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
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:
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
No doubt Sugar dashboard is a powerful tool for regular Sales Management. Special diagrams like Pipeline or Forecast, reports diagrams and filtered list views help to see the current state of sales, to analyze opportunities and quotes portfolios from different viewpoints. Report drill down option gives the possibility to examine any diagrams segment and look into details in a second.
But what do you do if you look at the pipeline or any other similar diagram and see that the portfolio was significantly changed?
Some of the opportunities could be shifted to the latest period or, vice-versa, to the earliest one, some of the opportunities had changes in the amount or/and stages. But which changes exactly and what exact amount of change? That is a question. If you manage the dozens and hundreds of opportunities, the receiving of answer needs a lot of time, doesn't it?
You can make this part of sales management work easier and more efficient if you use TimeLine Viewer, a special Sugar add-on for collecting and managing significant changes in your data.
First, add the report based on TimeLine data to visualize the structure of significant changes in your portfolio and add a particular diagram to your Sales Dashboard. It helps to be aware of the existence of changes that had impact on your portfolio, as well as how many of them took place, and who is responsible for them.
Second, add special "My TimeLine" dashlet to the dashboard and configure a dashlet filter to display just a restricted set of business events (stage changes, change in the amount and probable date of the close). It gives not only the possibility to view each particular change that had impact on your pipeline but also to collaborate with teammates in a quick and easy way in the context of the particular event.
Finally, add Collaboration dashlet to Dashboard to quickly review your teammates' answers directly from dashboard.
With these improvements, your Sales Dashboard would look like this and you will be able to manage all pipeline changes directly from the dashboard. This is a piece of cake.
If you use Sugar Enterprise, we have another good piece of news: you can view TimeLine feeds on your Sugar mobile as well, because Sugar Enterprise allows extending regular Sugar Mobile.
Enjoy the work in Sugar,
By Elizabeth Mankowski, CRM Practice Director, Highland Solutions
Like many consulting firms, Highland Solutions groups our team into several practice areas. The CRM practice distinguishes itself from the other Highland practices by focusing only on CRM (of course!) and by supporting multiple active clients instead of a single client’s custom development initiative. These clients range in size from family-owned custom fixture businesses to global manufacturing firms.
We have a small but experienced team of dedicated CRM experts at Highland Solutions who support about 25 clients. So how do we do it? Here are 6 guidelines that help us work at a sustainable pace while delivering excellent work to our clients.
We do a diverse range of work for our CRM clients, which often includes:
This work varies in its predictability (how far in advance can it be scheduled?) and its unknown risks (how well can it be defined before we start?). As a team, the areas of greatest risk are usually prioritized higher, as shown in the matrix below.
Highland is a people-first organization. We are spouses, parents, friends, and caretakers, as well as technology professionals. Like you, we have a limited number of hours in our day and we don’t spend all of them working. When we are working, focus is critical to quality and completion. Context switching between Jira stories, client meetings, and internal tasks can be taxing, so we limit the number of stories assigned to each team member at any given time. We use Jira quick filters to highlight what’s assigned to whom at stand-up.
This is driven by the Lean principle: minimize or eliminate any steps that do not create value for the customer. We often ask ourselves, “what if we don’t do this for the client?” and we ask “what if we don’t do this today?” Then we weigh the consequences in dialog with our clients and help them evaluate when a request is a “must have” or a “nice to have.” We like to remind each other, “Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.”
We don’t prepare a large requirements document up front. We educate our clients on Agile software development during our kick-off meetings, and we shepherd our joint team through a rapid story definition, implementation, and demo cycle. We present changes and enhancements to clients early and often, and we turn around feedback quickly.
This shorter cycle keeps the information fresh in the minds of Highland team members and our clients. Our clients are often busy sales and marketing professionals with day jobs that are not configuring CRMs. Keeping their focused attention and reminding them frequently of what we’re doing on their behalf results in more valuable feedback for us and a better end product for them.
We can’t afford to have every team member become an expert in every client’s CRM, so generally there are one or two experts per client. That said, some cross-training provides benefits when we need to spread out testing tasks or when a team member takes time off. We also use a secure tool to save and share credentials, ensuring we can access clients’ Sugar CRM environments without passing around usernames and passwords on post-it notes.
From internal daily stand-ups to weekly or bi-weekly client demos, the importance of communication cannot be overstated. We are committed to being transparent and open with our clients and with each other. Occasionally we will miss a deadline or misinterpret a requirement, but frequent check-ins ensure that trust remains high and corrections are timely. Every CRM engagement is a partnership, and candid communication is the strong fiber binding us together.
Taking the best from Agile methodologies, lean principles, and about 50 years of collective technology experience helps Highland’s CRM team keep our day-to-day workload manageable while still delivering high value to our clients.
While these guidelines help us manage our work today, we’re always improving our process and tweaking it as our needs change. If you lead or work on a team that’s managing multiple clients, leave me a comment and let me know how you’re applying Agile or lean principles to your work.
This post was originally featured on the Highland Solutions Journal
As a Sugar Administrator, you play a major role in team productivity. If the CRM isn’t configured with fields and calculations that make data entry easy, the team isn’t going to use the system. In parallel, if the fields and calculations aren’t helpful, it will lead to frustration and wasted efficiency.
During our December online user group discussion, our Sugar experts addressed the concept of managing configurations and gave best practices advice for modifying dropdowns, deciding what to require, managing searchable fields, and more. I’ll summarize their points in this blog. Check out the video clip for their commentary, and join us for our February online user group where we’ll tackle using quotes in conjunction with opportunities, products, and forecasting.
When adding a new field to your Sugar instance, it’s important to first understand how that field will be used. Will the information in that field need to be searchable? Will the user need to draw reports from it? Is it a calculated field? Think about how to best match the field type to fulfill the field purpose.
For example, it would be better to use a dropdown instead of a text field if the user wants the ability to easily report on the data. Why? If you use a text field, you are leaving the spelling, punctuation, and capitalization open to human error, which will make it that much harder to accurately draw a report.
Need to do a calculation on a value? Use an integer or currency field so you can add, subtract, or average those numbers in a calculated field or summation report.
When adding a text field, make sure you think about character length. What will you be entering in that field? Is it something you know will keep a standard length? For example, will you be entering invoice numbers that are always eight characters long? Avoid creating text fields that will require space for a lot of characters or you could run out of room in your database tables.
When it comes to dates, how do you decide whether to use Date or DateTime for the field? Best practices would indicate you should use Date if you don’t particularly care about time, and DateTime if you must be able to report on both. A field that is date only will be easier to report on, filter, group, and enter data into, but of course if the time is necessary, you must use DateTime. Just be mindful that it is filled out appropriately.
Take care when using calculated fields or dependent fields. If you’re pulling data from a parent record down to a child record when using calculated fields, and you cascade those records down multiple levels (ex: Contact field based on parent Account field, and then Case field based on that contact field) and edit the account, you’ll have to cascade those changes down multiple levels. This may affect the ability to do an accurate calculation or even prohibit the calculation altogether. In the above example, if you have Workflows based on the Cases and you update the top parent Account (which updates the related Contacts, which updates the related Cases), each Case will kick off the Workflow. If that Workflow updates the parent Contact or Case, you can get into quite the mess.
As you manage your field configurations, questions on enabling certain features may emerge. Here are our best practices for answering those questions:
If you create too many required fields, there’s a higher likelihood your users will fill in the fields randomly just to be able to move on in the process. However, if you don’t create any required fields you may find your data has too many gaps and you can’t collect the information you need. So, what’s the solution? It’s a balancing act, but keep in mind that Sugar has other tools, like data scoring and exception reporting, that can help you keep track of certain data if you are worried about having too many requirements.
Your Sugar instance will show a field property with the option to enable duplicate merge. Duplicate merge is when you merge duplicate records and get a side-by-side view of the data in that field. If you know you’ll have time to compare the two records completely, go ahead and merge, but if there is an overabundance of custom fields, you may find yourself with information overload.
Sugar added a new property called Personal Information in version 8.0. This was in response to the GDPR and other European data privacy laws. It allows you to mark which fields contain personally identifiable information. That information will feed in to the data privacy features, including being able to see all personal information on file in a record via a particular view in Sugar. The information also feeds into the data erasure process built into the data privacy module. You can capture this information at the request of a customer and erase it, copy and paste it, or do whatever else is asked of you.
This best practice tip is not a field property, but it has to do with fields so, here it is! Put thought into which fields are available as columns in your list view – prioritize the most crucial information your users will want to see in that field and don’t over clutter by showing too many columns. It will slow down your process.
How will the fields you’re creating be available for searching? Global Search, Search Filtering, and Reporting are all Administrator level configurations that are manageable for your searching needs. Here’s a breakdown of each:
Global Search: Global Search Admin settings allow you to select which modules should be indexed for Global Search (in the search Admin tool, not in Studio). With this high-level capability, you can turn off searching for modules you don’t want users to be able to use through Global Search. Within Studio, you can control which fields you want indexed for the search engine. This also controls how the results are ranked for your users via the Boost Value. You can adjust Boost Value to make sure you’re presenting the most important information to your users first.
INTERESTING NOTE ABOUT BOOST VALUE: If you type a search term that matches multiple fields on a record, the Boost Value from each field will add up to get the overall match for that result.
Search Filters: These filters are controlled through a layout in Studio. Within every module in Studio you have a search layout. You can drag and drop fields into your search layout so they can be searched. Keep the Search Filters in mind when you’re creating new fields. You may not want the particular field on a list view layout, but in most cases you will definitely want the new field to be on the search layout.
Reporting: The Admin can control which fields are available (or unavailable) for reporting. In most instances, if you’re disabling a field for reporting, it’s because your team is no longer using the field. You can hide fields from the Reports screen by unchecking the reportable property on the field under the field settings.
Best practices for modifying dropdowns start with reviewing existing data, especially if you’re removing any values. Search the field for the values first, because once the values are removed, the related data in the database no longer exists according to Sugar. If you must replace the value, do the following:
1. Add new value to your dropdown
2. Go to Entity
3. Search field for your old value
4. Do mass update to the new value
5. Go back into your dropdown and remove the old value
For more Sugar Admin best practices, visit our website at www.techadv.com. Be sure to join us for our February user group on best practices for using quotes in conjunction with opportunities, products, and forecasting.
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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
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!
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 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.
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.
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?
It is coming to the end of 2018 and without doubt, in the B2B commerce world the buzz word of the year is Artificial Intelligence or AI.
This is the year that all the large ERP and CRM vendors announced AI initiatives following on from 2017 Dreamforce and the Salesforce announcement of Einstein.
So why is everyone suddenly talking AI and what does it mean to sales organizations?
For field sales organizations, one of the most sobering statistics to come out in recent years is the steady decline in average quota attainment for B2B field sales organizations. There have been many suggested causes, but no doubt today’s B2B purchasers have done their research on-line prior to ever engaging with your sellers. In addition, according to research undertaken by the Harvard Business Review “The number of people involved in B2B solutions purchases has climbed from an average of 5.4 two years ago to 6.8 today.”
Sellers are facing more informed buyers and more of them involved in each sale.
Although there is no simple panacea, there is a way for sellers and sales organizations to improve their odds. By using AI.
AI can help sales organizations prioritize opportunities, identify deals that are not currently a focus but should be, and surface important reasons as to why deals are either on track or off track.
But not all AI is the same. AI succeeds when you have three key ingredients:
It is not just about the the algorithms as most have been available for over 30 years. And it is not just about having the data. It’s the intersection of all three.
What machine learning can do is look at vast amounts of say opportunity data and discern patterns in the data. By having a large enough data set that contains both opportunities that won and opportunities that lost and stalled. By looking at patterns across a sufficient set of opportunity data, the machine learning will identify what does “good” look like and what does “bad” look like in terms of winning and losing.
Once the machine has determined this, you have a very useful model. Good AI predictive models will have the ability to identify the key influencers that are evident in won and lost opportunities.
Armed with these models, forward looking sales organizations are deploying them via applications like ours. It is important to realize that AI does not replace human judgment, but augments it. In fact to take out human judgement will almost guarantee low adoption throughout an organization as sales professionals have tribal knowledge and emotional intelligence insights that AI can not yet replicate.
An opportunity probability win score should aid in understanding the totality of a pipeline, and should triangulate with human judgment, either reinforcing through agreement, challenging through disagreement or uncovering hidden insights into overlooked opportunities.
In our product, we headline this through our Opportunity Map, where we take all opportunities with close date in a particular quarter and group them into four buckets:
Additionally, we provide insights or reasons as to why we are calling these deals the way we are, either confirming that deals are on track and are progressing at the right pace through the deal process or highlighting the reasons why the deal is off track and suggesting areas that need addressing.
Armed with this information, sales organizations and leadership can better:
AI for Forecasting
Opportunity scores are not just for helping to decide where to apply scarce sales effort, but in addition can be used to create more accurate revenue forecasts earlier in the quarterly cycle. With deal level scores, a good forecasting system will combine an aggregation of projected opportunity win amounts with a top down view of deals that are projected to open and close (new won) in that quarter that are not currently in open pipeline.
A good system will be accurate from day one of the quarter, constantly re-evaluating both projected opportunity win amounts and new wins.
This does not necessarily replace more traditional judgment based rollup forecasting but it adds an extra dimension to triangulate the different methods. Typically, early call deals are less likely to be committed, meaning that judgment contributes to a higher percentage of the sales forecast earlier in the quarter as opposed to later in the quarter. AI is more willing to commit early stage deals and will compute new wins with better accuracy than judgment alone.
It would be a mistake to judge all current AI marketing as hype, believing it will play a future role, but not this quarter as you focus on making the number.
Companies that embrace the right AI tools for Sales today will have a leg up on their competitors. These companies will learn earlier how to deploy AI to derive maximum value. These efforts will pay off in terms of shorter and more predictable successful sales cycles, more effective deployment of resources and Day 1 visibility into where the Quarter will land.
According to Gartner, there will be more than 25 billion connected things by 2020. It means the Internet of Things is going to be a huge connected network between people-to-people, people-to-things, and things-to-things. It is not only connecting with us more, it is also changing the way we live. Whether we prefer to notice it or not, yet IoT is transforming our surroundings and will keep on doing it.
Now, let’s talk about CRMs. In earlier days, the focus of CRMs was to reduce the cost around customer acquisition, retention, and servicing them. Now, it has customer portals that look after saving time and resources along with cost cutting. It also strives to provide quality of services to customers. Sugar CRM facilitates enterprises by enabling them to build customer portals to better their engagement.
Blending Automation with Convenience
So, IoT is changing the way people live and Sugar CRM is changing the way enterprise work. Now what if they both work together? This synergy will create an environment of predictive and preventive functionalities that send alert for future actions. Such a system will notify your customers in advance before they face any problem and provide a service or solution to the issues they might face in the near future. IoT will decode the buying pattern of the customer in real-time, and it will help the SugarCRM client portal or application to include them in the right marketing campaign.
Is it possible?
Yes, it is possible to use 'Internet of Things' and integrate it with SugarCRM Customer Portal and applications. The major three components of IoT can generate huge benefits for organizations if it works in sync with CRM. These three important components of IoT that your Sugar CRM solution can optimize are:
Gartner researched recently about the drivers of a CRM applications. In that study, the most important attributes were: Mobile, Cloud, Big Data and Social Networking capability. Further, that study says that Internet of Things is going to be the fifth driver after these four.
Exemplifying the Ease of IoT and SugarCRM
Consider a scenario of a hearing aid company. The hearing Aid Industry has become more advanced. Now it is trying to introduce innovative features in their product lists. Examples could be longer battery life, Bluetooth compatibility, noise reduction. It is also introducing products for controlling your hearing aid device through smart phone, etc.
Let us take few scenarios from this company. It will help us to understand how IoT helps in providing services to customers, with the help of IoT and its integration with CRM.
3 Different Scenarios Where IoT is Taking the Customer Experience to The Next Level.
How SugarCRM Takes These IoT Alerts for Next Level Customer Experience?
In all these scenarios, how the company official will get to know about all the issues? That is because a sensor placed in the hearing aid instrument sends notifications to the central application. It creates an alert in the system that there is some issue with the battery or instrument, and needs replacement. As being an open source, SugarCRM can render IoT alerts in different ways with flexibility. These are,
In any of the way, a customer will be happy that the Product Company is taking a preventive action, and providing service promptly before they face any issue. It will help you to gain the customer’s confidence in your services, products, and increase their satisfaction level as well.
Apart from this, IoT with SugarCRM can also help sales and marketing functions in multiple ways. Real-time data generated by IoT will you to help understand in numerous ways. It will tell you usage of the product, buying patterns of the customer, opportunities for cross-selling and up selling, deciding flexible pricing, etc. Your sales team can analyze the IoT generated data to decide future campaigns by knowing the right customers.
It will help them reduce the cost in terms of market research. This data can also help the marketing function to identify those customers, who are not using your products anymore. For such customers, you can run separate campaigns, or invite them for trade shows and product launch programs, and try to retain them.
So, why wait? Leverage the power of IoT and Sugar CRM and get the best out of your business. It will make the work flow faster and user friendly. This will also stay helpful for your staff and assist them to boost their productivity.
With December starting this weekend and 2019 just around the corner, I thought it would be a great time to create a guide for our family of SugarCRM customers to use and plan for the upcoming year. Here are four things to think about as we approach 2019.
Sugar maintains an end-of-life schedule which you can access at any time here. It’s important to be aware of these dates and include in your plans for the year. End-of-life means that the specific version of Sugar will no longer be supported or maintained by SugarCRM. Once the end-of-life date passes, you can no longer call Sugar support to request help, and Sugar will no longer release bug fixes or perform security maintenance on your instance.
In 2019, the end-of-life date you need to know is October 31. On this date in 2019, Sugar 8 end-of-life will occur. If you need to, you can purchase extended support for Sugar 8 which will give you up to a year of additional support on that version. We recommend planning for end-of-life six months before the end-of-life date. It’s important to speak with your partner (such as W-Systems) to prepare for end-of-life and the changes that come with it.
Don’t forget that Sugar adopted a new release process in late 2017. This process is documented here. If you are a Sugar Cloud (On-Demand) customer, you know that your system will be automatically upgraded four times per year. We recommend you work with your partner each quarter to understand what is coming in each update and evaluate whether your system’s current customizations need to be updated during the upgrade process.
If your Sugar instance is On-Premise, there will be one update available to you each year. With the current Sugar release process, the next update will be Sugar 9 in 2019 and Sugar 10 in 2020. Some organizations try to remain on an older version of Sugar, but this is not something W-Systems would ever advise. You will not have access to bug fixes or protective security patches. And the longer you wait to upgrade, the more costly and time consuming your upgrade can become (whether it’s development time, training users, or counseling employees through change). It’s best to stay up-to-date with upgrades to keep your organization’s data secure and your CRM productivity optimized. Want to know more about when it’s best to upgrade? Check out this blog post.
Here at W-Systems, we don’t believe in a one-and-done CRM system implementation. We believe that you must continually evaluate and measure your CRM performance and optimize for improvement. Here are a few ways to do that in your yearly planning:
It’s really important to incorporate CRM training into your yearly calendar. This is easy with all the Sugar resources available to you, such as:
Recurrent training is critical because of user turnover and also any changes that might be implemented to your CRM software. If you are a larger organization or using Sugar Cloud, we recommend quarterly training. If you are a smaller organization, we recommend doing training as new employees are hired or upon your yearly upgrade.
If you need help creating a plan for your organization and Sugar in 2019, please reach out to us! We can help you evaluate where you currently are, what your goals should be, and what to do next.
This post originally appeared on w-systems.com.
Customer Engagement is a huge word. And when you ask the business owners about what it means to them; they will come up with different responses. Not just that, they will also regale you with stories about their experiences with customers and their struggles to offer impeccable services. Well, just because such stories are enticing, does not mean they are an epitome of offering customer services. In today’s times, it is important to enable your customers to resolve their issues on their mobile phones independently.
A study conducted by Microsoft in 2016 (Global State of Customer Service) proved that almost 90% of US customers like to use self-service customer portals. The biggest reason behind this is – they want the solution to their problems at the earliest. And they do not wish to wait for customer executives to get back to them.
So, if you adopt a customer portal, it enables your customers to find solutions to their problems on their own. Also, if your resource is apt, it is sure to keep your customers coming back. That too, without any reluctance.
CRM Customer Portals: A Perfect Resource for Different Purposes
Let us say you have a SugarCRM system and WordPress Content Management System. You would need SugarCRM WordPress customer portal. It can come of great help as it will enable your sales team to resolve tickets easily and offer an exceptional customer experience. You can also offer your customers with a knowledge base about your products/services and give apt purchasing opportunities. Some of your objectives for offering SugarCRM customer portal could be:
As most of the CRM portals come with an intuitive navigation system and user-friendly interface, they make it easy for your customers to find the information they need. Whenever they want.
Offer Excellent Customer Engagement with SugarCRM Portal
SugarCRM customer portal is a blend of WordPress CMS and SugarCRM. It is a self-service customer portal that enables customers to create customized dashboards, generate tickets, update data, and find the information they want. If you are a SugarCRM user, you and your team can get an access to customer cases, meetings, calls, accounts etc.
Here are some of the major features of this portal:
Who All Can Use It?
Customer portal provides customizable options for different businesses to create their portals according to their domain/industry. All you need to do is share the specific requirements of your business and customers and the developers will build it accordingly. Some of its industry applications are given below:
In today’s DIY era, customer portals can offer huge benefits to businesses and helps strengthen customer relationships. If you want to bring smile on the face of your customers, it is the right way to go. And there is one for every business out there. All the best choosing one for yourself!
Every SugarCon is an event of the year for us, and this one was the best so far! So many truly exciting things at the same time. Exchanging new ideas, listening to keynotes from experienced field professionals- gurus in Sales, CRM and IT. Networking opportunities with customers and partners, new friends and direct feedback. All this is priceless especially when handled in a fun way! Our team got really busy with all of the follow-ups these weeks, and I just love it!
“Enterprise Mobility.” If you run an organization yourself, there are chances that you might have heard this term. And if you have not, it is time you acquaint yourself with the significant role it plays for large and small enterprises. As businesses of today are growing at a very rapid pace, customer relationship management applications have also gone mobile. Moreover, they can efficiently cope with the needs of on-the-go sales executives.
It is very important to note here that the functionality of mobile CRM is not just confined to giving access to data on the move. It goes way beyond the “mobile access” part of it. In case, you are planning to adopt a Mobile CRM for your your organization, you must make sure that it serves certain major functionalities. So, let us try to know about:
3 major functionalities that your CRM mobile App should serve:
Taking Quick Actions
We thrive in the 21st century and the customers of today are more empowered than ever. So, offering excellent product and services is quite mandatory. But what’s more important is connecting with your customers and understanding their needs. Be it through calls, messages, emails, or social media. Go for an app that enables you to search/locate the prospects and connect with them easily. You should also be easily reachable to your customers and promptly reply to their messages.
Enabling your CRM users to connect with their customers not only adds value to their experience but also gives them feedbacks on how to improve.
Check-in/Check Out of Meetings
Attending meetings is a very crucial and constant part of sales process. And as the sales employees are always on the move, it becomes difficult for them to keep these records. A superior quality mobile CRM app helps you to check in with your visits. As soon as the meetings get over, the location gets recorded in the CRM. As the application links the check-in/check outs to the meetings, calls and task, you can find all the details in the check-in module. In case you miss checking in, you can also do it manually later.
A facility like this makes it easy for CRM users to create and keep the records of customers and keeps their co-workers and team members informed about meetings in real-time.
Easy Follow-up Feature
A common saying in sales says, “The fortune is in the follow-up.” There are several reasons why salespeople resist in following up. One of the major reasons is that they tend to forget. Sometimes they forget the purpose of follow up and sometimes they miss the deadlines. Moreover, the conventional ways of making notes and remembering data is quite exhaustive. A CRM mobile app must have follow-up feature which sends reminders on time and keeps the history of customer interactions.
Apart from the features that we have mentioned above, you can also get other features like sending attachments by clicking pictures, uploading documents from mobile device to CRM, searching records and changing the language into a preferable one etc. And then you can find the best CRM mobile apps.
If you want to adopt better practices to enhance your customer relationships, you can consider using TapCRM.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 will leverage AI to improve business relationships. It can optimize day to day processes by providing you insightful details and data on your contacts.
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.
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 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 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.
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!
It’s been about a week since I left SugarCon 2018 in Las Vegas. I wanted to take a step back and have time to reflect on what I learned at the show. There is so much innovation and change coming, what does it mean for us?
Here are the top ideas I learned at SugarCon 2018:
Sugar announced its newest update is here with features, including:
Here is a YouTube video link for more information.
Overall, Sugar is focusing on moving away from a transactional-based Legacy CRM, and moving to a modern CRM that instead puts the relationship aspect back into customer relationship management.
Vendors have less control of the buyers’ first impression and the result of a bad service experience is multiplied. Why? Because peer reviews are now the most trusted source of information on a purchase and continue to rise in importance.
In fact, 84 percent of buyers said they seek input from peers and existing users, while 57 percent do so within the first three months of the buying process before ever talking to the vendor they are buying from.
There is so much effort in gaining prospects. While that is important, did you know it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one?
Statistics tell us that you are 14 times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect.
Don’t forget to put focus on the customers you already have!
We are now more digitally connected than ever before. It’s a common thought that because of this connectivity, we are working more now than ever. Leonard Brody broke it down for us, showing us that we are actually working less.
“Innovation that you don’t have access to is toothpaste left in the tube.” — Zac Sprackett, vice president, DevOps at SugarCRM.
When Zac took the stage at SugarCon 2018, no one would expect that a big takeaway would involve toothpaste. He asked what size toothpaste tube you buy. Because if you buy the big tube, you are saying you don’t believe that there will be any innovation with toothpaste in the time you are using the product.
Think about this in terms of your technology and it’s a game changer.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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.