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Marketing bridges the gap between consumers and the organization. Most businesses focus highly on marketing and look for innovative ways to increase ROI through marketing automation platforms. Additionally, companies with marketing automation see an average of 60% higher lead-to-sale conversion rates. 

With several options available, it can be difficult to find a complete marketing automation solution. SugarCRM offers an all-in-one marketing automation platform - Sugar Market. As a result, many marketing managers are keen to leverage it to stay ahead of their competitors.

Let’s explore what is Sugar Market all about and how it can help your business!

 

What is Sugar Market?

 

Sugar Market is an all-in-one marketing automation platform that streamlines your marketing activities. SugarCRM acquired Salesfusion, whose offering was later rebranded as Sugar Market and has since continued to evolve. It can be used on its own and integrated with Sugar or other CRMs. 

 

Features of Sugar Market

 

All Marketing Platforms in One Place

 

Does your team juggle different marketing platforms to identify customer touchpoints and leverage each one of them? With social media, these are changing at a rapid pace. 

However, you can streamline all your interactions with the customers on social media via Sugar Market. Allowing you to schedule posts, manage accounts and track brand performance, Sugar Market will enable you to boost engagement and accelerate customer acquisition.  

Effective Campaign Management

 

Marketing campaign automation can be done very effectively through Sugar Market. It lets you manage three types of campaigns: single emails, nurture-based campaigns, and trigger campaigns.

 

Automated email campaigns save time and help in optimizing your sales funnel. In Sugar Market, you can easily and quickly create personalized email campaigns. In addition, Sugar Market lets you streamline your email marketing workflow by scheduling emails. You can also get relevant statistics regarding emails opened, unsubscribed or other specifics.

You can also choose from the built-in email templates or create your own for a responsive email campaign. Moreover, you can also run a nurture-based campaign to convert or optimize trigger campaigns based on a user’s action for great results.

Better Lead Capturing 

 

Understanding customer engagement is important for digital marketing automation. Impressively, you can transform your customer’s journey by tracking engagement through different stages of the sales funnel in Sugar Market. Moreover, you can also get actionable insights regarding your prospects' interaction with your website and streamline account engagement.

 

Optimized Lead Nurturing 

 

Automated lead nurturing is a necessary step for closing more deals and improving conversion rates. According to DemandGen, nurtured leads result in a 20% increase in sales opportunities. Do you want to break through the noise and stay top-of-mind with prospects? Empower your team with Sugar Market, so they can send automated tailored messages to prospective buyers for a more personalized customer experience

In Sugar Market, nurturing campaigns are easy with drag and drop features. Just choose the mailing list from your marketing automation platform or your CRM, and include or exclude people based on various touchpoints. The more you customize the list according to your business needs, the better the results.

Furthermore, you can also renew a campaign by adding a rule or logic related to some action. For example, after sending emails, you can add a rule for follow-up calls if the specified action was taken.

Lead Scoring for Higher Conversions 

 

It’s disappointing when you can't close a deal after spending a lot of time and energy on a certain lead. Welcome to Sugar Market's native lead scoring mechanism, which allows you to assign a certain score to users based on their web activity, email or campaign engagement, etc. This is important for marketers as they can get the score of a lead and target it accordingly with their marketing efforts.

 

Launch Google Ads Campaigns

 

With Sugar Market, you don’t need to worry about managing your Google Ads Campaigns separately. Leverage the platform to see an increase in traffic and drive more qualified leads.

 

Optimized for Search Engines 

 

Given that digital marketing is evolving at a rapid pace, it is imperative to have a website with an optimal load time. If you are using a marketing automation platform but your site does not work properly, your business results will be less than optimal. 

 

Sugar Market brings a complete solution to website and SEO auditing, so you can see how your site is performing and benchmark it as well.  Attract more visitors to your site with smarter marketing.

Easily Create Landing Pages and Lead Forms 

Landing pages help to keep the audience engaged so you can seize new opportunities. In Sugar Market, you can save a lot of time through landing page automation. For this, use the drag-and-drop builders or choose the lead form templates. You can also build custom web pages for quick lead capture.

Measure a Webinar’s Success 

Being an all-in-one marketing automation platform, Sugar Market lets you manage and track your webinars and online events. It can transform your interactions with customers for real-time conversations through webinars. 

 

Create Custom Surveys - Fast 

 

Another feature of Sugar Market is that it lets you create custom surveys within the platform. This provides actionable insights about your customers and adds inbound intelligence.

Reporting and Interactive Dashboards

With Sugar Market, you can understand your customers better by tracking critical metrics and determining what drives revenue. With interactive marketing analytics dashboards in Sugar Market, you can create visually appealing reports that are easy to share.

 

CRM Integration with Sugar Market 

 

Another great feature of Sugar Market is that it enables seamless CRM integration. You can integrate Sugar Market with Sugar or any other CRM platform, and get real-time synchronization. It will bring your sales and marketing teams together on a unified platform, so you can drive more profits and increase revenue.

 

How will Sugar Market Benefit my Business?

As Sugar Market is an end-to-end marketing automation platform, it has the potential to transform your business. 

Here’s how.

 

Increase Your Sales

 

Marketing automation workflow becomes easy with Sugar Market. It lets you reach out to prospects, attract more leads and optimize your sales funnel. With Sugar Market, you're likely to see a boost in your sales figures. 

 

Increased Marketing ROI

Sugar Market will give you a clear picture of how your marketing campaigns are performing so you can strategize in a better way. Moreover, 63% of companies leverage marketing automation to gain a competitive advantage over their counterparts. Shouldn't you?

Optimize Resource Allocation

 

As Sugar Market allows you to track and monitor your campaigns, you can optimize the allocation of resources, time and money. Moreover, you can also customize SugarCRM to better manage your workflows. Not only will this drive profits, but boost your team productivity. 

 

Improve Customer Experience

 

Engage with clients at all touchpoints and address their issues for a better customer experience. Via marketing automation, you can retain more customers in an efficient way.

 

Supercharge Growth with Performance Analysis

 

It’s important to track performance and look for opportunities to grow your business. You can leverage advanced analytics in Sugar Market to track the performance of your marketing team, and visualize results through the marketing analytics dashboard. This will give you a holistic performance analysis to pinpoint areas of improvement.

 

What Are You Waiting For?

 

With its pre-integrated marketing automation solutions, Sugar Market can benefit your business in multiple ways. Leverage it fully with CRM integration and visualize your business revolutionized. 

Lead Generation Campaigns. They can prove a little tricky at times. Unnecessarily so. Let me give you 6 Successful Tips to Creating Enticing Marketing Campaigns to lure in those Leads. There’s nothing here you won’t be able to start working on right away. What’re you waiting for!?

 

Content is King

 

There’s nothing quite like the power of word of mouth. If you want your current database to be forwarding on your emails and sharing your messages with the world, you’re going to need to stand out from the crowd. If your emails are entertaining and charming, your audience will always look forward to them and are more likely to engage. Make sure you really put weight behind your content in your next campaign or blog series.

 

Make your audience feel special, this will encourage current subscribers to share and forward your emails, giving you access to friends and colleagues expanding your outreach and adding to your contact list. Include links in your email campaigns to specific landing pages with form fills. Why not direct them to a page with a pop-up to inspire your audience to give you their email.

 

The Golden Gates

 

Get some gated content out there! Gated Content is a great subtle tool when it comes to Lead Generation. Write a new whitepaper or ebook and ask your website visitors to enter their email addresses in order to access the new content. Another bonus of this method is it offers you another level of understanding about your lead, giving you the upper hand.

 

You can also develop a free tool for people to use, where all they need to sign up is their email address. For example, we’ve created a tool called GatorLeads Freemium. GL Freemium benefits us and its users in multiple ways when it comes to Lead Generation, why not use this kind of tool to your advantage and get new leads signing up, giving you a foot in the door to then show off all your other shiny products.

 

Keep it Simple

 

When dealing with the general public, your busy audience has a short attention span. Don’t dive straight in asking for every last detail about them. When using form fills, keep it simple by asking for only their name and email address. You can always ask their biggest pet peeve once you’ve established a connection further down the line. Don’t scare them off in the first 5 seconds!

 

Be Sociable Online

 

Having a well-defined social media strategy with a loud voice to catch the attention of the masses can only LEAD to one thing. Use your LinkedIn, Twitter or Facebook to advertise an event you may be hosting. Encourage people to come to your website and sign up using their email address.

 

Partner Up

 

I get by with a little help from my friends! Partnering with another company in your industry can be incredibly beneficial and lucrative. We co-host many events with our partners Workbooks and Iconic Digital. Not only does this increase your outreach to a partner’s audience, but also gives your current subscribers a fresh outlook.

 

Co-hosting and Guest Blogging can help lighten the load, both financially and physically. Ensure to include a tracked link back to your website within any pieces you write for your partner so readers can subscribe to your resources.

 

And best of all! You can share all the leads at the end!

 

Testing 1,2…

 

CommuniGator? Bang on about testing again…? Never! You could be exhausting all avenues when it comes to Lead Generation, social media, gated content and event hosting and if you’re still not fruitful, it’s highly likely your copy or design might be to blame. Split testing to different audiences can give you an insight into what content is getting the most engagement, what design or subject line is catching your audiences’ eye, even when the best time of day to catch your target market is. The smallest alteration can cost you or make you a lot of leads.

 

A full database of high-quality email addresses is imperative to a high performing business.  Here are just a few pointers to aid its growth. I think the main point to stress, is to test. Get to know your target audience and know who you’re sending to and your Leads will look after themselves.

The technology behind creating content based on your target market has drastically evolved, making the process efficient and easier. According to research conducted by Evergage, many marketers agree that personalization is the most effective strategy for retaining the customer.

 

To successfully implement personalization strategies, you’ll need sufficient data and insights. Bringing data from different systems remains a challenge for about 55% of marketers – you can create unique content on websites or social media, but personalized content is most effective in email marketing campaigns.

 

Sending individualized emails is not rocket science; however, using personalized emails to enhance conversion rates requires more than adding “First_Name” to your introduction.

 

So, how can companies gather the needed data? For starters:

 

  • Doing business with them
  • Tracking visitors on your website
  • Sign-up forms on your website
  • Sales networks
  • Third-party apps

 

All this data is usually gathered inside your CRM system. Collecting basic information such as name and address can make your email communication simple, but not as effective. Make a list of data fields you want to acquire from your customers - name, address, and contact numbers are a given, but you also want to be able to track their purchase history, product interest, contact history, etc.

 

How integrating your CRM and ERP system enhances your campaign.

 

The 55% of marketers that struggle to bring all the data from their ERP system into their CRM system can utilize third-party integration apps to gather all the data collected from marketing automation systems or accounting tools into their CRM system. The integration between the two systems allows you to create custom fields where necessary and capture all the information. 

 

It is crucial to make sure this information is up to date and accurate. Addressing a contact with the wrong name won’t do your marketing and sales efforts any good. Make sure you provide a personalized link in each email where the recipient can alter their own contact information; this will help to keep your database error-free.

 

Finally, always remember to send yourself and your team members a test email to see if everything works. With a test mail, you can confirm whether all conditional content or personalization tags are in proper working order. Good luck!

In a world of business where you have boundless competition, CRM is your treasure box. You can use it to track your customers’ needs, their data, sales details, etc. to achieve your organizational goals.

 

However, your success depends on the quality of data stored in it. Which means it should be updated and detailed enough to guide you for future actions. For example, following up on old leads and enhancing the checkout process of your eStore, etc.

Surveys are one of the best resources to gather fresh and updated data from your customers. But if the data is not analyzed, it’s of no use.

When you unify your survey tool and CRM, you can overcome these obstacles and deploy a win-win solution to solve thousands of such hurdles in a short span of time. For example, if you have Sugar CRM in place, you can utilize the SugarCRM Survey Module to merge their capabilities.

Want to know how? Read on.

 

Curated Buyer Personas

 

These are a representation of what your users are really like. But when it comes to creating a buyer persona for your business, the most important thing is research. When you have an integrated CRM survey in place, it becomes easy to research and collect the following data: 

      
  • Geographic information
  •   
  • Demographic info
  •   
  • Behavioral data and patterns
  •   
  • Purchasing process 
  •   
  • Customer profiles

 

Once you receive the responses and save the data in your CRM, you can drive this data further to create a specific buyer persona. It helps you create marketing strategies and products as well as provide services to meet customer needs.

 

Achieve Automation

 

Sending a survey after a customer activity such as a lead conversion or phone call generates more impact than sending them randomly. It gives you accurate and quick responses. When you integrate the power of CRM with a survey tool, it enables you to automate your campaigns with CRM events as triggers. You no longer need to sit in front of the computer every time you want to send a survey; you simply set a date, time, and condition and it will be sent on your behalf.

 

With automation, you can make the best use of your CRM data - understanding your customers at a deeper level. And it gives you more transparent responses to lead your marketing in the right direction.

 

Improved Customer Retention

 

When you own a business, it is important to listen to your customers. And by sending a survey, you have already shown initiative that you care about their opinion. Of course, you might get negative feedback or bad product reviews - but in a non-threatening manner. Hence, it helps you understand your customer’s problems effectively. 

 

With a CRM survey integration, you can be sure that you have updated information about your existing customers and their preferences. You can also learn more about their journey and create additional surveys for effective communication.

 

Customer Service

 

You believe that you provide the best customer service. But do your customers feel the same way?

 

When you send surveys regularly, you encourage more loyalty and retention. To test it, utilize an NPS (Net Promoter Score) equipped survey. NPS questions give you more clarity on how your services and products are doing with your customers. Plus, you’ll derive how many of them promote your business to others.

 

Some other plus points are that you can create a better follow-up flow with triggered survey campaigns. Additionally,  you can get in touch with customers who gave you a negative review. This way, you get a chance to pre-empt any negative response and drive a different outcome.

 

The Right Time

 

When you have an integrated CRM survey tool in place, you can trigger your survey campaigns at the right time. Unlike other online tools, here you can easily keep up with your CRM events and decide the best time to send a survey to your customers.

 

It also becomes easy for you to process received data. For instance, once you get the responses regarding your product, you integrate suggested changes accordingly.

 

The Final Takeaway

 

The integration of surveys and CRM helps you grow a deeper relationship with your customers. You can acquire new ones, as well as retaining the existing ones. It’s the best of both worlds!

CRM is one of the most prominent assets for a business. It streamlines operations and reduces human errors with its systematic approach. But with the desktop version, you can only use it in the office. Because nearly every aspect of the product has been digitized, employees are no longer tied to their desks; especially sales, marketing, and customer support teams. They are always on the go with meetings, client visits, product demos, etc. And they will need to access certain information from your CRM while working on the field.

 

That’s where Mobile CRM comes to the rescue. According to statistics, global internet traffic coming from mobile devices grew from 0.7% in 2009 to 52.99% in 2017. Hence, having a Mobile CRM allows your road warriors to work anywhere because of easy access to data. And of course, their clients also expect real-time information for quicker decisions.

 

If you are also considering such a solution to increase the efficiency of your team, make sure it has these features:

 

      
  1. A Native App with Necessary Features

 

A recreated version of Desktop CRM functioning in a mobile device might make your business suffer a lot. An ideal CRM phone app could help you capitalize on the strengths such as features offered by a CRM mobile app. Simple things like push notifications, voice notes, and a mobile-optimized interface will make work that much easier. 

 

      
  1. Import Call and SMS Records, Contacts, and Call Log

 

One of the most tedious tasks related to CRM is data entry. Your team members will not want to transfer their daily call logs, records, etc. from the desktop to a mobile version manually. Being able to import call logs, SMS records, contacts, and other data from their mobile to CRM saves major of time. It is effective for maintaining the quality of data as well.

 

      
  1. Offline Access, Online Data Sync

 

Working in the field means sometimes working from areas with no internet. So, if any of your employees want access to CRM records it might be a problematic scenario. The offline access feature is a boon as they can access and make changes to CRM while offline. As soon as they come online, these offline changes get synced with the CRM. 

 

      
  1. Access to Maps with Route Planning 

 

This feature enables your employees to set their route between client locations and get real-time traffic alerts, gas stations, meeting points updates, etc. It can save a lot of their time and help them to manage their schedules according to real-time conditions.

 

 

      
  1. Live Tracking and Check-In / Check Out

 

One of the most important features for sales managers is to be able to track where sales reps are at any given time. Managers can also get an update of their team members as they can check-in and check out of meetings, tasks, and appointments. It helps you monitor their total time spent for a meeting, task or appointment with necessary details. 

 

      
  1. Business Card Scans to Add New Contacts Directly

 

During meetings, seminars, and conferences, your employees meet new prospects. While networking during these events, they can use the business cards scanner to scan them into the CRM app. The information directly gets added as a new contact into your CRM system, saving time and effort. 

 

      
  1. Electronic Signature

 

When your employees need special additional signatures of other members while closing the deal, the electronic signature feature can save the day. With the help of it, they can close the deals easily as they will have the required signatures available in the CRM app itself.

 

      
  1. Interactive Dashboards

 

With so many tasks running in the background, dashboards provide you with a quick glance of all your important tasks. They give you an overview of what is currently going on and help to prioritize tasks accordingly. 

 

      
  1. Support for Custom Modules

 

We make frequent changes to CRM fields and modules to make the most out of it. And it is important to have those updated fields and modules working in your Mobile CRM system as well. Hence, you can utilize your CRM data at its full potential. 

 

Does your Mobile CRM App have these Features?

 

When opting for a solution with a vision to make your business better, it is important to choose a CRM platform which supports the above operations. You’ll be glad you did!

Although there are several factors that affect your overall email campaign performance, the basics start with design. Let's focus on the important design decisions that you need to make for each message to drive maximum results. There are three specific details that make a huge difference; we’ll cover them here:

HTML vs. text emails

HTML is perfect for a formal webinar or an event invite, but when you want to take a more personal approach, try a text version. Don't forget your email must be mobile responsive since so many people open emails while they're on the go.

Reply-to address

Something that is often overlooked is from whom an email is sent, and what the reply-to address is. Unless you're sending an email newsletter, it's best that you use someone's personal email address if you're sending out a standard email rather than a typical generic email or info@ email address.

Personalization

When you use an individual's actual personal email address, research has shown that people are twice as likely to open the email as opposed to a generic one - and if you're trying to drive meetings with sales, an email that appears as a personal outreach from the representative is definitely the way to go. Don’t forget that the “reply to” address must also be the representative.

Before you jump into sending your next email campaign make sure you’ve chosen the right format. While these tips may sound rudimentary, they’ll go a long way with your customers—remember, sometimes less is more!

For a video version of this blog post, click here.

Technology is revolutionizing the way manufacturers run businesses day-to-day in the digital era. CRM systems can leverage the Internet of Things (IoT; a system of interrelated computing devices, mechanical and digital machines that have the ability to transfer data over a network with no human interaction)  to enhance end-to-end processes by connecting products, devices and equipment. IoT has the ability to drive insights throughout sales, customer service and marketing departments. The intelligent coupling of IoT and CRM have the ability to help manufacturers elevate customer experiences by enhancing efficiency and heightening visibility.

 

Let's look at the impact of IoT and CRM on manufacturing companies.

 

Optimized Customer Experiences

 

Customers always want to save time. Providing efficient services is key to business success. Research has shown that many customers will move to another brand due to a lack of efficiency and a unique experience; IoT and CRM can make it possible to enhance customer experiences in various ways. Manufacturing firms can identify errors and fix them before customers even notice - when issues are solved promptly and accurately, both sales representatives and customers can benefit from this seamless experience. Once the issue is identified, it can be resolved and prevented from happening again. Having all customers’ order history and account information in your CRM system can enhance customer service by speeding up processes. These are some of the improvements manufacturers are already seeing when they connect IoT devices with their CRM systems. 

 

Smart devices are used to collect data on where and when your product is used by specific customers, which helps manufacturing firms deliver personalized interactions. Having scattered or unstructured data can be challenging for manufacturers. Even smart organizations struggle to make better operational decisions if data is siloed within separate ERP and CRM systems; organized data leads to better decision-making. Experts have developed a solution app called Commercient SYNC, which takes data that is spread on-premise and in siloed data systems, synthesizing it into a system that can help organizations discover, manage and integrate data over its entire lifecycle.

 

Increased Sales

 

Customers value unique and efficient experiences more than anything else when engaging with brands. The enhanced capabilities of CRM systems, when connected with IoT, can lead to increased sales. IoT can detect customer dissatisfaction, assisting sales reps to put together a tailor-made strategy for each customer. It can also provide predictive analytics on when to reach out and which channel to use when offering discounts or vouchers to retain their loyalty. Marketers can also leverage these insights to deliver content to the specific target audience at the right time.

 

Utilizing IoT and CRM enables manufacturing firms to become more connected enterprises, and enables a business to discover innovative ways to engage and connect with customers.

To Grow Your Business, Invest in CRM Software First for a Great Customer Experience 

Your business can grow without Marketing but will die without Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. Exceptional customer experience is the key to cultivating customers for life and successful business growth.

Let’s Talk Marketing

Digital Marketing is all the rage these days. Inbound marketing, social media marketing, SEO, PPC, the list goes on…

Then there is your website, content, email campaigns, blogs, videos, and much more. Marketing is always evolving so that even the ‘experts’ have a hard time creating and maintaining the best strategy.

I should know - I have spent tens of thousands of dollars with marketing agencies without significant results to show for it.

This year, I spent hundreds of hours learning and testing best practices. I have utilized platforms like LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest, YouTube, Medium, and many more.

Closing business with Marketing is Harder than we Think

The investment of time and effort does not guarantee success.  All your hard work, effort, and money can go to waste if the right strategies are not applied.

Marketing, when done right, connects with and engages people who are looking for the products and services you offer.  Success means a steady influx of new leads.

The thing to remember is that these are leads - and converting them to business is a different endeavor.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software

Another tool for sales and marketing teams is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software.

CRM helps businesses manage and improve lead conversion, customer relationships, and customer service. It is an essential tool for managing leads and closing opportunities. It is also critical in onboarding customers and fulfilling their needs.

Exceptional Customer Experience Delivered via the Best CRM Creates Customers for Life

With the right CRM, excellence in upselling, reselling, and customer service is possible. It helps your users to stay organized, efficient, and effective. Consider:

Customers for life bring revenue and profit growth opportunities for life.

Repeat business is a significant source of growth and profit for any company.

Upselling to current customers bears fruit with less investment of time and effort.

Trust, rapport, and institutional knowledge earned from serving customers makes future sales less work.

It takes 5-6X less effort and expense to sell to a current customer as opposed to a new prospect.

Generating new opportunities does have to not cost thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours of marketing. These opportunities are won by providing exceptional customer experience.

Another benefit of providing exceptional customer experience is referrals, which have a high close rate. Referred leads are warm introductions. They help remove the barrier to entry in meeting decision-makers and assist in gaining vital inside information about the job. CRM helps manage relationships with referred prospects to win opportunities.

Networking is another source of new business that does not cost much; it brings social and intellectual benefits as well. CRM enables management and nurturing of network relationships.

A company can grow and thrive without a significant marketing effort. But it cannot succeed in the long term without a robust CRM.

CRM is a must for every business.

When investing in marketing, your CRM has to be ready to nurture and close the opportunities created.

Any CRM won’t do; it has to be the right CRM for your business.

The best CRM supports well planned and executed business processes enable business growth for life and create organic sources of new business.

Surviving and thriving are hard without investing time, energy, and resources in the right CRM.

Features of the Right CRM

Let’s take a few minutes to review some essential elements of the right CRM for your business:

  1. Collect, secure, and store leads, prospect, opportunities, customer, product, vendor, contracts, and other vital customer data
    Every business is different, and each one has different needs. Any CRM that limits how many contacts, fields, or processes you can create is not scalable, whereas the right CRM serves your business needs without arbitrary limitations.
  2. Provide various integrations to enable automatic data update and entry from different areas of business or online data warehouses
    Data entry is time-consuming. Today, the average salesperson spends one hour a day doing data entry. That’s one hour less time they are spending closing business.  The right CRM allows you to integrate with other business applications and your website to automatically update data. It helps the sales team work efficiently.
  3. Manage and report on lead-to-close sales cycles for an increase in business
    Reporting provides vital information to decision-makers, and Business Process Automation (BPA) helps save time and avoid mistakes in the sales cycle.  The best CRM has robust reporting and extensive options to automate business processes.
  4. Scalable as your business grows and evolves
    Today, businesses evolve at a faster rate than ever. Tools supporting enterprises have to be scalable and adaptable. CRM is no exception.
  5. Readily available and reliable support, training, and service providers
    Support, user training, and other specialized services help keep CRM relevant and useful over time. The right CRM has a healthy amount of options available for support and other services.

Conclusion

All the hype around marketing these days would have some believe that it is the only way to generate good quality leads to grow a business.  In reality, it is a complicated, time-consuming, and expensive exercise.

Investing time, effort, and money into the right CRM for your business will bring better ROI, long-lasting growth, and loyalty of your customers.

Your CRM has to fit your business needs. Choose carefully and then commit to making the culture shift to support it being used. Successful companies often say: ‘If it is not in the CRM, it did not happen.’

Click here to learn more about the CRM solutions we offer.

In case you haven’t already heard, Sugar just received some major upgrades and the company has fully reinvented itself to bring forth key innovations in the CRM industry. At the core of this reinvention lie Sugar’s three new products, Sugar Serve, Sugar Sell, and Sugar Market and we’ve brought details about them straight from SugarConnection San Francisco where all was unveiled. So, what are these products that come with the new Sugar? 

 

To quickly summarize, Sugar Market is a rebranding of Salesfusion for Sugar and Sugar Sell is an enhanced version of Sugar Enterprise minus the customer service features. What is entirely new and warrants a more detailed breakdown however, is Sugar Serve. Staying true to their mantra, “Making Customers For Life,” SugarCRM has made sure to provide a comprehensive set of customer service tools that allow businesses to build meaningful, long-term customer relationships with Sugar Serve. 

Why the Emphasis on Customer Service?

Customer service is often overlooked by businesses and the general perception is that resources spent on customer service are wasted if a given customer is already doing business with the organization. However, in today’s hyper-competitive market environment, customers are spoiled by choices for anything they want to purchase! Given the overwhelming amount of alternate options that are often equally great, it only comes down to one thing that can help push businesses over the edge and break through the noise - quality customer service. 

 

When customers feel valued by you, they are more likely to come back to you for business without you having to redo all of your sales efforts from scratch, and that is exactly why SugarCRM has created an entirely new product. Let’s take a look at what Sugar Serve can do for you.

What Does Sugar Serve Bring to the Table?

Sugar’s philosophy with Sugar Serve is fairly straightforward; to equip business with all the right tools to provide fast, personalized, and informed customer service. To do so, Sugar has identified key areas where customer service suffers and designed key objectives for Sugar Serve accordingly.

Improved Efficiency

One of the primary goals of Sugar Serve is to streamline the support process by improving the overall efficiency of support agents. It achieves this by providing them easy access to information and key customer insights so they can focus their time and effort on delivering informed customer service, all under a single pane of glass. 

Reduced Costs

One of the major arguments against investing in customer service is the cost associated with it and whether the ROI is good enough. Sugar Serve doesn’t just ensure that the relationships it helps build drive business; it also aims to cut down on the costs that accumulate in providing quality customer care by automating key processes and making service simpler, easier and much more cost-effective.

Ability to Build Relationships

As the tag line itself might already have given away, Sugar Serve serves (literally) as a means for businesses to conveniently build relationships with their customers for long-term retention and, consequently, an improved likelihood of recurring business from them. 

 

That covers what Sugar aims to accomplish with Sugar Serve. So, what features does it offer to do so? Let’s find out!

The Features

Case Prioritization

Sugar Serve prioritizes cases by service level agreements and there are a number of dynamic values that go into determining the priority level of any given case. This means service agents don’t have to go through the cumbersome process of identifying which cases they need to pay immediate attention to, because Sugar Serve does that for them! As a result, agents can improve their response times to high priority customers and, therefore, make them feel valued.

Intelligent Case Management

SugarBPM ring a bell? Sugar Serve leverages the automation features provided by SugarBPM to ensure all customer service requests are automatically routed to the right agent. This includes mechanisms to reassign cases that have been left unattended for too long and also escalating cases that require further attention. This has huge implications for the customer service process because it not only ensures that all customer requests are catered to in a timely fashion, but also that service agents save on the effort that goes into manually going through each request and determining who it should be assigned to. 

Knowledge Management

The key to quality customer service is access to previous information and that is exactly what Sugar Serve provides. With quick availability of customer history, activity, and relevant insights, Sugar Serve makes sure your service agents can provide informed and personalized service to each customer. Sugar Serve essentially consolidates all the relevant information for any given case on a single screen so service agents can provide quick solutions.  

All the Reports You Need

Sugar Serve arrives with more than 60 out of the box reports, each of which can be customized according to what kind of insights your service agents require. That’s not all either! You can have entirely new custom SugarCRM reports created too, so your business processes are fully captured by the insights that Sugar Serve generates. This means you will have access to all the data you need to identify and understand problem areas in your customer service process before they escalate.

Intuitive UI

These are all immensely useful features that will undoubtedly facilitate customer service beyond measure, but what good are they if they aren’t easily accessible? That is where the real strength of Sugar Serve comes into play. With a kanban view of cases for supervisors, simple click to view functionality for case details, and the ability to interact with users with multiple correspondence options on the screen, Sugar Serve doesn’t just ensure that you have all the right tools at your disposal but also makes certain that they are available to you at all times without any difficulty!

 

With the convenience that these features are capable of adding to your customer service processes, delivering high quality, personalized service to each of your customers is now easier than ever. As a result, you can truly build customers for life with Sugar Serve.

In the past, marketing technology was looked at as a quick fix solution. However, a quick fix can never solve all of your problems and provide you with sustainable work solutions. Rather, a marketing solution will be much more successful if it is incorporated into the way you work.

This means that while marketing automation is a great tool that can do the heavy lifting, it is still your responsibility to incorporate a robust marketing strategy to inform your marketing automation. You want to nurture your customers through their buyer journey in order to provide them with exactly what they need when they need it and convert as many leads as possible to customers. So, when you invest in a marketing automation tool, be prepared to play the long game to maximize your results.

Here are eight tips that maximize your marketing efforts to ensure you are getting the most out of your marketing automation system:

1) Structured Marketing Campaigns

Make sure that your marketing campaigns are structured from the outset but don’t try to do everything at once. Start with the basics and build upon that over time as your audience expands. Even with just the basics, you should be seeing ROI in no time.

2) Optimize Everything

You need to optimize every single stage of your campaign. Think about your data, your processes, your messaging. If they are weak they won’t engage your audience and move them along the sales funnel - and they definitely won’t convert leads to customers. Optimization will insure that you always put your best foot forward.

3) Sales and Marketing Collaboration

Your sales and marketing teams should be working together. They should be collaborating on your messaging and content creation for customers as well as parameters for lead nurturing and scoring. This way, marketing will be able to send sales more qualified leads.

4) Marketing Guidelines

Make sure that you are following the established marketing guidelines. Research best practices for all marketing- related activities such as segmentation, form creation, CRM integration and compliance. Once you know what these guidelines are, train your staff to follow them so that you get the best possible results from the start.

5) Customize

You will want to customize your marketing efforts. The best marketing is customized to reflect the user based on comprehensive user personas. A great user persona will not only provide you with descriptors but also attributes and behaviors which you can use to guide your marketing efforts. This way you can make informed decisions rather than assuming.

6) Don’t Blame the Tech

When we don’t reach our expected levels of success we often look for someone or something to blame and often times our technology takes the brunt of this. However, the technology is not to blame; it's usually the marketer. But don’t be discouraged, it is likely that your team doesn’t have the knowledge to operate the tool effectively. To remedy this invest in some training to get your team back on track.

7) Business Case

When you invest in a new marketing automation software, create a business case to go with it, given that your company just spent quite a bit of money on this new piece of tech. In order to keep stakeholders happy the business case can illustrate the value of the platform and how it is accelerating your marketing efforts.

8) The Three A’s

The three A’s are; Adopt, Adapt and Achieve!

Adopt: Make sure the platform is being used to its fullest potential.

Adapt: Adapt the tool within reason. The technology is not as flexible as the people using it so adapt it for your needs.

Achieve: This flexibility will allow you to keep your marketing philosophy intact most of the time with the occasional compromise. As a result, you will be able to achieve your goals.

Marketing automation isn’t as complex as it seems. With the proper implementation and execution, you can look forward to sustainable success and a great ROI. If you are just starting out and you are struggling, don’t give up! Stay with it for a few months and invest in some training for your staff. The right implementation and execution make all the difference

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been a topic of fascination of science fiction fans for many years, and it’s been typified in classic entertainment such as Star Wars, Star Trek, and even the Jetsons. As AI advances and as we explore its practical applications, fear of an impending “Matrix-like” future occupies the minds of many. People understand that AI has moved from an outlandish topic for nerds and science fiction enthusiasts to an approach employed by the few rich and powerful companies who can afford their own team of researchers and scientists. However, what many people fail to realize how accessible AI has become for companies. A small, or mid-sized growing business just looking for competitive advantage that will allow them to offer an improved customer experience, reduce costs, or even improve employee morale can take advantage of Ai today. Take a closer look and you may find that in reality, an intuitive Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system enhanced with AI will give your employees just what they need and - you don’t need to be Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk to achieve it!

Before the age of AI, many companies viewed CRMs as a technology used to store their data. But a modern CRM system can offer so much more, especially to businesses with high levels of customer engagement. Leveraging AI, a CRM can:

  • Help to inform prospective customers and direct them to the right team so they are quickly engaged and connected to the solution they seek
  • Optimize the user experience to cater to place the most frequently needed information at their fingertips during a live customer interaction
  • Help your people to determine the next best action for each customer "touch", based on intelligence gathered from thousands of past communications

AI through machine learning is capable of pulling data from traditional sources such as customer profiles, sales data etc. and non-traditional sources i.e. social media posts, emails, call center recordings. Based on data gathered by the system during each customer interaction, the system may be able to accurately anticipate the most relevant information and make it accessible in real-time. What would take a human hours to accomplish, AI makes possible in a few seconds. Your employees stay engaged with clients, focused on their needs and informed by the sum of all the intelligence gathered during the entirety of your organization’s interactions with them. It isn’t creepy. In fact, it brings refreshing continuity to the customer relationship historically crippled by impersonal communication and inefficiency.

AI in CRM continues to grow, with some looking to add voice technology to the software following the popularity of similar systems like Siri and Alexa. AI is also evolving to pull from more data points coming straight from the customer’s device, which will give your employees even more information.

However, AI is only as good as the data it can acquire. AI works by studying the patterns and behaviors that arise from data in order to cut down on manual processing time. As a result, if you don’t set it up with the best data, the AI can’t do its most efficient work. When your CRM’s AI has robust data sources, it can drive valuable insights and learning. You'll be able to process large amounts of this data quickly, becoming increasingly more sophisticated in your customer management. 

We are seeing different approaches to AI by different CRM providers; SugarCRM offers smart solutions such as Sugar Hint. Hint, using just the name and email address of a business or individual enriches your lead, contact, or account record with the latest news insights, address, phone, and a wealth of other helpful information. This insight eliminates the need for both research and data entry reducing several hours of work to just seconds. Instead, your employees can use that saved time to create productive relationships with customers and leads using the data provided.

Sugar doesn’t stop with Hint though. Built on robust cloud infrastructure, Sugar plays very nicely with “ready to run” AI-based web services everywhere.

Cool Ways We Are Using AI at MasterSolve

  • Sentiment Analysis - Sugar is able to interpret messages and notes and determine with amazing accuracy the sentiment of a communication. This allows us to run analytics and monitor customer satisfaction not just through surveys and customer loyalty, but now through the measurement of sentiment. This allows us to be much more responsive and in tune with customer needs.
  • Chat Bot - Customers and prospects can interact intelligently over webchat and gain helpful direction and get transferred to a live agent as needed. This improves responsiveness, reduces wait times, and improves employee morale by replacing eliminating redundant and repetitive interactions with more meaningful conversations handled by someone with the correct skillset.

AI in CRM is revolutionizing the way businesses make decisions and improving customer experience. It provides insights that enhance the way employees interact with customers. At MasterSolve, we believe that AI has made its move from C3PO to CRM. We suggest that when exploring your next CRM solution, consider how it might leverage AI to help your team focus on what they do best.

Customer feedback. A strong foundation of any successful business. But one of the major mistakes most businesses make is that they do not pay much attention to the customer feedback implementation process.

With the help of right SugarCRM Survey Modules, you can implement a proper automated feedback process. Based on the completion of CRM events, your tailor-made surveys can be sent to those customers. While creating a survey, make sure they are not too long and are on point for a higher response rate.

If you are scratching your head how to decide how to make a short and interactive survey, a single NPS survey question can be your savior. Because it works on numbers, it gives you a clear picture of how many of your customers are detractors, passives or promoters.

Numbers from Temkin research says that promoters are 4.2 times more likely to buy again, 5.6 times likely to let go of the company's mistake, and 7.2 times likely to try new offerings.  However, it is equally important to put your efforts towards detractors and passives.

Here’s how.

First, Calculate your NPS Score

Subtract the percentage of detractors from the promoters. For instance, an NPS survey shows 50% of your customers are promoters, and 20% are detractors. Your NPS score is 30 (50%-20% = 30).

What is a good Net Promoter Score?

NPS scores range between -100 and +100. A score above 0 is a good NPS score; meaning the majority of your customers are loyal. Additionally, 50+ is an excellent score, and 70+is the “world-class” score. If your score is below 0, the majority of your customers are your critics. It’s time to improve customer service. You need to understand their pain points and improve their overall experience.

Here are some NPS average scores, industry-wise:

  • Healthcare: 62

  • Professional Services: 58

  • Retail: 54

  • Hospitality, Travel, Restaurants: 53

  • Manufacturing: 51

  • Automotive & Transportation: 49

  • Financial Services: 46

  • Construction & Engineering: 45

  •  Consumer Services: 42

  • Insurance: 42

  • IT & Software: 41

  • Banking: 37

  • Media: 34

  • IT Services: 33

  • Telecommunications: 24

Drive Business with NPS Score

Follow up with Detractors:

If you don’t have critics, you’ll likely have no success” - Malcolm X

Create a list. Send them a personalized email addressing their customer experience. Offer them a gift or a coupon code as a gesture of appreciation. To track your progress, make changes per their suggestions. Once you complete a sprint on that, send them a new NPS survey. Compare new results to filter out the new promoters.

Leverage Promoters to Generate More Sales:

According to statistics, referral programs are more effective to generate new business. You have a customer base who are happy to recommend your brand to others. Once you identify your promoters, make a referral plan.

As they are already happy with your products/services, they will be more than happy to refer you when encouraged for referrals. Plus, it’s a good opportunity for you to ask them to review your product/services. You may also ask if they’ll be okay with you writing their case study.

Activate the Passives:

They are not detractors; they are right here but didn’t receive services in the way they wanted. Reach out to them again. Ask for more specific information. Maybe they haven’t given you enough information, as they thought nobody would care. Reaching out again to such customers will show that you have interest in serving them. You are there for help.

If they reply to you, take it seriously and make the necessary changes. Educate them on how to use your products and notify them about future plans. If you approach them with a follow-up email, it encourages them to stay in touch with you. They might become your new promoters.

Write Pointed Emails

For Detractors: While following up with detractors, state your point with subtle language to get a reply.

Here's an example:

Thanks for responding to our survey. We’re sorry to hear that you wouldn’t recommend us, but would love to learn more about what we can do to improve. Your reply is important to us.

For Passives: Appreciation is important. Ask for suggestions to improve your services and products even further.

Example: Hi Amy! Thank you for your response - we take feedback seriously, and your suggestions will help us improve our services. If you have a minute, we’d love to hear more from you.

For Promoters: They are your advocates. They would love to hear from you! It is the best opportunity to educate them on how they can refer your services to friends and family and be rewarded in return.

For example:

You could earn money by referring your friends and family. Every time someone buys by using your invite, you’ll earn $X!

Here's how you can send them emails to write reviews for you:

We’re so happy to hear that you’d recommend us to others. We’d love a public review on our profile to help other customers - we're giving away a month of free services to the first 15 customers who review us this month. Act soon!

Final Thoughts

NPS alone cannot help you grow to billions in revenue. It’s a consistent process which helps you identify your pain points and gives you a chance to improve. There are SugarCRM survey plugins available on the store with  NPS survey feature. With such a module, you can provide the best user experience to grow your business in numbers, customers, and loyalty.

Many businesses require electronic signatures on all official documents to safely and securely conduct transactions. Companies that do so may also require those e-signatures to come from trusted and reputable services. Fortunately, we have DocuSign, a leading eSignature provider. And with its integration with Sugar comes the ability to send the documents for signature directly from the CRM.

 

DocuSign offers a very high level of compliance with security standards and eSignature regulations, including compliance with the ESIGN Act and is authorized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) for use in government agencies.

 

DocuSign for Sugar is the easiest, fastest, most secure way to send, sign, track and store documents in the cloud. Fully integrated within Sugar, DocuSign helps users close more deals, faster. Your customers can sign contracts within minutes from anywhere, anytime and on any device.

 

Send Document for signature from Accounts

 

Using the DocuSign Sugar integration, you can use the DocuSign's Template, Sugar's PDF templates or even choose a file locally to get the Signature on it.

 

Simply sign into DocuSign from within Sugar and use DocuSign’s drag and drop fields to populate your PDF document or form with everything you need. Send it off to your recipient and get it back in as little as a few minutes, saving valuable time and effort.

 

An advanced tip is to use "DocuSign field mapping" to get the filled values from the recipient back to the CRM module, giving you the ease of bidirectional data parsing and updating.

 

Docusign fields maping and template

 

 

 

Signing the document

 

There are other ways to use DocuSign for Sugar with minor customization as per business needs, including:

 

  • Signing contracts, invoices and work orders
  • Approving project estimates and change orders
  • Completing and signing leases and rental agreements
  • Signing paperwork for real estate purchases
  • Signing statements of work and insurance forms

 

Benefits of Sugar and DocuSign integration

 

  • Grow your business efficiently by digitizing legal documents, sales agreements, HR forms, & more.
  • Close deals faster
  • Reduce errors and improve compliance
  • Streamline workflow processes
  • Customization opportunities

 

For more information, click here, and to discuss this blog with other members of the SugarCRM community, please visit the SugarCRM Partner Corner.

Having 5 different locations to manage all your marketing needs is confusing if nothing else. Your social media in one place, lead generation in another and email marketing as well. It’s no wonder you're struggling to keep track. And the reporting, oh that’s a whole other kettle of fish. It’s laborious to compare marketing channels to figure out which offers the best return of leads and engagement. But what if everything could be stored in one location? You could see at a glance what each of your leads has been doing.

 

As marketers, we can dream. It helps with the creative process after all. CRM gives us that opportunity, to manage all our marketing needs under one roof. But it’s not all about having one view for everything (although that is the main benefit), an almost equally important outcome where everyone is working from the same place. Access to all the necessary information when it’s needed, with multiple teams updating uncovered contact data.  

 

Channel your focus

 

With the potential to integrate every aspect of your marketing, the reach is far greater than simply email. Bring your marketing automation software into the equation to simplify the marketing process.  

 

  • Email: integrate your email marketing so you know what campaigns each contact has been sent, their opens, clicks and undeliverable status.  
  • Social Media: logging in separately to each social media channel takes precious time. Time that could be better used for crafting the perfect email. Record who has clicked on which post, all from your CRM.  
  • Events: they take a lot of work, but events are integral to proving you’re the top of your field. Take some of the load off by automating your event. Obviously, keep an eye on it, but let CRM record who’s booked, attended and follow up afterwards. 
  • Website Activity: Record where a lead is clicking on your website and when. Get lead scores so you know exactly how engaged leads are at all times.  

 

Transparency for collaboration

 

Having a singular view in which everyone works from promotes transparency across departments. Employees can see how each team contributes to the lead generation pipeline and beyond. With everyone pulling together the information they gather, future interactions become more personalised than ever.  

 

Data fluidity

 

Moving from one department to another can be frustrating for the customer and the teams involved. With CRM, miscommunications are reduced. Each team has access to all information the other holds on a contact. Handovers are easier, take less time, and require fewer documents to be passed across.  

 

Align departments

 

Sales and Marketing ultimately have the same end goal: for sales to see what marketing has sent to nurture a lead, and how the contact has responded. Marketing can identify web visitors and what they’ve been looking at to inform sales engagement. What’s more, marketing can create CRM lists which prioritize leads based on their engagement, so sales knows who are the top targets to focus on. And if sales can’t get through to a lead, they can put the contact into a marketing workflow to warm them up until they’re engaged enough for sales to step back in.  

 

Working together from one view can promote departmental cohesion, understanding and agreement. With CRM, you have the ability to make the process about the customer, while also making each team’s life easier. A small bonus from an already great system.

Want to know more? Contact Lauren King at lauren.king@communigator.co.uk. or discuss this blog with other members of the SugarCRM community, please visit the SugarCRM Partner Corner.

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution has become an essential part of the business toolkit. It can accelerate sales and cement your relationship with customers. So why hasn’t your sales team jumped in feet first? The fact is, most CRM projects fail because of an issue in organizational structure rather than technology.

 

A CRM is most effective when adopted by everyone. You need to get all of your employees onboard, and to do so you need to understand their hesitations with utilizing the CRM system itself. Once you have an understanding of their concerns, you can then work on improving your adoption rate.

Here are some reasons why they may not be ready to use your platform:

They Don’t Know How to Use It

 

Any new technology, no matter what it is or how easy to use, has a learning curve. It is important to give your teams the education they need in order to use the software effectively. To do that, invest in proper training so that your employees have the knowledge they need to use the system effectively.

Often times the sales team can view a management CRM as a roadblock to them completing their tasks. Training and education can help them to fully understand how a CRM can make their jobs easier. Make sure that the training relates to their sales process so that they can see how it can be applied to their typical day.

The CRM Isn’t Properly Aligned to The Sales Methodology

 

Sometimes even when your sales team knows how to use the CRM, they still will not--and that’s because it does not match their sales methodology. A lot of CRM solutions come with preset processes and functions that may not match up with their existing workflow. Further, each salesperson may have a specific way of doing things, so presets become another hurdle.

In order to remedy this, make sure you choose a CRM that is both flexible and customizable. You need to be able to adapt it to your company’s processes, and it must be flexible enough to assist each sales person with their own individual style of working.

The Data Stored in the CRM Isn’t Useful

 

When it comes to a CRM’s usefulness, the relevance of the data it stores and provides is key. Bad and/or outdated data can cause havoc, discouraging your sales team from using the CRM system.

In order to maintain your CRM’s integrity, make sure the data is cleaned regularly, implement features to standardize your data and use data duplication removal tools. Consider assigning a CRM manager to ensure that the system’s data is up to date, relevant and high quality.

The bottom line is that CRM effectiveness comes down to communication. Get your team on board by starting the conversation and create an atmosphere where you team isn’t afraid to ask questions and be educated. This will help you extract maximum benefits from your CRM and propel your business toward success.