Three Benefits of Integrating Your CRM and ERP
Please take a (virtual) trip with me and think about the homes in American suburbia. Almost all of them have both a front and backyard. They also typically have that area on the side of the house that connects the front and backyard. Often overlooked, the “side yard” area is for much more than just storing the trash cans. It allows for a more cohesive outdoor living area, and for moving important things like outdoor furniture, lawn mowers, and bounce houses from front to back and back to front.
A CRM and ERP are sort of like your front and backyard. Sure, they are both fine on their own. But, connecting them makes logistics easier and opens up a lot more possibilities. A modern CRM like Sugar handles what we call “front-end” information – valuable data about customers and prospects that marketing, sales, and support teams use to build better relationships with clients. An ERP system handles backend data – all the financial, billing and accounting information about a customer after they have placed an order with the company.
Here are three key benefits of making sure these two systems are integrated:
Don’t Enter Data Twice
Creating automated workflows that take account data from the CRM and turn it into an ERP customer record saves time. It’s much better than the sales lead emailing someone in accounting and then that team having to manually enter each new customer into the ERP. As we know, the manual entry and re-entry of data leads to errors. And, errors lead to headaches down the road.
Empower Your Employees
Empower all employees with access to critical information – How much time is lost while sales and accounting teams email each other (Has the payment processed yet?) back and forth. One of the biggest advantages of CRM and ERP integration is that it gives you a complete view of your customer. SugarCRM and a fully integrated ERP give your employees the ability to access important information in real-time. From sales and support, to finance and accounting, it empowers your employees with access to information like shipments, customer financials, order history, returns, payments, and exactly when they need it. No longer will employees have to say, “Let me check with my colleague and get back to you.”
Quote and Order Management
Quote and Order management – If your company is going to turn proposals created in the CRM into actual orders (executed and tracked at the ERP level) you’ll need to integrate both the systems. Integration gives sales reps visibility into the order status and helps them inform customers of any changes.
These are just three of many benefits that should help you realize integrating CRM and ERP is a good idea. You may also be thinking, “Why don’t I just buy my CRM and ERP from the same vendor, that should make integration easier.” While it’s a logical thought, this is what we call the single vendor fallacy. The reality is that modern software companies ensure their products can be integrated with a variety of complementary products.
Sure, with one vendor, you’ll pay one invoice and deal with one customer support team. But, you’ll be giving away future flexibility (vendor lock-in) and might be sacrificing features and capabilities because you can’t choose the best solution for your business.
Additionally, as much as it would be nice, most platforms can’t do all things in the exact way you want them to…it’s not a one-size-fits-all situation when it comes to automation. You need to have a flexible and strategic approach to software, and that means using the best platforms out there for you and making them work together through integration and development.
We should mention that integrating SugarCRM and ERP isn’t drop dead simple. We recommend talking to an integration partner who has experience in setting up business processes to make the project manageable.
To learn more about integrating your CRM and ERP, check out what that looks like with our SugarCRM Sage 100 integration here.
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