For somebody who manages a company without having advanced IT competences, it can be challenging to find a difference between all the different types of software that can improve business results.
The most common systems are definitely CRMs and ERPs: the first ones are Customer Relationship Management softwares, while the second ones are Enterprise Resource Planning softwares.
The next few pages will explore this topic.
While an ERP system will help you coordinate the organisational flow of the company, a CRM will allow you to organise the information regarding your clients and to process it in accordance to your sales strategies.
This is why the former is essential to draw data from the sales and marketing areas, whilst the latter is involved in the management and control of financial functions and production.
Therefore, with an ERP software you can coordinate the distribution chain, manage administration activities and production times and keep costs under control.
Instead, with a CRM software, you can automate all client management processes, optimise the the procedures and coordinate the sales activities.
As a consequence, an ERP can’t be considered as an alternative to a CRM!
It could actually be worth considering making the most of both solutions, as only an integrated approach will assure the best possible collaboration between business units and improve company results.
Following year 2000, the trend amongst companies was to invest on new technologies. However, recent years have witnessed an increasing awareness of the undeniable importance that human relations have in sales negotiations.
Nevertheless, relational activities require quality time and consultancy skills that go much beyond mere technical knowledge.
The CRM technology has the advantage of allowing an integrated and smart collaboration between the efficiency of automation and the agents’ competences, that are not just strictly related to technical expertise.
Its accessibility has reached levels that were unimaginable only a few years ago and allows salespeople to automate all those activities where their hard and soft skills don’t bring any added value.
Thus, an enormous amount of “saved” time can be diverted towards relational, client-focused activities.
These factors support the efficiency of those company functions that are expected to be timely and fast paced and which tend to perceive technology as something unrelated to the relational dimension that is core to sales activities.
The CRM systematically organises all the data deriving from different sources, both internal and external, like social media. Thereby, the exchange of information within the commercial team is enhanced to the maximum.
Compared to ERPs, CRMs have a higher versatility and an outstanding capacity to adapt to the existing company structure.
Indeed, CRMs focus on the effectiveness and the acceleration of sales processes, that are subject to constant change towards higher complexity levels.
The CRM is definitely the right tool for anyone in charge of increasing revenues within a company and this is why it would be best not to discard the idea of adopting one.
If you are already using an ERP, you need to take into consideration the fact that it is not specifically structured for the purposes of your sales and marketing departments and that adopting a CRM implies much lower implementation costs and time.
The premises underlying the implementation of an ERP or rather a CRM are very different from one another.
An ERP is entirely conceived as a customised product, developed around the specific needs of the client.
A CRM on the other hand is a product that was conceived as standard, but allowing high levels of customisation through subsequent editing and add-ons.
Such off the shelf concept that typically identifies CRMs, has undeniable advantages also at an administrative and IT assistance level:
A CRM nowadays can be a major strategic asset for your company, as recent studies exploring innovation through the last five years have evidenced.
Regarding CRMs, Salesforce can be referenced as the currently most widely used software in the world.
Salesforce was developed to help people sell better and faster, offer effective customer assistance and manage high performance marketing activities. It presents a number of advantages and its technology is specialised in cloud computing solutions.
The platform can be used without having to install any software and is available as a Software as a Service, which is a consumption based service, rather than a product.
This offers the major advantage of allowing a multichannel fruition, both via personal computer and smartphone. The possibility to work anywhere means high efficiency and agility as uploading, updating and sharing data can happen in real time.
No surprise then that mobile CRM technology is going through an absolute boom.
According to an international study that was spread by the Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore, 65% of all companies using a mobile CRM platform meets the set sales targets, against 22% of those that don’t use it.
Why is it so?
Your salespeople’s action is definitely more powerful and effective once they have full access to the information they need on their clients, whenever and wherever they need it.
The added strength of the Salesforce Cloud technology for sales professionals is its integration with the tools of Google Maps. Such partnership has confirmed the position held by Salesforce as CRM market leader.
Today, Salesforce is the most performing operational environment on the CRM market. Its use can be enhanced through the integration of extra functions, depending on the company needs.
In regards to add-ons, it proves increasingly important to enhance the CRM with artificial intelligence and geolocation, in particular for companies managing transfers for their sales agents, consultants or technical experts.
Such tools help salespeople manage their time and maximise productivity, calculating optimised transfer routes depending on the existing commitments, company priorities and costs.
Thanks to our strong experience in the industry we developed Mapadore, a cloud solution that will help you do just this.
Mapadore is based on two main components:
Geolocation, helping you to visualise the clients on map and optimise transfers along your agents’ sales route.
Artificial intelligence, suggesting the actions to make thanks to the algorithm that we developed internally, which gained recognition by Gartner.
If you wish to learn more on how Mapadore can help your sales network optimise travelling costs and scheduling time, then sign up to our free webinar :