What can ERP and CRM Help Small Business?

As a small business owner you’re well aware the business world is teeming with acronyms, and keeping up with them is the last item on your to do list. But some, like the two we’ll review for you today, are ones you simply must be familiar with.

ERP and CRM can help you streamline your processes, reduce costs and boost sales. While they are both software solutions, how they fit into your business and how they help you achieve your business goals is quite different.

If you are ready to expand your acronym vocabulary and power up productivity, read on.

What is the meaning of ERP?
ERP is an acronym for enterprise resource planning. While CRM is used to manage your business’ customers, marketing and sales, ERP software is used to manage the operational side of your business.

An ERP solution brings together all aspects of an organization, including sales and marketing, planning, product development, accounting and human resources and more. The goal of ERP is to increase operational efficiency by integrating several aspects of your business into one platform.

Similar to small business CRM, there is also “small business ERP.” This scaled down version of enterprise ERP is designed to meet the unique demands of small business. In contrast to large organizations that can have IT staff to do things like handle upgrades and analyze data, small business owners need a more straightforward interface and easy to understand dashboards and that’s where small business ERP steps in. Just like when you’re selecting a CRM solution, you’ll want to be comfortable with the level of technical and customer support you’re getting from your ERP provider. Before you start your search for the best ERP for your small business, you’ll want to review this helpful guide.

What tasks can ERP software help my small business with?
As we touched on earlier, ERP can help small business handle a wide variety of tasks, like managing payroll, improving project efficiency, creating standard operating procedures, and streamlining inventory management. That just touches on the services an ERP can help you with.

What does CRM stand for?
CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM is an umbrella term used to describe the many different types of interactions a company has with customers. A CRM software solution helps you and your sales personnel identify, understand and retain customers. It also helps you better understand your customers’ persona, likes, dislikes and buying habits so you’re able to retain them as a customer and deliver top-notch customer service.

While CRM software will assist in collecting and managing important data about your customer or sales lead, it can also be useful in creating marketing campaigns, and ensuring your entire sales team is kept in the loop. Examples of popular CRM software include Salesforce, NetSuite and OnContact. You’ll want to explore these important tips for finding the best CRM for your small business.

CRMs are often created for and used by large businesses that enjoy the benefit of an IT staff. But that doesn’t mean you’re out of luck as a small business owner. In fact, CRM is critically important for small business owners who truly value each sale. When exploring CRM options, you may hear the term “small business CRM.” This refers to a lightweight CRM application created to best meet the needs of small to medium sized businesses. The major differences between the two CRM solutions are the amount of data the system can handle, the features and cost.

What can a CRM do for my small business?
As you might expect, each CRM software company offers its own specific set of features and access to enhanced features usually equates to an increase in price. However the vast majority of CRMs have a number of basic features in common, including sales related tasks such as organizing and managing sales flow, keeping track of time spent on a particular sales task, streamlining the sales process, detailed tracking of customer interaction, prioritizing leads, analyzing sales data and managing contacts. As small business owner you’ll want to be sure you’re comparing “apples to apples” when choosing a CRM solution, and be sure to ask about what level of technical and customer support you’ll receive.