Welcome to the Q1 2016 SugarBuzz! This quarterly newsletter from SugarCRM is all about getting the most from your Sugar investment.
The Strategic View
A More Informative CRM
Many organizations get started with CRM software by using it to perform a single discrete function, like opportunity management, pipeline reporting, lead routing, or tracking customer service requests. To accomplish a particular function, a limited set of information is stored in the CRM, and kept up to date as the system is used.
But with the right kind of CRM, you can do much more. Some of our largest and most successful customers are integrating a broad range of systems and data with Sugar to offer users a much richer, more informative tool that streamlines and enhances interactions with customers across their entire customer journey.
Using Sugar to combine information from a variety of sources and present it to users in a comprehensive way enables much deeper customer understanding and better service. Imagine integrating CRM with your Marketing Automation system. Presenting your sales teams with a history of the interactions your prospects have had with marketing content can help them better understand the prospect’s interests. At the same time, feeding sales information back to marketing can help drive better campaign targeting.
Or imagine an integration that triggers automated alerts when events occur that are related to prospects and customers -- like downloading a whitepaper, stock price movement, or nearing contract renewal time. Alerts could advise employees on next best actions to take to make sure all your customer facing personnel are taking the right actions at the right time.
The key is to bring together information that can increase your sales, marketing, and service teams’ understanding and enable them to make better decisions. The good news is that Sugar makes it easy to tap into virtually any information source, so you have deeper insight, seamless interactions, and happier customers. Read on for some practical tips and examples of how you can use your CRM more strategically by making it a window into everything you need to know about your customer.
Larry Augustin, (you all know what Larry does)
I’m betting that your business uses more than one system to manage customer related information. You’ve got orders, documents, support cases, and more, that all might be owned by systems other than Sugar. Enabling your CRM users to see a more comprehensive set of customer information can deliver great benefits and insights, but data integration can sometimes give rise to synchronization problems where customer data in different systems can become duplicated, inconsistent, or out of date.
Master Data Management (MDM) is a practice that can help you avoid these problems. An MDM strategy can help you to maintain data consistency and integrity by establishing a single source for each piece of critical business information. With Sugar, you can easily provide users with access to information stored in other systems while avoiding the problems of data synchronization.
Using an iFrame integration
The iFrame is the unsung hero of application integration. With an iFrame you can embed content from external web applications into another UI. A unique strength of Sugar is the fact that you can use the current user context (such as the Account or Contact record within view) to control the information that is displayed, making it more relevant to the user. And your users will always view the latest data because they are going straight to the source.
Using REST API to copy data
Sometimes it makes sense to copy data into Sugar, especially when you want a native experience or when a suitable UI for the master data does not exist. Importing data into the Sugar database enables you to take advantage of the benefits of the Sugar platform: access control, reportability, customizable layouts, dashlets.
A good way to get started is to bring in the data as read-only. This will help avoid the headache of resolving data conflicts. Just use the Sugar REST API to copy master data as it changes straight into Sugar. You can then use Role Management to lock down this data—users can get the insights they need but will need to go to the source to change the information. The Sugar REST API can be used to implement bi-directional synchronization which would allow your users to edit the data in Sugar as well but that’s a topic for another day.
Matt Marum, Lead Developer Advocate (and also a developer’s joy)
Did you miss the IBM webinar last week?
Watch it now on demand!
IBM is using CRM to provide its sales organization with a comprehensive view of the customer. They’ve accomplished this by integrating Sugar with a broad range of enterprise systems and data sources—contact databases, product catalogs, account information, email, business analytics to name just a few. Find out how they did it and how they are using this more informative CRM to enhance marketing productivity, sales performance, and customer satisfaction.
Experts from IBM and SugarCRM share:
- How IBM improved sales efficiency by combining 10+ data sources into a single intuitive interface
- The technical challenges associated with large-scale data integration and roll-out to 85,000 users
- The business benefits of creating an information-rich CRM system
Jay Fiore, VP Corporate Marketing (LOVES slides)
You might have seen Sugar in your favorite business or CRM publication, or even on a video billboard in New York’s Times Square. We have been challenging the status quo, and prompting individuals to discover a different kind of CRM. Special appearances on prime time television include New Year’s Rockin’ Eve in the United States, and Germany’s Next Top Model.
Andrew Staples, Senior PR Manager (knows everything before anyone else)
Featured Customer: Marathon Sports
Informative CRM drives 225% increase in sales
Marathon Sports is the largest sportswear and athletic equipment retailer serving the west coast of Latin America. As a proud sponsor of Ecuador’s national soccer team, the business is dedicated to turning people’s passion for sports into fierce brand loyalty.
Marathon Sports used Sugar to transform their database of more than 1 million customer ID numbers – and nothing more – into a rich resource to drive excitement, sales, and satisfaction. Find out how they implemented Sugar software as a central hub for customer data and automated key business processes to drive customer loyalty programs, cross-sell/up-sell, event marketing with SMS invitations, gamification based on consumer preferences, social media promotions, and more.
- Enriched their database of 1 million customers with contact information and preferences
- Saw a 225% increase in customer purchases during monthly promotions
- Grew average annual purchases from $67 to $152
Come to SugarCon to hear more from Marathon Sports Chief Customer Officer, Jaime Morillo, as well as other Sugar customers. If you are interested in becoming a Sugar reference, contact email@example.com.
Rebecca Jukoski, Director Customer Marketing and Advocacy (and put the newsletter together)
The SugarCon 2016 App Throwdown
SugarCon is just around the corner and that means it’s time for another round of the App Throwdown. If you’re not yet familiar, this is our annual friendly competition to showcase the coolest, most useful, and most innovative extensions of the Sugar platform. Nominations for this year's App Throwdown are officially open.
Here’s how to participate: Customers, developers, or partners who have built cool solutions using Sugar can write a quick blog post with a video in the Sugar Community highlighting their app. This year's solution categories are: Customer Engagement, User Productivity, Customer Insight, and Mobile CRM/Internet of Things. When submissions close on May 13, the Sugar leadership team will pick four winners (one from each category). These "Best in Class" winners will compete on SugarCon's main stage for the coveted "Best in Show" award, which is chosen live by our attendees.
This year you’ll have even more influence over who wins the "Best in Show" award. You can see App Throwdown entries on the Sugar Community and "Like" your favorite app. Make sure you’re logged in to pick your favorites. When submissions close, the entry with the most "Likes" will be designated "Community Favorite" and will be invited to show their stuff under the bright lights of SugarCon's main stage!
Head on over to the App Throwdown pages in Sugar Community to learn more about the competition and how you can participate. Make sure to follow the page so you're notified when new entries are posted!
Mark Weitzel, Senior Director, Technology Alliances (loves Sugar apps and ISVs)
New live training courses are open for registration
Sugar University has been busy developing four new courses. In addition to our extensive on-line course offerings, these live, instructor-led classes are now available for registration and are open to all customers and partners. They’re a great way to build your competence and efficiency with Sugar technology so you can immediately boost your job performance and drive results for your organization.
- Configuring Sugar Advanced Workflow
- Advanced Sugar Administration
- Advanced Sugar Development
- Essentials of Effective Sugar Implementation
Kevin Freitas, Director of Training and Enablement (thinks school is cool)
Your Success Matters Most
The CRM Maturity Model
A lot of people ask me about the factors they should consider as they plan to incorporate Sugar into their business transformation projects. These projects can differ greatly in their target use cases (sales automation, support case management, lead routing, and tracking to name a few) and in the business processes they are using, so you might be tempted to think that it’s hard to generalize best practices. While it’s true that implementation details do vary widely, we’ve developed a powerful approach for evaluating CRM maturity and for planning business transformation initiatives. We call it the CRM Maturity Model.
To build exceptional customer relationships, you need to execute better than your competition in marketing, sales and service. The CRM Maturity Model can help you identify your organization’s strengths and weaknesses in these areas, and help you to prioritize your investments in the people, processes, and systems that support your operations across these dimensions of your business.
The Systems component of the model has to do with the software applications and other technology that you will be using on the project. Sugar will obviously be part of your system for a CRM project. After systems, most people would recognize Process as an important part of a transformation project. In practice, it is quite common for the desire to improve or change a process to be the catalyst that kicks off a CRM business transformation project. Finally, we get to People. People are often the least understood or recognized part of the maturity model, and yet, the success of a project will be driven to a large degree by how well people embrace the business transformation initiative.
At SugarCRM, we use the CRM Maturity Model to help our customers establish a baseline understanding of where they stand with regard to the people, processes and systems that support extraordinary customer relationships, and as a planning tool to help plot a path forward that will deliver step-wise improvements that enhance customer relationships over time. If you’d like to learn more about our methodology, and the kind of results we’ve helped our customers achieve by applying the CRM Maturity Model, reach out to Mitch Lieberman, Fellow, Office of the CCO.
In future issues of the SugarBuzz, I’ll cover the people, process and systems dimensions in more detail. Please stay tuned!
Remy Malan, SugarCRM Chief Customer Officer (in your corner)
Get That Worm!
Register now for SugarCon 2016! – June 13 – 16, San Francisco.
Remember, Early Bird registration ends soon. If you wait too long you’ll miss your chance to save $200 on SugarCon registration. Check out the new SugarCon website for an updated agenda, track descriptions, training and certification options, and much more.
Marco Gallo, Director, Event Marketing (routinely entertains thousands)