SugarCRM Announces Hint – Relationship Intelligence

SugarCRM has announced a brand new product today, 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.

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 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

More information here.

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 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. read more…

What is your competition automating for marketing?  You better be doing it too.

One of the things that I find my customers love talking about is possibilities.  The possibilities that CRM and marketing can achieve for them.

If you’re not thinking about marketing automation, you should be.  Small businesses especially need to think about this more and more.  As technology continues to evolve you need to know that your competitors are flocking to the web.  The money spent on yellow pages in the past is being shifted to new ways of marketing.

Don’t get left behind.

But the question is where do you start?  There are so many things you could do but what should be the focus.

The quick hits are going to be email marketing and social media.  I’ve heard time and time again that it takes about 10 – 15 touches to a prospect before they will be engaged with you in service.

What is a touch?

A touch is anything from a phone call, to an email to a connection on LinkedIn.  Some companies will track every touch and run metrics against these to determine how long it takes to get a lead converted into an opportunity.  I don’t advise getting too crazy with this out of the gate but it is something that you should strive for.

read more…

Eligeo CRM in the news: One big thing Corby did to improve its sales process

The Globe and Mail recently did an article on Corby who recently implemented Salesforce into their organization.  Eligeo CRM was contacted for their opinion on how CRM solutions can impact how businesses can operate.

“It won’t happen overnight,” says Derek Major, chief executive officer of Eligeo CRM Inc., a CRM software consulting company in Vancouver. “I tell companies it takes three to five years to really embrace CRM as part of their culture.”

Click here for the full article at Globe and Mail.

Establishing selection criteria for your CRM

If you haven’t already downloaded it, make sure to download a free copy of the CRM Buyer’s Guide that I wrote.  It’s a great way to get insight on how to go about purchasing a CRM system for your organization or in some cases utilizing it to better evaluate what you already have.

In the CRM Buyer’s Guide I talk about establishing criteria for the selection of your CRM and the importance that it should weigh on your organization’s overall business strategy.  I like to compare the process of purchasing a home to that of finding the perfect CRM.  When you’re looking for a home you will typically sit down with a realtor.  The realtor is going to ask you a number of questions to help him/her to determine where to begin the search for homes.  Funny enough, if you’ve been looking for a CRM for awhile now you’ve probably noticed that there are a number of options out there that could probably rival the number of homes on the market at a given time in certain cities.  As a CRM consultant, we look to do the same process as a realtor would try to establish criteria for your home purchase.

read more…

The Original Contact Manager for telemarketers

This is the 1st part in my series of incredible software feats in customer relationship management. In some articles I will be able to share names however in others they may be changed to protect the innocent.

I had started Eligeo CRM in January of 2008 as a part-time thing while I was able to put together enough cash to go full time with the business which happened that summer. Our first customer was a local furnace cleaning company called Ductblasters. When we started Eligeo out we were originally doing not only software development but also providing tech support services for small business. Ductblasters had originally brought us in to help out with their computer systems but then our first CRM project happened right around the same time with them.

Now, this company was strictly a furnace cleaning business but the owner really emphasized spending money on telemarketing. He had 4 or 5 people at any given time hitting the phones and calling customers all day and night. The problem they had is that they were tracking everything using Microsoft Outlook. The owner would literally go into Outlook on each computer every night after his staff went home.  He would then spend a couple of hours copying and updating everybody’s Outlook.

When I first saw this I talked to the owner and asked him why they didn’t have a customer database that they could utilize to update and manage their contact records. Keep in mind this was 2008 so a lot of the cool technology we can grab for $10 a month today wasn’t available. Right at that point we started creating sketches and mock up’s of a basic contact manager that could help him transform his business.

The contact manager itself was very basic and extremely user friendly. We designed it so that it was web based and all data would be stored on a central server in the office. No more copying data from computer to computer. The telemarketers would use their own login and from there they could see a list of all phone calls that they had to make. As each call concluded they would update the contact record to indicate the status of what happened on that outbound call. If it was a call where the customer asked them to call another time, you would simply mark it as a future follow up and specify the date you wanted the follow up to occur. It was just easy to use.

The owner himself had the ability to load new call lists into the contact manager using the tools that we developed for him and he could then assign the customer names to his different telemarketers. Now all the telemarketer had to do was sit down at his/her desk to simply login and see all of the work they had to do for the day.

The contact manager had a number of other cool features as well including color coding to make it easy to distinguish who required attention right away and who could hold off. The whole color scheme of the application was designed with the user in mind but was emphasized with the Ductblasters logo.

As time went by we would continue to evolve the software for the client. We would eventually introduce invoicing into the system along with work orders so that it was a completely seamless experience for the telemarketer to the furnace cleaner heading out on the road. In recent years before the owner at the time retired we had spent a lot of time helping them develop tablet technology to capture work order and signature information right out in the field using an Android tablet.

This was a piece of technology that we built from the ground up. These days it is a lot easier to build custom software like that or to build on top of an existing CRM solution such as Sugar, Zoho or Salesforce. In fact, a lot of the customers we work with today do utilize our techniques from the days of Ductblasters inside of their CRM’s.

SugarCRM Demo – The Mobile App


SugarCRM Demo – Using the Mobile Application on the I-pad

A lot of CRM users are choosing to exclusively use the I-pad application for day to day use, especially sales teams that are frequently on the road.  It has become much easier to open the mobile app and quickly add notes, schedule follow up calls, and even send quotes versus having to bring out your laptop computer.  In this SugarCRM demo we walk you through how to use the mobile application on the I-pad.

Want more Sugar?  Register for one of our upcoming demos and check out our 90 Second SugarCRM Tips!



SugarCRM Demo – The Module Builder


SugarCRM Demo – Using the Module Builder to build a custom module in SugarCRM

Let’s say you have invoices and sales documents you’d like to track in your CRM system.  Sugar doesn’t come with those modules out-of-the-box but you can use the Module Builder to create a custom “Invoices” and “Sales Documents” module to store all of that data.  In this SugarCRM demo we walk you through how to access the Developer Tools and use the Module Builder to create a custom module with custom fields.

Want more Sugar?  Register for one of our upcoming demos and check out our 90 Second SugarCRM Tips!


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