Unlike most CRM software solutions, which typically release a new version once a year, Sugar continues to deliver new functionality every single quarter (and at no cost to users).  Last month saw the release of Sugar 9, which includes an impressive range of new features and additions.

You may have already received the full list of updates from Sugar, but we’ve distilled our key outtakes and favourite new features into an easy-to-digest summary.

Sugar 9: need-to-know


Sugar’s getting faster.

One of the biggest wins of Sugar 9 is its overall performance. The new system is significantly faster, which means you can access the information you need instantly. In fact, this whole release has been designed to accelerate business performance – with a range of new time-saving features to match.

Better visual insight and reporting.

Sugar has continued to improve its reporting capability over the past 12 months and this latest version see yet more improvements. Sugar 9 enables better scheduling of reports for automated report delivery, while it’s now easier for enterprise users to automate those reports to be delivered to wider numbers of team members and contacts outside the organisation. The visual charts on reports have the ability to group results as well as stack – great for comparing data. There are 60 new reports with visual charts to give you an idea of what best-practice reporting in a CRM context looks like. You can use or modify these reports or use them as inspiration to build your own. The last major change is that all report types can export out to CSV files so you can then work with the data in Excel.

Quoting is more configurable and better supports multi-currencies.

For sales-focused organisations, Sugar’s in-built quoting platform is already a strong feature. If your organisation is quoting but not using this module, we’d highly recommend having a look at the many improvements introduced over the last year. With this latest update the quoting user interface is more configurable by administrators (previously, changes of this nature could only done via custom code). For businesses that need to quote items in different currencies, the process to adjust a price for an item from one currency to another is now more streamlined.

Workflow automation has been improved.

We see a big trend in businesses increasing their productivity by using a people plus tech approach, and the workflow automation module in CRM is a great way to achieve that. Sugar has been investing in this area for a few years now and each quarterly release has seen a number of improvements to this important part of the product. With this release, Sugar has renamed this module from Advanced Workflow to SugarBPM (Business Process Management). This latest release has increased the range of scenarios that can trigger an automated process, as well as the ability for the automated process to reach across more related modules. (Note: SugarBPM is only available in Sugar Enterprise).

Better shared inbox experience for users.

Supporting teams working together should be a key benefit of CRM to your business. Many organisations experience a daily struggle with multiple staff members trying to work from a shared email inbox used for managing everything from incoming sales orders to support and general enquiries. Sugar 9 now enables users to send emails from CRM via a shared email address. This means that any replies are directed back to the shared inbox, which in turn can be centrally monitored using Sugar’s case module.