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Do You Know More About Your Customers in 2021?

This article features highlights from an interview with Anthony Smith, the Founder and CEO of Insightly. Insightly leads customer relationship management (CRM) innovation for growing businesses by connecting sales, marketing and delivery in one secure and easy-to-use platform.

A recent survey of 500 decision-makers, commissioned by Insightly, indicated that customer relationship management, data management and customer insights are the most important priorities for business leaders across a wide variety of industries, ranging from IT services and finance to construction and manufacturing.

“Businesses are finally recognizing the role comprehensive customer insights play in building lasting connections that can sustain good times and bad,”

Anthony Smith, Founder and CEO of Insightly

In this chaotic era, with plenty of people still working from home, it’s not surprising to learn that many companies are embracing customer relationship management (CRM) to more deeply understand their customers. Recently, even the scientific community has discovered the power of the CRM, using it for some Covid-19 contact tracing initiatives. And if a CRM can competently trace and store data on hundreds of thousands of people exposed to Covid-19, don’t you think it could be an effective tool keeping up with your own customers?

“The last year forced companies to rethink how they do business just as it forced customers to rethink who they are doing business with.”

– Anthony Smith

Ultimately, using a CRM doesn’t just mean tracking a pipeline of leads, it means treating each customer like the only customer: timely communication, personalized content, information gathering, data analytics. Along with marketing automation generally, using a CRM is for a forward-focused company with lots of creativity and ambition.


Most notably, the survey also indicated that for the 500 businesses polled, more than half of them (58%) plan to invest more in marketing in 2021 based on their increased knowledge of their customers. As we have always said at TopRight, the acronym “CRM” really stands for “Can’t Replace Marketing.”

While many companies struggle with growth, those with CRM software move fast and move to the top right quadrant in the markets where they compete with annual increases in sales, conversions, and customer retention rates.

“When all customer-facing teams share data and insights with each other and on a consistent basis, the customer experience can be optimized across the entire customer journey. As a result, more meaningful connections can be made and customer acquisition and engagement can be improved.”

– Anthony Smith

Put simply, Customer Relationship Management is a platform with a set of digital tools and techniques that businesses use to optimize and maximize customer connections.

Here are the top three tips from Insightly to help businesses establish stronger connections with customers:

1. Combine and Conquer

Integrating all parts of the customer journey is critical now more than ever before, and that begins with breaking down walls within your own organization. Sales, marketing and customer service should have full transparency into what each other is doing in order to ensure a cohesive customer experience.

2. Avoid Email Overload

When it comes to communicating with your customers, keep in mind that digital fatigue is real, especially on the heels of 2020. Avoid mass mailers and instead, focus on personalizing your correspondence so that it is meaningful and less likely to get lost in the shuffle of daily digital downloads. With that, acknowledge the state of the world and think through the challenges that particular customer is facing right now in order to offer helpful insights and connections that matter and will sustain beyond the pandemic.

3. Put People First

Remember that it’s not just about closing the sale (and in reality, it never was). In 2021, customers want genuine connections and those cannot be established with a signature or built overnight. A strong approach to sales this year starts with “humanizing” the approach. Be helpful and offer support, consider delivering “free advice” via useful, original or curated content. Show customers and prospects that you are aware of their unique challenges and are investing in their success.

The Takeaway

The promises of a great CRM have always tied in perfectly with TopRight’s 3S methodology: telling a clear and compelling story, using an effective strategy that reaches the right people at the right time, and employing systems that align marketing and sales with the rest of your organization. We’ve been so successful with it we’re shocked when other brands tell us they haven’t taken the time to integrate their own CRM into their brand. The question for you right now is: What are you waiting for?

You can click here to download an infographic of the survey findings. Sign up for our upcoming webinar, and sure to sign up for the TopRight blog! Or connect with me on Twitter and on LinkedIn. To learn more about the 3S methodology, read our best-selling book: Marketing, Interrupted.