Do your competitors always seem to be one step ahead of you when it comes to marketing or sales? They’re probably leveraging a CRM.
Don’t despair — figuring out which ones your competitors are using (and how they’re using them) can give you a competitive advantage. But first things first. Let’s go over some of the advantages CRMs offer:
Why are CRMs so important?
At its core, a CRM is a force multiplier, offering a level of organization that no human team can match at scale. Almost all of its other benefits are just the result of an organized, detailed system working efficiently.
Having a good CRM is like having sales and marketing teams with perfect memories — all your contacts and their relevant details (job title, company, contact info, buyer persona, pain points, etc.) are stored in one place.
This accuracy, combined with automation — one of the most important aspects of an effective CRM — allows for better alignment between sales and marketing teams, which in turn creates better lead management and the best possible customer experience.
To keep things moving in the right direction, you also need meaningful analytics for both marketing and sales. Think about it — without consistent, organized data from both teams, how can you track trends and identify potential issues with your processes?
CRMs provide clean, organized data and act as a single source of truth so you can better understand the customer experience, determine what’s working and what’s not, and make adjustments.
Will one CRM beat another one?
At this point, the vast majority of companies have CRMs in place. It’s the fastest-growing software market, with revenues expected to reach over $80 billion by 2025.
More powerful CRMs will require a larger budget, but generally speaking, CRMs within a similar price range will offer comparable features.
So if everyone you’re competing with has a CRM, and they’re all relatively similar, where does the advantage come in?
Here’s the thing: just having a CRM doesn’t mean much. It comes down to how well you use it.
A less complex CRM being used to its full potential can easily beat a more powerful one that’s being underutilized, so the specific brand name isn’t likely to make or break your success.
If the choice of CRM isn’t a huge differentiator, what is?
The real competitive advantage comes from becoming power users — making sure every valuable tool is in place and being used correctly.
That means incorporating your CRM into your teams’ unique processes, integrating it with other platforms you already use, and implementing automation and custom settings to maximize efficiency. All that, plus getting team members comfortable with the software.
In other words, automation, integration, customization, and adoption are the most important factors. But depending on the complexity of your organization, things can quickly get complicated (and overwhelming).
A third-party like an agency can help you by sharing experience, tips, tricks, and best practices, walking your teams through the setup and adoption process, and building out your CRM with the right settings, configurations, and customizations.
Remember, even two competitors using the exact same system will be unevenly matched if one is more skilled at using it. Investing in a CRM isn’t just about the software itself — it’s about setting your teams up for success by helping them become power users.