ERP vs CRM vs SAP – Difference between these

In this tutorial, we are dealing with the difference between ERP, CRM and SAP and also a comparison between them for beginners. ERP, CRM and SAP are more commonly used words in the IT industry.

Those who don’t work on these will definitely have confusion as to what is the difference between each of them. Common man would have heard of ERP, have heard of CRM, have heard of SAP also but the majority doesn’t know the difference. Many people still have doubt about “is sap a crm or erp?“. This article is for those people who are literally confused about these.

ERP is the short form of Enterprise Resource Planning. CRM is the short form of Customer Relationship Management and SAP is the short form of Systems Application Products in Data Processing. We shall look into ERP and CRM now and after that we shall look into SAP.

Even though ERP and CRM are both technical terms, we refer them as software. EEP and CRM are both related to the process of a Company. That implies the running of a Company’s process efficiently and thereby increasing the profit of Company is the main aim of using both CRM and ERP.


We have already dealt with ERP in detail in this link (read what is ERP ).

As said earlier, ERP is the short form of Enterprise Resource Planning and it mainly deals with the co-ordination of all functionalities inside the Company like the production unit, finance, quality management and thus intending on efficient production and cost cutting.

As we know efficient production and cost cutting in a company always aims on profitability of the Company. Thus ERP software anticipates on increasing the profit of the Company. These are all done by different ERP software such as Microsoft Dynamics, SAP etc.

List of Some ERP Software


We have already seen that CRM is the short form of Customer Relationship Management. Unlike ERP, CRM deals with the functionalities outside the Company that relates to customer. Thus CRM is limited to sales, after sales, customer satisfaction, management of leads from customers, regular follow up with existing customer to retain them. Increasing sales of the Company by managing all functionalities such as sales and customer dealings, outside the Company in an efficient manner is the responsibility of the CRM software.

List of some CRM software

Now it is so easy to differentiate CRM and ERP. Even though both are relevant for the better growth of the Company, their functional areas are different. The below table shows the main difference between ERP and CRM.

 1.     2.      It deals with the internal functionalities of the Company such as the production unit, quality management, finance etc. It aims on the cost cutting and efficiency increasing within the Company and thereby increasing the profitability.It deals with the external functionalities of the Company such as sales and all other customer relations.   CRM aims on sales, marketing and customer relations and it is how the profit of the Company is increased.


Now, we shall look in to the difference between SAP and ERP and CRM, as we have learned the difference between ERP and CRM.

SAP is a kind of software. SAP is a huge Company and it has both CRM and ERP software versions. Since the service of SAP is widely used by other Companies, for ERP or CRM, the word SAP is very commonly used along with CRM and ERP. It is very commonly searched with SAP ERP or SAP CRM due to the common use of the service of SAP.

DefinitionA leading enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suiteA type of software that integrates and manages core business processesA type of software that helps businesses manage and track customer interactions and relationships
FocusManaging and streamlining business operations across a wide range of departmentsManaging and optimizing business processes across various functional areas, including finance, supply chain, manufacturing, and human resourcesManaging and strengthening customer relationships throughout the customer lifecycle
Core functionalitiesFinancial management, supply chain management, manufacturing management, human resource management, project managementFinancial management, supply chain management, inventory management, procurement, production planning, sales order processingContact management, sales lead management, customer service management, marketing automation, customer analytics
Target usersBusinesses of all sizes, across various industriesBusinesses of all sizes, particularly those with complex business processesBusinesses that prioritize customer relationships and sales growth
BenefitsImproved efficiency, reduced costs, increased productivity, enhanced decision-makingImproved efficiency, reduced costs, increased profitability, improved collaborationImproved customer satisfaction, increased customer loyalty, increased sales revenue
ExamplesSAP ERP, Oracle ERP, Microsoft Dynamics AXSAP Business Suite, Oracle JD Edwards, Infor ERPSalesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Oracle Siebel CRM

For those who want to know more about ERP and CRM, they can refer to the links given above in this tutorial.