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U.S. News & World Report rated us the #1 CRM

We found out some pretty big news yesterday: U.S. News and World Report put out a new ranking of CRM software, and they gave the #1 spot to Less Annoying CRM!

https://www.usnews.com/360-reviews/crm

It's a bit surreal to have such a respected publication rank us, a tiny bootstrapped business, above multi-billion dollar competitors like Salesforce, Hubspot, and Pipedrive. We've won awards before for things like "best low-cost CRM" or "best CRM specifically for small businesses" but this is the first time we've been named the best overall, and it's probably the most reputable source that has ever written about us.

A few notes:

How did we make this happen?
Honestly, we didn't do much directly. The editor of this CRM review did reach out to us while they were writing it just to check some facts and whatnot, but we didn't do anything to initiate this. However, we put a lot of energy into getting lots of reviews on sites like G2 and Capterra, and we've worked to get some reviews from other publications such as PC Mag. I strongly suspect that if we hadn't done all that legwork, we wouldn't even have been on the radar for this new review. So depending on how you look at this, it either took close to zero effort, or it was multi-year process of reputation-building.

How might this help the business?
I'm not totally sure yet. If nothing else, it's been a fun thing for the team to celebrate. I think that founders normally don't need outside validation to stay motivated, but things like this can make employees feel even more pride in where they work.

It should also generate a bit of inbound interest in our product. It remains to be seen how much (since it's a brand new review, it isn't currently highly ranked in Google, but that might change given how big of a website USN&WR is). It's already driving a bit of traffic to our site that we can track, and presumably there's some that we can't track.

I'm learning that there's a PR opportunity here. We've never really had a major PR event before, but we have some advisers who think we can use this story (tiny CRM most people have never heard of beats Salesforce) to get other publications to write about us. I'm always a bit skeptical of PR, but this seems like as good a chance as any to see how it works, so we're going to give it a shot.

More important than any of that (in my opinion) is that this lets us instantly demonstrate credibility. Whether you're a lead who stumbles upon our site or a candidate thinking about applying for a job, hearing that U.S. News & World Report rated us as the best CRM in the world should instantly take you from "I've never heard of this company" to "Ok, I guess they're legit". So even if this doesn't generate a ton of new interest in our product, it should help us convert the people who are already looking at us.

Time will tell how big of a deal this is, but no matter what, it feels great to be recognized, and it's given the team a nice reason to celebrate.

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