Sales stage setup in SugarCRM

Sales stage setup in SugarCRM

One of the first things that businesses do when they setup their CRM is that they setup their sales process inside of the CRM.  Your sales stage setup is a critical first step.  This allows managers to manage and build a pipeline for the business while giving tools to sales people to follow their individual sales progress.  This article we are going to walk through how to setup sales stages inside of SugarCRM.

Sales Stage Setup for SugarCRM Professional or Enterprise

The first thing that you need to consider when setting up your sales process is whether or not you are working in Professional or Enterprise versions of SugarCRM.  If you are on Professional then you are going to be driving sales stage tracking directly from your Opportunities.  If you are running Enterprise, then you have a choice to either do it through the Opportunity directly or at the revenue line item level.

Do you use Opportunity only or Revenue Line Items?

This is an important question that you need to ask yourself or work through the process.  At Eligeo CRM we emphasis going through a robust CRM Strategy workshop to ensure that know how you want your sales process to operate within SugarCRM.  The general way of looking at it though is that the Opportunity level gives you a fairly high level estimate of what amount you think you may achieve on a deal.  If you’re only selling 1 single type of product, this could make sense.  Your sales stage setup could be better off though if you wanted more granular information.  The revenue line items option allows you to track an unlimited number of individual products that roll up into one opportunity.

A great example of this is when you have multiple product lines.  You may feel like one product is 90% likely to close whereas you have other up-sell opportunities that may fit into this opportunity as well.  This can provide managers a better way of encouraging additional unit sales while also tracking performance of each individual product.  The opportunity is high level so it’s more difficult to track the progress accurately.

Create your Sales Stage Setup in Sugar’s Studio

The sales stage configuration is the same for both Professional and Enterprise.  First, you need to setup your sales stage configuration.  Check out our blog post on how to create sales stages for more information on this.

Find Dropdown Editor tools

Once you’ve determined your sales stage setup, we have two drop down lists to update in Studio.  To access them, you must be an administrator.

  1. Click on Admin from your profile when logged in as administrator
  2. Scroll down to the Developer Tools section.
  3. Click on the Dropdown Editor link.

Updating Dropdown Lists

Sales stage setup drop down list editor

If you’ve followed the steps correctly, you should see the screen as shown above.  There are a lot of lists in Sugar.  We need to find two of them but we’ll start with one first.  An easy way to find these lists is to do CRTL+F in Windows or CMD+F on MacOS.  This will pop up a search box.  The first one we are searching for is sales_stage_dom.

This should highlight in your browser, the sales stage drop down list.  Click on that link.

This is a very simple index of options that are available for you to customize for your CRM.  You can click and drag to re-arrange the order of the menus.  The small pencil icon will allow you to edit the label.  The minus sign will allow you to remove the entry.  This is the easy part and it is your chance to take your developed sales steps and drop them into this list.

You can click Save at the top when you’ve got your sales stages all setup properly.

Don’t forget to update sales probabilities

Sales stage setup different lists

When you searched for sales stages you probably noticed a few different results pop up.  We have a second list that we need to update once we’ve completed our sales stage.  Before we do that, let me explain the different sales lists.

  • Sales Probability – We’re going to get into this, but we use this for Forecasting sales percentages
  • Sales Stage – We just updated this one.
  • Sales Status – This is for Enterprise customers that are using revenue line items to specify if an Opportunity is in progress or completed.
  • Sales Status with Quote – This is to do with the Quotes module of SugarCRM.

We are focused on the sales probability.  So go ahead and search for sales_probability_dom from your drop down lists screen and click on it.

Sales stage setup for sales probability

This screen is a little bit different.  I want to talk about what sales probability has to do with anything in the CRM.  It impacts a few areas, notably the Opportunity itself as well as the Forecasting tools.

As you can see through the list of Sales Probabilities, the list matches up with the Sales Stage list.  This is by design because we want to associate the selected sales stage with a number, rather a percentage.

What we see is that if we make it to Proposal/Price Quote, we know that we have a 65% chance of closing the deal.  Conversely, if we are at Prospecting, it’s at 10%.  These numbers will need to be tweaked by you over time as these are just out of the box examples.  Every business will evolve this and learn the chances of closing at different stages.  That’s how we use it from an Opportunity perspective.

From a Forecast perspective, we’re using that percentage to allocate dollars to our forecast amount.

Example: We have an Opportunity with an Amount of $1,000 with a sales stage of Prospecting.  This means our active funnel is only $100 because Prospecting is 10% chance of closing.

Example: We have an Opportunity with an Amount of $1000 with a sales stage of Proposal/Price Quote.  This means our active funnel is $650 because this sales stage is 65% likely to close.

Update the sales probabilities

Now that you have an understanding of how probabilities work, you can update the table.  Simply make sure that the Item Name on your lists match up between sales_stage_dom and sales_probability_dom.  The label will be the actual percentage for probability.

Click Save and that’s it.  You’ve updated your sales stages.

Double check your sales stage setup in Sugar

Now that you’ve done the hard work and created your sales stage setup, it’s time to test it.  You can do these a few ways:

  1. Create an opportunity and change the sales stage to see that the Probability value is actually changing and updating.  There is a field called Probability % that is shown by default.
  2. If you’ve setup forecasting, you should be able to review these percentages within the Forecast tool.
  3. Create a report showing the sales stages.

Wrap Up

That’s it for setting up sales stages.  We hope you found this article helpful in getting your sales stages setup in SugarCRM.



SugarCRM Announces Hint – Relationship Intelligence

SugarCRM Announces Hint – Relationship Intelligence

SugarCRM has announced a brand new product today called Hint, their new relationship intelligence solution to help Sugar users know their customers better.

SugarCRM Hint, the debut product in the new SugarCRM Relationship Intelligence product line, reinvents enterprise applications, automating the gathering of vast amounts of customer information. Hint enables your sales, service and marketing professionals to get a full social profile of their customers with minimal data input. This new intelligence solution will lead to the natural evolution of CRM, moving it from being a record of what has already happened to a customer-facing employee’s guide to the future.

With Hint, Sugar users need to only provide a customer’s name and email address, after which they can:

  • Gather, analyze and display relevant customer intelligence from more than 70 data sources. Hint automates the search, tuning, and building of a personal and corporate profile for a contact.
  • Update a CRM record in one click to store timely and accurate information about a contact in Sugar for reporting and workflow purposes.
  • See a record of activity history with a contact, including all calls, meetings and email exchanges.

Hint gathers and analyzes customer intelligence from a broad range of data sources so users can quickly and efficiently learn more about their prospects to establish a productive relationship.

This new tool from SugarCRM allows you to have better relationships with your customers by understanding exactly who they are during the most important conversations.

Contact us today to learn more about how Hint can help your sales and service teams gather greater insights into your prospects and customers.

SugarCRM Outlook Plugin Updated

SugarCRM Outlook Plugin Updated

SugarCRM announced last week that version 2.4.0 of the Sugar Outlook plugin is now available.  The following features were added along with a number of bug fixes:

  • The side panel has received a variety of updates, including:
    • Key information for synced records is now displayed in Contacts, Calendar, and Tasks views
    • Lead records can now be created via the Mail view side panel
    • Users can now relate new records to the current record for specific subpanels using the “+” (plus) icon
    • The Emails subpanel is now available to display related emails
    • Users can now load additional related records or close the subpanel back to the default view using the Up and Down arrows in the subpanel
  • Users can now relate Outlook contacts, calls, meetings, and tasks to Sugar records via the “Mark to Sync and Relate” and “Save, Mark to Sync and Relate” options
  • Duplicate checking is performed across all modules where new Sugar records can be created via Outlook
  • Users now have the option to search and select an existing account record when creating leads in Outlook
  • The “Lookup Sugar Address” option now allows users to search and select Sugar contacts and leads as invitees to calls or meetings
  • The Sugar category in Outlook syncs to the Sugar record’s Tags field on the initial sync from Outlook to Sugar
  • Additional time frames (1, 2, 3, and 5 minutes) have been added to the “Automatically sync every” option
  • Users can now specify the logging level (e.g. Fatal, Error) to be captured in the log as well as select the log writer type (e.g. File, Windows event log)
  • The Outlook plug-in can now connect to Sugar by uploading your own SSL certificate
  • Users now have an option to have modules which are hidden in Sugar be displayed in the Outlook plug-in

SugarCRM Outlook Plugin is the cornerstone feature for users of Microsoft Outlook.  This SugarCRM Outlook Plugin Update provides more information and allows users to easily see pertinent information about their customers and prospects all from within Microsoft Outlook.

More information here.

Simple Lead Management Process

Simple Lead Management Process

Building a lead management process can either be a very complex process or a simple process.  If you’re a small business, I would venture to guess that you likely have not even considered building a lead process at this point.  I’ve heard from a number of people how they have “a lot of leads” and they’re not even sure where they are supposed to start.  I recently spoke about this during a workshop and this diagram that I am sharing is the document I reviewed.

I like this document because it’s dead simple.  It’s high level but it also helps us build a foundation around how a lead management process should work.  Let’s take a look at the sample lead management process that I’ve put together.

Sample Lead Process

Sample Lead Process

This diagram is meant to be silly and straight forward.  I don’t think diagrams should be over complicated when it comes to describing how a small should define their systems.  This is a perfect example of that.  Each area has a certain focus and I’m going to describe each a bit more in detail. (more…)