Sofia University Delivers Human Experiences with CRM + Marketing Automation


Sofia University is California’s leader in transformative, transpersonal education. Since 1975, they have sought to encompass the full range of the human experience while encouraging students to become experts in their desired fields. The university offers graduate programs in psychology, counseling, business, computer science, and more. Sofia University switched to Sugar Sell and Sugar Market to bring their organization together in a seamless and integrated platform while continuing to highlight human experiences throughout the student journey.

In this webinar with Ashley Simon, Senior Admissions Counselor at Sofia University, and AJ Traver-Williams, Director, Customer Marketing at SugarCRM, we shared how Sofia University switched to Sugar Sell and Sugar Market to bring their organization together in a seamless and integrated platform while continuing to highlight human experiences throughout the student journey.

Below are the first 2 minutes of the webinar. If you would like to see the full video recording, you may access it here.

What Led Sofia University to Switch CRMs?

The story of decentralized data across varying platforms that go underused or make it difficult for your organization to operate as one is a common one—and it’s also a story that Sofia University decided to rewrite for themselves.

With regard to how the university was recruiting students, multiple different systems were being used by the admissions and marketing departments. To name a few, they used vendors such as HubSpot, Constant Contact, Eventbrite, and Element451, which unfortunately don’t have the ability to share data or talk to each other. Because of the scattered data, tracking down student communication was very much a manual task, and a time-consuming one at that.

Because their different systems didn’t sync together, it made automation a difficult, if not impossible, task. Pretty much everything Ashley and her team did was done by manually cross-checking each platform and essentially shadowing accounting their student data. This led Sofia University to start looking for a CRM that would integrate with their emailing and marketing automation platforms.

Why Did Sofia University Choose SugarCRM?

Having past familiarity with SugarCRM and being happy with the results, Ashley reached out to schedule a demo and see how much has changed in the platform since 2017. The university wanted a platform with easy integration capabilities. With about 10,000 students in their system, they needed a CRM and a Marketing Automation Platform that would work together.

With the many new Sugar Sell additions since Ashley had last used it, and a deep integration with Sugar Market, Sofia University decided to make the switch to the fully integrated platform.

“When I was looking at the recent automation additions that were put into Sugar, as well as the changes in Sugar Market, it was not a difficult sell for me that the user interface is incredibly wonderful to use. With SugarCRM, I have the power to create my business processes and other systems, where normally I would have to basically have someone else do that for me or someone in their IT department would need to assist me. But I wanted to learn to set up the automations and lead protocols myself. And that’s really what made Sugar stand out to me in particular”. – Ashley Simon, Senior Admissions Counselor, Sofia University

What Business Impacts Has Sofia University Experienced Since Implementing Sugar?

As a business operating in the customer service industry, they have been able to put students first. Since implementing Sugar, Sophia University has been able to:

  • Foster more interactions per individual student
  • Create greater transparency with how frequently they communicate with students 
  • Increase automation capabilities, freeing up time in their day 
  • Generate robust reporting with accurate, trusted data
  • Uncover new metrics and KPIs to track 
  • Increase conversion rates for some of their programs due to frequent communication 

Overall, because Ashley and her team were able to ditch the busy work due to the integrations Sugar Sell and Sugar Market offered the different departments at Sophia University, they were able to save time, increase the efficiency of the university’s lead gen program, and improve the student experience. In fact, Ashley even commented that she has gotten feedback and compliments from students because of their new ability to touch base with them more frequently, which at the end of the day, was the biggest reward for them. 

Want to learn more about how Sofia University overhauled its siloed technology stack and used Sugar to bring together its whole organization, watch our recent webinar, “How Sofia University Delivers Human Experiences with CRM + Marketing Automation”. 

Additional Resources

Interested in learning more about SugarCRM best practices? We highly recommend checking out these places:

Paul Scondac
Paul Scondac Paul is an experienced Senior Content Marketing Manager with a demonstrated history of working in the information technology industry. His skillset includes content and email marketing, team management, CRM and Marketing Automation, and more. While not working, Paul enjoys playing videogames, walking his dogs, attempting to cook, and the occasional trip to Starbucks.

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