We get a lot of questions revolving around the difference between a CRM vs an ERP. Over the past few years CRM’s have become trendy, and for good reason. ERP’s have never really gotten a ton of love, but honestly they should get as much if not more clout than CRM’s. So let’s see what’s up and why you need both.
Customer Relationship Management. Essentially this is the front-end of your business. Manage relationships, contacts, sales pipelines, activities and initiatives and more. CRM’s main objective is to control your sales and be able to manage the sale from prospecting to the actual close of the sale. This helps you identify opportunities better, not forgot important to do’s and also create and automate processes for greater close rates and a better customer journey. Well known names in this space include Salesforce, Hubspot and Zoho.
Enterprise Relationship Planning. This is the back-end of your business. After the sale closes, now you have to deliver. ERP’s let you manage all facets and resources of the business that allow for delivery of your product or service. Think Operations, Finance, Human Resources, Manufacturing, Supply chain and more. Really whatever you can think of that you’d like to control and manage data, it can be created within an ERP. Well known names in this space include Netsuite, SAP, Microsoft Dynamics.
The Old School
What many companies have done is continued to use dated software and use them in ways they weren’t built to be used. Let’s use ACT! as an example. Used to be the CRM of choice right? What happened? It’d be used to manage all the contacts and sale information and it gave you that beloved notes field. You know the one, the one you put every extra detail in. How’s service delivery going? Put it in the notes. Something’s changed? Put it in the notes. Now the notes field is just a heaping pile. But all your data is in their right? All this data, and no information.
The New School
Options everywhere! With the ever growing Saas (Software-as-a-Service…i.e subscription model) market, it seems like there’s 2000 options for CRM’s and ERP’s. Every industry as their own ERP and CRM options. Most of these companies won’t be around in a few years, due to failure, being bought, or other reasons. Most sectors have a few top contenders and then a bunch of options no one’s heard of yet. Most options are fairly customizable, but are built around different methods so they way they work all seem drastically different.
Most booming applications tend to have their own customized options offered by a number of cloud companies. Construction, Rentals, Property Management sectors are good examples. They tend to perform both CRM and ERP functinality. Problem is most are purchased by businesses, and they conform to the software. Software should always be customized to the business and it’s processes for best outcomes.
Here at Oakline, we believe every business should have both CRM and ERP functionality. The less applications you have, the better. You need powerful, robust applications that can scale as you grow. There’s a number options for businesses that are much more practical and cost effective than the heavy hitters like SalesForce. That’s not a slight on SalesForce, it’s a beast of an application that is continually number one in it’s sector, for good reason. It’s also fairly complex for newbies, really expensive and the more you scale, the more you need, and you’ll never turn that boat around. There’s a “SalesForce” in every category. Most large enterprises utilize the common platforms such as SalesForce, and NetSuite or SAP. This isn’t really economical for most businesses due to the cost of licensing fee’s and implementation costs.
That being said, don’t feel like you need to continue on using the notes field Act! or the equivelant. There’s options that fit both your need and your budget. They’ll drastically change how you do business for the better. Hit us up for an initial call and demo to see what a more practical CRM/ERM solution can look like for your business.