It's no secret that businesses today need to be able to prove return on investment on marketing and sales activities and provide real and impactful metrics. Understanding how to do this efficiently with the right quantifiable metrics, tools and resources is an age-old pain point that organisations are continuously trying to solve.
That's why many businesses have integrated their marketing and sales tools to accomplish just that. Most companies have plenty of sales data in their CRM and marketing data in their marketing automation platform and can therefore measure ROI on marketing activities and pipeline contribution if they have their processes and data integrated correctly.
One way to provide deeper insights into return on marketing investment and understand what your most profitable marketing initiatives are is to connect your ERP system to your CRM and marketing automation system (MA).
In this blog post we'll explore a HubSpot use case to demonstrate some of the key benefits of integrating all three systems: CRM, MA and ERP and provide actionable strategies to lead a successful integration.
Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Systems
ERP systems are designed to integrate various business functions, including finance, supply chain, operations, reporting, manufacturing, and human resource activities. This means that they hold a wealth of data that can provide deeper, more actionable insights into business performance. When we talk about 'real and impactful metrics', we're talking about the kind of insights that can drive strategic decisions and improve business outcomes. By integrating your CRM, MA, and ERP systems, you can gain a more holistic view of your business operations and customer interactions. This integrated approach not only enhances your ability to measure ROI accurately, but also provides the insights needed to optimise your sales and marketing strategies for greater success.
However, ERP systems don’t usually have the same plug-and-play integrations as most CRM and MA systems have. They are typically more intricate and extensive than CRM systems, given their function to manage a broad range of business processes. This complexity, in combination with a lack of built-in integrations often found in CRM systems like HubSpot, can make the process of an ERP system integration a significant challenge. But the benefits of connecting them go far beyond improved data.
Benefits of integrating your HubSpot instance and ERP system
Integration between HubSpot and your ERP system can lead to a wealth of benefits that can significantly enhance your operations and customer relations. Let's explore these advantages in more detail.
Streamlined Sales and Marketing Processes
Integrating HubSpot with an ERP system can help create better relationships between marketing and sales. When a new customer is added to the ERP system, HubSpot can automatically create the same data in the CRM. This eliminates the need for manual data entry and ensures that sales and marketing have access to the same up-to-date customer information.
Improved Data Accuracy
Integrating HubSpot with an ERP system helps ensure that your data is accurate and up-to-date across all systems. This minimises the risk of duplicate or outdated data, which we know is appreciated and beneficial among various company stakeholders - from marketing, sales, customer service/support and beyond.
Integrating HubSpot with an ERP system can help businesses save time and resources by automating routine tasks. For example, when a customer places an order in the ERP system, HubSpot can automatically send a follow-up email or schedule a call for the sales team.
Better Customer Experience
As mentioned before, integrating HubSpot with an ERP system allows businesses to provide a better customer experience by giving sales and marketing teams access to reliable and up-to-date sales data. This enables them to provide more accurate recommendations and targeted marketing campaigns based on customer preferences and behaviour.
Enhanced Reporting and Analytics
Integrating HubSpot with an ERP system can provide businesses with enhanced reporting and analytic capabilities. By consolidating data from multiple systems, businesses can gain a more complete view of their customers and make more informed business decisions.
How to Create a Successful ERP & CRM Integration Strategy
CRM systems are often designed with a plug-and-play approach, offering easy integration with other platforms and systems. On the other hand, ERP systems, which are inherently more complex due to the wide variety of business functions they handle, often require a more tailored approach to integration. This may necessitate custom development or third-party solutions to facilitate the connection, adding layers of complexity to the integration process.
Creating a successful ERP and CRM integration strategy is a multi-step process that requires careful planning and execution. In this section, we'll walk you through the key stages involved.
1. Identifying Your Integration Needs
The first step in creating a successful integration strategy is identifying your specific integration needs. This involves understanding the data and processes in both your ERP and CRM systems and figuring out where integration can add value. You'll need to determine which data should be shared between the two systems, how often it needs to be updated, and what processes can be automated through integration. It's also vital to involve stakeholders from all relevant departments in this process to ensure all needs are addressed.
2. Choosing an Integration Solution
Once you've identified your integration needs, the next step is to choose an integration platform or provider. There are many solutions available, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. When evaluating your options, consider factors such as the platform's compatibility with your existing systems, its ease of use, its scalability, and the level of support provided by the vendor.
Check out this article to help you decide which solution fits your needs.
3. Mapping Data, Testing, and Launching the Integration
After selecting an integration platform, you'll need to map your data and processes from one system to the other. This involves defining how data from each field in your ERP system corresponds to data in your CRM system. Once this mapping is complete, it's crucial to test the integration thoroughly to ensure that data flows correctly between the two systems, and that all automated processes work as intended. After successful testing, you can launch the integration.
4. Training for Employees and Adoption
Lastly, it's crucial to train your employees on how to use the integrated systems effectively. This involves explaining how data flows between the systems, how to access the data they need, and how to use any new features or processes introduced by the integration. It's also a good idea to provide ongoing support to help employees adjust to the new system and to address any issues that arise. Ensuring widespread adoption of the integrated system is key to reaping its full benefits.
Remember, a successful ERP and CRM integration strategy is not a one-off project, but an ongoing process of refinement and improvement. Regularly reviewing your integration and making adjustments as needed will help you maximise its value for your business.
Integrating your HubSpot CRM system with your ERP system can unlock a wealth of benefits, and while the integration process might present a certain level of complexity due to the inherent intricacies of ERP systems, the rewards certainly outweigh the challenges. By bridging the gap between these two systems, your business can access a more comprehensive view of your operations and customer interactions, leading to more strategic decision-making and improved ROI.
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