Integrating your CRM and ERP systems is a vital part of growing up and being successful as a business. Perhaps you started out with a couple of laptops and an Excel spreadsheet, but as you grow, you need much more than that.

Most businesses realise this pretty quickly. They get a CRM in place to help them deal with customers and sales, and an ERP to make sure accounts, inventory and all those other essential processes work smoothly. So far, so good. But as a business grows even bigger, with more staff, more products and more complexity, working with two different systems becomes difficult.

If you’ve got CRM and ERP systems that aren’t integrated, the chances are some or all of these things are happening in your business:

  • You’re wasting time manually copying data between your two systems.
  • You aren’t always seeing opportunities to anticipate customer needs and develop stronger customer relationships.
  • Your teams sometimes mistrust each other, or get fed up of having to deal with requests for data.
  • You’re spending money on training staff on two systems that you’d really rather use elsewhere.

All these things are pretty much inevitable without a CRM and ERP integration. The problem is, many businesses don’t realise it. It’s easy to get used to dealing with two systems and the difficulties that go with that. But if you really want to reach your potential, it pays to get serious about the way you use and share data, and that includes integration.

How to integrate

Businesses sometimes put off integrating their CRM and ERP because they assume that doing so will be a long and complex process. Maybe you think you don’t have the budget, time or technical know-how to get an integration in place. Or perhaps you’re worried about not knowing how to maintain an integration if you do get one up and running successfully.

Integration can be easy, if you choose the right company to work with. For most smaller businesses needing a CRM/ERP integration, an out-of-the-box solution will work just fine. You can spend more on a bespoke system, but you really don’t need to unless you want something unusual.

Make sure you find a company that offers decent ongoing support, so you don’t need to worry about being out of your depth technically. There are a few data integration companies and tools but one of the best one to keep an eye on is Rapidi Online.

What can you expect from a CRM ERP integration?

Once your integration is in place, what will happen? Well, you’ll obviously save money and time. But there are other, less tangible benefits. Businesses with integrated systems have data that they know they can trust, accessible to everyone, whenever they need it. It’s always up-to-date and accurate.

When the quality of your data isn’t in question, and it’s freely available, people start to use data better. They begin to see possibilities. It becomes easier to analyse where you are, spot trends and propose solutions. For example, people might spot an opportunity for a valuable automation that they just wouldn’t have been able to see before.

Integrating your CRM and ERP systems simply makes sense – most businesses will gain significant value from doing so.