Ultimately, both ERP and CRM software are very beneficial for online businesses. They help provide significant insights into internal processes and they help business owners and analysts know where to go next. The automation side of things helps to keep these next moves productive and efficient, all while being backed by concrete data.
Many ERP software options will include CRM components, so it is not necessary to see the two as entirely separate. Instead, if it is CRM functions and goals that you find specifically attractive to your business, you will need to opt for an enterprise resource planning software package that includes this option.
Making that decision will become even easier after you read our next section, highlighting the key differences between the two types of software.
What are the differences between ERP and CRM?
While ERP and CRM software have similar methodologies and ways of working, they have key differences that tell them apart. Knowing and understanding these differences will be essential in deciding which side you need for your business.
The main and overarching difference between ERP and CRM is that enterprise resource planning software analyses the entirety of a business and its workings, whereas customer relations management software focuses solely on leads, sales, and customer interaction. This is the way in which CRM can be a part of ERP but it is not a substitute for the wider-scoped software.
ERP is a superset software that is utilised in back office activities. Its main aim is to reduce inefficiency and the costs associated with it. It was the software that came first and can be seen as an umbrella under which customer relationship management software also falls.
CRM, on the other hand, came after ERP in the 1990s and is a subset of software that is utilised in front-office activities. Its main aim is to increase sales and profit by analysing, tracking, and deciphering user activity and leads. It is a sales-heavy software that often comes within an ERP package but cannot replace ERP as an equivalent in any way.
While the two software types may have the ultimate goal of improving business practice and assisting business growth, they have different scopes and different ways in which they approach the topic.