How Creative Foam Exceeded Annual Sales Goal by 40% with Sugar Sell

Creative Foam, a Michigan-based manufacturing company with a history of over 50 years ago, has grown into an industry powerhouse. Today, the company has twelve facilities located across the US and Mexico, being one of the biggest tiers and OEMs in the automotive industry.  

However, success doesn’t guarantee a challenge-free journey. Despite its accelerated growth, Creative Foam has encountered a series of challenges that have forced them to re-evaluate how it carries out operations.  

Sales Processes Hampered By Excel Sheets 

Creative Foam faced new challenges as the company experienced production halt, supply chain disruptions, and soaring material costs, forcing the organization to focus on cost-effective, strategic decisions and pricing to overcome the challenges. However, the company soon realized that it could no longer function in highly competitive, tougher markets running on Excel spreadsheets. With 11 account managers, each with their own spreadsheet system, data took more work to manage, and customer insights were more challenging.   

Creative Foam’s spreadsheet system posed a series of challenges: 

  • Data input  
  • Version control 
  • Missing information   
  • Data accuracy 
  • Data consistency 
  • Data history 

“We didn’t have a great structure for measuring and monitoring pipeline in real-time and needed a new way to enhance the tracking of advanced KPIs and push our business forward.” 

— DOUGLAS S., VP of Sales, Creative Foam 


Ditching Excel Spreadsheets for a Robust Sales Automation Solution 

As the company looked into solutions to overcome its solid data and fragmented operations, they carefully assessed the solutions’ prospected ability to offer excellent visibility into its operations, as well as a more granular understanding of each of its customers.   

After carefully considering a series of vendors, Creative Foam selected SugarCRM’s sales automation solution, Sugar Sell. The reason behind the decision was its potential to be customized to the company’s needs and processes without over-complicating anything.   

“Some of the other well-known vendors offered much more than we needed. What struck us from the start was how tailored Sugar’s approach was. We could tell they really listened to our needs and understood us as a business. And it was fully customizable.” 

— JAMES M., Marketing and Sales Analytics Manager, Creative Foam 

Organizational Transformation With Sugar Sell 

Creative Foam first did a soft rollout of Sugar Sell before the new fiscal year. During this period, the sales team became familiar with the solution while defining metrics and KPIs. Shortly, Creative Foam successfully sales team transformed their process and how they handled customer data. Due to Sugar Sell’s ease of use and flexibility, the sales team at Creative Foam now boasts 100% adoption of the Sugar platform.  

At an organizational level, Creative Foam noticed improved accountability and internal communication within the team. With data available both in their ERP and Sugar, other departments also have greater visibility into company insights and processes.   

“Now, we can look at real data and quantify what we mean. We can put it in terms of dollars, opportunities, and time. We’re dealing in facts. This has been critical as a communication tool for us because it easily fits into our process.” 

— JAMES M., Marketing and Sales Analytics Manager, Creative Foam 

From Excel Spreadsheets to Accelerated Processes 

Sugar and Sugar Sell gave the company more granular data and a proper historical view. The sales team can now track and analyze data before making decisions. This ability is expected across the entire organization. Marketing materials designed for customers and the company’s positioning are now backed by detailed and accurate data.   

Besides Sugar Sells’ reporting abilities, Creative Foam now has access to actionable insights that can be used for better positioning in a dynamic and evolving market. 

“We had a good feeling about where we were positioned but needed the ability to quantify it with data. Since implementing Sugar, we’ve seen that we have almost no drop in dollar content from EV to internal combustion, and in some cases, we have a higher dollar content.” 

— JAMES M., Marketing and Sales Analytics Manager, Creative Foam 

After Sugar’s full deployment and adoption, Creative Foam experienced a remarkable 42% growth in its pipeline in the first year post-implementation. In the same timeframe, the tiered business expanded by over 40%, providing valuable insights into the company’s market positioning and progression. 

Stating Competitive With SugarCRM 

After implementing Sugar, Creative Foam strives to maintain an innovative approach to its operations and leverage data and sales automation as much as possible. Sugar also allows the company to secure a strong market position through quality products. 

Curious to learn more about what the right sales automation solution can do for your manufacturing business? Listen to our latest episode of the Fuel Growth Podcast: Driving Sales in Manufacturing with Paul Black, sales-i.