Why Integrate?

Today’s customers have a considerable amount of tools at their disposal for researching their future purchases. Consequently, sales teams should be equipped with the tools they need to know their customers and engage them in a way that is relevant and meaningful. Having access to thorough information about customers and products is a crucial element to empowering a sales team. Integrating the back office data of an ERP system with the front-line sales tools of a CRM system gives sales teams the complete, detailed picture they need to properly engage with, and bring value to, the customer.

Integrating Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a simple way to strengthen your sales force. Unique tools have been developed to ease the process and eliminate most of the manual work involved with integrating key data which is already in your system waiting to be used. All you have to do is bridge the gap between the two and your CRM system becomes a high-powered database containing all the information your team needs to interact with your customers.

Some key benefits of integrating Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are that you eliminate the need for double data entry and improve data accuracy by reducing opportunities for errors. Integrating your GP data with CRM gives your sales team a complete picture of your customer, including their credit limits and all past interactions with your company. This allows you to eliminate the need for staff to constantly pull transactional data when sales people request “account summaries”. Finally, integrating GP and CRM helps you understand your customer’s overall needs and buying trends to improve service during each customer interaction.

Integration also provides additional ways to increase revenue. You can smoothly move customers through the sales process by generating accurate sales quotes, create and execute product-focused sales campaigns that maximize revenue by using inventory and pricing data, and upsell to your customers by suggesting sales items from inventory to pair with their current purchases. Integrating your systems allows greater revenue margins by lowering the cost of selling. The lower cost of selling provides more flexibility on ways that resources can be allocated. Streamlining repetitive order processes and eliminating duplicate data entry frees up time that your sales team can now dedicate to revenue-generating activities. You can shorten your sales cycle by automating your “Quote to Cash” processes. Activities spent between attracting your customer and getting paid can be greatly reduced, which in turn gives your team more time to interact with customers and increase sales volumes.

Retaining customers is made easier with Dynamics GP and Dynamics CRM integration. Benefits such as having real-time customer data as you meet with them will help your team deliver a more meaningful sales message. Your customer’s time is important and they will be pleased to see you came prepared by putting in the time to do some basic research about them and their needs.

Business intelligence and visibility is greatly improved when Dynamics CRM has access to the data stored in Dynamics GP. Complex data can be summarized and presented to users to help them better understand the customer. For example, daily order transactions can be rolled up to a month-over-month and year-over-year summary by product class, providing insights into buying trends.

What to Integrate?

Different types of data can be integrated to empower your sales force in various ways. The data being integrated depends on a number of factors such as the total number of products you offer, your pricing policies, the general nature and seasonality of your business, and your current CRM and ERP functionality that’s already rolled out. Ultimately, the data being integrated depends on the goals of your company. However, as a general rule, the following objects should be considered:

Customer Integration:

General account information such as primary address, additional addresses for shipping and billing, accounts receivable details, and credit limits should be considered for integration. Synchronizing this information between GP and CRM helps paint a complete picture and generate accurate sales orders.

Product Integration:

Information such as products, price lists, price list items, and units of measure can be integrated for increasing visibility for the sales team, generating accurate quotes, executing product-based sales campaigns, and automating order processing.

Transactional Data Integration:

Orders, invoices, recurring contracts, and credit card processing are also important considerations for automating and streamlining transactional processes across the business. This type of data integration allows transactions to be generated and documented from the purchase all the way through to accounting and shipping.

Type of Integration

With these considerations in mind, we must now look at one way vs. two way integration. Again, this depends on the nature and goals of your organization. For integration that increases visibility and insight, most “set-up” types of data such as products and units of measure should be managed from Dynamics GP and integrated into Dynamics CRM in a read-only capacity. When automating processes from sales to accounting, Dynamics CRM must be able to “talk to” Dynamics GP to relay the information and initiate processes. For these types of objectives, real-time, two way integration must be considered.

A major deterrent for companies to integrate their ERP and CRM systems is the perceived complexity of the project. This perception would be well-justified if integrations had to be done manually. Fortunately, there is a tool available that was made specifically for connecting Dynamics CRM and other Dynamics ERP databases. The tool is called Connector for Microsoft Dynamics. Connector is intended for an implementation when Dynamics CRM is used to manage business contacts, track leads, enter sales orders, and perform other sales and marketing activities, and when Dynamics GP is used for accounting, managing your company’s chart of accounts, and maintaining customer, vendor, item, employee, and other records.

To make integration even simpler, Scribe has developed templates that integrate key customer-related business processes. The Scribe Microsoft Dynamics GP to Dynamics CRM Template is a highly functional “starting point” for integrating Dynamics GP with Dynamics CRM, from which further extensions and customizations can be made to meet the demands of any business.

Integrating Microsoft Dynamics GP and Microsoft Dynamics CRM is a great way to enhance the capabilities of your sales team without having to purchase additional software. Combining the two systems creates value that is greater than the sum of each part. The benefits are numerous, the project is cost-effective, and the integration process is simple. Don’t wait to empower your sales team. Have them running at peak performance with better utilization of tools already at their fingertips.

If you have any questions or would like to learn more about the wide range of functionality offered in Dynamics GP or Dynamics CRM, please contact us today at 636-237-2280 , or email us at sales@turnkeytec.com.

For a high level estimate of your investment in Microsoft Dynamics GP 2013, please use our “FREE” Microsoft Dynamics GP Quick Quote Tool. It will give you a great starting point for assessing your potential investment in a solution like this.

By Brad Vorbeck and Michael Ramatowski at Turnkey Technologies, Inc. – Missouri, Illinois, and Kentucky Microsoft Gold Certified Dynamics GP and CRM Partner.

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