Archives For CRM

 

We can all picture a swan gliding calmly over still waters. As business people, most of us can’t help thinking of those two legs beneath, paddling tirelessly, navigating currents, rocks, weeds and the odd pinching crab.

In the business world, you need to paddle hard to be a swan these days. Consumers’ expectations of always-on, mobile-friendly digital services are crossing industry boundaries so that it’s not good enough to just be better than your direct competitors. Instead, your business is being compared with the best customer experience in every industry. If it’s too complicated to get something done on a small screen with tiny keys, then your customers go elsewhere.

Further, every industry is at risk of disruption by new digital-native entrants, whose business models are designed with a customer-centric digital strategy first, and who move with an agility that established businesses struggle to match.

Customer Experience

In the past, “customer experience” has been something you could bolt onto a business, but in this age of the customer, the customer experience goes to the heart of every business model.

Analyst group Forrester refers to the three E’s of customer experience; Was the experience effective in achieving the outcome the customer desired? Was the experience easy to complete? Was it enjoyable; or at least leave the customer in as good a mood as when they started?

Even if your business provides an effective service to historically loyal customers, if your competitors can provide a similar service that is easier and more enjoyable, then you are at risk of losing that loyalty.

The burden of complexity must sit somewhere

How do you make experiences easy and enjoyable? Unfortunately, it is often the case that the easier it looks for the customer, the harder your company needs to paddle under to the water to deliver the great experience.

Every business has to have structure and departments; it is why we often refer to companies as “organizations”. However, the particular idiosyncrasies of your organizational structure are not the customer’s problems. Customers don’t need to know that a particular interaction crosses three departments. The burden of this complexity shouldn’t be pushed onto the customer. They don’t care.

So how can you manage this complexity?

There was a time where the answer was to buy a fully integrated application that crossed all business functions. Unfortunately, the reality is that IT systems evolve at different rates; ERP systems that manage finances and warehouses evolve more slowly than CRM and Marketing Automation systems, and new social media management tools are released each week.

As a result, a fully integrated suite is likely to be really good in one area but result in a whole lot of compromises in others. These compromises may impact aspects of the customer journey today, or reduce your agility by preventing you from changing components in the future.

Best practice today involves favoring agility over efficiency. A highly efficient system that restricts your company’s ability to adapt to rapidly changing customer demand will ultimately cost you dearly. “Orchestrating” information systems so they share data through loosely coupled web-services or middleware layers provides the ability to deliver great a customer experience, and easily replace any individual technology component that starts to play out of tune.

No-one is an expert any more – make data driven decisions

It used to be that 25 years experience in an industry would make you an expert on how your customers behave. Now, customer behavior is changing so fast that you it’s dangerous to rely on these long-held “gut-feeling” type opinions.

Today we’re awash in data. Use what data you have, or start to gather the evidence you need to make decisions. When you’re unsure, run experiments; test ideas. Resist hubris, and be humble enough to accept that the accepted wisdom may no longer be true.

Understand Customers

Ultimately it is the customer that matters to every business. If you want to understand your customers, you need to embrace complexity and turn it to your advantage, use your Customer Relationship Management system to consolidate information and surface new insight. Who are your ideal customers of the future and why? What motivates them, what will their journeys look like, and how can you redesign your business to deliver the best customer experience?

Be the swan. Use technology and insight to focus on all the right questions, and create elegant, simple answers. Your customers will thank you for it.

 

 

Is your organization using Sugar to automate sales, marketing, support, or in some other unique way? Have you gained benefit from the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of the Sugar platform?

Then it’s time for your voice to be heard.

pi

Gartner’s Peer Insights is an innovative new concept from the analysis firm. Rather than have potential decision-makers hear only from analysts, who may or may not have hands-on experience with the software they recommend, Peer Insights gives potential buyers first hand analysis from actual users.

These reviews, combined with other steps in the evaluation process, can better equip IT and line of business decision-makers with the tools they need to best address their CRM initiatives.

Want your voice heard? Simply provide a review by clicking HERE.

We look forward to reading your thoughtful reviews!

Want to customize the SugarCRM Mobile app? Want to improve your mobile user on-boarding experience?  Looking to manage your SugarCRM Mobile app using Mobile Device Management (MDM)?

We are excited to announce Sugar Mobile Application Configurator Service (MACS). With Sugar MACS, Sugar customers can now create and distribute custom-branded versions of the SugarCRM Mobile app.

Additionally, SugarCRM mobile now also supports integration and deployment through industry standard MDM solutions.

Customize

Sugar MACS is very dynamic and is designed for easy customization. We are happy to say  there is no coding required..

You can add your company name and logo,  and select the color you want to be displayed in the background of the login, splash, and loading screens. With few simple clicks, you can generate a new executable that supports your desired look and feel.

Here is a visual example of what you can do with Sugar MACS:

The image on the right shows the customized version which as you can see is a lot different from the standard version on the left. 

Improve User Experience

Enterprise organizations can now provide a better on-boarding experience for their SugarCRM Mobile users.

Previously, users had to enter server URL, email address, password and possibly, other configurations as part of a one-time setup. These manual configurations are a barrier the adoption and success of your SugarCRM mobile app initiatives.

In the case of larger organizations, this may result in users calling IT support during first time login. If you document configuration info, it needs to be updated as you roll out new updates. Both of which you can avoid with Sugar MACS now

Instead, you can now preset the configurations and automatically set remotely using MDM. This simplifies the setup process for end users, and alleviates the help desk and documentation overhead.

In a recent webinar, SugarCRM did a quick poll asking end users how beneficial it will be to have configuration info like Sugar Instance URL preset on their SugarCRM Mobile app.  More than 70% of the respondents replied as useful or very useful.

Mitigate BYOD Risks

Although bring your own device (BYOD) programs have clear merits, they can also be fraught with security risks and device management issues.

Enterprise customers now have a better, more secure way to distribute and manage SugarCRM mobile app with MDM support. By using “app wrapping”, you now have the flexibility to manage who gets the SugarCRM Mobile app and when.

You can deploy your customized SugarCRM Mobile app in one of three ways

  • Using your preferred MDM solution
  • Publicly via the App Store or Google Play
  • Privately on your internal app store

 

Curious to know more about Sugar MACS?

Learn in under 90 seconds!

 

You can also check out this and other SugarCRM videos on SugarCRM’s YouTube Channel.

For more details on Sugar MACS, check out the documentation on SugarCRM Support Portal.

 

Thanks to the smartphone revolution, the physical boundaries of the workplace have disappeared. Now — and increasingly into the future — it is a must to have a best-in-class mobile application that enables productivity on the go, wherever CRM users happen to be.

With that in mind, we are thrilled to have officially released SugarCRM Mobile 4.0.0. This latest release includes the following new features and enhancements:

  • The user interface has received an update and now displays a lighter color scheme across most SugarCRM Mobile pages for a better user experience.
  • Deep Linking is now available, allowing links to be created that push a user directly into a record or page in SugarCRM Mobile.  Mobile deep links mean the user can click on a link and it will launch the SugarCRM Mobile app. For example, when a mobile device user receives a text or email message that contains a link to a Sugar record, you want the device to recognize the deep link and open the record via the SugarCRM Mobile app as opposed to the mobile browser. Deep linking can be used to perform many tasks, including viewing, creating, and editing records.

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All existing installations of SugarCRM Mobile will be upgraded through the phone or tablet’s native upgrade functionality. Alternatively, upgrades can be performed by searching for “SugarCRM Mobile” in the application store for your device or using the following links:

Google Play Store

Apple App Store

SugarCRM Mobile 4.0.0 is compatible with Sugar 6.7.1 and above.

 

visionThis month, Gartner released its 2016 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, and SugarCRM was once again listed in the “Visionaries” quadrant, we believe because of the company’s continued improvement in our core SFA and mobile tools, among other product developments in the last year.

But what makes SugarCRM truly a CRM Visionary? We’re a company that challenges conventional CRM wisdom and offers an alternative to the status quo. Over the past year, SugarCRM has made a number of enhancements to the Sugar platform, announced new product offerings, and formed partnerships aimed at empowering organizations to go beyond simple “SFA” and truly create standout sales engagement strategies and better overall customer experiences.

This includes Sugar Intelligence, revealed at this past SugarCon in San Francisco, which leverages the company’s recent acquisitions and innovative development to build tools that deliver insight at every turn to sales reps in a variety of real life usage scenarios. In addition, SugarCRM released version 4.0 of its cutting-edge SugarCRM Mobile – which allows for more profound customization, as well as drives greater collaboration and productivity for users in mobile settings.

To further our commitment to providing the most choice available for CRM deployment options, SugarCRM announced a deeper partnership with IBM, to offer private cloud deployment options on IBM SoftLayer.

These are just a few of the truly innovative moves SugarCRM has made in the last few months. They underscore our commitment to helping our customers think and be different when it comes to CRM – helping them build uniquely strategic initiatives to win in an ever-increasing competitive marketplace.

To download your own copy of the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation, click HERE.

 

Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings or other designation. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

 

Salesforce vs Sugar PricingA few weeks ago we focused on SugarCRM’s pricing model versus Salesforce, and it became clear that some CRM vendors are more upfront about overall TCO and pricing than others.

Perhaps you read that and nodded, but at the same time were thinking: “I’m willing to pay more, because I want to partner with a company that respects my company and our goals.”

You are correct to assume you should get that. Any CRM relationship should be a true partnership between vendor and customer. Especially these days, when all CRM companies stress the importance of providing a superior customer experience.

At SugarCRM, we aim to be a company that our customers enjoy doing business with.  We believe in an open, accountable and long-term relationship with our customers that creates trust. We put a lot of resources and energy into being that true partner. In fact, it is a key to what sets us apart from our chief rival.

In fact, in PC Magazine’s 2015 business awards, SugarCRM earned the highest overall satisfaction and likelihood to recommend scores in the CRM category, beating our chief rival by a significant margin. PCMag said Sugar is an “enterprise-worthy and beloved solution for every aspect of the customer relationship” and a system which PCMag readers certainly “prefer far and above the other options.”

PCMag Business Choice Winner

We hear all the time from prospects, current and former Salesforce customers, even from the media that they are a tough company to work with. We often win deals because former SFDC customers were fed up with poor customer service, including inconsistent rep coverage, wildly expensive quotes with additional monthly fees, and general arrogance when addressing these issues.  Salesforce’s current marketing lingo centers around “age of the customer,” but they let their own customers down over and over.

On the other hand, SugarCRM wants our champions to succeed over the long haul, which is why we’re here for you every step of the way. We’ll give you the tools you need to make the right decision for your company and guide you as you proceed with our CRM solution.

Learn how to save yourself some CRM heartache here.

Earlier this year, during SugarCon 2016, we announced and demo’d the Customer Journey Plugin. We are excited to say the Sugar Customer Journey Solution (the plugin combined with the Sugar Platform), which automates complex business processes and maps them to the customer journey is now available.

As you may know, customer journey mapping is an important exercise that helps companies understand their customer’s perspective so they can meet needs and expectations. It also drives companies to reach all the business goals for individual customers – such as long-term engagement, buying additional products or services, or becoming a reference. The customer journey map itself is a visual diagram of the way your customers engage with you throughout the buying cycle. From the time they learn your company’s name or find you on Google, all the way to the time they purchase their first product/service from you, and even beyond that.

While it’s a fairly common exercise, the real challenge is turning the customer journey map from a theoretical framework or tracking mechanism into a practical tool proactively guides customers throughout their journeys. Many companies have tried to capture every aspect of their business with customer journey mapping, and as a result, created beautiful documents that did little more than sit on the shelf.

customer-journey-solution-brief-2016-08-02-3

Enter the Customer Journey Solution. It was developed by AddOptify, a longtime SugarCRM partner, in cooperation with internationally-recognized customer strategist, Phil Winters. It is based on best practices from his work with more than 650 organizations that have reoriented their businesses around a deeper understanding of the customer’s decision processes.

The new plugin comes with a customer decision Indicator chart, which displays the individual customer’s progress through the journey, and an advanced customer decision workflow panel, which quickly describes every task or action the user must complete in order to help a customer advance to the next decision stage. Each activity in the customer journey is modeled as a native Sugar task, call or meeting. The result is a streamlined process that synchronizes all customer-facing activities, from marketing and sales through on-boarding and renewal.

If you’re new to customer journey mapping, don’t worry. The Sugar Customer Journey Solution includes industry-specific customer journey templates that you can use to quickly define the journeys that are most applicable to your customer base. The journey can span the entire customer lifecycle, or just a specific timeframe.  

In short, the Customer Journey Solution lets you overlay the journey with the tasks that you know need to happen at every step of the way, even if your customer isn’t aware of them. It opens new opportunities for differentiating yourself in the market by providing a differentiated and superior customer experience, and – probably most importantly – provides a foundation for all staff in your organization to better coordinate and interact by taking the customer’s perspective.

The Customer Journey Solution is available for all versions of the Sugar Platform (Sugar Professional, Sugar Enterprise and Sugar Ultimate 7.6 and above) for $15 per user, per month.

To learn more about how you can optimize your customer journeys, click here.