As customer relationship management (CRM) becomes more complex, it’s becoming more important than ever to integrate your key business processes.
CRM has changed
Customer relationship management isn’t as simple as it used to be. Buyers now have much higher expectations; they want to interact with your company via the channel of their choice (be this over the phone, in-store or online via their desktop, laptop or mobile device.) And in doing so, they expect a consistent service from you regardless of which method they choose.
Both B2C and B2B buyers have higher expectations due to the great service they receive from companies like Amazon. They expect you to know who they are, what they’ve ordered in the past, how much they paid, their payment terms, what products they’re interested in, and more.
The problem with fragmented systems
If you use one system to manage your customers, and a different one to manage your financials / ERP then your staff will have a lack of visibility at the point of contact with the customer.
Your CRM won’t usually contain order and billing information; this type of information is usually stored in your ERP / financial system. Therefore your sales, marketing and customer service teams – who only have access to the CRM – won’t be able to easily see how much someone paid for their last order, what their payment terms are, or when their items are due for delivery, for example.
They will have to ask someone else or another department which can take time, looks unprofessional and is much less efficient.
Similarly, someone in the billing department won’t likely have access to all the interactions a customer has had with your company, including any customer support issues that have been raised in the past, or payment terms they have negotiated with sales staff. This may mean that they get the bill wrong, for example.
What’s the answer?
You need a way to bring together data from your sales, marketing, customer service, order management, billing and finance departments. This is why it’s important to integrate your CRM with your ERP / financials, or alternatively you can choose a solution that provides both ERP and CRM functionality.
By linking everything together, all teams have the access to the information they need for their own job roles, allowing them to provide a better overall service to your customers.
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Can you think of any other reasons why a business may choose to integrate their CRM with their ERP / financials? Let me know in the comments below.
NoBlue provides NetSuite ERP which includes comprehensive CRM functionality. NetSuite CRM can also be integrated into your existing ERP / financial software. If you’d like any further information, please get in touch with us!