Forget about the business-to business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) sales solutions some vendors try to pitch. "People by products from people, not businesses," SugarCRM co-founder and CMO Clint Oram told CMSWire.

"It is about i2i (individual to individual)," he said.

So instead of focusing its software on account and opportunity management like a large SaaS vendor in the CRM space who shall remain nameless (hint: rhymes with Pale Horse), "our products focus on the 'R'" in CRM, said Oram. In other words, "relationships." 

Meet 'Hint'

So it follows that this morning Cupertino, Calif.-based SugarCRM unveiled "Hint," a relationship intelligence service that provides context around the individual customer you, as a salesperson, are about to call on. It does this by gathering data on 2 billion contacts from 70 different sources outside of the firewall, including sources like LinkedIn, Facebook, post office records, educational records, social media sites and more.

"Hint" is the first iteration of SugarCRM'S Relationship Intelligence product. Its promise is to tell a salesperson "something I don't already know."

SugarCRM Hint

What's Next for Hint

Clint Orum
SugarCRM CMO Clint Oram
Later this year Hint will provide context and insights drawn from unstructured sources — and it might even provide insights around what customers have read or are reading.

By this fall Oram said Hint potentially could tell you “what to do next,” by crushing and analyzing big data and leveraging predictive analytics.

Like Salesforce and other CRMs, SugarCRM's core product includes contact records, account records, transaction records and such, but rather than focusing on being a system of record, its emphasis is on people — a person with a problem and a person with a solution.

A Single-Minded Focus

While Sugar's emphasis on i2i is certainly a differentiator, it is not the only one. Unlike CRM giants who also offer solutions around marketing, customer service, “one even bought a word processor,” Oram said. 

"All we do is CRM. We're not predicting that Social will change the world, that the Cloud will change CRM, instead we focus on relationships, better user experiences, mobile CRM that you can use when you are not online. We are very pragmatic."

Oram said his customers look beyond the most expensive software and the biggest names: "They are a bit more discerning" 

SugarCRM customers include IBM, Virgin Mobile and the New York Times among others.

Hint is available as an add-on for $15 dollars per user per month.