(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.
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
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.
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.
Customizations: Adapted Task and Contact Modules for color-coding
Headquarters: Ramsey, NJ.
Phone: (800) 775-8378
Backcountry is the parent company of four business units that specialize in gear for wilderness adventures and outdoor sports, including biking, skiing, snowboarding, climbing, fly-fishing, hiking and camping. It operates: Backcountry, MotoSport, Competitive Cyclist and the Germany-based Bergfreunde. Backcountry and MotoSport use Sugar for sales, mostly B2C.
Headquarters: Park City, Utah
Other offices and manufacturing: Oregon, Virginia, Costa Rica and Germany
Use case: Sales
Challenge: Implement a Customer Relationship Management platform that has scalability, extensibility, customization options and helps improve customer relationships.
Solution: Sugar Enterprise, cloud-hosted, with integrations for ERP and marketing automation.
How a software platform changed a sales culture
There are strategic changes, and then there are small unrecognized moments that produce important outcomes and moments of clarity.
Peter Tew, senior product manager for Backcountry, an international wilderness outfitters firm in Utah, has seen both.
While he focused on increasing user adoption for the company’s new CRM, the unexpected moment of clarity came in identifying how Sugar was driving a cultural change about customer orientation.
Like many companies, Backcountry staff logged and carried out rote tasks. It sold items, set up sales calls, responded to customer inquiries and provided customer service. But the tasks lacked goals, context and customer insight.
“We’ve turned that around, and in Sugar, we have a customer-centric view of our jobs instead of a task-oriented view,” says Peter.
Backcountry sells differently today because the progressive profiling logged in Sugar gives the sales team more insight into customers and more sales opportunities.
The company also I-framed a widget in Sugar called “Outdoor Passions” that lists each customer’s hobbies, sports preferences, clothing and shoe sizes – even the customer’s last adventure.
Sales reps don’t have to open a different database to get the consumer information; it displays within Sugar when sales calls up a customer profile.
Here’s an example from Peter about how that information in Sugar leads to a sales conversation:
“Let’s say you bought hiking boots. We’re going to call and ask how they are, what you’re planning to do with them. If they are for walking around, I’ve got nothing else to say. But maybe you say you are using them to climb Kilimanjaro. Then I say, ‘I climbed Killie and there are a few things I recognized I wished I had. Would you like me to send you an email about that?’ ”
Backcountry recently tripled its sales staff.
“We wouldn’t have been able to expand our sales staff and get the returns without Sugar,” Peter says. “Now we have accurate reporting on tasks and email, and that is changing behaviors for the good.”
Finding the Right CRM Partner
Choosing a CRM – whether you are moving from an old one or implementing one for the first time – is a challenging task that must leverage C-level support.
Peter says Backcountry started with a field of about 20 candidates, then short-listed Sugar, Salesforce and MicroSoft Dynamics.
Cost-efficiency and scalability were keys, as usual.
But Sugar’s personalized, extra-mile sales approach won the deal.
“I really liked that the Sugar rep listened and proposed a solution without trying to do a lot of upsells; it was a natural process. It took two weeks to get all the stuff signed and purchased and developing,” says Peter.
“Of all the third parties of Sugar’s size or bigger that I’ve worked with, this was the smoothest experience I have ever had, and the relationship and gotten better and better,” he adds.
Backcountry and MotoSport went live with Sugar within two months.
Peter used in-house developers. They had no prior experience with CRM but found Sugar’s documentation clear and easy to follow, Peter says.
It led to that dramatic moment of proof.
“The business processing was the big thing. I knew Sugar could do it, but when I saw it happen for the first time I was like, ‘Oh, man, this could be huge for us,’ ” Peter says.
With millions of data points, being able to identify a customer by phone number or by searching the email topic filed is huge for his sales staff.
Planning the Long Journey
Already, the Backcountry business units are identifying unique ways to expand Sugar’s capabilities.
MotoSport, which sells dirt bikes and gear, is working on customizing some of the Sugar fields to accommodate more specifics about its catalog. Information such as manufacturer, make and model of its bikes.
“I know we will be finding more uses for Sugar as we grow into it,” Peter says.
LiveEngage: live chat and SMS
T-Mobile is the mobile communications subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom. The brand operates in the United States, Poland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic. In the Netherlands, where it has nearly 4 million customers, T-Mobile operates a discounted sub-brand called Ben, which targets younger users.
Challenge: Optimize customer care, support marketing, sales and dealer network, improve data management and inventory control.
Solution: Sugar Professional hosted on-site with integrations to business support and operating systems.
Results: Improved customer service response time; developed complete customer view; all customer service and transaction channels managed directly in Sugar.
One Click Empowers Customer Service
T-Mobile’s Ben cellphone brand is sleek and hip. It is priced for young, budget-minded residents of the Netherlands who think more about urls and clicks than bricks and mortar when it comes to buying phones, service or SIM cards.
The brand, which was relaunched by T-Mobile in 2008 and loosely translates in Dutch as “I am,” operates mostly in the virtual world for sales and service, although some dealers also carry the line. Because the business model is essentially digital, Ben needed a sturdy, agile Customer Relationship Management platform that empowered the customer service staff and personalized customer interactions.
Sugar gives Ben's customer service representatives an integrated customer view across all channels (call center, ecommerce, dealers, etc.) and surfaces insights that tare the basis of fast, accurate and personal responses.
Through its customer portal, Ben subscribers can place orders, look at data use and invoices, manage voicemail and even activate a new SIM card. All with customers at the helm.
The digital convenience created by the Sugar powerhouse also benefits Ben’s dealer network.
Dealers can place orders via their own portal, where they can see within a few minutes whether the order has been approved. In addition, they can integrate their website or application with Sugar via an API. This allows them to place, validate and request number portability via their own platform. Sugar generates the contract for the customer and the dealer simply downloads the form.
Sugar also makes it easy for Ben's marketing and sales staff to manage many products and packages because offers and price changes are implemented in real time.
These days, when residents of the Netherlands dial up new phone services with Ben, they get fast, customer-focused service that enhances their experience, because Ben dialed the right number with SugarCRM.
This case study is based on information provided by Sugar Elite Partner BrixCRM
Drupal, for content management
SAP, for ERP
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Headquarters: Almelo, NL
Phone: +31 88 10 20 600
You might know Agfa from its days as a maker of professional-grade camera film, but the company has evolved into a giant in the healthcare industry with its diagnostic imaging solutions.
To continue growing, the Belgium-based company needed to be a disruptor in medical imaging sales and service. So, when Agfa X-rayed its own business model, it prescribed a flexible Customer Relationship Management solution that was future-proof and adaptable worldwide.
With a payback of 15 months, the Agfa project was out of the red even before the worldwide Sugar implementation was completed. A 139% ROI also sweetened the experience.
Find out more about the Agfa success story.