CRM and Human Resources: It’s All About People

Fundamentally, a CRM platform is about people. Specifically:

  • Your customers;
  • Your prospects, and
  • Your employees.

It’s the third subset I’d like to talk about in this post. As a recent hire at Sugar, I’ve had almost two months to acclimate to a software company than moves fast. Really fast. Since I arrived at the end of April, we’ve acquired a company, rolled out significant product enhancements, marked a milestone with our fifteenth birthday, and brought onboard a Chief Customer Officer to continue our relentless pursuit of providing a platform that not only helps you create customers, but customers for life.

What has struck me most about working at Sugar is unquestionably my coworkers. They are not just hyper-intelligent, but genuinely enjoy being a part of this company. And because a CRM not only helps you engage people at every stage of the buying journey, it’s fitting that at Sugar, we manage a lot of our internal processes with it as well. We use our own CRM every day, whether it’s for IT-related aspects or interaction with our customers. As a company, it helps us engage, communicate, and move forward in myriad ways. We work well as a team.

So what does a CRM have in common with Human Resources?

A lot, it turns out. I’ve been fortunate enough to work at companies where the recruitment process was efficient; you could characterize it as “good.”

As a potential employee for Sugar, my interview process was not good. It was amazing.

Using internal processes, much of which involved our own core system, I was contacted the day after I applied by a Human Resources representative. I had a phone call with him a day later to gauge my interest in the company, and the conversation went well. The next day, I spoke with the hiring manager, but what happened next surprised me—and is something that I think a lot of companies can learn from: I was contacted by the Human Resources Marketing Business Partner. Not a potential coworker. So, I’m three days into the interview process and have yet to really delve deeply into my potential role.

Why?

Because at Sugar, like you, our number one priority is to empower people to drive optimal outcomes. For you, our customers, the right people are those who derive benefit from your products and solutions and form a vital part of your DNA. Your customers are one of the best parts of your company. At Sugar, we feel the same way.

At the end of the day, your employees make the people connection happen with customers. That’s what my HR Business Partner did for 45 minutes: connect. We didn’t talk about the role I was interviewing for, we talked about what I looked for in an ideal employer. We talked about things I disliked in an employer. We talked about work-life balance and the importance of culture. What I didn’t know is that all of this is part of a big effort to get the right people to feel valued and ensure they will enjoy being a part of Sugar.

“At the end of the day, your employees make the people connection happen with customers. That’s what my HR Business Partner did for 45 minutes: connect.”

Shortly thereafter, I interviewed in person with all my future team members. I was given a timeline of next steps, and fortunate to receive an offer, which I happily accepted.

My positive first impressions didn’t end there. Along with my offer letter, which took less than a day, I received an email that took me to a site that asked me to pick my four favorite candies, which arrived swiftly. (Hey, I’m in Marketing!)

It was a (insert pun here) sweet gesture on the company’s part. I felt so welcome and hadn’t even started my job. And yet, the Sugar system continued to work in the background. First day paperwork? It doesn’t exist at Sugar. You’ll get an email where all of your “paperwork” is conducted electronically. Ever wait for your PC and or workspace on day one? Not me. I was asked two weeks prior to my start whether I preferred a Mac or a PC. And when I arrived, I had a ton of swag on my desk along with my laptop.

I have to say it: I felt like a kid in a candy store. Close, anyway.

So there you have it. A good CRM can help you understand your customers and help them be successful. A great one takes it even further, and considers the entire journey, until you arrive at the intended destination—the sale and a happy customer.

I’m a Sugar employee, but also a customer. I now use our system daily. So when you consider your next CRM purchase, ask yourself one question: Will this help me build stronger, more personal, lasting relationships?

I can tell you that ours does. I see it every day. And we are just getting started in our journey to take Customer Experience Management to the next level.

After all, it’s all about people.

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