An important factor in a growing business is to make sure it has the right systems in place that can support its growth. Businesses often try to squeeze as much performance from their existing systems to delay investing in more powerful systems. When a small business pushes a system beyond its capabilities, it can restrict its growth. A business may sacrifice more rewarding opportunities if it avoids investing in suitable business software.
A customer relationship management (CRM) solution helps you manage customers, win new business, and keep your customers happy. A CRM system facilitates building stronger relationships with customers and helps grow your business faster.
Built-in processes and automation engine help to streamline your processes and automate manual tasks to allow you to focus on more important activities. Real-time dashboards provide you with insights to understand your customers better.
These are the five reasons that an inbuilt CRM in your Accounting/ERP system won’t deliver the results you need:
1. Limited information
Applications such as Xero, MYOB and QuickBooks have grown over the years to offer more features and capabilities. It has also made it difficult for business owners to see the difference between Accounting/ERP and CRM systems.
Unlike an Accounting/ERP system, a good CRM system contains not only customer’s information but also the interactions, history of projects, sales details, and customer service cases. The CRM tool organises this information to give you a 360-degree view of individuals and companies, so you can better understand your customers over time.
2. A different set of users
A CRM system is used by the Marketing, Sales and Support teams, and they interact with customers regularly. These are customer-facing users and are not involved in actually fulfilling orders for a customer. CRM systems integrate with Accounting/ERP systems to get the necessary information to keep the Marketing, Sales, and Support teams up to date on the orders and inventory projections.
In contrast, the ERP users internal-facing and are focused on the process and logistics of producing the products. ERP users do not get in touch with customers except to respond to resolve a complaint about a product or a service.
3. Salesforce automation versus finance and production planning
The core focus of the two types of systems is different:
CRM: salesforce automation. CRM system is used to approach a customer for new business, to make businesses and individuals your customers, and to provide them with a great customer experience with regular interaction. It is more about leads, sales forecasting and pipeline, and account management; it is about the relationship aspect of it.
Accounting/ERP: finance and production planning. These systems are more related to the signed deals with clients, from the purchase to the delivery part of it, including the recording of financial information around it. These systems do not know about prospects who may or may not become a client.
4. Personalised experience
Smart businesses understand the importance of building strong relationships with their increasingly savvy customers. Information in CRM systems may include basic customer information as well as social media related data. It may also pull in other information from other sources, e.g., a client preference on a channel of communication. CRM ties all data together to provide an omnichannel experience to customers.
This kind of experience is difficult to provide from Accounting/ERP systems built for small businesses. Recording customers’ detailed information is not a strength of these systems as their purpose is different from the one CRM is used to serve businesses.
5. Gathering insights for the best experience
Accounting/ERP systems allow a business to understand the current financial position and orders in production. They do not give a full detailed picture of what is coming (or not coming) down the road.
Sales forecast and pipeline information with opportunity probability are only available in a CRM system. The decision makers use this insight for future business planning and steering the company accordingly. Similarly, the satisfaction level of existing customers can easily be viewed to take necessary actions for customer retention.
About the author:
Ammar Quettawala is a strong advocate of automation and passionate about helping businesses to create a superior customer experience. He runs a consulting company, QTECX Solutions, that provides implementation and integration services for CRM, Enterprise Application Integration, and Business Process Automation. He has travelled globally and worked with industry leaders in North America, Europe, Africa, Middle East, Far East, and Asia Pacific. He also has lived in three countries.
Ammar loves to speak in business forums and conferences. He mentors business owners as well as final-year university students to help them express their uniqueness and stand out as professional individuals. His life mantra is simple: "Be good, do good". Find out more about Ammar on LinkedIn.