SugarCRM today announced a strategic partnership with TrustSphere to integrate the vendor’s Relationship Analytics technology more tightly into the SugarCRM platform, with the goal of helping businesses boost sales, reduce churn rates, and speed up employee training processes. The signed agreement makes SugarCRM the chief reseller of TrustSphere’s offering, which has been developed specially for SugarCRM.
According to Dax Farhang, senior director of product marketing at SugarCRM, TrustSphere’s Relationship Analytics technology serves to augment the data companies routinely store in their CRM system—on contacts, accounts, and leads—with the activity and interaction patterns revealed through their network's history of email interactions.
"If I'm a sales rep, I typically log in to the CRM system to put in information that I already know," including notes pertaining to the size of an opportunity or its expected close date, Farhang explains. But such information is usually entered for the sake of the managers who need it for reviewing purposes. The telling aspects of a sales rep's interactions with the client, Farhang argues, are often uncovered by what is accomplished through the phone or over email. "The benefit here is that we've integrated the traditional information already stored inside Sugar with all of that rich activity that's occurring inside the email, or outside the CRM."
One advantage of this to sales professionals is that they can "hone in their focus on those individuals who reflect actual business," Farhang says. The solution can derive for users an understanding of the prospects who are responding to notes, and show them when interaction rates are increasing—"indicators of a realistic opportunity." Similarly, sales teams can use such signals to better avoid customer churn, as they can keep tabs on the relationships that are declining over time.
Another advantage of the approach is that reps who are new to an organization can draw on account insights to quickly distinguish and prioritize leads, rather than waste time on those that have lower potential. The system also gives sellers the opportunity to collaborate on deals. With access to message frequency data, users can reach out to coworkers who have already built relationships with some of the contacts in an account they're trying to close.
TrustSphere was the natural choice for making this all happen, as the company has made heavy investments in integrating its product with SugarCRM, Farhang says. "Our customer base, our sales organization, [and] our partners have all gravitated toward the TrustSphere technology," Farhang says. "It went from being a top reference within our ecosystem to a standard [offering] that we wanted to include at every single customer engagement."
The add-on is available for $20 per user a month and integrates with popular email systems such as Microsoft Exchange, Office 365, Lotus Domino, and Gmail for Business. It tends to resonate with large, complex companies, whose sales cycles tend to be long, and involve multiple handoffs between departments.
Moving ahead, SugarCRM will have an influence on the shaping of TrustSphere's products and direction. "We now have an extension of our R&D arm," Farhang says. "We can give [TrustSphere] additional requirements and they can build bigger and better technology."