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All Places > SugarBuzz > 2018 > April

Mike Leatherwood,  Lead Industrial Development Manager at W.O. Grubb (and SUPER Sugar Insider) tells his story and shares some tips on CRM adoption

Carolina Industrial Trucks (CIT) is a materials-handling supplier providing forklift sales, rentals, service, parts, operator training and warehouse products.  A certified dealer for three of the world’s top forklift manufacturers, CIT operates five full-service locations in North and South Carolina.


Headquarters: Charlotte, NC



Phone: (704) 588-7388

Partner: Faye Business Systems Group


 Challenge: Improve sales and create efficiencies by implementing time-saving tools for prospecting and nurturing customer relationships.


Solution: Sugar Professional with relationship intelligence booster Hint.



  • 75 minutes saved each day per seller on prospect data capture time;
  • Central database for prospect and customer information;
  • Enhanced post-sale opportunities by improving data resources; and
  • Superior relationship intelligence compared to others in the industry


Daily Prospect Research Time Cut by Nearly 2/3s


Most companies in the materials handling business sell the same products, so finding ways to differentiate and create efficiencies are essential to growth.

When CIT needed to drive revenue, one of its steps was to implement a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform.

The Sugar Professional platform created immediate process efficiencies and improved post-sale opportunities. But CIT also experienced challenges common to organizations new to CRM: achieving widespread adoption and having sellers spend too much time (two hours daily) researching prospects.


CIT’s solution came in the form of a Sugar add-on called Hint, a relationship intelligence seine that combs websites and social media to automatically create a data-rich prospect profile that appears on a seller’s dashboard.

Hint draws from a range of public-domain data associated with a contact name and email address. It can include Twitter and Facebook profiles, and about 70 other common data sources that would be laborious for sales or marketers to research, input and collate manually.

Upon evaluating Hint, CIT quickly realized the solution was ideal for its sales reps to become more efficient at their daily tasks. Three days later, Hint was up and running.

Now, CIT sales reps are excited about using Sugar and Hint and see every day how it enhances their performance.

Prospect research time is down from two hours to 45 minutes, which enhances CIT’s ROI.

With Hint and Sugar, CIT sees a bright growth picture based on a clear prospect and customer image.

Partner: Faye Business Systems Group

Headquarters: Woodland Hills, CA

Phone: 818-280-4820 



This case study is based on information provided by Sugar Elite Partner Faye Business Systems Group.

Renowned Architectural Firm Hits It BIG with Sugar


Bjarke Ingels Group, known as BIG, is a trend-setting architectural firm with offices in the United States and Europe. Among its works are VIA 57 West, a 44-story residential high-rise, and Two World Trade Center in New York City, the LEGO House in Denmark and the Washington Redskins football stadium.

Headquarters: Copenhagen, New York City

Use case: Marketing


Partner: UpCurve Cloud

Challenge:  Centralize contact management data and make it transparent; manage projects and potential projects within one platform; drive user adoption.

Solution: Sugar Enterprise, hosted on-premise, with customizations by Sugar Elite Partner UpCurve Cloud.


  • Cost savings by restructuring databases before they grew too large to manage
  • Time savings by creating workflows that fostered transparency and enriched information-sharing
  • At-a-glance, color-keyed data via UpCurve Cloud reporting enhancements

BIG’s Growth Trend Demands a Workhorse CRM

With high profile-projects throughout Europe, North America, Asia and the Middle East, BIG’s growth was outstripping its ability to track projects and contacts.

BIG had relied on Microsoft Outlook and Excel for contact management, with no central database to hold all the information. Users couldn’t find and report in a timely way.

Leadership decided it was vital to centralize data, creating a singular place where users could access all the information. And it had to do it now; waiting could take double the time and costs to make the change.

Before implementing Sugar, BIG had a CRM marketed towards the architecture and engineering industries, but the firm scrapped it within a year. BIG had several custom configuration needs that the other CRM wasn’t built to accommodate, and it needed an Outlook integration.

Not only was the lack of a robust, enterprise-level CRM hurting business, it was dampening user enthusiasm toward any CRM.

"There was a general feeling of weariness around the subject of implementing a new CRM," says Arielle Cruz, business development manager.

A CRM for Visual People

The BIG team consists of highly visual people. They are designers by nature, visual learners and communicators, inspired by the visually stunning. 

That need played into Sugar’s wheelhouse because the business transforming platform is easily and cost-effectively customized.

In UpCurve Cloud’s hands, the Sugar Enterprise application was customized for all the color-coding BIG had used in Outlook and Excel.

When Outlook was synched to Sugar, users saw the same familiar Contact color codes.

"We love the way contacts and relationships are comprehensively linked,” says Arielle. “We can identify people who are working on a project as well as what their role is on the project, which is super important to us."  

The business development team, which kept a complex color-coded spreadsheet to track the status and type of potential projects, saw the same color indicators when it pulled reports in Sugar.

Retaining the color codes helped substantially with user adoption.

“Because everything is centralized now, we know where to find the information we’re looking for, and our work process is much faster, reliable, and more efficient,” says Arielle.

Today, BIG uses Sugar to manage a multi-country pipeline and business development activities. The marketing, business development, press and front office teams see Sugar fulfilling their original hopes for CRM functionality.

"When putting together our marketing materials, it’s been such an improvement to be able to gather general project information such as size, location and program so quickly. Without Sugar, we would end up either contacting colleagues for additional details or shuffling through several folders and emails, which took up a lot of our time," Arielle says.

BIG Will Build on its CRM Success

Riding the success of its implementation and user adoption, BIG is looking at more Sugar uses, such as adding functionality to track the firm’s exhibitions and lectures.

Arielle also wants to gain more operational insights by expanding reports and dashboard use.

"Having this centralized database creates opportunities for us to run analyses that may reveal more about our business development workflow that we hadn’t considered before,” she says.

It appears she’ll have executive-level support.

“Our tailored CRM system will ensure that BIG is able to respond to any future possibility,” says Kai-Uwe Bergmann, a BIG partner and head of business development.


This story is based on information provided by Sugar Elite Partner UpCurve Cloud.


Integrations: Outlook

Customizations: Adapted Task and Contact Modules for color-coding



UpCurve Cloud

Headquarters:  Ramsey, NJ.

Phone: (800) 775-8378