Skip navigation
All Places > Partner Corner > Blog > 2020 > February
2020

Email plays a major role in business communication. As inboxes are flooded with emails, it’s important to stay organized, maintain records and streamline communication with customers. 

 

Wouldn’t it be great to embed your CRM software within G Suite and Office 365 and conduct all your customer-related activities through a single platform? 

 

Now you can. SugarCRM has introduced Sugar Connect to provide critical information about all your customers while you are communicating with them. Sugar Connect lets you work more efficiently, bring key customer activities into Gmail and Office 365 and make customers for life.  

 

Let's get started to learn more about Sugar Connect and how it will benefit your business. 

What is Sugar Connect?

Sugar Connect seamlessly synchronizes G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 with Sugar Enterprise, Sugar Pro, Sugar Sell, and Sugar Serve. This enhances the functionality of Sugar and allows users to incorporate emails, calendars, tasks, and contacts into a unified view and easily access all the data from a single platform. 

Features and Benefits of Sugar Connect

Make the Most of Your Inbox with Sugar

Be it any business function, email plays a crucial role in managing tasks and streamlining communication with employees across the company, the customers and other stakeholders.

 

Sugar Connect lets you do exactly that so you can have all the relevant information about customers in your inbox with just a click. No need to switch apps or leave your inbox to get to know a customer, as Sugar Connect provides a complete context of your interactions with them. 

Remove Clutter by Easily Archiving Emails

For a business to be efficient and drive high profits, it’s important for the employees to stay organized and remove clutter. 

 

As Sugar Connect allows you to connect G Suite and Office 365 to Sugar, this makes it quite easy to archive emails by automatically syncing your inbox with the contacts or accounts in Sugar. This ensures that you have the communication history of different clients readily at hand. 

Sync Events Across Different Calendars and Platforms

Cut down the hassle of maintaining separate calendars in Google, Outlook, and Sugar. With Sugar Connect, you can easily synchronize events across calendars and simplify the scheduling process to save time. Rather than switching between different software, you can schedule meetings and configure fields with your Sugar database. 

Get Contextual Information About Customers 

Streamline the customer management process and expand your customer database with bi-directional synchronization between Sugar and Gmail or Outlook 365. As a result, you can communicate with your customers clearly and with more information. 

Eliminate Data Entry

Sugar Connect allows users to leverage "no-touch" sync which is automatic and easy. As a result, you won’t have to manually enter customer information or update records. This ensures that all records are updated automatically, enabling users to deliver personalized solutions and save time. 

Get a 360-Degree Customer View

To develop meaningful customer relationships, it’s important to gain a 360-degree view of your customers. Sugar Connect gives you a competitive edge by providing accurate customer records and complete visibility in different Sugar modules directly from Office 365 or G Suite. 

Personalized User Experience

Sugar Connect provides actionable insights based on your communication with people from G Suite or Office 365. Hence, you can enjoy a personalized user experience by getting all the information based on whom you are emailing, the content, and when you are sending or receiving an email. 

The Bottom Line

Sugar Connect is your best bet to boost CRM productivity. It allows users to keep accurate and complete customer records by seamlessly syncing your G Suite or Office 365 with Sugar. While you can leverage Sugar integration with Gmail and Office 365, Sugar Connect provides a seamless end-to-end solution to embed your CRM within these commonly used business applications. 

There’s more to growing a business than winning new customers and clients. To experience real growth, you need to optimize, streamline, and centralize your core business processes. Then you can get the full picture of your company’s operations.

For your salespeople and customer service reps to gain the insights they need, you may need to invest in a customer relationship management (CRM) solution. But what about all your processes that aren’t focused on sales? That’s where an enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution comes in.

 

ERP systems are designed to collect data from a wide variety of business processes, including HR, supply chains, manufacturing, procurement and billing. And they make that data more accessible and usable. In fact, a well-implemented ERP can empower its users to eliminate information silos, which will create comprehensive insights, analyses and reports. So it perfectly complements the sales-and-service focus of CRM.

 

If you’re thinking about adopting an ERP solution for your business, it’s important to understand some fundamental concepts before you invest your company’s time and money in it.

 

So here are 10 important tips about ERP implementation:

 

Optimize for higher productivity but lower risks.

A well-designed ERP platform allows for many of the most tedious and time-consuming daily activities (such as sending email updates, generating reports and identifying delays) to be fully automated. This benefit also creates an opportunity to reduce the guesswork and uncertainty of many business operations, which reduces the impact of human error.

 

Your top priority should involve improving insights and reports.

Since ERP solutions put a wealth of vital information at your fingertips, they make life easier for everyone who uses them. But to be truly effective, all of this data needs to flow to your company’s decision-makers. In other words, you need to invest in the development of useful dashboards, standard reports and in-depth analysis tools.

 

Focus on the ERP modules you actually need.

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to ERP implementation. Since most ERP software is modular, it gives thousands of possible configurations—right out of the box. Always remember that your ERP solution needs to align with your company’s specific use cases.

 

Frequently, you’ll need to ignore the bells and whistles. To create a more streamlined ERP experience, you may even need to remove unused functionality.

 

Understand the types of ERP, as well as their use cases.

Does your ERP require full control over a dedicated, on-site server? And do you have a geographically distributed team that includes people working in the field? If so, cloud-based ERP might make more sense.

 

Identify the correct size of ERP for your business.

A small, family-owned company has vastly different ERP needs than a midsize international business. So if your ERP implementation partner doesn’t understand those differences, it can create a huge range of problems down the line.

 

Planning and preparation matter.

According to some estimates, 50% of new ERP implementations fail. And in almost every case, the root cause is a poorly planned, rushed roll-out process. So take your time, and get it right.

 

Create a realistic timeline.

ERP vendors can be optimistic to a fault. This trait is especially common when it comes to estimating the timeline of a successful roll out. These vendors tell their clients what they think they want to hear, even if it means fudging the launch dates.

As a result, most ERP initiatives take 30% longer to complete than their original estimates. Overall, a good ERP implementation partner is completely transparent about the potential delays you may face along the way.

 

Set a realistic budget.

It’s extremely common for new ERP implementations to go way overbudget. This outcome is often the result of trying to cut corners on steps like user testing—only to realize late in the process (even after the launch) that an essential feature is missing.

 

A great ERP implementation partner will be candid with you about the costs involved in achieving your company’s goals. This transparency will allow you to create an accurate budget from the get-go.

 

Find the right implementation partner.

When deciding whether to adopt an ERP solution, many companies focus on the wrong things. For example, they obsess over:

  • The specific features of ERP software suites.
  • The length of time the implementation will take.
  • The amount of money they can shave off the final budget.

 

To keep your project on track, you need an implementation partner who’s willing to take the time to understand your company’s unique needs, challenges, and use cases.

 

Plan for post-implementation revisions.

Most new ERP systems require usability upgrades and improvements after implementation. These post-implementation upgrades should be an essential part of your ERP strategy. And your implementation partner should have a cost-effective plan that will continuously help you improve your results.

 

Conclusion

Your ERP solution is one of the most important investments your business will ever make. It’s a major expenditure of time, money, and other resources. So the last thing you want to see is your ERP implementation fail because of a completely avoidable problem.

 

Remember, the most important thing is to get it right, which could involve thinking bigger than just ERP. In many cases, it makes more sense to launch a combined ERP/CRM solution. When you combine your ERP and CRM installations, you’ll have complete visibility of every aspect of your company’s operations.

 

To learn more about the ways ERP and CRM technology can transform your company, contact FayeBSG

By Elizabeth Mankowski

 

So your company acquired a new business (or you’ve been acquired yourself!). What does that mean for your CRM?

 

Imagine this: you’re the Vice President of Sales at Acme Co. You rolled out a newly configured SugarCRM to your field sales team last year. Adoption was strong: opportunities and leads are logged, and everyone uses the CRM for their weekly check-ins. You have better visibility of your opportunity revenue forecasts than ever before.

 

This year, your firm acquired another organization that runs a related business. They did not have a CRM, so you want to bring them into your existing CRM. But their sales cycle is a little different because they often provide product samples, but you rarely do. Their products are a little different: your widgets vary only in color and size. Theirs vary by color, size, and materials. They prefer monthly reports, while your team works toward quarterly goals.

 

How will you decide how to use the CRM going forward as a combined team?

Enter: CRM Governance

CRM Governance is a fancy way to say, “Who, how, and when will we make changes to our CRM going forward?”

As Director of our CRM Practice at Highland, I have identified five key strategies for implementing a successful CRM Governance:

 

1. Share the vision

Make sure everyone in your organization understands what strategic initiatives the CRM is designed to support. This includes more than just your Sales and Marketing team members. IT, operations, finance — all these folks should be able to articulate your Sales Vision and how the CRM helps to achieve it. If you have a third-party implementation partner, share the vision with them as well.

 

2. Share the timeline

Most strategic plans are framed in a timeline of two to five years. Your customer experience platform will also evolve over this timeline. Articulate for yourself and all your supporting team what changes are expected when. Define dependencies and major business events.

 

A sample timeline for CRM Governance | Image provided by Elizabeth Mankowski

A sample timeline for CRM Governance | Image provided by Elizabeth Mankowski

 

3. Delegate and empower

Identify one or two CRM administrators within your organization who are responsible for executing the vision and timeline. Check-in with them periodically, but free yourself from the day-to-day management of CRM enhancements.


4. Gather the right expertise

Identify representatives from your current sales team and the newly acquired team to participate on a joint team or governance board. Pull in additional resources as needed. When deciding who should be involved, it can be helpful to create a system map showing how your CRM will connect to other essential technology systems within your organization:

CRM System Map | Created byTyler Etters

 

Are you ready to integrate your CRM with a marketing automation platform to scale your digital campaigns? Then call a meeting with your CRM administrators and the marketing automation experts. Promote transparency around expectations, scope, timeline, budget, and any other project variables.

 

When considering integration between your CRM and ERP systems, bring your IT leaders to the discussion. Articulate your vision, then let your experts craft a solution proposal. Scheduling regular meetings during the solution definition phase, as well as throughout the project, will provide checkpoints to validate that everyone is still on the same path, moving toward the same vision.

 

5. Set an ongoing cadence

Leveraging the most value from your CRM rarely happens by taking a one-and-done approach. Just as your product offerings continue to evolve through research and development, so too should your CRM platform. Regular channels and cadence for receiving feedback from the field reps on the front lines, who use the system the most, can provide insights you may miss. When your sales processes grow and change, your system should reflect those changes in a timely manner.

Scheduling regular meetings for each of the groups involved with CRM governance, implementation, and usage will help everyone keep the focus on the strategic vision and over-arching timeline.

Successful CRM Governance is like farming— you need to till the land to harvest a strong crop.

 

An analogy that may be helpful here:

 

A gardener once bought a plot of land covered with rocks, trees, and an old broken-down fence. She spent the first spring and summer clearing the land to make it tillable.

 

By late summer, she had sowed her first crop of winter wheat. As the first snow fell, she harvested this wheat and considered her real estate investment a success. The next season, she planted wheat again, although the crop yield was slightly less. Her neighbor advised her to rotate her crops, so the third season, she planted corn, and again reaped a bountiful harvest. In the fourth season, she again planted corn, but drought hit hard, and the harvest was meager. In the fifth season, all the prognosticators called for drought again, so she planted chickpeas.

 

Like this gardener who evolved her plantings with weather and soil conditions, so too must your CRM evolve to meet market conditions, new product offerings, company mergers, and staffing changes over time. Adaptation will allow you to continue to recognize value from your investment, whether that be a tract of land or a CRM system.

 

This blog was originally posted on The Highland Journal

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: