Workshop

A Look Back at the 2018 Chicago SugarCRM Workshop

If you weren’t lucky enough to attend this year’s SugarCRM Workshop, you missed a hefty amount of valuable information. You may ask yourself, “What is the SugarCRM Workshop and why is it important to sign up for next year?” It is a three-day educational workshop for SugarCRM users of all skill levels. Here is a brief overview of what happened during this year’s workshop.

Day One: Customer Meetings

The first day was geared towards our customers, allowing them to have 1-on-1 meetings with their TAI Customer Success Manager, developers, trainers, and even our CEO. In these meetings, the customers conferred on any topic they needed help with or wanted to enhance their knowledge on. This gave customers the opportunity to address specific issues with personalized attention. 

Day Two: The Workshop Event

The second day was the Workshop event. In the past, the event was held at the Park Ridge Country Club,  but this year’s was hosted at the Technology Advisors offices to deliver a more intimate Workshop experience for our guests. Day two delivered a plethora of information on an array of topics pertaining to CRM, marketing, sales, and services. Each session provided a unique value, and guests were given the opportunity to choose which sessions to attend based on their interests.

Sugar’s New Releases

To start off the day, Megan Sheehan, our SugarCRM expert, presented the newest release of Sugar and what to expect in the upcoming months. Some of the new features of Sugar include Drill-through charts, shareable dashboards, and a Product Catalog Dashlet for quoting.

GDPR New Standards

Attendees learned that even if you aren’t directly doing business with an EU company, you must be familiar with the new EU GDPR standards. Our CEO, Sam Biardo, focused on the areas companies should be aware of, how they can prepare, and how to use Sugar for compliance. There are five key elements you must consider to prepare for the new standards. These include: doing a data audit, developing a policy, removing non- critical information from your CRM, informing and receiving consent, and monitoring your documents’ consent/lawful usage.

Account Based Marketing

Act-On Marketing Automation provided insights and suggested various execution strategies for account based marketing. Attendees learned why account based marketing is overtaking traditional marketing strategies and how they can institute it in their business. There are 5 components to maintaining your account based marketing program to keep it focused, practical, and profitable.
1. Time and attention are your most valuable assets.
2. Sales, marketing, and customer success are all equal partners.
3. Use the tools you already have.
4. Use marketing automation to personalize account based marketing and content strategy.
5.Get some quick, easy wins with your existing customer database.

The New User Interface

3CLogic Computer Telephony showed SugarCRM Workshop attendees that voice is the new user interface. We have now transitioned into a society that heavily depends on and expects a powerful voice system because of products like Amazon Alexa, and OK Google. Communicating with customers via telephone will have to change to encompass all of that, and more.

Relationship Selling

Collabspot put a spotlight on relationship selling. What is relationship selling? Instead of highlighting features of a product or negotiating the cost, you build a relationship with your customer. This helps you gain trust and in the long run helps you gain sales. There are three adaptations you should make if you want to institute relationship selling. Adaptation #1 – map and understand your current relationships. Adaptation #2 – understand the context. Adaptation #3 – manage your relationships and continuously engage.

Automating Documents

Automating your document creation can save you time and create uniformity. When teams must send out large quantities of quotes or invoices, it’s much faster to simply pull from a templated version and insert the information right from SugarCRM into the document then having the tedious task of doing it manually. Marketing can customize the branding so every employee’s outgoing documents follow suit. XpertDoc users are capable of instantly attaching documentation, so they will not forget critical addendum items. Since XpertDoc works with eSignature solutions too, users can get signatures and close deals faster.

The Benefits of Integration

Technology Advisors CEO, Sam Biardo, presented on the power of CRM integration. Sam showed the attendees how integration boosts their CRM ROI by a staggering amount – more than 1000%! Sam addressed the uses of integrating Sugar with social media, marketing automation, document automation products, cloud telephony, and ERP. He also went over tips for successful integrations. Some of these tips included: cleaning your data, performing detailed data mapping, and defining your change management procedures.

The End of the Second Day

The last presentation was from SugarCRM representative, Rosaalie Shah, who took us through the product roadmap. Rosaalie answered any questions from attendees regarding upcoming features as well as the company’s plans going forward. After her presentation, a cocktail hour began. This opened up a networking opportunity among attendees and allowed everyone toconverse on the outcomes of the day.

Day Three: Training

The third day of the SugarCRM Workshop was all training oriented. Our certified SugarCRM trainers, Megan Sheehan and Justin Kuehlthau, taught participants everything from the basics of Reports and Dashboards to the more complex aspects of Advanced Workflow. The courses varied in difficulty to give users of all levels a chance to learn. Training on Advanced Studio customizations, search configurations, and Advanced Reporting rounded out the day-long educational event. These training experiences are always a customer favorite because they give users the rare opportunity to benefit from courses that would otherwise cost them thousands of dollars.

The 2018 Chicago SugarCRM Workshop continued its tradition of providing worthwhile education through timely topics and unparalleled training. For a visual recap of this year’s event, watch this short video. Stay tuned for details on next year’s Chicago SugarCRM Workshop!

Michael John Siwek
Marketing Intern

Michael John is a Marketing Intern for Technology Advisors Inc. He helps with the creation of blog posts, marketing campaigns, running social media, and website tasks. He is expecting to graduate Illinois State University in May of 2019. His interests include sports, unusual skills, nature and puns.