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.

(Editor’s note: this post was originally published by Business Insider Australia)

Buyers always want the best customer experience and so sellers must constantly reassess what the new “best” means, and transform themselves to deliver it. This is more important than ever for businesses competing in a buzzing, digitized market.

This is why leaders understand the importance of business change, and their long-term strategies cater for experimentation and innovation. But innovation isn’t one-size-fits-all for every area of the business, so what does it mean for marketers?

From a strategic perspective, the more marketing looks at the business from the outside, the more it can help to transform it from the inside. A brilliant way to get externally-focussed like this is to actually “become” the customer.

You can do this by creating a true-to-life, virtualized world of customers and their journeys through the business. While this sounds lofty, it’s possible with the right technology and by using a practical step-by-step approach.

Telsyte and SugarCRM recently produced a report for marketing leaders, titled “Digital Leaders Use Customer Journey Maps to Guide Business Transformation” It draws on feedback from 255 CMOs surveyed in the 2015 Australian and New Zealand Digital marketer Study.

Just over half the marketing leaders said, “Our team promotes an understanding of the customer across the organization, helping to shape its entire approach to business transformation.” Six common themes stood out:

  1. Predict and embrace change

There’s no doubt that change is happening – fast and merciless – as we watch some brands like Uber and Amazon thrive while others like Blockbuster and Borders have collapsed. A common thread is the way these brands respond to changes in customer preferences – to what ‘the best customer experience’ looks like. Some embrace the new best, while others seem to keep doing what they’ve always done and stagnate themselves into irrelevance.

Businesses need a logical and intelligent way to understand and engage with their markets, to constantly figure out what they need to change and why.

Marketing can help to identify and respond to change by creating virtual world of customer types and the interactions they have with the business. This system, which is based on real-world customer behaviors, tells the business what ‘best’ means to any customer at any point. It’s based on customer journey maps populated with customer personas.

  1. Define your customers with personas

You can think of a persona as “a fictional individual that represents a group of people with similar needs and behaviors, and aims to bring this group to life.”

Consider, as an example, the imaginary persona of ‘Brian’. First you create a short story of his current situation based on the information you have, and then distill this into a fact-based profile that shows exactly what’s important to him. This is powerful stuff, and now marketing can creatively engage with Brian, and anyone in the business who has contact with him can help to deliver Brian’s own specific idea of ‘best customer experience.’

The information you use to build personas can come from a number of sources – perhaps it’s anecdotal, gleaned from people around the business who have contact with Brian. Or maybe it’s a set of facts taken from a survey that Brian completed.

Don’t despair if you think you don’t have the budget to create personas. You can start simply by creating ‘assumption personas’ based on whatever insight you can gather from around the business. You can hone these personas every time you come by qualitative insight from observation, direct contact or formal research.

Looking at customer data over time will allow you to make new judgements too, like “most people matching Brian’s profile tend to abandon a website if they can’t work out how to navigate it right away.”

  1. Use your persons to build a customer journey

Now you have a set of personas, it’s time to see how they interact with your business. Customer journey maps put the personas into real-world context by visually modelling the steps the customer follows as they find, buy, use or talk about what you’re selling.

By going alongside the customer as they take a journey through your business, you can see what’s important, when and why. You can identify points where the business isn’t providing exactly what the customer wants, or where things are inconsistent and confusing, and help those areas to make changes. By shaping the ‘best’ journey like this, you can guide the customer to their final destination and make the whole experience something that sets you apart.

You can engage user experience designers to create detailed customer journey maps for you, but if you don’t have budget to set aside you can start by sketching them out yourself. Try running workshops around the business with individuals and teams who have contact with customers who can give you relevant insight. You can improve and build on your maps with information you glean from your ongoing marketing activities.

Whichever way you choose to develop your maps, be sure to make them relevant and useable. Startlingly, a huge 45% of organizations surveyed said they do have customer journey maps but rarely use them.

So what makes a customer journey map useable? It should clearly highlight information that various parts of the business can use to shape the customer experience at their points of contact. You might want to list a clear set of steps and label which departments are responsible for the experience at each step.

There are a number of ways to visually present your customer journey maps, each with its own advantages and limitations. Whatever you choose, be sure that the people who need to use your maps understand their value and how to use them.

If you’re keeping your maps up to date, you’ll quickly see when customer preferences and behaviors are changing. And if the business is actively using your maps, it can quickly respond to this change. This is a key enabler for successful digital business transformation.

  1. Make personas and customer journeys work in the real world

Your personas and customer journey maps will most likely be created and updated with both qualitative and quantitative data captured from multiple sources. Bringing data together like this is easiest with a modern CRM software. A best-in-class CRM integrates with other systems and forms a unifying backbone for both sharing and gathering customer information across every part of the organization.

Once your personas and customer journey maps are created, people in direct contact with customers need to easily match customers to a persona, to see where they are in their journeys and act accordingly.

The key word here “easy.” For most businesses, their customers’ journeys are messy and complex. Maps make sense of them, and when they’re made available via the CRM throughout the business, orchestrating great customer journeys – and evolving with change – becomes much easier.

  1. Create a culture of customer experience

The point of having personas and customer journey maps is to support customer-centered decision-making across the business. Once you’ve created your personas and maps, and then made them accessible and easy to use, the next challenge is to motivate people to actually go ahead and use them.

When you work with colleagues to build your maps, you should explain what you’re doing and why. It’s vital to get the whole organization excited about understanding the customer, as well as changing as a business when customer preferences change.

Share the vision that everyone has a role to play in providing the best customer experience and thereby contributing directly to the success of the business. Creating and owning customer journeys together is a great way to get everyone behind this shared vision.

It’s important convey that personas and journey maps evolve over time, so everyone’s ongoing participation is crucial for them to be a powerful business transformation tool.

  1. Nurturing innovation

So back to the idea of business innovation; imagine if marketing can suggest innovations that will be guaranteed to deliver more value and better customer experiences than  ever before. By using a CRM to bring customer personas and journey maps alive across the business, marketing can offer exactly this.

Like with any business investment, you’ll need to demonstrate the value of CRM-enabled personas and journey maps. Once you’ve got these practices in place, you’ll be in a position to measure not just marketing performance but also the contribution of every area that touches the customer journey.

You’ll be able to demonstrate how changes based on customer insight are directly impacting customer satisfaction, performance and profitability.

Something so valuable to the business should be worth further investment so you can develop and deliver more, and keep marketing in the center of business transformation.

To find out what other marketing leaders are doing with customer journey mapping, and get some pointers on how to put it in place, get yourself a copy of the report.

Maybe this experience is familiar to you: You want to grow your business, but don’t have confidence in your growth machine. Your current sales organization performs adequately, but ramping up new reps is hit or miss, some are total flops.  It’s clear the growth formula just isn’t there. Making it harder, marketing keeps handing over leads that are barely qualified and rarely pan out.  And, the constant pressure to grow, grow, grow, is weighing on the team.  

How to solve this when you have too little consistency in how your sales reps engage with your prospects? And customer hand-offs from department to department also seem to be a constant challenge. After all the hard work of signing up a new customer, it frustrates your sales team to no end when new customers have less than an ideal experience with the rest of your company.

On top of all that, your budget is finite, and you aren’t exactly sure increasing your sales and marketing spend is the answer (yet) to dramatically increasing growth anyway.

If this sounds familiar, I have a suggestion that will help close more deals and keep more customers, all without blowing the budget…take a close look at your CRM implementation.

Here’s why: a new, fresh approach to your CRM can change the way your organization interacts with customers, qualifies leads, manages the sales cycle, and helps you differentiate yourself from the competition. In many cases, this self-analysis will lead you to evaluating a new CRM solution for your company.

It’s simple really: Legacy CRM is primarily all about reporting numbers to management with little, to no, focus on helping your people deliver an awesome customer experience. This is amazing to me given that, with a few exceptions, different companies in the same industry usually offer just a variation of the same services or products. And every one of those competitors are just a simple Google search away from each other.  How you win customers is now based on how you treat customers as much, or more than, as what you sell.

That means the need for an exceptional, and unique, customer experience is more critical than ever before.  Think about it, I’ve stayed in many business class hotels all over the world. There are some minor differences, but they all offer a comfy king-sized bed and a bathroom. The list goes on: airlines, rental cars, even Uber vs Lyft. How do you differentiate yourself when you offer similar goods or services as your direct competitors?

The answer is your customer experience. The companies that win in this era of empowered and intelligent customers win because they create better relationships with their customers. That makes sense, but a natural follow up question (and the key question to this whole blog post) is: How can you create a better customer experience when you are using the same, uninspired CRM system as your competitors?

Last month, at SugarCon 2016, we heard many great stories from SugarCRM customers who started out by looking for a different approach to CRM. We heard over and over again that they didn’t want to look like their competitors. They realized that they needed a different kind of CRM to build a different kind of customer experience.  These folks were all mavericks, disruptors, mobilizers of change. They were tired of adequate, average, and the status quo. They saw Sugar as a chance to find a better way. And, their research and investment paid off:

  • Jaime Morillo of Marathon Sports said his organization has seen a 225% increase in customer purchases during monthly promotions and increased customer retention from 47% to 57% since implementing Sugar
  • Naomi Ward of CitySprint in the UK talked about how Sugar is powering their logistics and delivery company’s fight against major disruption from the likes of Amazon and Uber, while driving sales growth.
  • Rober Amber of Unifin, a financial services company in Mexico, said his organization was able to reduce credit application processing time by 60% and grow sales revenue by 300%

These organizations, and many others, understood they had options when it came to CRM. They felt playing it safe was not really all that safe. They realized a modern CRM could help them sell more, increase revenue and build their brand without having to increase budgets.

I challenge you, don’t be a follower. Separate yourself from the CRM pack. If you follow your competition’s tools, you’ll follow everything else.

Besides, the view from the front is much better.