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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”.

The technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherium may not be a household name just yet but it has been gaining traction fast and although the future of the said cryptocurrencies may still be up in the air, the Blockchain itself is bound to stick around for the long haul. It has opened up a world of possibilities and can potentially revolutionize the way existing technologies and business processes function. With that in mind, we will focus on how blockchain is likely to affect Customer Relationship Management down the road.

 

What is Blockchain?

On the off chance you’ve not hopped onto the Bitcoin bandwagon and are totally unfamiliar with Blockchain, let us help you figure it out. Simply put, a block chain is an ever-growing list of interlinked records or ‘blocks’. These blocks are cryptographically secure and resistant to any external tampering. A blockchain functions as an open, decentralized ledger that effectively keeps track of transaction between two parties in a permanent and verifiable way.

 

How Blockchain will change CRM

With the basics out of the way, I think we are in a slightly better position to discuss how Blockchain can potentially alter CRM in the years to come. Here are five areas that are likely to benefit the most from this technology:

 

1. Enhanced security

A blockchain is literally a chain of blocks, where each block contains transactional records. Each block is connected to blocks before and after it and is cryptographically secured such that participating users are assigned network keys in order to restrict unauthorized access.

Additionally most CRM databases are presently hosted on cloud servers. Although cloud security protocols have come a long ways, Cloud security concerns are not completely unfounded. These are mainly centralized systems and thus, have an inherent single point of failure. Comparatively, blockchains are decentralized and distributed across regularly synchronized peer-to-peer networks. This makes tampering nearly impossible as it would require massive computing power to access the entire blockchain. Consequently, chances of fraud and repudiation are also eliminated.

 

2. Better Transparency

Since it is decentralized, Blockchain can allow your company to securely and transparently deal with your customers without the need for a financial institution such as a bank or a third party broker to facilitate this.  The elimination of these ‘middlemen’ will also bring about greater efficiency and speed in all your dealings.

 

3. Improved User Privacy Control

With concerns about personal data security on the rise, CRM systems will have to address them by adjusting how they handle customer data. Owing to its decentralized and secure nature, blockchain gives way to the idea of a self-sovereign identity. It can store and encrypt personal information and verify this upon inquiry without actually sharing any specifics with the concerned parties, granting users greater control over their identity.

 

4. Data Cleansing

Whether it’s due to inept data import tools or human negligence, CRM users all over the world have to deal with inaccurate or duplicate data at some level.  With blockchain in place, a customer can have their very own personal block that presents companies with a unified and accurate picture of their personal information, past transactions, subscriptions, etc. Hence, blockchain helps these companies circumvent the issue of inaccurate, obsolete and duplicate data records altogether. This consequently yields better insights into customers and helps businesses engage them more effectively.

 

5. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs aim to drive profits by adding value to the customer experience. However, due to their variable mileage, volatile value and associated privacy concerns, they prove to be cumbersome for customers and yield a low ROI. However, in a manner very similar to cryptocurrencies, brands can make use of blockchain to reimagine and reinvigorate their loyalty programs.

With blockchain consumers would have a single decentralized wallet, compatible with all brands. They would not be bound by the rules and limitations of individual brands and point redemption would be greatly simplified. The consumer will have far greater control over the whole experience and brands will complete for their wallet by offering them better deals.

 

The Bottom Line!

Blockchain will not only change how we approach CRM but has the potential to fundamentally revamp business operating models in general. With the technology still in its preliminary phase, this seems like a bold claim to make. However keeping in the view all that it’s capable of, we believe it is a justifiable one.

 

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

 

Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 500 firms with various SugarCRM integrations and customizations. Contact us today for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to assist you.

Sales activities do not keep confined to corporate workplaces anymore. And neither are sales executives. It is quite common to see sales professionals working in subways, coffee shops, traffic, parks and in the most unconventional places. Accelerating the targeted sales figure each time, getting handsome commissions, and closing huge deals gives an unmatchable thrill to sales executives and keeps them motivated.

 

Well, although you may pride in the fact that your sales team is tech savvy and is painting the town red; they do need to update customer data and other details in their CRM. And that is not possible if they do not have the CRM software in their fingertips. This the idea of a CRM mobile App stemmed up. Several CRM users make the most out of these apps to handle customer relationships on their fingertips.

 

If you are planning to have a CRM app for your company, it must include certain features. Let us know about these features in detail:

 

Task Assignment & Collaboration

Sales processes in huge organizations can be prolonged and intricate. And if you run one of such companies, it is imperative to have a feature that enables you to work in collaboration. Some CRM apps have features that confine the access to the data pertaining to them and the collaborative functions are enabled on the website app.

 

During such times, if you have a SugarCRM system, you can make use of SugarCRM Plugins that provide you with activity feeds wherein you can address your colleagues and assign them with different tasks. You can also look for team messaging apps to solve your purpose. By doing so, you can enable seamless communication throughout the team.

 

Route Planning & Geo Location

As we all know, sales executives do not keep confined to one place. They need to visit different clients and plan their routes accordingly. Now, to make sure that they do not spend a lot on energy resources while visiting clients, a geolocation feature can come of help. Using it, sales agents can map routes between different client locations using real-time alerts. One can also apply custom filters and view different sales territories based on different criteria.

 

A feature like this not only saves energy resources but also saves a lot of time. Sales executives can prioritize their appointments effectively and undertake different sales activities without any glitches. They can also mark opportunities as pins.

 

Offline Access and Online Sync

Working from remote locations is quite a common deal for sales executives. Often during such times, updating records becomes impossible. A superior quality mobile app should provide users with the facility to create and assign tasks, view records, and update them even when internet connection is absent. Once the connection comes back, the sync should happen seamlessly.

 

For example, if one of your team members is working from the subway inside a tunnel, it does not mean they have to stop working in the absence of internet connection. They can keep working and as and when the internet comes back, the data synchronization happens with ease.

 

Conclusion

While looking for a CRM mobile app, it is quite likely that you might find several apps that are available for free. However, you need to ensure that it is compatible with your CRM system. For example, if you are looking for a SugarCRM mobile App, you can make a list of features you would want them to have and you are sure to find a suitable one. We wish you the best!

SugarCRM’s next product release, known as Sugar 8, is just out and includes all the features from the last two product releases and Spring ‘18. Here’s a look at some of the great new features new to on-site users in this update.

A Brand New Look & Feel

Sugar 8 includes a new user interface that is cleaner, more modern, and more consistent. While the switch from Sugar 6 to Sugar 7 was a challenge for some companies, the upgrade to Sugar 8 should be more straightforward merely because these changes are visual updates only to HTML and CSS. The new appearance is more intuitive than ever and now matches the mobile app design for consistency across devices.

Product Catalog Dashlet

The new Product Catalog Dashlet lets users click on items within a product catalog and quickly add them to a quote or other documents that they generate in Sugar. The product catalog is a visual representation of all your products, available within the intelligence panel.

Interactive & Actionable Drill-Through Charts

Another reporting improvement! Users can click on a segment of a chart or graph and see a drill down of the data within that segment. Once users are in the list view, they can modify data using in-line editing.

New Emails Module

The old email client (did anyone even use that?) has been deleted and replaced with a much-improved emails module. The new module is built on the sidecar framework (coding speak for the fancy side panel) and allows you to preview emails from subpanels or list views by clicking on the eye icon.

Closing Thoughts

The Sugar 8 release will also include several brand new features from the coming Spring ‘18 release. The details of this release haven't gone public yet--so we can’t spill the beans (or the sugar cubes). Stay tuned on April 27th for a release recap.

P.S. In late 2017 Sugar updated their release schedule--get the scoop on that here. Since then, on-demand users see a product release once per quarter, and on-premise users get a roll-up release once per year.

This post was originally published on www.upcurvecloud.com

We have extensively covered the top CRM implementation mistakes adopters make that negatively impacts their ROI. It’s good to have a neatly chalked out strategy and some idea of what goals you want to achieve by implementing a CRM. However, this is not all you need to be on the lookout for. Even if you have got your CRM up and running perfectly, it may not be always be smooth sailing from here onwards. There might be some areas where your CRM is being underutilized or some bad decisions or exercises getting in the way of all your efforts. With this in mind, we present the top 5 CRM best practices that will help you get the most out of your CRM.

 

1. Automate Repetitive Tasks

The primary reason you adopted a CRM in the first place was to save time and make your life a little easier. However, having to spend countless hours manually entering data into the CRM, preparing reports, prioritizing leads and writing emails goes totally against that. Tedious, repetitive tasks are a common feature of most jobs and separating these from challenges that really deserve your attention is essential for taking your productivity to the next level.  This is where CRM workflow automations come in to play. They allow you to easily set up business rules, alerts and follow-up triggers, allowing you to streamline common business processes such as managing approvals, lead generations and other sales processes. Moreover, you can set up personalized email templates and send them out automatically in response to a predefined trigger.

 

2. Make data-driven decisions with CRM analytics

Your CRM collects and stores petabytes of valuable customer data. Moreover, most modern day CRMs come equipped with predictive analytics out-of-the-box. Consequently, making data-driven decisions has become both convenient and essential. If you are not using your CRM for analytics and ignoring precious data, you may as well not use the CRM at all. Thus, instead of letting your data gather dust, make use of the tools at your disposal and track the right metrics to gain deeper insights into your customers, make better decisions and boost overall performance.

 

3. Cleanse your CRM data of the clutter

More data doesn’t always equate to more power. Bad or unnecessary data can bog down your ability to make informed decisions by distracting you from intel that really matters. From inaccurate forecasting to wasting resources to chasing dead prospects, the consequences can be dire. Moreover, storing and maintaining this data can be cumbersome and expensive. Thus, it is a good idea to schedule regular data cleansing and deduplication. Ensuring your CRM data is free from obsolete, duplicate or incorrect data entries, helps your data represent your current state of affairs more accurately and the actionable insights you derive from this are more in line with reality.

 

4. Invest in a scalable CRM

Your business might be small right now, but it’s not going to stay that way for long. At least we hope not. Your team size will multiply, your business processes would diversify and become more complex and the rules of the game would change. Not only should your CRM be able to stay on top of these aspects but also grow along with your company. Switching over to a new CRM at a later stage is likely to disrupt all business activities and employee productivity. You can avoid the hassle of data migration and adopting a new CRM altogether by opting for a CRM that is scalable and capable of preemptively accommodating business growth from the very first day.

 

5. Leverage CRM Customizations and Integrations

You probably knew this one was coming. However, it can’t be stressed enough that it is difficult for a common CRM to fully cater to the needs of a unique business such as yours. Moreover, the business landscape is evolving all the time and your vanilla CRM is probably going to have a hard time keeping up with it. Thus, it makes perfect sense to employ CRM integration with the right third party apps and appropriately customize it according to your needs. These will tailor your CRM to your exact business processes and equip it to virtually handle any challenge thrown at it. Our team of CRM experts can help you understand your exact needs and provide you optimal solutions based on best practice. Feel free to Contact us for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to help!

 

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

A few time ago we shared how to save time and improve personal efficiency using a power of SugarCRM platform and TimeLine Viewer, a Sugar 7 add-on for collecting any important events from Sugar database or from other systems and visualising them like a news feed.

 

Now everyone can use TimeLine Viewer not only on a Sugar desktop application but also on iPhone, iPad or gadgets on Android.

Logic Builder: How to create Timeline Viewer event for a Call in SugarCRM

 

SugarCRM introduced a new version of Mobile SDK in Fall’17 release. It allows extending regular Sugar Mobile and literal moving of key CRM events at Sugar users’ fingertips.

 

In addition to the power of regular Sugar Mobile, you get an easy way to be informed about all-important CRM changes from TimeLine Viewer wherever you are.

 

Anyone who needs to work on the move will evaluate the easy way to analyse important changes using usual dashboard’s dashlets like news feeds, configuring them by type and nature of events: funnel changes; leads & customers communications history; key customer cases’ and issues’ changes etc.

 

Only three touches are needed to receive a full picture by particular object: 1) touch the object you are interested in; 2) select the “Dashboards” tab and 3) touch the “My TimeLine” dashlet to get a full picture on a single screen.

It works for any CRM object (lead, customer, contact, opportunity, case, etc.), both regular and custom.

Logic Builder: How to create Timeline Viewer event for a Call in SugarCRM

 

You will be able to see from one feed the changes of important fields and create new related objects, read emails directly from the feed even if you are not the author and on the list of TO or CC. It’s also possible not only for emails but also for any other event with the description (call, meeting, note, task, etc.)

 

The collaboration directly from the feed will save a lot of time for you and your teammates. You no longer need to waste time on describing the context of your questions or comments. Logic Builder: How to create Timeline Viewer event for a Call in SugarCRM You just select a particular event from the feed and type a message, question or recommendation. You can add calls for the particular colleagues (they will receive a notification); add active web links or links to the CRM system objects for making your message more focused, informative and useful. In this way, you can use the full power of your team and share team knowledge with all authorised users without any effort.

 

We hope that Sugar Mobile users and especially SugarCRM partners will enjoy TimeLine Viewer mobile features especially given the possibility to configure new TimeLine events tailored to your unique needs without programming. Logic Builder allows creating new events in minutes and does not require programming.

 

It is just the beginning of moving TimeLine Viewer features into Sugar mobile. If you have ideas for improving TimeLine Viewer, join us. We would be glad to work together as a team.

 

Sincerely yours,
Integros team

 

p.s. We would like to thank SugarCRM Mobile SDK development team for their help and support.

 

p.p.s Anyone willing to know more about how mobile CRM allows saving time and improving individual efficiency can watch this webinar.

Who are the dominant players solving data ratio and relationship intelligence problems? Not sure? SugarCRM and Accent Technologies have teamed up to take that title. No matter what you call it, with AI (Artificial Intelligence) or any assistive technology, it’s important to focus on the problems they are trying to solve.  Increase output of the CRM, be assistive to the sales rep and ultimately be intelligent enough to help drive change.

 

 

Here are a few things we will dive deeper into on AI, data ratios and driving change. 

 

  • Data sources are critical.

Data sources may grow in size, you may have more of them and maybe more variables that contribute to the big picture, so the more data you get in, the richer the output.  But this doesn’t mean manually entering more data, this means automating data entry plays a key role. Being able to leverage various data sources will paint a better picture in the end.  This makes it critical to ensure the solutions you look at, are tapping into quality data sources.  SugarCRM’s Hint and Accent’s CRMSupercharger do just that.

 

  • The tools should aim to improve the data ratio problem – not make it worse.

No one wants to manually enter data. Let’s be real – there is not a single seller today that likes to put data into a CRM.  They all do it because they have to—either because of a mandate enforced by leadership or their desire to track customer relationships at that level of detail. Think about what automated data entry, an analytics engine that can seamlessly connect to different data streams, and a tool that brings back a full buyer profile from just an entered email address can do for your sales organization (Hint).  It can change the perception a seller has about CRM.

 

It’s a pretty simple concept, but it’s often overlooked. Organizations are quick to mandate the data entry by their reps, but is that the best approach? We like to think that your reps bring more value when selling, not entering data. Ensure your sales tech solutions are capturing data sources and improving the data ratio problem, not requiring more data entry, which is the case with SFDC’s Einstein. Just look at the release notes. Really? Enough said.

 

Now let’s look at getting visibility and driving change. What can intelligence do for the sellers?

Experienced A-players know where to focus and what to do next, so make sure you are learning from that. Also, make sure that new sales strategies that come from the top-down are being supported and executed on at the ground level on the frontline. Let me give you an example: One of our clients is experiencing the following:

  • Major competitor is a disrupter in the industry
  • Revenue decreasing 6% YoY
  • Need to differentiate with new services offering
  • Reps need to pivot in new direction
  • Sales leadership needs to change rep habits to focus on new sales strategy

 

What do you do? Do you trust sales teams to go down an unknown path of selling services? Do you have weekly calls evangelizing the importance of the services offerings?

 

Both, but at the end of the day, you can’t affect an outcome. You can only affect the activities and the effectiveness of those activities to meet the objectives.  As stated before, the outcome is a result.   

 

Visibility of activities, effectiveness and objectives is important in the realm of AI or assistive technologies.  We need intelligence that can guide sellers in the right direction.  Accent’s CRMSupercharger in SugarCRM  provides visibility and allows you to leverage standard models out of the box to guide and prioritize deals for your reps. But we also give the steering wheel to our clients and work with them to set their own parameters. This allows them to prioritize the right opportunities for the business and subsequently indicate to sellers what are the most attractive opportunities to pursue. You’ve got the sales strategy, but Accent can operationalize it. Now that is big value.

 

Finally, acquiring new accounts requires time and research to determine who to talk to next, what role they play in the purchase process, how you make a connection to them, etc. If you are missing this, the AI assistance is falling flat. This is where Hint comes in. Accelerate the call prep time and reduce the amount of research you need to make a connection.  Then enhance the overall picture with Accent’s CRMSupercharger by visualizing the engagement and the role of each contact. What does that mean? Well, visualize who is at the buying table, who your champion is, who your economic buyer is, who is engaged and to what extent.


Pictures tell stories.  Weigh the difference.  Do you prefer an analytics driven picture powered by Accent or a 1 paragraph summary of words and notes in an email from your rep? And if I had to bet, I’d say you’re still waiting for that summary from your rep.

 

As the world becomes more sophisticated and we get more complex, we will be in a great position to adopt assistive technology for more insight and maximizing peoples time. Keep in mind they should always be solving a problem and providing business value.

Post originally published by FayeBSG Project Manager, Vicki Leopold 

Certifications. This is definitely a hot topic and can drive some very passionate discussions. It seems there are two camps – those who support them and those who don’t. Many will claim that certifications show only that one can study, take a test, and pass. They will argue that having the certification doesn’t mean that the certification holder can do his or her job any better than a person without a certification. Others will argue that having a certification shows a basic knowledge of the subject and shows that the certification holder was motivated to invest the time and energy to learn the material well enough to pass the test.

 

We fall into the second camp here at FayeBSG. We believe that a Sugar Admin Certification is a worthwhile investment of time. The exam tests a lot more than just one’s knowledge of basic configuration and screen navigation. Many of the questions cover scenarios of user and technical issues that occur every day, requiring an admin to troubleshoot, find, and fix the issue. Answering the exam questions correctly requires the knowledge of someone who has had experience with the product. You can argue that on a multiple choice test, one can simply guess their way through and pass, but it’s unlikely that any test taker is lucky enough to guess their way through 70 questions, many of which have answers that are very close to being correct or have multiple correct answers to choose from. It takes experience to get a passing score on this exam.

 

The bottom line is that holding a Sugar Admin Certification shows that you have more than a basic knowledge of the product – it shows that you also have experience as well, and that is valuable to you as a job candidate and to your employer. If you have the experience but don’t yet have the certification or don’t feel you need it, why not take the test anyway? It’s 90 minutes of your time, and you just might learn that you don’t yet know everything!

 

Participate in the Sugar Certification Program to validate your knowledge, skills, and abilities on Sugar best practices. Learn more here: Sugar Certification Program - SugarCRM 

Hussain Nasir

CRM for Restaurants

Posted by Hussain Nasir Mar 19, 2018

The restaurant industry heavily relies on human interaction and connection. Although customer relationship management is at the core of any restaurant business, most tend to shy away from adopting a CRM system. Try and imagine a solution that will allow your business to be smarter and help you provide a more personalized experience to your customers while integrating seamlessly into your existing processes and practices. Does all of this sound too good to be true? Well, here are five ways a CRM solution will help you turn this into reality.

1. Integrate existing technologies with your CRM

CRM for restaurants

In this day and age, most restaurants interact with their customers through multiple channels. These may include the restaurant website, social media, emails and other web based content. These channels allow you to obtain valuable feedback and learn more about your clientele. Using a CRM solution puts this treasure trove of data to better use. A CRM is able to effectively gather this information and produce highly personalized reports and analysis, all under one hood.

2. Keep them coming back for more

CRM for restaurants

Personalized reports lead to a more personalized experience for your customers, and that’s bound to be one that they never forget. This is the top priority for any restaurant. With valuable information like contact details, average spending, visit frequency and meal preferences at your disposal, your staff is able to better cater to your customers. Implementing a CRM solution, will also provide you with relevant information so you can better track and handle customer complaints.

3. Optimize your restaurant’s menu

CRM for restaurants

You are bound to have items that are popular than others. Some of these might be well received across the board, some may appeal to a more niche market while the rest may need to be scrapped from the menu altogether. With a CRM, you can monitor and analyze their sales data with great ease and accurately decide what course of action to take. This will not only allow you to boost sales by choosing what stays in your menu but also enable you to innovate more profitable items in the future.

4. Effective marketing campaign management

CRM for restaurants

By integrating marketing and operations data with your CRM system, you will be able to maximize profits by undertaking highly targeted marketing campaigns. With information like visit frequency and average spending, you will be able to approach your clientele with offers and promotions tailored to their needs. For instance, if some customers have not visited recently, you can bring them back using promotional emails. Alternatively, you can target regulars and heavy spenders with personalized discounts and incentives.

5. Integrate your CRM with a payment gateway

CRM for restaurants

To help you better manage your invoices and payments and reduce manual input, you can leverage CRM integration with a payment gateway like Stripe or Authorize.net. This will allow you to focus on more pressing matters like the quality of your menu and service, all the while providing a seamless and secure payment experience to your customers.

The Bottom Line!

A CRM solution provides numerous incentives to restaurant owners. It offers you various valuable insights that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. It grants you full control over your business processes, lets you build committed relationships with your customers and offer them a personal experience that they are unlikely to forget.

Your customers deserve the best. Click HERE to get in touch with our team of certified SugarCRM experts and get free consultation.

Both customer relationship management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP) are powerful tools. But combined, they give your company full access to both front-office and back-office activities. In this three-part blog series, Intelestream dives into both the why and how you should connect these two systems.

This blog focuses on the benefits of integration. Stay tuned to blogs 2 and 3 for more information on what data to integrate and best practices to sync.

Understanding the Difference

CRM vs. ERP

The first step in understanding why you should integrate CRM and ERP software is to understand the difference between them.

While both systems keep track of information, they are designed to reach different goals. On the most basic level, CRM software handles your front-office activities, while ERP focuses on the back office.

Customer service and sales teams use CRM to track essential information about customers as they move through the sales funnel. It can also provide useful insights about the ways the sales team interacts with their customers, and provides hard data to managers in the form of reports and analytics.

On the flipside, your ERP system allows you to track customer activity. Sales reps check ERP if they want to know when an order was placed, what products were on the invoice, or what packages left the warehouse.

An ERP system may show some customer data, and a CRM system may show specific sales or details about customers. But in essence, these two systems don’t overlap much.

Connecting CRM and ERP Benefits

When these two systems are separate, you’re not getting a full view of your customer. And when customers call your sales department to find out the status on an order, valuable time is wasted as the sales rep contacts the back office, or tries to figure out an unfamiliar ERP system.

Whether you’re a salesperson or a technician, you need to be efficient.

Here are three of the biggest benefits to linking CRM and ERP systems:

  • They provide better opportunities for mobile applications.

A technician in the field does not have time to log into CRM and look up customer information, then pull up details about past orders and pricing from ERP. So these systems are in one platform, valuable information is now at the technician’s fingertips.

  • They assist with internal controls.

All of the data your team members need will be in the CRM system, which helps eliminate information silos. It also keeps employees out of systems they don’t need to be in (such as a salesperson going through the accounting system), just to find out details about a payment or quote.

  • They boost business intelligence.

 CRM has an opportunity forecast online, while ERP shows historical data, lagging indicators, and past orders. When your team has easy access to all of this information, they will be able to forecast more accurately.

Now that you know why you should connect your CRM and ERP systems, are you wondering what data should be integrated, or how to sync it? If so, check out the next two blogs in this series, which will be available on March 22 and April 5.

Customer relationship management (CRM) software, by definition, manages your customer relationships. It houses all the data points for your current and potential customers in one place. However, CRM capabilities extend beyond clients, and can also keep detailed data about partners, resellers, co-workers and more.

Satellite Offices

Large companies with satellite offices around the country, and even all over the world, have a lot of employees. If a person working in Phoenix needs to reach out a New York counterpart, a CRM system can make this a simple and informed process.

Resellers

Sometimes businesses work with similar companies that resell their products. Resellers would benefit from having access to a CRM-driven portal for registering leads and collaborating with salespeople.

Partners and Vendors

Similar to resellers, you frequently work with various people in different companies. From the person who restocks your coffee to a partner business, keeping a record in an easy-to-find place has merit.

Service Desks

CRM can also play a huge role in service desks. Do customers need a login to submit tickets? Do they want to see their past orders, or track the status of a current order? In an educational setting, where the “customers” are students, a CRM-like system might be used to manage courses or check grades.

In all of these situations, the goal is the same: Using all available data to create a 360-degree view of the customers. It doesn’t matter what the source of the data points come from — even third-party vendors can play a big role — the important thing is that all of this customer data is piped into a CRM system. The more robust the customer data, the better the relationship with the customers can become.

A CRM system can mean anything from a marketing-automation service to a back-end reporting tool for your customers and more. Learn your definition by checking out this informational white paper.

The Problem.

Reporting dashboards. They’re everywhere. They paint the walls of executive board rooms, they’re at the center of forecasting and budgeting discussions, and they sit persistently on the computer monitors of most managers.

They say, “If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.” And trust us, there aren’t many who would disagree with that in our 21st century, data-driven world. But this obsession with sales metrics, and the visibility into those metrics, has led us to neglect the very reason we set out for that visibility: Improvement.

Take this scenario for example:
Jane, the Chief Revenue Officer of a global company, is responsible for 25% growth in new sales this coming year. She communicates this goal down the chain of command, from her national sales directors, to her frontline sales reps.

To improve visibility into this goal’s progress at each level, the company established a policy to make data entry mandatory: Enter everything you did into the Sugar or you don’t get paid.

Each quarter, sales leadership reviews these metrics, so the managers continue with their weekly reviews of each rep’s pipeline in order to report from the field. The national directors advise their managers to focus on selling the new product line, and the managers try to steer their reps in that direction. Due to this structure, the recommendations for course corrections trickle down from the top.

Sounds logical, right? Well, let’s check back in.
Most of the reps seemed receptive to the course correction ideas, but when it came time to engage with a prospect, they found themselves reverting to what is comfortable and easy to talk about: the old product. As the second quarter ends, sales managers realize they’ve become broken records. Each pipeline review is an uphill battle as they try to persuade their reps to focus on the new product line.

So, where did Jane go wrong? Nowhere, she just fell a little short.
Top down management and hierarchical reporting are fundamental in the business world, but are simply not enough in today’s hyper competitive landscape that all businesses face. It takes weeks, sometimes months, for these course corrections to be communicated effectively. With agility at such a premium in today’s world, that just doesn’t cut it

 

The Solution.

Now, no one is telling you to get rid of those dashboards—almost all of them are necessary. But they should only be used for strategic planning and direction. In addition, sales reps need a firm level of tactical support to execute this strategy. In other words, if Jane is looking for 25% revenue growth and relying on new product initiatives to get her there, relying on managers to bludgeon their reps over the head until the new product is sold is an archaic way to approach the problem.

To truly effect change on an organizational scale, each individual sales rep (who we all know is a creature of habit) must feel equipped to change him or herself. And with the modern workforce slowly adopting the millennial mindset, we must offer this equipment with a quick, easy, and consumable flavor.

What does this equipment entail and how should we deliver it?

  1. Information.
    If you want your existing reps to sell a new product or focus on a new vertical, they need to know how. If you want new reps to sell an older product or focus on an existing vertical, they need to know how. But in the world of instant gratification and shortening attention spans, they need to be served this information in bite sized chunks, in the rep’s moment of need. They need just-in-time pieces, rather than 6-month-long fire hoses of information and training. Also, the information must find the rep, because the reality is that most reps don’t want to change what they’re doing— never mind go look for that change.
  2. Real-time guidance.
    Retrospective course corrections are great, and they can happen every Friday at those pipeline reviews. But real-time guidance to steer the ship proactively is a true game changer. In context coaching, suggested next steps, and hyper-relevant training reinforcement materials can help the rep move the deal forward on Monday, making that Friday pipeline review, and those quarterly reviews, a lot more productive for everyone.
  3. Buyer Relationship Intelligence.
    We’re constantly searching for objective visibility into what our reps are up to, but wouldn’t it be nice if your rep had that same visibility into how their buyers were engaging. For a moment, think of your rep as a sales manager, and think of that rep’s champion buyers across the pipeline as their sales team. Painting a clear, objective, and comprehensive picture about each of these buyers is critically important for reps to maintain their pipeline. Because at the end of the day, if you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it.

In sum, the argument regarding sales strategy implementation methods should never be “top-down vs. bottom-up.” Instead, it should ask what tools and information can be implemented from the bottom-up to support initiatives that come from the top-down. Of course, the crux here is user adoption. It is important to roll out these pieces of support in a calculated fashion. Too much too soon, and your reps will be overwhelmed. Too little to start, and your reps might not be convinced of the value. With the Accent CRM Supercharger embedded in the Sugar platform, we can grow with you, giving your reps this support in strategic doses. The Accent modular approach to development paired with our crawl, walk, run implementation strategy, ensures your success at each step and brings your reps value with each phase.

If you wish to be successful in nowadays business, you need to both have effective lead generation machine and deliver positive Customer Experience. It's an axiom.

There are 3 typical destroyers of CX that are very often presented together with omnichannel lead generation processes:

  • Your customers get upbeat marketing messages even while they’re in the middle of a heated customer service issue
  • Your customers receive offers for products they already own
  • Your sales push customers who just "rejected" your marketing message

If you wish to deliver positive CX, you need to avoid such situation. It means you should integrate and coordinate your marketing, sales and service activities. Let's see all these cases in more detail.

  • Your customers receive offers for products they already own. It means that your marketing processes and customer information file are not integrated. You need to manage your target lists according to information about all customer's purchases by all existing channels. Don't forget about not completed purchases too, if the time from customer's "YES" to reflecting the data in the customer's file is quite long.
  • Your customers get upbeat marketing messages even while they have unresolved heated service issue. It means that your marketing processes don't use information about key service events. You need to add special trigger control for temporary excluding the customers with unresolved issue or case from the target lists. Don't forget to return these customers in the target lists after resolving the customer's issues, of course, in an automated way too.
  • Your sales team push customers who just "rejected" your marketing message. It means that your sales team don't have timely and convenient access to marketing campaign results by all channels. It's a typical situation when the customer communicates with the call-center (by chat, messenger or mobile app) after receiving marketing message by email. You need to integrate key events of marketing campaigns into sales dashboards for delivering the most up-to-date information for your sales people.

The simplest way to do all these improvements for small and medium business is to pass managing campaigns target lists to CRM system, collect & visualize all key events of marketing campaigns into CRM system sales dashboards. It resolves the challenge of omnichannels marketing but, of course, it presupposes some CRM system' customization:

  • bi-directional integration with you channel automation systems (email, messengers, push notifications, etc.)
  • implementation of some triggers into CRM system logic for including/excluding particular customers from target lists
  • visualization of key marketing and service events on sales dashboards

If you wish to know how it's possible to do it for Sugar and MailerLite, as an example of e-mail automation system, click here.