Implementing SugarCRM for Australia's premiere business network


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The Trans-Tasman Business Circle, Australasia’s premier business network, realized it was spending more time on administration than sales and client relationships. It chose to integrate CRM into every business process and by doing so, slashed operating costs, improved performance and changed its focus from operations to sales and from internal issues to customer delivery. Join Erica Vorsay for a look (including the highs and lows) at a project that revolutionized her business.

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  • Founded in 1993Our Mantra:Face to face networking – which ironically needs a strong electronic customer relationship management system to be effective2 x product sets: Subscription, EventsSubscription (membership) ranked by spend “Coach, Business Class, First Class” which translates into the degree of direct networking assistance provided by account managers. Coach gets you onto the plane, First Class gets you a meal, wine and limo connection.2nd product:Events used to deliver many customer benefitsRange of events from boardroom to ballroom, 25 to 1000 guestsSpeakers are Australia & New Zealand’s leading CEOs, CFOs, CIOs, Chairs and sporting legendsCont. the airline analogy, Coach gets you into the event (most of which are limited to Subscribers), First Class gives you a seat next to your target and an introduction to the speaker.
  • Ops team includes meNote that any staff member at account is considered a member.Also in addition, we have a number of clients who don’t purchase Subscription but attend the few high-profile events that are open each year. This brings the number of contacts up to about 15 000
  • Punch above our weight, relationships at senior management levelNon-exclusive, we welcome competitors
  • Operations includes: IT, Finance, HR, non-sales data entry
  • 6 separate systems holding dataACT databaseM.Y.O.B. (Mind Your Own Business)Adobe Illustrator Graphic design packageEvents Plus event management product (managed bookings, attendees details and speaker management)Website database – unique database of user names and passwords3rd party email distributorOverall drawbacksThe same customer data was manually entered into ACT, the website database, M.Y.O.B and the event management softwareAll data was stored on 2 local servers in Sydney and Auckland office so we relied on our small business technology reliability, speed and security.Accessing the data externally was slow for Melbourne, Canberra and Wellington contacts and on the road, slow speeds made it near impossibleACTACT database was shared between all offices but synchronised at midnight so never completely alike with a danger of edits to the same record occurring on the same day.The database was difficult to customise without using an external providerThe database wasn’t a relationship database [define?] so we couldn’t create relationships between related companies in Australia and New Zealand or between accounts and contacts. E.g. for every contact at a client company, the address had to be manually entered, along with their membership statusIt wasn’t a sales system so we were unable to track opportunities across accounts, only individuals. No view of sales by account or sales performanceM.Y.O.BSeparate database again. There was no automated import of accounting information from the website to M.Y.O.B so all sales had to be entered manuallyDifficult to track sales by an account, only by individualsSales team didn’t have access to M.Y.O.B so didn’t have a live view of sales performance or debtorsGraphic Design softwareRequired specific skills to use. Small business so only 1 person to do the job.All our marketing material, particularly relating to the events calendar, needed constant updating and was never up to date.Documents were stored on the Australian server and couldn’t be accessed by New Zealand so we had issues with versionmanagementEvents management softwareEvery event attendee had to be entered manually even tho many of them were already on our database – huge amounts of data entryThere was no relationship (except by additional data entry) between hosts, guests, bookings and paymentsDespite events being the source of the majority of new customers and leads, moving the list of guests back into the CRM database was a lengthy manual operation.WebsiteUsed it’s own database to distinguish members from non-membersDidn’t retain customer info so customers needed to re-enter their info each time they made a purchaseAll the content was individually entered on static pages including our calendar of events and lists of members even tho that data was held in two other systemsBooking information was received in a format that suited the Event Management software, not the CRMWe would only have a view of event sales when the events team got round to reviewing the emails for each event3rd party email systemSoftware recorded bounce backs and click thrus by item but we couldn’t import that info into our database. Everything had to be handled manually.
  • 2006 reached tipping point. Had same number of administrators as sales people and spent more work hours on admin than sales or account management.No way of tracking sales by account or sales by salesperson. In fact no sales tracking system at all. Salespeople would communicate verbally ad hoc and often sales team were selling the same product to different customers simultaneously.Maintenance of the 6 systems required 6 support licences and separate consultants, none of whom could easily integrate their product into the other (and sometimes meant we needed another consultant again)
  • We were tracking sales thru our website and manually recording the data in different systems. Online bookings were manually handled and re-entered.
  • Decided to keep our accounting separate. This required a degree of specialisation that no system could replicate e.g. tax and payroll. Also data needed to be provided to external accountants so needed to use software they were familiar with.
  • Choice of systems to review:Small business, no advice. IT support consulted but little experience so I googled!Wanted a major brand, with an “out of the box” solution that needed minimum modification to work for our businessSolution could be supported by multiple providers in either Australia or New ZealandACT current provider and we believed an upgrade would cause least disruption to team. Also, prior investment in the system would make it a low cost option potentiallyBoth Salesforce and Sugar were: SAAS model which appealed to us from a capex perspectiveCloud based met mobility, security and storage issues, live updates
  • Comment on Insightful’s ability to understand our business and translate it to their product.
  • Time creep – 6 months became 18Scope creep – as we got more excited by the project (and time went on) we added new features and complexity. Be wary!Budget issues – project was on an hourly basis. I lost control of the timetable and costs blew out. Remember that delays cost too.Bad customer – I was a 1 person project team, trying to juggle with other tasks. Missed deadlines by me, meant programmers were reassigned¾ way thru Jeremy gave me the call. Not ASP, use Joomla! Expensive mistake – Project 2, 2010/11. Project 2
  • InsightfulCRM developed new Sugar modules for us to manage events, bookings and acounting.On this webpage advertising our next event, the following data is coming from our Sugar database:All information between the red lines at the top – Events moduleThe event description below the red line – Events moduleOur speaker’s photo, name, job title and company name – Contacts moduleThe name of the event Partner PWC and their logo – Opportunities and Accounts modulesOn the bottom left, my log in details and my Subscriber status- which also provides me with a discounted ticket when I make a booking. – Contacts moduleIn addition this data appears on our calendar webpage, PDF calendar and the system generates an up to the minute PDF guest list as well as various event management reports
  • All data on this page is automatically uploaded from Sugar. Formatting is determined by the template.
  • LEAD FROM THE TOP. IF THE BOSS, DOES it, SO WILL EVERYONE ELSETraining – 2 hour online training by Insightful, rest handled in-house by meMove to a sales culture:View of sales process changes. We learnt from the Sugar process: Target, Lead, Opportunity, ClosingMeasurement of sales performance now detailed and personalSales team resistance to: doing data entry, partic of opportunities and Maintaining history of client communicationNB there was no resistance to personal performance managementResistance to data entry resolved with the use of tailored reports (they loved a coloured graph) and workflow alerts which communicated to the rest of the team immediately and acted as “place holders” – no more double ups of offers. Sales figures are open to all so positive competitionMany of the team had to change the way they did their job. Inevitably there was resistance to this and attempts to run their job the old way. The only way to tackle this is 1. communication – everyone needs to understand the “why”, 2. proving the system works better than the old one, 3. TrainingCustomer feedback was largely positive but the change over was not 100% smooth. Some customers refused to use the system so we introduced a “manual handling fee”. However this was applied judicially and over 3 months we moved over 90% of customers to the new system.
  • After 2 years happy use, we were getting frustrated with inability to upgrade to newest versions of Sugar. Stuck on 4.5.1, Sugar at 6.0.Also content management system not as easy to manage as we would like. Some areas still needed support from Insightful and we were both keen to make us independentSite hosted on Insightful servers which meant our website could go offline at same time Sugar. We needed to mitigate this risk by hosting elsewhereSo, remembering all the lessons of Project 1, I managed to make the same mistakes again ….Team of 1, not taken offline to manage the projectBudget creep based on “unknown” factorsAsked Insightful to manage the Joomla! Work when it would have been better handled by a separate consultant (now found for future work!)Biggest mistake – I moved the team to the new Sugar system too early so for 3 months we were duplicating data for the benefit of the website which was still running off old Sugar.
  • Review of project objectives: (separate slide?)Elimination of data duplication – all systems driven from single source of data. Sharing of data between CRM and 2 x external systems automatedSHOW GAINS TO 2010 THEN DESCRIBE FACTORS IMPEDING GROWTH IN 2012
  • Integration risks:If sugar server down, website only half populated. Internal needs prioritised over client needsYou can only stretch the system so far. Unable to meet some customer requirements e.g. multiple contact records or separate invoicing account details vs nametag (this is only occasional). Online booking system needs re-engineering. Could not meet in Project 2 budgetSugar issuesEmail module is a constant source of frustration for team ($50 bet on the whiteboard – lead from the top, workarounds with Outlook plug in but not available for Mac users)Despite investment, we cannot upgrade to latest version of Sugar. Combination of issues with needs for our modifications and issues with latest version of SugarCampaigns module – we tried to use but found an external, specialist email provider gives us lower spam rates and more detailed data. We do use it for other non-email campaigns
  • Client self-serviceReplicate on specialist website
  • Implementing SugarCRM for Australia's premiere business network

    1. 1. TRACK NAME Presentation TitleEvaluating, Selecting and Deployingthe Right CRM Solution:How Australasia’s premier businessnetwork gained control of customer data
    2. 2. Erica Vorsay Chief Operating OfficerTrans – Tasman Business 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 2
    3. 3. Background The premier executive network for Australia and New Zealand Networks – connecting our clients to business and government leaders Knowledge – off-the-record insights from high-profile speakers Branding – for individuals and organizationsTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 3
    4. 4. Our business Operate in 7 locations across Australia & New Zealand 17 staff, 10 in Australia and 7 in New Zealand 8 x Sales & Account Management 4 x Events 3 x Operations 2 x Management 250 client accounts (10 000 contacts approx)Tweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 4
    5. 5. Our CustomersAirlinesTelcoFinancial ServicesAccountingITBankingGovernmentTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 5
    6. 6. Our business 175 events projected for 2012 All operations are centralized and managed from Sydney Our major assets are Our people Our databaseTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 6
    7. 7. Our pre-Sugar worldData held on 6 separate systems Internal External ACT! MYOB Website crm accounting ADOBE EVENTS 3rd party graphic PLUS email design event mgmt distributorTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 7
    8. 8. Project drivers1. Productivity drain caused by duplication of data2. Lack of visibility of data to team3. High cost of maintenance and upgradesTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 8
    9. 9. Project Objectives1. Eliminate duplication of data2. Have our updated data available in real time3. Integrate website and database4. Encourage customers to do their own data entry5. Reduce administrationTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 9
    10. 10. Objectives cont.6. Provide sales team with mobility7. Overcome small business technology challenges – security, reliability and speed8. Improvements and customization done in-house9. ScalableTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 10
    11. 11. Choosing a CRM Reviewed 3 systems ACT! Salesforce Sugar Primary qualifiers: Would work out of the box Supported widely Met the majority of our project objectivesTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 11
    12. 12. Why Sugar? In 2006: ACT! was not web-based and required nightly syncs for multiple sites Salesforce could not be integrated into our website Sugar: Met all our criteria Sugar development and ongoing support provided by local reseller InsightfulcrmTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 12
    13. 13. No project ever goes smoothly …. Project creep: Time Scope Budget Being a bad customer The message I didn’t want to hear …Tweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 13
    14. 14. How it worksTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 14
    15. 15. Another website viewTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 15
    16. 16. Managing change Internal Lead from the top Training, training, training Test with the team Role changes External Communication before, support after Culture shift Moving to a sales cultureTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 16
    17. 17. Project 2 – 2010/11 Future proofing project Better in-house management of website Ability to upgrade Sugar as new versions released Separation of website and database hosting High cost, little direct impact on productivityTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 17
    18. 18. Key resultsProductivity 2006 2012New Subscriber processing 2 days 30 minutesAdding new events 2 days 5 minutesProcessing bookings 1 day 0 minutes (automated)Events per annum 65 175Tweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 18
    19. 19. Key resultsSystems 2006 2012Systems holding data 6 3Systems & Duplicated in Australia Centralized in AustraliaAdministration and New Zealand and made uniformStaff ratios 2006 2012Sales & Account Mgmt 3 (25%) 8 (47%)Events 4 (33%) 4 (24%)Operations 3 (25%) 3 (18%)Management 2 (17%) 2 (11%)Tweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 19
    20. 20. Improvement points High degree of integration heightens risks Internal needs prioritized over client needs Email and campaign module weaknesses Unable to upgrade to latest Sugar version yetTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 20
    21. 21. What next? Project 3? 360 view of client objectives Automated lead qualification Social media integrationTweet: #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 21
    22. 22. Submit Session Feedback Select the SugarCon Mobile App: 1) Tap on this session 2) Tap on survey 3) Submit your feedback*Prizes for attendees who submit session feedback using the Mobile App 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 22
    23. 23. #SCON12 6/10/2012 ©2012 SugarCRM Inc. All rights reserved. 23