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How-to: Open source CRM with Sugar Professional

When a new product is announced, the word goes out about its features. If the product sounds like a good thing, then you wonder, "What would it be like to use it?" Our new product how-to series answers that question. Each how-to starts out with the basics -- product and vendor name, price, etc. -- and then gets down to business with a short how-to. This how-to was written by SugarCRM of Cupertion, Calif.

What: Sugar Suite

Type of product: Customer Relationship Management software

Vendor:

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SugarCRM provides a powerful solution built on a pure open source stack, offering functionality constructed by the best open source CRM experts from around the world. The Sugar Suite is SugarCRM's vanguard CRM solution that understands today's business demands.

Value proposition: The Sugar Suite empowers your organization to manage interactions with your customers during sales, marketing, support and services. Join the thousands of companies who are experiencing outstanding human interaction management with Sugar Suite. Sugar Professional starts at $239 per user per year, or the Sugar Professional On-Demand is $39.95 per user per month.

How to evaluate and use Sugar Professional: You can quickly install on a local Web server to test and evaluate. Access our online live product demo of Sugar Professional.

  1. Sugar Professional allows you to select the language and theme that you alone interface with. On the login screen, log in as "Will." Below, you will see dropdown options for Theme and Languages. Currently, Sugar Professional is available in over 15 languages.
  2. The Sugar Home Page will appear. This is a recap of all current activities and deliverables "Will" is involved with. To access the details of any data point, click on it. To review an appointment, click on the subject. To close it if it's completed, click on the "x" under the close column. Both options will open up the details of that appointment. Click "save" when complete. You will return to the home page and that appointment will be gone if the appointment status was changed to "held" from the details screen.
  3. On the home page, click on a lead name under "My Leads." This will show you the details of the lead including the marketing efforts, the communications, the lead details and the interaction history. Edit any content by clicking on the "Edit" button, then make changes, and click on Save to commit the changes.
  4. Now, convert your lead into a prospect – which we call "contacts" in this demo. Click on the "convert lead" button at the top of the lead details screen and verify the information before clicking on "save" at the bottom of the screen. You will then see a Convert Lead screen that will let you know the status of the new contact and account that you created.
  5. Click on the account name. Next, put a sale amount associated with the account.
  6. On the Account Details page, scroll down to the "opportunities" header, and click on the "create" button. Make an opportunity name, the amount of the deal, and add a close date by clicking on the calendar icon. Update the sales stage to anything, then hit save.
  7. Click on the "opportunity" tab to see the entire pipeline. Sugar Professional has data security associated with the User Log-in. the user "Will" can see most of the opportunities. Check the box "only my items" in the Opportunity search and you will only see "Will's" pipeline.
  8. Now, click on the link under the left navigation called "opportunity reports" – for accessing opportunity reports. This is also a Sugar Professional only feature.
  9. Click on the "Dashboard" tab. You will see all sales activities displayed through an interactive Flash charting engine. Scroll over the sales person's name and their pipeline will show up. This data is also controlled by the user oriented data security.
  10. To see another user experience, log out by clicking on the "logout" button on the upper left area of the screen, then log in as Sally (user ID="sally," Password="sally"). Choose another skin, like "Shred" from the dropdown to see how the application interface is completely customizable.
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This was first published in March 2005

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