How to assess your needs to choose the right CRM or ERP for your business?

 Whether it is for the implementation of a new business

solution or the replacement of an obsolete system, the choice of a new CRM or
ERP is a crucial step in any implementation project and has a direct impact on
the success of it. With a system that does not meet your real needs, it will be
difficult to get the full potential of your new tool and achieve the expected

So how do you make sure you make the right choice?


First of all, you need to properly assess your needs.

This requires, among other things, a clear definition
of your vision and your objectives, adequate documentation of your processes
and taking into account the particularities of your company.


Reminder: what is the difference between an ERP and a

An ERP system, also called an integrated management
software package or PGI (acronym that no one uses by the way), is a system that
centralizes your company’s data in order to optimize all of your manufacturing
or distribution activities.

It can include all kinds of functionalities: accounting
and financial management, human resources management, supply management,
decision support, etc.

These applications are not only reserved for large
companies, they are also an excellent solution for SMEs.

A CRM, also called a customer relationship management
solution, is more focused on sales, marketing and customer service. It stores
data about your customer base and how they interact with your business to help
you better manage your relationship with them. A CRM can support you in
building customer loyalty, generating sales leads, analyzing buying behavior
and much more.


Define the vision that guides the change to a new

The team that will be responsible for choosing the new
CRM or ERP must first agree on the vision of the project. What are the reasons
that guide the change to a new solution and what are the objectives related to
its implementation?

Companies that implement a new ERP or CRM do so for
all kinds of reasons: to reduce production costs, improve team productivity,
increase sales, have a better understanding of customers, etc. .

Take the time to think about the goals you want to
achieve and how your new solution will align with your business strategy.

Once your vision and objectives are well defined, it
will be easier for you to choose an ERP or a CRM that meets your needs. Indeed,
the offer of solutions being very vast on the market, it is easy to get lost
and to move away from its initial objectives. For example, not all CRMs have
the same aim.

Some are more focused on optimizing sales while others
are more interested in improving customer service. And, of course, some do

So, when choosing the app that best suits your needs,
keep your vision focused and don’t lose sight of your main goals. It will
always be possible to make improvements and additions once the right solution
has been implemented.

Having a clear vision of your implementation project
and its objectives will also be very useful for you to ensure good change
management. Indeed, if all your teams understand the reasons why it is
necessary to move to a new solution, they will be less inclined to oppose it.


Document your key processes

Whether it’s improving your sales process or
optimizing your accounting, it’s imperative to document the processes you want
to improve with your new CRM or ERP.

Indeed, by having well-documented processes, you will
make sure that you do not forget any step and choose an application that offers
the functionalities that you really need.

Performing a process map is an essential way to
document your working methods and identify possible improvements.

BDC has an article that provides an excellent overview
of the different methods used to map processes. Thus, map your real process, as
your teams experience it on a daily basis, then see how you could improve it,
in particular by including the functionalities of an ERP or a CRM.

Also, be sure to consult with your teams to get their
agreement on the processes to follow. It is important that everyone is on the
same wavelength.


Let’s see a concrete example.

You have decided that your ERP will mainly tackle the
optimization of your accounting activities. This is one of the main needs that
you identified when defining the vision and objectives of your implementation

Anxious not to forget anything, you tackle the
documentation of your accounting processes. Mapping your month-end processes,
you find that you spend a lot of time preparing three different reports. Would
you like these reports to be generated automatically by your ERP?

And does everyone agree on the reports that should be
generated and the data they should contain? By having thought about all of this
in advance, you will avoid debating with your integration partner the real
processes followed by your team and you will be able to easily provide them
with the relevant information to create your ideal business solution.


Make a list of your essential needs

ERPs and CRMs really offer all kinds of functionality.
Some may be extremely useful for one company while they are rather superfluous
for another.

And you will see that you can quickly be charmed by a
feature with a “wow” effect, even if it deviates from the objectives
that you had set at the start.

This is why it is important to draw up a list of your
essential needs. This will undoubtedly help you choose a solution that really
meets YOUR needs (and not those of your neighbours!).

Also take the time to determine your priority needs
and implement a solution that meets them first. You don’t have to start with a
bang and try to achieve all of your goals, across all of your company’s

It’s wise to stick to the basics, especially in the
beginning. It will also make it easier to control expenses.


Be careful not to ignore your future needs either.

It is important to choose a solution that can also
support the growth of your business in the long term.

If you choose an ERP that is well designed and adapted
to your needs, you can easily add new functionalities once your teams have
become acclimatized to your new processes.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a good example: this
solution allows the gradual addition of new modules as your business needs


Don’t forget integrations with your other business

Take the time to think about how your new solution
should be able to exchange information with your other applications.

For example, if you have an e-commerce site, you can
choose a CRM that easily communicates with it. Customer contact details, orders
placed and other relevant data will then be automatically synchronized between
the two platforms.

In short, depending on your needs and your current
business solutions, it might be wise to choose a solution that allows native or
relatively simple integrations.


Also think about the digital tools that your teams use
on a daily basis.

It could be a real productivity boost if your new CRM or
ERP integrated easily. It then becomes interesting to choose a solution that is
part of an ecosystem of applications that communicate easily with each other.

For example, Microsoft Dynamics 365, being powered by
the editor of the popular Office suite (including Outlook, Word, Excel, Teams,
etc. do you know?
integrates natively with these work tools.

Finally, although ERP and CRM systems are two separate
entities, it can be more than advantageous to make them work together.

Indeed, integrating a CRM with an ERP system has
several advantages. If you think you can benefit from such an integration,
include it among your selection criteria for your new solution.

Some solutions, including Microsoft Dynamics 365,
already include both components: a CRM and an ERP. With such applications, your
CRM and your ERP easily collaborate within the same interface.

Of course, you don’t need to set everything up from
the start. Designed in a modular way, these solutions adapt to the needs of
each company.


Choosing a CRM or ERP: have you thought about
preconfigured applications?

Faced with the multitude of applications on the
market, it is normal that you have difficulty determining which one will best
integrate into your processes and can meet your real needs.

To make an appropriate choice, the most important
thing is to clearly define your objectives, document your processes and target
your priority needs.

If you are concerned about the scope of an
implementation project or if you are afraid of choosing a solution that would
deviate too far from your main needs, Gestisoft’s preconfigured applications
could be the solution. ideal solution for your business.

These applications based on Microsoft Dynamics 365
have been designed to meet specific needs.

Whether for a CRM or an ERP, they allow the
commissioning of essential functionalities quickly and easily. Get in touch
with one of our experts today to discuss your processes, goals and needs.

Whether it is for the management of your manufacturing
processes, your sales cycle or your accounting, we will be able to guide you
towards the right solution.

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