CRM Integration Explained: How CRM Works Together With ERP

CEO, Portable

What is CRM Integration?

Customer relationship management (CRM) integration connects every program you need to operate your business. CRM system integrations provide sales, marketing, customer success and revenue operations teams enhanced reporting capabilities. An integrated CRM system creates a trustworthy, single source of truth to guide decisions for the entire enterprise.

When properly implemented, the right CRM integrations break down organizational silos, save time, and provide your entire company with a comprehensive understanding of your customers.

CRM integration enhances customer engagement, adding value to each exchange, inherently leading to increased customer loyalty.

  • CRM is a crucial sales technology that directs and controls customer interactions, both present and potential.

  • It assists e-commerce businesses in establishing connections with their target market to enhance the customer experience. 

  • It also improves the sales process and sales management and raises profitability.

Organizations routinely switch between cloud apps, legacy infrastructure, and on-site hardware and software -- which can often lead to redundancy and customer data loss.

Since fewer than half of those applications are utilized for anything beneficial, ensuring your CRM includes as many functional capabilities as workable within the CRM platform is essential. With fewer applications, your integrations will operate more efficiently.

Thanks to CRM connectivity, all the programs you use to manage your business can freely exchange client information. Your data synchronizes across all systems, giving you a complete customer information overview.

Related Read: Data Integration Strategy: Examples, Requirements, Process

Types of CRM Systems

  1. Analytical CRM
  2. Collaborative CRM
  3. Operational CRM

The best CRM alternatives can be divided into three main categories: operational, analytical, and collaborative.

Each is devised to handle customer relationship management and data storage procedures, such as service, sales, marketing automation, recognizing and utilizing customer patterns, and more.

Analytical CRM Systems

  • CRMs with analytical capabilities compile customer data from many sources to reveal trends that might otherwise go unnoticed by the naked eye.

  • That enables organizations to recognize, comprehend, and profit from consumer patterns and behaviors.

  • The information acquired can be utilized to improve customer service, create more effective marketing efforts, and produce and convert more prospects.

  • Additionally, it can assist with tasks like budgeting, reporting, and sales pipeline and forecasting.

Generally, an analytical CRM will have the following attributes:

  • OLAP (online analytical processing) can simultaneously organize massive data sets. Your CRM can also assist you in "forecasting the future" by highlighting potential trends and possibilities.

  • Data warehouse: A central location where data from many systems is compiled and stored. It works well for arranging data that can be utilized in reports for the entire firm.

Related Read: Data Warehouse Automation for Scaling Data Ops

Collaborative CRM Systems

  • Strategic CRM, or collaborative CRM, streamlines client information so that marketing, sales reps, and service personnel can access it.

  • Service representatives will be more equipped to help clients with difficulties if they have access to all their conversations with them, their purchases, their service orders, notes, and other information. CRMs collaborating can even act on this data to speed up service.

  • Interaction management and channel management are the two main components of collaborative CRM.

  • The former documents all client interactions, as well as any client-related notes. To choose which medium to connect with which consumer, channel management uses the insights obtained through interaction management.

  • Companies that value customers and want to enhance their customer experience should adopt a collaborative CRM. A collaborative CRM solution serves the entire organization, not simply the teams interacting with customers, as it is a company-wide platform.

Operational CRM Systems

  • Humans are meant to perform more varied jobs. Operational CRM transfers the dull, tedious, clerical chores that sales, advertising, and customer service teams detest, allowing them to concentrate on more pressing tasks.

  • Operational CRMs allow you to actively support and grow your company's customer support base, accelerating the sales cycle.

  • An operational CRM can benefit your company's connection with current and potential customers. It is specifically created to facilitate the efficiency of customer-related operations.

  • Small Businesses and startups can use this CRM strategy to organize their operations and give employees the management tools they need to handle clients efficiently.

Related Read: Top 15 Data Integration Tools: Features & Use Cases

ERP vs. CRM: Key Differences

ERP software solutions assist businesses in monitoring and coordinating their business operations.CRM is the system name that streamlines customer communications with the business via automation.
All the processes are streamlined using a centralized systemCRM is the single platform for converting customers into potential clients.
ERP systems are more concerned with cost-cutting and business productivity.CRM solutions are centered on the interactions between customers and the business.
ERP is a web-based software program.CRM is a web-based solution.
Moving the organization's data from formerly owned automated systems to the ERP system is time-consuming.CRM is sales-specific software, making it easier to transfer customer data there.
ERP assists with back-office tasks.They assist with front office tasks.

ERP vs. CRM: Use Cases Compared

ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and CRM (Customer Relationship Management) are both business systems used to manage customer data, financial data, sales and marketing data, inventory data and beyond.

  • Functionality: ERP software manages internal business processes like accounting, inventory management, production, human resources, and logistics. CRM software tracks customer interactions between sales, marketing, customer service and support.

  • Data: ERP systems handle internal data like financial data, production data, and inventory data. CRMs are focused on external data such as customer data, sales data, and marketing data.

  • Users: ERP systems can be used by different departments like finance, production, and logistics. CRM software is primarily used by sales, marketing, and customer service teams.

  • Scope: ERP systems have a wider scope and cover a broad range of business processes. CRM systems have a narrow scope and primarily focus on customer-related processes.

  • Integrations: ERP systems are often integrated with other systems such as supply chain management and warehouse inventory. CRM systems primarily integrate with marketing automation software and e-commerce platforms.

ERP Systems: The Basics

Enterprise Resource Planning, or ERP, is software created to make daily business operations, from logistical to administrative, more accessible.

It serves as a central hub for optimizing data flow and all organizational activities. It assists in preserving harmony with essential corporate processes, such as order management, accounting, and human resource management.

These are a few crucial ERP characteristics:

  • All services required to run the business are integrated using an ERP.

  • These web-based programs are accessible through all platforms.

  • ERP software is in charge of tracking the organization's expansion.

  • Such applications are used to handle an organization's assets.

  • ERP brings down inventory costs.

  • It enhances the preciseness of financial data.

CRM Systems: The Basics

The primary characteristics of a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system include:

  • Customer-centricity: A CRM system is focused on managing sales & customer interactions and relationships throughout the customer lifecycle.

  • Data management: A CRM system stores and manages customer data such as contact information, purchasing history, and preferences.

  • Sales management: A CRM system helps manage the sales process by tracking leads, opportunities, and sales activities.

  • Marketing automation: Modern CRM systems feature marketing automation capabilities such as email marketing, lead scoring, and campaign management.

  • Customer service & support: A CRM system provides tools for managing customer service and support interactions such as case tracking, call center management, and self-service options.

  • Collaboration: A CRM system facilitates collaboration between different departments within an organization such as sales, marketing, and customer service.

  • Analytics: A CRM system provides analytics and reporting features to help measure performance and improve decision-making.

CRM Connectors vs. CRM Modules

  • CRM connectors: These types of data connectors ensure that customer data is seamlessly connected with other third-party systems.

  • CRM Modules: These are applications that connect to your CRM to enhance its capabilities and performance. For example, CRM modules can create advanced workflows for sales and marketing.

Key Benefits of CRM Integration

  1. Increased customer satisfaction
  2. Enhanced CRM functionality
  3. Upselling and cross selling

Increased customer satisfaction

  • CRM integrations let you obtain crucial customer data, maintain and update customer records, and optimize consumer interaction.

  • Customer support representatives are unlikely to squander time going over problems repeatedly if the history of their communications with customers is structured and documented.

  • Immediate access to previous client conversations acts as a guiding light for future interactions. Customers won't become irate if you attempt to present them with incorrect facts if you have reliable customer data and contact information management.

  • With systematized client records, you can avoid making consumers wait while you change between programs to get a detailed overview of their problems and make the customer journey pleasant.

Enhanced CRM functionality

  • The automated data transfer between an application and your CRM eliminates the necessity for manual data entry.

  • CRM helps you enhance your software's functionality and adopt a more sophisticated data management method.

  • Also, CRM has efficient lead management features that help employers track each lead's status and improve contact management effectively, stimulating productivity and providing effective time management.

  • CRM dashboards can assist salespeople in managing duties and setting deal priorities while keeping track of their pipeline and progress toward individual targets.

  • Sales reps may check the state of the sales pipeline and observe how the team is performing in general with the help of the appropriate dashboards.

Upselling and cross selling

  • From a sales perspective, CRM integration with lead generation tools makes it simpler to learn whether a prospect is prepared to buy, potentially increasing the prospects of upselling your business during marketing campaigns.

  • On the first or second occasions that a salesperson approaches a potential consumer, they can get the impression that your business is more focused on closing a deal than providing exceptional customer service.

Use Cases for CRM Integration

  1. Automating routine tasks.
  2. Recognizing client interactions.
  3. Social media.
  4. Talent acquisition.

Automating routine tasks

  • Your sales team that handles email marketing sends a confirmation mail each time you receive a new lead.

  • This email aims to give your leads a pleasant first impression of the company, but doing it manually each time can take time.

  • CRM integrations can help you build workflows to solve this problem.

  • CRMs typically allow representatives to design email templates with unique placeholders and customized messages.

  • You can add this email to your "workflow," an if-then sequence activated according to a trigger.

  • In this sequence, you can direct the CRM application to send a welcome email each time a new lead joins the CRM (trigger) (response). Both the trigger and the response can be customized.

Recognizing client interactions

  • The customer support staff is often a consumer's first point of contact with a company.

  • Consumers file issue tickets and engage in extended chats with support staff; these discussions can provide insight for further interactions. You can access every customer's ticket conversation by integrating the help desk with CRM.

  • A customer support help desk integrated with a CRM can provide crucial information instantly exchanged between sales and support.

  • The CRM pulls the ticket conversations for each contact in their profile from the help desk.

  • The support crew can notice that a specific contact is part of a high-value deal over in the helpdesk.

  • Agents can use this knowledge during a follow-up to enhance the consumer experience and improve customer retention.

Social media

  • The incorporation of social media platforms into customer relationship management (CRM) platforms is known as social CRM or social customer relationship management.

  • CRM platforms are progressively incorporating social media in addition to traditional channels so that customers may communicate with businesses through their channels of choice.

  • As a result, there will be improved customer service and more accurate marketing analysis.

  • Businesses can foster two-way client involvement with the support of social CRM. Customers no longer watch a brand's story as passive observers but as active players; as a result, they experience the brand's value for them as a consumer.

  • Social CRM can assist organizations in identifying and rewarding influencers, motivating them to advance the cause even further. Monitoring and tracking CRM tools are used to see who is conversing with the company online.

Talent acquisition

  • Exceptional talent can take time to come by. You can easily handle interview feedback communications and recruitment processes, including scheduling interviews with the help of connections to talent acquisition platforms like Greenhouse.

  • Improved integrations can also assist HR employees in saving time by updating job descriptions, increasing resume scoring, and surfacing better candidate options while synchronizing them with your HR solutions and platforms.

  • Hiring someone can take some time, so you want to get them productive as soon as possible after hiring them. Integrating apps like BambooHR, onboarding, and off-boarding processes for creating or deleting accounts, granting rights, choosing perks, and providing HR-based equipment could be completely automated.

APIs vs. iPaaS vs. ETL

What are APIs?

In micro-services architectures, an application programming interface (API) is widely applied and establishes a precise set of protocols for system integration.

  • Specific CRM software solutions can speed up software development, provide unique API testing and REST API management, and simplify the development of web APIs, web applications, or mobile apps when developing or engaging with APIs.

  • APIs are crucial because they enable various programs to function in tandem. It is simpler for developers to create new applications when they leverage existing APIs as opposed to creating original communication protocols.

  • Developers can use standard interfaces rather than memorizing the precise commands for every program. Also, this could simplify the process for users to communicate with programs.

What is iPaaS?

Integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) is a collection of cloud services that facilitate the development, execution, and management of integration flows integrating any assortment of on-premises and cloud-based operations, services, applications, and data within a single business or among several.

  • IPaaS offers a contemporary set of data integration features, particularly ETL's legacy capabilities.

  • It serves as the organization's "central repository" for real-time operational integration.

  • Real-time data pipelines are formed utilizing iPaaS tools, and data is then driven back into SaaS applications, ERP platforms, and CRM platforms.

iPaaS vs. ETL

  • Several IT systems and data sources can be linked using data integration techniques like extract, transfer, and load (ETL) and IPaaS (integration platform as a service).

  • Whereas iPaaS is a more comprehensive set of capabilities for transferring and integrating data between IT systems, ETL combines techniques for moving data.

  • Since IPaaS is designed to function in contemporary cloud IT environments, it is frequently called the "next generation" of ETL tools.

Which is better for data integration?

  • You can use both ETL and iPaaS for data integration; the ideal alternative will be determined by the kinds of data sources you have to integrate, the sophistication of the processing data, and the capacity and adaptability of the solution.

  • Conventional data integration techniques like ETL are suitable for businesses that need to combine a lot of standardized information from various places and execute complex data transformations.

  • The cloud-based application integration platform iPaaS makes integrating numerous systems and applications easy, including data integration.

Related Read: ETL vs. iPaaS for Data Integration: Which is Better?

ETL and CRM Integration Opportunities

ETL is the most widely used technique for integrating data or extracting, transforming, and loading. It compiles data from various source systems into a data warehouse or another target system to improve data access. In other words, these data pipelines are precisely designed to alter and load data from a source system or database into a single hub like a data warehouse.


The ideal ETL tool for organizations working with long-tail data sources is Portable. It features built-in connectors for more than 300 obscure data sources and continues to add more.

The Portable team responds quickly to requests for new data connectors, often responding in minutes. Also, they keep those connectors updated in case datasets or APIs change.

Who should use Portable? Teams interested in no-code API connectors, and need to link various data sources to extract business insights -- rather than building and managing data pipelines.


For data transformation and ETL, Talend provides a platform with no-code alternatives. It provides an unlimited free subscription. Yet, it solely offers self-service help and has the following features.

  • Syncing with all significant cloud platforms.

  • Connectors for Hadoop, IoT, ML, Spark, and other systems.

The teams requiring an all-in-one data integration and analysis platform should choose Talend.

Related Read: 12 Best Data Transformation Tools: Top Features & Benefits

Check out our related ETL resources