ERP vs CRM: what are the differences?

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To manage, segment and retain your customers in the digital age, good sales  processes are essential. As customer relationship management is at the heart of any successful business, you need to implement means and techniques that will create and maintain long-lasting relationships with your customers.

Today,  you can only achieve these objectives by choosing tools that are reliable and  effective. Whether you decide to use CRM or ERP software, you must equip yourself with the right program to collect, process and analyse information  about your customers, in order to establish a trust-based relationship with each of them.

 

CRM

CRM  software, an acronym for customer relationship management, is a computer  program made for companies wishing to manage all the relationships they have  with their customers. CRM is an essential tool for all teams within any company.

From each buyer profile, with all contact details and a complete purchase history, to  the various commercial operations and payment methods, but also invoicing and  customer support, a CRM platform is a tool that is increasingly present in B2B  companies.

Indeed, CRM software offers many benefits for managing the entire customer lifecycle:

  • Increased sales (you are able to track all conversations with prospects and customers  in order to meet their expectations as closely as possible, and thus make  more sales!)
  • True  customer loyalty thanks to simple and fast customer portfolio follow-ups
  • Optimisation  of customer satisfaction thanks to personalised follow-ups (which is far from negligible when you know that building loyalty costs much less than acquiring new customers)
  • Increased productivity and optimal time savings thanks to the automation of repetitive  tasks (such as the generation of compliant documents, the automatic dunning of unsigned quotes or unpaid invoices, etc.)
  • A complete  overview of your prospects and customers in real time, ensuring complete  customer relationship management
  • Reliable reporting via an end-to-end view of the sales pipeline, enabling you to  identify any problems and correct them as quickly as possible with regard to  key performance indicators

But the  benefits of CRM platforms do not stop there, and this list is far from  exhaustive! They also ensure better alignment of the sales and marketing  teams and, as a collaborative tool, CRM allows for communication between  these two departments that will truly add value to your company. With sales  and marketing working hand in hand, the customer experience is guaranteed to  improve.

Last but not least, CRM software facilitates teleworking for remote team  collaboration. Your employees can access all their data and information in  real time!

  

ERP

 

ERP software: a central tool in your company's information system. ERP (enterprise resource planning) software is an information system that lets you manage and  monitor all your information and operational services on a daily basis. These  types of programs are designed to centralise all your data in order to generate  accurate analyses that will guide you in your processes and decision making. ERP is defined as a set of modules linked to a single database.

A good ERP system must cover at least two basic principles:

  • The  possibility of running computer applications which have independent  functions, compatible with a single shared database
  • The use of  a workflow engine to define a set of process tasks and manage their execution  in all the modules of the system that need them

ERP software also has definite benefits, as it generally includes a suite of applications  for the management of your company, including:

  • Accounting and financial management (customer and supplier accounting, cash flow  forecasting, etc.)
  • Commercial management
  • Purchase management
  • Inventory management  (logistics, transport, etc.)
  • Management oversight (optimising departmental performance or costs)
  • Human resource management (personnel management, payroll, etc.)
  • Supplier management
  • Sales management
  • Production management
  • E-commerce management

All these functional modules are generally subdivided within the ERP platform to  provide quick access to each of these business areas. This makes it possible  to cover a wide range of corporate management tasks via a simple and intuitive  tool, boosting efficiency.

On the other hand, many companies are also equipping themselves with a CRM program to maximise their understanding of their customer base and better anticipate their expectations and needs (CRM and ERP being complementary enterprise software).

Customer  relationship management is now the lifeblood of any business, whatever the  size and industry, especially in completely digitalized environments. Hence  the interest in adopting customer relationship management software to create  and implement an efficient growth strategy. Whether CRM or ERP, today there  are powerful tools available that will increase your agility and sales, while  improving the everyday lives of your employees.