ERP vs CRM for Travel Companies: Which is Better?


Travel businesses are among the most dynamic in the market. Every company needs strong software at its core to achieve its goals and develop its market standing. Companies which do not invest in this technology will find themselves losing ground fast.

So, the question becomes which technology should you invest in? The answer depends primarily on your choice of business process. ERPs are big and cumbersome, but they do offer 360 degree company operations. On the other hand, CRMs for travel companies are lightweight, fast and efficient, but they only work for sales and client management.

Here are some of the key differences between ERPs and CRMs that’ll help you decide which one to get:

5 Key Differences Between ERPs and CRMs

1. Pricing

ERPs are massive software which are shared across any enterprise. Their sheer size makes them difficult to manage unless you have their functionality measured out. This must also be done across each stratum of the enterprise along with access restrictions. Doing this is a gargantuan task and costs its own money. This adds to the main cost and makes things very difficult for smaller businesses. As an SMB owner or entrepreneur, you may not want to make such investments particularly if you don’t have a view on your long-term growth.

On the other hand, CRMs are relatively inexpensive. They come at 1/4th or less of the price that ERPs come at. Obviously, this is a better investment for smaller businesses since they still need to grow up to an ERP. Even then, a CRM can be a better means by which they can handle their sales process and overall client relationships. SMBs that want to grow quickly, not incur large expenses and also get the most out of their software.

So, from a price point of view on ERP vs CRM, companies which do not measure up to an enterprise-grade should go for CRMs. The easy pricing and often SaaS-based service ensures that they can get sales functioning without having to spend too much. The SaaS models are particularly good because they ensure update software and value for money based on month-wise subscription. This takes a lot of the pressure off SMB owners or managers since they can use this fund to grow their primary product/service areas.

2. Lead Management

Most people think of ERPs are big software for large businesses which can do it all. However, there is a major difference between doing it and doing it well. Ask any developer and you’ll know that the bigger a software, the larger the chances of messing up. One code error can mess up the rest of the protocols. So, when it comes to ERPs and sales management, there is a large potential for things going wrong. Further, not all ERPs will offer dedicated processing for leads with specialized features. Of course, this reduces the overall viability of ERP based CRM protocols.

On the other hand, when you opt for a CRM, it will give you dedicated lead management options. Companies which want to invest in strong sales operations while also leaving space for long-term growth should invest here. The sheer versatility and applicability of CRMs makes things much easier for smaller businesses.

So, when comparing ERP software and CRM software, the latter will take the edge in sales management. All the factors we mentioned above will impact how you can get your CRM software to work for you. Now, you may think that ERPs can provide company-wide sales, but the simple fact is that using such a wide application requires too much software segmentation. At the least, it is unsuited for a smaller enterprise and will not benefit them.

3. Account Management

Account management is something every business needs to do. That goes without saying but how this is done is more important than just doing it. Now, with ERPs you have to consider what kind of accounts they are. Obviously, with a company wide software, account types will vary and get segmented on that basis. This can convolute the management process and lead to confusion. Further, you will need trained employees who can not only handle accounts but also keep to the segregation. A good example is if a company has multiple business relations with the same client company. Sales processes can accidentally spill over into limited-time collaboration records.

Now, when it comes to CRMs, account management is a streamlined process. Companies can be sure that only sales-oriented accounts will be managed and this gives them a degree of freedom. The idea behind having a dedicated sales software for accounts management is that the work is divided up. Smaller businesses can have their dedicated sales services and clients handled through one app. They can also make subdivisions in the sales process and make this the centre of their business process. Since travel businesses can grow or remain the same size, this is a smart investment to make and serves better than ERPs.

So, when comparing the account management process used by CRM and ERP difference, CRMs have a clear advantage. With dedicated resources for sales-oriented accounts, they deliver a better output. Smaller businesses as well as other companies expanding, can invest in this business category.

4. Opportunity Management

Opportunity management is something very critical for generating solid leads. Qualifying opportunities and how one can secure this depends on the sales process of the travel agency. However, the software they use to qualify opportunities is also very important since it drives the process itself. Now, you may think that there is no particular difference between ERP and CRM sales process management. However, opportunity derivation protocols can differ by a lot. ERPs can have a wider net for identifying opportunities but this may be too unwieldy for smaller businesses.

In contrast, CRMs always have a well-defined opportunities management protocol. For travel sales processes, opportunities become even more important than other industries because of the competition. Factor in seasonal increase in travel package demand and the need becomes obvious. CRMs with dedicated travel opportunities management are better for agencies in this industry. Custom opportunities management allows agencies to identify and tap into bulk opportunities. This can further segregate itself for a lead by lead division. But for this, having a strong opportunities management paradigm is essential.

So, when it comes to getting opportunities between ERP vs CRM, ERPs offer a wider area for taking advantage. However, for CRMs with custom opportunities modules, this is not the case. They may not offer a wide area for yield but that depends entirely on the business. Further, since their travel business orientation eliminates low-tier opportunities, companies stand to convert more of those opportunities into leads.

5. Reporting and Analytics

Report generation is an integral part of CRMs as well as ERPs. Analytics too makes a big impact on the overall marketability of any business software. Between the two, ERPs offer more analytics resource and report generation capabilities. However, this is only because the scope of ERPs is much higher. They may not be well suited for all kinds of analytical processes. They may also require special modification to apply to specific industries or segments.

On the other hand, CRMs are focused exclusively on sales process and client relationship management. They naturally carry dedicated reporting modules and analytical tools. These are much more suited to travel companies where the sales process is primary. Of course, the best CRMs out there will have pre-defined protocols for both these processes. These can benefit smaller companies even more than the more broad-spectrum reporting facilities found in ERPs.

When speaking of reporting and analytics, we can say that for CRM vs ERP, the first type of business software performs much better for sales dedicated processing. Companies that want to focus on sales are better off investing in CRMs because they will have sales-specific reporting and client management facilities. With ERP, you can do the same but that needs to be a custom module and will cost extra. Whether you are a startup or SMB, you can use the best CRM right away to generate reports and use analytics to penetrate your market better.

Where Can You Get the Best CRM for Travel Companies?

WAT Consulting Services is a leading travel technology developer with a high degree of expertise in custom software development. Companies that want to achieve higher sales volume can opt for TutterflyCRM, the premier product in WAT Consulting’s catalog. This CRM combines the best aspects of sales processing, customer handling, account management, lead generation, reporting and market analysis.

TutterflyCRM delivers high-end performance thanks to its optimized servers, SaaS-based subscription and dedicated CRM functions tuned for travel sales processes. TutterflyCRM has been developed keeping in mind the needs of growing travel businesses. This gives it special applicability for travel agency startups and SMBs. We have worked painstakingly to develop this business software and its success in the market shows why this is the best CRM for all travel-related enterprises. Get your free demo for TutterflyCRM now!