Do I Need to Hire a Full Time Administrator for SugarCRM?

(Editor’s note: The following is a guest post from Kaleb Dague, an account executive at partner Faye Business Systems Group. It originally appeared on Faye BSG’s blog). 

Once you’ve decided you need a new CRM system, migrating to a new CRM or installing one for the first time will likely be overwhelming for your organization. One of the key success factors, in implementing a CRM that responds well to your business, is hiring the right people to man your team.

Once your CRM consultants and software salesperson have delivered their respective terms of engagement, the one person that you are left with to make inevitable and necessary adjustments to your CRM system is your SugarCRM administrator. A SugarCRM administrator will know how to use many advanced features that just aren’t commonly utilized by the average end user.

It’s not that these advanced features shouldn’t be accessed, but they might be more useful for larger companies, with multiple sites, and more complex needs. This should be reason enough for you to carefully decide whether you need a full-time administrator for SugarCRM, how you will assign this important role if you do, and who you should assign it to.

Why you need a CRM Administrator

Where most enterprises fail in making optimal use of their CRM software, and the opportunities that installing a good CRM system can bring is when decision-makers start thinking that they can assign the role to any of their CRM-trained staff. Don’t make the same mistake.

A SugarCRM administrator does more than just regular updates. Sugar administrators apply best practices, daily, to meet your business requirements. They can configure and build workflows, and reports, customized to meet your ever-evolving requirements.

This is about supporting projects such as data analytics, workflow automation, and solving complex challenges faced by the business. In addition, a full-time SugarCRM administrator will gain insight into the business and leverage that knowledge to add strategic processes and solutions for your Sugar system. Here’s why you might need a full-time administrator for SugarCRM:

  1. Only a dedicated person can provide valuable information as and when required. A SugarCRM administrator should be able to provide support to users when they need help navigating through the software. Simultaneously, this person should be able to crunch data, pull information from the system, and prepare reports so that critical decisions can be made–expediently.
  2. You need a person to link your SugarCRM system with your business strategy. It might be important for someone who has the ability to capture the vital stats of your business at any given time. And, access to the right data enforces thorough and quick decision-making processes.
  3. You need someone to be fully accountable for your SugarCRM implementation, updates, and maintenance. Making CRM an ad hoc function of either one of your sales managers, IT technicians or, executive assistants is the quickest way to fail. Although CRM adoption should be the responsibility of everyone involved, you need a dedicated person to ensure compliance and sift through all the data.
  4. A SugarCRM administrator role requires both hard skills and soft skills. Contrary to the popular notion that the role should be rightfully lodged in a single business unit, or in the IT department, a CRM administrator’s function requires a 360-degree view of the organization so that your SugarCRM system remains relevant to your needs
  5. CRM requires change management. It can take months for your team to give full buy-in to any new CRM system. As they say: old habits die hard. The good news is SugarCRM is the one of the easiest-to-use CRM’s market for a reason. From handy keyboard shortcuts, to a mobile-first strategy, SugarCRM was designed to be sweet. Nonetheless, your SugarCRM administrator should be adept at conveying the benefits and even execute internal marketing efforts around adoption.

What qualities make for a good SugarCRM Administrator?

  1. Good project management skills – Implementing SugarCRM requires that budgets, timelines, and criteria must be met. Your SugarCRM Administrator must be able to set realistic goals, measure success efficiently, and quantify costs succinctly to benefit your organization and demonstrate both value and ROI.
  2. Knowledgeable of sales and management processes – Your SugarCRM administrator must have first-hand experience applying your sales and management procedures so that your SugarCRM system can be structured accordingly.
  3. Excellent communicator – The work of a CRM administrator requires consistent discussions with various business units–sales, executive team, and other software users–and must be a natural people person.
  4. A patient coach – Regular users of your SugarCRM software cannot be expected to develop end-user expertise overnight. Your SugarCRM administrator should have the motivation, and the patience, to show end-users—of all backgrounds—how to make the system work for them.
  5. Adept with technology. This person must be your CRM solution expert. Since applications change all the time, this person must have sufficient IT skills to induce any required system reconfigurations, which includes writing code.
  6. Driven to learn – A CRM Administrator retains an entire bag of highly sought-after knowledge, experience, and background. This requires a person, in this function, to be naturally curious about everything with the right hard and soft skills necessary to ensure your SugarCRM system adequately responsive to your business needs.
  7. Eager to prove the importance of CRM – The best internal marketing strategy is to be able to demonstrate the worth of your CRM system as the opportunity to do so arises, which a multi-talented SugarCRM administrator should be able to perform quite well.
  8. Well-respected – CRM adoption requires behavior change which, in turn, requires the change agent to be well-respected across the organization so that people will endorse and support this person’s suggestions.
  9. Person of authority – A SugarCRM Administrator, to be effective, needs to be at a certain level of authority within your organization that permits the role to access key information as well as to institutionalize certain procedures.
  10. A strategic thinker – Integrating IT and business procedures are integral to the role. You need an architect who can configure a system that delivers, not only fast and reliable information but the right types of information valuable to all stakeholders.

As you can see, there are many reasons why a company would decide to hire a full-time administrator for SugarCRM.