“Follow your leads from first touchpoint to revenue.”
“Close the loop between Marketing, Sales and Customer Success.”
“A 360° view on your customers.”
I could go on.
We’ve all heard the promises of CRM vendors - old ones and modern ones alike. Your CRM is where you should be able to manage the relationships with your prospects and customers effectively. Where you track everything, record every interaction, every data point. And where you can make sense of all that information, visualize it through dashboards updated in real-time, and improve your Marketing and Sales processes. Hypergrowth and ROI are just around the corner…
Except that’s not quite happening in reality. Most companies who’ve bought Pipedrive, HubSpot or even Salesforce struggle to make this vision a reality. And one of the main reasons for that is simple: I like to call it the “CRM-channel gap”.
What’s the CRM-channel gap?
CRMs are great at tracking emails, calls and activities. But today, your prospects might instead be on social media, online communities, or attend online events - where CRMs can’t quite yet know what’s going on.
If you are prospecting on LinkedIn, but none of the interactions you are having there gets recorded in your CRM, you are probably experiencing the following:
- Manual steps and a lot of context-switching that hinder the productivity of your team
- Little to no data to understand how your Sales efforts are going
- Uncoordinated efforts, two people from your Sales team might be talking to the same contact without even knowing it
- Lack of capacity to do more or innovate in your outreach tactics since everyone is too busy executing
Being stuck in this state is not an option. It is an obstacle that hinders both you and your team from selling more, and it’s costing you way more than just a few percentage points of annual growth.
No-code platforms to bridge the gap
No-code platforms are software development tools that require little to no programming knowledge to use. They allow business users to create custom integrations and applications to address their unique needs without relying on developers or IT teams.
While the first decade of the no-code movement primarily focused on early adopters building websites and MVPs, we are now witnessing the rise of no-code operators - operators leveraging these platforms to build better processes.
Within this new trend, we see a higher adoption from forward-thinking Marketing and Sales teams.
Integration platforms like Zapier or Make are now part of their survival kit because they allow them to bridge important gaps between their CRM and their acquisition channels. Building infrastructure that extends the capabilities of their Growth stack has become one of their top priorities.
For their peers who have not yet embraced this approach, this usually begs one question: is this investment really worth it?
In a fast-changing environment, advantage is temporary
In the long term, CRMs will adapt to new Sales practices and build these missing features - or they will be replaced by a competitor who does.
Why not simply wait for your tools to become better? What’s the point in hacking functionality that will likely be available for everyone in a year?
There are at least three good reasons.
First, there is no guarantee these channel features are coming anytime soon. Is it HubSpot’s priority to enable social selling on LinkedIn? Or are they chasing another opportunity? What CRMs are missing to offer you today might not be on the top of their product roadmap.
Moreover, when these are made available to everyone, it’s usually too late. Channels tend to saturate over time and there is a premium on being early.
And lastly, there will always be new channels and with them new opportunities to “being early”. Yesterday: Instagram. Today: TikTok. Tomorrow? Something else.
No-code operators have understood that and are willing to pay the price of experimentation and sometimes failed attempts - which will be compensated in the long run by the few successful projects that will give them a temporary competitive edge.
The CRM-channel gap is real for most businesses selling online - and it’s here to stay. Teams embracing no-code solutions will turn this challenge into an opportunity to create advantage.