SugarCon 2017: Act-On Software Announces Act-On for Sugar bundle

SAN FRANCISCO — On day two of SugarCon, longtime Sugar partner Act-On Software announced its Act-On for Sugar bundle, and a variety of speakers offered different perspectives on how technology can be harnessed to build relationships, including Billy Beane of the Oakland A’s, subject of the book and movie Moneyball.

The Act-On for Sugar bundle, which is available now, is designed to complement Sugar and aims to help sales and marketing work together to deliver smarter customer engagements. More specifically, Act-On for Sugar includes a native CRM integration and access to Act-On’s Engagement Insights analytics reporting tool.

“This is two companies that have been working together with customers for a decade—we have 500 joint customers and we finally said, ‘You know what, we should actually get together and put a bundle out in the market that highlights this partnership,’” Andy MacMillan, CEO of Act-On Software, said of the bundle during the afternoon keynote. “It’s no longer a start-stop process: Marketing doesn’t stop one moment and sales start the next—we’re in it together, and I think this strategic partnership highlights that.”

Beane, executive vice president of baseball operations for the Oakland A’s—who was portrayed by Brad Pitt in the Oscar-nominated movie—discussed his then-controversial statistics-based approach to choosing players.

“Any 15-year-old could have done the same thing had they read [sports statisticians] Bill James and Pete Palmer, but because our business was so insulated in the way we hired and the way we did things, nobody was willing to try it. None of that was stuff that we invented—we took these ideas and implemented them,” Beane said during the morning keynote. “What was the book about, what was the movie about? It was the mispricing of baseball players. We had a small payroll…so we had to make sure that whatever skill we invested in we were getting the most return on our dollar.

“What was interesting too was the pushback: Most people’s default position isn’t to be quantitative; most of us are emotional…and sports is emotional. When you implement a quantitative decision-making process, as soon as the first time it doesn’t work [happens], the naysayers go, ‘Well, I told you that numbers garbage doesn’t work,’ and they go back to intuition,” he adds. “We thought it would have been foolish not to implement facts as opposed to going with our gut feeling.”

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