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Every SugarCon is an event of the year for us, and this one was the best so far! So many truly exciting things at the same time. Exchanging new ideas, listening to keynotes from experienced field professionals- gurus in Sales, CRM and IT. Networking opportunities with customers and partners, new friends and direct feedback. All this is priceless especially when handled in a fun way! Our team got really busy with all of the follow-ups these weeks, and I just love it!



I’d like to share some of the key things learned:

  1. While having lots of focus on disruptive technology and innovation, Sugar team is also reminding us about the importance of existing relationships and recurring customers. Quoting Larry Augustine: “Did you know it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one? Statistics tell us that you are 14 times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect.” It is natural to pursue new customers but retaining existing customers and building long-lasting relationships is invaluable as in most cases new customers will value the feedback of your existing ones.
  2. I am a big fan of Sugar Hint, which searches the web for additional information on users and pulls it into Sugar and thus saving you a lot of manual work. New additions to Hint will deliver proactive and configurable customer alerts for signals and interesting moments, including funding, personnel changes, general company announcements and M&A activity.
  3. New awesome functionality available in the latest Sugar release for:
    • Quotes Configuration
    • New Data Visualizations
    • Advanced Workflows
      Video overview
  4. It was great to hear live feedback on highly requested IT Sapiens Analytic Reporting Tool features by customers, which extend the Sugar core functionality:

    • Common filters are often required, in order to be able to easily see results by team, region, user or a product group across several charts at the same time.
      With our new dashboard solution this is available along with fancy chart types like gauge, funnel, geographic charts and 3-axes chart (where you can add different scales together like count and amount of opportunities and see how they correlate together over the time).
    • It often takes a lot of effort to put reports together to be printed and look good. With IT Sapiens Analytic Reporting Tool you can get a really nice PDF report output containing several summary tables in your own preferred style using Excel for templates. Once a template is created, you can forget about it, as it can be easily scheduled regularly via e-mail as PDF or Excel, saving you a lot of time.
    • Snapshots and Historical Data – business trends over the time:
    • Calls, Meetings, Tasks and Emails available in the same report: both detailed list and summary.
    • Our customers are happy as they have a lot of power creating various reports without a need to be a programmer. With our easy to use interface you can create summaries, charts and report layouts, even add your own calculations.
  5. Cooperation & networking
    Most of all I actually learn and get inspired by those informal talks to experienced, wise people – so many of them are all gathered together at the same place, I want to catch every minute of it! Cooperation is one of the key success factors in every business, and seeing success in helping each other brings joy to your soul.
    “Eventually it is all about people” SugarCRM people say,– it is something, what the worlds smartest and most successful and independent people usually say as well. No matter how smart, strong, wealthy or independent you are, it is always important to have good people around you. SugarCRM and SugarCon is is definitely the place to find them! Happy to be at the right place.


“Enterprise Mobility.” If you run an organization yourself, there are chances that you might have heard this term. And if you have not, it is time you acquaint yourself with the significant role it plays for large and small enterprises. As businesses of today are growing at a very rapid pace, customer relationship management applications have also gone mobile. Moreover, they can efficiently cope with the needs of on-the-go sales executives.

 

It is very important to note here that the functionality of mobile CRM is not just confined to giving access to data on the move. It goes way beyond the “mobile access” part of it. In case, you are planning to adopt a Mobile CRM for your your organization, you must make sure that it serves certain major functionalities. So, let us try to know about:

 

3 major functionalities that your CRM mobile App should serve:

 

Taking Quick Actions

We thrive in the 21st century and the customers of today are more empowered than ever. So, offering excellent product and services is quite mandatory. But what’s more important is  connecting with your customers and understanding their needs. Be it through calls, messages, emails, or social media. Go for an app that enables you to search/locate the prospects and connect with them easily. You should also be easily reachable to your customers and promptly reply to their messages.

 

Enabling your CRM users to connect with their customers not only adds value to their experience but also gives them feedbacks on how to improve.

 

Check-in/Check Out of Meetings

Attending meetings is a very crucial and constant part of sales process. And as the sales employees are always on the move, it becomes difficult for them to keep these records. A superior quality mobile CRM app helps you to check in with your visits. As soon as the meetings get over, the location gets recorded in the CRM. As the application links the check-in/check outs to the meetings, calls and task, you can find all the details in the check-in module. In case you miss checking in, you can also do it manually later.

 

A facility like this makes it easy for CRM users to create and keep the records of customers and keeps their co-workers and team members informed about meetings in real-time.

 

Easy Follow-up Feature

A common saying in sales says, “The fortune is in the follow-up.” There are several reasons why salespeople resist in following up. One of the major reasons is that they tend to forget. Sometimes they forget the purpose of follow up and sometimes they miss the deadlines. Moreover, the conventional ways of making notes and remembering data is quite exhaustive. A CRM mobile app must have follow-up feature which sends reminders on time and keeps the history of customer interactions.

 

Other Features

Apart from the features that we have mentioned above, you can also get other features like sending attachments by clicking pictures, uploading documents from mobile device to CRM, searching records and changing the language into a preferable one etc. And then you can find the best CRM mobile apps.

 

Winding Up…

If you want to adopt better practices to enhance your customer relationships, you can consider using TapCRM.

SugarCon is well and truly behind us and its left a lot for us to digest in its wake. The two day extravaganza was full of intuitive thought-provoking keynotes and immersive breakout sessions that brought all things SugarCRM to the heart of Las Vegas. Following the theme of the event, SugarCon focused on the future of CRM in light of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Technical discussions on how to leverage the most out of CRM ran concurrently as SugarCon 18 made good on its promise,  as one of the biggest CRM events of the year!

SugarCon

Rolustech was there in Las Vegas as the Official Sponsors of SugarCon and introduced a number of SugarCRM plugins and industry solutions to the delight of those in attendance. Read on for our highlights from SugarCon 2018.

Keynote Speeches

The keynote speakers all had very insightful things to say. The event was kickstarted by Maribel Lopez (Lopez Research) who emphasized on the importance of customer relationships for successful business model. She highlighted how CRM has made this task considerably easier and leveraging the most out of it is the key to effective business relationships. The highlight of her speech was a metaphor all the way from Anchiano, Italy; she explained how Da Vinci mastered his craft in a number of disciplines and continued to collaborate well after this milestone and the way forward for the world of technology is along the same lines.

The second keynote speech was given by Leonard Brody (Clarity Digital Group), who pulled things from the 15th century to the forefront of today’s day and age. He highlighted how the world has evolved at a more rapid pace in the last century than it has over the past millennium, and that it may all look and seem good but comes with threats and disruptions of its own. Keeping humanity and industry both in view is crucial for innovations and developments that are both sustainable and effective.

Attendees had to wait until Day 2 to hear David Rowan (WIRED) share his two bits on innovation and technology. He took to stage with a round of applause to share his extensive knowledge in the industry. David talked about how innovations are a result of a process and for organizations to tap into that, they need to have an environment that emanates innovation. He emphasized on how constant evolution is the only way forward. The theme of the future resonated in each of the keynote speeches as those in attendance were left in awe.

You can find a detailed account and history on the keynote speakers in our SugarCon 2018 preview.

SugarCon Products

There was a dedicated Sugar Learning area where you could get a sneak-peek into the products and features still under development or due to be released. Safe to assume, we made sure to pay a visit. Multiple SugarCRM products were available at multiple demo booths. Three things particularly caught our eye;

SugarCRM Hint Update

SugarCRM Hint has a fresh new update on its way with an Insights dashlet. This dashlet consolidates news for the Accounts module to streamline processes. With this update, you can also choose to enable alerts i.e. push notifications.

Quotes Customization

When this update rolls out, SugarCRM administrators will be able to add custom fields to the Quotes module (keep your eyes on this one!)

Project Dossier

Project Dossier will leverage AI to improve business relationships. It can optimize day to day processes by providing you insightful details and data on your contacts.

PitchFest!

Enough shindigs, let’s talk about Rolustech. Rolustech took to stage for the inaugural PitchFest by introducing three new amazing plugins and industry solutions. All six of these new products leverage the SugarCRM platform in unprecedented ways and were well received by those in attendance.

sugarcon 2018

RT Stiki Notes

RT StikiNotes is a FREE utility plugin that lets you take sticky notes inside SugarCRM. These StikiNotes can be linked with any record and can also be used to put reminders and priority tasks in order; just like regular sticky notes, but only better.

RT Personalize

RT Personalize adds a touch of personality to your Sugar. This plugin gives the user the ability to choose personalized typography and themes, and is available with all Sugar versions. You can also get SugarCRM custom login screens and more

RT SugarStripe

RT SugarStripe is a payment handling plugin that streamlines and optimizes your payment receiving processes. Simply use this plugin to track, split and secure your payments in a simple and easy way.

Rolustech also introduced 3 new SugarCRM Industry Solutions for Construction, Fitness, and Legal industries.

SugarCRM Industry Solutions

The Rolustech Booth!

As is customary in every SugarCon, Rolustech set up its booth to showcase its new products and provided demos to all those in the queue. The Rolustech booth this year had a number of interesting giveaways and surprises that made it the talk of the Cosmopolitan. During the course of SugarCon, a vast number of people paid visit to the Rolustech booth including Donna Ewart, The Fanatical Labs, Charles Hicks and more, capping off one of our busiest SugarCon in recent history!   

It’s been about a week since I left SugarCon 2018 in Las Vegas. I wanted to take a step back and have time to reflect on what I learned at the show. There is so much innovation and change coming, what does it mean for us?

Here are the top ideas I learned at SugarCon 2018:

1. Sugar Fall ’18 is here and ready to go.

Sugar announced its newest update is here with features, including:

  • Quotes module user interface configuration
  • Reports integrated with data visualization
  • Revenue line items in preferred currencies
  • Advanced workflow recipient list

Here is a YouTube video link for more information.

Overall, Sugar is focusing on moving away from a transactional-based Legacy CRM, and moving to a modern CRM that instead puts the relationship aspect back into customer relationship management.

2. Peer reviews are now more important than ever.

Vendors have less control of the buyers’ first impression and the result of a bad service experience is multiplied. Why? Because peer reviews are now the most trusted source of information on a purchase and continue to rise in importance.

In fact, 84 percent of buyers said they seek input from peers and existing users, while 57 percent do so within the first three months of the buying process before ever talking to the vendor they are buying from.

3. Focus on recurring customers.

There is so much effort in gaining prospects. While that is important, did you know it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one?

Statistics tell us that you are 14 times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect.

Don’t forget to put focus on the customers you already have!

4. Technology is allowing us to work less, not more.

We are now more digitally connected than ever before. It’s a common thought that because of this connectivity, we are working more now than ever. Leonard Brody broke it down for us, showing us that we are actually working less.

Annual hours

5. Toothpaste isn’t just toothpaste.

“Innovation that you don’t have access to is toothpaste left in the tube.” — Zac Sprackett, vice president, DevOps at SugarCRM.

When Zac took the stage at SugarCon 2018, no one would expect that a big takeaway would involve toothpaste. He asked what size toothpaste tube you buy. Because if you buy the big tube, you are saying you don’t believe that there will be any innovation with toothpaste in the time you are using the product.

Think about this in terms of your technology and it’s a game changer.

Intelestream is an Elite Partner of SugarCRM. Interested in more information? Let’s schedule a demo or start a free trial!

Soon into your CRM adventures, you’ll realize it’s more of a bittersweet ride. There are numerous challenges that you need to overcome to ensure a smooth running of your CRM. But what if I told you there’s a certain CRM that can take care of all the hassle for you? Enter SugarCRM. SugarCRM can take care of all your CRM challenges so you can focus your attention on your sales and service teams.

Let’s take a look at 4 unique ways SugarCRM solves CRM Challenges. (Also take a look at these Common Myths about SugarCRM)

Simplified Third-Party Integrations

Third-Party Integrations are important for businesses because they provide essential functionality crucial for business processes. Sugar stands up to the mark in more ways than one. SugarCRM is that one kid in high school who’s friends with everybody. Sky’s the limit when it comes to what software you can integrate with SugarCRM. From Quickbooks to DocuSign to our very own SugarCRM Plugins, Sugar sits well with all. The simplification of these integrations allows endless customizations that ensure your CRM is capable of handling all your business needs. Whether it’s consolidating all your information and data in one place or bringing a functionality to the front on your SugarCRM, everything can be achieved rather easily.

Data Protection and Security

SugarCRM was one of the first CRM platforms to enforce GDPR compliance and has actively been leading the front for privacy management and data protection. SugarCRM comes with numerous components that help you sort out roles and provide access accordingly. With SugarCRM, you can define privileges and give access to team members and managers differently, depending upon predefined requirements. Organizations tend to grow exponentially with a CRM in place and thus need their security and privacy issues sorted out. SugarCRM employs mechanisms to ensure you never have to worry about security and protection.

Scalability

As previously mentioned, CRM often serves as a platform for rapid growth in organizations. You want a CRM that’s capable of handling an expansion when the time comes. Migration to a large platform is not financially or practically feasible. With SugarCRM, you get a CRM that can be scaled according to the needs of your business. Designed keeping large businesses in mind, SugarCRM works efficiently for both small business and large enterprises alike. Hop onto Sugar as a startup and never worry about your CRM again.

We at Rolustech use the most effective Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL) tools to make migrations easy and seamless. If you’re looking for a SugarCRM Migration, contact us for a free consultation session.

CRM Adoption Issues

Making your organization adopt a CRM and come up to speed can be a daunting task to undertake. It’s also one of the biggest reasons that render organizations incapable of maximizing returns after a CRM implementation. SugarCRM helps with the adoption process with its simple and easy usability features that are readily understandable. With SugarCRM, you don’t have to worry about CRM adoption in your organization.

Be sure to check out the original post and visit the Rolustech Blog for more content like this! 

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away….

 

Star Wars Title Animation

 

The Star Wars franchise holds a special place in our hearts and, while some of the more recent movies and characters (I’m looking at you, Jar Jar) have a more divided fandom, it’s fairly safe to assume the old trilogy has made our childhood even better as we were rooting for Luke Skywalker to blow up the Death Star in Episode IV: A New Hope.

 

 

But, as we’re all grown up now, we often wonder: what if the Death Star never got destroyed? Could its weak point have been discovered and fixed by the time the Rebel Alliance struck? How would the Star Wars Universe look today? And, more importantly, the age-old question we’ll try to find an answer to in this blog post - could CRM have saved the Death Star?

 

Since the Galactic Empire’s Death Star is not exactly your run-of-the-mill business - they are using it to destroy planets, after all - an out-of-the-box CRM would not suffice. They would need a customizable solution that can be molded according to their planetary destruction needs, such as Sugar. Disclaimer: we do not condone the usage of Sugar to keep track of how many planets you’ve disintegrated.

 

With that being said, let’s investigate how the Death Star’s weakness could have been reported and potentially fixed using Cases in Sugar.

 

Open a Case, You Must

 

During a routine battle simulation, one of the Empire’s promising officers, Jude Edivon, noticed something odd: one of the Death Star’s thermal exhaust ports was left exposed. While still small in size, the exhaust ports lead directly to the station’s reactor core and a skilled enough pilot could fly through the Meridian Trenches and fire a few projectiles through it - like a set of proton torpedoes, for instance.

 

Since the Death Star has a crew of about 1,200,000 personnel and a width of 99.5 miles, it would have been difficult to find the station’s leader, Grand Moff Tarkin, in a timely fashion. Fortunately, the Death Star uses Sugar’s Cases module to report any problems, technical or otherwise, through various station sectors. Thus, Jude logged into Sugar, selected Cases from the Navigation Bar, and clicked the Create button to create a new case.

 

Creating a new case in SugarCRM

 

As this was a matter of utmost importance, Jude assigned the case to Grand Moff Tarkin and marked it as being High Priority.

 

Opening a new case in SugarCRM

 

As Tarkin received the notification about Jude’s case, he decided to investigate. As he only wanted to track new issues and cases that were currently being worked on, his filter in the Cases module only displayed records with New and In Progress values for the Status field.

 

Case record in SugarCRM's List View

 

The Grand Moff noticed the new Engineering case assigned to him. This must’ve been urgent, as Jude Edivon bypassed the standard procedure of assigning technical cases to the engineers’ group user.

 

He took a quick glance at the record’s detail by pressing the Preview button. As he read its description, it became clear to him this request must go directly to Raith Sienar, one of the Death Star’s creators. Tarkin clicked the Edit button in the Preview Pane, then re-assigned the case to Raith.

 

Editing a case record in SugarCRM using the Preview Pane in List View

 

Using Sugar’s Automated Processes, Raith would regularly receive emails about his open cases so that this critical case would not be forgotten!

 

Hopefully, we will see this scenario played out in the next remastered edition of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope!

 

Should you have any questions about Sugar that do not involve building a gargantuan space station to blow up planets, contact us today!

 

Note: the Galactic Empire’s Sugar instance had its interface updated with our Theme Customizer.

 

This blog post originally appeared on UpCurve Cloud's Blog.

Have you ever wanted to send and receive text messages with Sugar? We did too, which is why we built our Sugar Messaging Module: Sugar Messaging powered by Ytel.

Sugar Messaging is an SMS messaging integration for Sugar users that can send personalized text messages to the people in your Sugar database. With Sugar Messaging you can create rich SMS messaging without a single line of code.

Using Sugar Messaging, you can do all kinds of cool stuff, including:

 

  • Send and receive automated, customized SMS messages from the Messages Module.
  • Send customized SMS messages to Leads and Contacts associated with a Campaign.
  • Message one on one with Contacts from their Sugar record page.
  • Send group texts.
  • Send texts via workflows.
  • View texts in the Messages Sub-Panel.

 

SMS is projected to be one of the fastest growing marketing channels by 2020, with 48.7 million consumers receiving SMS business messages and mobile phone users grow to over five billion worldwide.

Our Sugar Messaging module allows Sugar customers to use SMS as a core avenue to engage with prospects and customers. Sugar users can now send one to one SMS messages to a lead or create a contact list “on the fly” and have conversations over text without leaving the CRM. It also will provide marketers the ability to send targeted messages in bulk as a part of campaigns and workflows.

Visit https://fayebsg.com/sugarcrm-sms-messaging/ to see an on-demand demo and view pricing information.

Pictures are worth 1,000 words, we have heard that before. So, should we try to make everything a picture?  Well, it depends on what you are trying to convey. Understanding data sometimes requires filtering or moving fields around to try and make sense of what you have.

 

But ultimately if you can leverage visuals to quickly gain an understanding, assess situations, know where to focus and spend more time selling, it would be valuable. The human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than text.1 Let’s look a bit closer at what you might gain from a visual in an opportunity.

 

Picture represents engagement, influence and role of buyers at the table in an opportunity.

 

In the Accent CRM Supercharger visualization of an opportunity, your digital assistant provides a picture of a buying team seated at the table. We can quickly look and see a few things happening with this opportunity:

 

  1. There are 4 buyers associated with this opportunity
  2. Two of them are strongly engaged and two are moderately engaged (green and yellow respectively)
  3. Two of them have a moderate level (2-stars) of influence on this deal, while the other two have a high level (3-star) of influence on this deal.
  4. The individual with the trophy is your champion
  5. The two individuals with the $ are your economic buyers
  6. As you hover over a buyer, you can get additional details. Last outreach, average response time and response rate.

 

As a sales rep, you might say this looks healthy as on opportunity or decide to reach out to the more influential buyer to engage them a bit more.  But ultimately and regardless of the action – a more accurate assessment can be made of this opportunity while planning with a quick decision on how much time to focus on it or move to the next one.

 

Without a sales rep having to do anything, the CRM Supercharger digital assistant painted an information-rich picture of the opportunity.  This is only the beginning.

 

Andy - Accent Technologies, Inc.

1 www.t-sciences.com/news/humans-process-visual-data-better

Whether you’re upgrading from a homegrown customer relationship management (CRM) system or switching from one software provider to another, knowing exactly how to migrate your CRM can be a challenge.

But you can take comfort in knowing that most current CRM systems allow you to export the data from the application. From there, you can import the data, but to make a smooth transition, many steps are still required.

Wondering if it’s time to reboot your system? Find out how to know for sure here. 

While the implementation process can seem overwhelming, it doesn’t have to be. There are helpful tools out there, and there are experts available who can make the transition less chaotic and stressful.

For a detailed walkthough, download our CRM Migration Checklist.

Here are 10 tips for a successful CRM migration.

1. Set Goals and Understand What You Want

This tip seems simple, but it can often be overlooked. Whether you outgrew your old system or need a price change, you’re migrating your system for a reason. Before you dive headfirst into a CRM project, understand what you want your system to do.

Talk to your team about the functionalities your old system was missing, and the improvements they’d like to see. And make sure you aren’t duplicating your problems with the old system in the new one.

2. Prepare Your Team.

Migrating your CRM is a big deal. It will affect multiple departments, including all the people in them. There will be changes, training, and more training. So set realistic expectations for your CRM migration

3. Get Your Team to Buy In

Create a roadmap for the integration, and facilitate buy-ins. Most importantly, make sure everyone involved understands his or her role. If your team isn’t onboard with the migration, then it’s going to be a bumpy road.

4. Manage Customized Fields

One of the best things about CRM systems is that they’re highly customizable. While this perk is extremely helpful for your business, migrating your CRM requires a time commitment.

5. Make a Backup Plan

As you move forward, it’s important to know where you came from. So make a backup plan to ensure that you can always go back if you hit a snag along the way. You don’t want to have to start from scratch.

6. Cleanup Data

Before you start migrating your CRM, make sure your data is ready for transfer. It’s the perfect time to do some housecleaning, and get rid of some legacy data.

7. Understand How to Migrate Additional Content

Migrating additional content (such as attachments, emails, and history records) might not be as simple as entering information into standard fields. If you’re handling the migration yourself, using a migration tool, or working with an outside vendor, make sure you understand how this data transfers over.

8. Double-Check to Make Sure You Didn’t Forget Anything

Did you forget something? Do you need to export a contact list? Are you missing a functionality you were hoping for? Speak now, or forever hold your peace.

9. Perform a Test

This step might be the most important one. Don’t jump too far, too fast. To make the transition as smooth as possible, you should do multiple rounds of testing with your team. Then you can work out the kinks before you go live.

10. Partner with an Expert

Even with the most valuable internal resources, migrating your CRM system can still be a challenge. My best advice is to partner with an expert, who can walk you through the migration process and train your team, especially your technical support.

Are ready to migrate? Or do you just have questions about what your next step is? Either way, contact us today!

Most of the time, customers avoid to answer surveys thinking it would eat up their valuable time. Are the organizations sending questionnaires and considering responses on the serious note? When it’s all about the big data, ignorance has no room. Survey can be a game changer if done correctly. Manage the contact list to build the strategies and decisions creating win-win situation!

 

We have analyzed the market scenario and listed some of the reasons responsible for low response rates of any survey.

Questions that Lets you Think on your Surveys Strategy

Have you built your Target Market Efficiently?

In several cases, the ultimate reason of receiving low response rate is, the target market built is either inappropriate or holding incorrect contacts. Send customer feedback survey to helpful contacts by shrinking down the contact list for obtaining accurate survey results. If you are including customer centric questions in the survey, exclude the non-customer contacts like CEOs, managers, secretaries etc. 

 

Have you involved your Customers in your Findings?

Involve your customers in the business specific surveys is #rule1 to make any marketing campaign successful. They are the important aspect of your sales cycle. Integrating them in the survey by letting them know your business plans and forthcoming strategies will ultimately help you offer them better customer satisfaction. Integrating customers will boost sales of the organizations seeking extensive growth and better business future.

 

Have you Chosen Correct Questions?

Have you included the right and helpful questions in your questionnaire? Proper market research will let you prepare effectual survey questionnaire. It will get you the best and effective response from valuable customers. Keep the questions short and easy to understand.

 

Have your Sent the Survey at the Right Time?

You need to send the survey at the right time as it is important to know your customers when they are at their best. Inappropriate time may get you either wrong or non-desirable results. Considering the target market, set the time to send the survey questionnaire.

 

Prevent poor survey results affecting the business decision. Avoid making common mistakes to boost your sales with inaccurate customer feedbacks. Identify the reasons that spoil your customer surveys before it increases the count of unhappy customers.

CRM Return On Investment (ROI) is a complex topic. Many organizations are simply using ROI calculations to spice up presentations and aren’t using ROI metrics as a proven, valuable and trackable metric. Earlier this year, we heard Rebecca Watterson, of Nucleus Research, speak about CRM ROI at CRM Evolution 2018. Her organization uses research and innovation to construct a trusted CRM ROI calculation---and her ideas really stuck with us.

So what is the return on CRM? Surprisingly, it’s a flat model. For each dollar spent on CRM, the ROI increases by $8.71 (it doesn’t matter if you’re spending $10,000 or $1,000,000 on your CRM investment). Interestingly, this model changes based on other variables:

  • Average return goes up 4.2x if you use an edge CRM
  • A cloud-based CRM delivers 3.2x the ROI of on-premise CRM (this number continues to go up)

5 Tips for Presenting CRM ROI to your Leadership Team

 

So whether you are presenting to your management team to invest in the deployment of a new CRM or you want to invest in an additional CRM project--here are four tips from UpCurve Cloud based on Nucleus Cloud’s research for presenting CRM ROI to your leadership team:

1. Less is More

Rather than compiling a long list of all the benefits that your CRM implementation is going to deliver, focus on two or three really strong benefits. The term “less is more” rings true here. If you present more than five values, skeptics in the audience will start to wonder how much the CRM is really going to meet their expectations.

2. Direct vs. Indirect

Acknowledge the elephant in the room and plainly state which benefits and savings are direct and which are indirect. Direct savings are those that are those cost reductions that are guaranteed or expected to happen as a result of the CRM implementation. Examples of direct savings include:

  • Reducing your employee headcount
  • Avoiding regulatory fines
  • Decreasing costs of paper usage and travel time

Indirect savings are those that are caused by an increased worker or manager productivity. Indirect benefits might include:

  • Shorter sales cycle
  • More accurate sales forecasting
  • Less time spent on organizing and prioritizing
  • Other increased performance of metrics

The reason this is important is that the believability of these factors depends on whether they are direct or indirect. Your team is more likely to believe direct factors, and by acknowledging their doubt, you can then directly address it.

3. Use Research to Predict ROI

When you can, use research to calculate your ROI. You may not be able to perform a research experiment directly within your organization--but be creative with how you define “research”. Some examples of credible research include:

  • Direct observation at a pilot site
  • Corporate history
  • Surveys and employee interviews
  • Case studies from similar companies

If these types of research are unavailable to you, Nucleus Research suggested you should still always do an assessment--use benchmark data, educated guesses, and vendor estimated supplies. Any analysis is better than none.

4. Use Correction Factors

As an employee at a CRM partner who has done over 1,000 implementations, and interviewed countless successful customers for case studies, I know that productivity improvements are a large source of success for many organizations using CRM systems. But, as Nucleus Research has found in their studies, everyone discounts indirect benefits such as productivity. By using a correction factor, everyone can agree on the initial benefit and then discount it to be conservative. This usually satisfies skeptics and financial managers.

This correction factor is explained by the fact that while a CRM tool does provide an employee with more time, what they do with that time is not always productive. Your correction factor is a number between 0 and 1 that you use to adjust the value of their increased productivity.

Assign a higher correction factor (.7 to .9) to people who are highly motivated to use saved time for additional work (such as sales reps and line workers). Use a lower correction factor for roles who are less likely to use saved time effectively (such as marketers). If you’re not sure, use .5 as an average and conservative measure. You can also calculate your ROI with different correction factors for sensitivity analysis into how productivity changes indirectly affect the total ROI of your project.

Concluding Thoughts

We’re curious to see what further innovation Nucleus Research brings to the industry’s thoughts on ROI. Nucleus Research has produced a CRM ROI calculation tool for your CRM implementation. You can download it here or to learn more about CRM financial modeling, reach out to us here.

This article was originally published on UpCurve Cloud's blog

In 2014, Accent Technologies set out on a mission to build an assistive technology that actually helps reps sell.  It wasn’t a mission to build a CRM but rather an extension of Sales Enablement and a dive into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) realm that would ultimately enhance the CRM.

 

With a few false starts Accent figured out a way to build out an AI system that can be diagnostic, descriptive, predictive and prescriptive (more on this one later).  Building out an AI system certainly takes time but a lot of thought was put into the approach we would ultimately take.  Here are a few things we discovered:

 

  • Leveraging only historical data is dangerous.

 

The approach many AI players take is purely predictive, leveraging only historical data, determining how a business succeeded in the past and how that would indicate what to pursue in the future.  This is standard data analysis - that tells you what you should pursue based on history.  This approach is short-sighted and there is a very big issue with it.  It solely relies on how a business may have performed in the past, but sales is a forward looking game. Sales reps spend a good deal of time identifying what works and what doesn’t work when talking to clients so they know how to better approach the next client.  They try to learn as much as they can from a client and position solutions that solve the problems, ultimately, wins that are attained have some common elements and those elements will be repeated.  But what if your sales strategy changes or the objectives change?  Your reps will follow the same pattern they are used to because they win with it.

 

  • Allow for input from the experts

 

So historical data is important but ONLY a piece of the pie for what is required.  Historical data doesn’t provide the business with an ability to identify the sales objectives. In other words, it never accounts for the “where we want to go” as a business.  Companies often hire consulting firms to figure out who their ideal customers are, what the ideal company profiles look like and that is driven by a multitude of factors like the marketplace, direction of the market, technology and human expertise, just to name a few.  So why discredit all that insight by using historical data to predict future business?  You can’t. And furthermore, you shouldn’t.  The sales leaderships experience, expertise and intent must be injected into the models and algorithms of a good AI technology.  Otherwise the technology will fall flat.  I know what you are thinking – That costs money and time for someone to inject that information into an algorithm, but have you considered the cost of not doing it?

 

  • Allow for adjustments

 

How does your organization account for the current sales strategy and a future one if you pivot? Meaning, how does the business get there? Essentially, you must operationalize your sales strategy.  With Accent’s CRM Supercharger, we help you operationalize the sales strategy.  Allowing for input into the models gives a business the ability set the course and direction for the sales team.  Now, the prioritized opportunities using AI models are not the ones the sales reps want to prioritize but the ones the business wants to go after. 

 

With Accent’s CRM Supercharger, we take a better approach and leverage historical data, sales objectives and sales strategy.  With machine learning algorithms the system can learn from the data it collects but add the ability to inject expertise, experience, intent and operationalize the sales strategy and you end with a winning combination. 

 

Andy - Accent Technologies, Inc.

The definition of gamification is incorporating game-like systems into non-game situations. Gamification makes it possible to turn boring, tedious tasks into compelling jobs for your employees. It’s not about turning work into a game. Rather, it involves bringing in the elements  we all love about incorporating games into work: challenges, competitions, and rewards.

Do you have team members who thrive on being “the best”? Are there employees who do their best when they feel appreciated by getting real-word rewards, such as gift cards or long lunches? Do you have anyone on your team who likes collecting things?

Splash for Sugar® incorporates all of these game-like elements into your CRM system. It’s a powerful toolkit for any company that’s looking to incentivize great results, even for the most monotonous and repetitive tasks.

But how does gamification actually work? Challenge workers with leaderboard-driven contests and show them how to unlock “badges” when they complete tasks. Then users can earn “coins” or “points” that are redeemable for real-world, virtual prizes.

Think of gamification in terms of your favorite childhood pastimes:

Scouts: Badges

As a Boy or Girl Scout, there was nothing better than littering your vest with merit badges. In a gamified CRM system, managers can create different badges for users to earn as they navigate the system.

Tennis: Singles Competitions

Like singles tennis, this game is one-on-one. Create challenges for your team and have them compete in them. Then you can both reward the users at the top of the leaderboard, and inspire the users at the bottom to step up their game.

Competitions can span from simply logging in each day to closing five deals by the end of the month.

Basketball: Team Competitions

Whether you have multiple sales or customer-service teams in your office or around the world, gamifying your CRM system can create team competitions. You can see which team is winning, and who’s at the bottom of the leaderboard.

Arcades: Real-world Rewards

As a kid, there was no greater feeling than hitting the jackpot at Skee-Ball or Whac-A-Mole, and seeing all those tickets pour out. Then you’d get to exchange those tickets for a stuffed animal or candy.

In a gamified CRM system, users can level up and get coins they then cash in for real-world rewards. Managers post the number of coins that a challenge is worth and assign coins to rewards. Whether it’s a $25 gift card at a local restaurant or a “free” PTO day, it will go a long way if you customize these rewards to offer what employees care about most.

Looking for more information about gamification? Check out our whitepapers: Gaming the System: Gamification & CRM and Big Data Games for Productive Employees.

Selling has always been a struggle and this is truer than ever in today’s highly competitive business landscape. This coupled with the uncertainty, the pressure to meet deadlines and need to always be ‘on’ can take its toll on anyone. Luckily, SugarCRM has got you covered! It comes out-of-the-box with all the essentials salespersons need to take their productivity to the next level without over-complicating the whole affair. Here are 5 ways in particular that SugarCRM is extremely useful for tackling the toughest sales challenges head-on.

Sales Prospecting

If you find prospecting to be the most difficult part of your job, then you’re not alone. More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process (Hubspot). SugarCRM makes managing the whole affair significantly easier with a dedicated Targets module where you can easily keep track of all calls, meetings, emails, notes, and tasks against each record. Segregating prospects from the more sales-ready ‘leads’ also allows SugarCRM to function as an effective lead nurturing tool where sales and marketing department can easily collaborate and play their roles in the overall sales process. Furthermore, with SugarCRM Hint you can cut down on call preparation and prospect research times. With just a name and an email, Sugar Hint provides you with relevant customer contact and social network information so you may engage your prospects in a more informed fashion. This, in turn, will yield more meaningful conversations and hence conversions.

CRM User adoption

According to CSO Reps, less than 37% of sales reps actually use their company’s CRM system. Sales Reps are out on the road all day long, taking calls from leads and managing clients as they drive from one meeting to the next. Given these circumstances, It’s really not that hard to fathom why they might be reluctant to learn and adopt new technologies, especially one that aims to get even more work out of them. For your business to truly reap the benefits of a CRM, it’s important that your sales team actually gets around to using it. To get around this and put your user adoption worries to rest, SugarCRM comes with an award-winning and modern UX. It provides a clean, intuitive, and coherent experience that complements and augments the capabilities of its users instead of overwhelming them. This helps drive user adoption and increase productivity.

Recurring Manual Processes

SugarCRM Advanced Workflow is a robust enterprise-level business process management tool that allows anyone to design and deploy custom workflows in a matter of a few clicks. With its intuitive drag and drop canvas, sales reps can easily automate cumbersome routine processes which would otherwise need to be done manually. This not only ensures increased productivity but also allows them to focus on more important things such as providing value to and forging even stronger connections with their customers.

Monitoring Progress and Performance

Sales managers often struggle with effectively gauging rep performance. However, the robust reporting features in SugarCRM make gaining a holistic view of their performance easier than ever by consolidating and summarizing data from various sources. This allows them to unearth critical business insights and trends and gain a deeper understanding of their team in real-time. This way they can quickly identify and target any weaknesses that might hinder progress towards their targets. Similarly, personalized dashboards make it easy for sales reps to track and monitor their activities and metrics against defined KPIs, and strive towards building better customer relationships.

Sales Forecasting

Many find Sales forecasting to be a tedious task but with the statistical and graphical representations readily available in SugarCRM, you can do it all in the blink of an eye. SugarCRM’s intuitive pipeline management capabilities greatly simplify sales management and team collaboration using real-time sales analytics and insights for every deal and prospect. SugarCRM helps identify critical touchpoints and high-value targets allowing you and your team to focus your time and resources on sales initiatives accordingly. You can make data-driven decisions regarding even your most complex sales by customizing SugarCRM for your unique products, services, and sales cycles.

Mobile Insights

The importance of a mobile CRM for sales cannot be overstated in this day and age. Your sales reps need to be in touch with the right lead at the right time with the right information. This brings about the need for them to have access to critical data at their fingertips at all times. Fortunately, SugarCRM provides a comprehensive mobile CRM solution that enables your sales reps to access, lookup and update customer data on the go, allowing them to stay on top of every deal and ensuring they never miss a moment to engage with the customers.

The Bottom Line!

SugarCRM has everything you need to stay on top of your game and ahead of the competition. It’s perhaps the most complete and well-round CRM for sales that any rep would love to have in their arsenal. Its custom workflows, sales prospecting and forecasting capabilities and the other features mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. With the right tweaks and customizations, our certified SugarCRM experts can tailor this platform according to your unique needs and help you get even more out of it. Contact us today to get started!

 

Be sure to check out the original post here and please visit our blog for more content like this.

Learn three strategies to consider to get your sales and marketing teams more closely aligned.

 

Sales and marketing teams share one common goal – to increase a company’s revenue. However, the similarities stop there, as these two groups are usually very different, both in temperament and in job responsibilities.

Salespeople are relationship people with a focus on the operations and activities involved in promoting and selling goods or services. On the other hand, marketing people are a combination of analytical and creative and focused on the processes or techniques of promoting, selling and distributing a product or service.

The marketing department is also charged with generating high-quality leads for the sales team. Unfortunately, sales will often complain that marketing’s leads don’t meet their standards. This sales-marketing conundrum is a warning sign of what we call a ‘Half-Baked’ sales lead process, where there is no real strategy to manage lead transfers. To solve it, here are three strategies to consider:

  1. Break Down Language Barriers – Sales and marketing departments often speak two different languages. For example, each one has its own definition of a lead. A “marketing-qualified lead” meets certain criteria set forth by the marketing department, while a “sales-qualified lead” adds to the initial stipulations set forth by marketing to help find the highest value prospects. The first step in getting these teams talking to each other is to begin using a common terminology and agree upon what constitutes a marketing qualified lead versus a sales qualified lead.
     
  2. Break Down Technology Barriers – Typically, the sales team works with a CRM database, and the marketing team uses a marketing automation tool. Often, these two tools are not synched, creating information silos between sales and marketing. To efficiently and effectively work together, marketing’s technology must seamlessly integrate into the CRM system used by sales, and the CRM tool must feed data back into the marketing database.
     
  3. Break Down Methodology Barriers – There must be an agreed upon procedure for what should happen when marketing sends leads to sales. Marketing should also have a clearly defined method for scoring leads, and sales must have a clearly defined method for qualifying those leads

Adopt a ‘Fully-Baked’ Leads Management System

According to Aberdeen, 90% of marketers say that lack of sales and marketing alignment keeps them from reaching their marketing objectives. This can be remedied by adopting a ‘Fully-Baked’ leads management system that breaks down barriers in the form of language,  technology, and methodology – tearing down the information silos that exist between sales and marketing teams, helping your organization to achieve faster growth and higher profitability.

Need to get your sales and marketing teams more closely aligned?

Download our eBook, “Solving the Sales-Marketing Conundrum: 3 Strategies to Consider”.