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22 Posts authored by: Hussain Nasir

The first of 4 quarterly releases from SugarCRM is here. Sugar Winter ‘19 is packed with improvements and updates across the board, with a number of new functionalities stacked in the middle. Titled Sugar 8.3, this new release builds upon Sugar 8.2 by introducing new features in core modules as well as some simplistic updates here and there to further intensify the user experience.

Let’s break down all the major features introduced in Sugar 8.3

New Features in Product Catalog

Sugar 8.3

The Product Catalog Dashlet in Sugar has evolved to include a number of new functionalities in Sugar 8.3. Introduced in Sugar Winter ‘18, the Product Catalog Dashlet now has the ability to add Quick Picks, Reports. And Records. Let’s take a look:

Product Catalog Quick Picks Dashlet

The Product Catalog Dashlet can get clustered pretty quickly if you’ve got a number of different variables in play, but that’s all taken care of now in Sugar 8.3 with Quick Picks. The Product Catalog Quick Picks Dashlet quickly lets the user access recently used line items as well as those the users have marked as favorites. This simple new feature can save users valuable time and improve the overall experience.

Quick Picks isn’t the only new update to the Product Catalog. In Sugar 8.3, you can also mark Favorites through the Product Catalog list view.

The Product Catalog Dashlet is one of the best time-savers in the Sugar platform and this new update will surely delight Sugar users.

Product Catalog Reports

The Reports Module now displays your Product Catalog as well. This helps you get a visual representation of all the products in your inventory in the shape of reports.

New Features in Advanced Workflow

Sugar 8.3

Sugar 8.3 includes a number of new updates in Advanced Workflows across the board. Advanced Workflows serve as a core feature in SugarCRM and help organizations automate complex tasks and processes. Here’s a breakdown of what’s new!

Process Validation

In Sugar 8.3, you can validate advanced workflows for their functionality and sublimity before putting them live. The Process Validator imports process definition designs and picks out errors and issues along with sequencing mistakes.

Admin Configuration

New Process Auto Save and Auto Validate options have been added to Sugar’s System Settings with a designated panel called “Advanced Workflow”. The error number of cycles setting has also been relocated in Sugar 8.3.

Module Relationships

New Module Relationships have been created in Sugar 8.3 that let you add related records as well as the ability to relate it to a target record. You can also change the value of one or more fields on the target record.

New Comment Log Field

Sugar 8.3

The Bugs and Cases module has a new entry called the Comment Log Field. Sugar users can access the Comment Log Field to view these snippets to ensure everyone is on the same page. Sugar Administrators can use the Comment Log Field and put it in other modules apart from Bugs and Cases Module. This comment log ensures that customer information is present right in the confines of the Sugar record.

Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 600 firms with various SugarCRM integrations and customization.

2018 turned out to be a huge year for CRM as companies realized the full extent of its functionalities and paved the way for Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Internet of Things. Big data cemented its place as the source of all good things when it comes to customers but things took a turn for the worse when the world caught up with lackluster security protocols in the virtual ecosystem. Things only go uphill from here because CRM is a household name and everyone wants a piece of this cake.

Let’s look at some of the top CRM trends to look out for in 2019

CRM goes Mainstream

The CRM industry is truly evolving beyond its reach and 2018 showed how the mainstream industry has caught on with it. More and more companies these days look for a Customer Relationship Management platform early on in their existence. The multitude of benefits in terms of customer acquisition, retention, and management are hallmarks that make CRM a must-have software. SugarCRM and Salesforce still hold the top spots when it comes to the best but expect more CRM vendors to sprout in 2019, offering basic or mid-scale services at cheaper rates to target the SMBs. However, a word of caution; the rise of GDPR and privacy regulations regarding big data is serious stuff, so opt for a CRM vendor that guarantees data privacy. The big two in the CRM Industry, SugarCRM and Salesforce, are both GDPR ready!

Artificial Intelligence and Marketing Automation take center stage!

2018 paved the way, 2019 will cement their footing! Artificial Intelligence is truly here and the amazing benefits it presents for companies worldwide means it’s not going away any time soon. Artificial Intelligence with CRM makes for an interesting combination that brings order and proactiveness to customer support and management. Expect companies to leverage AI in areas beyond customer support in 2019 to achieve a competitive edge. Voice-to-text functionalities, spam filters, sales forecasting, smart searches, and sentimental analysis are all areas that can do a lot more with Artificial Intelligence.

As for the other half of the sales cycle, expect Marketing Automation to secure a solid footing in a majority of marketing tasks and operations. Companies can grow their marketing to new heights as the bulk of the work gets automated, expect competition and cutting edge solutions heading into 2019.

Mobile CRM takes over!

Mobile CRM presents its users the core CRM functionalities on the go and brings a whole new range of possibilities for your CRM users. 2018 saw Mobile CRM breakthrough for Sales departments. With CRM functionalities on their phone, Sales teams improved their productivity by closing deals and managing clients on the go. By being constantly connected to the CRM, your sales people are always a touch away from your clients. Certain CRM integrations can add to the diverse functionality of Mobile CRM and improved data quality. Mobile CRM ensured new data into the database in real time and increased CRM adoption rates with its multi-device adaptability.

Deep Personalization

2019 will be the year when companies dig into years of customer data to personalize experiences for them. The number 1 rule to retaining customers is making them feel valued. If you as a company can target the customer’s need before the customer itself, you’ve hit gold. Years of data in CRM can be leveraged to do just that. The world is effectively heading into a territory where customer experience will grow to become the key differentiator, and deep personalization is the most popular train to it. Use your customer data to understand your customer, identify their preferences, needs, wants, and then tailor the experience with the help of AI to make them feel appreciated. Read more on how you can use SugarCRM to improve Customer Experience.

Our Two Bits!

Things may take a different route altogether but they will still have strings attached to the key differentiators we mentioned. The world of technology is volatile and it takes very little to change the course of things; who saw GDPR coming in 2018? Nonetheless, the focus on Artificial Intelligence, Automation, and Data is where we see the CRM Industry heading, but then again, who’s to say they’re not already there?

SugarCon is well and truly behind us and its left a lot for us to digest in its wake. The two day extravaganza was full of intuitive thought-provoking keynotes and immersive breakout sessions that brought all things SugarCRM to the heart of Las Vegas. Following the theme of the event, SugarCon focused on the future of CRM in light of Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain. Technical discussions on how to leverage the most out of CRM ran concurrently as SugarCon 18 made good on its promise,  as one of the biggest CRM events of the year!

SugarCon

Rolustech was there in Las Vegas as the Official Sponsors of SugarCon and introduced a number of SugarCRM plugins and industry solutions to the delight of those in attendance. Read on for our highlights from SugarCon 2018.

Keynote Speeches

The keynote speakers all had very insightful things to say. The event was kickstarted by Maribel Lopez (Lopez Research) who emphasized on the importance of customer relationships for successful business model. She highlighted how CRM has made this task considerably easier and leveraging the most out of it is the key to effective business relationships. The highlight of her speech was a metaphor all the way from Anchiano, Italy; she explained how Da Vinci mastered his craft in a number of disciplines and continued to collaborate well after this milestone and the way forward for the world of technology is along the same lines.

The second keynote speech was given by Leonard Brody (Clarity Digital Group), who pulled things from the 15th century to the forefront of today’s day and age. He highlighted how the world has evolved at a more rapid pace in the last century than it has over the past millennium, and that it may all look and seem good but comes with threats and disruptions of its own. Keeping humanity and industry both in view is crucial for innovations and developments that are both sustainable and effective.

Attendees had to wait until Day 2 to hear David Rowan (WIRED) share his two bits on innovation and technology. He took to stage with a round of applause to share his extensive knowledge in the industry. David talked about how innovations are a result of a process and for organizations to tap into that, they need to have an environment that emanates innovation. He emphasized on how constant evolution is the only way forward. The theme of the future resonated in each of the keynote speeches as those in attendance were left in awe.

You can find a detailed account and history on the keynote speakers in our SugarCon 2018 preview.

SugarCon Products

There was a dedicated Sugar Learning area where you could get a sneak-peek into the products and features still under development or due to be released. Safe to assume, we made sure to pay a visit. Multiple SugarCRM products were available at multiple demo booths. Three things particularly caught our eye;

SugarCRM Hint Update

SugarCRM Hint has a fresh new update on its way with an Insights dashlet. This dashlet consolidates news for the Accounts module to streamline processes. With this update, you can also choose to enable alerts i.e. push notifications.

Quotes Customization

When this update rolls out, SugarCRM administrators will be able to add custom fields to the Quotes module (keep your eyes on this one!)

Project Dossier

Project Dossier will leverage AI to improve business relationships. It can optimize day to day processes by providing you insightful details and data on your contacts.

PitchFest!

Enough shindigs, let’s talk about Rolustech. Rolustech took to stage for the inaugural PitchFest by introducing three new amazing plugins and industry solutions. All six of these new products leverage the SugarCRM platform in unprecedented ways and were well received by those in attendance.

sugarcon 2018

RT Stiki Notes

RT StikiNotes is a FREE utility plugin that lets you take sticky notes inside SugarCRM. These StikiNotes can be linked with any record and can also be used to put reminders and priority tasks in order; just like regular sticky notes, but only better.

RT Personalize

RT Personalize adds a touch of personality to your Sugar. This plugin gives the user the ability to choose personalized typography and themes, and is available with all Sugar versions. You can also get SugarCRM custom login screens and more

RT SugarStripe

RT SugarStripe is a payment handling plugin that streamlines and optimizes your payment receiving processes. Simply use this plugin to track, split and secure your payments in a simple and easy way.

Rolustech also introduced 3 new SugarCRM Industry Solutions for Construction, Fitness, and Legal industries.

SugarCRM Industry Solutions

The Rolustech Booth!

As is customary in every SugarCon, Rolustech set up its booth to showcase its new products and provided demos to all those in the queue. The Rolustech booth this year had a number of interesting giveaways and surprises that made it the talk of the Cosmopolitan. During the course of SugarCon, a vast number of people paid visit to the Rolustech booth including Donna Ewart, The Fanatical Labs, Charles Hicks and more, capping off one of our busiest SugarCon in recent history!   

Soon into your CRM adventures, you’ll realize it’s more of a bittersweet ride. There are numerous challenges that you need to overcome to ensure a smooth running of your CRM. But what if I told you there’s a certain CRM that can take care of all the hassle for you? Enter SugarCRM. SugarCRM can take care of all your CRM challenges so you can focus your attention on your sales and service teams.

Let’s take a look at 4 unique ways SugarCRM solves CRM Challenges. (Also take a look at these Common Myths about SugarCRM)

Simplified Third-Party Integrations

Third-Party Integrations are important for businesses because they provide essential functionality crucial for business processes. Sugar stands up to the mark in more ways than one. SugarCRM is that one kid in high school who’s friends with everybody. Sky’s the limit when it comes to what software you can integrate with SugarCRM. From Quickbooks to DocuSign to our very own SugarCRM Plugins, Sugar sits well with all. The simplification of these integrations allows endless customizations that ensure your CRM is capable of handling all your business needs. Whether it’s consolidating all your information and data in one place or bringing a functionality to the front on your SugarCRM, everything can be achieved rather easily.

Data Protection and Security

SugarCRM was one of the first CRM platforms to enforce GDPR compliance and has actively been leading the front for privacy management and data protection. SugarCRM comes with numerous components that help you sort out roles and provide access accordingly. With SugarCRM, you can define privileges and give access to team members and managers differently, depending upon predefined requirements. Organizations tend to grow exponentially with a CRM in place and thus need their security and privacy issues sorted out. SugarCRM employs mechanisms to ensure you never have to worry about security and protection.

Scalability

As previously mentioned, CRM often serves as a platform for rapid growth in organizations. You want a CRM that’s capable of handling an expansion when the time comes. Migration to a large platform is not financially or practically feasible. With SugarCRM, you get a CRM that can be scaled according to the needs of your business. Designed keeping large businesses in mind, SugarCRM works efficiently for both small business and large enterprises alike. Hop onto Sugar as a startup and never worry about your CRM again.

We at Rolustech use the most effective Extraction, Transformation, and Loading (ETL) tools to make migrations easy and seamless. If you’re looking for a SugarCRM Migration, contact us for a free consultation session.

CRM Adoption Issues

Making your organization adopt a CRM and come up to speed can be a daunting task to undertake. It’s also one of the biggest reasons that render organizations incapable of maximizing returns after a CRM implementation. SugarCRM helps with the adoption process with its simple and easy usability features that are readily understandable. With SugarCRM, you don’t have to worry about CRM adoption in your organization.

Be sure to check out the original post and visit the Rolustech Blog for more content like this! 

Selling has always been a struggle and this is truer than ever in today’s highly competitive business landscape. This coupled with the uncertainty, the pressure to meet deadlines and need to always be ‘on’ can take its toll on anyone. Luckily, SugarCRM has got you covered! It comes out-of-the-box with all the essentials salespersons need to take their productivity to the next level without over-complicating the whole affair. Here are 5 ways in particular that SugarCRM is extremely useful for tackling the toughest sales challenges head-on.

Sales Prospecting

If you find prospecting to be the most difficult part of your job, then you’re not alone. More than 40% of salespeople say prospecting is the most challenging part of the sales process (Hubspot). SugarCRM makes managing the whole affair significantly easier with a dedicated Targets module where you can easily keep track of all calls, meetings, emails, notes, and tasks against each record. Segregating prospects from the more sales-ready ‘leads’ also allows SugarCRM to function as an effective lead nurturing tool where sales and marketing department can easily collaborate and play their roles in the overall sales process. Furthermore, with SugarCRM Hint you can cut down on call preparation and prospect research times. With just a name and an email, Sugar Hint provides you with relevant customer contact and social network information so you may engage your prospects in a more informed fashion. This, in turn, will yield more meaningful conversations and hence conversions.

CRM User adoption

According to CSO Reps, less than 37% of sales reps actually use their company’s CRM system. Sales Reps are out on the road all day long, taking calls from leads and managing clients as they drive from one meeting to the next. Given these circumstances, It’s really not that hard to fathom why they might be reluctant to learn and adopt new technologies, especially one that aims to get even more work out of them. For your business to truly reap the benefits of a CRM, it’s important that your sales team actually gets around to using it. To get around this and put your user adoption worries to rest, SugarCRM comes with an award-winning and modern UX. It provides a clean, intuitive, and coherent experience that complements and augments the capabilities of its users instead of overwhelming them. This helps drive user adoption and increase productivity.

Recurring Manual Processes

SugarCRM Advanced Workflow is a robust enterprise-level business process management tool that allows anyone to design and deploy custom workflows in a matter of a few clicks. With its intuitive drag and drop canvas, sales reps can easily automate cumbersome routine processes which would otherwise need to be done manually. This not only ensures increased productivity but also allows them to focus on more important things such as providing value to and forging even stronger connections with their customers.

Monitoring Progress and Performance

Sales managers often struggle with effectively gauging rep performance. However, the robust reporting features in SugarCRM make gaining a holistic view of their performance easier than ever by consolidating and summarizing data from various sources. This allows them to unearth critical business insights and trends and gain a deeper understanding of their team in real-time. This way they can quickly identify and target any weaknesses that might hinder progress towards their targets. Similarly, personalized dashboards make it easy for sales reps to track and monitor their activities and metrics against defined KPIs, and strive towards building better customer relationships.

Sales Forecasting

Many find Sales forecasting to be a tedious task but with the statistical and graphical representations readily available in SugarCRM, you can do it all in the blink of an eye. SugarCRM’s intuitive pipeline management capabilities greatly simplify sales management and team collaboration using real-time sales analytics and insights for every deal and prospect. SugarCRM helps identify critical touchpoints and high-value targets allowing you and your team to focus your time and resources on sales initiatives accordingly. You can make data-driven decisions regarding even your most complex sales by customizing SugarCRM for your unique products, services, and sales cycles.

Mobile Insights

The importance of a mobile CRM for sales cannot be overstated in this day and age. Your sales reps need to be in touch with the right lead at the right time with the right information. This brings about the need for them to have access to critical data at their fingertips at all times. Fortunately, SugarCRM provides a comprehensive mobile CRM solution that enables your sales reps to access, lookup and update customer data on the go, allowing them to stay on top of every deal and ensuring they never miss a moment to engage with the customers.

The Bottom Line!

SugarCRM has everything you need to stay on top of your game and ahead of the competition. It’s perhaps the most complete and well-round CRM for sales that any rep would love to have in their arsenal. Its custom workflows, sales prospecting and forecasting capabilities and the other features mentioned above are only the tip of the iceberg. With the right tweaks and customizations, our certified SugarCRM experts can tailor this platform according to your unique needs and help you get even more out of it. Contact us today to get started!

 

Be sure to check out the original post here and please visit our blog for more content like this.

The technology behind cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Etherium may not be a household name just yet but it has been gaining traction fast and although the future of the said cryptocurrencies may still be up in the air, the Blockchain itself is bound to stick around for the long haul. It has opened up a world of possibilities and can potentially revolutionize the way existing technologies and business processes function. With that in mind, we will focus on how blockchain is likely to affect Customer Relationship Management down the road.

 

What is Blockchain?

On the off chance you’ve not hopped onto the Bitcoin bandwagon and are totally unfamiliar with Blockchain, let us help you figure it out. Simply put, a block chain is an ever-growing list of interlinked records or ‘blocks’. These blocks are cryptographically secure and resistant to any external tampering. A blockchain functions as an open, decentralized ledger that effectively keeps track of transaction between two parties in a permanent and verifiable way.

 

How Blockchain will change CRM

With the basics out of the way, I think we are in a slightly better position to discuss how Blockchain can potentially alter CRM in the years to come. Here are five areas that are likely to benefit the most from this technology:

 

1. Enhanced security

A blockchain is literally a chain of blocks, where each block contains transactional records. Each block is connected to blocks before and after it and is cryptographically secured such that participating users are assigned network keys in order to restrict unauthorized access.

Additionally most CRM databases are presently hosted on cloud servers. Although cloud security protocols have come a long ways, Cloud security concerns are not completely unfounded. These are mainly centralized systems and thus, have an inherent single point of failure. Comparatively, blockchains are decentralized and distributed across regularly synchronized peer-to-peer networks. This makes tampering nearly impossible as it would require massive computing power to access the entire blockchain. Consequently, chances of fraud and repudiation are also eliminated.

 

2. Better Transparency

Since it is decentralized, Blockchain can allow your company to securely and transparently deal with your customers without the need for a financial institution such as a bank or a third party broker to facilitate this.  The elimination of these ‘middlemen’ will also bring about greater efficiency and speed in all your dealings.

 

3. Improved User Privacy Control

With concerns about personal data security on the rise, CRM systems will have to address them by adjusting how they handle customer data. Owing to its decentralized and secure nature, blockchain gives way to the idea of a self-sovereign identity. It can store and encrypt personal information and verify this upon inquiry without actually sharing any specifics with the concerned parties, granting users greater control over their identity.

 

4. Data Cleansing

Whether it’s due to inept data import tools or human negligence, CRM users all over the world have to deal with inaccurate or duplicate data at some level.  With blockchain in place, a customer can have their very own personal block that presents companies with a unified and accurate picture of their personal information, past transactions, subscriptions, etc. Hence, blockchain helps these companies circumvent the issue of inaccurate, obsolete and duplicate data records altogether. This consequently yields better insights into customers and helps businesses engage them more effectively.

 

5. Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs aim to drive profits by adding value to the customer experience. However, due to their variable mileage, volatile value and associated privacy concerns, they prove to be cumbersome for customers and yield a low ROI. However, in a manner very similar to cryptocurrencies, brands can make use of blockchain to reimagine and reinvigorate their loyalty programs.

With blockchain consumers would have a single decentralized wallet, compatible with all brands. They would not be bound by the rules and limitations of individual brands and point redemption would be greatly simplified. The consumer will have far greater control over the whole experience and brands will complete for their wallet by offering them better deals.

 

The Bottom Line!

Blockchain will not only change how we approach CRM but has the potential to fundamentally revamp business operating models in general. With the technology still in its preliminary phase, this seems like a bold claim to make. However keeping in the view all that it’s capable of, we believe it is a justifiable one.

 

Be sure to check out the original post here and please visit our blog for more original content like this.

 

Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 500 firms with various SugarCRM integrations and customizations. Contact us today for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to assist you.

We have extensively covered the top CRM implementation mistakes adopters make that negatively impacts their ROI. It’s good to have a neatly chalked out strategy and some idea of what goals you want to achieve by implementing a CRM. However, this is not all you need to be on the lookout for. Even if you have got your CRM up and running perfectly, it may not be always be smooth sailing from here onwards. There might be some areas where your CRM is being underutilized or some bad decisions or exercises getting in the way of all your efforts. With this in mind, we present the top 5 CRM best practices that will help you get the most out of your CRM.

 

1. Automate Repetitive Tasks

The primary reason you adopted a CRM in the first place was to save time and make your life a little easier. However, having to spend countless hours manually entering data into the CRM, preparing reports, prioritizing leads and writing emails goes totally against that. Tedious, repetitive tasks are a common feature of most jobs and separating these from challenges that really deserve your attention is essential for taking your productivity to the next level.  This is where CRM workflow automations come in to play. They allow you to easily set up business rules, alerts and follow-up triggers, allowing you to streamline common business processes such as managing approvals, lead generations and other sales processes. Moreover, you can set up personalized email templates and send them out automatically in response to a predefined trigger.

 

2. Make data-driven decisions with CRM analytics

Your CRM collects and stores petabytes of valuable customer data. Moreover, most modern day CRMs come equipped with predictive analytics out-of-the-box. Consequently, making data-driven decisions has become both convenient and essential. If you are not using your CRM for analytics and ignoring precious data, you may as well not use the CRM at all. Thus, instead of letting your data gather dust, make use of the tools at your disposal and track the right metrics to gain deeper insights into your customers, make better decisions and boost overall performance.

 

3. Cleanse your CRM data of the clutter

More data doesn’t always equate to more power. Bad or unnecessary data can bog down your ability to make informed decisions by distracting you from intel that really matters. From inaccurate forecasting to wasting resources to chasing dead prospects, the consequences can be dire. Moreover, storing and maintaining this data can be cumbersome and expensive. Thus, it is a good idea to schedule regular data cleansing and deduplication. Ensuring your CRM data is free from obsolete, duplicate or incorrect data entries, helps your data represent your current state of affairs more accurately and the actionable insights you derive from this are more in line with reality.

 

4. Invest in a scalable CRM

Your business might be small right now, but it’s not going to stay that way for long. At least we hope not. Your team size will multiply, your business processes would diversify and become more complex and the rules of the game would change. Not only should your CRM be able to stay on top of these aspects but also grow along with your company. Switching over to a new CRM at a later stage is likely to disrupt all business activities and employee productivity. You can avoid the hassle of data migration and adopting a new CRM altogether by opting for a CRM that is scalable and capable of preemptively accommodating business growth from the very first day.

 

5. Leverage CRM Customizations and Integrations

You probably knew this one was coming. However, it can’t be stressed enough that it is difficult for a common CRM to fully cater to the needs of a unique business such as yours. Moreover, the business landscape is evolving all the time and your vanilla CRM is probably going to have a hard time keeping up with it. Thus, it makes perfect sense to employ CRM integration with the right third party apps and appropriately customize it according to your needs. These will tailor your CRM to your exact business processes and equip it to virtually handle any challenge thrown at it. Our team of CRM experts can help you understand your exact needs and provide you optimal solutions based on best practice. Feel free to Contact us for your FREE consultation session. We will be happy to help!

 

Be sure to check out the original post here and please visit our blog for more content like this.

Hussain Nasir

CRM for Restaurants

Posted by Hussain Nasir Mar 19, 2018

The restaurant industry heavily relies on human interaction and connection. Although customer relationship management is at the core of any restaurant business, most tend to shy away from adopting a CRM system. Try and imagine a solution that will allow your business to be smarter and help you provide a more personalized experience to your customers while integrating seamlessly into your existing processes and practices. Does all of this sound too good to be true? Well, here are five ways a CRM solution will help you turn this into reality.

1. Integrate existing technologies with your CRM

CRM for restaurants

In this day and age, most restaurants interact with their customers through multiple channels. These may include the restaurant website, social media, emails and other web based content. These channels allow you to obtain valuable feedback and learn more about your clientele. Using a CRM solution puts this treasure trove of data to better use. A CRM is able to effectively gather this information and produce highly personalized reports and analysis, all under one hood.

2. Keep them coming back for more

CRM for restaurants

Personalized reports lead to a more personalized experience for your customers, and that’s bound to be one that they never forget. This is the top priority for any restaurant. With valuable information like contact details, average spending, visit frequency and meal preferences at your disposal, your staff is able to better cater to your customers. Implementing a CRM solution, will also provide you with relevant information so you can better track and handle customer complaints.

3. Optimize your restaurant’s menu

CRM for restaurants

You are bound to have items that are popular than others. Some of these might be well received across the board, some may appeal to a more niche market while the rest may need to be scrapped from the menu altogether. With a CRM, you can monitor and analyze their sales data with great ease and accurately decide what course of action to take. This will not only allow you to boost sales by choosing what stays in your menu but also enable you to innovate more profitable items in the future.

4. Effective marketing campaign management

CRM for restaurants

By integrating marketing and operations data with your CRM system, you will be able to maximize profits by undertaking highly targeted marketing campaigns. With information like visit frequency and average spending, you will be able to approach your clientele with offers and promotions tailored to their needs. For instance, if some customers have not visited recently, you can bring them back using promotional emails. Alternatively, you can target regulars and heavy spenders with personalized discounts and incentives.

5. Integrate your CRM with a payment gateway

CRM for restaurants

To help you better manage your invoices and payments and reduce manual input, you can leverage CRM integration with a payment gateway like Stripe or Authorize.net. This will allow you to focus on more pressing matters like the quality of your menu and service, all the while providing a seamless and secure payment experience to your customers.

The Bottom Line!

A CRM solution provides numerous incentives to restaurant owners. It offers you various valuable insights that can be accessed from anywhere, anytime. It grants you full control over your business processes, lets you build committed relationships with your customers and offer them a personal experience that they are unlikely to forget.

Your customers deserve the best. Click HERE to get in touch with our team of certified SugarCRM experts and get free consultation.

You must be familiar with big data and the endless possibilities that come with it. However, today I would like to bring your attention to Small Data which, contrary to its name, just might be the Next Big Thing.

Lindstrom, the branding expert and bestselling author seems to share our opinion as he breaks away from the marketing herd in his new book titled, “Small Data: The Tiny Clues That Uncover Huge Trends”.

Lindstrom believes that we have become so focused on Big Data that we tend to forget about the basics concepts and creativity. He defines Small Data, “as seemingly insignificant observations you identify in consumers’ homes, is everything from how you place your shoes to how you hang your paintings”. Therefore he believes that in order to mine and find correlations, one should perfectly master the basics, Small Data.

What is small data?

Small data is data that is small enough for human comprehension. It is data in a volume and format that makes it accessible, informative and actionable. [Wikipedia]
According to the small data group – Small data connects people with timely, meaningful insights (derived from big data and/or “local” sources), organized and packaged – often visually – to be accessible, understandable, and actionable for everyday tasks.

Difference between Big Data and Small Data?

Big Data is basically all about finding the correlations, but Small Data is all about finding the causation, the reason why. We can comprehend Big Data by reducing the data into small objects representing various aspects of large data sets (like charts and histograms).

 

Big Data

Small Data

Source

Data is generated from external sources i.e. Social media, device data, images, etc.Data is generated within the enterprise i.e. from CRM system, web transactions, and financial data.

Volume

Terabytes to Zettabytes.Gigabytes to Terabytes.

Speed

Real time.Near real time.

Variety

Structured, Unstructured, Multistructured.Structured, Unstructured.

Value

Complex, advanced, predictive business analysis and insights.Business intelligence, analysis and reporting.

 

Why Integrate Small Data with your CRM?

1. Get more personal

With small data you can get more personal both in terms of your ability to adapt your marketing and sales efforts to need of your customers and also in terms of the data your business CRM captures.
Small data allows you to tailor your marketing campaigns specific to different customer groups like B2B buyers and e-commerce buyers. You can get valuable insights into the visitor’s online behavior which allows you to choose the best channels to reach and engage with them. In short small data integration into your CRM can give a personalized experience at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

2. Get real time insights

With small data all the useful customer data is at your fingertips allowing you to make real time decisions. The information together with CRM helps you to understand the buying decisions of different prospects. Apart from improving the process of lead generation and sales, this also revolutionizes the way you market to your customers.

3. Get immediate Return on Investment

Being simple and manageable small data delivers results more quickly. Small Data together with the CRM allows the collection of daily information about the user behavior and then pushes this information directly to your sales and marketing teams. This reduces the time spent on compiling unnecessary data and also proactively improves your customer relationship.

The Bottom Line!

Experts at Forbes are now of the view – Forget Big Data, Small Data is driving the internet of things”.
Small data is real time, actionable data and can be easily collected within your CRM. Together, Small Data and CRM can revolutionize how you approach sales and marketing for ages to come.

Be part of the revolution. Contact us  for your free consultation session.

Getting paid by customers promptly is essential for businesses as they need cash to manage their daily operations. Delays in payments could put businesses at risk of facing serious cash flow problems. While SugarCRM is a great platform to handle customer interactions to build excellent customer relationships, an out-of-the-box Sugar solution does not suffice when it comes to generating invoices and managing financial transactions.

The reason why SugarCRM has gained widespread recognition in the CRM industry is that it is highly flexible, scalable and extensible. Businesses have faith in SugarCRM since it provides them a centralized and unified platform to manage their complete operations. In order to make the payment handling process hassle free for our clients,  we have integrated Sugar with leading payment gateways such as PayPal, Stripe, SagePay etc.  Moreover, we have done some pretty awesome customizations that enabled them to reap the full benefits of Sugar. I will discuss about the payment gateways integration in detail in another post. Here, I am going to share a few of the customizations that helped our clients automate payment processes.

1. Credit Card Customization

Payment Handling Customizations in SugarCRM

The world is moving towards a cashless economy. With a surge in e-commerce and customers preferring to pay online, businesses cannot afford to lose out on potential customers by not incorporating this feature in Sugar. With this customization, the credit card details of the clients are saved in Sugar when they buy something for the first time. When clients place an order again, payment is automatically deducted from their credit cards. Hence, customers do not have to manually enter their card details every time they make a purchase.

2. Currency Customization

Payment Handling Customizations in SugarCRM

What if your company operates in the global market and has to regularly deal with international clients? Your CRM should be able to handle financial transactions in multiple currencies and this customization achieves just that. It allows you to easily and seamlessly convert financial information from one currency to data. This results in greater efficiency by reducing manual conversions and smoothens international operations.

3. Payment Module Customization

Payment Handling Customizations in SugarCRM

Businesses need to offer a wide range of payment methods to facilitate faster payments and attract more customers. There are statistics that support the fact that your conversion rate will increase if you offer multiple methods of payment.

This customization lets businesses accept credit cards, cash on delivery and cheques on their website. Not only does it make your business look more professional but also empowers you to earn the trust and loyalty of your customers.

Key Takeaway!

Sugar is an amazingly powerful tool but if you do not customize it, you are unlikely to get the desired ROI. Payment handling is an extremely important aspect of any business and therefore, care needs to be taken that the entire process is swift, secure and smooth. Whether you intend to integrate any payment gateway with Sugar or desire to get any module customized, you should get in touch with a firm that specializes in CRM customization. As SugarCRM certified partners, we will be more than happy to give you a FREE consultation session.

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. –Benjamin Franklin

I will cut straight to the chase. There is a long list of reasons why SugarCRM has managed to establish its footprint in the CRM industry in such a short span of time. Loved by SMB’s to large enterprises alike, SugarCRM has always put its customers at the heart of its organization. Regardless of company size or industry vertical, SugarCRM has managed to transform businesses to drive profitability and increase customer satisfaction.

If that still does not answer the fundamental question why SugarCRM? Let me  share with you the top six reasons why SugarCRM is an optimal CRM solution for your business.

 

1. Affordability

SugarCRM has somehow managed to pull off the ‘More for Less’ value proposition in the CRM industry. Although SugarCRM no longer offers its FREE Sugar Community Edition, the other three editions cost way less than their counterparts. With all the core CRM capabilities that require a one time payment and no hidden fees and complexity, SugarCRM is an affordable CRM solution that you can blindly trust.

 

2. Easy to use

Choose SugarCRM for your business

With a simple user interface that is easy to navigate, your employees will not find it difficult to use Sugar at all. Sugar is known to have a high user adoption rate, a must have feature as it is ultimately the end users who determine the success or failure of implementing a CRM system.

 

3. Customizable

Choose SugarCRM for your business

No matter which CRM you purchase, a default solution will not empower you to carry out all your operations. The need for customization would always arise. You would like to get your SugarCRM theme, modules, dashboards, workflows, fields etc. customized to have a complete bespoke system that would serve as an all encompassing platform to manage your business. SugarCRM takes the lead in this area too. As an open source CRM, you can get Sugar configured according to your exact business needs.

 

4. Integratable

Choose SugarCRM for your business

Customizations would only get half the job done. To get 100% results, you need to connect your Sugar with all the departments of your organization through third-party plugins/integrations. SugarCRM allows you to virtually connect with any software that you desire be it marketing automation, sales automation, social media, payment gateways, data analytics, content management systems, ecommerce platforms, etc.

 

5. Reporting

Choose SugarCRM for your business

Sugar is extremely competent in comparison to other CRMs when it comes to handling large amounts of data. It lets you gather data from various modules to generate reports that give you an excellent handle on your analytics. In addition to the four basic reports, Sugar lets you create advanced reports. And even if that does not suffice, you can get custom reports built to analyze the wealth of information stored inside the database.

 

6. Deployment

Choose SugarCRM for your business

One of the most distinctive features of SugarCRM is the deployment options it offers. SugarCRM supports four deployment methods: On-Demand, Private Cloud, Public Cloud and On-Premise. You get complete freedom to choose from any of the four options and can always make a switch as your customer base grows and business evolves.

 

We are here to help

With Sugar by your side, meaningful customer relationships and excellent customer service are just a click away. So what are you waiting for?. Contact us to schedule a FREE business analysis session

“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest”. –Benjamin Franklin

I will cut straight to the chase. There is a long list of reasons why SugarCRM has managed to establish its footprint in the CRM industry in such a short span of time. Loved by SMB’s to large enterprises alike, SugarCRM has always put its customers at the heart of its organization. Regardless of company size or industry vertical, SugarCRM has managed to transform businesses to drive profitability and increase customer satisfaction.

If that still does not answer the fundamental question why SugarCRM? Let me  share with you the top six reasons why SugarCRM is an optimal CRM solution for your business.

 

1. Affordability

SugarCRM has somehow managed to pull off the ‘More for Less’ value proposition in the CRM industry. Although SugarCRM no longer offers its FREE Sugar Community Edition, the other three editions cost way less than their counterparts. With all the core CRM capabilities that require a one time payment and no hidden fees and complexity, SugarCRM is an affordable CRM solution that you can blindly trust.

 

2. Easy to use

Choose SugarCRM for your business

With a simple user interface that is easy to navigate, your employees will not find it difficult to use Sugar at all. Sugar is known to have a high user adoption rate, a must have feature as it is ultimately the end users who determine the success or failure of implementing a CRM system.

 

3. Customizable

Choose SugarCRM for your business

No matter which CRM you purchase, a default solution will not empower you to carry out all your operations. The need for customization would always arise. You would like to get your SugarCRM theme, modules, dashboards, workflows, fields etc. customized to have a complete bespoke system that would serve as an all encompassing platform to manage your business. SugarCRM takes the lead in this area too. As an open source CRM, you can get Sugar configured according to your exact business needs.

 

4. Integratable

Choose SugarCRM for your business

Customizations would only get half the job done. To get 100% results, you need to connect your Sugar with all the departments of your organization through third-party plugins/integrations. SugarCRM allows you to virtually connect with any software that you desire be it marketing automation, sales automation, social media, payment gateways, data analytics, content management systems, ecommerce platforms, etc.

 

5. Reporting

Choose SugarCRM for your business

Sugar is extremely competent in comparison to other CRMs when it comes to handling large amounts of data. It lets you gather data from various modules to generate reports that give you an excellent handle on your analytics. In addition to the four basic reports, Sugar lets you create advanced reports. And even if that does not suffice, you can get custom reports built to analyze the wealth of information stored inside the database.

 

6. Deployment

Choose SugarCRM for your business

One of the most distinctive features of SugarCRM is the deployment options it offers. SugarCRM supports four deployment methods: On-Demand, Private Cloud, Public Cloud and On-Premise. You get complete freedom to choose from any of the four options and can always make a switch as your customer base grows and business evolves.

 

We are here to help

With Sugar by your side, meaningful customer relationships and excellent customer service are just a click away. So what are you waiting for?. Contact us to schedule a FREE business analysis session

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

We are all avid users of social media. Everyone today is using at least one social media platform be it Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, etc to stay connected. With the sharp increase in ecommerce and online shopping, customers tend to do their own online research about brands that they are interested in. They are part of online forums or communities where they give reviews and discuss the pros and cons of each new product that is launched in the market. A wealth of information is being generated every second on these social media platforms that calls for businesses to harness this information to gain detailed insights about customers. But how exactly can businesses leverage this ‘sea of information’? The answer lies in Social CRM. Don’t panic… We will explore the concept in detail today.

What is Social CRM?

Everyone is familiar with the concept of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Simply put, it is a business strategy aimed at delivering excellent customer relationships. After all, customers are the reason why all businesses exist. If you do not place your customers right at the heart of your organization, your business does not stand a chance of succeeding.

There are dozens of definitions that you will come across when searching about social CRM but the one that best describes it in a clear and concise manner is as follows:

“Social CRM is a phrase used to describe the addition of a social element in traditional CRM processes. Social CRM builds upon CRM by leveraging a social element that enables a business to connect customer conversations and relationships from social networking sites into the CRM process. “ (Webopedia)

CRM and Role of Social Media

Listening to your customers is the best way to know them better and form meaningful relationships with them. It is for this reason that businesses cannot afford to ignore the recent advancements in social media and miss out on the opportunities to hear what the customers are saying about their product on the social platforms.

Social CRM

The need to connect your CRM with social media has become more important than ever. Since customers now live online, it has become the best medium to connect and interact with them no matter where they are located in the world. Just like customers prefer to communicate with their friends and relatives online, they are also eager to interact with brands. Almost every business has diverse social media channels to make its presence felt online. All they need to do is integrate their CRM system with these channels to reach out to more customers in less time and start building extraordinary customer relationships.

What can Social CRM do for your business?

A list of the key benefits that will result once you adopt social CRM:

1. Accelerate the sales cycle

With Social CRM, you can 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.

2. Maximize marketing ROI

Social CRM will aid the marketing team in exploring new market segments and design personalized marketing campaigns and promotion offers.

This will result in enhanced productivity, optimal allocation of company’s resources and bring the desired ROI.

3. Work as a team

Social CRM

With Social CRM, every team be it marketing, sales or customer support can now stay updated by having access to real-time data related to a customer’s profile.

4. Get real-time updates

Social CRM will give your customer support team data about customers’ feelings and sentiments in real-time. Now it is up-to to you to use that feedback to make strategic adjustments and take the necessary action that enriches the customer experience.

5. Social Media Analytics

The sea of information generated on social media platforms will ultimately be treated as noise if there are no means to analyze it. Social CRM when integrated with the right tools will give you useful insights about the effectiveness of your social media strategy and empower you to unearth useful patterns in customer behavior that will assist you in serving your customers in an outstanding fashion.

6. Brand monitoring

A positive word of mouth can do wonders for your business whereas a single negative comment can do more damage than one can imagine. With social CRM, you can continuously monitor what is being said about your product. If there are any flaws, they can be rectified immediately before negative comments from the customers start tarnishing your brand image. Similarly, customer complaints can be resolved instantly as soon as they arise. This will ensure high levels of customer satisfaction.

7. Gather competitive intelligence

Equally important is to monitor how your competitors are faring. Social CRM enables you to track not only what is being said about your business but also your competitors. This will aid you in developing effective marketing strategies to counter the efforts of your competitors.

8. Predict the future

Social CRM

Today, customers having access to vast amounts of data know what kind of product they would like to buy in the future and that is reflected in their online activity. Social CRM will give you the ability to look into the future and develop products that customers wouldn’t expect to be in the market anytime soon.

Best CRM with Social Media Integration- The Options

There are a number of CRMs out there which integrate seamlessly with social media channels. Nimble, Insightly, batchbook are a few that you should definitely check out. However, I am going to recommend Sugar not because we are official SugarCRM partners but simply for the reason that it is highly scalable, flexible and extensible. It is due to these characteristics that Sugar is loved by companies worldwide.

SugarCRM as your Social CRM

Integrate leading social media services to help your organization learn from and engage with your customers at a more holistic level. Improve online collaboration and leverage social business application to increase productivity of your customer facing users.

Access different Social CRM solutions directly within Sugar. The Twitter dashlet allows users to view and access various feeds for specific twitter accounts via the record’s Dashboard and list view’s Dashboard. In addition, users can also view and access twitter feeds via Sugar’s Activity Streams as well as the Twitter dashlet on Sugar Dashboard.

You can also choose from a variety of SugarExchange Extensions for online collaboration, cloud storage and social CRM built by SugarCRM partners. Use Sugar Studio, Cloud Connectors and Module Builder to easily add additional Social CRM capabilities.

That’s not all-  SugarCRM has more to offer!

social CRM

Sugar has come up with a revolutionary product called ‘Hint’. Hint, the debut product from the company’s new Relationship Intelligence product line, automatically searches the web for personal and company information, delivering a wealth of information so customer-facing employees will quickly learn more about their contacts.

SugarCRM Hint enables users to provide only a few contact details (e.g. email, name, company) of an individual and then automatically searches, tunes, and inputs the rest of the personal and corporate profile details for that contact. Hint does the work for Sugar users by gathering and analyzing customer intelligence from a broad range of social data sources so users can quickly and efficiently learn more about their prospects to establish a productive relationship. Here’s a screenshot of what you get when you enter the name and the email address of a contact:

social CRM

You can import the information of your interest by clicking on the cloud button. It’s that simple and effective.

Bottom Line:

CRM software has evolved over the years. Businesses need to adapt faster to respond to the changing market dynamics.  Having a CRM integrated with social media has become a necessity. Your business can gain a lot of mileage by harnessing the wealth of information being generated everyday on social media platforms. Don’t be skeptical about it; adopting a social CRM will help you stay one step ahead of the competition. The best approach is to get in touch with a CRM consultant who can adequately define your business needs and chalk out the right strategy for you.

We are here to help

Still confused? Our experts can integrate your SugarCRM with any social media platform that you desire. Contact us to schedule a FREE business analysis session!

How much time can a click to call feature save you in Sugar?

Time and again, we hear from our clients that adding a click to call feature in Sugar enhances the productivity of their users. This holds remarkably true for the users who regularly make calls to their leads, contacts or accounts. Our plugin RT Telephony a Sugar and Twilio integration-allows you to make calls and send text messages from within Sugar’s record view.

For some time now, we had been curious. We wanted to calculate the exact time it saved for each Sugar user when making calls. Using the saved time data, we then calculated the return on investment for our clients who use the plugin.

…So we decided to run a little experiment

The experiment would be pretty simple. We were interested in calculating the time it takes for an ordinary Sugar user to make a call without the embedded click to call feature. We would then go on to calculate the time it takes for a call from within Sugar’s record view. The difference would clearly show how much time the user saves on each call.

With a stopwatch, we sat down and carried out the experiment.

This is what we found!

The steps involved in making a call to a contact in Sugar were the following:

  1. Going to the Contacts module
  2. Searching for the contact name (if it’s not on the immediate list view)
  3. Clicking on the contact to see the contact details
  4. Picking up the phone and dialing

The time it took to make a call?

30 seconds.

On average, completing all of the 4 steps to make the call took around 30 seconds, provided the users followed the exact steps and the phone system to dial from was readily available to them. Otherwise, the call would take much longer.

On the other hand, making a call with a click to call feature from within Sugar was pretty simple. It is just simply going into the record view of any lead, contact or account and clicking on the calling icon. This is shown in the screenshot below.

The whole process took around 15 seconds which meant on every single call, we were cutting the time down in half.Using this data, we now proceeded to calculate the ROI for our plugin.

Calculation of the return on investment

To calculate the ROI of this plugin, we first calculated the annual savings from the plugin and then used a simple formula to calculate the ROI. Calculating the annual savings involved these steps:

Step 1: Calculating the cost per minute of the Sugar user

Step 2: Calculating how long the operation takes

Step 3: Determining the repetitions

Step 4: Determining the operational costs

The calculation is shown in this Infographic:

A key part of ensuring an ROI is that the add-on you leverage with Sugar provide value. The integration with Twilio provides the necessary capability to help develop the 360 degree view of the customer as well as drive adoption within your organization. For example, the add-on has:

  • Instant pop up screen notifications when a lead or a contact calls you
  • Call recording inside Sugar and call forwarding
  • SMS functionality to leads, contacts or accounts (bulk SMS campaigning is also possible)
  • Interactive Voice Response including call routing and assigning extensions
  • Ability to take notes during a call and save them in the notes subpanel

The best thing about RT Telephony is that the price of the plugin is per instance which means there is no cap on the number of users who can use this plugin to make calls. The more users you have, the higher the ROI gets.

 

Bottom line:
If all the functionalities of the plugin are taken into account, then the ROI comes out to be much higher. According to our estimate, for the same variables, it would reach above $5,000. Apart from all the math, it improves the proficiency of the Sugar users, enhances their daily productivity and provides them with the CRM UX they love to work with.

 

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If you want to start your 30 day free trial of RT Telephony, you can contact us for a free consultation session.