping are moving inventory in and out to customers. These functions combined generate a significant amount of data that in most cases are held in disparate systems i.e. spreadsheets, disconnected individual CRMs, ERPs and shipping applications. The problem with this, is that there is no unified view of this data captured thus leading to problems like inaccurate inventory and customer information, losses in productivity due to data duplication, misaligned marketing and unreliable forecasting.
Modern ERP solutions like Acumatica, address these issues by incorporating CRM into their ERP solution thus eliminating the multiple silos of information and presenting a 360-degree view of your customers and their critical information in a single place.
Below are 5 advantages of having an integrated CRM and ERP system.
- A 360-degree view of your customer
An integrated CRM/ERP solution like Acumatica, enables you to get a 360-degree view of your customer and help facilitate multi-channel marketing, personalize the customer experience, and anticipate your customer’s needs. Furthermore, integrated CRM/ERP solutions provide visibility into your customer’s buying habits, order history, preferences and account standing, among others.
- Elimination of tedious data entry and duplication
The ERP and CRM integration removes the tedious necessity of duplicating data entry. For instance, any customer entry made in the CRM will be available in the ERP system and vice versa. Although both ERP and CRM systems hold account and contact information, it is done for different purposes – CRM is focused on support/sales and prospects; whereas ERP is focused on inventory, warehouse, shipping and billing address, etc.
- Access to crucial information in a timely manner
Let’s face it, productivity is lost every time a salesperson has to source the information necessary to conduct a sale from multiple systems. With a fully integrated CRM/ERP solution that information (i.e. inventory levels, shipments, customer financials, order history, returns, payments, pricing and more) are available at the push of a button.
- Improved order, inventory and quote management
In disparate CRM and ERP systems, quotes entered in the CRM need to be re-entered into the ERP system which lead to loss of productivity, possibility of errors or shipment delays due to incorrect data when duplicating the quote.
With ERP and CRM integration, businesses can turn proposal/quote generation (created in the CRM) into actual orders (executed and tracked at the ERP level) using one system; reducing time consumption for data management and increasing company efficiency. Furthermore, a sales team would have enhanced visibility regarding order status updates for customers. Also, while quoting for a prospect/customer in CRM, a sales representative can quote the most accurate pricing by using the integrated ERP solution to retrieve the updated pricing information. Any promotional or discount pricing will be available as well.
- Reduced IT and Training Costs
With an integrated CRM/ERP solution IT costs are reduced since there is only one application to support. Ongoing costs are reduced since there is only one application to pay maintenance on and upgrades are unified.
Training on a single software is much simpler and productive since the look and feel is consistent thus leading to increased productivity.