ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) is a software system that helps businesses manage their core operations, such as accounting, inventory, and manufacturing. Many ERP solutions come with an embedded CRM “light” solution.  This is appealing to finance and operation people but presents a lot of difficulties for sales and marketing.

These embedded CRMs are usually presented as a positive solution because they have a shared customer database and allow users to do quote-to-order-to-invoice operations. They also provide insights into delivery and sales history without the need for integration. 

However, the problem is that most of these products are missing advanced CRM features that can accelerate sales.

For example, lead qualification and sales processes are absent in a an ERP’s CRM. Key features like automated lead generation tools, which are common in most CRMs, are also not included.     

Here are some other key reasons why an ERP’s embedded CRM is a bad choice:

  • ERP systems are not designed for customer-facing tasks. They are intended to be used for internal tasks, such as accounting, quoting, and inventory management. The embedded CRM is an extension of that. Which brings me to point #2…
  • ERP systems are often complex and difficult to use. This makes it challenging for the average employee to benefit from it. In contrast, CRM systems are designed to reduce keystrokes, which improves adoption. They offer more intuitive features for users in sales, marketing, and service.
  • ERPs and their embedded CRMs are not always current with the latest customer relationship management practices. For businesses trying to stay ahead of the competition, this is a major concern.
  • ERP systems have simple forecasting systems and cannot accurately provide pipeline analytics. They don’t include things like machine forecasting or upside analysis. 
  • ERPs don’t have advanced features like machine learning, predictive analytics, social Interactions, or multi-channel communications which can reduce the time to sell and help teams focus on deals that will win.
  • Components like Partner or Customer portals are weaker in embedded CRM solutions. 

A CRM embedded in your ERP may seem like a helpful way to save money and reduce how many applications you use, but the limited capabilities and complex interface will cause more problems than they help solve. If you’re looking for a CRM system, you should choose one that’s designed specifically for customer relationship management. This will ensure it’s easy to use, up-to-date with current features and reporting capabilities, and meets your specific needs.

Check out these blogs to learn how to understand the true cost of CRM, the pros and cons of custom CRM solutions, and how to encourage high user adoption for your CRM.

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