From lead to invoice: how ERP-CRM integration streamlines processes
By Henning Lund - October 27, 2016
I’m often asked for examples of how integrating ERP and CRM can help companies streamline their business process and increase sales and order fulfillment efficiency. System integration can help optimize many processes, but if I should pick one, I would go for the one that most of my customers have in common: the lead to cash process. Let’s take a look at it and see how your data is transferred from one system to the other when you use an integration solution such as RapidiOnline allowing you to automate processes, avoid double entries and get complete sales history at your fingertips, without having to switch between systems. Your staff gains in efficiency and you can cut on license costs as they do not need access to both systems.
Lead to invoice: data flow example
Let’s say that a company receives a lead. The lead is created in their CRM system (for example, Salesforce ). As the sales process moves along, the lead in Salesforce is converted to an account, a contact, and an opportunity. This is standard in Salesforce Sales Cloud. At a trigger point for instance, when the first quote is accepted, a transfer in RapidiOnline will create a customer, a contact and the order in the company’s ERP system (for example Microsoft Dynamics ). The integration will also secure that, moving forward, the record stay in sync.
Since there is now an open sales order in Microsoft Dynamics, the sales order is being transferred back into Salesforce as a copy of the sales order. It can be displayed under an opportunity or an account - or wherever it makes most sense. Using RapidiOnline , you can also trigger additional workflows to notify your back office e.g. to make a credit check on the new customer, to review the order before it’s released or whatever you need in regards to your order fulfillment process.
One of the benefits of working with our solution is that you can follow any changes to the order in Salesforce because RapidiOnline secures that the systems stay in sync. When an order is invoiced, it also syncs from the ERP system to Salesforce, and the sales order is consequently removed from the open sales orders in both systems and re-appears as a posted invoice.
When the customer pays the invoice, the payment is shown as a ledger entry which enables you to follow the client’s balance and payment history directly in Salesforce without having to switch systems. The payments are balanced out with the matching invoices, giving a really good customer overview as well as possibilities for improved reporting directly from CRM.
Now, this might not be your exact process (and we can adapt to that), but it shows how, thanks to the system integration, you can remove all manual transfers or double data-entries, which are time-consuming and error-prone processes. And, by bringing all relevant historical customer data into their CRM system your salespeople get a 360-degree view of their customers in CRM (which is the place they work from), helping them service your customers better because they have all the information they need - at their fingertips.
About the author
With over 25 years’ experience in strategically propelling businesses forward, Henning is considered a business development entrepreneur with a passion for transforming businesses, sales and marketing operations through out-of-the-box thinking, concepts building and process automation to improve overall performance and scalability.