Most organizations would have already implemented some sort of ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and most of us would have some idea how it works.
An ERP system would typically provide support to the operational processes within the company and sometimes extend to the management requirement of further providing analytical information for management decisions.
Some of us may have heard of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software, however some may not have a clue of how this actually works or help an organisation.
A typical CRM software today is quite easily accessible and allow companies to share data seamlessly between the ERP and CRM, giving businesses a unique advantage they never had before:
- seamless single database to ensure productivity
- enable a “single version of the truth” of the information
CRM Standard Functionalities
Most companies will implement CRM on two functional areas:
- Sales and Marketing
- Sales Cycle Management
- Marketing Campaigns
2. Customer Service
- Service Management and adherence to SLA (Service Level Agreement)
The above are the two (2) typical functionalities that any company will start using their CRM. With these two functions, operations within Sales & Marketing and Services can be streamline and managed very much more effectively.
The above functions can be quite easily implemented within a short period of time with operational and management analysis all built-in.
Today, CRM can be implemented even faster with Cloud availability. This will eliminate the challenges of the IT Infrastructure procurement, setup and maintenance.
Integrating CRM & ERP
Many businesses will find benefits from investing in an ERP system and a CRM solution however not all will prioritize the integration of the two. Lack of integration may mean there are information gaps within a company with the chances of duplicating work increased.
If your company is in high sales transaction business, there are identifiable benefits to automating the process of turning a CRM account into an ERP customer. This integration could save a lot of time in the creation and update of the Customer Card that will be eventually used by Sales, Finance and Services.
In addition to the Customer Cards, the Contacts cards within the Customer is another touch point to consider for the integration. A customer will typically have at least 3 contact cards, ie: Management, Finance & departmental staff.
Some companies would benefit from integrating Sales Quotation and Invoices. Again, this will eliminate the need of duplicating the work and providing a seamless sharing of information from both systems.
Besides, ERP, email (and sometime social media “Chats”) integration can also be very beneficial to the CRM system.
- CRM today is very accessible and can be easily implemented
- CRM on Cloud makes implementation even easier and faster to implement
- Integration between ERP & CRM eliminates duplication to share information seamlessly
- Integration to email (including social media “Chats”) to share communication easily
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