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How Kelly-Moore Paints Made the Leap to SugarCRM to Fuel Innovation and Business Transformation

The race to differentiate the customer experience has many organizations looking to re-platform their customer relationship management (CRM) systems. 

This was the case with Kelly-Moore Paints. Shrugging off its existing CRM provider, the paint company made the move to SugarCRM. Today, Kelly-Moore Paints applies Sugar’s scalable, out-of-the-box, AI-driven CRM platform for sales and marketing automation, fueling innovation and business transformation.

Kelly-Moore Paints is one of the largest employee-owned paint companies in the U.S. and is a manufacturer and retailer of high-quality interior and exterior architectural paints, primers, and stains. Now partnering with Sugar as its CRM provider, the company can deliver on its promise of high-quality products, pricing, and superior customer service.

For over a decade, Kelly-Moore Paints built its business processes on a legacy CRM platform, but its inflexible foundation made it increasingly difficult and costly to make changes as the company scaled and evolved. Following a thorough search and evaluation, Sugar provided the right mix of out-of-the-box functionality and low-code development to meet the company’s needs now and in the future.

Rebecca Meyer led the company’s transition to the Sugar platform:

Should we be looking at another CRM solution? If you have to ask the question, then it’s time to evaluate the true risks of staying with your current CRM solution. It came down to finding a modern CRM platform that would do the work for us and remove the administrative burden so our sales teams can focus more on building customer relationships and driving a positive business impact.lWe were able to execute years of back logged functional enhancements for a fraction of the price via a platform that was more accommodating to our business needs.

Rebecca Meyer, Kelly-Moore Paints’ Senior Director of IT

Organizations rely heavily on sales and marketing technology. However, per Sugar’s global survey of 1,600 sales and marketing leaders, 76 percent say their biggest frustration with CRM is it’s either too complex, not intuitive or user friendly, or cannot be customized.

Usability is becoming the new CRM battleground. 

In response to industry needs, Sugar takes a radically different approach to CRM. Bringing the power of artificial intelligence (AI) into the hands of everyday CRM users and leveraging a low-code, no-code approach to make the hard things easier for sales, marketing, and service teams underpins Sugar’s commitment to letting the platform do the work. 

Letting the Platform Do the Work

Technology is supposed to make the hard things easier, but Sugar’s data suggests traditional CRMs are often too difficult to use, resulting in low adoption and wasted resources. 

Last year, Sugar’s global survey revealed customer churn was costing mid-market companies an average of $5.5M per year. In this year’s survey, Sugar found that 58% of respondents said their customer churn rate has increased over the last 12 months. With customers leaving in droves – 32% globally and 47% in the U.S. – it’s no surprise that modernizing your CRM stack is a top business priority, as continued growth hinges on it.

Sugar’s approach harnesses AI, machine learning (ML), and predictive analytics to empower sales, marketing, and service professionals. Sugar has made significant investments to bring its SugarPredict AI engine to its entire platform portfolio, pioneering pre-configured, out-of-the-box AI for all that drives value from Day One.

SugarPredict is unique for analyzing historical account, deal, and company data to accurately predict which leads are most likely to become customers. Lead scoring is based on similarity to historical conversions, while ideal customer profile (ICP) matching identifies leads that are similar to a company’s past and current customer bases. It’s like giving sellers and marketers a crystal ball to see previously unseen correlations in customer behaviors and attributes that can signal, and surface up-sell opportunities and/or customers likely to churn and ICP alignment.

At the same time, Sugar’s no-code, low-code development platform put change in the hands of non-technical business users. To reflect this commitment, Sugar recently introduced integrated playbook functionality that supports guided selling and CRM process automation stemming from the acquisition of AddOptify. The no-code toolset enables customers to translate their customer engagement best practices into playbooks to optimize the user and the customer experience at every stage of the customer journey.

Four Steps to Measure the Metrics that Matter for CRM Success

The total cost of ownership is a classic metric for evaluating CRM software, but today another essential element is the cost of maintaining and configuring CRM systems to acquire and use the functionality. For any company evaluating CRM, it’s vital to get a full understanding of these costs, but often very challenging to do.  

Here are four steps to help organizations determine these costs:

  1. It’s been said that there has never been a bad reference in software, ever! Talking to references provided by the vendor won’t necessarily get you the insight you need. However, you can ask some pointed questions to determine usability, such as how many administrators do you have? What percentage of licenses are logging in? What are the top three value propositions of the application for your business? In addition, organizations should always ask if they can talk to an end-user of the product to further understand its usability.
  1. More isn’t necessarily better. Is the vendor showing you more than you asked for, and do you need those capabilities? If the answer is yes, you need it; what is the cost associated with that capability? While gaining a rich set of capabilities to meet your business needs is important, organizations must also consider the total cost of flexibility. In software, there is a cautionary tale of a financial services company that invested millions of dollars in a CRM system. Five years later, it still was yet to achieve value from the solution.
  1. Many organizations issue a request for proposal (RFP) under the guise of corporate governance, but it can be costly. This begs the question: Do you need an RFP? Does your organization have the resources and the governance structure to support it? For many companies, a better approach is to adopt a scorecard for functionality paired with a vendor evaluation that goes beyond the feature set. It’s essential to drill down into other critical factors for success, which have to do with the partnership. This is crucial but often left out of the search and evaluation process. You want to ask yourself, is this vendor a company we want to do business with that will invest in our success? 
  1. Finally, when evaluating vendors, know if your company is big enough to matter. Will the vendor put forward the resources, support, and partnership to ensure a fruitful post-sale experience? What happens after the ink dries on the contract? Who will be the company’s executive sponsor post-acquisition to ensure success?

An Industry at an Inflection Point

Customers are changing the rules of engagement, and many companies are at an inflection point. More than ever, organizations need winning CRM strategies to create breakthrough customer experiences and fuel growth. SugarCRM is on a mission to rescue organizations from the intense manual labor of entering data in the system, and yet make more data available to sales, marketing, and service teams to help them make better, faster decisions that result in revenue growth. With an AI-infused platform, organizations can deliver a high-definition customer experience that makes the hard things easier for sales, marketing, and service professionals.

Jason Rushforth

Jason Rushforth is a respected technology industry veteran, bringing more than 20 years of product and SaaS experience to Sugar - all of it in CRM and CX. Jason is the Senior Vice President and General Manager, Americas, at SugarCRM.

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