26 October 2023

ERP or CRM: What are the differences? And which fits your business?

Do you want to grow your organization or improve certain processes? And are you still doubting whether you need an ERP or a CRM system?

After reading this article, you'll know perfectly what the difference is between the two systems. We will also help you choose between these two software packages.

Are you looking for a CRM? Or do you still need an ERP system within your organization? After reading this article, you'll know!

Easily navigate to the following sections of this article:

The difference between an ERP and CRM system

A CRM system, which stands for Customer Relationship Management, is used to manage your contacts. Think of customers, but also potential customers. The most important goal of CRMs is both to serve your existing customers better and to acquire new customers.

An ERP system (Enterprise Resource Planning) on the other hand is company-wide applicable and has all kinds of different functions. Think of ERP modules for: accounting, warehouse management, personnel management and project management. The main goal of ERP systems is to improve varying business processes.

In short: an ERP is applicable company-wide. A CRM, on the other hand, has a more specific application, namely managing all the data of your contacts.

Table of the biggest differences between ERP and CRM

Company-wideSpecifically applicable to contact and customer data
Higher implementation costs because all business processes must be linked to the ERPLower implementation costs, focus is solely on customer and contact data
Everyone within your companyAimed at marketing and sales departments
Cost savings, efficiency and improved business processesImprove customer relationships, improve sales processes
Manufacturing, wholesale and e-commerce companiesCompanies focused on attracting new customers and customer satisfaction

The functions of ERP and CRM systems at a glance

We like to give you a better idea of the functions of both ERP and CRM systems. This will hopefully help you better understand what you can do with these two types of systems.

This will also give you an initial insight into the differences between ERP and CRM.

ERP systeem icootje

Features ERP system

The key functions of an ERP system at a glance:

  • Finance
  • Inventory management
  • Order management
  • Project management
  • HR issues
  • CRM (can be part of an ERP system)

As you can see, there are many diverse functions!

CRM icoontje klantenservice medewerkster

Features of a CRM system

The main functions of a CRM system:

  • Sales management(insight into the status of your leads)
  • Sales and forecasting
  • Marketing
  • Customer service
  • Marketing Automation
  • Analytics
  • Reporting

Below is an example of what a CRM system looks like. In the picture, you can see that all your contacts are grouped together in an orderly list (nice and clear, right?!). You can also see the data per contact. As you can see, your contact data is the core of a CRM system.

ERP of CRM: voorbeeld van belangrijkste functionaliteiten CRM systeem

Want more information about a contact? Then click on your contact to go to your extended customer card. Here you'll find information about your contact's lead status and communication history.

Key benefits of CRM

These are the main benefits of a CRM system:

  • You have all data in one place. This improves your overview and cooperation between departments.
  • You have insight into the communication history between your organization and your contacts. This prevents you from sending the same communication multiple times.
  • Better service of your customers.
  • Your sales process improves.
  • You get insight into the behavior of your contacts. For example, you see which pages they visit and which emails they open or do not open.

In short: with the help of a CRM system, you improve your understanding of your contacts' data. This allows you to serve your customers better and thus increase customer satisfaction.

Also, with a CRM you know better what potential customers need. With this insight, you improve your sales process.

Key benefits of ERP systems

These are the main benefits of an ERP system:

  • You get better insight into your business processes.
  • You get a grip on your costs.
  • You can organize your company more efficiently.
  • Manual processes become less prone to error.
  • Improved business operations.
  • You improve your position in relation to your competitors.

An ERP is a system that you can use for almost all processes within your organization.

Want to know more about the advantages and disadvantages of ERP? Read it in our extensive blog on the pros and cons of ERP systems.

Find the ERP or CRM system that's right for your organization

Have you determined whether you need a CRM or ERP? And want to go one step further in finding your perfect system?

Then use our free and independent tool. It will take you no more than 10 minutes to fill out. In short: you'll save hours and hours of research!

Fill out our tool and find out which ERP or CRM system is the best match for your organization:

Vind je perfecte ERP of CRM-systeem
Peter de Bruin
CEO & Sr. Software Specialist
With over 15 years of dedicated experience in the enterprise software industry, I have seen firsthand how crucial it is for an organization to find the right software system for success. In this rapidly changing marketplace, a fair playing field is not always a given. My mission is to create a fair match between companies and vendors, putting the importance of appropriate and effective software first. Our independent selection tool is designed to fulfill this mission, with the goal of creating a future where everyone can effortlessly find the perfect software package, with a smile. Let's strive for that effortless future together.
More about me ➔

Connect with us

Contact us
(+31) 850000778
Turfstraat 1-3
6811HL, Arnhem
The Netherlands
linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram