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Sage Intacct vs. Sage 100c: The 2019 Comparison Guide

Sage offers several ERP and accounting software products to help you run your business. While the breadth of Sage’s product portfolio is wide and robust, Sage Intacct and Sage 100c remain two of the their most popular products.

We get a lot of questions about these two solutions – often in relation to one another. While they are both ERP and accounting solutions, they are very different platforms with different features.

  • Sage Intacct is a cloud solution with features more focused around:
    • Core accounting capabilities
    • Streamlining financial management
    • Versatile reporting
  • Sage 100c is typically an on-premise solution with features more focused around:
    • Enterprise resource planning (ERP)
    • Operations and process management
    • Manufacturing and inventory features

To help you better understand the differences between these two solutions, we put together this comparison guide.

Comparison Chart

If you’re just looking for a summary of basic differentiators between these solutions, we developed a chart that covers fundamental information about deployment and licensing options, core functionality, additional functionality, and overall user rating.

Company Size & Type

Sage Intacct is best for:

  • Small businesses
  • Medium businesses
  • Freelancers and solopreneurs
  • Start-ups
  • International, multicompany and/or multi-entity

Sage 100c is best for:

  • Small businesses
  • Medium businesses
  • Large or enterprise-level businesses
  • Manufacturers
  • Distributors

Industries & Verticals

Sage Intacct is best for:

  • SaaS
  • Services
  • Nonprofits/Not-For-Profits
  • Medical Services
  • Food & Beverage

Sage 100c is best for:

  • Construction
  • Education
  • Engineering services
  • Biomedical sciences
  • Business or Legal Consulting
  • Food & Beverage


Sage Intacct integrates natively with Sage CRM and (SFDC) – which is a big win for SFDC users who don’t want to go through the pain of custom integration for their CRM. For other integrations, Sage Intacct has a robust user-accessible add-on and application marketplace with integration tools, as well as a documented API for any team that would like to do a custom integration project.

Sage 100c only integrates natively with Sage CRM. Additionally, the platform doesn’t have a user-accessible add-on and application marketplace with integration tools, nor does it have a documented API. If you need to integrate a platform with Sage 100c, you would need to contact your third-party Sage partner to explore options.

Sage Intacct vs. Sage 100c: Not Quite Apples to Apples

Comparing Sage Intacct to Sage 100c isn’t quite like comparing apples to apples – it’s more like comparing Idaho potatoes to sweet potatoes.

They are technically both ERP and accounting solutions, but they have different features, strengths, and intended uses. Similarly, Idaho potatoes and sweet potatoes are technically both potatoes, but they have different flavors and nutritional values, and are used in very different recipes. (Would you eat an Idaho potato pie with marshmallows? Yuck).


Publish Date: September 11, 2019

Welcome to the New SugarCRM!


We’re thrilled to relay that one of our favorite business technology companies, SugarCRM, recently announced new company-wide changes! These changes will improve the value of their services and their relationships with customers. They have unveiled:

  • A new vision and mission
  • A new and expanded product portfolio
  • A new website and brand
  • A new customer conference
  • New investors, acquisitions, and executive teams

Despite these changes, Sugar is still the same company with the same core values – they’re just evolving their business model, product portfolio, and platform features.

Sugar’s New Business Model

Sugar’s new approach to their technology and services is to enable you and your business to create customers for life with a stellar customer experience (CX) platform that will help you anticipate and fulfill customer needs before they even realize they have them.

To support this approach, Sugar has defined their competitive differentiators and leadership position – organized into three “pillars” – within the business technology market to communicate their strengths and future aspirations. These three pillars are:

Intelligent Customer Experience Harness customer data and discover actionable insights and next best actions.

Intelligent Customer Experience aims to aggregate information from a wide variety of internal sources and unify data into a single repository. Augmented by external and third-party sources, AI, and machine learning, you can use this repository to gain predictive insights and next best action guidance. It also adds dimensions to customer data so to enable better analysis.

No-Touch Information ManagementSpend less time entering and finding data and more time on high value work.

The No-Touch Information Management design philosophy allows you to automate the collection, processing, and presentation of customer information as a byproduct of the user activity (i.e. engaging with customers, using other tools and systems, etc.). This design delivers customer data directly to users in real-time context of what they’re doing, what tools they’re using, and what key insights they need.

Continuous Cloud InnovationTrust in the most modern, durable, and future-proof CX platform on the market.

Delivered as a native AWS application, Sugar’s cloud products leverage more capabilities than any other CX offering. AWS supports the world’s largest e-commerce marketplace that owns nearly half of the entire US market, has five times more cloud infrastructure than their next 14 competitors combined, and complies with 34 different security and compliance standards. This means that Sugar and their customers always have access to the most advanced, secure, scalable, and reliable infrastructure technology available.

Sugar’s New Products

In an effort prioritize customer experience, Sugar’s new products provide offer flexible deployment and customization options. In addition to existing cloud and on-premise CRM platforms, Sugar’s new products are:

Sugar Market – The new all-in-one marketing automation cloud solution designed to supercharge marketing efficiency and productivity.

Sugar Sell – The new-and-improved award-winning sales automation cloud solution renowned for its intuitive user interface, extensibility, and customer satisfaction.

Sugar Serve – The new customer engagement center cloud solution designed to streamline case management and issue resolution.

Sugar will also offer add-on products such as Hint Insight, Customer Journey Plug-In, Collabspot, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Oktopost. Third-party extensions will still be available through SugarExchange.

Sugar’s New Features

Sugar has developed platform features to enhance each of their new products:

Cloud Insights – Provides on-demand access to administrative controls and information over the cloud environment, such as database and file system storage, license usage and expiration, and error and access logs.

SugarIdentity – Provides federated identity and comprehensive single sign on across Sugar’s applications and services, helping customers securely manage user identities and access to applications and services in the Sugar ecosystem.

Tile View – Provides a pivot table-like organizational structure to the opportunity pipeline, including managing opportunities by sales stage and expected close date.

Mobile Enhancements – Provides drill-down insights, enhanced collaboration, and a better quoting experiences for multiple currencies.

SugarBPM Advanced Email Handling – Monitors and triggers email-based actions within a workflow and allows setting “From” and “Reply-To” email addresses in automated emails.

What You, the Customer, Need to Know

For existing customers:

  • Sugar’s product portfolio is very much the same. Sugar Pro and Enterprise, for both cloud and on-premise, will continue as supported product offerings. Sugar will continue to issue regular updates and releases with bug fixes and enhancements. If you wish to purchase more user seats for your existing Pro/Enterprise instance, you can still do that.
  • Although you’re not being forced to migrate from your existing instance, you do not get Sugar Market, Sell, and Serve for free with these new releases. These are new offerings and are not bundled with Sugar Pro/Enterprise.
  • At renewal, your Sugar Partner sales or Sugar sales representative can help you choose your best option going forward. One option will be to renew on the product you are already using, but you may also have the option to migrate to one of our other offerings if it makes sense for your situation.

For new customers:

  • Sugar Pro/Enterprise are still available for purchase, but they are now on-prem only solutions. Customers that need cloud solutions will be directed to Sugar Market, Sell, and Serve.
  • For more information or pricing about Sugar Market, Sell, and Serve, contact us and we’ll chat about your business challenges and technology needs!

Looking to the Future

This concludes our update. We’ll leave you with a message from the CEO, Craig Charlton, taken from his open letter to partners and customers about the new SugarCRM:

“…We are going to lead and drive success on many levels with these changes. And then? We’ll repeat the process. That’s our promise to you – we’ll never stop improving on the tools and services that make technology not only useful, but vital to your business. Calling the New Sugar a 360-degree customer view is to sell it short, to be blunt. It’s much more than that.”


Publish Date: August 2, 2019

The Future of Higher Education: CRM for Colleges and Universities

Some may think it’s distasteful to think of higher education institutions as businesses. But the roles that colleges and universities play in their relationships with students and faculty have changed from being a bureaucracy of educators to a customer-centric service organization.

With this deep-set change in philosophy, colleges and universities have also changed their approach to business technologies — most notably, they have embraced the use of CRM software. Administrations use CRM software to enhance student experiences, track and maintain operations and outreach, and develop a deeper understanding of their processes. Here are the top 4 ways colleges and universities can improve their organizations with CRM software:

1. Improving Prospecting for Future Students

Student recruitment can be tricky. Wide-reaching strategies aren’t the most effective way to pull in the interest of target demographics such as soon-to-be high school graduates, local community members, or family of alumni. On top of this, dealing with a constant influx of engagement from people who communicate in different languages, live in different regions, and use different technology channels can become overwhelming without the correct tools to manage it. CRM software can track and automate a lot of the processes involved in this engagement with prospects, such as gathering and storing prospect information, sending follow-up messages, distributing content, and communicating on social media (if integrated with CRM). In addition to this, reporting tools inside many of major CRM platforms can provide additional insight on the influence of prospect demographics on the application process, or which marketing campaigns result in the most lead conversions (which, in the case, are conversions from interested students to applicants).

2. Tracking Student Life-Cycles Throughout Admission, Enrollment, and Graduation

Colleges and universities can use CRM software to track students from the admissions process all the way to graduation. 

Part of the advantage to this is that it will increase retention rates and ensure that students won’t drop out or transfer to a different university.  But it takes a lot of time, money, and effort to manage students throughout their life-cycle as a student — which can last anywhere from 2 years to nearly a decade. The main way colleges and universities use CRM software to nurture student life-cycles is by personalizing communications and leveraging data to develop messages accordingly. CRM software is a quality and consistency control tool that allows institutions to branch out of the siloed department-specific approach to forming relationships with students and instead taking a university-wide one. Administration can also use CRM software to advertise courses to enrolled students, and provide information about student services, career fairs, or university events. Juggling these programs is difficult and admin-heavy without a CRM that can centralize information and outreach across all departments. 

CRM can also help student achieve academic success and maintain personal well-being, if set up to remind students of upcoming deadlines, exam schedules, or information resources. Many platforms are easily customizable. For example, many universities set up alert systems for when students dip below a given GPA — which triggers a number of automatic CRM tasks, such as sending alerts to necessary faculty, placing the student on probation within the CRM, or emailing the student with information about student counseling services. 

3. Staying Connected with Alumni and Donors

Many colleges and universities cannot survive without generous financial contributions from alumni and community leaders. For this reason, they’re always on the hunt for better ways to raise money and prompt donations — which is infinitely harder to do if they don’t build successful and long-lasting relationships with donors and alumni. Along with a decrease in public funding for higher education and rise of student loan interest rates (which discourage students from enrolling and paying tuition), fundraising from donors and alumni is more important now than ever before. With the help of a CRM system, administration can centralize donor and alumni information and use it to send out automated messages and outreach during the most convenient and effect times of the year. These messages might include updates on the success of the institution’s programs or students, stylized infographics or reports of university-wide improvements, and information about rewards or benefits programs for contributors. Built-in CRM analytics tools can help determine the messaging and events that result in the most contributions. Colleges and universities can also use CRM software to recruit donors or alumni as potential employees or administration. 

4. Gaining Insight on Organization-Wide Data and Processes

Like any other organization before the rise of business technologies, colleges and universities used to gather data on internal processes the old fashioned way — with pen and paper records shoved into cabinets in the back room, or with complicated spreadsheet files full of redundant or outdated information. With CRM, gathering and updating data or compiling it into a report for stakeholders is simple. Built-in reporting and analytics tools make it easier for individuals and departments to access information. This allows everyone to make informed decisions and strategize for growth in a much shorter time.

Administration can also use CRM software to gain insight on their processes by integrating their CRM with other business software. Data collected at the many touch points along the student life-cycle are lost if CRM isn’t integrated with other technologies such as social media tools, marketing automation tools, or financial management tools.  This lead to a lot of delays and errors in data, as the hand-off of information from one tool to another has to be done manually. Not only does this was a lot of time, money, and manpower, it can seriously affect the accuracy of data, mislead department heads into overlooking (or even over-hyping) problems in their processes, and ultimately lead higher-level individuals within the organization to make bad strategic decisions.

Changes in operational processes and organization-wide philosophies are giving way to the fact that relationships with students, alumni, employers, donors, and faculty are extremely important to the health of higher education. Despite residual discomfort with the idea of treating students like customer, CRM software is an essential tool for running colleges and universities. Proactive colleges and universities are using CRM software to improve and grow their organizations. 


Publish Date: February 19, 2019

“Dear CRM: It’s not you, it’s me.”

It’s the loveliest time of the year: Valentine’s Day. Today is the day to celebrate love and pledge your undying devotion to loved ones – sometimes across a fancy meal in an Italian bistro, and sometimes across social media channels! (Read: “usies” – as if “selfies” weren’t bad enough…)

But, did you know that Valentine’s Day is ironically a popular time for break ups? According to several studies – including one that tracked trends in Facebook relationship statuses – break ups might be the result of added pressure to showcase your relationship on social media around this time. This weight of expectations might be the straw that broke the camel’s back. So if your girlfriend dumps you today, you probably weren’t a good match to begin with…

Here at BrainSell, we aren’t matchmakers for people, but we do match companies with the right software solutions to solve their business problems. And while we take great care in fostering lasting connections between organizations and their technologies, some companies aren’t so lucky and find themselves in a relationship gone bad – particularly with their CRM software.

So, when should you call it quits with your CRM software? Here are four signs that it’s time to let your CRM software down easy:

1. Your CRM is too high maintenance.

If it costs too much time to keep up with upgrades and too much money to scale technologies with your growing business, it may be time to move on.

2. Your sales team and your CRM just can’t seem to hit it off.

When a CRM marries you, it marries your whole organization. Your CRM will only deliver ROI value if it’s used by salespeople. If you’re struggling with user adoption, sit down with your sales team and have a heart-to-heart. Understand why your employees are not using your CRM – maybe they need more training or your CRM is too complex for them. You may love your CRM, but if it just doesn’t get along with the people who are important to your business, then something needs to change.

3. Your CRM’s user interface has really let itself go.

We’ve all heard “don’t judge a book by its cover” but when it comes to user interface, your employees crave a good customer experience and that usually means that your tools need to look and operate similarly to the latest and greatest consumer apps. So, if your CRM has an outdated look and feel, it may be time to change things up.

4. You’ve outgrown the relationship.

The right technology for your organization when it was younger isn’t always the right technology after your organization has matured. Whether you require better integrations with other software, more advanced reporting capabilities, or more modern functionality, don’t struggle to keep your relationship with your CRM together by creating tedious workarounds. You may need a more supportive CRM that can satisfy your needs. Acknowledge you’ve outgrown your existing tool and that it’s time to explore new avenues.

If you’re ready to call it quits with your CRM software, download this guide to learn what to look for in a new CRM software solution or contact us so we can help match you up with the right solution for your business.


Publish Date: February 14, 2019

CRM 101: How to Display Records and Use Filters in SugarCRM

In our most recent CRM 101 video, SugarCRM expert, Susan Shapiro, gives us a brief overview of how to customize your record display and how to use or create filters within Sugar to make it easier for you to navigate your CRM data. 

CRM 101 is a video tutorial series of tips and tricks on how to get the most out of your CRM software solutions.

Got any suggestions for what topics we should cover next? We’d love to hear them! Leave a comment below. 


Publish Date: January 22, 2019

CRM News: What’s New in the SugarCRM Winter ’19 Release?

If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, you are all too familiar with the phrase, “Winter is coming.” And, with one of the first big snowstorms of the season forecast to hit us on Sunday, you can hear “winter is coming” being muttered throughout the halls of BrainSell HQ.

However, winter has already arrived for SugarCRM with the announcement of its Winter’19 Release earlier this week. And we can say with confidence, we’re much more excited about the roundup of new features and functionality now available in Sugar than we are about all the shoveling we’ll be doing in the coming days. 

So, what can you expect in the SugarCRM Winter ’19 release? Here are the key feature enhancements as outlined by SugarCRM:

Sugar Cloud

  • Improved collaboration with the new Comments Log – Enable everyone in your company to collaborate more effectively with the new Comments Log. Take important notes as they relate to accounts, opportunities, cases and more so that everyone has the latest information about your customer interactions.
  • Better business insight with enhancements to Reporting in Sugar – Gain better insight into your business with the ability to now export any report type from Sugar. You can now export the raw data from Matrix and Summation Reports for further analysis in spreadsheets, use in presentations or import into business intelligence and decision support systems.
  • Greater sales efficiency with the new Product Quick Picks Dashlet – The Product Quick Picks Dashlet helps sellers gain fast and convenient access to their most recently and frequently sold products. Like the product catalog dashlet, sellers can quote products and create opportunities with a single click right from the dashlet.
  • More enhancements to Advanced Workflow for better business process automation – Several enhancements to Advanced Workflow have been made to drive better business process automation including a major improvement to the business process designer.

Hint 5.0

  • Stay up-to-date on key accounts with automated insights – With Hint’s new Insights feature, you can now receive proactive insights about your prospects and customers to support the right business decisions at the right time. Customize your preferences to select key accounts to monitor, the type of insights, and the cadence for a variety of user-configurable alerts to keep you informed. With automated alerts, stay “in-the-know” for important updates and signals about your key accounts.

Customer Journey Momentum

  • Drive greater sales and service velocity with Momentum – Momentum is a new feature in Customer Journeys, enabling sellers and service reps to track how efficiently they’re progressing through their Customer Journeys. By incorporating a time component to your Customer Journeys, you can drive greater speed and efficiency into your customer interactions. 

If you have any questions or want to learn more about these new features and functionality, please reach out to your Customer Success Manager, Ali Lipman ( and she will be happy to help educate you on the latest SugarCRM quarterly release. 


Publish Date: January 18, 2019

CRM 101: How to Personalize SugarCRM Views and Dashboards

BrainSell is happy to announce the launch of a new video series! “CRM 101” is a video tutorial series of tips and tricks on how to get the most out your CRM software solutions.

In our most recent video, Vice President of Sales and SugarCRM expert, Kevin Cook, gives us a brief overview of customizing the user interface within SugarCRM.

Got any suggestions for what topics we should cover next? We’d love to hear them! Email us at or come chat with us on our homepage.


Publish Date: January 15, 2019

What the Heck is…Sage 300cloud

What’s the difference between Sage 300 and Sage 300cloud? What added benefits can you expect by upgrading to Sage 300cloud? BrainSell’s Customer Success Manager and Head of ERP, Kellie Pitt answers these questions and more in our latest episode of What the Heck is…! Check out the video below.

Ready to migrate to Sage 300cloud? We’re happy to help make the transition a smooth one. Contact Kellie Pitt to get started. 

To watch other episodes in our What the Heck is… video series, view the playlist.

Is there a business challenge that you’ve been struggling with or do you have an idea for a future What the Heck is… video? We’d love to hear from you! Leave your suggestion in the comments. 


Publish Date: December 14, 2018

Business Jargon Dictionary: Top 30 Terms (Part II)

Last month, BrainSell went on the offensive to fight the good fight against confusing industry jargon by putting together a list of the top thirty business terms we’re regularly asked to define. We started with the first half of the list – now here’s the second half!

1.  CRM [noun, acronym] 

  • Stands for “Customer Relationship Management”

CRM is a type of business software that manages your business’s relationships – with customers, contacts, contractors, and partner – and interactions with customers or potential customers.

The ultimate goal of a CRM platform is to keep you connected with your contacts, streamline your sales processes, track your processes, and improve profitability. Customer relationship management as a business practice is considered a cornerstone of successful businesses, which is why a CRM platform is such an important tool to have in your technology stack.

Further Reading: CRM Software: 5 Main Benefits To Your Business

2.  Perpetual or Subscription License [noun]

A perpetual license is a type of software license that grants the right to access a software platform for life and doesn’t expire.

A subscription license is a type of software license that grants the right to access a software platform for a definite amount of time (usually a monthly or yearly basis). This license requires you to renew your relationship with the vendor to continue using the platform.

The main point in the debate of perpetual vs. subscription licenses among vendors has to do with the comparison between the value of long-term subscription payments and a one-and-done perpetual payment. Among users, the debate has to do with the option of switching to different products, vendors, or versions. There are different benefits to both types of licenses – the decision between the two will depend on personal preferences.

Further Reading: Software Subscriptions vs. Perpetual Licenses: The Pros and Cons

3.  Named or Concurrent License [noun] 

A named license is type of software user license that is assigned to one username. Only this user can access the instance of the software platform designated to this license.

  • Also known as a user, per user, seat, per seat, single, single-user, or individual user license

A concurrent license is a type of software user license that is assigned to several usernames. All assigned users can access the instance of the software platform designated to this license. However, only one user can be logged into the platform at a time. Once that user logs out, another user can log in.

  • Also known as a multi-user, floating, or network license

Both named and concurrent licenses can either be perpetual or subscription licenses. It’s important to remember that named and concurrent refer to how a license works, whereas perpetual and subscription refer to how a license is purchased and who owns the license.

Further Reading: What is the Difference Between Named and Concurrent User Licenses?

4.  Workflow [noun]

A workflow is a function within a piece of software that streamlines and automates a business process, such as a sale, a payment order, a contract negation, or a marketing schedule. You can use a workflow to track and expedite business processes by automating tasks, assigning action items to team members, automatically maintaining records, and enforcing deadlines. Think of it as live playbook.

Example of a lead qualification process workflow in SugarCRM

All levels of business processes can be improved with a workflow. You can build a workflow for a sales cycle. You can build a workflow for a step in that sales cycle. You can even have a workflow for the day-to-day actions in that step of that sales cycle. Workflows can take on many forms. Sometimes they’re not something you can see or read – they’re just a chain of automated actions that your software executes for you. But more often than not, workflows are interactive diagram or flowchart modules within your software that act as a visual checklist or tracker.

It’s worth noting that not all workflows are automated, nor are they all captured in a piece software. They can be a sloppy illustration on a whiteboard in a conference room – but that doesn’t sound too helpful.

Further Reading: 6 Reasons Why Workflow is Important for Your Business

5.  Bottleneck [noun] 

A bottleneck is a phase of a business process when all resources – team members, departments, facilities, materials, technologies, etc. – are already working at full capacity and additional demand is placed on them.

This demand could be anything from loss of specific resources, to changes in workflow, to an expediated deadline, to requests from clients or contractors. A bottleneck can discourage team members and kill morale, diminish the quality of work, threaten the likelihood of closing a deal, or even slow down progress to a halt.

Not all processes have predetermined or predictable bottlenecks. Sometimes bottlenecks develop in processes that are otherwise unaffected by them due to unforeseen circumstances.

Further Reading: Process Bottleneck Analysis: Answer these 4 questions.

6.  Digital Transformation [noun] 

Digital transformation is a foundational change in how a business delivers valuable products or services to customers.

Digital transformation is not the result a new technology, employee, or process – it’s the result of a radical and all-encompassing reinvention or readjustment of your business, your processes, your motivations, and your core values. This is not a light undertaking, as it requires cross-departmental collaboration, alignment of business philosophies, and rapid and effective application developmental models.

Further Reading: The What, Why & How of Digital Transformation

7.  Growth-Hacking [verb]  

Growth-hacking is a business strategy used by marketing, business development, sales, and customer success teams to identify areas of their business that need to grow. Traditionally, growth-hacking refers to expanding target customer demographics and growing customer bases with new clients, but it can apply to any aspect of a business that may need a green thumb.

Further Reading: Common Growth Hacking Myths (and How Growth Actually Works)

8.  KPI [noun, acronym] 

  • Stands for “Key Performance Indicator”

A KPI is a quantified principle or standard that businesses use to judge, track, and assess business processes and gauge performance.

You can use KPIs as criteria for determining the success or failure of certain processes. For example, marketing departments use KPIs to determine how well their inbound and outbound strategies work to pique the interest of prospects. Some of those KPIs might include lead scores, SEO traffic reports, incremental sales percentages, or customer acquisition costs. Sales, business development, administration, and customer success departments can also use KPIs to gathering information about the effectiveness of their processes.

Further Reading: 18 Key Performance Indicator Examples & Definitions

9.  Metric [noun] 

A metric is a measurement used to record information about a task, activity, or other aspect of a business process.

A metric is often confused with a KPI, but they’re not the same thing. Metrics are small pieces of information about parts of business process, but they can’t tell you much about the process itself unless you apply it elsewhere – like to a KPI calculation. KPIs are often based on several metrics. For example, a metric can be something as simple as the number of times an ebook was downloaded. But that doesn’t tell you much about how the ebook affects lead generation. You can plug this metric into a KPI calculation to determine how many of the people who downloaded this ebook fit your ideal client profile – thus becoming marketing-qualified leads.

Further Reading: The Real Difference Between Metrics and KPIs

10.  Scorecard [noun] 

A scorecard is a set of measurements that leadership teams track and review on a regular basis to predict future performance of employees and processes.

A good scorecard relies on leading indicators, which are metrics and KPIs that can be influenced to change a predicted trend in future performance. For example, leading indicators of consumer interest might include website traffic and new lead generation. On the other hand, lagging indicators of consumer interest are sales or revenue – metrics and KPIs that can’t be influenced. A scorecard that relies on lagging indicators doesn’t yield proactive insights that can help you predict future performance.

Further Reading: Developing a Scorecard for Your Business

11.  Reporting [noun] 

Example of a reporting tool in IT Sapiens 

Reporting is a data visualization function that allows you to extract and compile data from existing sources in charts, tables, interactives, and other images. Reporting tools make it easy for user to find and present useful information.

A good reporting tool is designed to be extremely user-friendly and intuitive. Customization and personalization are key to successful reporting, as this will allow users to create visualization that are most appropriate for their intended audiences. Some reporting tools are standalone applications that need to be integrated with platforms that hold data, but many reporting tools are built into business intelligence, CRM, ERP or marketing automation platforms where your data lives.

It’s important to understand that reporting is not analytics. Reporting is the translation of raw data into a visual reference, it is not the calculation of insights or meaning of that data. You may find a tool that offers both reporting and analytics, but these are two different functions.

Further Reading: What is the difference between traditional reporting and data visualization?

12.  Omnichannel [adjective] 

An omnichannel strategy is a marketing, sales, and/or service approach used to create an integrated and cohesive customer experience on any – or all – channels of customer interaction. Channels may include social media, call centers, mobile apps, customer support portals, and even brick-and-mortar storefronts.

This means that all platforms are integrated and all data from multiple disparate sources is in one place. At any given moment, you can pull up all a customer’s information – which may have been scattered in different channels – and give them a seamless experience.

Further Reading: 7 Examples of Brands with Excellent Omni-Channel Experiences

13.  CMS [noun] 

  • Stands for “Content Management System”

CMS is a type of business software that manages the creation and modification of digital content. CMS platforms typically include web-based publishing, SEO-friendly URL creation, asset libraries, format management, history editing and version control, and indexing tools.

There’s a little confusion about the function of a CSM platform. They can be extremely different in design and range of functionality, depending on the role of the intended user. For example, in the marketing field, CMS platforms are website-publishing applications such as WordPress. But in the administration field, CMS platforms are rolodexes for digital content such as Microsoft SharePoint. These platforms have different features and applications, but still serve the same ultimate goal: managing content.

Further Reading: Do You Really Need a CMS?

14.  Marketing Automation [noun] 

Marketing automation is a type of business software that automates marketing processes and activities. Marketing automation can help streamline repetitive tasks involved in email campaigns, social media presence, and content distribution.

Marketing automation is designed to simplify some of the most time-consuming and complex responsibilities of the modern marketing teams, from lead qualification, to planning digital advertising campaigns, to website maintenance. Some conflate marketing automation with email marketing or CMS platforms – but marketing automation includes email marketing and CMS, along with a plethora of other invaluable functions.

Further Reading: What is the Difference Between Email Marketing and Marketing Automation?

15.  Lead [noun] 

In the simplest terms, a lead is someone who has expressed a higher-than-average interest in your business.

After a lead is identified, your marketing, business development, and sales team will work together to covert that lead into a customer by moving them along in their buyer’s journey. This is where the definition of a lead becomes extremely complicated and subjective, depending on your business processes. Generally, a lead becomes a marketing-qualified lead, then a sales-qualified lead, and then an opportunity before making a purchase and becoming a customer. This conversion is referred to as the lifecycle stages of leads and contacts.

Further Reading: Using lifecycle stages in HubSpot


Publish Date: December 11, 2018

[On-Demand Webinar] Just The Facts: Salesforce vs. Sugar

You know you need to invest in a CRM platform, you just need to invest in the right one for your business. It sounds easy enough but with the onslaught of information out there, the decision-making process can be quite convoluted.

Let us help take you one step closer to identifying a winner.

Check out this on-demand webinar to get an unbiased, side-by-side comparison of two leading CRM platforms – Salesforce and Sugar.

We help businesses of all sizes every day make a decision about which CRM is right for their business. Contact us and will help you navigate through this purchasing choice. 


Publish Date: November 16, 2018

Make Superior Customer Support a 2019 Resolution

As the year comes to an end, let’s look back at all you’ve accomplished. This year, maybe you embraced customer-centricity and delivered solid products and services to your clientele - but did you deliver customer support that left them feeling as bubbly as a glass of champagne on New Year’s?

If not, don’t fret! You can usher in the new year with customer support software. There are hundreds of platforms that provide solid set of tools to help you assist your clients. Here at BrainSell, we use Zendesk to turn every interaction with clients into lasting relationships through frictionless customer experience.

Before you start searching for options, it’s important to know what to look for first. Customer support platforms should have these two major features: omnichannel functionality and integration tools for your CRM.

Omnichannel Functionality

Omnichannel is a term that gets thrown around a lot, but what exactly is it?  

Simply put, an omnichannel platform is a system that pours disparate data from multiple sources into one place. This allows you to weave customer support into each aspect of your business, from the accounting team to website developers to your call center.

Ensuring a consistently positive customer experience requires an efficient and engaged customer support service, so allowing all aspects of your business access to your customer support platform is crucial. With omnichannel support, you can serve your customers in multiple channels.

For example, Zendesk allows you to interact with customers through your website chat window, your support ticket system, or your self-service knowledge base. Behind the scenes, support information is compiled by Zendesk no matter where you interact with your customer, giving representatives insight on how they can further develop each channel. This allows you to optimize communication with your clients and improve relationships at every touch point.

CRM Integration    

If you’re convinced that an omnichannel approach to customer support is best, then you’ll need to tie your platform to your one-true customer database: CRM. Most customer support platforms can integrate with your CRM, but not all. It’s important to be aware of this while selecting a platform. In BrainSell’s case, we chose Zendesk because it seamlessly integrates with our CRM, SugarCRM. It also integrates with Microsoft Dynamics 365, SalesForce, and HubSpot, to name a few.

So let’s look at Zendesk/SugarCRM integration as an example. No longer do you have to toggle between your CRM and support platform to see relevant customer information. This integration allows you to see your SugarCRM contact, lead, account, and opportunity data right from within the Zendesk interface. It also allows you to view your Zendesk support tickets and comments from the team right from within SugarCRM as well. Check it out:

SugarCRM View

Immediately after installing the integration module and adding the Zendesk Tickets dashlet, you can see all the associated Zendesk Tickets in the module of your choosing.

You can filter and sort to get to exactly what you need to see right from within SugarCRM. You can click the arrow to open the ticket in Zendesk or click into the Ticket Subject and see all the details, including all public and private comments, without ever having to leave Sugar.

Zendesk View

Likewise, in Zendesk you will be able to see all the associated SugarCRM data associated with the contact who opened the ticket in both Zendesk Support and Zendesk Chat. Additionally, Zendesk can be configured to work with your custom modules, custom fields, and workflows.

The Bottom Line

Don’t let another year of sub-par customer support pass you by. Let’s chat about your customer support goals and come up with an approach that’s best for your business.

Did something about Zendesk peak your interest? It peaked ours too! Join us for our webinar on December 12th 2018 at 2:00 PM (EST) to learn about how we’re ringing in the New Year with superior customer support.


Publish Date: November 14, 2018

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