The term “Customer Relationship Management” (CRM) is a bit of a misnomer. While CRM solutions have the most features for managing the customer relationship, they are not the exclusive tools for communicating with customers. Other systems, such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and accounting software, are also equipped to send messages to. And of course, email, in the form of the industry-leading Microsoft Outlook, is arguably the most commonly used tool for customer communications. This is a problem.
With at least three separate applications supporting the customer relationship, the potential for confusion and miscommunication abounds. A company might easily send three contradictory emails to a customer about an order within the space of an hour. A sales assistant using the CRM tool fires off an order confirmation. A moment later, an operations person sends an order confirmation with a different delivery date from the ERP solution. The main salesperson on the account sends a third, informal email through Outlook that provides more conflicting data about the order.
Not only is the embarrassing, it’s inefficient. One solution is to integrate CRM and ERP with Outlook. This way, users of the three systems will be aware of what everyone else is doing. They won’t waste time tracking down messages or toggling between systems. Acumatica cloud ERP offers this type of integration.
Cutting down on searching, cutting and pasting
Everyone wants seamless and agile processes for handling customer relationships, but requiring users to work with multiple interfaces blocks this outcome. The Acumatica Outlook plug-in was developed to save staff from searching CRM, cutting and pasting and switching back and forth between the applications. Acumatica’s ERP and CRM modules integrate with Outlook to provide users with seamless access to their contacts, leads, deals and data in real-time. By integrating CRM, ERP and Outlook, everything users need is in one place. Elusive emails can be automatically logged so all data pertaining to clients or individual deals are accessible within one file and no one has to, “try and find that one email they knew they had saved but can’t find.”
A more efficient and engaged Quote-to-Cash process
The entire Quote-to-Cash timeline moves more quickly and efficiently when Outlook connects with ERP and CRM. Companies can easily provide multiple quotes for a single opportunity—with all stakeholders notified about each step of the process. They will see all relevant emails appear in Outlook. Contract creation is similarly simplified and intuitive. Having everything connected and in real-time enables your team to close the deal quickly and send a final sales order and invoice. Sales can be more organized with deal pipelines, quotes and projections.
ERP and CRM plus Outlook gives your company ease of navigation to locate important information with a user-friendly dashboard and seamless automation. Users can comfortably access CRM features such as leads, meetings and sales tracking directly from their inboxes. Staff can easily find contact and deal management data while tracking website activity and monthly tasks They can schedule meetings in CRM, but have them appear on Outlook calendars.
To learn more about the business value of integrating Outlook with Acumatica ERP and CRM, contact us for a demo and discussion.