Let the Platform Do the Work, SugarCRM CEO Says at Connected 2021 Event

Too many CRM solutions are not producing as promised, driving costs rather than revenue, Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM, told the virtual audience at the Sugar Connected 2021 virtual conference Wednesday.

In a SugarCRM survey of 2,000 sales execs to gauge their biggest pain points, 52 percent cited the cost-revenue issue, while half said that they couldn't access customer data across silos of sales, marketing, and service. A third said their data was incomplete.

"We believe firmly that it's time to work smarter, not harder," Charlton said. "It's time for change. Customers of other CRM applications just need to figure out what makes Sugar so unique."

The difference is letting the platform do the work, according to Charlton. "It's a tagline, but it's far more than that. For too long, CRM systems, put the onus on the individual to do all the work. And that doesn't make any sense. It's not how technology is made. Our mission is to always find ways that we can minimize the efforts, letting the platform do the work. This is our North Star."

Charlton added: "Let the platform score the leads. It's all automated now with Sugar Predict. Let the platform identify risk accounts; let the platform tell you about accounts that are potentially going to be leaving your business and evaluating competitors before you even get any other glimmer about that. Let the platform tell you when to call the customer. Let the platform spot the cross-selling opportunity. Let the platform run the campaign. Let the platform route and escalate inbound cases within your service team. Let the platform approve the quotes rather than having to go back to an individual over time. Let the platform create the forecasts. Let the platform determine the potential and likelihood of individual opportunities being won or lost. Let the platform tell you what the customer will do next."

SugarCRM offers a dedicated adoption team to help determine ways to derive the most value out of the Sugar platform, Charlton said."We're building a business case tool in conjunction with an external third party to help you create an ROI business case."

A tiered support system will be coming, Charlton said.

Charlton also discussed Sugar's acquisitions during the last year, which he said, enables Sugar customers to leverage artificial intelligence and other CRM-related technologies via Sugar at a lower cost than by purchasing these technologies separately.

Among the deals, Sugar acquired W-Systems, a CRM and marketing automation solutions and services provider, last November, and Node, a provider of artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, in August;

Sugar also expanded its partner ecosystem in the past 12 months, enabling Sugar to get the Sugar name and brand out to more businesses, "which is good for everyone," Charlton added. "We've listened to you and we've created a specialized team, which is 100 percent focused on driving adoption and helping our customers achieve their highest possible use of Sugar.

"I believe it's a really exciting time to be a customer. We continue to push the product forward every single day to meet your sales, marketing, and customer services business requirements. It';s all about letting the platform do the work."

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