CRM and ERP – What are the Differences and Why do we need to Use Them?

The two main software solutions that firms employ to automate basic business activities are enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management.

CRM helps businesses manage how customers interact with them, whereas ERP helps businesses run their operations more efficiently by combining their financial and operational systems into a single database. Both of these areas are crucial for data storage. Both cover a wide range of topics, and while they're sometimes built on the same platform, the software is often purchased separately and connected as needed.

This post will explain the fundamental distinctions between CRM and ERP, as well as whether or not your business requires both.

What is ERP?

Material requirements planning (MRP) evolved into enterprise resource planning as a method for manufacturers to understand and manage all of the resources required to run a successful organization (ERP).

ERP serves as a single database for all areas of a business. Finances are at the heart of this, including the general ledger (GL), accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, and financial reporting.

ERP handles inventory management, order management, supply chain management, and data for service firms. Procurement, manufacturing, distribution, and fulfillment are all covered by ERP. Human Resources Management Systems (HRMS), CRM, and ecommerce are all included in certain ERP systems.

Why Do You Need ERP Software?

When it comes to CRM vs. ERP, an ERP system does a lot more than just analyzing consumer behavior.

An ERP is a wonderful tool for streamlining and optimizing all types of complicated tasks. It gathers and records data from numerous departments inside the company and combines it with the company's internal and external management. It simplifies supply chain management, inventory management, warehouse management, order fulfillment, accounting and finance, and more.

By making all information available, an ERP system promotes performance and efficiency across all departments. This is particularly important for huge corporations or small and medium-sized businesses trying to expand. As a result, it aids in the standardization of common industry processes and reporting methods.

In a word, it's pre-packaged business management software that streamlines business operations and information flow throughout the company. The following are some of the benefits of ERP software −

  • Cycle of product planning and procurement.
  • The manufacture and delivery method are being planned.
  • Keeping track of incoming and outgoing materials and managing inventory.
  • Payment and shipment numbers are handled.
  • Management of the supply chain.
  • Taking care of the money that comes in and goes out.
  • Monitoring the status as well as marketing and sales figures.
  • Management of customer relationships (CRM).

What's the Deal with the Age-Old Confusion?

As we can see, several CRM software capabilities are already included in the ERP software description. As a prospective buyer, you may be unsure about the differences between ERP and CRM software. Let's put a stop to this discussion.

Large-scale ERP software is a massive collection of programs that encompasses practically every aspect of business, from human resources to finance. That is to say, ERP software greatly aids in linking all corporate departments and putting all data into a single platform. As a result, using ERP software, you can manage all of your company's departments while viewing all of their data on one platform. Isn't that convenient? However, it is critical to comprehend why so many businesses have begun to rely significantly on CRM software.

Despite the fact that many aspects of ERP software overlap with those of online CRM software, it is not developed primarily for sales and marketing. A CRM, on the other hand, focuses on sales tactics and forecasting, whereas an ERP may lack such specialized functions. CRM also aids in the automation of marketing and sales efforts, which you won't find in an ERP.

Difference Between CRM and ERP Software?

CRM and ERP systems are used by businesses. However, while their activities may overlap in some cases, these systems have substantial variations. While both ERP and CRM systems will eventually be used by the whole company, the key difference is that ERP is primarily for financial data and is used by the finance department, whereas CRM is for customer data and is used by the sales and customer service departments.

The rear office is referred to as the back office, whereas the front office is referred to as the front office.

CRM software packages, on the other hand, do not include a CRM component in certain ERP systems but do in others. Because it does not deal with transactional data, is not an ERP system. It has access to invoices and order history. However, this information is obtained through an ERP system interface.

Cost of the investment

CRM is more cost-effective, less complicated, and easier to implement because it just covers a small area of the business (customer service and support).

The ERP system is a complicated piece of software with significant installation and maintenance expenses that affects many aspects of a company. Software license and installation fees are included in ERP costs.


The CRM system is designed to manage customer interactions and deliver excellent customer service. Customer relationship management (CRM) is customer data that is utilized by customer care and sales departments. ERP is generally employed by the finance and accounting departments and focuses on financial data. ERP systems assist in the improvement and management of the entire business, including customer interactions. CRM is concerned with increasing sales, whereas ERP is concerned with multiple interconnecting departments.

The CRM records and stores information about customers' behaviors, providing reliable and error-free data. Employee training, payroll, and requisition processes are all handled by ERP.

Amount of Users

CRM software is used by small organizations as a stand-alone solution since it is less expensive to set up. Salesforce Essentials, Odoo, Capsule CRM, Less Annoying CRM, and Fresh works CRM are some of the top small company CRM software options. An ERP system is necessary for large enterprises since it aids in the management of multiple business activities and operations. ERP systems are better suited to large businesses with a large workforce.

The Profit Motive

By increasing the number of individuals who patronize and maintain long-term client connections, the CRM system boosts profitability. CRM helps you get the most bang for your buck. By lowering wasteful spending and operating costs, the ERP system, on the other hand, enhances earnings.

The CRM system earns money by utilizing built-in features such as marketing campaigns to pique interest, whereas the ERP system makes money by utilizing features such as barcodes to decrease mistakes and breaches.