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  • 5 Ways ERP and CRM Integration Allows Manufacturers and Distributors to Reap the Rewards of Being Customer Scientists

5 Ways ERP and CRM Integration Allows Manufacturers and Distributors to Reap the Rewards of Being Customer Scientists

In this time of digital transformation, manufacturers and distributors have their work cut out for them. The importance of a connected supply chain and the proliferation of smart manufacturing requires teams to put an entirely new level of focus on the customer to ultimately predict performance and remain competitive.

Diving into the data at a scientific level is now a must for every type of organization, and without a connected CRM and ERP you won’t have the data integrity and level of detail necessary to predict and control outcomes with your customer.

In order to stay competitive, your organization requires a 360-degree view into operations and the right tools to optimize customer data and turn reporting into execution. Your business’s success depends on the back office and the front office working as one. Organizations that use insights from ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software integration are working smarter – rather than harder. The account-based approach available in ERPs and CRMs will help your business continue to grow by keeping team members focused on proactive vs. reactive data-driven decisions. Don’t be caught by surprise when a key customer doesn’t renew a contract or place that expected order. Combined information from ERP and CRM will allow you to target, engage, win, and maintain customers.

Let’s dig deeper into 5 key ways CRM and ERP integration allows manufacturers and distributors to benefit from becoming more intelligent and focused customer scientists:

Smarter Business Development

Sales and marketing work hard to generate new business. Use CRM and ERP to gain real insight into new business targets. Are you connected through any suppliers? How much have other customers similar to them grown or become more proficient? Pull in company news and more business connections within one organization into CRM for more relevant and personalized conversations.

According to website conversion and optimization firm, Invesp, the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. In fact, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products and spend 31% more, when compared to new customers. Bottom line: while it’s important to focus on generating new business-don’t forget to maximize and protect the customers you already have.

Smooth Operations and Process Design

Organization and process automation are vital for business growth. Measuring the effectiveness of promotional campaigns, closing deals, and developing customer relationships is all easier when you have one set of shared data on customers. The integration of ERP and CRM makes it possible to automate specific tasks and design processes that improve results.

Lifetime Customer Value and Robust Financial Tracking

Uniting ERP and CRM provides manufacturers and distributors consolidated dashboard visualization of all metrics. This allows you to track estimated budgets and actual expenses, generate ROI, and cost reporting. This integration also enables you to illustrate real-time profitability analysis across your organization. Understanding the lifetime value (LTV) of a customer is a key metric every business should track. The net profit of the entire customer relationship is one way to measure your most valuable customers and design ways to secure future customers that share similar attributes.

Automation for Customer Loyalty

Automation is vital to staying competitive in today’s rapidly moving digital age. Use CRM and ERP integration to automate and increase the level of responsiveness and accuracy in responding to customer inquiries. You can also design ways to track customer sentiment, campaign responses, and won or loss sale values to move customers towards higher levels of loyalty.

Initiating B2P

Business-to-person (B2P) is becoming more important with the information overload associated with the expanding use and proliferation of digital media. Sending a personalized message, at the right time is critical to getting your message read and improving response rates. When ERP and CRM are united, it increases the opportunity to use personalized data that is current and relevant. The ability to pull live data from social sites and real-time business news into CRM will help all levels of the organization take their communication to the next level.

CRM Software Integration

CRM integration into ERP provides consolidated reporting of relationships and distribution data, by giving companies access to the total history of each customer’s account. Manufacturers and distributors who embrace the digital revolution by integrating CRM software into their ERP systems will be able to optimize manufacturing and distribution practices, boost customer relationships, and use insights gained to fuel sales and marketing efforts.

This article originally appeared as a guest contribution to the TechnologyAdvice blog.

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