There’s no doubt about it; implementing a good Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system will help a growing business stay competitive. A busy sales team can turn to CRM software to help nurture customer relationships while also focusing on other elements of the business. Further, CRM software can help your team access insights for better decision-making – by gaining a more comprehensive understanding of customer data. In this fifth part of our series, we want to go into a little more detail on what Customer Management ERP software is and how it can take your business to the next level.
(For an in-depth discussion on the benefits of ERP, read the first part of this “What is ERP?” article series, for more information on ERP financial tools, check out part two, for details on distribution management ERP software read part three and to learn more about manufacturing management check out part four.)
What is Customer Management?
Customer Management software is more commonly referred to as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. CRM software automates the activities focused on the identification and outreach efforts to new potential customers, or new groups of customers (markets).
You might be wondering what CRM has to do with ERP. While CRM software is used to manage all of your business’ relationships with existing and potential customers, ERP software focuses on every aspect of your business operations. You don’t have to decide between a CRM or an ERP. For most businesses, an ERP with an integrated CRM module is the best option.
With CRM software integrated into an ERP, you can link all of your operations to your interactions with customers and clients. For example, the faster a new customer lead can be converted to a new customer account in an ERP system, the sooner orders or quotations can be entered, products shipped, invoices generated and cash collected.
Cloud-based ERP and CRM solutions are a cost-effective way for SMBs to grow their businesses. Access to cloud-based systems can be acquired with a smaller cash investment than typical on-premise licensed software, which suits the needs of many SMBs. The right ERP-CRM vendor can help SMB’s not just identify new business leads; but transform those leads into active, revenue producing customers to grow their business for years to come.
Acumatica Customer Management Suite
Now that we’ve gone over what Customer Management entails let’s take a look at Acumatica Customer Management Suite and what makes it the solution for your business.
We’ve mentioned the importance of integrated ERP-CRM software for SMBs, Acumatica is just that. The Customer Management module was built into Acumatica from the very beginning, meaning it is not only a loosely integrated module like so many other ERP-CRM solutions on the market.
Acumatica Customer Management allows you to integrate sales, marketing and customer service with your financials to generate more leads, close more deals and improve customer loyalty. This product suite was explicitly designed to improve customer service and satisfaction. It does this by, ensuring customer information is always up to date and accurate as well as by tracking customer interactions, complaints, purchases and more. Further, the software includes service management tools to reduce response times and improve customer satisfaction, anticipate customer problems before they occur, identify upsell opportunities and automate reminders for callbacks, follow-ups and requests.
With Acumatica’s CRM, your sales team can reduce sales cycles while improving closing rates, sales automation and workflows. This comprehensive tool provides a complete view of opportunities and contacts to make your team aware of all experiences that may influence the sales decision. The marketing automation tools help your team manage leads, improve conversions, measure campaign performance, communicate with contacts and link campaigns to profitability.
One last feature that is a significant asset to users is the Customer Self-Service Portal. Through the Customer Portal, you can give customers access to the information they need about all their interactions with your company and enable customer activities online. Customers can also track orders, manage support cases, and check balances due and payments received.
Benefits of Customer Management to Your Business
Gain a 360-Degree View
- Form a complete view of your business with integrated financials, marketing, sales and service information. See all customer interactions with your company. Learn which customers are profitable and which are not
Empower Your Staff and Customers
- Give customers access to the information they need through your Customer Portal powered by Acumatica. Share information with staff to build an effective team approach to customer management. Unlimited user pricing removes any impediment to full participation in automated workflow processes that encourage collaboration.
Enhance Your Customer Service
- Respond rapidly to customers’ requests at every point in the sales cycle — including first contact, sales and fulfillment, billing, and after-sale service requests. Create multiple quotes for a single opportunity. Once the customer accepts an offer, a sales order and invoice can be created based on the quote.
Streamline Contact Management
- The Acumatica CRM add-in for Microsoft Outlook works with incoming and outgoing email. It searches for existing leads, contacts and employees in CRM and then allows one-click access to an existing contact. You can also create new leads and contacts right from your inbox; create opportunities and cases associated with existing contacts, and log activity and attach email contents to CRM.
Acumatica’s Customer Management Features
- Reporting and Dashboards: Accelerate decision making with reporting tools that deliver customized views of your business overall and focused views of departments and functions.
- Sales Automation: Provide a complete view of opportunities and contacts to make your team aware of all experiences that may influence the sales decision. Improve efficiency with a workflow-assisted lead assignment and sales process management.
- Business Intelligence: Deliver a 360-degree view of customer activities and information with full drill-down so everyone in your organization can better serve the customer.
- Integrated Marketing: Manage leads, improve conversions, measure campaign performance, communicate with contacts, and increase productivity. Marketing teams can capture leads from web forms, purchased lists, events, and other sources, send branded email offers, and track the best channels for qualified leads.
- Service and Support Automation: Reduce response times and support costs, improve customer satisfaction, and increase billing accuracy. Create a case from captured web form inquiries or manual entry. Assign cases and escalate according to your set policies. Ensure accurate billing through financial module integration.
- Customer Self-Service Portal: Furnish 24/7 customer access to account information, support cases, and latest updates through the online self-service portal.
- Integrated Document Management: Manage a central repository of customer collateral, email templates, price lists, contract templates, pictures, videos, and other documents so your entire company can use the same set of current materials.
- Integrated Financials: Link campaign response rates and sales performance to overall profitability. Acumatica Customer Management is integrated with your billing and financial data.
- Lead and List Management: Assign leads to sales or partners according to customized criteria and data.
- Account and Contact Management: View leads that can be converted into business accounts and linked to contacts, activities, tasks, opportunities, cases and documents.
- Email Management: Use email templates to send professional-looking emails to prospects and customers that are consistent with brand guidelines. Automatically attach incoming and outgoing emails to various CRM features.
Customer Management Success Story – Boulder Creek Stone
Boulder Creek Stone is a family-owned, premier manufacturer of stone and thin brick veneer. For years, they ran their separate lines of business using a mixture of different systems. As the company grew from manufacturing into offering installation services and later selling different products, they found it difficult to track the various lines of business efficiently. When faced with upgrading one of their legacy systems, Boulder Creek decided to centralize all operations on Acumatica’s Cloud ERP instead. Acumatica provided an affordable ERP that could handle multiple facets of business, including CRM, while also automating and centralizing many of its manual paper-based processes.
With the switch to Acumatica, Boulder Creek discontinued Salesforce and chose to use Acumatica’s CRM module to streamline communication across sales and customer service. With Acumatica’s ERP-CRM integration, their sales team was connected to the data they needed without having to communicate with the customer service team.
Now, Boulder Creek’s manufacturing sales staff doesn’t have to write orders; instead, orders are entered through customer service. With Acumatica’s automated notification, they are creating triggers that alert sales when an order occurs, eliminating multiple phone calls.
“Acumatica is bringing functionality to the small/medium business sector that was out of reach budget-wise four years ago.”
— Scott Starkweather, Boulder Creek Stone President
Main Benefits for Boulder Creek Stone
- Streamlined operations with a newly centralized system
- Saved thousands of dollars with an affordable CRM
- Eliminated manual, double entries, saving time
- Gained a high level of product support
The benefits of implementing a CRM solution are clear. Customers are getting more and more sophisticated on how they buy products and assess service. Businesses who wish to remain competitive need tools, like the right CRM software, to evolve with their customers and blow past their competition.
Overall, Acumatica delivers a full suite of integrated business management application, unlike any other ERP solution on the market today. The Acumatica Customer Management Suite alone includes customer relationship management (CRM) applications for managing leads, contacts, opportunities and customer accounts. So, what are you waiting for? See the benefits in action of the customer management applications, request a demo.
Need more information on the software? Check out the overview of Acumatica Customer Management Suite.
Want to learn more about Acumatica’s Distribution Management Software? Check out the following articles in our What is ERP? Distribution Tools series! (Advanced Inventory Mangement, Purchase Order Management and Sales Order Management) Want to learn more about Acumatica’s Financial Management Software? Check out our Financial Tools series (Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, General Ledger). Interested in Acumatica’s Manufacturing Management Software? Check out What is ERP – Manufacturing Management and the other articles in the series: Bills of Material/Routing, Material Requirements Planning, and Production Management.