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All Places > Partner Corner > Blog > 2017 > October > 26

We just wrapped up a SugarCRM Workshop in Chicago with our friends at Technology Advisorsa SugarCRM Elite partner. Both current and prospective SugarCRM customers gathered to learn how to streamline their sales processes and turn leads into revenue faster with Sugar. Tech Advisors provided complimentary training sessions on Advanced Workflow and Customer Journey Mapping.




Here are some of the event’s highlights:


Keynote: Clint Oram, SugarCRM’s Co-Founder and CMO

Clint kicked off the gathering with a SugarCon recap doing a wonderful job of making everyone jealous they didn't attend. He showed some video highlights of keynotes and speakers and some great pictures of the superhero-themed costume party. He then went straight into talking about what the future of CRM looks like. Clint often warns prospective CRM buyers to beware of CRM bloatware. Clint argued that legacy CRM vendors are packing their products with too many features that customers are not asking for, and don’t know how to use. Anything that's not focused on the job of building better business relationships is diluting the effectiveness of your CRM.


Clint also showcased SugarCRM’s product roadmap, noting how we are stepping on the gas pedal when it comes to innovation in both our Sugar cloud offering and our new relationship intelligence product line. As is typically the case when we show the simplicity and time-saving capabilities of SugarCRM Hint, the audience started nodding and murmuring their approval.


SugarCRM’s goal is to eliminate the “bloatware CRM” and replace it with easy and modern CRM user experiences at every touchpoint and for every role.


Finally, no CRM discussion is finished until someone throws out, “the world is heading mobile-first.” The boundaries between your work and personal life are merging. As Clint explained, “we wanted to build an application that’s as easy to use at home as at work.”



Scott Alder, Channel Account Manager at Act-On

Scott’s session was titled, “A Look into the Future of Marketing” and went through some evolutionary changes made in marketing in recent years, and how Act-On addresses the needs of digitally-savvy business buyers. He said, that you can master the customer journey by focusing on marketing personalization through the best messaging, perfect timing, and the ideal channel. With more than 500 joint customers,  Act-On recently announced an Act-On for Sugar bundle to make it easier for customers to take advantage of their deep integration.  The bundle is designed to complement Sugar and aims to help sales and marketing work better together to deliver smarter customer engagements.



Jane Curry, CEO at Curry Young Consultants

Jane’s writing workshop focused on how the power of effective writing focuses heavily on the reader, not the writer. It’s the client’s opinion that matters most, and making sure your content is effective and ‘passes the eyeball test’ can allow you to not only write with clarity and power @@but give your readers instant access to your insights.


Jane also recommended the ‘so what? test’, meaning business writers must ask themselves, “why do my readers need to know my message?” In business writing, you should almost always begin with the most important information, and let the details follow. When you force your readers to march through endless paragraphs of detail instead of getting to the point quickly, it often drives people away.



My Two Bonus Takeaways:

1)    If you think you know why Chicago is called the windy city, think again!

2)    Never try Malört at a bar in Chicago.


Thank you to everyone who attended a wonderful two days. And thank you to Technology Advisors for making this a first-class event. We love having our customers and partners together in one place.

-Jonathan Bach


Clint Oram Danine Pontarelli Jen Fabrizio 

HR team looks for HR tool to increase Employee satisfaction, motivation, and overall productivity. But, can CRM can help HR to improve Employee Experience, sounds strange, but it's true.

A good HR team will take care of interviews, appointment process, induction, training, payroll processing, automating and simplifying the process as much as possible, leveraging technology for it. However what about the regular work that the employee has to do to fulfill Job Description. Also, these days role of HR has evolved a lot.

Today, HR is no more about processes and Laws, its more about OverAll Employee Experience.

Changing role of HR

  • HR is no more about rules, processes, laws, and compliance. It is more about Employee Experience, Job satisfaction, motivation, etc. HR team is also responsible for making overall operations smooth and stress-free.
  • The role of HR has changed from supervisory and monitoring role to role of coordination, enabler and force multiplier. That will build trust, and the trust will boost teamwork and overall performance.

Its a Myth that employees need to like each other actually need to trust each other for their professional capability. HR needs to develop processes and deploy tools accordingly.

For all above reasons, HR needs to make sure that proper processes and tools are required that will bring the desired results like reducing stress, improving productivity, building trust and teamwork, achieving higher results.

How CRM can help HR to improve Employee Experience

A properly deployed and implemented CRM system will improve Employee Experience in more than few ways.

Increased productivity and confidence level

CRM, whether used in Sales or Support Teams, raises productivity and efficiency. Results are much faster, and that helps in boosting confidence and motivational level of employees.

Its a misconception that motivated employees are successful. Actually, successful employees are motivated. So HR needs to make sure that employees are successful.

Realistic sales forecasts versus targets

CRM helps Sales manager monitor the pipeline and do error corrections in real-time. Thus the focus shifts from Sales goals to Sales activities and milestones. CRM provides realistic sales forecast based on expected opportunity closure dates and estimated revenue. It can be drilled down to a very granular level. Thus Sales forecasts provided by CRM are much more realistic as compared to Sales estimates and targets set by Sales Manager and Sales Executives.

Bhagwat Geeta says, you cannot control results, you can only control your activity "Karma - कर्मा"

Reducing stress in Sales Teams:

You can manage Sales activities and not Sales results. Generally,  Sales Managers give figures of desired sales results and then. The sales team is supposed to achieve it. No one is talking about what is happening on field level, but if Sales managers monitor the ground activities and milestones made/missed the sales results will be easily achievable.

Also since the activities done by sales team are transparently recorded in real-time, there is no difference of opinion.  If there is an external factor involved for not achieving the results, the sales executive can at least explain that to The Sales Manager with proper details and proof.

Improving Sales processes from learnings in CRM

Sales coaching should be a part of the role of Sales Managers. But how do they know where the sales team is lacking and what mistakes are they making? CRM helps here by logging activities, sales process, customer journey and deal stages, etc. It helps in determining where the things are going wrong or out of direction.

There is difference between Sales Training and Sales Coaching. Sales coaching is something which is generally done onjob and its an ongoing process.

Faster and meaningful meetings:

In Excel days (or in the absence of your CRM giving your real-time results and notifications) Sales Meeting generally started with people giving in their numbers and then discussing what happened and why. Finally, if some time is left, then they talk about the next step and corrective actions. It is a mess and waste of time and resource.

Not anymore, With proper CRM in place everybody attending the meeting knows the numbers, even the activities done and milestones achieved. Which means that the meeting is purposeful, analytical and productive. Team members can focus on error correction and plan next actions.

Better coordination between Marketing,  Sales, and Service:

In any organization, there is constant conflict between the marketing team and Sales team. Marketing Team says that Sales team is not able to convert the leads that they generate. On the contrary Sales team will argue that they don't get proper leads. It happens because both teams are using separate tools to measure their activities.

CRM can bring an end to this by providing proper analytical stage wise reporting with the appropriate reasoning for failure to convert the leads.  All these happen on a single platform - the CRM.

Same kind of conflict occurs when Support Team has to interact with customers and deliver them the promises made by sales.  It is because they are not clear what had occurred in the Sales process. CRM brings both these teams closer because they both use same platform and history of all the interactions with Customer are available to support team also.


Above examples are for the Sales team, but are equally valid for Support and service teams also. A modern CRM does not only mean lead management system or customer database, but it's much beyond that. CRM helps to improve Employee Experience to a significant level.

What is CRM analytics?

CRM analytics refers to the processing of data that resides in your CRM database to uncover useful insights about customers that businesses can act upon. Integrating analytics makes CRM systems more intelligent in comprehending customers and empowers you to make data-driven decisions.

(This is the age of data analytics. Read our post CRM & Big Data Analytics)

Why should businesses use an Analytical CRM?

CRM analytics

Most businesses rely on a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software to form lifelong relationships with their customers. However, in the recent years, understanding customers has become a convoluted process since a wealth of information is being generated every single day on the internet that needs to be harnessed and analyzed. Customers have become unpredictable in the ever changing business landscape. Businesses need to adapt faster to respond to customer needs or else they will be driven out of the market. Hence, having a CRM that is integrated with analytical tools cannot be stressed enough.

What can CRM Analytics accomplish for your business?

1. Marketing

Learn which customers are interested in purchasing your products and design your marketing campaigns keeping their tastes and preferences in mind. This will increase the efficiency and result in the desired ROI since you won’t be targeting customers who show little to no interest in your product.

2. Sales

Get detailed insights about your customers regarding their demographics, tastes and preferences,buying behaviour etc. This will help accelerate the sales process by allowing you to identify the leads that have the highest probability of being converted into deals.

3. Customer Service

Improve customer retention and enrich customer experience by tracking customer behaviour and knowing how your product or brand is being perceived by the audience. Reach out to customers to determine any dissatisfaction on their part before they switch over to your competitor.

(An interesting read: Internet of Things & The Future of CRM)

SugarCRM as Your Analytical CRM

With Sugar, your analysts will gain the ability to predict how customers will respond to certain stimuli (products & services) based on their behavioral history and past preferences.  This will enable your analysts to more successfully judge and answer the most pertinent questions that exists in corporations; how, when and where to allocate resources for future investments and products.


Your sales representatives and marketing executives would be able to thoroughly analyze and examine all the customer touch points. These include social media, web click stream, internet, email and inquiries made via telephone calls. Just imagine how valuable this information can be to business analysts. Your team of marketing analysts will be able to better forecast consumer preferences, envision subsequent requirements and resolve other issues that incorporate various business decisions.

Sugar gives you the ability to manage forecasts of each member of the team through a single worksheet. Assigning quotas, adjusting individual forecasts and analyzing the performance of individuals are no longer considered a tedious task. Sugar also allows your enterprise to keep track of customer activities.

Key Takeaway

Regardless of your company size or industry vertical, having a CRM integrated with data analytics capabilities has become a necessity to spot developing trends and identify new opportunities. The traditional functionalities of a CRM no longer enable businesses to provide excellent customer service due to the ever evolving market dynamics. Data needs to be extracted and analyzed to gain deeper customer insights. The fundamental reason why we recommend Sugar is that it is one CRM which offers great flexibility to businesses since it can be seamlessly integrated with third party data analytics apps.

We are here to help

Our experts can integrate your SugarCRM with any data analytics platform that you desire. Contact us to schedule a FREE business analysis session