A heavy hitter in the world of business software, Salesforce has an abundance of features. A popular integration Salesforce users rely on is an ERP.
Salesforce ERP integrations improve how you use the software by simplifying your processes. But what exactly is an ERP?
In this article, you’ll learn:
- What ERP is.
- How Salesforce and ERP work together.
- Alternatives to ERP integration.
By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to decide whether a Salesforce ERP integration is right for you.
What is an ERP?
Before jumping into what Salesforce ERP integration is, let’s take a few steps back and explain an ERP.
ERP stands for enterprise resource planning. It is a type of software organizations use to manage resources and day-to-day business activities.
The goal of an ERP is to improve data flow between your teams and optimize your processes.
Many ERP capabilities are focused on the financial aspect of your business, to the point where some people think of ERP as solely financial software.
However, ERP software covers a large range of business processes, including:
- Project management.
- Supply chain management.
If you’re looking to grow your business, an ERP is essential.
Why ERP software is important for growth
An ERP is a powerful tool that streamlines your operations by simplifying how you manage your business.
An ERP makes this possible by combining your business processes into one platform. As a result, you get things done quicker and save time for tasks that directly grow your business, such as building customer relationships.
Salesforce users, in particular, should consider a Salesforce ERP integration to extend the power of the software.
To illustrate how ERP software empowers your business, let’s take a look at the benefits
The benefits of using an ERP system
There are endless reasons to consider an ERP to improve your business. To give you an idea, here are the top benefits of using an ERP system.
Better analytics and forecasting
To grow your business, you must always keep your eye on the future. That said, you can only plan your future by understanding your present.
This is where reporting comes in.
An ERP improves your reporting processes as they typically allow for custom reporting. Personalized reports let you organize your data your way, making it easier to analyze and apply to your resource planning.
In the end, you gain a clearer idea of where your business is going and can form strategies to improve your resource planning.
While an ERP seems like another tool you have to pay for, the right ERP actually saves you money. An ERP strengthens every part of your business to increase your overall productivity.
For example, an ERP with project management capabilities saves costs by optimizing your project timelines and reducing potentially costly errors made when your finance team has to manually input data.
As a result, you save on employee hours and can dedicate your teams to tasks that directly generate revenue.
Compliance can literally make or break your business, but constantly keeping up with compliance requirements is a challenge, especially when your business isn’t organized.
ERP helps by introducing that organization into your business model. An ERP gives you a comprehensive view of your stored information, including:
- What is stored.
- Where it’s stored.
- Where you’re accessing it from.
Better yet, the best ERPs also give you suggestions to protect your most sensitive data, such as customer information.
For example, a Salesforce ERP integration organizes the mounds of data you may have in the software to ensure that everything is compliant, avoiding potential fines.
Improved customer interactions
Customer relationships are at the heart of a successful business. When your sales team can view your customers’ data at-a-glance, they can serve your customers more quickly and effectively.
An ERP keeps all of your customer’s data in one place to make it easy to pull up on the fly. This leads to a better customer experience, which provides several other benefits, including:
- Great customer reviews.
- Higher customer retention rate.
- Increased referrals.
With all of this new information, you might think that an ERP sounds similar to a CRM. For clarity, let’s compare the two software options.
The difference between an ERP and CRM
Both ERP and CRM are important for running your business smoothly and efficiently. That said, each tool serves a specific purpose.
An ERP connects your financial and operational systems to a central database. In contrast, a CRM (customer relationship management) manages the interactions between your business and your customers.
In other words, you can think of an ERP as a system to keep finances organized and a CRM as a way to keep your customers organized.
This leads to the question: Is Salesforce a CRM or ERP? Let’s find out.
Is Salesforce an ERP?
While Salesforce offers solutions that work well with an ERP, Salesforce itself is not an ERP.
Salesforce is a CRM with an extensive list of tools that simplify your business operations.
This means that while Salesforce has the tools to improve your sales and service workflows, the platform lacks functionality for other areas, such as:
- Financial management.
- Supply chain management.
However, there’s one tool that allows you to perform these tasks in Salesforce: a Salesforce ERP integration.
Salesforce ERP integration
Even though Salesforce isn’t an ERP, the software solution integrates well with various ERP options.
Using a Salesforce ERP integration ensures that every aspect of your business is in sync – from customer service to financial reporting.
You’ll discover the top Salesforce ERP solutions later, but for now, let’s discuss why Salesforce is an ideal platform for ERP integrations.
Why the Salesforce platform is great for ERP
Here’s what you’ve learned so far:
- A CRM is a must for excellent customer management.
- An ERP ties your business processes together.
When you use these tools together, your business is unstoppable because a CRM combines your sales and marketing workflows into one system.
When you add an ERP into the mix, your other workflows – such as project management and risk management – are also accounted for.
How to integrate Salesforce CRM with an ERP
How you integrate Salesforce and your ERP depends on the Salesforce ERP integration you choose.
To start, you should ask yourself what you’re looking to get out of your ERP integration. Consider the following questions:
- Are you looking for a custom integration build or an out-of-the-box solution?
- What type of data are you looking to store?
- Is the main priority flexibility or ease of use?
You should also consider your other Salesforce integrations, such as your accounting software. The goal is to gain a clear picture of how your ERP complements your current workflows.
While doing this assessment, you may even realize that an ERP integration for Salesforce isn’t actually what you need. More on that later.
Top ERP for Salesforce
Today, there are more ERP options than anyone can count, making it difficult to find the right one. There are many ERPs that integrate well with Salesforce, depending on what your goals are.
For example, SAP Business One is the one of the most popular ERPs for small businesses. SAP Business One focuses on customer management, making it a great option for if you’re looking to grow.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Salesforce ERP integration is another dynamic duo to connect all of your business applications and streamline your data flow.
With this ERP, you can sync customers, items, and sales orders to one place to improve your resource planning. Dynamics 365 Business Central is an ideal ERP for midsized companies.
Other popular Salesforce ERP integrations include:
- Priority ERP.
- Sage 300.
While Salesforce and an ERP are a perfect pair, they aren’t your only solution to centralize your processes. In fact, there’s a single ERP alternative that can provide you the same results.
Get the best of both worlds with Method:CRM
If you want the best of a CRM (like Salesforce) and an ERP, Method:CRM is your top choice.
Whether you use QuickBooks or Xero, Method:CRM connects your accounting and customer data automatically to maximize customer satisfaction and your operations.
The best part about Method:CRM is that you can use it without Salesforce or an ERP.
As an all-in-one business solution, Method:CRM has many of the same capabilities of Salesforce and ERP. Some of these features include:
- Activity tracking to never lose sight of customer interactions.
- Custom reporting for actionable insights.
- Customer portals for a simpler billing process and quick payments.
- Unlimited customization for a personalized solution.
What Method:CRM has that a Salesforce ERP integration may lack is the power of automation. With Method:CRM, you can automate everything from your sales process to your payment collection to save time for the tasks that matter.
Better yet, Method:crm has the financial aspect businesses love about ERP integrations thanks to the two-way QuickBooks and Xero sync. Watch your data flow between your solutions so that all your teams are always in the loop.
With Method, you’ll save costs and drive efficiency, meaning more profit for your business.
Salesforce ERP FAQs
What ERP works best with Salesforce?
There is no one ERP that works best with Salesforce. As one of the most popular CRM solutions in the world, there are several ERPs that integrate smoothly with Salesforce, including:
- SAP Business One.
- Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central.
- Sage 300.
The ERP that works best for your business depends on how you use Salesforce for your operations. For example, for optimized customer management in Salesforce, SAP Business One is the most robust solution.
How does Salesforce integrate with ERP?
The way Salesforce integrates with your ERP of choice largely depends on the way you currently use Salesforce and the other native integrations you use.
You should first assess your business needs, then choose a Salesforce ERP integration that satisfies those needs or a different solution altogether.
The software you choose will guide you through the integration process.
What is an example of an ERP?
Many large enterprises rely on ERPs to automate overall business operations. While enterprise-sized ERPs are out-of-reach for many small businesses, chances are that you’re familiar with them by name.
Here are some examples of ERPs:
- Oracle ERP Cloud.
- SAP S/4 HANA.
With various ERPs to choose from, you’re bound to find the perfect solution for your business. However, it’s worth considering an ERP alternative such as Method:CRM.
Method:CRM provides the benefits of both a CRM and an ERP to improve the way you run your business.
With extensive customization capabilities and two-way accounting software sync, Method:CRM is the only solution you need.
Make the switch today and start your free 30-day trial of Method.
Image credit: Thirawatana via Adobe Stock