I’ve seen it happen so many times. A growing small or midsized business (SMB) realizes that it’s getting harder and harder to keep up with the competition. More specifically, they determine that they’re struggling to maintain consistent revenue growth because it’s so challenging to keep existing customers and attract new ones.
So, they do what any serious corporation would do: They begin looking for their first bona fide CRM system.
As they evaluate solutions, they’re often floored by the sheer amount of functionality that’s now available. “Wow,” they think to themselves, “these solutions would give us enough whistles and bells for the next 20 years.”
They’re equally floored by the sticker prices of these solutions. And while everyone knows the importance of good CRM, many of these SMBs find it hard to believe that taking on a major capital expense in the form of software licenses will result in a worthwhile ROI.
“But this is the price of success, and the cost of doing business as you grow,” they remind themselves—and they take the plunge. They implement a major standalone CRM platform, and mark it as a milestone in the maturity of their company.
They then spend the next several years watching their sales and marketing teams use only a small fraction of the CRM features available to them. User adoption is underwhelming, and overall usage of the platform eventually tapers off.
The project delivers a disappointing ROI—and executives are left scratching their heads. “We chose one of the best platforms in the industry,” they remind each other. “So, why didn’t it take us to a new level?”
It’s because they went about their search all wrong. Rather than trying to solve customer challenges with a CRM system, they should have looked at them as business challenges and addressed them with an integrated cloud ERP system.
The Case for ERP-CRM Integration
Why look for ERP-CRM integration rather than just a standalone CRM solution for your growing business? SMB Group laid out some compelling arguments in a recent report.
In a nutshell, SMB Group believes that as SMBs try to do more with less—and stave off larger, better-funded competitors—they absolutely must have an integrated view of each customer, as well as a single view of the business as a whole.
If you implement a standalone CRM system, centralized views will be harder to achieve. Sure, you can install integrations for many systems these days. But here’s the thing: With so many business applications moving to the cloud—and with integration between clouds often becoming a major stumbling block to productivity—why risk ending up with a fragmented view of your business and your customer base?
The safer play is to implement an integrated cloud ERP system that provides enough CRM functionality for growing SMBs. You’ll then be assured of running your customer-facing and financial management processes off the same database.
Increase Your Chances of Revenue Growth by 29-40%?
SMB Group’s comments on the importance of integrating CRM with ERP aren’t just based on gut feelings. They’re backed up by a recent study. SMB Group found that:
“SMBs that have fully integrated business solutions are 29% more likely to expect revenue growth than those that have only partially integrated these solutions, and they are 40% more likely than those that have not done any integration.”
The benefits of an integrated ERP-CRM system is significant and can greatly increase user adoption…and your bottom line!