Like apple pie and ice cream, CRM and ERP are powerful tools on their own but work even better when they are combined into one.
Businesses that have used stand-alone specialty systems in the past are all too familiar with the process delays and duplicate data that results from managing two disconnected systems and databases.
In this article, we’ll examine how integrated ERP and CRM saves you time, improves customer service, and actually drives more sales.
Better Customer Service and Satisfaction
Your sales representatives probably know your customers well from memory and experience, but they may not have access to all of the customer account information they need when asked detailed questions about inventory, pricing and shipments.
Having to put them on hold or call back (sometimes hours or even days later) while someone in accounting checks the ERP system for historical order information or inventory availability is frustrating for your customers and unproductive for your sales team.
With new orders, you may need to wait for an updated inventory report to determine whether you have the items in stock and in the right quantities. In a cut-throat market, your competitor is just a phone call away and each delay provides more time to consider their options.
By connecting your ERP software with a customer relationship management (CRM) system, you can provide sales representatives with the customer account and transaction data they need without ever having to leave the CRM application they’re already using.
Critical details automatically pull from ERP and populate in CRM so that customers get instant answers, sales representatives can place more timely orders, and the entire process becomes fast and seamless.
Solve Problems More Effectively
Most people associate CRM with sales and marketing. But did you know that some CRM systems deliver a full suite of powerful tools for customers support and problem resolution? In fact, many companies don’t realize that Sage CRM offers this capability.
The customer service component in Sage CRM is built around the concept of service “tickets” that contain detailed information about a specific customer support request, contact information, resolution status, urgency of the issue, and resources assigned.
The benefits of combining the service component in Sage CRM with critical customer history and account details coming from your ERP system including:
- Easy access to service requests, call and escalation history, and support cases so you can solve customer problems faster and keep them happier.
- CRM customer service workflows can trigger escalation notification to a manager if a service request remains unresolved for a specified timeframe so that nothing ever falls through the cracks.
- Insightful analytics and dashboards help managers know how well customer service reps are performing so you can continue to improve service and responsiveness.
Order Processing and Add-on Sales
When data is seamlessly shared between ERP and CRM, your sales reps have access to transaction and historical data which increases the likelihood they’ll generate more cross-sell and add-on revenue opportunities. With access to real-time inventory updates in CRM, sales reps will know immediately if a product is in stock, can check to see if a suitable replacement is available, and whether there’s an opportunity to up-sell based on recent history or complementary products.
What’s more, mobile CRM that works on a phone or tablet provides access to all that same data so your time on the road or onsite with a customer is far more efficient and effective. Not only can you place orders onsite, but you can answer questions about recent shipments, price changes, invoices, and other historical data. What’s more, there is no need for redundant data entry or other paperwork for accounting, inventory management, or for customer databases when you get back to the office.
CRM and ERP: Better Together
CRM is no longer a stand-alone departmental tool used only by sales and marketing. Integrated CRM and ERP is all about bridging gaps, sharing data, and streamlining workflow between departments so everyone across your company is working from the same system for better efficiency, profitability, and customer service.
Get in touch with DWD Technology Group if you have questions about CRM, ERP, or combining them both so they work better together.