Last week our team in India celebrated the Kite Festival with dragons, sharks and resplendent whirly kites taking to the skies in a display of color and motion.
Master kite flyers showed their prowess, children tugged on strings attached to lovingly made diamond shapes, and the rhythmic pulse of music could be heard throughout streets and parks. It was a celebration to mark the passage from winter to spring, the new harvest season, and with it came joy.
While (Kite Festival) Makar Sankranti is most popular in West India, in the South, the festival is known as Pongal and in the North, it is celebrated as Lohri. Through India’s history, it is said that India created the tradition of kite flying, as it began as a sport for kings. Over time, as the sport became popular, it reached the masses. Kite flying has been a regional event in Gujarat for several years.
As our team members launched their kites into the encouraging winds, I was involved in talking with a new marketing team member about why a company would want to integrate their ERP and CRM software. I found myself talking about what it would be like to be the sales manager at a kite making company. Imagine, here you are trying to sell kites, beautiful kites.
How do you sell more kites? How do you sell kites faster? How do you sell kite kits as well as premade kites? How do you make selling kites easy so that your salespeople are informed, ready and able to close sales in one conversation? How do you create a beautiful customer experience so that your customers enjoy the buying journey from quote to payment and use?
Product knowledge is key. By having ERP data in your CRM system your company can answer questions and have a meaningful discussion with the customer. Within the CRM you can actually see what types of kites you sell (fish kites, shark kites, whirly kites). You can tell the customer that when they receive their kite kit it will have a string, a handle, a frame, fabric, and a tail included. You can also see the pictures of those kites and the maker instructions in the CRM, and you can share them with your customers. Product information is just the beginning of the conversation.
Pricing is one of the most important conversations to get right in order to win the sale, maximize revenue and communicate effectively with the customer. By having the ERP and CRM systems integrated, price changes can be real-time in both places. You can quote your customers on that new giant octopus kite, the one with the waving tentacles that children will ooh and ahh over. You can tell the customer that if they purchase more than 20 octopus kites then they will receive the 10% quantity discount break and you can identify that they are on the wholesale price list. Whether you set your pricing in the ERP or the CRM, you will be able to quote quickly and accurately straight from your CRM.
Inventory availability is essential for salespeople to know when they are trying to win that big kite order. Ultimately, the customer will ask, “when can I receive my order of butterfly and sailing ship kites?” Your sales team should be empowered to answer these questions and should not have to log into an on-premise ERP system or have to make a phone call. The kite salesperson should be able to say, “I can see that we have 50 butterfly kites and only 10 sailing ship kites in stock and available. If you place your order today then I can get them shipped from our Atlanta warehouse today and they will arrive by Friday.” If your salespeople cannot answer in that detail, from your CRM system, then you need integration.
Accounting data rounds out the sales person’s conversation with your customers. By integrating invoices and payments from the ERP to the CRM, you can discuss your customer’s previous orders and their account status. You can take their order but explain that it will not ship until that old, outstanding invoice is paid.
Getting orders to the ERP fast is essential. By integrating orders from the CRM to the ERP you can get kite orders assembled, packed and shipped fast. Your production and warehouse managers will be able to plan their kite assembly department resources and they will be able to purchase efficiently. Orders will flow seamlessly through the warehouse to result in happy, kite-flying customers who will gaze upon those kites dancing in the wind, and they will marvel at the joy you brought them.
Integrating your ERP and CRM systems can be a beautiful experience. Commercient offers Sync apps for many ERP and CRM solutions. The Commercient Sync involves no coding, no mapping, and no complicated ETL toolsets. Let’s talk today to see how we can make connecting your system as easy as flying a kite with Commercient Sync.