For business owners who aren’t particularly tech-savvy, the plethora of different software solutions touted to make the workday easier can be head-spinning. Acronyms abound, and all the available options make it difficult to keep pace, let alone figure out which ones are right for your business. Two of the most common business software suites are enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software, both of which can be highly beneficial to businesses of all sizes. When combined, however, ERP and CRM become something more than just the sum of their parts.
So, how can you best integrate the two to play nice? Here are a few tips to get you started:
Identify Your Current Needs
Integration of ERP and CRM software solutions can be handled in many different ways, which is one reason why the process you end up taking should always be based on your business’s current needs. Ask yourself a number of questions, such as which business processes you’re looking to improve through integration, how integration can boost lead generation, how data will be synchronized etc. This way, your business needs will end up driving integration instead of separation.
Start with ERP First
Many businesses will already have either a CRM or ERP solution in place before attempting to integrate the two. The best way to manage integration of ERP and CRM software, however, is to start with a blank slate if possible. Strategically, it’s usually most effective to start with implementing ERP first, which will give you a solid base to work from when it becomes time to integrate a CRM solution. There’s nothing inherently wrong with doing things the other way around, but starting with ERP first can help to cut down on some of the confusion involved in the integration process.
Embrace Salesforce Integration
Salesforce is one of the most popular options for CRM software on the market, and its adoption rates are high for a reason—it’s very useful, regardless of what space or industry a business may be in. Because of its popularity, Salesforce ERP integration has become progressively more common over the years, with most ERP solutions allowing for full communication with the CRM side of Salesforce right within a single software suite. In essence, your CRM and ERP solutions become one, saving time and money for your organization.
In most cases, integrating ERP and CRM software solutions won’t be inherently difficult—especially if you work with the right vendors. Expecting integration of any kind to be entirely seamless is never a good idea, however, even if the same vendor is being used for both CRM and ERP. Most integration roadblocks occur early on in the process and can be navigated, however, so don’t get discouraged if any initial problems pop up.
Integrating ERP and CRM can be highly beneficial for businesses both small and large. Take your time, and you won’t have to disrupt business as usual.