Jul 10, 2021 5 min read
How CRM strategy and the SugarCRM Suite of Offerings Can Lead to Organizational Transformation
Move beyond tactics and into strategic business solutions using SugarCRM
Senior Business Solutions Consultant
I’m part of a SaaS Solution delivery team that implements the SugarCRM suite of offerings at Highland. One might think that this job is made up of tactics — gathering requirements, designing and configuring the solution, testing, and finally launching the platform. This is true.
However, we’re not just fixed on the nuts and bolts of the platform. What also happens along the way is that we find ourselves in conversations that lead our clients to change the way they collaborate both internally and externally with prospects and clients.
Delivering a well-functioning CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution requires designing for the big picture of your organization. This includes designing for the strategy and structure for each team, each department, and cross-departmental communication.
Designing a Great CRM Through Collaboration
Companies often struggle for years before making the decision to implement a CRM solution. They could be working without a CRM, limping along with out-of-date solutions, or navigating disparate platforms brought in through company acquisitions.
In order for a CRM implementation to solve these problems, you need input from major stakeholders from across the organization – ideally, representatives from various departments or business units who can act as subject matter experts for their respective areas.
It can be difficult for companies to organize a meeting like this on their own, which is where our expertise comes in. When we facilitate meetings, we ask “how” questions, which often bring us to the “why,” as well. Our discussions also expose other CRM system needs, which can be tangential to original project requirements and just as critical for a company’s success.
A few examples include:
When building a Leads module, sometimes we learn no one really knows what classifies as a Lead or when a new contact qualifies as a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead). This sparks important conversations for sales teams about how they define success.
When closing an opportunity, many subsequent tasks should trigger for other departments involved in the sales process. Yet, sometimes we learn a critical business unit wasn't considered in this process. This invites us to talk about how effectively teams are collaborating and sharing knowledge.
Sometimes a process works great for one department but doesn’t work for another. This leads to a conversation about business process efficiency and consistency across the organization.
By breaking down silos between departments, we can gain a global view of the business and solve problems more strategically, while finding ongoing ways to increase communication and collaboration in real-time.
CRM Integration & Configuration
Once we learn the ins and outs of your business, we then assess how your new CRM strategy integrates with other business applications (like Gmail, Mailchimp, and Microsoft Office) and begin to custom-configure SugarCRM to your new CRM requirements. As way of example, this is what a SugarCRM integration and implementation project looks like across different use cases:
Marketing automation: Marketing teams can benefit from Sugar's marketing automation platform that is natively integrated with the Sugar Sell CRM platform. In working with marketing teams, we often standardize workflow processes and design Sugar Market to align with the unique way that the organization works. From creating campaign templates to multi-level dashboards, we enable teams to streamline and measure marketing tasks and ROI, further increasing operational efficiency and helping them grow more revenue for the company.
Sales automation: Sales teams can benefit from integrating Sugar Sell with ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning), ecommerce, or CPQ (Configure Price Quote) platforms. We custom configure Sugar Sell to function exactly as you need the tool to work for your sales operations. In working with sales teams, we're able to elevate critical data analytics and accelerate sales pipeline activities to enable them to more effectively turn leads into sales.
Customer service management: Introducing the Sugar Serve platform provides the functionality required for Customer Support teams and results in a true 360 degree view of a client. There is also the option to incorporate chat, email, and telephony integration. Our goal is to design Sugar with specific functionality that allows you to increase and maintain strong customer experiences.
None of this success is possible without our initial collaboration on strategic business solutions. Our process consists of gaining intricate knowledge of your organization and team needs, recommending a strategy and workflow approach and finally, Sugar integration, design, and configuration.
Launch business transformation
Designing and implementing a new CRM is always going to be a heavy lift. It is a process that reveals many important and difficult conversations, all of which take time and can force business leaders and teams out of their comfort zones. As a strategic partner to our clients, it’s our job to help you manage the change that inevitably comes as a part of this process.
By collaborating with a great partner, you can end up with much more than a technology solution at the end of your CRM implementation project: you'll get a better understanding of your own organization’s inbound/outbound processes and critical workflows, as well as a scaled business operations.