SugarCRM + Node AI: The New Martech Force to Deliver Customer Experience

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Today, SugarCRM has joined the league of top AI-focused martech companies in the CX management category. This category has seen some of the biggest martech investments and acquisitions in the recent months, led by Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and SAS.


The leading B2B martech company, SugarCRM Inc. announced the acquisition of Node Inc., an artificial intelligence (AI) platform that leverages CRM data and vast external sources to deliver an unparalleled level of predictability across a whole array of different business use cases. The acquisition fuels Sugar’s time-aware CX platform by automatically forecasting expected outcomes and highlighting previously unforeseen challenges and opportunities.

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Top Technologies Pushing CX Trends in 2020

A majority of the CMOs and Marketing leaders that we interview at MarTech Interview Series have acknowledged the top CX trends ruling the Martech space in 2020. The top 5 technologies are:

  1. AI and Open Source Applications
  2. Virtual Intelligent Assistants and Chatbots
  3. Unified Cloud Contact Centers and Call Analytics
  4. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs / Adtech for Lead gen)
  5. Internet of Things

With the recent SugarCRM + Node AI deal, it would be easier for CMOs to accurately make sense of customer data — this area had been a perennial issue for companies for so long. Deep learning models are limited by the quality and quantity of input data, which historically has been inaccurate or incomplete in real-life CRM implementations. Node’s deep learning models identify signals with up to 81% greater accuracy than heuristic-based approaches to deliver the tangible benefits of heightened performance and true predictability.

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“Sugar has been a fantastic platform at its heart,” said Paul Greenberg, president of the 56 Group and author of CRM at the Speed of Light. “Adding Node has the potential to bring impressive predictive accuracy to Sugar’s platform and products. And now more than ever it is critical to leverage all available data and signals to work towards better outcomes for both customers and the business alike.”

Next Frontier Customer Engagement Management with AI, Automation and Data Enrichment

Today’s acquisition is the latest in a series of innovations supporting Sugar’s vision for the next frontier of high-definition customer experience (HD-CX) which began last year with the launch of Sugar’s time-based, no-touch CX solutions for sales, marketing and service teams.

Node AI would enrich SugarCRM’s Marketing Automation and Sales CRM offerings with new-age AI and data enrichment features. Here is how it works:

  • Sales and Marketing Automation
  • Real-time account and contact enrichment
  • Top prospect recommendations
  • Data-driven TAM analysis and territory development
  • Lead conversion and win rate predictions for precision forecasting
  • Personalized, per-rep lead routing
  • Customer Engagement
  • Campaign selection and engagement optimization
  • Self-guided “autopilot” dialer
  • Audience insights and outlier identification
  • Customer health and churn/renewal predictions

“Obtaining a high definition view of your business and customers, from pipeline to forecasting, is all about replacing a fragmented, dated, and distorted picture with one that is sharply focused and rich in breadth and depth,” said Craig Charlton, CEO of SugarCRM. “Sugar is democratizing AI, ushering in a new frontier in CX with its powerful combination of AI, time-aware and data enrichment, to drive business performance and enable predictability for companies of all sizes.”

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Extending Sugar’s time-aware CX platform, Node’s AI technology adds the most coveted element of time—the future. The combined solution offers wide-ranging capabilities for sales, marketing and service teams and include (but are in no way limited to):

  • Identifying customers most likely to churn, giving precious runway to remediate and engage with customers in the most strategic way possible
  • Predicting likelihood to convert from lead scoring models
  • Insight-driven forecasting and prescriptive guidance for higher quota attainment and sale close monitoring
  • Seamless recommendations for add-on products during the right phase of the customer journey increasing average sale size
  • Ascertaining marketing attribution and contribution to closed business
  • Improving customer engagement models through predictive case routing and contextual data in real time to empower customer service professionals.

In today’s highly volatile business scenario, Customer Experience (CX)efforts remain widely disputed even as a majority of business leaders find it extremely hard to align their marketing goals and revenue with exceeding customer expectations. According to Gartner.s 2019 CX Management Survey, nearly two-thirds of the business leaders were aiming to increase their CX budget to positively promote the role of Customer Experience management in first, to improve the digital customer satisfaction, and then, to drive revenue, lower churn and reduce the cost of customer acquisition and retention. This was the scenario in January 2020, just a few weeks before COVID-19 pandemic slowed down the progress and eventually created an unprecedented trench in the CX budget of many CMOs. But, this trench hasn’t affected some of the leading Martech companies from continuing with their CX transformation goals.

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