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ERP vs CRM compared: differences and benefits 8 min read
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ERPs and CRMs are two types of systems businesses rely on to streamline operations and enhance customer experience. Both systems are valuable tools in the business world, though they’re distinct in more ways than one. Taking the time to understand how each functions and provides benefits will help you determine which one is right for your organization — or if you need both.

In this guide, we’ll take a closer look at ERPs and CRMs so you can best determine what you need for your organization. Because we know some businesses need both, we’ll also dive into how you can use as both an ERP and CRM solution.

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What is an ERP?

ERP software, short for enterprise resource planning, is used to connect and manage a business’s operations and finances. In many scenarios, an ERP is an organization’s single source of truth for processes, reporting, and data across various departments.

A great ERP can integrate various systems and their respective data into one cohesive platform that provides easy access to data to every department within an organization.

While every department has its individual systems, all enterprise information is accessible through a single platform.

Why use an ERP?

Organizations adopt ERP systems for a variety of reasons. They may want to expand their sales volume or streamline their operations. For example,for small- and medium-sized enterprises, an ERP can reduce decision-making by 35%. An organization considering an ERP may also wish to reduce costs.

Finance and operations often get the most from an ERP, though every department benefits, including human resources, marketing, and sales.

A good ERP also provides a wealth of benefits in the form of reporting and analysis. As a way to centralize finance and operations, an ERP gives access to data analysis and reporting that helps businesses plan, budget, and forecast operations quickly and efficiently. This, in turn, means more productivity and better decision-making.

What is a CRM?

CRMs, shorthand for customer relationship management, are platforms for managing and nurturing relationships with clients and leads. Like an ERP, a CRM is an interactive data repository. Unlike an ERP, a CRM is designed to help sales, customer service, and marketing professionals provide the best possible experience to their customers.

A CRM offers an interface and storage for everything related to a business’s leads and customers. This often includes call logs, text messages, emails, and notes from meetings as well as any associated documents, such as quotes and purchase orders. It also serves as a sort of task management system relative to each client or lead.

As you can see, ERP and CRM software are both important to organizations of all types. Getting the most out of them requires that you know which type of system is right for a given task, process, or department.

How do you choose between an ERP and CRM system?

ERPs and CRMs share an underlying approach in that both are designed as central data repositories that provide a single source of truth, though there’s a clear distinction between the two.

CRM software is focused on sales processes, customer experience, and contact management.

As you can imagine, businesses managing comprehensive organizations rely on both tools to get the job done.That said, if you’re uncertain about where to focus your efforts, the first step is understanding your business’s unique needs.

Some reasons you might choose an ERP solution include:

  • Operational insights: Advanced reporting helps businesses identify opportunities and avoid pitfalls.
  • Increased efficiency: Automating repetitive tasks across the organization can significantly increase productivity and operational efficiency.
  • Better supply chains: Streamlined supply chain management means businesses can more easily forecast demand and optimize production and inventory management.

You might go with a CRM to gain:

  • Sales insights: As a database for all your customer interactions, a CRM can provide detailed insights that can help support sales reps and refine your sales pipeline.
  • Increased customer retention: Sales professionals can better manage existing relationships and build new relationships with potential customers, leading to repeat business and higher customer loyalty.
  • Better marketing efficiency: Automating marketing tasks means team members can focus on more important aspects of their campaigns, such as overall marketing strategy.

In an ideal scenario, these two tools share a single data repository, enabling tight integration between business operations and customer experience. This is exactly why many businesses have adopted a customizable Work OS, like

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Can be used as an ERP?

One of the biggest challenges businesses face when looking at ERP solutions is finding one that matches their specific workflows. One of the biggest benefits of is flexibility.

With, you can leverage a low-code/no-code open platform to build the applications, workflows, and integrations you need to create the ideal ERP for your business.

Like an ERP, can:

  • Function as your organization’s central finance workspace: You don’t even need to do away with your current data and tools — encapsulates existing systems through seamless integration.
  • Integrate data from various sources: This ability allows you to provide departments with a single, unified workspace featuring customized workflows and advanced automation.
  • Generate robust analytics and dashboards to help drive decision-making: With a few clicks, users can create detailed visualizations and reports based on the entirety of your business data. The best part is it’s all shareable across the entire organization, including sales and marketing.

Can be used as a CRM?

Whether you’re leveraging an existing CRM solution or looking to start fresh, monday sales CRM has the tools you need to effectively manage leads, clients, marketing campaigns, and other customer data.

On, you can:

  • Create custom sales dashboards: Information for these dashboards can be pulled from within the Work OS or from an integrated tool, such as Salesforce.
  • Receive real-time insights: See exactly how your sales or marketing campaigns are performing.
  • Automate routine tasks: With, automation is a breeze. Integrated functionality enables you to quickly build customized actions. You can configure automatic emails based on due dates, and get live notifications when certain tasks are completed or milestones reached.

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Related templates for CRM and ERP

CRM template

If you’re looking for a starting point to integrate existing tools with, this CRM Template is what you need. You can easily connect other CRM solutions, such as HubSpot or Salesforce, and manage your contacts and leads. You can also use it to manage sales pipelines, send quotes and invoices, and manage email campaigns, all with a few clicks.

Project Portfolio Management template

Our Project Portfolio Management Template can be used to streamline project requests and management to make any ERP more efficient. Save time by starting with a template and then customizing it to suit your organization’s unique needs. Easily receive a high-level overview of your whole portfolio to empower more informed decision-making and increase project efficiency.

FAQs about CRM and ERP

Is CRM part of an ERP?

The key distinction between an ERP and a CRM is that the former is mainly for finance and operations, while the latter is for sales, marketing, and customer service. While some ERPs feature elements of relationship management, most CRMs stand alone.

Is Salesforce an ERP or CRM?

Salesforce is a company that provides an assortment of software solutions, the biggest of which is its CRM solution, Customer 360. While Salesforce does provide integrations to help connect its CRM to third-party ERP platforms, it doesn’t offer its own ERP solution.

Is Oracle an ERP system?

Oracle is a technology company that provides a number of cloud-based business solutions. Its Fusion Cloud ERP platform is a suite of ERP tools that provide automation, analytics, and management of finances and various business processes.

CRM, ERP, and everything in between with

Workers spend a lot of time searching for information. One of the biggest reasons for this is the various unintegrated systems used across an organization with disconnected data sources. solves this problem by serving as your business’s single source of truth. With seamless integrations to countless CRM and ERP systems, your teams can depend on a unified platform for all their workflows, automation, and collaboration needs.

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