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2017

Sugar’s Customer Journey Plugin, released in August 2016, extends Sugar® to align your sales activities with the customer’s decision stage and helps your company deliver a personalized customer experience. For each Sugar Lead, Contact or Account, this new plugin enables your employees to know where in the Sales Cycle the customer is pertaining to a potential sale or support. The plugin creates Sugar Tasks, Calls, and Meetings automatically and assigns these to the owner of the record. As the employees complete these Tasks, the plugin’s very well built user interface displays where in the journey the customer is and what needs to be done to close the sale or case.

 

According to Krisitian Sandeberg, the CEO of Addoptify, the company that originally developed the plugin, the Customer Journey Plugin should be thought of as much more than just a “customer journey tool” because it can be used to manage any process in your business.

 

SierraCRM took a good look at the plugin and realized that as good as it is, it does not replace a full featured workflow product such as SugarCRM’s Process Author or SierraCRM’s Process Manager.

The visualization and graphical view of the plugin enables employees to quickly understand where in the sales or support process a specific person or company may be. 

 

The tool does a great job of creating Calls, Tasks and Meetings. However, to truly manage the journey, your pilot needs an automated system that continually monitors Sugar. A full featured workflow product can do just that: Constantly check Sugar for scenarios that you may have defined as a sales opportunity or support case that is in jeopardy of being lost or miss handled. The last thing you need is to be informed of a high value Sales Opportunity that was lost because a simple task was not done.

 

Here is an example:  Let’s say you have the plugin setup for a Sales Process that includes a series of Tasks that your employee needs to accomplish before you can advance the Opportunity to a specific stage. You have a sales close date that if not met, increases the chances of losing the Opportunity. Can the Customer Journey Tool continuously query Sugar looking for scenarios where this close date is coming up and the Opp is not ready? No it can’t. But a workflow tool such as Process Manager or Process Author can.

 

Here is another example of how workflow can augment the customer journey plugin. You’ve opened a Support case for a high value account and you have in place an SLA that states you must deliver  a response to the Account hourly while the case is opened. The Customer Journey Plugin will be able to create the initial tasks that will need to be distributed to the support team, but what it can’t do is know when to send emails to the accounts each hour that the case is opened.  Workflow tools such as Process Manager or Process Author are designed to do exactly that. For instance, you could setup a process in Process Manager to run hourly and find all Cases that are not closed, with high priortiy, related to high value accounts and for each of these cases, send a standard email to the account with any case notes. All the while, your support staff is diligently working on the task that was assigned to them by the Customer Journey Plugin.

 

 A full featured workflow module such as Process Author or Process Manager working side by side with the Custom Journey Plugin can guarantee you will not lose Sales or upset your customers because your employees dropped the ball. For customers using Sugar professional, now is a perfect time to begin evaluating which workflow direction to take in 2017.

How many times you came into office today not really knowing where to spend your time first. How to keep pushing those opportunities down the pipeline, should you work on those early one’s or one’s that are further down the funnel?

There are many ways to decide on what to work on first. Most of us will be in situation where managers or our boss tells us “Can you please keep working on this opportunity!”. How many times you think they made a mistake? I think many times.

I’m a strong believe in data and analytics. There are exceptions that are beating the numbers but most of time data will be telling the truth. So why not use the data you have today and let it drive your day. We leverage Opportunity scoring, a data driven approach to running your sales pipeline.

In my experience so far, working on various Sugar implementations and consulting, not many people invest time to help their sales team make educated decisions on how to live through the day. Sales people these days should know, what opportunity will likely close and why. Data should already be there and if it’s not, blame your consultants and managers!

Establishing basic concept of opportunity scoring isn’t really rocket science at all! You need to start of by gathering existing data you have about your won opportunities. Who you were selling to and what. Then start looking at what information keeps repeating. Once you can talk about:

  • Type of customers you are selling to
  • Region they are coming from
  • Usual deal size
  • What you sell the most

You can rest assured that your base model for opportunity scoring is ready.

Where you can go from here is take the number 100 as your maximum score. Now start giving different number score to different information we mentioned above when they appear. Make sure if all information matches up for perfect opportunity that your score doesn’t pass that 100 number.

Once you complete above steps, educate your sales team and let them know to work by the numbers and data. Don’t let your sales team rely on managers to direct them.

MANAGERS CHANGE, DATA DOES NOT!

By now, most professionals in the sales and service fields are well aware of the basic benefits of Customer Relationship Management. Unfortunately, actually getting your employees to use it is an entirely different beast. The fact is, people don’t like change. And when it comes to CRM adoption, there may be many reasons why salespeople resist.

 

  1. Control
    Some sales reps may feel a loss of control. They’ve done their job a specific way for many years, which has garnered them a great deal of success. The adage “If it ain’t broke, why fix it?” comes to mind. In this case, it’s important to think with the end user in mind, then let the salespeople know what’s in it for them. This could be increased efficiency, closing sales faster and making more money in less time. It’s also a good idea to involve sales teams in the planning and implementation process of the new CRM system from the very beginning, providing them a sense of ownership in the success of the project. 
     
  2. Competence
    Others may experience concerns about their own level of competence. They may express skepticism about whether the new system will work or whether it will offer any improvement, but deep down they may be worried that their skills will become obsolete. For this reason, management should first identify the needs of each group of stakeholders within the organization, then commit to providing a wealth of education, training, and support for those that need it.
     
  3. Overwhelm
    Some salespeople may feel that entering information into a CRM system is just one more thing to add to their already long to-do list. In fact, change can often require more work on the front end, as there will likely be a learning curve while getting to know the new system, resulting in a dip in productivity, known as ‘the valley of despair’. However, it’s vital to stress that once the CRM system is in place and everyone is trained on how to use it, the sales team’s jobs will suddenly get a little bit easier, thanks to data that’s more up to date and easy to find. Moreover, the days of manual reporting are gone.
     
  4. Uncertainty
    You know what they say, “Better the devil you know than the devil you don’t know.” Many people would rather suffer through using inefficient systems, such as tracking their sales in Excel spreadsheets, than to take the chance on a new way of doing things that may or may not pan out. To overcome this fear of the unknown, management should present a clear vision for what the sales department should look like once the change has been implemented, and create a sense of certainty by laying out the entire CRM implementation process, with a clear timeline and milestones for completion. 

The amount of planning put into the user adoption process is directly correlated to the return on investment realized from any software implementation. In order for your CRM project to be successful, your sales team must actually use it. However, you must first get over a few hurdles that make employees naturally resistant to change, as well as follow a proven framework for fostering full-scale end user adoption within your sales organization.

Download our white paper, “Best Practices for CRM User Adoption” to discover 10 steps to realizing full-scale user adoption. 

In the first episode of SugarCast we introduced you to basic operations in Sugar. There are many things that we want to present and topics that we are going to talk about but one of the most important things in any CRM especially Sugar is our today's topic. Today we are going to talk about Relationships between data.

 

In this video we are going to explain what are relationships, types of relationships that exist, which type of relationship should you be creating and many more things related to relationships between data in Sugar.

 

We hope that you will enjoy the video and learn some new things while working with Sugar every day.

 

We can not wait to hear how you liked the episode and provide us with feedback. Post a comment on this blog to help us understand what you would like to learn more about or what are you struggling with and we'll cover it in one of the next episodes and explain how Sugar can help you solve it.

When it comes to managing your customer data, few solutions are as powerful as SugarCRM. Getting SugarCRM's data to play nice with your other reporting and analysis tools, however, is another matter. If you want to create an advanced report — a month-over-month variance view for analyzing lead volume, for example — you'd better be ready to slice-and-dice the data manually.

 

What if there was a better way? Good news: There is! Intelestream is delighted to announce that our new Google Sheets Business Intelligence (GSBI) plugin is available now!

 

What Does the GSBI Hel you do?

Schedule and analyze

The GSBI plugin allows you to schedule the automatic exporting of reports from SugarCRM to Google sheets, and at any frequency that suits your requirements. By having reports available in Google sheets, users are able to make informed decisions with all critical information available at their fingertips. Such decisions can then be observed over time with subsequent weekly and monthly reports.

 

Export and analyze

Existing rows-and-columns data can now be exported quickly and easily to Google sheets, allowing you to make custom reports and share targeted data across your organization. Summation reports can also be analysed in Google sheets, giving you a bird's eye view into your most vital business intelligence data.

 

Customize and analyze

Our GSBI plugin provides you with greater visibility to your KPIs, allowing them to be presented to your organization in a neat and user-friendly manner. Any KPI that you require can be captured by exporting a full range of data directly from the SugarCRM database. Truly comprehensive reports can be created using custom SQL queries in Enterprise and higher versions of SugarCRM. Greater customization in your reporting means that nothing slips through the cracks.

 

Control and analyze

The GSBI plugin allows you to combine and manipulate your data in new ways, allowing you to see a complete picture of your past, current, and future performance. You have complete and utter control over these report settings, making it easy to determine who in your team has access to specific data, reports, and other content.

 

Combine and analyze

Google Sheets is just the start. The GSBI plugin enables you to connect your SugarCRM reports with a huge range of Google Sheets-compatible resources, enabling you to combine your data with Facebook Marketing, Google Analytics, and dozens of other business intelligence tools.

Getting up and running with the GSBI plugin couldn’t be easier! Setup takes less than 20 minutes, allowing you to quickly export of your existing reports, and dive into the creation of new custom reports in no time! Google Sheets Business Intelligence plugin is available on Sugar Exchange now, drop us a line here at Intelestream to learn more!

Overview

If you are looking to integrate a secure and flexible payment solution for your business transactions, you are probably having a hard time narrowing down on the available options. More and more payment solution providers are now offering robust, scalable, flexible and affordable integration services, which is why digital payments are on the rise each year. However, every business has unique needs, and every business needs tailored payment solutions. If your business model means making or receiving variable payments based on customer data, we recommend doing some basic research to select a payment gateway that caters to your unique needs. The good news is, whichever solution works for your business, also works with Sugar. Sugar allows for seamless integration of third-party apps, and you can either opt for payment integration plugins on SugarExchange or hire developers for the integration service. In this blog post, we will explore the benefits of integrating a payment gateway with Sugar.

 

Why Integrate a Payment Gateway with Sugar

Payment gateways are as important for internet commerce as Sugar is for your business. By integrating Sugar with a payment gateway like Authorize.net, PayPal or Stripe, you can streamline your business payments, invoicing and billing processes efficiently within Sugar. Some of the key benefits of integrating Sugar with a payment gateway include:

 

Automated Recurring Billing (ARB)

ARB allows you to automatically generate subscription billing plans based on the criteria you select. Using ARB features, you can efficiently manage contracts, subscriptions and regular billing right within your Sugar.

 

Transaction History

Transaction history is maintained against records in Contacts, Leads and Opportunities. Sugar users can view successful and failed payments, payment dates, upcoming payments and so on.

 

Payment Notifications

Depending on your notification settings, you can receive all payment-related notifications in your Sugar. This feature gives you real-time reporting and saves you from the hassle of going through unorganized payment data.

 

Secure Data Storage

Payment integration solutions ensure complete protection of your clients’ billing information. With secure tokenization of user’s payment info, all data is stored securely.

 

Less Manual Work

With the right payment integration service, you do not have to re-enter billing information for returning clients. All customer information is automatically populated in required fields, significantly reducing manpower efforts of your team.

 

Order Management & Tracking

Once your Sugar is integrated with a payment gateway, you get complete order management support on a single platform.

 

Popular Payment Gateway Integrations with Sugar

Some of the most popular integration services we have implemented include Stripe, PayPal, Authorize.net, SecurePay, Braintree, and a host of others. Other popular services include Sugar integration with GoToBilling, InstaBill, USAePay, Veripay, eWay, Barclaycard, ChronoPay, Paynove, AvidiaPay and American Payment Solutions.

 

We're Here to Help!

Still not sure whether to go ahead and automate your payment processing? Contact us to get a free consultation session and find out which payment gateway best fits your requirements. We're here to help!