Hackernoon logoThe Difference Between CRM and ERP Most People Don't Know About by@gururaj-swamy9

The Difference Between CRM and ERP Most People Don't Know About

Gururaj Swamy Hacker Noon profile picture

@gururaj-swamy9Gururaj Swamy

Technical Content Writer in digital marketing team creating content on SAP S/4HANA, SaaS, Cybersecurity, ML, and AI.

They do look similar but if you look closely, there is a subtle difference between CRM and ERP.

No worries. I will run you through it.

CRM software Aka customer relationship management helps to automate your sales activities. It helps the sales team.

Be it a new lead or a prospect; CRM can help to organize leads from the website or from the sales team.

A CRM system also keeps the track of leads and converts them into potential customers, throughout the sales cycle.

Let’s admit it. It can be a hell ride for human sales agents to remember each detail of their leads. Moreover, leads just don’t turn into customers in a day, right?

It may take a month or a year for a customer to take a final call for your product.

As a sales guy, do you have such an impressive memory? Probably not.

Anything can happen after a few months. Maybe the sales guy who pitched is on leave or left your organization.

Well, thanks to CRM, you or your team can maintain that huge data of prospects received a long time ago.

CRM is a boon for a big shot organization with a huge sales team.

It gives enough clarity for sales reps about their territories and follow-ups.

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

Let’s rewind a little. Well, the manufacturing industry was the first one to adopt ERP to track down what’s going on over the shop floor or track inventory.

Tracking inventory or back-office financials became easy with CRM back in those days.

With time, CRM was welcomed by literally all types of organizations.

What is ERP all about?

It is a single and central system to glue together the capabilities and departments of your business.

ERP covers a broad range of your business functions and helps to coordinate without any delay or glitches in serving customers.


  • Focused on one single part of your business.
  • Helps to manage how customers interact with your business.
  • Helps you to make informed decisions based on past customer data.


  • Connects financial and operational systems of the organization.
  • Helps to store and manage massive amounts of data.
  • Gives the right information at the right time to serve customers.

Having narrated the differences between CRM and ERP, please note that there is a mix of vendors offering both.

For instance, ERP vendors can offer CRM features. CRM vendors can also offer ERP functions too.

The top leaders in ERP systems:

SAP, SAP S/4HANA, Microsoft Dynamics and Oracle ERP cloud, and Netsuite.

The top leader in CRM: Salesforce

ERP vendors offering robust CRM capabilities: Netsuite and Microsoft Dynamics.

It all boils down to the same purpose. Yes, they are two different roads but the destination is the same.

Both improve your business and enhance productivity.

Do you want to go for a new ERP system?

If yes, it can be challenging since a huge number of your employees are tuned with old ERP types.

Switching to new ones might take some time and people may resist.

Similarly, including a CRM system in your sales department is not an easy job either.

Since sales folks are good at selling stuff, they might struggle to use a new CRM system.

Although CRM and ERP got challenges, in the long run, they can scale-up your business by offering the best customer experience.

Well, more happy customers means more business right?

So, before you go for a CRM or ERP system, weigh each factor and make a decision accordingly.

Also published on: https://gururajswamy.medium.com/the-basic-difference-between-crm-and-erp-no-one-told-you-ever-70140b8e37c


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