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CRM SOFTWARE

Aspects of a CRM and an ERP

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems play a critical role in customer journeys. Now, let’s take a look at how your business can benefit from connecting CRM with ERP applications.    

Offering exceptional customer experiences throughout the customer journey is no longer just a differentiator but a customer expectation. Optimizing each customer touchpoint or interaction increases the likelihood of customer satisfaction. But without access to integrated data, companies struggle to keep their customers happy.

CRM and ERP Definitions

A CRM is a foundational technology for customer engagement. Its job is to manage customer interactions and business processes related to the customer lifecycle.

An ERP system integrates a company’s essential business functions related to revenue, sales, marketing, supply chain management. ERP is often used with the financial system (accounting, invoicing, financial reporting).

There is much to be gained from integrating the data between your CRM and ERP systems. For example, sales representatives with immediate access to the inventory available can complete sales orders faster and provide customers with a better purchasing experience.    

5 Common Points of CRM ERP Integration

Contact and Account

    The CRM contains lead and customer contact information related to sales orders, and the ERP has customer and account information associated with invoicing, shipping, and payment. Synchronizing these points keeps your contact and account information accurate.

Quote and Order Management

Sales quotes generally originate in the ERP system but sales representatives need access to the quotes and prefer to work out of one system, the CRM. Sales orders are generally put into the CRM by sales representatives, but it is the ERP that manages the orders, generates invoices, fulfills orders, and ships products. Synchronizing data between your CRM and ERP systems keeps quotes and orders accurate and allows sales representatives to get everything from the CRM.

Sales Order History

Sales order history is valuable information and companies use artificial intelligence (AI) to predict future purchases. The history of booked invoices tends to reside in the ERP so those records must be synchronized with the CRM for sales representatives to view the information.

Payments

Payment is the completion of the sales quote-to-cash process. Payment data resides in the ERP. If your payment data is accessible to the CRM, a sales representative can be aware of payment due and help in the collections.

Product, Quote, Price, and Inventory

Product quotes, prices, and inventory often reside in an ERP. Sales representatives need access to that information for customer proposals and to check product availability. They also need to communicate order status with customers, so integrating product information with the CRM helps keep your sales process smooth.

The Customer Relations Systems better known as CRM

CRM Software is responsible for managing your entire database and the different sales, marketing, or project processes within your company. CRM´s are your best friend in organizing your processes and promoting sustained growth.

Implementing a new CRM Solution

If one or more of the following problems exist in your business, it's time for you to consider a professionally CRM system.

CRM for Sales & Marketing

  • Sales administration is absorbing too much time. This might involve compiling manual forecasts, long quoting processes, and duplicated effort to process completed orders.
  • A marketing budget isn’t being used effectively because contacts are poorly segmented so messages aren't targeted and result in unsatisfactory volumes of leads.
  • You don’t know how many leads your email campaigns are generating, or how many were converted into sales.
  • Too many sales opportunities are lost because no one kept in touch with prospects through follow-up calls or lead nurturing messages.
  • You cannot see a clear view of each customer relationship in one application which includes their order history which is a barrier to identifying new selling opportunities.

CRM for Customer Service Teams

Customer churn is too high (Customer churn rate, is the rate at which customers stop doing business with an entity. It is most commonly expressed as the percentage of service subscribers who discontinue their subscriptions within a given period. It is also the rate at which employees leave their jobs within a certain period.) Existing accounts aren’t segmented effectively and staff is not prompted to proactively follow up and engage with customers.

Data is stored in different places which prevents anyone from seeing the full picture. This results in poor communication and weak service when important customers can be easily identified and relationship information isn't readily available.

Service requests aren't processed with efficiency and customer issues are frequently missed due to poor visibility and reporting of outstanding items.

Business Intelligence

Decision-making is based on ‘gut feel’ and guesswork because reports aren’t trusted, or easily compiled.

You can’t confidently predict cash flow, project delivery, or production requirements because supporting forecasts aren’t available, or are incomplete.

Key performance indicators aren’t being measured so some problems are being swept under the carpet and high achievers aren’t consistently recognized.

Managing Contacts & Processes

Teams are using a mix of systems but none of them connect. As a result, many processes are being duplicated and time is wasted throughout the business.

People are less effective when they’re away from the office because they can’t get access to the information they need.

Many processes and checks rely on the manual intervention of a small group of people, or just one person, which are prone to failure when these individuals aren’t available.

Many workflows consist of repetitive, time-consuming processes. Routine tasks are taking too long to fulfill resulting in uncompetitive operational costs.

Your client data isn’t secure. Any team member can easily copy customer lists into a spreadsheet.

What are the top benefits of CRM?

There are many reasons why organizations invest in a new CRM strategy. High customer churn, inefficient processes, and unreliable reporting are just a few examples.

Professionally implemented CRM systems deliver many benefits for sales, marketing, service, and other teams. On this page, we've highlighted five benefits frequently cited by our customers who have digitally transformed their business by implementing a new solution. Top 5 Advantages of CRM

Connect with Customers

The main purpose of a CRM system is to support a business in engaging its customers. As well as individuals who purchase a product or service, ‘customer’ also applies to partners, beneficiaries, donors, students, members, and any other contacts who do business with an organization.

Grow Efficiently

By better aligning people and business processes, CRM systems help organizations achieve greater scale and grow efficiently.

Some examples of this include:

  • Replace repetitive manual tasks with smart automated workflows that complete actions and send automated emails which cut administration and eliminate duplication.
  • Avoid staff jumping between systems by managing all workflows in a single interface. This can include service cases, contracts, projects, events, and application requests.
  • Apply business rules, methodology, and best practices to CRM workflows enabling users to follow guided steps and reach successful outcomes when handling sales leads, service issues, and other business processes.
  • CRM fosters a positive team culture and improves communication as individuals share information, collaborate effectively, and gain a better understanding of other areas in your organization.
  • Improved productivity through better time management as CRM prompts users when important events occur, or if actions are missed.
  • Gain more value from existing technologies.
  • Discover New Insights from Business Data

Centralizing customer and process data present a new challenge to translate this into meaningful actions.

Big data in CRM is not a solution, but the foundation for learning new insights which can be acted upon by all users and business leaders.

With all relationship and process data available via a single interface, it means that timely, informed decisions can be made enabling organizations to operate with increasing greater agility.

CRM helps organizations tap into these insights and differentiate their offering with data-driven outcomes rather than an over-reliance on gut-feel decisions.

For a sales team, this might mean trusted pipeline reports that are used as the basis for reliable sales and production forecasts to predictably manage cash flow.

In a marketing scenario, teams can determine how responsive their audience is enabling them to convert prospects or adjust tactics to engage contacts who aren’t responsive.

Service managers can rely on CRM data to answer questions that include:

  • How many service issues were logged last week?
  • What is the recent volume trend?
  • Which individual resolved the most issues?
  • What type of issue is consuming the most time?
  • What percentage of cases were resolved in a single call?

With CRM data providing a single truth, businesses can monitor key performance indicators in real-time and use this insight to take corrective action when needed.

Performance transparency means that achievers are clearly identifiable and can be rewarded accordingly which helps to develop a culture of user empowerment and motivation.

Modern CRM cloud technology includes embedded artificial intelligence providing further insight and driving proactive actions. This can include intent analysis from social media posts, highlighting customer questions in tracked emails, sensor alerts from installed customer equipment, or revealing trends in the health of client relationships based on the frequency of contact.

Do Business Anywhere

Through mobile apps, web interface, and offline access, CRM technology empower people to get work done anywhere.

Whether you are working in your office, or on the go, you have a set of productivity tools to create, edit or collaborate on the processes and business relationships that matter to you.

With staff able to connect to CRM on-demand, they can immediately respond to client requests, react to leads, and manage existing accounts.

If teams cannot access customer data, business is effectively on hold when they leave the office or are away from their desktop or laptop.

Mobile CRM means that everyone can connect, make updates and initiate action on-demand when events occur. This includes:

  • Creating a new service case from an email received on a mobile app
  • Referencing recent contact history during a customer meeting
  • Updating sales opportunities and pipeline detail when traveling from a customer visit
  • Scheduling follow up CRM activities in response to received emails and meetings

Providing a great customer experience requires teamwork and the right tools to help users engage with customers.

Mobile CRM apps that are fast, easy to use, intuitive, and fit a mobile lifestyle are rapidly adopted. Extending these solutions into customer-facing roles and processes will result in higher use of CRM and increasingly productive staff.

Safeguarding Business

Control access to your important customer and business information by securely storing data in the cloud. With advanced protection and automatic backup, this data is protected from unexpected events.

CRM security profiles and settings enforce controls so that teams and individual users have appropriate permissions to access records consistent with their roles.

With data held in the cloud, CRM immediately offers significantly greater protection compared to storing customer data locally in spreadsheets, or legacy on-premise applications.

Examples of CRM security controls include:

  • Restrict access for account managers to only view their records
  • Advanced hierarchy security to manage access between senior users and subordinates
  • Withhold delete permissions
  • Prevent users from exporting CRM data to Excel
  • Wipe CRM data if mobile devices are lost, or if individuals leave the organization
  • Protect sensitive data with field-level security controls

Another example of how CRM helps to safeguard businesses is by providing the technology that helps organizations to digitally transform and develop new business models that will ensure future competitiveness.

Through smarter processes, connected apps, and new insights gained from business data, CRM helps an organization develop new customer-centric business models that support strategic growth plans.

CRM + AUTOMATION

3 Ways to automate with CRM

Work is hectic, and there is always more of it to be done. So anything that can offer a significant time-saving ability should be viewed with the utmost importance.

Consider the following: A company has a 50-person sales team. Each sales rep on that team spends one hour a week prioritizing leads. By automating that step using a scoring trigger, they collectively save 50 hours a week, and over 2,500 hours annually that can instead be put towards other tasks more important sales activities.

This is where automation comes in, CRM automation, to be exact. It saves you immense amounts of time, but when you go a little deeper, you will see that CRM automation can actually do much more for your business.

What is CRM Automation?

  • In CRM automation, the system automatically handles repetitive, manual tasks in order to organize the work and improve productivity.
  • CRM systems have the ability to support a wide range of automations. Some of the most common involve marketing, sales, and customer service.
  • Marketing automation, which includes email campaigns, welcome emails, and data syncing.
  • Sales workflow automation, which includes pipeline stage transitions, task assignments, and call scheduling

Benefits of CRM Automation

You may think that the only benefit of CRM automation is the time-saving aspect. Yet with that increase in efficiency, you end up benefiting in many other ways. With CRM automation, you design the workflow, identify the triggers, and create the content. Then you can put your energy into more productive things and let the automation handle the rest.

Below are examples of how CRM automation can benefit your company:

  • Save Time: Organize tasks so you can focus on the projects that really matter without sacrificing valuable hours in the process.
  • Raise Lead Qualification Rates: CRM automation improves the lead generation process by allowing you to gather more leads and increase qualification rates because you are able to follow up faster.
  • Increase Conversions: Free up time to focus on the best leads and then pair them with the best sales reps.
  • Improve Customer Satisfaction: Customer issues are identified and addressed promptly by logging any form of customer reach out.
  • Drive Higher Retention Rates: Through the culmination of these benefits, you will see higher customer retention rates.

What is the difference between CRM and commerce automation?

Commerce and CRM automation serve a lot of the same purposes. Yet CRM automation has a full focus, and Commerce/marketing automation systems are designed to deliver marketing campaigns.

The key features of marketing automation systems are:

    Lead Nurturing: Create email templates that can be sent to the right leads at the right time.

    Content Delivery: Send gated content to leads when they subscribe to receive notifications.

    Customized Workflows: Develop workflows that best support targeted marketing campaigns.

    Campaign Analytics: Review performance analytics to inform future decision-making.

Run a better business With CRM Automation

When you use automation features offered by your CRM, you are getting the most out of your platform while getting additional benefits. The more your team and customer list grow the more information you are going to need to track. And the more information, the harder it becomes to track.

CRM automation allows you to better manage your data, put it to good use, and save time doing so.

With CRM automation, you can achieve a better level of department alignment that results in increased growth and productivity.

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