How not to become a commodity

A recent survey from Bain &
Company asked 1200 global executives about their attitudes towards top
management tools and trends. A key takeaway was:

"Nearly 6 in 10 executives are concerned that their products and services are viewed as commodities,
i.e., that their value is easily replaceable by cheaper competitors."

see everyday that customers are choosing us as an alternative to the
"big dogs of CRM". The larger tools out there have become commodities
and that is a selling point for us. At we work to
make sure we don’t become a commodity. Here are a few things we do to
make sure we continue to provide value to our customers:

Pick up the Phone – Sounds basic and it is. Our customers enjoy hearing
a voice on the other end of the phone. Often times that voice is one of
the owners and we find that customers enjoy talking to the people
calling the shots. Who wouldn’t?

2. Listen –  We do our best to try to listen to customer’s needs.  We can’t always implement everything a customer wants or we would have a feature bloated product and lose our simple approach to CRM.  We believe in the long run the best
strategy is to be willing to change based on customers needs. Many
company executives are just waiting to talk as opposed to truly

3. Respond – It is stunning how many people are frustrated by
lack of attention. A key differentiator for us is to respond to
customer or new business inquiries in a timely and friendly manner.
Again, basic and simple but often the simplest things are hardest to

4.  Keep Evolving – Like with most things in life our
application is never "done". Our application is always improving and
refining. New technology, new solutions and simpler solutions are
constantly coming out. Our team looks at these new developments, ask
our customers what they need the most and then we get to work.

When companies get big, they become commodities because they can’t afford to do otherwise. How can some of the large CRM players such as SugarCRM or
achieve economies of scale without becoming a commodity? The 4 things
listed above become very hard to do affordably the larger a company
becomes. While the allure of growing huge is interesting what is more
fundamental to us is to keep our edge, winning new business and keeping
our customers.

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