We’re at the end of the first day of SugarCon, the CRM conference for innovative businesses, and there’s already plenty to reflect upon as we look forward to day two.
We have already heard from an excellent lineup of keynote speakers, including co-founder of Lopez Research, Maribel Lopez and two-time Emmy nominee and president of the Clarity Digital Group, Leonard Brody. In addition, it was my pleasure to have several of our customers join us on stage including Ivonne van Zuilen from T-Mobile Netherlands and Pam Holt from Rheem Manufacturing.
Each speaker offered their own fascinating perspective on some of the challenges and opportunities affecting our industry. I especially enjoyed the discussions about the role Artificial Intelligence (AI) is playing in the future of user interfaces and CRM and the challenging waters of navigating data privacy in a post GDPR world. SugarCRM chief product officer, Rich Green, also gave an inspiring talk about practical realities of building a culture of innovation within your company.
Our attendees also enjoyed Pitch Fests, which featured multiple lightning-round presentations from our sponsors to help attendees get the most from their CRM projects. Our afternoon break-out and training sessions gave great insight into areas such as turning employees into customer experts, configuring the Sugar self-service portal, building great sales teams and optimizing CRM user adoption.
Would you like to sell to yourself?
The topics we’re tackling at SugarCon are diverse, but there’s one theme that unites them – and that is how the world has changed. Specifically, the way we engage as people and how we interact with vendors and consumers has changed too.
To the consumers and vendors reading this, ask yourself – how much have you changed the way you buy? Would you like to sell to yourself? Do you think your business would do a good job of selling to you?
How has the way we buy changed? In the same way that technology and the Internet have changed our everyday lives, they have changed our buying experience too.
- Peer reviews are now the most trusted source of information on a purchase and continue to rise in importance.
- 84% of buyers said they seek input from peers and existing users, while 57% do so within the first three months of the buying process before ever talking to the vendor they are buying from.
This means that vendors have less and less control over buyers’ first impressions. As a result, the impact of a bad customer experience is hugely multiplied. Sources also tell us that 95% of people usually tell at least one other person about a bad customer experience, 54% share it with at least five other people and 80% of customers won’t buy from companies with negative reviews.
In this hyper-connected world, you are only as good as the last customer review.
The value of the recurring customer
Did you know it costs five times as much to attract a new customer as it does to keep an existing one? Statistics tell us that you are 14 times more likely to sell to an existing customer than a new prospect.
Plus, existing customers are 50% more likely to try new products, and spend 31% more when compared to new customers. The odds are that your next sale will come from an existing customer, or from a new customer who already knows you from an existing customer referral or review.
This intelligence and data help guide our vision for a modern CRM; one that delivers results and works effectively in a world where the impact of a bad customer experience can be devastating, and where recurring customers are often your best source of new business.
Our vision for a modern CRM is one that recognizes the value of recurring customers. We believe that the first transaction is just the beginning of a relationship. CRM must enable you to create a seamless experience for the customer, building better business relationships. We remain steadfast in our commitment to that vision.
And in all of this, we’re very proud of the relationship we’ve built with you, our customers.
SugarCon rolls on
Today, we look forward to Day 2 of SugarCon. We will be hearing from speakers including Zac Sprackett from SugarCRM, Danny Barnett from IBM, Maribel Lopez from Lopez Research and WIRED editor-at-large David Rowan.
Our break-out and training sessions will focus on topics including unique ways to use Sugar, a deep dive into data privacy architecture, and best practices for DevOps.
For the full schedule, please refer to the conference agenda. You can also view this at www.sugarcon.com/full-agenda.
I’d like to close by thanking all of our sponsors, keynote speakers and attendees who have helped make this year’s SugarCon a great success.