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CRM v/s ERP: What’s The Difference?


Tech- based solutions have become a necessity for businesses almost everywhere. 

Investing in ERP and CRM systems doesn’t just help your business align its digital transformation efforts. It can also help your business establish a foundation in making your hectic tasks less complex, and solidify customer relationships by bridging communication gaps with your existing customers. 

As per a Study, the ERP Software Market has been projected to grow over US $78.4 Billion by the end of 2026, while the CRM Software Market is expected to reach more than US $96.5 Billion by 2028. 

And why wouldn’t it be? Keeping a track of inventories, financial data, customer details, employee productivity and work reports could definitely bring in a whole new set of chaos for any business! 

Why Are We Bringing Up CRM v/s ERP?

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Large enterprises around the world are opting for either of the two options. It is either Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) or Customer Relationship Management (CRM). And both of these are categorized under Enterprise Software solutions.

Although they could be similar in terms of being enterprise software solutions, they still differ in terms of functionality, hence the reason why we are making a comparison between CRM and ERP in the first place. 

Let’s take a look at some of the key-pointers as to how they differentiate from one another: 

  1. ERP is useful for automating business processes, while CRM can help automate customer – based interactions and getting work reports. 
  2. CRMs are primarily being used to take care of custom service and sales department related activities, whereas ERPs help ease the tasks related to financial data or the finance department in general. 
  3. In order to further differentiate the solutions, Enterprises often name ERPs to be the ‘Back- Office, while CRMs are usually known as the ‘Front- Office’.  

What Is CRM?

What Is Crm
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As an Enterprise Software Solution, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) can facilitate improved customer interactions by automating all the interactions for businesses. It is a most- commonly used aspect of a larger suite of User Experience (UX) applications. Its functionalities render solutions for various departments for the business, be it for advertising, marketing Customer Service or eCommerce solutions. A CRM system is capable of keeping a track as well as storing all of the gathered information, interaction and data of customers. Some of the examples include: Communication with sales representatives, purchase history, proposals as well as service requests.                                                                                                                                 

Most of the CRM solutions can help customer records with the help of third party sources of data while ensuring that the data is accurate and up-to-date. Customer Data can be shared throughout different departments operating within the business, so users/customers can get a better hold of what is happening at each of the touchpoints. Some of the Top CRM Solutions are also stepping- up their game by making use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to recommend next steps to be taken for sales related activities as well as analyzing their customer’s purchasing history. 

How Can CRM Benefit Your Business?

A CRM system can flawlessly automate customer- related activities that are inclusive of interactions of day- day customers, sales- cycle, marketing campaigns and customer interactions. With the help of this system, the employees working in the sales, support, marketing and customer service department get access to a unified view of each customer’s purchase history and other related activities with the company. A properly- deployed CRM can offer the following benefits: 

1. Superior Customer Service

Once your business manages all of its customer data at one location, the CRM systems will be able to curate customer profiles to speed- up the response time and facilitate the way towards communication between marketing, customer service and sales departments. All these factors can help increase the quality of business’s customer service and provide services to them in the long-run. 

2. Upswing in Productivity

CRM tools are capable of automating routine tasks be it for making a data entry or adding customer information. This helps speed up the process for, reduce possible errors and provides extra time for strategic planning. It can also digitize customer interactions and utilize digital channels ranging from email, chatbots, live chat or social media. Businesses can also step- up their game and improve their personalization with the help of Artificial Intelligence and make their marketing campaigns more effective by taking up a target- based approach. 

3. Crystal- Clear Data and Information

CRM is useful for creating as well as managing large amounts of data that is inclusive of respective customer’s interactions and their purchasing history. This data can further be analyzed to optimize different aspects such as invoice management or improving sales forecast. It can also be utilized to provide IT teams a little more information about customer demands so that they could help develop better services and products. Marketing and sales teams can also use these analytics to provide personalized forms of communication, and make customers feel that they are valued. 

4. Progressive Customer Retention Rates

With the help of useful customer information related to their interests, purchasing history, requirements and sales, businesses can make better decisions about how to provide services to them efficiently. It helps pinpoint the right targets to generate more revenue. Also, a unified view of all the interactions, contact information, transactions available in the CRM system can help manage interactions between both the customers and the prospects. It is also useful in keeping track of messages, conversations, transactions, notes and more. CRM systems also pave the way to getting accessibility to records that are up- to- date, which could help your customers save some time.

Top CRM Companies

While there is an increasing number of CRM Software Companies around the globe, let’s take a look at some of the Renowned CRM Companies in the US and around the World.  

Salesforce CRM  HubSpot CRM Zoho CRM 
Pipedrive CRM  Creatio CRM Zendesk CRM
SAP CRM Freshworks CRM Oracle CRM

CRM Software Use- by Industry

A majority of CRM Software users have been found to be in the Services Industry (32%), which is closely followed by Manufacturing Industry (13%).

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What Is ERP?

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) was initially Materials Requirements Planning (MRP). It was primarily used by manufacturers to manage and keep track of all the resources needed to carry out the operations of a business. ERP happens to be a shared database that can be utilized internally, i.e. in different departments of an organization. It mostly centers around general ledger, finances, accounts receivables, accounts payables, payroll as well as financial reporting. Enterprise Resource Planning is a kind of business software solution that helps automate, manage and connect tasks related to procurement, accounting, supply chain management, risk management, project management and human resources. 

ERP software also includes Enterprise Performance Management that can be useful to budget, plan, report and predict a business’s financial reports. It doesn’t just simplify workflows and also integrates different processes related to the business. After gathering a business’s transaction- based data from different sources, ERP systems can help facilitate the flow of information between departments, avoid duplication of data and render data integrity by saving data at one location. 

Why Does Your Business Need ERP?

ERP Systems help store and gather the data from different departments in a single database. It helps bring together various business functions, giving employees a unified, credible source. It plays a useful role in driving productivity and by automating manual tasks that can usually slow work down. Take a look at some of the benefits of ERP System: 

1. Highly Cost- Effective

ERP can be useful in reducing operational costs by bringing together different business functions in just one system and automating the processes across different departments. ERP systems can help remove many of the operational and administrative costs. For instance, Blue Shield of California saved up to $5,00,000 after implementing an ERP system.     

2. Optimized Efficiency

Modern ERP systems are equipped with Artificial Intelligence as well as process automation to eradicate repetitive tasks that could be affected by possible human errors. Once the accounting and finance- related processes are automated, companies can direct all their focus towards planning winning strategies. ERP can also track the materials at every stage of production as well as customer orders on just one single system.

3. Swift Decision- Making Process

ERP provides an exhaustive view of a company’s operational and financial performance. It can significantly reduce the time by simplifying manual tasks, making it more straightforward. All of this can enable Top- Level managers  to make strides for profitable decisions at a much quicker pace and adapt diligently with the changing economic and business conditions. 

4. Stimulates Combined Team Effort

It serves as a foundational base for having a single source of data and a common interface. Employees working across different departments can communicate vital information related to inventory management, sales, finance, workforce planning, customer service or logistics. 

Rather than working with multiple software solutions, and reaching out to different departments for access to different types of information, ERP serves to be the one-stop solution for providing information across all the departments, independently. There could often be an overlap between business functions, let’s say between HR and Finance team, the overlap may be related to payroll, procurement or accounting. 

A singular record between multiple teams can align the tasks and reduce possible errors.  

5. Reduction in Possible Risks

Data integrity and financial control are some of the crucial priorities of a business. With the help of utilizing a permission- based access and centralized system, sensitive data can be viewed by the employee, to whom it has actually been assigned. This can be useful for improving audit- based trials and minimizing the possibility of possible operational and financial risk. 

Top ERP Companies

ERPs are helpful for businesses to get a big- picture view of all their automated workflow and processes. Needless to say, this has led to the emergence of numerous Top ERP Companies around the globe. 

Some of the prominent ones include: 

Microsoft Dynamics 365 ERP Acumatica ERP Epicor ERP
Oracle ERP Cloud Infor ERP Syspro ERP
Epicor ERP Sage ERP Plex ERP

ERP Software Use- by Industry

ERP Software is majorly being utilized in the Manufacturing Industry (33.6%) while it is closely followed by Information Technology users (4.85%).

Erp Software Use By IndustryImage Source

CRM v/s ERP : How to Choose the Right Software Solution for your Business?

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It is crucial to select the right software solution on the basis of the type of business you are operating in. Each industry may require different solutions due to the said difference in their functionalities. Let’s take a look at the multitude of requirements and solutions for the same: 

Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) 

ERP could serve to be just the right solution if your business is dealing with the hefty task of managing finances while dealing with a compact base of highly- valued customers. It can be useful to make tasks related to Accounting, HR  or Procurement less hectic tasks. These align the best with: 

  • Manufacturing Businesses: All of the production process, supply chain management and optimization of inventory can be tackled in a hassle- free way. 
  • Retail Businesses: It can especially assist with completing orders, managing inventory and other back- office financial processes. 
  • Healthcare Industry: It is useful in handling procurement, finances and inventory while prioritizing patient care.
  • Financial Services: It helps manage back- office operations, financial transactions and its compliance with rules and regulations.
  • E- Commerce: It can be used to manage inventory, fulfill orders as well as other finance related processes and activities. 

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

On the other side of the coin, installing or integrating your business’s existing system with a CRM can be more useful if your business has it easy with its financial operations but deals with a customer base that requires an extra amount of attention. These are best- suited for: 

  • Retail Businesses: They can track purchases, create personalized marketing efforts while managing customer relationships.  
  • Professional Services: It deals with tracking the flow of communication, simplifying sales activities and enhancing client relationships. 
  • Tourism and Hospitality: It assists with personalizing services, improving customer relationships and marketing efforts.   
  • Education: It can help simplify admission- related tasks, keep track of student’s progress and personalize its communication process.  

Some businesses choose to select both the software solutions, let’s take a look how: 

  • Healthcare Industry: Healthcare businesses can make use of both ERP and CRM systems to manage finances, procurement, inventory, while ensuring patient care, efficient communication and scheduling the appointment. 
  • Technology and Software Development: Here, ERP helps simplify processes, provide agile project management and optimize allocation of resources. It also helps understand customer requirements and manage sales accordingly. 
  • E-commerce: While ERP can help manage inventory, financial activities and operational efficiencies, CRM can enhance customer interactions and improve overall strategic marketing efforts.  

Wrapping Up

Now that we know all about CRM and ERP, it is crucial to note that both of the Software Solution’s unique functionalities serve as the epitome for any business’s digital transformation and technological efforts. And needless to say, it has the potential to expedite your business’s routine operations and magnify overall productivity levels in a significant way! 

CRM and ERP’s impact can help businesses generate ample amounts of revenue. If your business wishes to create further impact with CRM and ERP related solutions and services, then you can use our CRM Customers List and ERP Customers List to sell your Products/Solution/Services to the Right Prospects, today!



1. What is CRM vs ERP?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system emphasizes on helping businesses manage their customer relationship while Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) multiple functions like Finance or HR, all at one place.  

2. How do ERP and CRM work together?

ERP and CRM systems can be integrated with the help of APIs (Application Programming Interfaces). 

3. Who should use CRM?

 Businesses operating on a small, medium or large scale and highly- valuable customer base can benefit the most from CRMs. 

4. Who uses ERP?

Businesses that wish to automate tasks and provide a single source for all the across different departments, are usually the ones that mostly opt for ERPs. 

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