What Is The Difference Between ERP And CRM In 2023?

It could be time to look into software for business management with improved features if your organisation’s essential operational and financial tools are no longer sufficient. Enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) are two software programs that are specifically made to boost business productivity. You may improve organisational efficiency and streamline corporate processes by knowing the differences between ERP and CRM software.

Systems like CRM and ERP are created to assist firms in managing their data and operations.

They are different in terms of purpose and functionality, though.

Deciding which kind of system is best for your company can be aided by being aware of the key distinctions between ERP and CRM.

You’ll understand the responses to the following queries by the end of this manual:

  • An ERP system is what?
  • A CRM system is what?
  • What key distinctions exist between CRM and ERP systems?
  • Which kind of system is ideal for your company?

Let’s begin straight away.

What is ERP?

The term “ERP” refers to a category of software that businesses employ to control such operations as accounting, purchasing, project management, risk management, and compliance. ERP software may speed up routine corporate operations, enhance the integrity of data and accountability, and aid in the expansion of expanding companies.

What is ERP?

In the past, ERP systems had a difficult time integrating with other corporate systems. Inventory and financial data were compartmentalised. Data related to the supply chain were disconnected. Updates to the project management system were excluded. Customer data was dispersed or stored in silos. In order to create more accurate forecasts, lead or best potential activity was excluded. It was obvious why all of this information needed to be connected.

Many ERP systems available today are capable of integrating a wide range of corporate systems and facilitating data exchange across them.

Among the top advantages of ERP are:

  • Coordinating many company operations from a single location
  • Increasing exposure throughout the entire organisation
  • Streamlining operations and processes
  • Minimising record and function duplication
  • Providing cutting-edge traceability and tracking
  • Producing immediate business intelligence

Several instances of well-known ERP tools include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 
  • Sage
  • Intacct

ERP software is largely a tool for finance and operations, even if it can centralise many company functions. How therefore can marketing and sales contribute their data to the mix? This is where CRM can be useful.

Following are a few actual examples of businesses that have used ERP systems:

  • Dell
  • Coca-Cola
  • HP

What is CRM?

CRM software is made to assist businesses in enhancing how their sales and marketing teams communicate and conduct business with current and potential clients. It manages contacts and sales, keeps tabs on marketing and sales activity, and displays customer relationships.

What is CRM?

You can manage marketing campaigns, find sales possibilities, record service concerns, and save customer and potential customer information with a CRM application. Team members can easily see how customers and potential customers have been contacted, what product information they have looked at, what they have purchased, and more because this information is housed in a single system.

CRM can also assist you in keeping track of an inquiry while managing it across channels. As an illustration, a client may raise a complaint on social media and then continue the conversation via phone or email. Sales, marketing, and customer service can all have a single perspective of the customer thanks to a CRM platform.

The following are some of the major advantages of CRM software:

  • Preserving client and lead data
  • Locating sales possibilities with new companies or chances for cross-selling and 

upselling to current companies

  • Revealing information about active support issues and customer service history
  • Organising marketing initiatives

Various well-known CRM tools include:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Salesforce 
  • Sage CRM

Following are a few actual examples of businesses that have used ERP systems:

  • Salesforce
  • Hubspot
  • Zoho CRM

Important Similarities Between CRM and ERP

Let’s examine some of the important commonalities now that I’ve covered the main contrasts between CRM software and ERP systems:

Both systems are meant to streamline and automate important corporate operations. This leads to the simplification of corporate procedures and workflows, which boosts operational effectiveness.

Important Similarities Between CRM and ERP

Database-driven software is used in both CRM and ERP systems. As a result, they both depend on keeping data in a single area where only authorised users can access it.

To produce various kinds of reports and analytics that might aid firms in making better decisions, both methods can be used.

Important distinctions between CRM and ERP

After examining the similarities between an ERP and CRM system, let’s examine a side-by-side comparison.

Functionality: While ERP includes a wider variety of corporate operations, such as inventory management, finance, and manufacturing, CRM concentrates on managing customer data and interactions.

Deployment: Unlike most ERP solutions, a CRM solution can be set up either on-premises or as cloud-based software.

Target market: Sales representatives and marketing teams often utilise CRMs, whereas finance, accounting, and operations departments employ ERPs.

Data visibility: While ERP provides visibility into all corporate data, including financials, inventories, and manufacturing, CRM delivers data on customers.

Reporting: CRM reporting frequently concentrates on sales indicators, whereas ERP reporting is more thorough and incorporates information from other departments.

Business processes: ERP systems serve a range of business operations, such as manufacturing, supply chain management, and financial management. They seek to offer a unified, integrated system for controlling the resources and operations of a company. CRM systems, on the other hand, are specialised in managing customer-facing operations like sales, marketing, and customer care.

Data management: ERP systems are made to handle and combine information from several corporate departments and functions, including accounting, inventory control, and human resources. To facilitate the exchange of information between various departments and functions, they offer a thorough perspective of an organisation’s resources and activities. CRM solutions, on the other hand, concentrate on controlling customer interactions and data. Throughout the whole customer lifecycle, including marketing, they are used to track customer interactions and data.

Do you need An ERP, A CRM, Or Both For My Business?

The answer to this query is based on the particular requirements of your company.

A CRM system is a fantastic option if you need to handle customer data and have a lot of client interactions.

If you need to manage inventory, financing, and other back-office tasks, an ERP system is preferable.

Additionally, you might want both a CRM and ERP system if you frequently need to communicate with both existing and potential customers.

Determining whether your company needs an ERP, CRM, or both depends on what crucial business processes are engaged in the sales volume and marketing process.

What Divisions Can Profit From An ERP or CRM System?

What Divisions Can Profit From An ERP or CRM System?

Some of the sectors that stand to gain from an ERP or CRM include the following:

Supply chain management: By monitoring inventory levels, managing supplier relationships, and streamlining order fulfilment, ERP and CRM systems can be utilised to manage supply chain operations.

Financial and operational systems: For any firm, accurate financial data is essential. Accounting and finance departments may benefit from having visibility into all aspects of the firm, from inventory levels to accounts receivable. This can assist businesses in choosing where to deploy their resources more effectively.

Departments were responsible for providing customer service: These divisions must be able to monitor consumer interactions and data.


Businesses should collaborate with knowledgeable ERP and CRM specialists to plan and execute the connection in a way that reduces risks and maximises advantages if they want to overcome these obstacles. Systems like ERP and CRM are necessary for companies of all sizes, but they have various functions.

CRM systems concentrate on managing client connections, whereas ERP systems concentrate on managing internal company procedures. Although these systems can be utilised independently, merging them can give organisations even more advantages. Businesses should collaborate with knowledgeable ERP and CRM specialists to achieve a successful connection. These consultants can assist develop and execute the interface in a way that reduces risks and maximises advantages.


What does ERP stand for, and how is it different from CRM?

ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning, focusing on optimizing internal processes, while CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management, prioritizing customer interactions and data management.

Can ERP and CRM systems be integrated for better functionality?

Yes, integrating ERP and CRM systems allows seamless data flow between departments, enhancing overall business efficiency and customer service.

How does ERP benefit a company’s operations?

ERP streamlines processes like inventory management, finance, and HR, leading to improved productivity, cost reduction, and better decision-making.

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