Open source strategy of SugarCRM has created an enduring mark on the way CRM is being delivered across the globe. It offers incredible opportunities for businesses by providing them unprecedented agility and flexibility. As with any CRM, Sugar needs to extended to meet the evolving organizational requirements. Its inherent capability of allowing rapid customization and integration is a key to its growing ecosystem of SugarCRM partners and developers.
Whereas SugarCRM plug-ins are quick fixes to your immediate requirements, solutions on top of SugarCRM are more comprehensive and robust. This article is about the later and comes from our experience in this field spanning nearly five years. We sincerely hope that you find the same engrossing.
Top 5 must have solution on top of SugarCRM
Before we jump to the solutions, I want to make it sure these are not specific to any specific business volumes. We have had customers with small team ranging from 3-5 business users to 100+ end users. So it truly depends on how relevant you find it in your business context.
#1 Order Management System
Ordering is very closely associated with customer management systems. It is actually an outcome of a closed opportunity. Ideally the Order to Cash cycle should lie in an ERP solution. However primarily due to the following two reasons, organization may want to have this process in CRM as well.
- They don’t have a ERP system
- The ERP system has a thick client and is not accessible over web and hence over geographical regions and user locations.
The businesses are bound to benefit excessively from this system. The inter-dependent business processes are automatically triggered with the help of a pre-assigned master data. The Order Management Solution on SugarCRM mainly comprises of Contracts, Orders, Shipments and Invoices.
Order to cash transactions and ERP integration are some of the key features of this add-on. Instead of integrating API’s it is more profitable for SME’s to clout a single system as they are bound on the investment side. This helps you to get an enterprise level solution is an effective low cost.
#2 Responsive Theme converter SugarCRM
There has been a long debate regarding the usability of a SugarCRM mobile application and a responsive theme. The former has higher costs and time to market associated with it if you are not using the costlier Enterprise edition.
There are many perils to using the mobile application, some of which are listed below.
- Limited ability to create data using mobile.
- Not platform independent.
- Longer time to develop and access custom fields/modules.
- Higher cost of ownership.
- Longer time to market.
The latter is more economic and versatile option which supports custom modules as well. There is no doubt that SugarCRM responsive theme is very useful for SME’s as well with big enterprises that spend huge amounts on their CRM but are still stuck when it comes to better user adoption due to mobility.
#3 Territory Management System
For enterprises that have huge sales force backing them, it is very important to keep track of their daily activities and performances. Their territories are generally decided based on division geographical / catchment areas. Moreover sales hierarchies are in place and the reporting structure can be multi-level. Organization may want to restrict the access of information based on combination of territories and hierarchy. This is where this solution fits in.
This SugarCRM Territory Management System analytically previews the multi-dimensional sales territory and allows transparency and exhaustive control over the sales team. Authorization of data, which is generally time taking is automated and can be designated to selective users.
#4 Help Desk Management
Imagine the troubles when a customer raises an issue and is not resolved ever. Enterprises need a well customized and automated application that can follow up on the client complaints and resolve them eventually.
SugarCRM Helpdesk is one such application that can prove very profitable for SME’s. You just have to set rules and priorities, assign teams and team members related to different field of work and you will never leave a complaint unattended. This app has a unique feature that allows you to assign SLA’s (Service Level Agreements) and SLA rules which can be for both tangible and intangible resources. The logic of SLA’s is very interesting and allows complete control over the working hours with integrated holiday lists. Tickets can be automatically generated from customer emails or you can manually create a ticket for customers complaining on phone. Sugar users can very well identify themselves with the usability of this application.
Helpdesk has a huge potential and is being used in different forms in different domains. This can help revolutionize the way we look at Customer Relationship Management.
#5 ERP Integration
Integrating your back end ERP with your CRM is a new practice that is getting very popular with SME’s as well as big enterprises.
Integration between ERP and CRM is real time and can be easily accessed by both ends. In the back end ERP you can integrate leads, contacts, orders etc and on the front end CRM side you can integrate pricebooks, changes in prices, billing/shipping address etc in real time. SugarCRM can be integrated with most complex ERP systems like SAP.
Proven and robust solution helps businesses overcome specific challenges. The above mentioned gaps in system could be the reason why your SugarCRM implementation is not yielding desired results. It may be time to invest on the solution which makes sense in your business context. Got any ideas or comments? We would love to hear back from you.