While your CRM and ERP don’t absolutely need to be integrated to gain visibility into your sales pipeline, integration surely helps. It’s good to know your customer’s history (ERP) when providing them a new quote (CRM). It’s also good to know pipeline (CRM) and predicting capacity by open orders (ERP) more accurately. Let’s delve into the quoting process as it occurs in one of today’s modern ERP systems.
An integrated CRM/ERP system will include a quoting and estimating module that tracks sales stages and pulls in data from ERP (price, cost, and history, just to mention a few). Because of ERP integration, a user can convert any detailed quote into a sales order with little work. Pipeline becomes backlog.
What ERP Provides
With ERP automatically feeding data into CRM, a user can quote more confidently because he has access to factors like material, labor, overhead, external supplier costs, and more. In addition, with views into the manufacturing and purchasing history from ERP, the CRM system user can see what the customer has “customarily” ordered, along with the associated costs and prices charged for various past order quantities. As a result, the estimate is grounded in realistic totals rather than subjective “guesstimates” by the quote estimator.
What CRM Provides
When a customer receives a quote, the CRM system will reflect it in the standard CRM view. As the sales cycle progresses to a closed deal, the CRM-ERP integration pays off by automating the status update to both CRM and ERP processes with simple actions, like clicking the “Order” button in CRM. Within CRM, sales pipeline estimates are automatically updated with the new deal information; simultaneously, inventory checks, purchase orders, and manufacturing processes can be kicked off within ERP. In the event a deal is lost, the user can access the account in CRM, click “Lost Sale,” enter the reasons for losing the deal, and automatically share that information across CRM while canceling any associated orders within ERP. This information can be retained for more intelligent future quoting.
Learn more about pipeline visibility and how Acuity can help.