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Why Integrating ERP and CRM Software Is a Great Idea

in: CRM, Company News, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)

Integrating ERP and CRM software can seem daunting. What if something goes wrong? Many people find their staff balks at the idea of an integrated system. They prefer the older, separate systems. The old system is comfortable, like a pair of well-broken in jeans. Why bother with integration?

Your company will derive many benefits from integrated ERP and CRM software. You’ll save time through faster, smoother quotes and order management. Customers will be less frustrated because you’ll be able to look up their orders and provide real-time updates. Lastly, the information will be available to all for better forecasting and decision-making. Integrated systems are a win-win for companies eager to improve service and profits.

Selecting systems that work together is only the first step. After choosing systems such as Acumatica Cloud ERP or Sage 300Cloud and integrating it with CRM, what next? Training and implementation, and that’s where some companies run into resistance.

To overcome resistance, it helps to get organization-wide buy-in for the changes before they occur. To do that, you’ve got to understand how your team uses the current ERP and CRM systems, and what the new system might disrupt or change in their daily work. Communication is essential to a smooth transition.

Understand the Sales Cycle

Before moving forward with a new CRM system, sit down with your sales team and review the entire sales cycle. You must understand how the sales process works from their perspective—not how it “should” work from a management perspective.

Let the sales team review the potential CRM systems and give feedback on how well it might work with how sales are handled within your company. This way, you will have direct, unfiltered feedback and clear insight into possible CRM systems. Perhaps more importantly, because you’ve taken the time to involve the sales team in the decision process, they will feel invested in the outcome and eager to use the new system.

Set Small Goals

Another way to overcome resistance to new ERP and CRM software is to set small, obtainable goals for implementation. Some companies pursue aggressive goals with their new systems, and while that’s not wrong, it can feel overwhelming to some teams.

Instead, ask your teams to set and reach small, manageable goals first with the new system. Perhaps they can enter a set amount of customer information per week or challenge themselves to run at least one new report per week. Whatever the goal, incremental steps taken towards it are better than no steps at all or avoiding the new system because it feels too hard to start.

Provide Training

Another way to support the successful launch of an ERP and CRM software implementation is to provide adequate training. Many companies roll out the software with a companywide meeting, giving an overview of the system and then leaving the staff to figure out how to use it. That doesn’t work. Instead, try the following:

  1. An overview of the new system in small group settings, perhaps by department
  2. In-depth “how to” training within each department, focusing on the specific information, tasks, and systems the department uses daily
  3. Training one person in each department to be the in-house expert on the system, the go-to person who understands all of the nuances of the system
  4. Newcomer training on a rolling basis to introduce new hires to the system

Although this may seem like a lot of training for a new software rollout, people must learn how to use the system when they’re excited about it and before bad habits become entrenched. Many people start using a new system and rarely explore beyond the functions they use daily. Implementing a thorough training program will help everyone get the most out of new software.

ERP and CRM Software From Mindover

Mindover Software can help you choose the best ERP and CRM software combination for your company. We’ll work with you to understand your company’s needs and select the software that meets those needs. Let’s talk about how we can help you with selection, implementation, and training on your new ERP and CRM system. For more information, contact us or call 512-990-3994.