How an ERP + CRM Benefits Your Organization
You’ve done everything right so far, you’ve brought on the best people to round out your leadership team as CFO, CEO, COO, CSMO, etc. Great ideas are flying around and everyone is running their own departments smoothly. Each area has proven and repeatable processes in place and you are on track for success. This is the dream, right?
Hopefully, you have already achieved this vision, or at least you have plans in place to make it happen. But something is still missing. Your departments aren’t in sync and you have so many disparate systems you can’t get the reporting you need to make the right decisions for your next phase of growth.
This is where the value of an integrated or comprehensive enterprise-wide system (ERP) integrated with a customer relationship management system (CRM) comes into play. Historically, you had to be a Fortune 500 or have 100s of employees to justify an ERP + CRM. Thanks to advances in technology, that’s just not the case anymore. Small to mid-sized businesses can now take advantage of the same tools the big players are using.
Breakdown by Department
Operations – Chief Operating Officers (COO) make sure that you are effectively and efficiently delivering and serving your clients. An integrated project management tool that syncs with HR/finance for time tracking, expense against projects, and utilization, while also integrating with the CRM for a seamless transition between sales and operations increases a company’s efficiency significantly by reducing the need for double entry and reducing data errors.
Marketing – The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) gathers information from the operations and sales teams to leverage and include in their marketing messaging. A marketing tool that is integrated provides greater insight to the marketing team and also delivers actionable data back to the sales and operations teams.
Sales – The Chief Sales Officer (CSO) drives the company’s growth. While most companies have a CRM system nowadays, they often operate in a silo, without the data flowing among departments. Imagine everyone in your company having access to the right information at the right time so they can make quick effective decisions to serve your customers. An integrated ERP + CRM system will get you there.
Finance – Chief Financial Officers (CFO) are responsible for the financial strategy of your organization. Whether you are lacking strategy or your revenue isn’t where you want it despite having strong marketing, sales, and operations leadership, a CFO is likely the right solution for you.
Technology – The Chief Technology (CTO) or Chief Information Officer (CIO) is responsible for making
sure the company has access to the data they need. Most of us are running on 20+ different tools, some of which are integrated, but most are not. This requires a lot of management and coordination on the part of the CTO and can add unnecessary costs to the company, as well as an administrative headache for those using the tools. Integrating these individual apps, or having a comprehensive enterprise-wide system will ease that burden.
How much does it all cost?
While the costs vary widely, ERPs + CRMs have advanced in such a way over the past couple years that they are affordable for even small businesses. Firms could get an ERP + CRM license for under $40/user/month, or easily spend several hundred dollars per user monthly, depending on what they are looking to accomplish. The great news is, that while this didn’t used to be the case, there are now ERP systems that work for most budgets.
How will I get it all working?
The first step is speaking with each of the individual departments on what data they need to track and what data they need to send/receive to others. An easy way to do this is to ask departments what spreadsheets they are currently using. More often than not, a company can gain a lot of efficiency by turning those spreadsheets into functional parts of your ERP + CRM. These can be great foundational blocks for building out your system.
A comprehensive system is going to allow you to see any remaining gaps throughout your organization clearly. It’s going to enhance cross-departmental communication and collaboration and allow you to scale your business much more effectively. Adding an ERP + CRM can be a total game-changer, but it’s not as simple as adding a single application for one specific purpose and if not done correctly could create frustration among your employees. Before diving in, make sure you do your research or hire a firm to help you navigate the process and select the right tools.