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Houston CRM Lunch & Learn Recap

by Katie Liesmann on April 9, 2015

4 minute read

Last week, W-Systems co-hosted a Lunch & Learn in Houston, Texas at Sullivan’s Steakhouse with SugarCRM and Dun & Bradstreet. From the guest speakers to the customer panel to the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding, the event was a success.

Over 30 people filled the room, including current CRM users who were looking to optimize their system as well as people looking to adopt a CRM for the first time. Bill Harrison, VP of Products and Technology at W-Systems, kicked-off the presentation by addressing challenges that many organizations face when implementing a CRM tool and how to overcome them. Bill’s key point was that CRM technology enables your team to service customers better.

Houston CRM Lunch & Learn Recap

One of the most interesting statistics that came out of the presentation was that CRM initiatives fail 63% of the time. Many people in the room were shocked to find that so many organizations are unsuccessful in implementing sales tools--whether it’s from lack of management bandwidth or no one owning customer insight. Bill talked about several factors that increase CRM success including customizations, user training, and executive sponsorship.

After Bill’s presentation, Clint Oram, CTO and Co-Founder of SugarCRM, stepped in to give insight into the CRM industry and do a demo of Sugar. The demo showed off some of Sugar 7’s features by telling the story of a typical day of sales person using Sugar. Attendees began stepping in to ask questions at any time and requesting to dig deeper into SugarCRM Mobile, Sugar’s new workflow tool, Process Author, and the D&B integration.

We ended lunch with a customer panel, in which two of our Houston customers stepped in to share their real world experiences implementing CRM.

Brad Kirchhofer, COO at Bray International, attested to the commitment your whole company must have to your CRM system and how it requires ongoing effort. Bray deployed Sugar to more than 500 users within six months for use within their sales department. Today, their team uses the CRM to manage pipelines, address quality control and automate lead routing. Since day one, they have continually focused on optimizing their CRM system.

Jackie Ferrara, Strategist of Account Services for Products & Systems at GS Marketing, spoke about how her sales, marketing, and customer service teams have been positively impacted by adopting Sugar. By telling the story of GS Marketing’s CRM journey, she stressed the importance of “doing it right” the first time. Her organization originally chose a different CRM platform. When it failed, they spent six months trying to fix it and another six months evaluating new platforms. Jackie stated that rather than trying to use your new CRM to replicate what you are already doing, you should define what your processes should be and build your new CRM tool around those.

The major theme within the customer panel was that Sugar is often chosen over other CRM platforms because of its ability to be customized and it’s affordability.

Throughout the event, attendees were pleasantly surprised with all the mobile features included in Sugar 7 and enjoyed hearing CRM insights from two company executives. Stay tuned for more events like this in the future. You can always find upcoming events on our Twitter account or our home page.