BrainSell Technologies - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog
If you’re satisfied with the status quo, read no further. This content is not for you.
However, if you have an appetite for shaking things up and trying new approaches to old challenges, you’ll want to keep reading. Why? For a fresh look at ways to supercharge your sales and marketing teams — and your business — by transforming your Customer Relationship Management (CRM).
It’s no secret that digital transformation is disrupting the way businesses interact with their customers. The upside is that these disruptions provide new opportunities to rethink time-worn processes.
By linking disparate sources of data across the business, you can get a clear and comprehensive view of customer activities. The insights you gain from this view will help everyone from salespeople to call-center reps deliver consistently great experiences with every customer interaction.
The foundational tool for superior customer experience is your CRM system.
The challenge, historically, is that the people who stand to benefit most from CRM either can’t or won’t use it, because traditional CRM systems can be overly complex and very user unfriendly.
But modern CRM has come a long way — and it’s time to take a fresh look at what it can do for your business. The best CRM solutions are easy to use, yet comprehensive in scope — turning every employee into a customer expert by putting the right information at their fingertips, often before they even ask for it.
Download “The Essential Guide to CRM” to get insights from top industry experts and forward-thinking business leaders about the challenges of traditional CRM deployments and the keys to a successful implementation. Additionally, learn the questions to ask when evaluating solutions and tips for getting started on the path to modern, game-changing CRM.
Are you currently evaluating which customer relationship management software is right for your organization? Contact us and speak with one of our CRM industry experts about your organization’s unique needs and objectives and the software options to address them.
Publish Date: May 15, 2018 5:00 AM
Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM) enables companies of all sizes to efficiently manage business relationships, interactions, and the data and information associated with individual contacts. In today’s CRM marketplace, Salesforce, SugarCRM and Microsoft are dominating players – a fact reflected in the poll results from a live webinar we recently held, comparing Salesforce and SugarCRM. We asked webinar attendees which CRM tool their organization was using today, and more than half (58%) of respondents indicated they were currently using one of these three platforms.
If you’re asking yourself, “Which CRM is right for my business?” – we can help.
We recently took a closer look at how these three software vendors stack up against one another. In particular, we explored these five key areas:
- Customer support
- User minimums and pricing
Microsoft Dynamics offers unlimited customer support via its online portal and phone. Salesforce and Sugar are on a pretty even playing field when it comes to support – both offering unlimited support via their online portal with an option to upgrade to phone support for an extra fee.
When looking at deployment options, one of the differentiators with Salesforce is that it is on-demand only – meaning it’s hosted in their cloud only so your sales team does not need to be tied to their desk – they can access it from anywhere, on any device as long as they have access to internet. Microsoft Dynamics and Sugar on the other hand, both offer a similar on-demand option as well as two other options – putting it in your own private cloud (i.e. Amazon, Azure) and on premise – you can host Sugar or Microsoft within the laptop on your desk. So, Sugar and Microsoft offer more flexibility in terms of how the software is deployed, but the question is whether or not your organization needs the flexibility.
In terms of limitations – first off, it is worth noting that every platform will have its limitations. As a company, based on your goals and needs, you’ll need to establish which limitations are deal breakers and why. For example, both Salesforce and Sugar do have overage charges associated with data storage.
Another area to consider are API calls – limited vs. unlimited. If you’re asking yourself, “what are API calls?” you aren’t alone. The phrase API calls is really just computer language for sending out calls between applications – it really helps with ensuring your technology is integrated and works well together.
The Salesforce architecture is built on Apex language – an Oracle-based coding – not widely taught and known, so if you need to do any hard coding within the CRM platform, you’ll need to find a specialist to make those changes. PHP is what Sugar uses at its core and Microsoft uses C# and DHTML – these are more common languages than Apex, so it is easier to find a developer if you need to make any changes that require hard coding. However, all three products offer point and click changes easily applicable by most users. Simply put, the architecture is important – but it may not be important to you because you don’t need to make any significant changes requiring custom coding.
User minimums and pricing
Which CRM is right for my business?
To the casual observer these may seem like very similar products, so how do you decide which software is the best fit for your business. To answer this, you’ll need to consider some additional factors outside of functionality, including:
- User interface (UI) – While functionality may be similar, the UI of one product may be preferable and can become a decision factor for your organization.
- Budget – Establishing a budget and knowing the number of users will help you narrow down your options based on need and what you’re willing to spend.
- Integration – Take into consideration other technologies you’ve implemented or are planning to implement within your organization and what potential that have to integrate easier with one software over the other. For example, Salesforce offers an out-of-the-box connecter with NetSuite and Intacct.
Interested in learning more? Get your complimentary Top 5 CRM Software Vendors Report for tips on how to evaluate your CRM needs and identify and involve decision-makers early on in the process.
Ready to further explore which CRM is right for your business? Contact us and speak with one of our CRM industry experts about your organization’s unique needs and objectives and the software options to address them.
Publish Date: May 10, 2018 5:00 AM
Last year, in an effort to deliver a fast and regular pace of project innovation as well as to provide a more predictable upgrade process for its existing customers and partners, SugarCRM switched to a quarterly and annual release schedule. Which means, the Spring 18 (for cloud customers) and Sugar 8 (for on-premises customers) CRM releases are available right now.
So, what can you expect from Sugar with these new releases and what changes will you see to your CRM instance? Sugar’s Co-founder and CMO, Clint Oram highlights what’s new for Spring ’18 and the key features coming out in Sugar 8, including:
- New functionality to help organizations more effectively manage incoming data privacy requests.
- Availability of the Catalog Price Dashlet (previously introduced in Winter ’18) throughout Sugar, making it easier to explore and discuss products from anywhere.
- Greater flexibility over workflow actions with run-time execution.
- An improved user interface that offers a more modern and elegant color scheme for better legibility and ease of use.
- Easier access to data with actionable drill-through charts.
Watch this short video for all the details.
Interested in learning more about SugarCRM’s latest functionality and how it can benefit your organization? Contact us – we’d be happy to walk you through the latest enhancements and upgrades and the direct impact to your business.
Publish Date: May 8, 2018 5:00 AM
The 2018 SugarCRM release (v7.11) is brimming with updates that range from subtle to stellar. From its fresh new look and feel to improved functionality through the ability to duplicate quote records, SugarCRM’s 2018 release facilitates efficiency while optimizing the user experience. As a result of these enhancements, sales representatives can complete quotes and communicate with clients faster and more easily directly from SugarCRM. Customers also benefit from SugarCRM’s new updates, as they are able to receive the pricing they need faster. Below is a look at the top ten updates to SugarCRM and how they benefit sales professionals. And you can review the full release notes on Sugar’s site here!
SugarCRM’s commitment to ongoing quality improvement
“We’d observed that CRM products were among the most disliked among users. The goal was to build something that actually helped the salesperson, the end-user, to do their job. As opposed to something that was about Big Brother, management, and tracking what they were doing. That was the original concept and it’s stuck through the company. We still focus on that.”
- Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM
As illustrated by his comments in a recent interview with Diginomica, Larry Augustin reminds users that SugarCRM was introduced to help sales professionals succeed in their jobs. In keeping with this goal, the 2018 release of SugarCRM is designed to delight existing users and attract new customers seeking a versatile, user-friendly CRM. Below are the top ten highlights of SugarCRM’s new release.
1) A sleek new design
SugarCRM introduced a host of cosmetic changes to produce a fresh new look and feel for users. Design-related changes include a more vibrant Sugar Sidecar user interface that features bold colors and shapes. Examples include colorful, eye-catching sales pipeline graphics and colorful buttons that denote call and opportunity status. These aesthetic changes combine to produce a more positive user experience for sales representatives.
2) A more user-friendly record preview layout
Record previews are vital to busy sales professionals seeking a quick snapshot of a customer’s account details. SugarCRM’s new release features a more sophisticated record preview interface for users. Through an updated intelligence pane, SugarCRM users can quickly preview a customer’s account details to facilitate targeted sales.
3) Advanced workflow updates
The ability to track lead status changes enables salespeople to successfully manage accounts and focus their energies on new leads. Lead tracking also facilitates opportunity forecasting for sales managers. With Sugar’s advanced workflow updates, users receive message events that summarize changes to a lead’s status, enabling sales professionals to quickly swing into action if warranted.
4) Quote duplication
Sales professionals serving customers who frequently reorder the same collection of products will be delighted with this update. SugarCRM’s new release enables users to replicate past quotes with the click of a button. The duplicate quote will contain the same account information, line items, and products referenced in the original to ensure accuracy. This feature enables sales professionals to save valuable time while providing their customers with quotes in lightning fast time. In these ways, quote duplication improves sales efficiency and higher customer satisfaction.
5) Enhanced email forwarding
The ability to send emails to customers directly to customers from SugarCRM is another time-saving feature. Additionally, it enables sales representatives to effortlessly track and store electronic correspondence with customers. With SugarCRM’s new release, sales professionals are now able to easily forward archived email messages to customers and other recipients.
6) Email unlinking
Sometimes users need to unlink emails from an account record to streamline customer data or simply condense data associated with a large account. SugarCRM 2018 enables sales representatives to easily unlink emails from an email subpanel of related records. Whether a user simply wishes to condense an account record or customize the customer’s email subpanel, SugarCRM makes it simple to unlink emails.
7) Email sorting
Finding emails with attachments quickly enables sales representatives to confirm quotes and specifications on the spot. SugarCRM’s new release features the addition of a filter that allows users to quickly sort emails to locate emails that were sent with quotes and other attachments.
8) An enhanced product catalog dashlet
Finding products with minimal effort and searching is vital to a salesperson’s ability to quickly confirm product availability and cost. With this update, SugarCRM users can locate product details rapidly and respond faster to customers. Additionally, users now have access to a visual representation of every product available in the catalog dashlet.
9) Interactive report charts
With SugarCRM’s latest updates, users are now able to access and drill through a report chart. By simply clicking on a report chart, sales professionals can actively engage with data in Sugar. They can choose from a variety of report operations such as Record Actions menu, Favorite designation, Refresh, and Mass Actions menu. Through the availability of these operations, sales reps can actually engage with reporting data.
10) Enhanced saved reports chart dashlet
Accessing data contained in originating reports can help sales professionals target their outreach efforts and adjust their individual sales approach. Through the introduction of a View Report option, SugarCRM 2018 enables users to access a detailed view of originating reports. This option can be found in the Saved Reports Chart dashlet.
The Bottom Line
The 2018 SugarCRM enhancements promote efficiency and convenience for busy sales representatives who yearn to meet customer demands quickly and professionally. With an eye-catching new look and a host of new options, SugarCRM’s 2018 release enables sales managers and their staff to optimize their communication, quoting, and data reporting. Customers, in turn, receive quotes and correspondence faster. This enables customers to expedite purchasing decisions and respond faster to the demands of key stakeholders. The end results are shorter sales cycles and higher levels of customer satisfaction.
To learn more about SugarCRM’s enhanced design, please contact us at BrainSell. One of our industry experts will be happy to introduce you to the specific ways that SugarCRM can benefit your business. As a leader in the advisory and technology industries since 1994, BrainSell is committed to providing companies of all sizes with the software and business process tools that will help them thrive. We look forward to serving as your trusted resource for business software solutions!
Publish Date: March 7, 2018 5:00 AM
BrainSell asks this question and many more in a free webinar that you don’t want to miss, “Is Bigger Better? Salesforce vs. SugarCRM Challenge Series.”
On Wednesday, Feb. 28th at 2:00 PM EST, BrainSell’s own Sonja Fridell and Kevin Cook are back—and this time they are comparing industry leader Salesforce.com with its close competitor, Sugar.
Always fact-focused and never sales-pitchy, this duo delivers a straight-forward, unbiased look at this CRM rivalry. Their live demo dedicates 10 minutes to each solution, cutting through the mountains of online data sheets to help you narrow down the best choice for your brand.
A quick, easy-to-follow (and super fun!) presentation, Sonja and Kevin take you through every feature of the lead-to-cash funnel, like architecture, deployment styles, support and ending with thorough price comparisons. But do you know what the best part is? Because it’s live, you can ask all your burning CRM questions and get answers in real time!
Can’t wait for the webinar? Download Brainsell’s ebook “Top 5 CRM Vendors of 2018” right now so you can see which CRM would be a good fit for you. And if you want to talk to someone today, just sign up for some quality time with a specialist like Deven—he knows how to identify and implement the ideal strategy to take your business to the next level and turn your dreams into reality!
Sign up now to join Sonja and Kevin for “Is Bigger Better? Salesforce vs Sugar CRM Challenge Series.” And hey, if you want to chat with them afterwards, these two sailing fanatics would love to take a break from their summer countdown to connect with you on a great solution!
Publish Date: February 21, 2018 5:00 AM
If you’ve found this blog, you are likely researching CRM systems for your company, and have realized the market is saturated with lots of solutions all claiming to be the “best.” Here at BrainSell, we take a step back and make sure the software being selected is indeed the best for your business; that is why we are partners with over 30 different vendors. We understand not everyone fits the same mold.
Most CRM systems have 5 key categories for consideration when identifying which system will best compliment to your business process.
Sales force automation (SFA)
SFA is the use of software and process engines to automate tasks in CRM. Tools like bpm’online are built on a backbone of a process, automating everything from customer journey to marketing and sales. Other solutions like SugarCRM offer a bpm 2.0 compliant process engine in their enterprise edition, Salesforce has Lightning Process Builder, along with Workflow and Visual Workflow available in their Lightning Enterprise and Lightning Unlimited editions. Automating your sales processes will ensure your users follow the same business processes and your clients follow the same journey. This is not only a time saver but also forces organizations to document and fully understand business processes. Having your finger on the pulse of your sales teams and customer interactions is never a bad thing.
Marketing and Marketing Automation
If your marketing and sales teams still don’t share data, you are missing out on game-changing information about your prospects and customers. Not to be confused with email marketing, marketing automation is a platform that will centralize all of your digital marketing activities. Salesforce offers Marketing Cloud AKA Pardot, SugarCRM has developed a strong relationship and integration with Act-On, and bpm’online has a “marketing” user and interface but hasn’t fully developed their integration points. Infor CRM (formally SalesLogix) has an integration with SalesFusion and Microsoft Dynamics 365 has options available like Act-On and Click Dimensions. These tools will give you the ability to see marketing activities from your clients and prospects inside CRM, apply lead scoring techniques and adopt a “Compel with Content” strategy, as outlined in Predictable Revenue. More information about how these systems work together can be found in our webinar recording “7 Steps to Create a Lead Generation Machine.” < - link to webinar
Please stop making people use Excel for complex reports. It’s mean and likely not accurate. Most top-tier CRM systems have strong reporting features, but don’t be fooled by the difference between filters and reports. The right CRM should be able to report cross-module, have drillable graphs, and the ability to schedule automatic delivery of custom and out of the box reports. Looking at the same CRM sample group, bpm’online does not offer a true reporting module. Salesforce leads the pack in this category, since not only can you create custom reports that touch data from across all modules (objects), but you can create great looking graphs and schedule delivery, then take the next step with the AppExchange. SugarCRM and Microsoft both have full ride reporting capabilities, but can both be complex to understand and in some cases, cannot touch across modules for simple tasks like lead conversion rates.
Road warriors rejoice! The CRM community heard you and made some significant updates in the world of mobile applications. This past year, SugarCRM released Mobile SDK, allowing the development of fully customizable mobile applications, yet the original SugarCRM mobile app is also still available. The Salesforce mobile app is, in a word, awesome. A full mobile SDK is available as well as the original app, that tout’s full customizations, an Apple Watch app, dashboards and Click-to-Dial. Microsoft has kept the “pin” feature from the 2016 homepage in Windows, which is the limit of the customizations one can make. The interface seems slow compared to Salesforce and SugarCRM, however, large investments are being made in the new Dynamics 365 offerings. Perhaps a new mobile app will be one of them. Infor CRM has kept up with their mobile offering, maintaining SalesLogix’s strength in the mobile app realm… Bpm’online has an online/offline mobile app, as well. It starts with bare bones and you must configure and customize the app before using it. Once configured, it’s as strong as the out of the box SugarCRM and Salesforce apps.
In the past, CRM systems used to be a standalone platform with limited bells and whistles that would either fit your business or be an “ok” fit. With the rise of Salesforce and SugarCRM as industry leaders, more developers have created add-ons and integrations that allow businesses to build a complete solution. Examples would be connecting your VOIP system for call logging, email integrations for GMAIL or Outlook, and perhaps a big data tool/Business intelligence solution. Don’t listen to the “we’re working on it” answer when evaluating CRM systems. Either the platform has a large ecosystem or it does not.
To see how some top-tier solutions, score side by side download our full 2018 CRM comparison guide here - http://bit.ly/2FmU6Db
Publish Date: January 10, 2018 5:00 AM
SugarCRM has launched new user functionality and additional features with its latest 7.10 release. The release is available for on-demand customers at this time. BrainSell, a top Sugar Elite partner is hosting a live webinar to review the new exciting features on December 6, 2017 at 2 pm ET. Register below for the webinar!
Most Exciting Feature: Drill-down reports!
Sugar users have always been able to put reports on their dashboards, but drilling into those reports from a dashboard wasn’t possible until now! If you want to see the exact data that makes up a report, you can just click on that dashboard report and SEE the exact data. This is a huge time saver!
Improved UI: New Sidecar Interface for legacy modules
Sugar’s awesome new sidecar interface now appears on the emails module (and some others too), this allows users to view and work with stored email records much like they view and work with records in other Sidecar modules. Further, users can configure multiple outgoing SMTP email accounts. The sidecar interface is also now widely available across many other modules – Contracts, Currencies and modules related to products & quotes – Manufactures, Shipping providers and tax rates. It even allows for filtering based on the Teams filter.
Sugar also added new shareable functionality to its dashboards. Users can now share these dashboards with different teams and pull in customized views as well. The rules builder has been completely redesigned for usability with improvements that include row sorting via drag and drop, mass moving of rows, and mass deleting of rows. Additional configuration options have been added for configuring SSO using SAML. Lastly, previous issues with failed log-in attempts for instances with user-generated password expiration settings or those using LDAP over SSL have been fixed.
How does the new release benefit enterprise users?
With the most flexible platform, intuitive user experience, and wide industry adoption, Sugar Enterprise can provide a fully personalized approach to forging extraordinary relationships with every customer. As the pace of business gets faster than ever, you can set-up disruptive innovation and provide more information to customers at their fingertips.
With the new updates, Sugar is better than ever. The new release eliminates some of the glitches with the previous editions and paves the way for an improved user interface. Build a standout customer experience with Sugar by getting in touch with BrainSell today.
Publish Date: November 29, 2017 5:00 AM
As SugarCRM users, our BrainSell team found that managing multiple calendars can be a pain, as did our clients. They asked for guidance on how to better manage their calendars, and we responded by developing a solution.
Meet BrainCal, a SugarCRM addon that provides you with clear insight into selected users’ calendars. Simply select the Users from the BrainCal dashlet in the Calendar module to see their activities (color-coded by User) – all on one Calendar!
You can even select which Event Types – Meeting, Call, Task – you wish to have displayed.
By contrast, SugarCRM’s default Calendar module will display selected user calendars as one after the other that you need to scroll through to see availability
The steps to view shared calendars is as follows:
- Click Shared
- Click User List
- Select each individual User from the list, using the CTRL key on your keyboard to select multiple
- Click Select
The result is each selected user’s calendar is displayed one after the other, in alphabetical order by first name (your calendar may not be on top). The user’s name is on the top left of their calendar (noted by the red box around it) and all of their activities – Meetings, Calls, Tasks – displayed.
If you’re looking for a clean, easy to use calendar integrated with your SugarCRM instance, that allows you to quickly overlay other users’ activities, take a look at BrainCal on Sugar Outfitters: https://www.sugaroutfitters.com/addons/braincal.
Publish Date: October 29, 2017 5:00 AM
Before accounting was hip, a little-known start up was aiming to change that. Nestled in the foothills of the Silicon Valley, amidst the high-tech innovation and development hub of the country, Intacct emerged in 1999 as a leading provider of cloud Financial Management Solutions, prepared to take the accounting world by storm.
Since that time, Intacct has accumulated widespread acclaim across the industry and the world, igniting an excitement for the future of accounting solutions not seen before. Intacct customers boast high satisfaction rates with the multi-tenant foundation that brings a robust technological infrastructure to their organization without the high costs, maintenance, or complexity of an on-site solution. The cloud based software can be accessed anywhere, from any device, and offers a user experience that’s modern and easy to learn. In addition, it connects easily with other cloud solutions, so users are free to choose business applications based on functional fit, not integration concerns. How hip is that?
Intacct – the perfect complement
So hip, in fact, that UK-based Sage, the other major player in cloud accounting and financial management software, acquired it on July 28, 2017. Sage has been on a mission to expand its payroll, HR, payments, and accounting services and this is a major step in that goal. You could say that Intacct fills a void in the Sage family. As a provider of small business management and accounting solutions, Sage is now more well rounded with Intacct’s experience in providing software solutions to midsize, large, and global companies in North America. “Intacct opens up huge opportunities in the North American market representing over half of our total addressable market,” noted Sage CEO Stephen Kelly in the company’s public announcement. As a result, Sage boasts that it can now ‘legitimately claim to offer the only cloud based financial management solution you will need from startup to enterprise.’
Intacct customers will benefit greatly from the merger as well. Partnering with Sage will provide them the backing of a much larger brand with R&D resources to match. This $850 million acquisition merger is Sage’s biggest deal to date. Accelerating their growth, they have acquired three other companies (Fairsail, Compass, and North American Payments Disposal) in 2017 alone.
“Intacct acquisition is a powerful move to attract users who would previously not have considered Sage,” said Brian Tankersley, Director of Strategic Relationships at K2 Enterprises, “I think this means that Sage has a much stronger range of solutions for accounting needs, and it fills a need they had for a native cloud product to create a more complete set of offerings.”
The trend is cloud, cloud, cloud
In the rapidly evolving market of accounting technology, the trend is in solutions, not tools.
The merger of Sage and Intacct represents this trend and not only shows the duo’s commitment to cloud-based technology but also recognizes the transition and change in the industry as a whole. In addition to cloud solutions, the duo will focus on developing the automation of back-office functions, a journey that started with Sage Live application several years ago. There is also a drive toward fully integrated systems with best of breed platforms such as Salesforce, with both Intacct and Sage Live having a powerful inbuilt connection to it.
What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander
Sage has extended its mid-market cloud strategy by adding one of the top independent cloud-based accounting packages on the market, Intacct, creating a win-win solution for both companies and exponential growth potential for global businesses.
Robert Reid, CEO of Intacct who will remain in his executive position, expressed his thoughts in response to the merger: “We are excited to become part of Sage because we are relentlessly focused on the same goal which is to deliver the most innovative cloud solutions for our customers. Intacct is growing rapidly in our market and we are proud to be a recognized customer satisfaction leader across midsize, large and global enterprise businesses. By combining our strengths with those of Sage, we can jointly accelerate success for our customers.”
Integrity wins the day
Intacct chose to partner with Sage in order to strengthen technology, a decision of integrity over IPO, a common decision for late term start ups. “This is an ‘overnight success’ many years in the making,” said Bessemer Venture Partners’ Byron Deeter. As an investor and former board member, Deeter believes “Intacct is at the scale where they could be a public company today, but instead chose to partner with Sage … and the opportunity to have a broader impact together.” It’s a win for Sage, for Intacct, and for global companies who will benefit.
Sage and Intacct’s mutual dedication to creating a high-performance culture within the accounting software marketplace is now doing so together, Moving forward, Intacct will be known as Sage Intacct.
Publish Date: August 18, 2017 5:00 AM
SugarCRM Just Got Sweeter with Relationship Intelligence
Almost every technology developer will tell you their product is a game-changer, but with Sugar CRM Hint, it’s the truth. Hint takes traditional CRM functionality and adds a “hint” of artificial intelligence. Out of the gate, this tool makes sales teams more productive and moving forward it will change the competitive landscape completely between those companies deploying Hint and those that don’t.
SugarCRM Hint is the latest product from SugarCRM and is the first in its new Relationship Intelligence product line. Hint combines customer relationship management with a taste of artificial intelligence.
To understand how this works in practice, it’s important to remember how traditional CRM solutions work. A CRM brings significant value to your business by improving the efficiency of your sales team, consolidating account information, tracking sales activities status, and providing visibility into the sales lifecycle.
However, a CRM solution is only as good as the information you put into it. Without any data, it’s idle. Manually researching, verifying, and inputting that data is an incredibly time-consuming but essential part of the selling process. This is why Hint is a game-changer.
With Hint, you enter some very basic information – name and email address – and then the autopilot kicks in. Hint searches through 70 data sources to find information that correlates to the contact. The personal and professional information located is then auto-populated into Sugar. From the very beginning, sales can build a more intelligence relationship with their prospect without the time-consuming researching and entry process that crushes their productivity.
Benefits of SugarCRM
- Greater efficiency – as your team will no longer have to research information on prospects or input that information into the CRM, they will have more time to focus on turning prospects into clients.
- Deeper intelligence – the 70 sources that Hint searches include social media data, government data, and other sources of public data. This gives you a deeper insight into the prospect than you might get through manual searches.
- Improved selling – Hint makes your sales process savvier and smarter while also improving customer relationship management.
Hint is just the debut of SugarCRM’s Relationship Intelligence product line. These products will continue to build on the Hint platform likely adding predictive analytics and richer artificial intelligence. Sales teams will be better able to target and predict sales opps. Pipelines will get bigger. Sales cycles will shorten. And revenues will soar.
Learn more about Hint with a personal tour from SugarCRM Group Product Manager, Deepak Deolalika on August 9 at 2PM EDT.
Publish Date: July 26, 2017 5:00 AM
It’s a dirty little secret in business that sales people that embrace their CRM are far and few between. In fact, I will go one step further; most sales people hate their CRM. Why? It is tedious. It slows them down. They are compensated by closing deals – which means creating as many opportunities as possible and then chasing, consulting, schmoozing until the sun rises.
In fact, sometimes the only time they are focused on their CRM is the night before the weekly sales team call, when they batch update all of their opportunities so that they don’t catch heat the next day on the call for looking like a slacker.
Why can’t sales managers get their team to use CRM?
Of course the story is much different for management. Sales managers love their CRM. With it they can monitor every action of their team, analyze their performance, and see who has been making their calls, synopses of calls, who is their top performer and who needs to have “the chat.” Only guess what? There is often not a lot of data to report. Sure, opportunities get added, and closed deals get updated with lightning speed. But what steps were taken and when, who said what and when, and why is Kevin unable to close as much business as Kellie, or vice versa, remains a mystery – and so sales managers become masters at creating stories that they can feed on up the food chain. They don’t feel great about having to make up so much for the executive team but the reverse looks even worse for them. No one wants to explain why they can’t get their team to use their CRM – the very one that they personally lobbied so heavily to purchase in the first place. They are tired of starting off every sales meeting with a lecture about keeping their CRM records up to date. Why are sales people so lazy when it comes to CRM?
What went wrong with your CRM?
Before the invention of CRM people used rolodexes, index cards, paper and pen to keep track of contacts, sales opportunities and closed deals. It was unproductive as heck and when a sales person jumped ship, they took the knowledge stored in their address books and heads with them. CRM came along like the new sheriff in town. Promising order, compliance and a permanent record of customer information. It seemed too good to be true: organization, order and data.
The only problem we have all learned is that sales is both an art and a science. Data is important. We learn that it takes X number of calls to create X number of opportunities that result in X number of closed deals. That’s the science. But we also know that it is not just numbers. Certain sales people out-perform other sales people. They both may make exactly the same number of calls each day, send the same number of emails, work the same number of hours, but one is able to sell more, sell faster.
There is a new sheriff in town
CRM was a tremendous improvement on index cards but now we have a newer sheriff in town. Unlike the old sheriff, the new sheriff is really smart and sexy, and most importantly loved by both sales people and sales management alike. The old sheriff is still sticking around. In fact the two are sharing the job – and it’s a godsend for businesses. They old sheriff provides order; the new sheriff makes everyone’s lives easier, more efficient, more insightful. The new sheriff is even savvier than the old and integrates well with almost all the systems that the old sheriff established, systems like SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce. The new sheriff is a tool called Tenfold. It integrates your phone system with your CRM – and presto – you have CRM Redux. Tenfold’s functionality is the best thing that has ever happened to CRM, sales teams and sales managers. Read on.
No time just now? Register for our Webinar this Wednesday, 7/19/17 at 2PM EDT “Integrate Your Phone System with Your CRM.”
Tenfold’s functionality will blow your mind
It’s hard to know where to start because Tenfold’s functionality is a true game-changer for organizations. It increases sales productivity, improves relationships with customers, provides rich analytics and insight into the sales process –and best of all is an intuitive platform that delivers ROI right out of the gate.
Automatic call logging. In or out of the office, calls are automatically logged into your CRM as they happen. Records of sales calls with date, time and length of call happen in real time. No stopping in-between calls for admin work. No lag in CRM updates if reps are on the road. All calls are logged all the time. What a concept.
Click to dial. It’s ironic that we all use speed dialing on our mobile devices for personal business but traditional dialing for selling. Stop that right now. Increase sales productivity “tenfold” by giving your sales team this basic functionality. Dialing takes time. Time is money. You do the math.
Voice analytics. Through phone system integration you can now record and analyze sales conversations. Whoa. We know that sales people who do more listening than talking are more successful but short of joining every sales call as a third-party how do you know who is doing more listening? More intriguing is Tenfold’s ability to “listen” for phrases or trigger words. Want to know why some of your team closes deals faster than others? Why customers are complaining about the “attitude” of someone on your team. Well, now you can find out through Tenfold’s powerful analytics.
360° View of Customer data. With Tenfold installed and integrated with your CRM you now have instance access to complete customer information. When a customer calls in, a panel appears like magic on your desktop with aggregated current information about the customer. Your customers and prospects will feel delighted at the ease of communication. No rehashing of previous conversations, no guessing, just helpful productive conversations that lead to new business, more renewals and happier customers.
But wait there is more
Tenfold has so much functionality, the list of features seems endless. Why don’t you join our webinar Wednesday, July 19, to find out more? It’s the first of our Summer Webinar Series. You can register here.
Publish Date: July 18, 2017 5:00 AM
“People will never be replaced by machines. In the end, life and business are about human connections. And computers are about trying to murder you in a lake. And to me the choice is easy.”
– Michael Scott, Dunder Mifflin
Michael Scott was onto something
Michael Scott, crack salesperson turned branch manager, in the American television series, The Office, used all sorts of tricks for nurturing personal connections with his clients. His rolodex of index cards for example, contained not only core information about each client, but meticulous color-coded notes, listing personal information about each one such as their birthdate, name of their spouse and recaps of past conversations. Going into sales meetings, Michael was equipped with what he believed to be the essential sales tool: aggregated customer information. In the end, life and business are about relationships and knowing your customers is critical to sales success. Lucky for us, Michael Scott’s personalized customer approach can now be fully actualized through digital automation.
Capture information effortlessly
Since more and more business is conducted via phone in this digital age, capturing and analyzing phone data is critical for business success. It takes the Michael Scott approach and ramps it up exponentially, or…Tenfold. Imagine being able to consolidate every system of record into a real-time 360-degree view of your customers? Tenfold integrates your phone system and voice analytics with your other systems of record. Tenfold describes their software this way: “Running a modern day business is like having a bad set of windshield wipers in a storm, you get 20% visibility into the activity that your team is doing and not enough to really know what is going on. Tenfold installs a new set of windshield wipers that gives you 100% visibility into your business.”
How does it fit in with CRM?
Tenfold integrates with top CRM’s: Sugar, Salesforce and MicrosoftDynamics. Simple to configure and implement. The best part is how it improves the performance of your CRM and your sales team.
Find out how easy it is to get started. Join our live webinar on July 19 at 2PM EDT.
The ultimate sales tool
Tenfold’s top features are aggregated, automated and actionable tools. Automated dialing, easy logging of sales call notes and mobile capture make for enthusiastic adoption by sales. A dictionary of commonsensical terms published helps create actions based on what words you type. These actions lead to capturing intelligence, making deeper connections and closing deals. The system automatically captures every business call, email, text, and chat on your existing enterprise system without manual input. Tenfold aggregates systems of record from all departments into a Universal Data Layer (UDL) in real time and displays a single unified view of all aggregated customer information.
Sales reps can put their color-coded index cards away! The actionable customer intelligence is available in-context when it matters the most—during the sales call. All this functionality adds up to incredible ROI. Companies are realizing big results: gains in outbound sales volume, valuable intelligence and actionable insights which lead to deeper connections, bigger pipelines and faster closings. We think even Michael Scott would have approved.
Watch our testimonial: https://vimeo.com/215681355
Want to find out more? See a live demo by registering for our upcoming webinar. Register here.
Publish Date: July 12, 2017 5:00 AM
Top CRM Feature Comparison Guide
We love Customer Relationship Management (CRM) here at BrainSell. We are elite partners with Sugar CRM. Our customers often ask us “What’s the difference? I’m so familiar with SalesForce but it seems like Sugar might be better. How do I know which customer relationship management option is best for my business?”
You can find our entire analysis here.
Each CRM software we partner with offers a unique set of features to its user base. There are certainly various defining perks of each software, and so we make sure to learn as much as we can about each respective business’ processes and structure before we diagnose which software will best suit their protocol. We wanted to create something tangible for our customers so they can learn more about the comparison of the top CRM softwares so they can be educated consumers. In that vein, we conducted a thorough feature comparison list of Sugar, SalesForce, and Microsoft Dynamics. We used the following categories to base our comparison upon:
- Overall Customer Satisfaction
- Customer Support
- Mobile & Social
Are you currently using a CRM software? Maybe one that was not mentioned above? We want to learn more about the pain points within your CRM usage. Is your current solution working for you? Is it more trouble than it’s worth?
Let us know! We want to help you choose the best solution to optimize your processes and create a better sales and customer relationship management experience. Download our comparison and we will get in touch https://mktg.brainsell.net/acton/media/14260/top-crm-comparison-guide
Publish Date: May 17, 2017 5:00 AM
Fieldmagic: The CRM Field Service Platform of the Future
In an age of ever evolving enterprise mobility, the field service industry is increasingly diverse. From machine sales and maintenance, fire safety, electrical and IT, to garden landscaping, field service businesses are expanding across multiple industries like never before.
Across this spectrum, most field service businesses share basic requirements such as job management, time and materials tracking, maintenance scheduling, invoicing and purchase order management. However, every business is unique, the differences found in the details of their processes as well as the reports that each business requires to run efficiently.
Customer relations management - or CRM - is a software business solution platform that can provide you with broad enough coverage to meet your basic requirements while flexible enough to fit your specific needs. A CRM system is an invaluable tool for businesses that want to grow and scale.
Choosing a CRM field service platform is not an easy task. We’re here to help! BrainSell is hosting a free webinar on Fieldmagic on Thursday, April 20th at 2 PM EDT. Register below.
So is it really worth it? Yes, and here are three reasons why.
1) Tailor processes specifically to your requirements
In field service, suppose you need to track jobs against specific departments, or you would like email notifications to be sent to a specific team of users when a job of a given type is completed?
Or perhaps you simply would like to configure the language of your system to fit your industry? A good CRM system will allow for all these specifications and will minimally, have two key elements with the system. First, a customization studio whereby you can tailor the fields, attributes, labels and business logic in your quotes, jobs, sites and any other module that you leverage. Second, a workflow engine that allows you to configure notifications (both customer and internal) designed around your business’ processes. Some of the more advanced platforms will even let you build entire custom modules to fit your specific needs. The ability to tailor your processes specifically to your requirements equates to flexibility. That is one of the best reasons to choose a CRM platform.
2) Leverage Dashboards and Reports specific to your Business Goals & KPIs
When implementing a system designed to improve business performance, one of the key aspects is how you’re going to measure and report on that performance. Every business is different and needs to measure different metrics. CRM platforms measure results.
Is the problem you’re trying to solve a 7-day turn-around between an inspection or maintenance job and when you actually provide a quote to your customers? If so, how do you measure this? In this case, you could track timestamps between maintenance completion, quote creation, and fault resolution. A CRM provides the framework to implement this level of business logic, and the in-built reporting engine to report and analyze this data over time. Compare this with a traditional field services system that doesn’t have that flexibility - you’re reliant on the software developer to implement this capability that will benefit your business, something that gets less likely the more unique your requirements are.
Configurable drag and drop reporting, and personalized dashboards are a key component of any good CRM platform. By choosing a CRM platform for your field services business, your system can help you solve your problems today and tomorrow.
3) Integration and App Ecosystem
Most of the major CRM platforms these days provide open APIs, which allow you to integrate your CRM and field services platform with any other major systems within your business. In addition, many of the leading solutions include an app ecosystem that lets you extend your platform beyond its original use case. Both Salesforce and SugarCRM have a strong app ecosystem. Microsoft Dynamics CRM is also starting to evolve in that area as well. By leveraging a CRM platform with an open API, you have the ability to integrate with those ERPs using an integration tool. If you happen to be stuck on a closed field services platform, your options are limited. You’re often left with the choice of migrating to a new system, or putting up with double entry across your organization.
What does this mean to your business? It means choice. Perhaps you’d like to be able to store customer acceptance emails against the quotes that you generate. By choosing a CRM as your platform, you have those options.
Interested in learning more?
Automating your business from the field can be complex and overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Flexibility, metrics and integration are three key reasons anyone looking for field service solutions should strongly consider a CRM platform. Interested in learning more? Join us on Thursday, April 20th at 2 PM EDT for our webinar on Fieldmagic. Register here.
Publish Date: April 19, 2017 5:00 AM
Database Giant, Oracle, Now Owns NetSuite
As of November 7th, 2016, Oracle now owns NetSuite. Oracle spent $9.3 billion to expand its cloud footprint and marketing to smaller companies. The settlement of this deal was crucial for NetSuite. It was uncertain if the deal would finalize and that put NetSuite’s sales on pause. NetSuite definitely had some integration trouble soon after the deal, but Oracle now reports that their total cloud revenues are 13% this year, so it’s up 8% from this time last year. So why is this an important factor in deciding a cloud-based ERP platform? To learn more register for our webinar on NetSuite vs. Intacct on Thursday, April 6th at 2:00 PM EDT.
What does this merge mean?
Oracle is a global corporation and this merger does a great deal to their standing in the competitive cloud-based market. They want to advance their own cloud capabilities, while also competing in the small and mid-tier markets. With the acquisition of NetSuite, they can now offer more cloud services in more industries and countries. In addition, Oracle claims it will run NetSuite as an independent company, but historically Oracle has fully integrated its acquired companies. As a result, existing NetSuite customers will see a price increase.
Oracle’s plans for NetSuite
Oracle plans to focus on ERP in its cloud apps portfolio. They’re going to use NetSuite’s total addressable market to gather the small and midmarket businesses. The success of this merger will then rest on Oracle’s ability to keep those small and midmarket businesses and grow the market. Historically, Oracle has catered to larger corporations. The question remains, can Oracle move downstream effectively?
Interested in learning more about cloud-based ERP platforms? Register for our NetSuite vs. Intacct webinar here.
Publish Date: March 31, 2017 5:00 AM