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Why Not Simply Use the CRM Module of Your ERP Provider?

In almost all companies that want to introduce a CRM solution, the following question is asked at least once: Why not simply use the CRM module of the existing ERP system? There is a good reason why every IT manager resists unnecessary system diversity. So far so good!

That’s why the specialist departments that want to use a CRM system for the first time are often suggested to simply use the CRM module in ERP. For some companies this may also be the right way – for many others it is not. This guide will help you make the right decision.

“The CRM of Our ERP Provider Is Completely Sufficient!”

In reality, this is rarely the case. Many ERP systems only have a slimmed-down CRM solution on board, which contains little more than simple address and task management. Such a tool is often not sufficient to fully cover the modern and constantly growing requirements of the marketing, sales and service departments. No wonder: ERP providers often invest less in the further development and expansion of their CRM modules than specialized providers.

Powerful and above all flexible CRM systems are required especially in the B2B environment. The processes are complex and must be supported by specific CRM solutions. Due to their experience alone, specialized CRM providers in this area often have far better concepts in their drawers than broadly positioned ERP providers.

“Our ERP Vendor’s CRM is so Cheap!”

For companies in the B2B environment, this argument is only correct at first glance. Inadequate functionality, inadequate process support and bulky user interfaces are already driving up prices in the medium term. How much money do you lose if processes only function suboptimally? What is the use of software if it is not accepted by the employees? Everyone can answer these questions for himself…

Specialized CRM manufacturers are also ahead of the field here. Comprehensive functionality tailored to the individual user, custom-fit process support and easy-to-use interfaces ensure a much higher performance of the CRM application – and a quick return on investment.

“The CRM of Our ERP Provider Is Fully Integrated – a Third System Has to Be Connected First!

At first glance, this point goes to ERP vendors, although there are still ERP vendors on the market who have only weakly integrated their CRM module. This is often the case with systems that have been subsequently purchased. Of course, in this case an interface is already available and does not have to be set up first. But how robust, flexible and comprehensive this is is another story.

Consider that the existing standard coupling must be adapted to your needs with high probability!

Anyone who decides in favor of specialized CRM software does not necessarily have to accept compromises in terms of integration. On the basis of many projects, CRM providers often offer expandable standard interfaces to various systems. A discussion about the provider’s experiences with the connection of your ERP system is worthwhile in any case. However, first you should be aware of whether integration is necessary at all and what scope and depth it should have.

Conclusion – Decision CRM Module of ERP Systems Versus Specific CRM Software

Before the decision for or against the ERP module or best-of-breed special solution is made, it must be clear which CRM requirements the individual departments actually have. Lead questions are here:

  • Is a coupling to ERP and other systems required and how comprehensive should these be?
  • How much would it cost to customize the ERP module to your needs?
  • Don’t underestimate the repeatedly mentioned “user acceptance”. Would your colleagues from sales, marketing and service really like to work with the interfaces of their ERP system?

The answers to these questions give you a good foundation for your decision.