4 Areas Your CRM Platform Needs to Excel In

4 Areas Your CRM Platform Needs to Excel In

Outdated and cumbersome, legacy CRM systems typically provide you with simple storage of customer data, and a few relevant fields and tasks for sales to follow up on. Most of the time, those fields are confusing, overwhelming and unstructured. Simply put, legacy CRM systems are not up to today’s business standards, and they don’t fit the needs of most people in the modern workforce.

Fortunately, CRM has come a long way since its beginnings. Modern CRM delivers consumer-grade interfaces, best-in-class user experiences, and specific features tailored to different departments.

Jim Glickman, CMO Hilco Valuation Services, says about their CRM system (Hilco implemented Sugar in 2012):

“I don’t even think of it as CRM,” […] “We look at this more as kind of a comprehensive business platform.”Jim Glickman, CMO Hilco Valuation Services
Customer Information Graph

Modern CRM will do more than just help you organize your customer data. Your technology will become an integral, proactive piece of your customer engagement strategy, as Brent Leary – Co-Founder and Partner of CRM Essentials – knows.

Like many businesses, he agrees, “[it’s] still good to have a central location for customer data, but now [CRM is] more about having a system that automates data collection, automates analysis, and automates finding insights.”

A modern CRM platform will deliver automation, workflow management, customer support, and essentially provide an end-to-end business platform for all aspects of managing the customer journey. CRM systems need to be extensible, and support a variety of different tools and technologies as part of your broader customer engagement ecosystem.

Because the variety of systems and extensions can be overwhelming when shopping for a CRM solution, consider your needs relative to these four critical CRM areas:
  1. Intuitive User Experience

The biggest challenge with many CRM deployments is user adoption. If it’s not easy to use, if it doesn’t help employees do their jobs better, and if it makes tasks more complex instead of easier to complete, then people won’t use it.

Modern CRM fixes that by providing users with a streamlined, consumer-grade interface.

“It’s important to simplify the focus, to put just the information in front of the user that they need to make the most effective decision or to make the next best action,” says Rebecca Wettemann of Nucleus Research.

In order for users to streamline their processes, and optimize customer interactions, a CRM solution needs to offer different ways for interacting with the system. Creating different user types and roles, for example, should be a simple, built-in functionality – allowing users to see only the information that’s relevant to them for the activity they’re engaged in. Additionally, insights should be delivered visually wherever possible to help users understand and visually connect information and act decisively. An intuitive interface also extends across multiple devices – desktops and mobile devices, so that field agents and mobile workers get the same experience regardless of device or location.

Think of users first, as they are the ones in the trenches, and ultimately connecting with your customers or prospects.

“The user interface has become mission-critical, even though you might not think of it as an ordinary part of CRM selection,” says Paul Greenberg, Managing Principal of The 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light.

To take it one step further, as technology advances rapidly with artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities built in and added on, an excellent CRM user experience should also enhance data further:

“You want a system that is so intuitive that end users don’t require training to use it,” says Wettemann. “We’re certainly seeing a move in that direction.”

    2.

    Customer Information Graph

    A modern CRM platform must excel at workflow management, automating processes wherever possible. Businesses can use advanced automation to enforce best practices, improve productivity, and reduce costs. Intelligent workflow can deliver excellent value across the organisation in areas such as:

    • Intelligent call routing: Sales and service run more effectively when the CRM system leverages a business rules engine and advanced workflow to enable seamless handoffs and smart escalations — for example, routing calls to in-house product experts outside the support center.
    • Predictable cash flow: Managers can model sales revenue and build forecasting dashboards that enable executives to track progress against projections. The system can also create payment tracking mechanisms as part of customer lifecycle management and send alerts regarding payments at risk.
    • SLA compliance: A process-oriented CRM can help guide the entire service resolution lifecycle and apply automated SLA management. For example, high-priority customer issues can be intelligently routed, and the system can send alerts whenever threshold values for action are exceeded.

    1. Process Alignment

    Businesses that use CRM as a platform can align their business processes across the entire organisation, including:

    • Contract management: Speed up time-to-close with modules that access customer data for contract creation. The system can manage contracts through both the sales cycle and the customer lifecycle.
    • Order management: Automate workflow in the post-sale process and ensure customers get what they’ve purchased. In this way, the CRM promotes reliable transitions among sales, fulfillment, billing, and payment.
    • Service delivery: A CRM-enabled customer support hub can automate the process around post-sale delivery, installation, and other services.
    • Claims processing: Manage the tracking of customer claims, returns, and refunds, integrated with financial systems.
    • Purchase request management: Enable intelligent purchase order creation, ensure timely alerts, and enforce parameters around purchasing activities.

    1. Platform

    Today’s CRM solutions are typically cloud-based, but some vendors offer hybrid hosting options and freedom of choice on cloud storage. Code bases vary by vendor. Some solutions are built with proprietary code, while others use open standards.

    Code choices can dramatically affect flexibility and total cost of ownership. If the full source code is available and common languages are used consistently throughout, you can customise without specialised coding expertise.

    With no barriers to development, business can leverage the power of the CRM in all situations. Not only can you optimise your standard interfaces affordably, you can create “disposable apps” that can be fired up for one-off events such as trade shows or new product launches.

    As you are evaluating your current CRM system, or are shopping around for a better, modern CRM platform, keep these four areas in mind. Because how well your CRM system delivers on these will ultimately affect the value you’ll be getting out of it and the ROI you will be able to reap from your CRM system, as we covered in a previous post.

    Article, Ebook and images sourced from SUGARCRM.COM – Author – Jenna Click

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    Half of sales reps view prospects’ Facebook profiles before meetings

    4 Areas Your CRM Platform Needs to Excel In

    Outdated and cumbersome, legacy CRM systems typically provide you with simple storage of customer data, and a few relevant fields and tasks for sales to follow up on. Most of the time, those fields are confusing, overwhelming and unstructured. Simply put, legacy CRM systems are not up to today’s business standards, and they don’t fit the needs of most people in the modern workforce.

    Fortunately, CRM has come a long way since its beginnings. Modern CRM delivers consumer-grade interfaces, best-in-class user experiences, and specific features tailored to different departments.

    Jim Glickman, CMO Hilco Valuation Services, says about their CRM system (Hilco implemented Sugar in 2012):

    {{base64content "PGJsb2NrcXVvdGUgIGNsYXNzPSJ4LWJsb2NrcXVvdGUiID7igJxJIGRvbuKAmXQgZXZlbiB0aGluayBvZiBpdCBhcyBDUk0s4oCdIFvigKZdIOKAnFdlIGxvb2sgYXQgdGhpcyBtb3JlIGFzIGtpbmQgb2YgYSBjb21wcmVoZW5zaXZlIGJ1c2luZXNzIHBsYXRmb3JtLuKAnTxjaXRlIGNsYXNzPSJ4LWNpdGUiPkppbSBHbGlja21hbiwgQ01PIEhpbGNvIFZhbHVhdGlvbiBTZXJ2aWNlczwvY2l0ZT48L2Jsb2NrcXVvdGU+Cg==" }}
    Customer Information Graph

    Modern CRM will do more than just help you organize your customer data. Your technology will become an integral, proactive piece of your customer engagement strategy, as Brent Leary – Co-Founder and Partner of CRM Essentials – knows.

    Like many businesses, he agrees, “[it’s] still good to have a central location for customer data, but now [CRM is] more about having a system that automates data collection, automates analysis, and automates finding insights.”

    A modern CRM platform will deliver automation, workflow management, customer support, and essentially provide an end-to-end business platform for all aspects of managing the customer journey. CRM systems need to be extensible, and support a variety of different tools and technologies as part of your broader customer engagement ecosystem.

    Because the variety of systems and extensions can be overwhelming when shopping for a CRM solution, consider your needs relative to these four critical CRM areas:

    Be A Change Maker

    4 Areas Your CRM Platform Needs to Excel In

    Outdated and cumbersome, legacy CRM systems typically provide you with simple storage of customer data, and a few relevant fields and tasks for sales to follow up on. Most of the time, those fields are confusing, overwhelming and unstructured. Simply put, legacy CRM systems are not up to today’s business standards, and they don’t fit the needs of most people in the modern workforce.

    Fortunately, CRM has come a long way since its beginnings. Modern CRM delivers consumer-grade interfaces, best-in-class user experiences, and specific features tailored to different departments.

    Jim Glickman, CMO Hilco Valuation Services, says about their CRM system (Hilco implemented Sugar in 2012):

    Article, Ebook and images sourced from SUGARCRM.COM

    Customer Information Graph

    Why Your Business Needs Great CRM

    Why Your Business Needs Great CRM

    With more powerful and advanced technology continuously emerging, standing out in the eye of the customer has become a unique challenge these days. Great technology alone doesn’t set you apart anymore; consumers and business buyers alike have gotten more buying power today than ever before. Thanks to digital disruptors, such as Amazon and Netflix, buyers expect you to know them, automatically suggesting the next show to watch or next purchase to consider barely after completing the last. Customers have gotten used to this type of AI-driven technology, and have become used to high-convenience service technology – regardless of whether you’re selling books, enterprise software, or farm equipment. Customers today also expect seamless transactions across devices, and 24/7 access on-the-go to products and services. What does that mean for businesses? You need to provide more than you have before. More what? More everything. But here’s the key:

    Quality over quantity.

    Better accessibility and more advanced features are one thing for customers. However, the one aspect that influences your customers’ buying experience more than anything is their perception of your business. It’s no longer just enough to provide the best product or service, because many prospects won’t ever become customers if they’re turned off by the experience of getting to know you. You need to deliver an exceptional first impression, and keep that level of quality consistent at every stage and touch point with the customer. Rebecca Wetteman, VP of Research at Nucleus Research, even says:

    “It’s less important that you have a 360-degree view of the customer and more important that the customer has a 360-degree view of you,” […] “Whether they touch sales, marketing, or service, customers need to get the same answer, the same tone, the same interaction.”

    CRM was supposed to deliver those types of sparkling results, but the first few generations of CRM technology fell short. They are what we now call Legacy CRM. Blame it on siloed data, convoluted processes, ineffective tools, or a status-quo culture – legacy CRM systems won’t deliver that modern, customer-centric approach that’s so important these days anymore. Some studies peg CRM failure rates at 60% or higher, and anecdotally, we know that many users simply don’t like their CRM systems, because the technology is too difficult to use or doesn’t help them do their jobs better.

    The Effects of a Complicated CRM

    When a business tries to go to battle with an under-performing CRM system, the results can be devastating. “More often than not, employees in one department don’t even know the employees in other departments, let alone use data that spans the organization,” wrote customer experience futurist Blake Morgan in Harvard Business Review. “This often results in wildly inconsistent customer experiences that make companies look disconnected and unfocused.” McKinsey reports that less than 40% of companies say they are even moderately effective at using digital sales tools and capabilities. That speaks not just to the technology, but to the culture as well, as it may signal a lack of commitment to provide the training and support needed to master these tools.

    Going From ‘Good’ to Great

    CRM With increased competition and more discerning customers the pressure is on businesses to get more out of their CRM system – and quickly. CRM technology has evolved to the point where it’s delivering clear value to the top line, in the form of increased revenue, and the bottom line, stemming from increased productivity and more efficient workflows. And that translates to better return on investment (ROI).

    Nucleus Research found that companies investing in CRM increased average returns by 1.5 times between 2011 and 2014, from $5.60 to $8.71 in returns per dollar spent, and that trend has continued. And, in a 2017 survey by CITE Research, sales professionals said CRM was the most used and the most valuable tool in their technology arsenal.

    Wettemann says she’s seen a distinct change over the past couple of years in CRM’s effectiveness at driving greater productivity across sales, marketing, and service functions. “We see that playing out in two ways,” she says. “It’s adding to the top line, by making sales more productive, and it’s cutting the bottom line, by automating more tasks and enabling companies to do more with fewer resources.”

    Let’s take a closer look at the specific benefits that a great CRM yields:

    Top-Line Benefits

    After a business has implemented a new or updated CRM, it’s important to look at the ROI it yields as soon as it’s being used. Most businesses can connect CRM use to direct revenue growth, as their lead scoring and lead nurturing tools and tactics improve by use of their CRM system. This, in turn, affects the quality of prospects that marketing routes over to sales and improves overall lead quality. Additionally, automated workflows and built-in analytics provide precise insight and action prompts, helping to boost conversion rates by providing the right touch at the right time.

    “CRM is now at the forefront of making you more effective in building relationships. […] The ability to use information and insights should help you to get the attention and keep the attention of people you are trying to do business with, based on having a better understanding of what they are interested in and what their challenges are, and having those insights in real time.”
    {{base64content "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" }}
    “A system that automates data collection and analysis allows you to spend less time doing things like data input, data upkeep, and searching for information,” says Leary.

    Watch the webinar – Countdown to GDPR – Are You Ready?

    What is GDPR and how will it affect my marketing activities?

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Regulation (EU) 2016/679) is a regulation by which the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission intend to strengthen and unify data protection for all individuals within the European Union (EU).

    Missed our Webinar with David Fowler
    Countdown to GDPR – Are You Ready?
    No problem! We recorded it!
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    GDPR will require organisations to respect and protect personal data that is held, from individuals, no matter where is stored or how it was acquired. It is a very important change regarding individual privacy rights and will make the definition of personal data clearer.

    The costs of non-compliance are going to be way more significant than past rules, financially (max of 4% of annual turnover or €20m) and also in terms of reputation. The deadline is approaching, 25th of May 2018.

    There are 5 topics that will be very important to marketers.

    1 – Consent – customers will have to understand clearly how their data is being collected and used. Terms and Conditions have to be written in a clear way that everyone understands, without tricks like pre checked boxes, etc.

    2 – Customer Profiles – customers will know have the choice to opt out from any form of automated profiling, forcing companies to be more transparent on the way they are using and collecting customer data.

    3 – Marketing Opt-out – customers have the right to ask to be removed from all the marketing activities. Once requested companies can’t use the data collected and stop immediately all the direct actions over customers.

    4 – Be forgotten – once a customer decides to leave they will have the right to request that all their data must be deleted.

    5 – Data Portability – customers will have the possibility to ask for a copy of their data that will be able to be used by other companies.

    All these topics will not only impact organisations by adding some new processes in place as will be a game changer on the way marketing will be done in the future.

    The clock is ticking, don’t wait for the deadline!

    Article author – DIOGO REBELO

    Disclaimer: This article has been pulled together to provide a general overview of the GDPR and considerations with CRM technology. It is not intended to be an authority and does not replace the need to read and understand the full GDPR guidelines. FEATURED IMAGE SOURCED FROM eugdpr.org

    Three Key Changes to the Digital Compliance Landscape, Including GDPR

    Meeting compliance standards is an important part of any marketing campaign. These rules are meant to protect consumers from fraudulent business practices, false promotional information, and infringements on privacy rights.

    Being in compliance will protect you, too ‒ by helping you keep your reputation of integrity and saving you from fines and legal trouble.

    Keeping up with changes in the digital compliance landscape is crucial, particularly in this year, as 2017 is shaping up to be time of significant evolution in privacy and digital compliance globally.

    There are major initiatives that you will need to be aware of to ensure you remain in compliance and stay on top of important changes. Let’s review three of the major pertinent privacy issues that should be on your radar:

    General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

    The GDPR is the new European Union law that will become effective in May 2018. This legislation replaces the existing EU Data Directive, and it’s the most significant change in European privacy law for 20 years.

    The GDPR will propose new obligations on any business that handles data on EU citizens, independent of where the business is located, so if you are marketing to EU citizens you are required to adopt the GDPR. There are many issues to consider for ensuring GDPR compliance, and these regulations may have a far-reaching effect on your company’s operability.

    The Information Commissioners Office (ICO) of the UK has complied comprehensive information pertaining to obligations and preparedness with the new law. Here’s a good place to get up to speed and start your preparations.

    Privacy Shield Framework

    As the replacement for the Safe Harbor program, the Privacy Shield program has grown tremendously since its inception. The EU-US and Swiss-US Privacy Shield Frameworks were designed by the US Department of Commerce and the European Commission and Swiss Administration. They’re meant to provide companies on both sides of the Atlantic with a mechanism to comply with data protection requirements when transferring personal data from the European Union and Switzerland to the United States in support of transatlantic commerce.

    Act-On has successfully obtained Privacy Shield certification, and we support the principles and frameworks of this important compliance initiative. You may want to consider applying for certification if your business model supports EU-US data transfer.

    The US Department of Commerce provides an overview of the program here.

    Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation (CASL) – Private Right of Action

    A major mile stone under CASL will become effective on July 1 of this year. It gives individuals and organizations the right to institute a “private right of action” before the courts against parties that don’t comply with CASL.
    Companies found to be violating the message rules under CASL may be penalized by a fine of up to a maximum of $1,000,000 per day.

    For more on CASL compliance, visit this informational website from the Government of Canada.

    As the compliance landscape continues to evolve, please take the time and review how these important changes may affect your marketing practices. Proactively seek legal counsel on any issues that have an impact on your company’s functionality to help ensure that your business has a smooth and productive year.

    Missed our Webinar with David Fowler

    Countdown to GDPR – Are You Ready?

    No problem! We recorded it!

    Click here to view our Webinar

    A LITTLE BIT ABOUT DAVID FOWLER CRM

    David Fowler serves as Act-On Software’s Head of Digital Compliance and Industry Relations. He has over 20 years of experience in the marketing industry, including the last twelve years strictly focused on the issues associated with the digital channel including, email marketing, deliverability, social media, mobile, integrated marketing, marketing automation and digital privacy compliance. David is a seasoned speaker, and email deliverability and privacy consultant with national and international engagements that include: Online Trust Alliance (OTA and Board Member), Email Services and Provider Coalition (ESPC and Board Member), International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), InBox East and West, Inbox/Outbox – London, American Marketing Association, Messaging and Anti Abuse Working Group (MAAWG) – US and EU, TRUSTe, Privacy and American Business and the Email Insider Summit. 

 Prior to joining Act-On, David held US- and European-based senior management positions focused on Deliverability, Email Privacy, Sales, Marketing, Business Development and Product
    Management with such companies as MarketFish, Lyris Technologies, Blue Hornet / Digital River, Yesmail, XO Communications, KPNQwest, Qwest Communications, Electric Lightwave, GST Telecom and MCI. Reach him on Twitter: @oregonlimey

    A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PROVIDENT CRM

    Provident CRM is a global CRM consultancy specialising in Sugar, business process improvement tools and systems integrations. We are among the top SugarCRM Partners worldwide holding the coveted Elite Partner status. With offices across the UK and Ireland we have shared our experience and knowledge with organisations in both the public and private sectors. Partnering with our Customers, we focus on delivering value, sustainability, efficiencies and productivity.

    We have already helped hundreds of organisations to deploy Sugar, assisting in change management and user adoption. We are looking forward to partnering with you, discussing your implementation and helping to realise your vision for unparalleled customer experience.

    Article author – DAVID FOWLER – Article source – ACT-ON.COM

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    Webinar – Countdown to GDPR – Are You Ready?

    The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is coming up fast and whilst there’s lots of information about GDPR from an IT security perspective, marketers are still trying to understand the implications it will have on their marketing efforts from 25 May 2018 and beyond.

    We are delighted to have David Fowler, The Head of Digital Compliance with Act-On, discussing the impact of GDPR on marketers.

    David is responsible for all issues pertaining to digital compliance, including email deliverability, privacy compliance, and industry stewardship in regard to customers and corporate objectives for Act-On.

    David has over 20 years’ experience providing senior leadership in the marketing industry. Since 2003, he has been strictly focused on issues associated email marketing, deliverability, digital marketing, and privacy compliance.

    Prior to joining Act-On, David held U.S. and European-based senior management positions focused on the digital marketing eco system covering email deliverability, digital privacy, sales, marketing, business development, and product management with Marketfish, Lyris Technologies, Blue Hornet/Digital River, and Yesmail.

    In this webinar we will talk about the importance of the upcoming GDPR changes and how they will affect Marketers. Join us to see what you can do to prepare and ensure you and your business is ready.

    After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

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    ABOUT SUGARCRM

    SugarCRM enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative, flexible and affordable CRM solution on the market. Unlike traditional CRM solutions that focus primarily on management and reporting, Sugar empowers the individual, coordinating the actions of customer-facing employees and equipping them with the right information at the right time to transform the customer experience. Sugar pricing is simple and affordable, so it can deploy it to all customer-facing employees, and know what it’s going to cost. Recognized by leading industry analysts as a CRM visionary and innovator, Sugar is used by more than 1.5 million individuals in over 120 countries. To learn more visit SugarCRM or follow @SugarCRM.

    A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PROVIDENT CRM

    Provident CRM is a global CRM consultancy specialising in Sugar, business process improvement tools and systems integrations. We are among the top SugarCRM Partners worldwide holding the coveted Elite Partner status. With offices across the UK and Ireland we have shared our experience and knowledge with organisations in both the public and private sectors. Partnering with our Customers, we focus on delivering value, sustainability, efficiencies and productivity.

    We have already helped hundreds of organisations to deploy Sugar, assisting in change management and user adoption. We are looking forward to partnering with you, discussing your implementation and helping to realise your vision for unparalleled customer experience.

    Share this Post

    SugarCRM Announces its 2017 Class of Elite Partners

    Elite Status, the Highest Tier in the SugarCRM Channel Partner Program, Is Awarded to the Most Successful Partners Around the World

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    CUPERTINO, CA – March 15, 2017 – SugarCRM Inc., the company that enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most empowering, adaptable and affordable CRM solution on the market, announced today that 18 of its worldwide channel partners have achieved Elite Partner status for 2017.

    Elite status is determined by meeting product competency requirements, joint sales execution and driving new Sugar business during the preceding fiscal year. This year’s class represents 13 different countries.

    Our Elite partners are true CRM solution providers that are deeply involved in helping organizations utilize Sugar to provide a superior customer experience to separate themselves from the competitionPatrick Pahl - VP of Partner Operations, SugarCRM

    “Our Elite partners are true CRM solution providers that are deeply involved in helping organizations utilize Sugar to provide a superior customer experience to separate themselves from the competition” said Patrick Pahl, vice president of strategic alliances and partner operations at SugarCRM. “I’d like to thank and congratulate all the organizations that have achieved Elite-level status for 2017. Our Elite Partners delivered an impressive 27 percent year-to-year increase in annually recurring new subscription revenue last year, added more than 350 new SugarCRM customers and increased the average new sale by 27 percent.”

    SugarCRM’s 2017 Elite Partners include:

    BrainSell Technologies (USA)
    Faye Business Systems Group, Inc. (USA)
    eVolpe Consulting (Poland)
    Provident CRM (Ireland & United Kingdom)
    iZeno Pte Ltd (Singapore)
    Levementum, LLC (USA)
    Sugar Factory s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
    Technology Advisors Inc. (USA)
    W-Systems Corp. (USA)

    SugarCRM has built a unique channel program of CRM experts with more than 200 channel partners in more than 30 countries. As a pure-play CRM vendor with an unconventional approach, SugarCRM offers a different kind of CRM application that helps our customers set themselves apart from the competition. The company’s core group of partners are CRM mavericks that help extend the value of the Sugar platform for customers by providing strategic CRM consulting, tailored solutions that complement Sugar, techniques for CRM best practices, and flexible implementation and integration services.

    SugarCRM Announces its 2017 Class of Elite Partners

    Elite Status, the Highest Tier in the SugarCRM Channel Partner Program, Is Awarded to the Most Successful Partners Around the World

    CUPERTINO, CA – March 15, 2017 – SugarCRM Inc., the company that enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most empowering, adaptable and affordable CRM solution on the market, announced today that 18 of its worldwide channel partners have achieved Elite Partner status for 2017.

    Elite status is determined by meeting product competency requirements, joint sales execution and driving new Sugar business during the preceding fiscal year. This year’s class represents 13 different countries.

    “Our Elite partners are true CRM solution providers that are deeply involved in helping organizations utilize Sugar to provide a superior customer experience to separate themselves from the competition,” said Patrick Pahl, vice president of strategic alliances and partner operations at SugarCRM. “I’d like to thank and congratulate all the organizations that have achieved Elite-level status for 2017. Our Elite Partners delivered an impressive 27 percent year-to-year increase in annually recurring new subscription revenue last year, added more than 350 new SugarCRM customers and increased the average new sale by 27 percent.”

    SugarCRM’s 2017 Elite Partners are:

    Acuity crm (Netherlands)
    BrainSell Technologies (USA)
    DRI-Nordic (Denmark & Germany)
    Enable Technologies LTD (United Kingdom)
    Faye Business Systems Group, Inc. (USA)
    eVolpe Consulting (Poland)
    iNet Process (France & USA)
    Insignio CRM GmbH (Germany)
    iZeno Pte Ltd (Singapore)
    Levementum, LLC (USA)
    OpenSymbol (Italy)
    Provident CRM (Ireland & United Kingdom)
    REDK (Spain & United Kingdom)
    Squiz (Australia & United Kingdom)
    Sugar Factory s.r.o. (Czech Republic)
    Synolia (France)
    Technology Advisors Inc. (USA)
    W-Systems Corp. (USA)

    SugarCRM has built a unique channel program of CRM experts with more than 200 channel partners in more than 30 countries. As a pure-play CRM vendor with an unconventional approach, SugarCRM offers a different kind of CRM application that helps our customers set themselves apart from the competition. The company’s core group of partners are CRM mavericks that help extend the value of the Sugar platform for customers by providing strategic CRM consulting, tailored solutions that complement Sugar, techniques for CRM best practices, and flexible implementation and integration services.

    ABOUT SUGARCRM

    SugarCRM enables businesses to create extraordinary customer relationships with the most innovative, flexible and affordable CRM solution on the market. Unlike traditional CRM solutions that focus primarily on management and reporting, Sugar empowers the individual, coordinating the actions of customer-facing employees and equipping them with the right information at the right time to transform the customer experience. Sugar pricing is simple and affordable, so it can deploy it to all customer-facing employees, and know what it’s going to cost. Recognized by leading industry analysts as a CRM visionary and innovator, Sugar is used by more than 1.5 million individuals in over 120 countries. To learn more visit SugarCRM or follow @SugarCRM.

    A LITTLE BIT ABOUT PROVIDENT CRM

    Provident CRM is a global CRM consultancy specialising in Sugar, business process improvement tools and systems integrations. We are among the top SugarCRM Partners worldwide holding the coveted Elite Partner status. With offices across the UK and Ireland we have shared our experience and knowledge with organisations in both the public and private sectors. Partnering with our Customers, we focus on delivering value, sustainability, efficiencies and productivity.

    We have already helped hundreds of organisations to deploy Sugar, assisting in change management and user adoption. We are looking forward to partnering with you, discussing your implementation and helping to realise your vision for unparalleled customer experience.

    Article author – SUGARCRM – Article source – Sugarcrm.com

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    Customer Experience in 2017

    Well, 2016 will be a tough act to follow. With all the twists and turns of a Hollywood blockbuster, it was a year no-one is going to forget in a hurry!

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    But let’s not dwell on the past. At this time of year it’s de rigueur to roll out the dusty crystal ball and predict what the coming weeks and months will bring. What’s going to change? What will remain the same? Who will be the heroes? Who will be the villains?

    I work in Silicon Valley, so please excuse my bias, but what I’m most excited about this year is seeing how the tech industry will change and continue to enhance the customer experience. The last few years have seen the rise of the Empowered Customer, and 2016 continued to blaze a trail for the informed, powerful customer with endless choice at their fingertips.

    Prioritising the customer experience has moved from a ‘nice to have’ to an essential component of business’ strategy. When research by Gartner reveals that 89% of organisations now expect to compete solely on this, you know you need to take it seriously.

    “The modern work environment has broken free of desks, buildings and commutes. The flexibility that smart phones, tablets, laptops and, of course, ubiquitous connectivity offer means employees can now work anywhere, at any time.”Larry Augustin, CEO of SugarCRM

    So, looking ahead, what’s going to be new this year? Whatever you may have heard, 2017 is not going to be the year when AI (Artificial Intelligence) completely revolutionises customer experience and management. There. I’ve said it.

    While some tech companies have been loudly talking up the AI capabilities within their Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, there’s a danger that people are getting ahead of themselves. That’s not to say that AI isn’t coming; it is and soon, maybe even as a little as a year down the line, AI within CRM is going to be something to get very excited about.

    And that’s the reason why AI grabs the headlines: it’s an exciting area. But tech is nothing if it has no purpose. At the heart of all customer-facing businesses is (or should be) the customer. The question should always be asked: how can we use technology to make people’s everyday lives quicker, more efficient, and streamlined?

    At SugarCRM, we’re investing big in AI technology and you can bet that when we launch this new offering we’re going to be shouting as loudly as anybody about the huge leap forward that it will be.

    Predictive analytics is another area which we’ll see increasingly come to the forefront this year. It will give sophistication to systems that will feel both innovative and entirely logical. CRM will no longer be about data entry and simple deal tracking; instead companies will be able to anticipate customer trends with increased accuracy by finding patterns in the vast sea of customer data they are now collecting. As a result, this will in turn give a huge opportunity for businesses to give better service. And that’s what it’s all about.

    Imagine a system that tracks communication patterns between a company and its customers, segmenting those customers by personality types, and suggests the time of day and the tone of message to send to each individual customer. Even better, imagine a customer sending a complaint to your company’s billing department and the system alerts the appropriate sales rep with the right email already written and staged for sending out. This level of highly personalised service is what predictive analytics will bring to the customer experience in the future.

    ORIGINAL ARTICLE CAN BE VIEWED AT huffingtonpost.com — Larry Augustin, Chief Executive Officer, SugarCRM