Benefits of CRM-ERP integration and the role of APIs

  • Written By Vala Marcou
  • 31/12/2021

Having good customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems is essential to your success. CRM systems are designed to centralize important customer information, organize it into useful categories, and put it at the fingertips of anyone who needs it. This makes it easier to send out marketing emails or make changes to an order.

ERP systems are designed to manage the financial and operational aspects of a business. They can keep track of inventory, sales, and budgets, as well as employee information.

But did you know that integrating your CRM with your ERP can give you even more power? For example, you can access important customer data from your ERP system while you are working on orders or creating a budget. This can save you time and help you make more informed decisions.

But to take full advantage of an integrated CRM-ERP system you need a way to exchange data between the two systems—this is where application programming interfaces (APIs) come in.

APIs are sets of requirements that allow computer programs or systems to “talk” to each other and share data. They play a major role in the integration of CRM and ERP systems.

Implementing APIs into your business processes makes it possible for different parts of your organization to share data easily and efficiently. This can improve the efficiency and accuracy of your data, as well as reduce the amount of time needed to complete tasks.

APIs help you automatically upload important customer information to your ERP system, so the data is already there when you need it. They can also allow users to select an order from a list in their CRM and then add that order to a pool of orders in their ERP. This auto-syncing helps workers spend less time updating data and more time on customer service.

Advantages of ERP-CRM integration

There are many benefits to be gained from integrating your CRM and ERP systems, but the most important may be the improved communication between departments. The benefits of integrating CRM and ERP include:

Accurate predictions

Using data from your ERP system makes it easier to make accurate, real-time predictions about the future. This helps you make better business decisions.

For example, if a customer has shown a strong preference for a particular product in the past, then that customer will probably be more receptive to an email marketing campaign that contains that product.

Integrating your ERP and CRM can help you make accurate predictions about future sales, inventory needs, and other aspects of your business.

Improved efficiency

Exporting and combining data in spreadsheets can be time-consuming and prone to errors processes. Being able to access, process, and combine data from one place, makes it easier for employees to find the information they need, faster.

This leads to a more efficient workplace and less wasted time.

Faster response times

Employees will respond to customer inquiries much faster when they have accurate customer data at their fingertips.

If a customer emails you asking about an order they placed yesterday, you can quickly look it up in your CRM system. If you are waiting for an update from your IT department on the status of the shipment, you can get that update from your ERP system.

Increased visibility

Integrating your CRM and ERP also brings about increased, end-to-end visibility of all the data points that make up each supply chain.

You can assess these networks to understand better how they work together and the decisions made for business processes within them.

Reduced IT spend

Having a single system for handling all your data can lead to significant savings in IT costs. You’ll need fewer employees to manage and maintain your systems, and you’ll be able to use the same hardware for both your ERP and CRM systems.

Also, software updates and maintenance don’t need to be handled by a separate team, and employees can handle simple information technology (IT) tasks without calling the IT department.

Understand the effectiveness of Marketing campaigns

By integrating your CRM and ERP, you can track how different marketing campaigns are affecting your business and customers.

You can see what marketing campaigns are resulting in the most sales, and which ones are costing you money. This information will help you focus your marketing efforts on the campaigns that are most effective.

Manage Sales effectively

Businesses can use CRM-ERP systems to manage their sales pipeline and forecast future sales.

Integrated systems can provide you with an overview of all the active deals in your business and how much money you are likely to make in the future. This information can help you make better decisions about where to focus your resources.

Improve decision making

ERP-CRM integration improves decision making by providing a more solid basis for important business decisions.

You can make better decisions about things like inventory, which products to sell and advertise, and staffing levels. For example, your ERP system might provide you with information that you need to adjust the number of employees who work in each department or the hours that those employees work.

Gain insight into your customers

ERP-CRM integration can give you a better understanding of your customers.

You can track customer interactions across different channels, including social media and phone calls. This information will help you better understand what your customers want and need.

You can also see which products your customers are buying and how often they are buying them. This data will help you better understand your customers and effectively market to them.

Increase loyalty and improve profitability

By combining your CRM and ERP, you can increase customer loyalty and improve profitability.

You’ll be able to track the lifetime value of each customer, which means that you can focus on retaining profitable customers instead of just looking at the short-term profits from a single sale.

You’ll also be able to see which customers are most likely to recommend your business to others, and you can focus your marketing efforts on those customers.

Seamless integration

One of the benefits of using an ERP-CRM integration solution is that it provides seamless integration between your systems.

This means that data entered into one system will automatically be entered into the other system. There is no need for manual entry, and this saves time and eliminates the possibility of human error.

Integrating your CRP and ERP systems will give you a more complete view of all aspects of your business.

Customers, sales, finances, inventory – everything about your business – can be tracked from one place. This integrated system makes it easier to manage day-to-day operations, decisions making and larger plans for the future.

The result? Your business can more easily understand how it’s performing, which areas are most profitable and what the future holds.

Choosing the right ERP-CRM integration method and technology

It’s important to choose the right integration method and technology for your ERP-CRM system. This section will look at why you should opt for an API-led integration strategy with the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform and how it can benefit any business process.

Benefits of API-Led Connectivity

API-led integration is one of the most efficient ways to integrate ERP and CRM systems.

Rather than relying on point-to-point integrations or custom scripts, an API-led strategy uses APIs to connect all applications and data sources in a single platform. This saves time and money and ensures that all data is always in sync.

One of the significant benefits of API-led connectivity is lower integration costs due to reuse. This means less maintenance and operational expense for your company, which can translate into greater profits in any industry.

The reuse and productivity of API-led connectivity help you market and launch projects faster.

According to MuleSoft, API-led connectivity may help you increase productivity by 64%.

Advantages of MuleSoft integration

When it comes to choosing the right integration technology for your ERP-CRM system, MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform should be at the top of your list. With its ability to quickly connect any application or data source, MuleSoft is perfect for businesses of all sizes and industries.

One benefit of using the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform for ERP-CRM integration is the ability to manage changes and updates quickly. However, with so many applications and data sources involved, it can be difficult to keep track of all the integrations when changes are made.

But with MuleSoft’s cloud-based platform, you can easily manage all integrations from a single location.

The MuleSoft Anypoint Platform is an intuitive drag-and-drop interface that makes it easy for developers of all levels to accelerate their development process.

Additionally, the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform provides several out-of-the-box connectors. That means that data is automatically integrated without the need for custom scripts or APIs. This saves time and money and ensures consistency across applications and systems.

The MuleSoft’s Anypoint Platform helps you build integrations with XML (Markup Language) or graphically. It also offers debugging tools for Java exceptions and design-time error handling, making your applications more stable.

Interested in MuleSoft? Get in touch

Examples of CRM and ERP Systems Integration

Now that we’ve looked at the benefits of API-led connectivity and the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform, take a look at some examples of CRM and ERP integrations.

SAP – CRM Integration

The integration of SAP-CRM back-end with the industry-standard commerce solution from SAP (SAP Commerce Cloud) is a game-changer.

It allows customers to leverage both worlds and enjoy all these offers, including enhanced customer service.

The new cross-platform capabilities mean you can have your catalogue on any device while still selling online through our powerful mobile app.

SAP-CRM integrations support Asynchronous and/or Synchronous Order Management for B2B and B2C.

MS Dynamics – CRM Integration       

The integration of Microsoft Dynamics CRM with your ERP system gives you one integrated view of all customer data.

Not only does this save time and money by eliminating manual entry. But it also gives companies more power over their business decisions – because they can see what’s happening in real-time.

Connecting MS dynamics CRM makes sense from an efficiency standpoint, considering how much information about potential customers or suppliers would be stored across different systems.

ERP – Salesforce CRM integration

Salesforce is the most widely used B2B and B2C customer relationship management (CRM) platform supporting the entire business from sales and marketing to customer support. Salesforce has native integrations with some of the largest ERP vendors including SAP and Oracle.

More recently, through the acquisition of MuleSoft, Salesforce introduced Composer that comes with even more connectors to allow businesses to easily integrate with hundreds of other applications.

Final thoughts

Any business’ success depends on using flawless data and making the best possible decisions.

Integrated CRM and ERP systems provide the accuracy and organization you need to succeed. And API integrations provide the means for smooth data flows between different systems. API-led connectivity and the MuleSoft Anypoint Platform are ideal in making these integrations a success.

When these three essential pieces of your business technology are working well together, you’ll have streamlined business processes, improved decision-making, and an infrastructure that can grow along with your business and be flexible enough to adapt as technology changes.

If you would like to find out more about how you can seamlessly integrate your ERP with your CRM, we can help. Give us a call or email us at marketing@whishworks.com.

Other useful links:

API Recipes with MuleSoft Anypoint Platform – Mule 4 edition

Get started with MuleSoft and API-led connectivity

Salesforce CDC integration using MuleSoft

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