I admit it. I love building CRM applications. It may sound goofy, but everybody has a passion. Software is in my DNA. And I find the CRM software category particularly rewarding because CRM applications have such a dramatic impact on driving the top line growth of companies. That’s what I love to do…build great apps that help build great companies. But is that what the company SugarCRM is all about? Is that why SugarCRM exists? To build great software applications? Let’s explore that idea.
As you’re thinking about growing your company and how a CRM application can help you do that, I’d like to share a simple tenet that will put you on the path to success.
It’s all about your customers.
Sounds simple, right? But let me ask you, where do your customers fit into your company strategy? Yes, many people immediately say their customers are at the center of their company strategy. But really, do you and every employee in your company put the customer at the center of your focus every day?
Several years back, I had the opportunity to listen to Gerhard Gschwandtner, publisher of Selling Power magazine, talk about how CRM systems help drive sales for a company. Gerhard is a very smart man who knows a lot about the art and science of selling. When he started the discussion about why CRM is important, he started by posing the question to the audience, “What is the purpose of a company?” We heard answers like “to create products” and “to make a lot of money” and “to create jobs for employees.”
Those were all the first answers that certainly came to my mind also. After all, I enjoy building CRM products. I enjoy making money. I enjoy creating jobs. That’s why I’m in business, right? But as Gerhard pointed out, what you sell, how you make money and who you employ are byproducts of the true purpose of a company.
As Gerhard rightly said, companies exist to create customers. It’s that simple. Without customers, companies don’t exist. If a company listens to its customers, it will create the right products. If a company listens to its customers, it will market and sell those products to its customers. If a company listens to its customers, delivers the right products and markets and sells those products well, it will then make a lot of money. And if the company is doing all that, then its certainly employing people. So, the purpose of a company is simply to create customers…happy customers, new customers, many customers.
I bet you’re saying right now, “Wow, that’s a different way of looking at my business.” You bet it is. It’s all about putting the customer at the center of your thinking. However after decades of books, seminars, webinars, panels, white papers and countless hours of discourse dedicated to this topic, many companies still struggle with how to put the customer at the center of their business planning.
It’s this core concept, the purpose of a company is to create customers, which I’m going to use as the launchpad for a series of posts focused on CRM Success. The next installment in this series will describe your roadmap for CRM Success…where you are at, where you are going and how you get there (spoiler alert! SugarCRM is a big part of how you get there.)