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The first-ever survey was a census conducted in 3800 BCE in the city of Babylon. We’ve come a long way since then. Surveys give us measurable statistics of public opinion which would otherwise be difficult to make sense of. As business practices become more and more customer-centric, surveys become integral parts of decision-making.

Online surveys have optimized the methods of surveying to be better suited for the internet age. You can obtain critical information by offering small incentives to the person that you’re surveying. Surveys impact everything from the market research to day-to-day decision making.

Even a simple survey can be beneficial in many ways. Increased ROI, enhanced customer experience, a better understanding of targeted customer segment, and proper knowledge of customer buying habits and current trends. It is possible to gather all this data and take an informed decision based on it.

Why you need the proper tool to conduct online surveys

Did you know, you can add a survey plugin to your SugarCRM?! This lets you use your CRM database to conduct surveys. A survey tool is more than a fancy toy for your analysts. The right survey tool will enable you to get specific details dynamically.

It can be an overwhelming experience to choose correctly from such a wide range of tools. To ease the process for you, we have listed out 8 must-have features in an online survey tool.


8 Must-Have Features in an Online Survey Tool:

Skip Logic:


Skip logic lets you ask questions based on the previous responses of the prospect. This makes the survey more dynamic. You can collect information that is specific to a particular customer segment. It may even help you to identify new customer segments.

For example, you may ask the gender of the customer. After that, you can use skip logic to ask gender-specific questions. It is an elegant solution for when you’re surveying a diverse set of individuals.


Real-Time Feedback: It is important that your survey tool updates all information in real time. This enables you to take prompt decisions.

It is necessary, particularly in today’s time and age, as clients have come to expect instant response from companies. Delayed feedback may lead to unsatisfied customers which in turn leads to poor rep among your prospective clients. Prompt action will take you a long way.



Data piping to and from CRM are important features. Data-piping from CRM lets you fetch data directly from the CRM and fill it in the survey automatically. Similarly, data-piping to CRM automatically updates the data in your CRM based on information acquired through surveys.

Data-piping makes it convenient for both your users and you to manage information. A person is likely to abandon a survey form midway if there are too many questions. Data-piping helps you avoid that by reducing the number of questions asked to a certain extent.

Advanced Search Filters: Once you have acquired the required data, you need to be able to analyze it in detail. You can use the same survey to understand multiple areas of interest. All you need is a search filter that lets you search and sort the data based on different factors.


This may include partial searches or searches for entries without a specific value. This way, you can easily navigate through the large records. Which is near impossible in some cases where the number of people taking the survey is huge.

Net Promoter Score:


When you ask a customer to rate you on a scale, there are always going to be an ambiguity in the data. NPS allows you to categorize the customers into three segments based on ratings on a scale of 0 to 10. People who gave a rating of 0 to 6 are Detractors, 7 and 8 are Passives, and 9 to 10 are your Promoters.

This helps you get an idea of network effects by putting a number on how likely a customer is to recommend your product.


Exportable Data: You may need to have the data handy in specific formats or print when documenting or presenting it. It should be easy to export the data in the required format from the survey tool itself. It is a simple feature that makes life much easier for anyone involved with the analysis, reporting and decision making that goes on in the firm.

It is equally important that you’re able to update the exported copies with up-to-date information from the real-time values in your CRM.

Survey Automation: Any competent survey tool will allow users to schedule surveys or trigger them based on certain user actions. For example, you might want to take a survey about quality and experience when a customer makes a purchase. This is only possible through CRM survey tools integrated with the CRM.

Survey automation is a must when the number of people signing up for your survey is large. If you try manually sending each and every survey form, you’ll probably end up in a huge mess.

Multiple Question Types: Based on the question, you may require different formats for answers such as text, radio buttons, check boxes, rating scale, etc. It helps keep the survey interactive while extracting the required information in formats that are easier to process.

A text response might be better suited for certain responses such as subjective messages but it may not be suitable for gender or food preferences where a multiple-choice question would be more appropriate.



If we tried to make an exhaustive list of features, it would probably be endless and as such a vain exercise. However, the above-listed features are absolutely necessary for a modern survey tool. Without them, your surveys might become difficult to handle, particularly in large numbers. So, make sure that the survey tool you choose has everything on the checklist.

Another important thing to keep in mind before investing in any CRM survey tool is that there should be no 3rd party integrations required to operate the survey tool. There are many survey modules in the market like SugarCRM Survey Module specifically designed to integrate with your CRM.

According to Gartner, there will be more than 25 billion connected things by 2020. It means the Internet of Things is going to be a huge connected network between people-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things. It is not only connecting with us more, it is also changing the way we live. Whether we prefer to notice it or not, yet IoT is transforming our surroundings and will keep on doing it.


Now, let’s talk about CRMs. In earlier days, the focus of CRMs was to reduce the cost around customer acquisition, retention, and servicing them. Now, it has customer portals that look after saving time and resources along with cost cutting. It also strives to provide quality of services to customers. Sugar CRM facilitates enterprises by enabling them to build customer portals to better their engagement.


Blending Automation with Convenience
So, IoT is changing the way people live and Sugar CRM is changing the way enterprise work. Now what if they both work together? This synergy will create an environment of predictive and preventive functionalities that send alert for future actions. Such a system will notify your customers in advance before they face any problem and provide a service or solution to the issues they might face in the near future. IoT will decode the buying pattern of the customer in real-time, and it will help the SugarCRM Customer Portal or application to include them in the right marketing campaign.

Is it possible?
Yes, it is possible to use 'Internet of Things' and integrate it with SugarCRM Customer Portal and applications. The major three components of IoT can generate huge benefits for organizations if it works in sync with CRM. These three important components of IoT that your Sugar CRM solution can optimize are:

  • Sensors
  • Wireless Internet Connectivity
  • Computational Capability at the Device i.e. Data Processing Capability

3 Different Scenarios Where IoT is Taking the Customer Experience to The Next Level.

  • A customer’s hearing aid instruments battery is malfunctioning. There is a need for it to replace that within next few days. Here IoT will notify about the status of the machine. This will allow the staff to inform the customer proactively and update him. They can communicate with them that the instrument’s battery is having some issues, and it needs replacement soon. It will help a customer to replace the battery, and they will not face any problem while using the product.
  • A customer’s hearing aid instrument is under warranty period and not working properly. Again, IoT will help the company to know about this issue. Hence, the customer service representative can call the customer and talk about it. Or they can straight away replace the instrument since it is not working properly and it is under warranty period.
  • The customer is not using certain new incorporated features of an instrument because of some reason. Here, IoT analytics will come into the role and will raise an alert. Now the support team can call and ask for a session or training. So that he/she will get awareness of those new features and customer can start using it.

How SugarCRM Takes These IoT Alerts for Next Level Customer Experience?

  • Company can design their Sugar CRM application to share this data. It can also trigger informative information that certain features of the product are in use for a one time. SugarCRM application will integrate this information and will send a notification to the team.
  • The flexibility of Sugar CRM will also allow to render this information in another manner. It also drives the system to generate a service case where the system will register a support call automatically to the customer. The system will assign it to a service representative automatically, who will make a call to the customer to update the problem, or ask for other services.

In any of the way, a customer will be happy that the Product Company is taking a preventive action, and providing service promptly before they face any issue. It will help you to gain the customer’s confidence in your services, products, and increase their satisfaction level as well.

IoT with SugarCRM can also help sales and marketing functions in multiple ways. Real-time data generated by IoT will you to help understand in numerous ways. It will tell you usage of the product, buying patterns of the customer, opportunities for cross-selling and up selling, deciding flexible pricing, etc. Your sales team can analyze the IoT generated data to decide future campaigns by knowing the right customers.

It will help them reduce the cost in terms of market research. This data can also help the marketing function to identify those customers, who are not using your products anymore. For such customers, you can run separate campaigns, or invite them for trade shows and product launch programs, and try to retain them.

So, why wait? Leverage the power of IoT and Sugar CRM and get the best out of your business. It will make the work flow faster and user friendly. This will also stay helpful for your staff and assist them to boost their productivity.

View Source: Sugar CRM and IoT: The Synergy That Will Drive the Next Level Customer Experience 

When it comes to software, every business has a unique set of needs. In an attempt to create the perfect solution to those needs, most companies end up cobbling together a collection of products that includes a CRM, an ERP, a sales and marketing suite, and an email solution. While these individual pieces function just well enough to get the job done, the companies who use them don’t realize just how inefficient it can be to switch between these tools.

In the course of an average day, salespeople switch from their CRM to their email hundreds of times. Each time, they lose a few precious seconds of productivity while the software is loading and they’re reorienting themselves to a different layout. When you multiply these seconds by dozens of employees, those seconds quickly become hours (or even days) of needlessly lost time.

But when you connect your company’s most essential tools through software integration, you’re doing more than streamlining workflows. You’re saving your company serious amounts of money. So how do you fully integrate these tools to yield the greatest possible benefits for your business?

Make It Fit Your Needs

Combining your software should make things easier, not harder. Connecting two platforms isn’t that helpful if your ultimate result isn’t a simplified workflow. Ideally, you should integrate your software in a way that allows your team to share and update between both tools.

Any platform integration should start with a thorough examination of your company’s processes, and you should look for opportunities when integration makes the most sense. Once you know where the disconnects are, it becomes easier to identify the integrations that will provide the best results.

Streamline Your Processes

If you want to understand the least efficient parts of your company’s software setup, here’s the best place to start: Find the people who have to deal with that software every day. Then ask them about the most frustrating issues they encounter when using these platforms. Since they know exactly where the cracks and roadblocks are, get their feedback about how their workflows can be improved.

If the current workflow requires them to manually enter the same new customer information into two systems (for example, your ERP and CRM), they will be the first people to point out how inefficient this process is.

Get the Most from Both Platforms

When it comes to integrating your company’s most-used software, boosting worker efficiency isn’t the only benefit you’ll get from integrating your company’s most-used software. You can also improve your operations across the board, which provides your employees with new insights and tools. By removing the barriers between these various systems, your teams will have everything they need in one place.

One great example of this consolidation involves integrating a CRM solution (such as Sugar) with a sales-and-marketing platform like HubSpot). Need to see which types of marketing initiatives are resonating with a specific customer? If you simply select a HubSpot dashlet within Sugar, all of that vital marketing data is right at your fingertips.

In fact, we offer this exact integration here at Intelestream. It’s called HubSpot for Sugar®.


By utilizing software integration, you’re doing more than just improving the efficiency of your workflows. You’re changing the center of gravity for your business. You’re helping your teams succeed in ways that would never have been possible before. And that’s a smart investment for your business.

The more you know about marketing automation (MA), the better it sounds. What’s not to like? It’s a software solution that takes care of the most repetitive and mind-numbing parts of managing your company’s marketing work.

Marketing automation provides you with real visibility into the effectiveness of your marketing efforts, which allows you to pinpoint exactly what works (and what doesn’t). So for any company looking to maximize their results, it sounds like the perfect solution.

At the same time, it’s important to remember that every marketing automation solution isn’t the perfect fit for every company or use case. Since your company’s needs and goals should inform your decision-making process, we’re going to zoom out a little, and explore some of the finer points of marketing automation you might not have thought about.

Get the most from both your CRM and your marketing automation software. Read our Total CRM whitepaper.

  1. There’s more to marketing automation than email blasts.

The best automation tools allow you to fine tune every part of your marketing process—from A/B testing every element of your communications to writing content that targets prospects along specific stages of the pipelines.

  1. It delivers great results for businesses of every size.

Even relatively small businesses with specialized products for niche industries can benefit from MA. Are you worried that your company just isn’t big enough to see real benefits from marketing automation? If so, think again. Some marketing automation tactics actually work more effectively with small and midsize businesses.

  1. Automation doesn’t mean your marketing is on autopilot.

Marketing automation is about eliminating tedious tasks, not letting a machine captain your ship. It allows a marketer to have more time to test ideas, explore new options, and scale operations. But there will always need to be a human hand at the helm.

  1. Time is money, and marketing automation saves you both.

Marketing is a detail-focused job, which requires extensive planning skills and a strong creative streak. The more people they reach, the better the company’s bottom line will be. If a technology helps streamline workflows and other processes, it will directly translate into more revenue.

  1. The more streamlined your marketing process is, the more efficient your operation becomes.

Many companies don’t prioritize their marketing technology. While the rest of the company is using modern ERP and CRM technology, the marketing team is stuck using tools that date back to the days of print media and slow everything down. By fully integrating a new marketing automation solution with the tools used by other teams, the entire company gets a major efficiency boost.

  1. Marketing automation takes the headache out of both tracking and targeting.

Without the right tools, it’s hard to identify customer segments. It’s basically impossible to follow prospects as they move through the funnel. So if you have a properly-designed marketing automation solution, you can accomplish both of these goals right out of the box, and you’ll have deep insights into every aspect of your customers.

  1. It scales with your business.

Before the advent of marketing automation technology, scaling your marketing operation was a challenge. The only option was to hire new people and give them a bigger budget. Today, one skilled marketer can handle the same amount of work that used to require a dozen or more people. MA makes it exponentially easier to scale the marketing side of any business.

  1. Lead qualification becomes a stress-free process.

The less time your sales team has to spend on qualifying leads, the more time they have to make sales. By automating the first several interactions with potential customers, marketing automation software essentially allows leads to qualify themselves.

  1. Real-time monitoring allows you to quickly respond to changes and challenges.

When something isn’t working with your marketing, you need to know about it as soon as possible. By properly setting up the alerts and dashboards on your marketing automation software, you’ll be able to see and respond to trends and changes long before they become serious problems.

  1. To learn more about your customers, test everything.

Even tiny tweaks to an email or social media post can result in double-digit changes to conversions. By using your marketing automation tools for A/B testing, you can discover exactly which messaging, images, and CTAs generate the best responses from your customers.

  1. Great results require quality content that is delivered at the perfect time.

When a new prospect enters your company’s marketing funnel, he or she actually takes a guided tour through your company’s most compelling selling points. Marketing automation allows you to target exactly what these prospects learn during each stage of the funnel. This benefit weeds out the prospects who aren’t ready to buy. It also sends the ones who are ready to the sales team.

  1. Results are only as good as the quality of your data.

For any marketing automation solution to work as planned, clean data is essential. If you have dirty data in your CRM or related databases, it’s imperative that you work with your software implementation partners and scrub it until it shines. As your marketing operations bring in data about new leads, that information must also meet the highest possible standards, cleaning it up before it passes to other teams.

  1. Your competition is already doing it, or they will be soon.

Every company is looking for an edge, particularly when it comes to winning new customers. For companies that rely on emailing, digital advertising, retargeting, or social media to bring in new business, marketing automation tools are huge advantages. If you aren’t using marketing automation to drive your results, you’re only making it easier for the other guy to reach them first.

marketing automation

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