How ERP and CRM Integration Can Strengthen BusinessesIn today’s highly competitive business landscape, enterprises need to constantly seek innovations to streamline their operations and enhance their customer engagement. The industry is becoming ever more technologically driven with new automation trends reshaping core sectors such as the manufacturing industry. Thus, business management technology like Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications have become critical software solutions for achieving business goals. While both solutions are invaluable on their own, businesses can access previously untapped opportunities to improve efficiency and productivity by integrating them. Therefore, it is prudent for businesses to consider ERP and CRM integration for their implemented applications to operate more efficiently, make better decisions, and improve their bottom line.

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Why Do Modern Businesses Need ERP and CRM Integration?

ERP and CRM are two important software applications that are widely used by businesses to manage their operations and customer relationships, respectively. An ERP application manages all the core business processes within an organization with the goal of providing a unified view of the organization’s data and processes, allowing for more efficient operations and better decision-making.

A CRM application, on the other hand, is implemented to manage customer interactions and relationships. This includes functions such as sales automation, marketing automation, customer service, and analytics. The goal of a CRM system is to provide businesses with a 360-degree view of their customers, enabling them to better understand and respond to customer needs.

While each of these solutions offers its unique advantages, the integration of ERP and CRM can provide further greater benefits. With the industry becoming ever more hyper-competitive, integration and automation will become fundamental pillars for the success of enterprises. According to Gartner, by 2025, nearly 70% of organizations will implement structured automation to achieve greater flexibility and efficiency. Thus, the integration of fundamental software systems for businesses such as ERP and CRM should stay a priority for enterprises to stay competitive.

The notable advantages offered through the ERP and CRM integration include the following:

  • Streamlined Data Management: ERP and CRM systems operate with diverse data types. ERP systems manage back-office functions, while CRM systems manage customer interactions and sales. However, enterprises often need to synchronize data between the two applications to gain a more comprehensive understanding of their business operations. An ERP and CRM integration ensures enterprises can manage all business-critical data more efficiently by ensuring that data is consistent, accurate, and up-to-date across both systems.
  • Improved Inter-Departmental Communication: Through ERP and CRM integration, enterprises can improve inter-departmental communication and collaboration. With the real-time bidirectional data sync across both applications, different departments can coordinate more seamlessly. For example, sales teams can access inventory data from the ERP system, while customer service teams can view customer interaction history from the CRM system. Thus, through ERP and CRM integration, departments can coordinate their operations more effectively, reducing the risk of duplication and errors.
  • Optimized Order Fulfillment Cycle: A successful order fulfillment process usually necessitates a close collaboration among a company’s sales, finance, and operations teams. To facilitate such a collaboration, an ERP and CRM integration is required where sales data from the CRM system is synchronized with the ERP system. The integration enables better management of inventory and allocation of resources by the operations and finance teams. Additionally, with real-time bidirectional sync of the order status between the two systems, sales representatives can more efficiently monitor orders and provide precise updates to customers when required.
  • Enhanced Customer Experience: The ERP and CRM integration allows businesses to gain a 360-degree view of their customers. By having a complete view of customer interactions, purchases, preferences, and needs, businesses can provide more personalized and targeted marketing, sales, and customer services. Ready access to the full spectrum of customer data also allows enterprises to respond faster to customer inquiries, orders, and complaints which leads to a better customer experience and increased customer loyalty.
  • Increased Efficiency and Productivity: The ERP and CRM integration can help businesses automate repetitive tasks, reducing manual effort and improving accuracy. Through an end-to-end integration, enterprises can automate a wide range of complex workflows ranging from order-to-cash process to creating a sales order to generating an invoice, all of which are repetitive but critical to the operation of the business. By enabling business process automation, integration reduces the time and effort required to complete tasks and ensures that processes are completed consistently and accurately.

Factors to Consider for ERP and CRM Integration

With ERP and CRM applications managing some of the most critical business data and information, implementing integration between the two applications requires significant consideration of the right strategy and tools. Managing the intricate technical aspects and compatibility issues of the distinct systems and architectures, guaranteeing data security and compliance while providing adequate training and support to personnel to the newly integrated system, brings a considerable number of challenges. Some of the major challenges faced when implementing a new ERP and CRM integration to an enterprise’s technology suite include:

  • Integrating Legacy Data: One of the biggest challenges of ERP and CRM integration is the integration of existing data. Both systems contain valuable data that can provide valuable insights into customer behavior and business operations. However, the data stored within the applications are often stored in different formats, structures, and data types. Mapping the data from one system to another can be difficult as the data models may not be compatible with each other. Thus, integrating data from these systems can be a major challenge for enterprises which requires significant planning and coordination.
  • Complexity of the Integration: Developing an ERP and CRM integration from scratch is a time and resource-intensive process due to the complexity involved in connecting two distinct applications that were not designed to work together. The primary challenge in developing an integration from scratch is the prerequisite of having an in-depth understanding of both systems, their data structures, and their underlying business processes. ERP and CRM systems are complex and highly customizable applications, and they often have different data models, business rules, and workflows that need to be integrated. Working with the nuances of both systems requires having a dedicated team of experts to develop the integration, which requires time and resources that most enterprises may not have.
  • Slow User Adoption: Deploying a new ERP and CRM integration comes with the challenge of a learning curve and significant changes in the way employees work, which can be difficult to adjust to. With the change in workflow brought on by the integration of the ERP and CRM, employees need to be trained in how to use the software effectively. Furthermore, one of the key challenges of user adoption is the resistance to change. Employees may resist using the new software because they are comfortable with the old system and do not want to learn something new. This can be especially challenging for older employees who may not be as familiar with technology.
  • Cost of Implementation: Finally, the cost of implementing an ERP and CRM integration can be costly, especially for smaller organizations. The cost of implementation includes various expenses associated with the integration process, such as hardware and software costs, the cost of hiring an expert to develop the integration, customization, and configuration fees, and potential expense from downtime or data loss. These costs can be significant, particularly for large organizations with complex IT infrastructures.

Best Practices for Successful ERP and CRM Integration

Implementing a seamless integration between a CRM and ERP application is a significant undertaking no matter the enterprise’s size. Knowing and adhering to industry-tested best practices can help streamline the integration processes and mitigate any potential errors during the implementation of the integration. The major best practices to follow while integrating a CRM with an ERP to help organizations optimize their processes and improve customer satisfaction should include the following:

ERP and CRM Integration Best Practices

  • Upgrading Legacy Systems to the Cloud: ERP and CRM applications have been used by enterprises for many years and are still prevalent in various industries. As these systems have complex functionalities and store large volumes of data in their databases, older enterprises that adopted these technologies still rely on on-premises legacy systems to support their operations. However, these legacy systems are rapidly becoming obsolete, and even pioneering ERP applications like SAP ERP will be replaced with newer technologies like SAP S/4HANA by 2027. Migrating to a cloud-based infrastructure is inevitable, and upgrading the legacy systems to the cloud before integration eliminates the redundant work of reconfiguring the integration when the enterprise must eventually shift to the cloud.
  • Prioritize API-based Integration: When developing an integration, there are two options for connecting the systems; using (P2P) Point-to-Point connectors or using APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). While P2P connectors previously dominated the integration market, these connectors had to be custom-built for every platform and must be rewritten if the underlying technology changes. With a predefined framework, APIs continue to offer seamless integration even if the underlying applications get updated or modified. Moreover, APIs allow for scalable integrations, making it easier to connect multiple systems or applications. With APIs, businesses can integrate new systems or applications with ease, without having to build new point-to-point connectors for each new system.
  • Enable Data Standardization: While ERP and CRM applications often share overlapping data parameters with each other, both applications are structurally different. Thus, the exact same data stored within the applications may have different formats, structures, and definitions. Data standardization is important for the integration of an ERP and CRM application to ensure that the data being transferred between these systems is consistent, accurate, and usable. Without standardization, data can be inserted in various formats, which can lead to errors, inconsistencies, and inefficiencies in business processes. When the two systems use the same data formats and structures, they can exchange data more easily and reliably. This enables seamless integration and collaboration between the different applications.
  • Utilize a Low-Code BPA Platform: Developing an integration for ERP and CRM applications is a highly time and resource-intensive process for any organization. Utilizing a low-code Business Process Automation (BPA) platform, like APPSeCONNECT for implementing the integration can help enable faster integration of the systems by providing pre-built connectors and APIs. With the low-code platform, organizations can reduce the cost of integration by eliminating the need for specialized development resources and reducing the time required to complete integration projects. Furthermore, the platform offers the ability for organizations to respond quickly to changing business requirements and efficiency through its pre-built integrations and automation to improve time to market.

How APPSeCONNECT Streamlines ERP and CRM Integration

APPSeCONNECT is an industry-leading BPA and integration platform that enables businesses to seamlessly integrate their line of business applications and enable end-to-end automation of their business processes. With a vast library of ready-to-use integrations for all industry-leading CRM and ERP applications, APPSeCONNECT allows faster and more efficient implementation of the integration. These packages come with pre-built data mappings and workflows, which reduces the need for custom coding and significantly accelerates the integration process.

With APPSeCONNECT, businesses can enable seamless ERP and CRM integration, while ensuring fast and accurate bidirectional data sync between the two applications.

Top Must-Have ERP and CRM Integration by APPSeCONNECT

APPSeCONNECT offers a vast library of integration packages for all lines of business applications. Some of the must-have ERP and CRM integration from APPSeCONNECT to improve business efficiency include:

SAP ECC and Salesforce IntegrationSAP ECC and Salesforce Integration

SAP ECC has served as the legacy ERP solution for enterprises across various industries for many years. Enterprises that use SAP ECC to manage their organizational data face the challenge of managing vast volumes of data manually. Therefore, integrating SAP ECC with Salesforce becomes essential, as it enables end-to-end automation workflows through the bi-directional synchronization of crucial customer data parameters such as name, address, contact details, order details, and more.

Connect SAP ERP with Salesforce CRM
SAP ERP + Salesforce CRM Integration


SAP S/4HANA and Salesforce Integration4HANA and Salesforce Integration

SAP S/4HANA is a cutting-edge, modular cloud-based ERP solution that leverages AI and analytics to deliver an enhanced suite of functionalities for monitoring and managing data. Running solely on its native SAP HANA in-memory database, SAP S/4HANA is designed to supersede legacy SAP ECC platforms. Integrating SAP S/4HANA with Salesforce provides businesses with the benefits of a seamlessly centralized database and real-time synchronization of all crucial customer data, delivering a more efficient and streamlined process.

Connect SAP S4 Hana with Salesforce

SAP S/4 HANA + Salesforce CRM Integration


SAP Business One and Salesforce IntegrationSAP Business One and Salesforce Integration

SAP Business One’s feature set is most appropriate for small and medium-sized companies. For new companies, integrating SAP Business One with Salesforce can provide the necessary support to stay ahead of the competition. This integration offers a range of benefits, including better management of both new and existing customers, automatic synchronization of product data between Salesforce and SAP Business One, easy mapping of tax and shipping charges, real-time updates on stock data, and much more.

Connect SAP B1 with Salesforce
SAP Business One + Salesforce Integration


SAP Business One and HubSpot IntegrationSAP Business One and HubSpot Integration

Deploying an SAP Business One and HubSpot CRM integration through the ready-to-use package delivers several benefits, including streamlined business operations, improved customer experience, and increased revenue. The integration enables real-time synchronization of customer and sales data, automates repetitive tasks, and provides a centralized platform for easy access to critical information. Additionally, it helps to eliminate data duplication, increases data accuracy, and simplifies reporting and analysis.

Connect SAP B1 with Hubspot
SAP Business One + HubSpot


SAP Business One and Zoho CRM IntegrationSAP Business One and Zoho CRM Integration

Integrating SAP Business One with Zoho CRM enables organizations to achieve a seamless transfer of data between their sales and back-office operations. By automating data transfer, the integration provides users with real-time access to crucial customer and sales data and offers the benefit of improved inventory management, streamlined order processing, and reduced data entry errors. It also enhances sales and customer service by allowing sales teams to quickly respond to customer inquiries and close deals faster.

Connect SAP B1 with Zoho

SAP Business One + Zoho CRM Integration


Looking to the Future – ERP and CRM Integration

With the fast-paced nature of the industry where customers expect to receive immediate results, implementation of an ERP and CRM integration is essential for enterprises to stay competitive. Deploying a seamless integration between the two platforms is a must-have for enterprises of all sizes and across both the B2B and the B2C sectors. As the industry continues to move forward, the future trends for ERP and CRM integration are focused on improving the user experience, increasing automation and intelligence, and providing real-time insights to decision-makers.

One of the most significant trends is the widespread adoption and shift to cloud-based solutions, which offer several benefits, such as scalability, flexibility, and reduced IT costs. The integration of AI and machine learning technologies is another area of development, which can help automate routine tasks and provide predictive insights.

Finally, the integration of IoT (Internet of Things) devices is set to transform the way companies manage their operations, allowing for real-time data collection and analysis, resulting in more informed decision-making. Companies that embrace these trends are likely to gain a competitive advantage in the marketplace and be better equipped to meet the challenges of the digital age.

Looking to get started with automation for your ERP and CRM applications? Seamlessly integrate and automate your ERP and CRM ecosystem under a single, intelligent, and secure Business Process Automation platform through APPSeCONNECT’s robust integration packages and achieve exponential business growth.