When customer relationship management (CRM) software is separate from other software used to manage the business, customer life-cycle management is difficult or impossible. And managing that life-cycle is important as many companies today interact with the customer long after the sale is made, collaborating with them on engineer-to-order (ETO), configure-to-order (CTO) or service management processes.

Customer Relationship Management

Customer relationship management (CRM) optimizes revenue and profitability while promoting customer satisfaction and loyalty. CRM technologies enable strategy, and identify and manage customer relationships, in person or virtually. CRM software provides functionality to companies in four segments: sales, marketing, customer service and digital commerce.

More and more, strategic CRM must therefore be extensible to back office enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality like engineering, manufacturing, purchasing, finance, service management. Because enterprise CRM — or strategic CRM — is an integral part of ERP, it also gives those who interact with a customer full access to enterprise data about that customer. Invoices, accounts receivables, customer project or order data, inventory and other data can suggest immediate corrective actions or additional sales opportunity.