SugarCRM sweetens predictive AI engine for marketing automation

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SugarCRM tweaked its SugarPredict AI engine this month to help marketing teams with automated, predictive lead scoring. The cloud-based marketing automation software, first released as a sales tool for customer relationship management (CRM), now also facilitates “rapid and reliable marketing lead qualification and prioritization,” the company said.

SugarPredict is available on the Cupertino, California-based company’s Sugar Market platform for automating and assisting with marketing tasks. It was first introduced in January for SugarCRM’s Sugar Sell users. SugarPredict for sales is billed as an AI-driven way to intelligently enrich the customer data people enter into CRM systems to ensure quality and consistency for sales team users.

Sugar Market is a customer lead-cultivating platform that helps marketing teams with tasks like quantifying how website visitors interact with digital marketing materials; assisting in the creation of emails, landing pages, and forms; qualifying leads with lead-scoring models; and aligning with sales via automated hand-offs of qualified leads.

Leave the lead scoring to the machine

“The new smart scoring engine in Sugar Market saves marketing teams time by automating the creation and maintenance of lead scoring logic,” SugarCRM GM Christian Wettre told VentureBeat.

“By continuously adjusting the lead-scoring rules based on customer behavior over time, SugarPredict helps marketing teams stay on top of changing markets. SugarPredict adds velocity of interest as one of many new factors of a lead score. By including more factors than just the sum of clicks, marketing teams deliver more intelligently scored leads to sales teams,” he said.

Describing the current state of CRM as a “crisis for companies,” Wettre cited a recent SugarCRM-commissioned survey of global enterprises that found more than half of respondents believe their current CRM systems are costing them revenue. Some 58% of those surveyed said their sales and marketing teams lacked the training and skills to customize their CRM to generate better results, while 53% percent said time consumed with administrative CRM and lead generation burdens was hurting productivity.

Automatic for the people

SugarPredict is intended to help alleviate these sales and marketing pain points with automated processes like augmenting incomplete customer profiles with relevant online data the AI engine discovers and pulls in, Wettre said.

He described SugarPredict helping SugarCRM customers in a number of ways:

  • No blind spots: Instead of being limited to piecemeal views of the customer, you see all relevant information — past, present, and even future — instantly (with predictive insights).
  • No busywork: Instead of having to manually enter endless details, you get a platform that automatically captures data and presents it in context to everyone who needs it.
  • No roadblocks: Instead of all the standard limitations, you get a solution built around your needs and workflows.

SugarCRM was founded in 2004 and began as a developer of free open source CRM software. That was eventually discontinued as the company shifted to selling licensed CRM products. SugarCRM is owned by private equity firm Accel-KKR.

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