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2017

Disruption Series: Act-On

Posted by mweitzel Employee Feb 24, 2017

Reaching new customers is paramount for any business to thrive and grow. With a majority of your customers, a large part of the buying decision has been made before one of your sales reps is even contacted. This is why it is critical that you are able to reach potential customers before your competition. And once you get those leads and opportunities, there is no better CRM on the planet to manage them than Sugar! In our latest Disruption Series discussion, we sat down with Doug Rickard, Act-On's Channel Manager, to learn how their marketing automation platform and Sugar work together to give you a competitive advantage and disrupt your competition. 

Have your own story of disruption? Reach out to Mark Weitzel or Donna Ewart to learn how to be featured on our blog.

As awesome as Sugar is--and it's awesome--it never stands alone. Because we can deliver a holistic view of the customer, Sugar becomes the hub of a front office. To build that 360 degree view of the customer, you need to integrate multiple systems together. As everyone knows, integration is much easier on the white board than in practice. There are often very sophisticated requirements for de-duplication, data transformation, and access control. Next up in our Disruption Series is Magic Software. Meet Brian Pitoniak, Magic's VP of Sales & Operations. Brian will discuss how Magic's enterprise class integration platform helps companies accelerate integration and drive disruption. 

 

Have your own story of disruption? Reach out to Mark Weitzel or Donna Ewart to learn how to be featured on our blog.

Disruption Series: 3CLogic

Posted by mweitzel Employee Feb 21, 2017

Want to talk about disruption? Then look no further than 3clogic, a SugarCRM Software Partner bringing their next generation contact center into the Sugar platform. Martin Schneider had the opportunity to catch up with Guillaume Seynhaeve, VP of Marketing and Business Development, to learn more about the 3CLogic platform, and how, along with Sugar, they are driving disruption in the marketplace.

Have your own story of disruption? Reach out to Mark Weitzel or Donna Ewart to learn how to be featured on our blog.

Disruption is one of our industry's hottest buzzwords. We use examples like Uber, AirBnB, to illustrate how the combination of technology and agility are dramatically reshaping our business landscape. SugarCRM's partner ecosystem is a great resource to complement your Sugar platform with innovation that will help you out pace with the rapid change that is affecting business. 

 

Recently, we had the opportunity to sit down with a number of our Software partners to get their perspective on how the industry is changing. In the first of our Disruption Series, Martin Schneider talks with Peter Fogelsanger, Thunderhead's VP of Partner Enablement, discussing how their One Engagement Hub is driving digital transformation by helping customers visualize a real time view of their customer journey.  

Have your own story of disruption? Reach out to Mark Weitzel or Donna Ewart to learn how to be featured on our blog.

Overview

Marketing has evolved significantly over the years and has become more complex and perplexing than ever. Consumers are now using multiple media platforms to gather data and stay up-to-date, making life difficult for marketers. However, with marketing automation in CRM, a business can streamline and optimize a variety of marketing tasks. This will increase the effectiveness and efficiency of the sales and marketing team by saving time on administrative tasks, delivering messages with the right content to the right audience, closing deals faster through increased automation and increasing revenue and profits. Marketing automation is an amazing technology but if it is not customized according to the needs and requirements of the business, it can prove counterproductive. For your convenience, we have prepared a list of the key features that you need to look out for in a marketing automation platform.

 Email marketing

Emails are the principal communication channels with potential leads. With an automation tool, you can test your email content, create beautiful email templates that match your product specifications, preview your emails across platforms and devices and do advanced email reporting. Marketing automation in CRM incorporates email marketing functionality and then expands on it by customizing content interactions through logic workflows e.g. you can send a happy birthday message to a loyal customer and offer him discount or send a thank you message when someone makes a purchase. This can make the difference between a happy customer and a lost prospect.

 CRM Integration

Marketing automation platforms that integrate seamlessly with customer relationship management platforms can be a very powerful weapon. Tight integration with your CRM system will allow you to transfer lead information seamlessly between marketing and sales. Better alignment between marketing and sales will improve the effectiveness of campaigns. Your CRM system should talk to your marketing automation platform and your marketing automation platform should talk to your CRM system.

 Lead Nurturing

Send the right information to the right prospects at the right time. Lead nurturing is the process of sending a series of automated emails that will trigger based on a person’s behavior. Being able to nurture leads based on a variety of attributes (behavior, demographics, buying stage) is a highly sought after tool by marketers.

 Campaign Management

Campaigns are the workflows you use to nurture leads along the sales cycle. Campaigns have both timed and triggered events. To run successful campaigns you need to send direct and personalized emails to a large number of people. Make sure campaign management within your platform supports both inbound marketing and outbound campaigns as well.

 Lead Management & Scoring

This is another fundamental feature of marketing automation software. Lead scoring enables marketers to concentrate on the most promising leads. Every customer receives a score, based on his activities. When a lead matures i-e reaches a threshold value, it is sent to a sales representative so that appropriate action could be taken.   Being able to move leads through the entire marketing funnel is a challenging task and should be handled effectively by your Marketing Automation Platform.

 Landing Pages

Also known as a call to action page, a landing page is any page on a website where traffic is sent specifically to prompt a certain action. Landing pages help increase conversion rates through targeted promotion. You can market multiple products to audiences using highly customized landing pages with specifically targeted content. Many marketing automation systems have excellent landing page builders. Make sure you select a landing page builder that is flexible and easy to use.

 Social Marketing

Know what the customers and prospects have to say about your company’s products and services, how they respond to email messages and website content and incorporate that data into your marketing automation platform.  The marketing automation platform you select should have built-in social media marketing and management tools.

 Visitor Tracking

Monitor every person who visits your website by tracking their behavior, including which pages they click, from where they access the website, what keywords they typed on Google that directed them to your website etc. Many applications deliver real-time alerts to sales representatives when a lead, prospect or customer visits the website. Visitor tracking should also be able to segment your database upon those tracked activities.

We're Here to Help!

Are you ready to automate your marketing and sales processes with a Marketing Automation Solution? Contact us to get a free consultation session and find out how we can provide you with the optimal CRM solution.

Last week, another post by Mayur Gupta caught my attention...

The Omni-Channel Paradox, not much has changed in 3 years - marketing is still fragmented #converge @adexchanger

I highly recommend you take a minute to read the article from 2014. But what really stands out from last week is his point that things haven't changed much... in 3 years!!

 

It is 2017 after all. You can't open your browser or news-feed without seeing some headline about AI, customer engagement, big data, or some other marketing technology that promises to nail the Omni-channel dilemma.

 

So why is marketing, and by extension customer engagement, still so fragmented? Obviously Mayur hit on many of the main reasons already in his post. Frankly...its hard! Well intentioned marketers, sales execs, customer service managers and other stakeholders are busy... doing their jobs with excellence. But the systems they use were built for those LOB or department specific jobs. They don't connect with the other department's systems or processes. So when executive management raises the bar on KPIs, what choice do they have but to do more of the same.

 

(Counter) Case Study

Case in point: last April I posted about our favorite pizza chain in How to use creative marketing to really annoy your customers... In the 9 months since, I have been doing a little unscientific experiment. In that time, we have ordered from them about 3 times. I haven't clicked through a single email and all of our orders have been online or on mobile app. So they know who I am, what, and when we order.

 

They continue to be very creative with their reasons to send a promo (team x won or team y scored 100 pts). BUT... they haven't gotten any better at their segmentation, targeting, or spamming tendencies. How do I know? 139 messages in 9 months. That's an average of 4 / week. With spot checks, I've actually seen 5 or 6 on some weeks.

 

Clearly somebody in marketing at this brand thinks that spending more money on creative email offers, and sending me a hailstorm of messages, should somehow increase conversions in our household. Total failure!

 

Wanted: Chief Customer Officer

So my thoughts on how to fix this... Just about every company has a 'chief' of key internal organizational responsibilities. Some have even morphed traditional line roles into things like chief people officer, chief digital officer, and CMO to start focusing on the customer and cross organizational topics.

 

There is also a more common understanding of the need for marketing technologists who can bridge technology organizations, processes, and language with marketing programs, processes, and priorities.

 

Similarly, we need more organizations with Chief Customer Officer or similar roles. Unfortunately a 2014 study indicates only 10% of Fortune 500 companies have an official CCO! Even with out the official title, organizations need to designate someone who can look for islands of customer data, competing or conflicting customer oriented processes, hard barriers between customer facing systems... and has the authority to correct them.

 

I've observed many projects and initiatives which could have produced better results more quickly if they were founded on a "Customer First" principal with an authority in the organization who can hold everyone's feet to that fire. Take Digital Transformation as an example. I love digital and many organizations need major work in that area... but why are we limiting or defining a transformational program to just digital? What about sales, CRM, stores or point of sale, offline processes that support digital, etc.

Shouldn't it be more about Customer Engagement transformation?

 

Final Thoughts

I'll wrap up with a small plug for the ONE Engagement Hub. If you are carrying a CCO or customer-obsessed banner in your organization, we can provide you with technology to help. It won't solve all your people / process challenges, but ONE can definitely bridge your technology islands in Customer Engagement. Drop me  a note or visit www.thunderhead.com to explore.

First appeared on LinkedIn February 6, 2017

Any company may come across a common issue with knowledge sharing when a new employee joins the team. For any manager, it is important to bring that new employee aboard as fast as possible so as not to lose much valuable time on the worker’s training and adaptation to a new working order. Even more important is to ensure that you will not lose your corporate best practices in case your top salesmen decide to resign. How to achieve that corporate best practices in a Sugar CRM implementation are shared in the most efficient way possible? 

Common issues with Knowledge Management

It is pretty clear that knowledge management becomes more and more complicated as the company structure grows and develops. So every time the order of work changes, it requires more effort to make it possible for employees to adjust successfully.

Another common problem with Sugar lead management and knowledge sharing relates to employee turnover within a company. An experienced sales rep or manager is a valuable asset. Therefore, his possible resignation may to some extent disrupt corporate processes.

Why does it happen? Well, simply because your veteran employees, responsible for generating 70% of sales, have valuable knowledge and skills that may be lost in case they don’t share them before leaving the company.

Managing and sharing your Best Practices in Sugar

We’ve drawn a pretty gloomy picture but it’s not that bad. After all, you definitely have a range of successful best practices already applied for your existing clients. The only thing left to do is to use that knowledge in working with Sugar leads and opportunities. Sounds easier on paper, doesn’t it?

 

Indeed, but there is a way out. We understand your concerns as a manager about the amount of time spent on sharing and managing best practices. So do we know about the ways how this time could be spent more efficiently (on urgent work tasks, for instance).

 

That’s why, we at Integros developed Check List, a go-to extension for your Sugar that provides you with everything needed to implement and share your best practices of Sugar lead management. It is so much simpler now that you’ll notice the difference straightaway. Here is an image to give you the basic idea of what Check List looks like:

 

Check List for sharing and managing best practices of SugarCRM Lead Management


1. Check List for sharing and managing best practices of Sugar Lead Management

Just imagine that all your best practices are in one place open for access to all the employees at once. No more struggling to find the relevant case when a new Sugar lead has reached the certain stage of processing. With Check List you will have all the relevant best practices as well as information on what problems were previously faced to act accordingly. 

The most significant advantage here lies in the reduction of control over knowledge management. From now on, your employees can themselves access all the data relating to corporate best practices and make use of them without the need to spend lots of time on training.

You can be sure that the set-up of this simple Sugar extension won’t require much effort either. While developing it, we took into account the most topical issues that you’re likely to encounter. This way, you will feel the simplification from the very beginning.

Besides, Check List helps to thoroughly analyze Sugar lead management whilst pointing out the problems to be dealt with and presenting information in a comprehensive and beautiful way, using easily built reports and dashboards.

Results of the analysis in Check List for SugarCRM

2. Results of the analysis in Check List for Sugar CRM system

Taking all that information into consideration, you will be able to make sound decisions on what to change so as to optimize your lead management.

Benefits of Check List for Sugar

Integros Check List for Sugar CRM system provides a range of benefits both for managers and employees creating a perfect win-win situation.

   Benefits for Employees   Benefits for Managers
  • Make fewer mistakes
  • Study best practices quicker
  • Improve processes
  • Process more leads, opps, and cases
  • Make reporting easier
  • Find bottlenecks quicker
  • Pick up speed and decrease cost of staff training
  • Speed up the process improvement
  • Increase employees’ involvement in the process improvement
  • Receive more realistic reports

Overview

More and more higher education institutions (HEIs) are now adopting Customer Relationship Management systems to attract, retain and serve its students. Viewing students as customers and implementing a CRM can help an institute gain edge in a highly competitive higher education marketplace. Surprisingly, many higher education institutions still do not use CRM software because they lack adequate knowledge about such systems. CRM is an amazingly powerful tool which if properly leveraged can provide valuable insights about your customers, allowing you to develop stronger and more personal relationships not just with prospective and current students but also the alumni. For your better understanding, we have compiled a list of some of the benefits of CRM for higher education institutions that empower you to stay one step ahead of your competitors.

Manage Admissions

Manage the complete student admissions life-cycle from one single platform: the course & program the student is admitted, complete details of student’s batch & roll no, academic documents and all other tasks that are required in completing the admission process. Streamline your admissions operations by identifying and recruiting the best candidates, engaging them more successfully and improving enrollment results.

Track Potential Leads

Students nowadays rely on digital channels to gather information about their dream universities. CRM systems come with integrated tracking tools that let you track leads through multiple engagement programs including print, email, and invitations to both online and physical events and evaluate their feasibility. It enables institutions to track which website a certain student used to find their institution. This allows for smarter marketing budget planning, & allocating resources to the most effective marketing campaigns.

Handle Student Enquiries

Deliver high quality service by making follow ups for every enquiry. Keep a record of every interaction with the student during the counseling process. Maintain the follow up & enhance the communication process between your academic institution and the student.

Streamline Teacher Evaluations

Eliminate paper process, and help increase consistency and efficiency for the teacher certification process and other career-related processes. Streamline tasks so that you can devote resources to finding and placing the best and brightest teachers.

Monitor Fee Payments & Reminders

Every education institute needs an efficacious fee management tool to run their finance operations smoothly. Automate the fee payment process to avoid discrepancies and human errors for hassle free operation.

Build Long Lasting Alumni Relations

Alumni can help students define their career goals and provide key networking contacts to assist the transition from graduation to employment. They can also aid in raising funds. CRM equips you with the tools that your institution needs to manage personal connections and networks with the alumni community. You can gain useful insights about your donors that will help you target campaigns effectively and build long-lasting relationships.

Enrich Student Life-cycle Management

Student Life-cycle Management or SLM begins with recruitment. Once a student gets enrolled, then comes the retention phase which revolves around monitoring student progress. The last step is when a student graduates and becomes an alumnus. Take advantage of this opportunity to reach out and engage with them across all touch points in the student experience. Enrich their interactions by establishing personalized communication channels that provide measurable results back to you so that you can make informed decisions.

MIS Reports

Generate real time reports related to students, teachers and staff and assess the performance of your organization.

We're Here to Help!

Still not sure whether to adopt CRM for your higher education institute? Contact us to get a free consultation session and find out how we can provide you with the optimal CRM solution.

Data quality in CRM is a big concern for every organisation and for good reason. Bad data or duplicate data can happen to anyone and usually does at some point in the span of a business life. It can cause issues with accounting and create sales conflicts when leads may be routed incorrectly. It may also lead to a lack of confidence or even mistrust from customers who may think of it as your normal practice.

But when you are unintentionally making decisions based on bad or duplicate data, it will inevitably end in poor results!

That is why it’s important to help your sales and marketing teams so they can help you by keeping customers happy and providing correct information.

It’s not just the front line that will be suffering from bad data but the management as well. If you have duplicate sales and marketing data you won’t be able to appropriately report on it, make informative decisions and measure success of your team.

All these things combined together greatly impact your company performance and efficiency while reducing customer satisfaction. The difference comes in knowing how to spot and correct bad data so that these particular issues never happen again. Sugar provides multiple ways to combat duplicate data but there are still many good reasons to extend the functionality to address the various ways people utilize the Sugar platform.

At Eontek, we've been working with Sugar for over five years and have been creating different software solutions to help companies resolve their data issues. In fact, we have created DeDupit as a solution for Sugar that enables you to find duplicate records following the rules that you’ve set, and to merge found duplicates manually or automatically, which will work on any module within Sugar. 

We would like to hear your thoughts on our post, so please add a comment below. If you have any other questions, please drop us an email or direct message in the SugarCommunity.