The global Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software market is expected to earn $47 billion in revenue by 2022. And ERP and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) are still important levers for businesses, with 53% naming the two as priority investments in 2018.

You’re probably on a first name basis with your CRM, but you may be less familiar with ERPs. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between CRM and ERP -- and whether or not you should integrate the two.

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ERP and CRM Systems

An ERP system is used to organize and manage all aspects of a business, from supply chain management to financial data and even payroll.

A CRM system organizes one function of the business: to streamline a company’s interaction with current and potential customers -- usually through the automation and data sharing of Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success.

ERPs are commonly used to help enterprise-size organizations unify their business functions and communications in order to reduce costs and increase revenue. For example, an ERP might manage project planning, pricing configuration, and business procedures to help your teams talk to each other, reduce redundancy, and lower costs for your next product launch.

Using the same example, a CRM might allow salespeople to create email templates and automated workflows to send to a segment of prospects announcing that new product.

Put simply, CRMs are a way to improve the customer or prospective customer’s experience with your company, and ERPs improve a company’s health and function overall.

Top ERP Systems

1. NetSuite

  • Price: Available upon request
  • About: NetSuite boasts the impressive ability to reduce manual and spreadsheet-based processes by up to 70%. Financials, fulfillment, inventory, and sales are a few of the business areas you can manage efficiently using this system. Real-time scorecards make tracking daily cash flow easy. And anytime-access means you can monitor your business from anywhere, 24-hours a day.

2. SAP Business ByDesign

3. Microsoft Dynamics 365

4. Odoo ERP Self Hosted

  • Price: $20/user/month base price; Additional app pricing varies
  • About: Odoo is an open source ERP, which means the code is available to anyone, allowing developers anywhere to modify or improve it. Odoo has had thousands of developers work on its apps. It’s user-friendly and allows customers to build ecommerce websites, manage projects and timesheets, run inventory, and more.

ERP and CRM Integration

Traditionally, ERP and CRM have remained separate solutions. Both have complex architectures making them difficult to integrate with each other. However, integrating your CRM and ERP can streamline your business in lucrative ways.

By allowing salespeople in the front office to send orders directly to the fulfillment office, or facilitating your finance department to see the revenue coming into your pipeline in real-time, you can remove friction in your business and create a better end-to-end experience for your customer.

For example, HubSpot integrates with Odoo ERP Self Hosted. Zero coding is required but all the perks are included. Set triggers when a contact is added to a list, create a new product or project task, and set triggers when you add a new project task or product.

So, should you integrate your ERP and CRM? Probably, and here’s why:

1. Accurate quotes

Never worry about your reps quoting a price or quantity your business or warehouse can’t support. By integrating your CRM and ERP, reps can communicate with and have visibility into your company’s inventory and costs.

2. Reduced duplication and increase knowledge sharing

Have trouble with your sales team duplicating reports finance has already created? Kiss redundant information goodbye and welcome a little more time and a lot more collaboration into your employees' workflows.

3. Better forecasting

Speaking of sales, make sure your sales reps can access vital financial information stored in your ERP while they’re forecasting. Integrating your ERP and CRM can lead to more accurate planning.

Is ERP/CRM integration right for your business? Want to learn more about CRM integrations that are right for your business? Continue reading, here.

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Originally published Aug 9, 2019 7:30:00 AM, updated August 09 2019

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Choosing a CRM