If we accept that knowledge of a customer is a critical part of your goods or service offer, then CRM is a key differentiator and a key to business survival.
With product & price innovation driving increasing competitiveness, all business need to ensure they become indispensable to their clients or risk losing to others. However, differentiating on services like "great customer support" is only as valuable as the customer views them to be.
So, the more a company knows about a customer’s needs - profile, history, needs and more - and tailors its offer accordingly, the greater the value it can be to that customer. And, if a customer places a high value on your knowledge of their needs, then the idea of them switching away from you as a supplier is reduced. Good service and valuable insight, through use of CRM strategies, can help retain a customer (and their value) for a longer period of time.
Such accurate knowledge can be attained when a CRM strategy is implemented with integration [to whatever other systems that will help form a relevant picture], providing up a "joined up view" - a true foundational system for everyone in your business. Quite simply delivering a complete view of the customer, easily accessed by the many departments that deal with your customer's business.
A good CRM implementation facilitates joined-up thinking, and from this, genuine value can be delivered. It enables individuals from all a business' departments to access the "right" information - so there are no mistakes about who customers are, what they need, and how valuable they are to the business.
Unsurprisingly, this same capability also saves CRM users time in looking for and inputting data and frees up management time to actually act on the information. A successful outcome for all stakeholders.