How many efforts do your salespeople make every day to know their clients better? I’ve spent most of my career in sales, both as sales guy and as sales director. Along the years, I have had the opportunity to observe many interactions between salespeople and their clients. One thing that has always been striking me is that, often, the little things we do in an effort to get closer to our clients are those that make a huge different in our relationship with them and eventually in their likelihood to purchase our products or services. In my experience, turning the vendor-customer relationship into a partnership is the most efficient sales approach.
How do you get your salespeople to know, understand and service your customers better? It starts of course with a customer-centric culture, deeply anchored in your corporate strategy. Creating a platform for engagement that fuels dialog with your customers is a great start. Maybe you have even invested in a CRM system to take care of this. CRM alone can take you a long way in getting to know your customers better. But if you want to go all the way and have a true 360-degree view of your customers, you should really integrate your CRM with your ERP.
If you look at the business areas covered by ERP and CRM systems, you cannot help noticing the complementarity of the two systems. ERP systems provide much-needed internal information that can be shared with new stakeholders. CRM systems provide the entry point for stakeholders to engage with an organization. You can't really have one without the other and be successful in the marketplace.
Read also: To integrate or not to integrate? The ERP-CRM dilemma
From an operational point of view, you can achieve much greater benefits by integrating the two systems. Why? Because the integration will take you a step closer to providing best-in-class service to your customers:
Read also: Do you need both ERP and CRM?
An ERP-CRM integration can make a huge difference for a company, and the good news is that today, it has become a lot easier and affordable to integrate systems. ERP and CRM systems have both been enhanced to allow for easier integration with other systems. Also, it has become easier to find data integration solutions such as RapidiOnline that deliver out-of-the-box integration templates that can get you started quickly.
Read also: Top 4 reasons for ERP-CRM integration