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CRM and ERP Integration. An Ultimate Guide

CRM and ERP Integration. An Ultimate Guide


Do your company use separate CRM and ERP systems? Or maybe you already have one of them and are wondering if it makes sense to implement the other? It probably won't be a surprise for you to learn that both systems work best when they are integrated. But how do you go about such integration?

In our recent post, we explained what functions CRM and ERP systems serve and which one to choose for your company. From this article, you will learn what to do if you need both and want them to operate smoothly.

What are the benefits of integrating CRM with ERP?

The main advantage of integrating CRM and ERP systems is the centralization of data, which facilitates access to comprehensive information about customers and business operations in real time. Moreover, integrating CRM with ERP improves work efficiency by automating processes such as invoicing, orders, and inventory management, reducing the likelihood of errors and saving employees' time.

What might this look like in practice? Data about a potential customer (lead) appears in the CRM system (e.g., after submitting a form). A sales representative, when contacting such a potential customer, thanks to integration, has access to up-to-date data regarding inventory levels, enabling them to provide precise information on availability and waiting times for a product.

If the client decides to place an order, this information – entered by the salesperson into the CRM – will immediately also reach the ERP. Thus, production or the warehouse immediately learns about the order and can begin the procedure for its fulfillment. If, on the other hand, the company uses an ERP system for invoicing, the invoice for such an order can automatically transfer from the CRM to the ERP, allowing the salesperson to smoothly pass it on to the client.

Often, salespeople have the most up-to-date information regarding contact persons at the client's end and update relevant contact details in the CRM (e.g., new number, new person in charge, etc.). Without integration, these data are manually entered into the ERP system, and it may happen that, for example, the team responsible for shipping the product or invoicing will send a message to the wrong person or an outdated email address. Integration prevents such situations by automatically updating data in both systems.

On the other hand, without integration of ERP with CRM, salespeople may face problems when it turns out that the product they sold is not available in sufficient quantity in the warehouse, and the customer will have to wait for it. If they have access to inventory data, they can at least warn the customer about this or propose an alternative, available product.

As you can see, integrating CRM with ERP can significantly improve the quality of work and order handling in manufacturing companies, where salespeople collect orders in the field, or distributors, who must manage both the supply chain and customer orders at the same time. Thanks to integration, salespeople, the finance department, or production and distribution employees do not have to enter data into two different systems, which speeds up work and reduces the risk of errors.

Similar benefits can be achieved, for example, by customer service departments. If service processes are handled by the ERP system, and customer complaints about problems and defects are received in the CRM system, integrating both systems will allow for smooth after-sales service and will surely increase customer satisfaction.

What data is worth integrating?

Here is an example list of data that should be integrated between CRM and ERP systems:

  • Customer data – customer information, including contact details, along with orders are basic information that should be found in both systems.
  • Prices and discounts – if customers have individually agreed discounts and payment methods, this information should be recorded in their profiles in both systems, assigning prices to products will facilitate easy configuration of offers.
  • Invoices – access to data about invoices and payments is crucial for users of both systems, especially to ensure smooth communication between accounting and the sales department.
  • Inventory levels – information about product availability can be transferred from the ERP system to the CRM.

This is just an example of the scope of integration that will be useful in many companies. The advantage of individually preparing such integration is that it can be tailored to the processes conducted in the given company and include various data, depending on the key needs of the business.

What are the ways to integrate CRM with ERP?

There are several possible ways to integrate CRM and ERP systems.

Direct integration

It involves directly connecting ERP and CRM systems using dedicated API (Application Programming Interface) interfaces. This solution requires appropriate design and implementation of interfaces that will enable direct communication and data exchange between the systems. Its advantage is the ability to fully customize it to the needs of a specific project and prepare a custom integration "tailored."

Integration using intermediary software

This method uses special integration tools or platforms that act as an intermediary between the ERP system and CRM. These tools collect data from one system and pass it to the other, often also allowing for processing and cleaning the data before its transfer.

Integration through additional modules or plugins

Some CRM and ERP systems offer modules or plugins that can be installed to facilitate integration. They are specifically designed to work with certain systems and may offer smoother integration.

iPaaS (Integration Platform as a Service)

This is a cloud integration solution that offers tools and services enabling the integration of various business systems, including ERP and CRM. iPaaS offers ready-made connectors that facilitate integration.

Hybrid integration

Combines various methods of integration to adapt to the specific needs of the enterprise. For example, a company may use direct integration for key business processes, and for less critical data use integration through intermediary software.

The choice of integration method depends on many factors, such as the specifics of the company's activity, existing IT infrastructure, available resources, and budget. Many companies use the help of IT consultants to choose the best solution and ensure smooth integration of their ERP and CRM systems. Our specialists are able to build standard and custom integrations for you in the field of marketing technology, including connecting your CRM system with ERP.

It is worth thinking about future ERP system integrations when choosing it. Some ERP system vendors do not provide their API or require clients to cooperate with their team in order to conduct integrations. Therefore, before choosing an ERP system, you should thoroughly know its integration capabilities, as it may turn out that each subsequent integration will require additional fees. Maybe we will want to integrate our ERP not only with a CRM system but also with MES and MRP systems, and then the additional costs may prove to be significant.

HubSpot integration with ERP

If you use HubSpot or are considering choosing this CRM, it is worth knowing that it has great integration capabilities, also with ERP systems.

HubSpot has a rich application market where hundreds of integrations with external services and software are available, i.e., HubSpot Marketplace. Thanks to this, users can easily find and implement integrations that best meet their specific business needs.

If the needed integration is not available on HubSpot Marketplace, you can always perform it individually. HubSpot offers an advanced API (Application Programming Interface), which allows developers to create custom integrations and extensions. The API allows for accessing data in the HubSpot system, modifying it, and synchronizing data between HubSpot and other systems in real-time.

HubSpot can be integrated with popular ERP systems, such as SAP, Microsoft Dynamics 365, NetSuite, or Sage, and others, allowing the synchronization of financial data, orders, and customer data, providing a fuller picture of interactions with customers and more efficient business process management.

Who can perform HubSpot integration with ERP?

Integrating HubSpot with ERP systems can be a complex task that requires appropriate technical knowledge and experience.

Software development specialists, who have experience working with the HubSpot API, are capable of preparing its integration with your ERP. They can create custom integration solutions that meet the specific business requirements of the company. You can find them at a HubSpot partner, for example at us in Grow Poland. HubSpot specialists will plan the entire process for you and advise you on integration.

Integrating CRM and ERP systems not only increases the operational efficiency of the company but also significantly improves customer service quality and resource management precision. It enables quick response to market needs and optimizes internal processes. Such a connection may be key to further development and scaling of your business.

If you want to learn more about how to integrate CRM and ERP systems in your company, or need help choosing the appropriate solution, do not hesitate to contact us. Our specialists are ready to support you at every stage of this process – from planning to full implementation.