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Zoho Updates October 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | October 2021

Hello and welcome back to the Zoho Updates October 2021. In the past month, Zoho CRM has released a number of notable updates and improvements. In this digest you’ll find time saving new features, how CRM is making user experience better, and how Zoho Desk is making the ability to relate contacts to multiple accounts simpler!

Keep reading for details about What’s New, Zoho Updates Ocotober 2021. 

New Features & Improvements from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • Updates to IOS Mobile App for Zoho CRM:

    • User-related lookup fields have been optimized, including the search and selection of users from owner lookup field.
    • “Plotting Leads, Contacts, and Accounts in nearby maps has been optimized for better user experience. Also, nearby pins will be grouped on zooming out a location on maps.”
  • Online instances of Zoho Campaigns offers increased specificity in regards to bounced status. “Soft Bounced” and “Hard Bounced” are now noted instead of just “bounced.”

  • Predictive Analytics utilizing Zia in CRM have been improved to achieve more accurate outcomes.

  • New color-coded picklist values improves data interpretation at a glance. Color-coded values are seen in records, modules, deals pipeline, charts, dashboards, and more.

  • Zoho CRM Sales Motivator admins can now compare the performance of a KPI or Target with other KPIs and Targets. Read more here.

  • Select your theme in Motivator; toggle between the light or dark theme to suit your viewing preference.

  • Zone Analysis is a new Dashboard component in Zoho CRM that helps you understand which data requires attention. This comparative analysis currently allows you to analyze two parameters.

  • If you have questions or need help setting up any of these, ZBrains Support is here for you!

Zoho Creator

  • This month Creator released two new enhancements to help you streamline work.
    • The first are a set of enhancements to export settings which allow you to name a file, select the format, select columns to include, and password protect exported files.
    • Secondly, Creator can now pull and pull data from external apps! Using Widgets you can now configure integration from your external apps, giving more power to the applications you use created on the Creator platform.

Zoho Desk

  • Desk now allows you to add a contact to multiple accounts: “Zoho Desk provides a way to relate a single contact to multiple accounts so your agents can easily track the relationships between the customers and companies they work with. Additionally, contacts can view all the tickets belonging to their account on the help center. When you enable this feature, each contact requires a primary account. The primary account represents a direct relationship. But you can associate additional accounts to the contact in a secondary relationship.”

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • CRM extension for LinkedIn Sales Navigator was sunsetted on September 30th. Affecting all users, the extension can no longer be used by current users or downloaded by anyone.


Have a question we didn’t answer here?  If you have questions or would like to connect with one of our consultants, schedule below. We’re also available by phone, just call our offices at (888) 207-4111.


Connect with a Consultant


Webinar for Zoho Writer

Zoho Writer: How-to & Tips Webinar

In less than 15 minutes, ZBrains Founder, James Converse shares Zoho Writer as it relates to Zoho CRM. The session includes information on:

  • How to use Writer and Zoho Sign to collect signatures on your quotes and other business documents.
  • You’ll see how to relate your Zoho Writer templates to modules.
  • Document storage best practices and tips on where to find the docs you create.
  • We’ll also review Writer templates: how to create them, using themes to coordinate with your brand, incorporating images, mapping fields from CRM, and the uses of sub-forms in Writer documents.

We’re sure you’ll get a few good inside tips for using Zoho Writer in this webinar, but if there are questions lingering – please don’t hesitate to leave yours in the comments below!

Register for this on-demand webinar now, or any time!


Register for the Webinar


Is Zoho CRM working for you?

What you should know about CRM Adoption

Is Your CRM Working for YOU?

Here’s what you should know about CRM adoption, to ensure that you are maximizing this tool. 

[caption id="attachment_5440" align="alignleft" width="400"]Planning A CRM Project It’s not uncommon to spend months planning a CRM implementation project. If you’re already down that road make sure the CRM adoption rate is high, this survey can help![/caption]

It can be difficult, overwhelming, and time consuming for users to learn a new CRM system, and sometimes that’s even after training. Most organizations spend months or longer researching and planning to bring on a new CRM or software. Then they begin to ramp up, perform initial training, and finally send their users out into ‘the wild.’ Your hope is everyone in your organization will be wildly successful with this new tool, and business operations will be better than ever!

With highly proficient teams, this shouldn’t be a concern, but we all know that every team is not highly proficient.  

In the real world where capabilities across teams vary, it is inevitable that different users will use the new systems in different ways – and to varying degrees of success. 

Some members of your team will not take to the new CRM at all!

This is low user adoption.

You might think, “well, that’s their problem if they don’t use the tools provided to make their work easier. We gave them training!” But trust us, we know you’ve probably made a decent investment in time and resources to implement this tool. You deserve to get the most out of it. You likely had the intention of equally balancing the goals of making your staff the best they can be, AND giving yourself and business operators the essential insights based on CRM data. 

But perhaps your CRM  just hasn’t taken hold.

If you suspect this might be the case in your organization, it’s time to take a closer look.

What is User Adoption?

[caption id="attachment_5441" align="alignright" width="400"]CRM Users Adoption What is CRM Adoption? A high level of CRM user adoption means that users are successful in their goals by using a software product. [/caption]

This is really straightforward, so we’ll share it quickly. 

User adoption is the process of ensuring that a system user can be successful in their goals by using a software product. 

In this case, we’re talking about how successful your teams are in being able to attain their objectives using your current CRM. This includes how quickly it becomes a routine tool, and how much users like it and want to keep utilizing it.

Consider your teams across Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Leadership when observing for user adoption.

Then consider if all teams used the tool to its full potential, and fully adopted the CRM.

What does great user adoption look like? With that data at hand, you have the power to create accurate dashboards and better forecasts, and you can empower your businesses’ leaders with the information they need to grow and make their teams successful. Win – Win!


Using Your CRM to its Full Potential

Curious if your CRM users on the teams we mentioned above are in a murky area of user adoption? You can make sure you’re getting the most of your CRM investment with this quick CRM User Adoption Checklist – it’s just 20 questions!

Take a look and get the info you need in order to assess whether or not it’s time to take action and realign around your CRM.

Is there potential for your CRM to work better for your organization? Take the CRM Adoption Survey and find out where you stand.


Take the CRM Adoption Survey


Zoho Sandboxes Webinar

Zoho Sandboxes in 10 Minutes or Less

In this quick webinar, ZBrains Founder, James Converse shares how sandboxes work, how to avoid common pitfalls, and briefly reviews how to set up Zoho sandboxes.

  • First, we’ll show you how to set up a sandbox test environment in Zoho CRM.
  • You’ll learn which functionalities from production exist in the sandbox environment, and which don’t at this time. 
  • We show you some methods for populating your sandbox with sample data, or your own data.
  • At the end, you’ll see how to ship all your sandbox customizations back to production after testing.

It’s important to know that not every Zoho application has sandboxes, so we’re discussing Zoho CRM and Zoho Creator here. 

Register now for this on-demand webinar and feel free to leave any questions in the comments or contact us if we can help you with your Zoho sandbox and test environment setup!


Register for the Webinar



Zoho August 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | September 2021

Welcome back again to your Zoho Updates September 2021. In the past month, we’ve seen a number of improvements across Zoho Books and Zoho CRM. In this digest you’ll find time saving new features, how CRM is making user experiences even more customizable, and how Zoho Desk is making the ability to relate contacts to multiple accounts simpler!

Keep reading for details about What’s New, Zoho Updates September 2021. 

New Features & Improvements from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • New feature in CRM allows you to assign the record owner through a Workflow. You may now define conditions in Workflows, and the owner will be assigned when the condition is met. Zoho says, “Records can be assigned to users, roles, users who create or modify records, or to those mentioned in the Assignment rule criteria.” Additionally, “owner assignment will be triggered ONLY from the first workflow rule that it matches. For the subsequent workflows, all other actions except owner assignment will be executed.”

  • Adding Users to Zoho CRM just got easier with the ability to import up to 1000 users at a time. Admin profiles and those with Manage User permissions can now import users into their organizations account using .xls, .xlsx, or .csv file types. Learn more from Zoho’s help article on this topic.

  • Webform Analytics in CRM has new metrics and charts available. Metrics for time spent on fields, field correction rate, drop rate, and the order that fields are filled can be put to use in your analytics. You now also have access to device source for form submissions. Individual form analytics now display average time spend and the abandon rate in submissions. Having this information available helps in analyzing your form success rates and adjusting forms for better engagement.

  • Expanded capabilities including Subform Fields now exists when you map dependency. Previously only fields from the layout were available to be mapped.

  • Zoho introduced their new CRM designer called Canvas, calling it “the industry’s first CRM design studio. “This no-code, drag-and-drop design studio is built into Zoho CRM and allows users to create contextual, immersive experiences for their teams.” Learn more about it from Zoho.

  • Email status updates make filters more straightforward so finding who responded to your messages possible. The Latest Email Status filter now includes “Responded” as an option. Use this and “Opened and Not responded” to segment your contacts for better communication messaging, for example positioning follow ups.

  • If you have questions or need help setting up any of these, ZBrains Support is here for you!

Zoho Desk

  • Have you ever needed to associate a contact with multiple accounts? Now you can select to enable this Accounts feature in Zoho Desk, and select to relate a single contact to multiple accounts. You can learn more here.

Zoho Books

  • Custom Reports in Books gives you the capability now to save your customizations. Find them instantly and use them again and again. There’s increased flexibility around user control, for example, who can view, export, or schedule custom reports.

  • New from Zoho Books, “Once you reconcile an account, you can now print the reconciliation details as well. You can print the the transaction details, transaction type, deposits and withdrawals.

  • Increased capabilities to select the customer advance accounts for tracking and recording excess payment, and configure the default account for tracking excess payments.

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

Zoho Desk

  • The Community module in Zoho Desk has three updates this past month including:
      • Assigning category visibility to “agents only.” This makes topics in these categories internal and visible to agents only.
      • New key category metrics are now available including: # of forums, @ of topics and comments received, % of topics created under each topic type, and more.
      • Increased functionality around controlling the ability to choose who can post and reply to topics in a category.

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

  • Creator rolled out a set of minor fixes product-wide including: bugs related to adding and deleting fields in forms, issue with record detail view in blueprint, a minor issue in file preview, and several additional minor issues.


Have a question we didn’t answer here?  If you have questions or would like to connect with one of our consultants, schedule below. We’re also available by phone, just call our offices at (888) 207-4111.


Connect with a Consultant


Zoho Updates from ZBrains

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | August 2021

This month, we saw just a handful of new features and improvements in our Zoho Updates August 2021. These are primarily for Zoho CRM and Books, and there were a few bug fixes in Creator. We think you might be interested in the update regarding Zoho CRM attachments, and its integration with tools like Google Drive and OneDrive.  Additionally, if you’re a Books user, hopefully you’ve seen the addition of in-app messaging from Cliq.

Get all the details for What’s New, Zoho Updates August 2021. 

New Features & Improvements from Zoho

Zoho CRM

Zoho Books

  • Zoho Cliq chat bar is now available in Books. Enjoy even more seamless communication with your colleagues in the app you’re using, without having to switch tabs.
  • You can now set tax preferences for your vendors and customers in Books. “A major update in the customers and vendors module is the ability to assign tax rates. You can assign these tax rates while creating or editing existing customers or vendors. So, the next time you create a transaction for them, the tax rate will be automatically applied to your line items.
  • Books improvement lets you create and associate budgets to individual branches or regions of your organization. To associate budgets to your branches: Go to Accountant > Budgets > New Budget > Select a branch. If you have questions or need help setting up this function, ZBrains Support is here for you!


Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

  • The Creator team shared many bug fixes this past month ranging from “minor bug fixes related to pivot chart and table sync issues,” to transition and highlight issues in Blueprint.
  • Another change in place for the maximum length of decimal fields. The field type used for decimal, percent and currency will now max at 16, versus 19 digits in Zoho Creator. Technical limitations are the reason for this updated, and once the change is in place, values longer than 16 digits will be rounded off.
  • Previously, Count as a Percentage or Fraction in Creator pages would not display as anticipated when a record was empty. A recent bug fix resolves this issue.
  • Finally there were minor bug fixes performed, related to subform workflows and pivot reports.


General Zoho Ecosystem Updates

In case you missed it during prior months: Important information from Zoho regarding price changes can be found here. If you have questions about this change or wish to schedule a consultation to discuss, please contact us using the form at the end of this article.

Have a question we didn’t answer here?  If you have questions or would like to connect with one of our consultants, schedule below. We’re also available by phone, just call our offices at (888) 207-4111.


Connect with a Consultant


Zoho Administrator Outsourcing

Should You Be Outsourcing Your Zoho Administrator?

How to Find the Right Zoho Partner for Outsourcing Administrative Work

Should you be outsourcing your Zoho administrator duties? The pros and cons of outsourcing have been discussed for years, some of the benefits being you don’t have to hire, onboard, or train; you get the advantages of a larger pool of knowledge; and you can potentially save in terms of labor costs paying only for the time you’re truly using. We would also add that in the case of highly specialized tasks, your organization benefits by being able to keep its focus on the things it does best – without having to ensure that internal resources have proper training, sufficient time, and the desire to take on new and different responsibilities. 

The cons of outsourcing can include losing some control, or that needs may get lost in translation. Although, more often than not, the benefits of outsourcing the tasks involved with Zoho administration far outweigh them. Let’s talk about it a little more so you can see if it’s the right move for your business.

What is outsourcing in Zoho administration?

[caption id="attachment_5260" align="alignright" width="400"]Zoho Administrator Help ZBrains has helped clients like you build a strategy for digital transformation and growth with Zoho since 2012.[/caption]

In this case, outsourcing is the practice in which designated company tasks or functions are given to service providers outside of your company. This support is provided to your company by an external resource instead of an internal one. Some tasks handled by a Zoho administrator can include:

  1. Assisting with best practices and implementations for user credentials and permissions.
  2. Ensuring that application updates are timely, and testing them to ensure that all integrations work as required prior to roll out.
  3. Responding to incidents as reported, and helping you with remediation.
  4. Helping to identify and notify you of opportunities to improve, enhance, or get more out of your system.
  5. And of course, many other tasks as they arise. Just ask!


We know as well as anyone that Zoho is definitely simple to pick up and use. But  customizing it to your needs, and correctly integrating and maintaining systems can be confusing for the uninitiated!


The Benefits of Combining Zoho and Administrative Outsourcing

We scratched the surface of this just a bit in the intro, but diving a little deeper, you have a lot of opportunities to benefit from outsourcing Zoho system admin work. Here are the three areas we think are most notable.


1. You Get a Better Return on Your Zoho Investment

For starters, we know that no business tools, especially systems for your CRM, Accounting, or other specialized applications were easy to implement. We see it very often – businesses have a lot of excitement up front about their new systems, but lose momentum due to lack of expertise. They begin missing out on the many additional features of Zoho that could help them optimize their businesses!

If you’re like most of our clients, the investment in time, resource training, and ongoing maintenance of your systems is not insignificant. However, are the resources in your organization who handle system administration the most qualified? And are you losing any time or efficiency each week simply by having the wrong person in the seat? 

Outsourcing your Zoho administrator duties can help enhance the return on your Zoho investment, and can even help lower your labor costs. Consider the economies of scale you could impact once you have assigned those tasks to the resource who’s best equipped to make your Zoho system thrive.


2. Expert Insight Can Lead to Innovation

It goes without saying that you are the expert in your business. From the products or services you provide, to the processes you use to deliver those to happy clients, you have spent the time learning and understanding what sets you apart. These are the factors making you successful!

Now consider what benefit could be derived from being able to tap into another knowledge base, particularly, a knowledge base with expertise in the Zoho systems you rely on day-to-day. Without having to add to your org’s headcount, you can bring in top-level talent and expertise to help you streamline automations, increase process efficiencies with workflows, templates, and even deeper software integrations. Letting an expert help you admin your Zoho systems means you benefit from another set of adept eyes.


3. You Have One Less Thing to Manage

[caption id="attachment_5258" align="alignright" width="400"]Zoho Admin Help With help from a designated Zoho admin you can focus on your core competencies, and avoid the distractions and unanticipated “emergencies” of system maintenance.[/caption]

Hiring a trusted partner to keep an eye on the often out of sight, yet routine, necessities that allow your systems to operate seamlessly, means a ton of management time is freed up! Now you can focus on your core competencies, and avoid the distractions and unanticipated “emergencies” of system maintenance that an outsourced Zoho administrator can ensure is always on track. 

For example, how many times have you missed software notices about integration updates that set your business behind by a few hours, or even a day or more just because a simple function needs attention?  You’ll always be on top of it – mitigating those risks of lost time and productivity – when these tasks are a priority for your administrative partner in Zoho. 

Speaking of agreements, you can also increase the speed and quality of work for outsourced activities. This flexibility is another, sometimes overlooked aspect of a service agreement for administrative oversight. This relates back to having a partner with experience that may be lacking in-house. The right partner will ensure that planning is up to date. They will help you focus your strategy. And  can ensure you get the services or help you need, as you need it. 


How to Find the Right Zoho Partner for Outsourcing Administrative Work

Establish Your Goals & Needs

The very first step in finding the right Zoho admin partner is to detail the needs you have to be outsourced. This includes documenting Zoho processes, product ownership, and maintenance services you require, and how frequently you believe these items require attention. Evaluate with your internal teams and establish agreements before beginning discussions or negotiations with any potential providers. 


Evaluate Potential Zoho Partner Credentials

When you do begin discussions with Zoho Consultants or partners, be sure to find answers to the following:

[caption id="attachment_5259" align="alignright" width="400"]Zoho Admin Needs Start your search for a Zoho Admin by detailing all of the needs you have to be outsourced.[/caption]
  • Do they cover the applications you use, 
  • Do they have working knowledge of any integrations currently in place,
  • What sort of plans do they offer (hourly or monthly service options),
  • Where are they located, and where are the people performing the work located,
  • And what experience do they have helping others like you in your industry?


These questions will naturally open conversations to more detail. This will allow you to gauge whether or not a partner will be able to assist with the needs and goals you outlined.


Selecting the Right Zoho Admin Plan

Consider again the goals and needs you established up front. This will help you select the right Zoho administrator plan. Depending on the size of your business, and the internal depth of expertise in Zoho, you may require  weekly, monthly,  or quarterly assistance. You absolutely have the option to bake that sort of maintenance into your Zoho system administrator requirements agreement or scope of work with the right partner. And if you’re looking for something a little more flexible, some organizations may allow for an hourly flex plan, and/or monthly retainer. 


Finding a Zoho Admin Partner at ZBrains

[caption id="attachment_5261" align="alignright" width="400"]ZBrains Zoho Administrators Achieve more with help administrating your Zoho system from a Zoho Certified partner like ZBrains.[/caption]

If you’re here, you may be considering ZBrains as a partner for your Zoho system administrator needs. You’ll find answers to most questions here on our site. However, we believe it’s important to connect in person with every client from the start. This ensures we get the most information from you, and have a greater understanding of your needs and goals. So feel free to contact us any time. 

  • ZBrains can help you with Zoho administration – whether your team is 5 or 500 users. If you’re just getting started with Zoho, or you recognize it’s time to take its capabilities to the next level. We have helped clients like you build a strategy for digital transformation and growth with Zoho.
  • We have proprietary integrations for Quickbooks and even built a field services and manufacturing ERP called FieldTech. 
  • Our teams offer both hourly flex support and a monthly retainer for support services, so you can get the coverage you need.
  • All of our talent is US-based, and we’re a Zoho Certified Partner who have been working in this space since 2012.
  • ZBrains works with many types of businesses, but we focus primarily on industries such as manufacturing/distribution, construction and field services, and those working in technology or SaaS organizations


Ready to discuss Zoho Admin Support with ZBrains? Get in touch today!

Connect with Us


july 2021 updates from zbrains

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | July 2021

Welcome to Q3, and your Zoho Updates for July 2021! With the first half of the year at a close, we are sharing just a few notable updates this past month from Zoho including on-premise Zoho Creator options, Microsoft-BI Integration, and multi-org sign in for CRM.

Get all the details for What’s New, Zoho Updates July 2021. 

General Zoho Ecosystem Updates

In case you missed it last month: Important information from Zoho regarding price changes can be found here. If you have questions about this change or wish to schedule a consultation to discuss, please contact us using the form at the end of this article.

New Features & Improvements from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • Good news for multi-org Zoho CRM users! “Zoho CRM allows users to access multiple organizational (CRM) accounts using the same email address. This is especially useful for organizations who maintain different CRM accounts to manage their business, such as a franchisee or a subsidiary.”
  • A CRM improvement now searches for similar records using unique fields, plus system-defined fields in the Leads module when converting Leads to Contacts and Accounts. Then, based on whether a value is available or not available for these fields the system will either ask to create a new record or merge with existing record.
  • You can now copy Campaign Member status from from CRM account to another while copying customizations.
  • Introducing Zia Reasoning in Assignment Rules! Zia now determines a pattern from your existing data to automatically assign the most appropriate owner for a record. Of course, admins can disable or enable the contributing fields to enhance Zia’s owner suggestion skills, too.


Zoho Creator

  • Creator Reports embedded in the Pages component have been enhanced. They will not appear as a larger window in Pages, and helps standardize the appearance of the detail view when embedded. Additionally, the user interface is improved, and several minor bug fixes were rolled out with this set.
  • Notable announcement from the Creator team says thatZoho Creator On-Premise was launched recently to help businesses host their apps on their own servers.”  If you’re interested in this solution, please don’t hesitate to let us know, we’d be glad to help you determine with On-Premise is a fit for your organization.
  • Microsoft Power BI desktop app connection is now available in Creator. It “brings together multiple software services, apps, and connectors to convert data from different sources into a collective, meaningful combination of information to obtain visually insightful data.” 
  • Good news for app creators! After several months in the works, Creator’s V2 upgrade is now in place, and brings Improvements including improved security, better error handling, improved performance compared to V1, and more. 
  • With this new enhancement, you can import data from a live app and update existing records while importing. This includes the addition of “Smart Suggestions” to provide intuitive recommendations while importing data.


Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

  • Creator bug fixes addressed this month include those that address: downloading page as PDF, visibility permission in subform field, editor popup in notes field, and localization in rich text field.
  • Creator Android app Version 6.4.8 subform fix addresses issues with dropdown field and OCR field in subform.


Have a question we didn’t answer here?  If you have questions or would like to connect with one of our consultants, schedule below. We’re also available by phone, just call our offices at (888) 207-4111.


Connect with a Consultant


Zoho CRM Integrations

Top 5 Ways You can utilize Zoho CRM Integrations – Even Though the Options are Almost Endless!

Zoho CRM integration abilities are often billed as the top reason why organizations choose the platform as their CRM and business software solution. It’s an undeniably powerful aspect of these tools. From finance and communication to sales, marketing, and office operations, Zoho ecosystem integrations truly can bring it all together. And if you’re using a service or application that isn’t Zoho, no worries, because Zoho was built with this scenario in mind and there are tools available to bring those apps into the fold, as well. Do you have a vision where information is no longer siloed? Where your teams collaborate easily? We think you may have just found the solution!

[caption id="attachment_5132" align="alignright" width="400"]popular zoho integrations Explore popular Zoho CRM integrations to help you spend less time managing software and more time making your business as successful as it can be! [/caption]


In this article, we’ll talk about the five major ways that utilizing Zoho CRM integration can enhance your business’ analytical capabilities from the top down, help to streamline your sales and marketing efforts, and give you the data you need to refine and improve your customer experience. Keep reading to see how integrating your Zoho solutions can help you spend less time managing software and more time doing the important things to make your business as successful as it can be.


1 Accounting and Finance Integrations

One question we hear A LOT is “Does Zoho CRM Integrate with QuickBooks?” And yes, it does, but it’s not even near the only accounting and finance option for playing nicely with Zoho. We do that work quite often for many clients, but QuickBooks is just one  accounting and finance option available out there!  Whether you’re using QB Desktop, QB Online, Sage programs, or another option, the Zoho capabilities exist to solve for double data entry, and can end the frustration of ongoing disconnect between your CRM and Financial data. 


Our client, Lavoro Technologies found the freedom to scale and evolve with their integration, and we think you might, too. Zoho itself has several solutions i f you’re not using any of the applications we just mentioned. Options are based on your business model and needs:

[caption id="attachment_5131" align="alignleft" width="400"]does zoho crm integrate with quickbooks Accounting and Finance Integrations for Zoho remove the task of double entry, streamline your operations, and help you gain accuracy.[/caption]


Zoho Books simplifies collaboration between sales and finance teams. It removes the need for duplicate data entry when integrated with Zoho CRM, and allows sales teams to record their estimates, sales orders, and estimates in CRM. It also provides purchase and transaction history details in CRM, and gives you the ability to automate some processes.

Zoho Expense helps salespeople capture expenses as they occur for their Accounts, Contacts, and Potentials. You submit approvals to CRM, where you can use Analytics to keep a pulse on spending. Take advantage of custom approvals, or you can even automate approvals when specific criteria are met. How much time could that save your sales team?

Zoho Subscription “bridges the gap between subscription and customer information” letting sales teams work in Zoho CRM to manage subscriptions because the customer information is seamlessly synchronized between the two apps in Zoho!


2 Communication Apps

All businesses run on communication, it’s basically the thing we do all day, every day. And Zoho has no shortage of available tools within their own ecosystem, and no shortage of other applications it connects to. Here are a few popular solutions for communication tools that integrate with Zoho.


Collaboration tools are at the top of the list of needs for many teams, ours here at ZBrains, too! Is your organization still working remotely or have dispersed teams? It is essential for your teams to keep in touch and communicate in real time. Zoho provides the essential tools and integrations required to collaborate perfectly. While it can integrate with Slack, Zoho has its own tool like it, called Cliq, and even that integrates with the applications you use most including: Dropbox, Trello, and Zoho Desk, Zoho People, and of course Zoho CRM. For deeper project management needs, we suggest Zoho Projects.

Telephony & SMS

As much as most of us probably wouldn’t like to admit it, we still use and need to make calls. Because this tech is still here and important to many, integrations for telephony solutions like RingCentral are there for good old fashioned calls! Messaging integrations like Twilio integration with Zoho CRM can help you with SMS campaigns.  Perfect for when you want to prime a contact with a text before calling, or to follow up after you reach them.


[caption id="attachment_5130" align="alignright" width="400"]Zoho Webinar and Zoho Meet for Sales and Marketing Teams Collaborative communication apps from Zoho like Webinar and Meeting help remote teams connect with colleagues, clients, and leads![/caption]

Live Chat and Meetings for Sales, Marketing & Customer Service

Live Chat allows you to connect with your customers and leads when they want to connect with you. SalesIQ from Zoho is an incredibly powerful integration that shows your CRM data in the application, so your Customer Service or Sales agents are set and ready with account information, or lead visit details. There’s even a mobile app!

Zooms and Webinars are everyday occurrences now, too. And we’re a bit of a broken record here, but Zoom and apps like GoToWebinar (plus others) integrate with Zoho. And Zoho has its own solutions for events and meetings, aptly named Zoho Webinar and Zoho Meeting, which you can use directly from CRM.

3 Marketing and Sales Integrations

Zoho CRM email marketing integration and Zoho social media integration are no-brainers. Zoho addresses your entire lead-to-cash cycle with these tools. 

Marketing Integrations

[caption id="attachment_5129" align="alignleft" width="400"]Zoho social media integrations Zoho features integration that brings your sales and marketing teams closer together, from social media lead metrics to customer surveys![/caption]
  • Zoho Social and Zoho CRM integration starts with generating new leads, then lets you identify the most successful channels, moving those leads to sales for faster closing. The system in Zoho Social has automation features, pushes leads from Facebook Ads directly to Zoho CRM with one click, gives you social listening capabilities, and of course, gives you the tools to track revenue in order to repeat your most successful strategies.
  • Zoho Marketing Automation contains tools to help you generate leads, understand their behaviors, and analyze the data from your lead cycle to enable greater sales. Additionally, as the name implies, you can automate customer journeys for your leads and customers using data from journey actions and CRM data for very specific segmentation that is virtually personalized. This integration takes your marketing activities beyond just email.
  • Zoho Survey closes the loop on customer experience with Zoho Survey and CRM integration. Gather, report, and act on survey responses, and use the insight to create better sales pitches when you know what’s working and what’s not.

Sales Integration for Zoho CRM

CRM is often seen as the pinnacle of sales tools, and you can already see from the sheer volume of things that integrate with Zoho CRM how this is true. They all add up to give sales professionals, and sales leaders the insight and information they need in order to best serve the right clients with the right solutions at the right time. 


Doing business with your organization should be as simple and seamless as it can be. Making your system easy to use, with highly integrated data sources, ensures that it is. Imagine giving your sales teams all the tools and information they require to get more sales, more quickly, that allows them to hold on to each hard earned customer for longer with a more profitable result. We’ll share a little more in the next section about the operational tools that also assist Sales.


4 Office Operations & E-commerce

[caption id="attachment_5128" align="alignright" width="400"]Zoho form integration Zoho Sign helps manage paperless workflow for digital signatures, allowing you to close deals faster![/caption]

Some of the most time consuming aspects of daily work are the office operations that we don’t often give a second thought to. We just do the work and move on. However, Zoho CRM integrates with such a vast number of tools both from Zoho itself, and others, to make this daily necessity more lightweight. You’ll find that once you integrate these always-used applications with Zoho CRM that the minutes per day that you shave off searching for emails and documents, sending and signing them, and generally managing the day-to-day storage and document shuffle of office life really do add up to a substantial amount of time. Here are a few integrations we like most.

Daily Operations

  • GSuite and Zoho CRM integrate so you can easily sync and access Gmail contacts, your tasks, and your Google calendar events in CRM.
  • Microsoft Office / Office 365 and Zoho Integration brings your presentations, spreadsheets, docs, etc. into one space within Zoho CRM for easier management. For example, you can access the Office suite from CRM for mail merge to automatically create customized documents. 
  • Google Drive, DropBox, and other integrations with Zoho CRM are available solutions for document storage. And you can access these directly from CRM, as well!

Paperless Office

  • And document signing, or paperless workflow for digital signatures, is another set of tasks that takes a lot of time and personal bandwidth to manage. Of course, Zoho has addressed this with its own secure solution, Zoho Sign, but offers integrations for other tools as well. For example, Adobe Sign Zoho CRM integration gives you visibility to document signing status, and both can shorten time to close by keeping the process digital.


  • Finally, for online sellers, shippers, and e-commerce, Zoho CRM integrates with Shopify, Magento, WooCommerce, and other platforms to help streamline your online transactions from click-to-buy, to invoice, payment collection, and shipping!


5 Almost Endless Zoho Integration Options 

So far you’ve read about some of the most universal business needs that are addressed when you use Zoho’s application ecosystem, like Zoho One, or integrate it with some popular solutions you might already have. But wait – there’s more! We weren’t really exaggerating when we said that the integration options are more or less endless. Zoho Creator is the platform to address almost any custom application or integration you can fathom, “from simple call logs to complex ERPs that integrate with your existing processes.”


ERP Solutions for Zoho CRM Integration

The good news is that some of these solutions for field services, manufacturers, and similar industries are already available from ZBrains. If you’re seeking solutions for any of the following processes, and would like to integrate with Zoho – drop us a line!

  • Quote Calculator (CPQ): Configure Price Quote tool enables your sales staff to generate Zoho CRM quotes or standalone quotes quickly and easily, using just one simple system.
  • Commission Calculator: Give your sales team back their confidence by calculating their commissions quickly and easily.
  • Payment Processing: Accept payments in Zoho CRM. Certain Zoho apps like Creator, Books, and Invoice have accepted credit card payments for some time.  But, it hasn’t been possible to process those transactions with a Zoho CRM credit card integration–until now.
  • SmartScheduler™: Using parameters you set, the Zoho SmartScheduler™ recommends possible appointment times for you or you staff to streamline your scheduling tasks and ensure that the right resources are assigned to jobs.
  • Executive Dashboards: Building a better Executive Dashboard with ZBrains means you can ensure all the reporting is done accurately, showing you results for all your KPI’s so you can make informed decisions instantly.
  • Inventory Management: Generate accurate insight into your business performance by syncing with inventory, order management and financial data. Centralize your operations with a Zoho ERP solution. 
  • Zoho Job Costing: This add-on for Zoho CRM enables your sales staff to generate quotes, manage proposals, and  track every dollar and hour spent on completing a job quickly and easily, using just one simple system – not the array of programs and personnel you might be used to dealing with.


Final Thoughts & Next Steps

Don’t see the solutions you need on this list, or mentioned in this article? Get in touch with us!  We know from experience that Zoho integrations can enable your team. They can help you drive your business with accurate data while saving you countless hours of effort chasing loose ends. Take the first steps today and empower your team and stay connected with your business! 

Zoho Implementations for Tech and SaaS

SaaS & Tech Companies: Zoho Implementation Works for You!

As one of the largest SaaS companies in the world, we like to think that Zoho knows a thing or two about making software systems for this segment. If you’re in the market for a new system, or starting your research here, this article will help you understand the capabilities of Zoho for SaaS and tech companies. And we’ll share details about what it’s like to work with ZBrains on your Zoho implementation.

This is your bread and butter, so you know that the details – KPI’s, clean data, and seamless integration – are paramount for most businesses, but are especially important for Tech & SaaS. 

[caption id="attachment_5119" align="alignright" width="450"]Zoho Implementations for SaaS Zoho is one of the world’s largest SaaS companies, and serves over 60 million users worldwide with their solutions.[/caption]

Before we get into it, ask yourself: What would your business look like if you could integrate your solutions for managing subscriptions, keeping an active CRM, giving internal and external customers an easy to use service ticket system, and being able to keep your accounting accurate and streamlined in order to maximize customer retention?

You need to keep a pulse 24/7 on all the numbers to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction. This is where the power of Zoho implementation and its integrations become very apparent. 

Are you already using several applications to keep your operations in line?  If you’re considering a new implementation, or improving what you’ve got with greater integration, having the right system and partners in place can make a world of difference. Here’s our advice and insight on the process needed to make it happen.

Begin by Evaluating Your Inputs

A single source of truth is invaluable, so maybe it’s time to stop using siloed data, and multiple systems that don’t quite ‘talk to each other.’ Believe it or not, you can get a true picture of profitability, costs, and almost any other meaningful KPI with the help of a well-appointed Zoho implementation.

You know what data is needed, so let ZBrains assist in getting you up and running in a system that brings everything together. The ZBrains process is key to ensuring your success, and we’ve spent every year since 2012 steadily improving our business as Zoho Certified Consultants. This process is the heart of what keeps us – and you after implementation – running smoothly.  Let’s take a closer look at the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of the importance of integrated software, including subscription billing, CRM, service tickets, and the other applications from Zoho to keep your Tech or SaaS business running effortlessly.


Why should you consider a Zoho Implementation?

In a SaaS or tech company, like almost any other business, an  software is meant to help maintain operations, make them run smoothly, and provide visibility to your most important metrics. When you have organizational efficiency and combine it with the ability to keep your fingers on the pulse of your most important KPI’s is where the true power of an integrated software is recognized.

We like to ask clients this question: “How would your business change if you were able to keep subscriptions, product data, and financial data in the same system? What about the ability to centralize your operations including everything from insight into customers, quotes, sales orders and invoices, to product inventory, work orders and process automation?”

Your business, and oftentimes your clients, will require you to have easy access to this information. Without it, your customer service suffers, user experience can be a miss, and  inevitably your subscriptions dwindle and profits suffer.  Are you sure that all of your KPI’s are accounted for and are you able to measure them and benefit from the results of knowing what’s working and what’s not? Software is the key to organizing processes, people, and data you need to make sure you can.

Business Process Management On a New Level

Take a moment and imagine having a system in place that can offer you:

“a disciplined approach to identify, design, execute, document, measure, monitor, and control both automated and non-automated business processes to achieve consistent, targeted results” that are aligned with your strategic goals. 

When you are finally able to align consistency with your business goals, every little step in that direction adds up, and gets you one step closer to success. Does this idea intrigue and energize you? If so, keep reading. 


Can good business processes really solve problems?

How do the aspects of the definition above apply to common activities you do in your business like: quoting, time tracking, equipment tracking, job costing, inventory management, scheduling, invoice and expense tracking, customer service, and subscriptions management? Do you currently have a way to achieve each of these points?

  • Is the process simple to see data and share between teams and/or departments? Or is the data siloed?
  • Does it take more than one hand to count how many software systems you’re using?
  • Are your associates able to seamlessly handoff projects from one department or process to another?
  • Does information get lost in the shuffle or is never considered at a global level?
  • Can you see which associates are working, where they are, and how effective they are in a given project? 
  • Is your subscription management process automated, including dunning management?

You’ve come to the right place if implementing solutions for any of these problems feels like a good next step for your business. You can achieve streamlined operations and processes with Zoho, but first let’s discuss some benefits of standardized processes.


6 Ways Standardized Processes Help Tech or SaaS Organizations

Which of these points could benefit your business the most? 

1) Increase Your Productivity 

Imagine a solution that could give you access to your service team status and location immediately, or that would allow you to create a quote faster. Or what if resources spent less time with double-data entry? And document handling was all digital? What if you could automate some of your routines? How could this affect your productivity factor?

2) Quality Control & Customer Experience

[caption id="attachment_5120" align="alignleft" width="450"]Zoho Customer Management Zoho’s subscription lifecycle management tools include features that can improve customer experience, helping you retain more subscribers than ever.[/caption]

When reviewing your NPS or customer feedback, does it say that some customer experiences are perfect while others fall short? Standardization makes your business, project planning, and deliverables executions more straightforward. This data also means you can streamline the training/onboarding process. Subscription lifecycle management features an also improve customer experience including:

    • Recurring payments and accounting features that ensure payments come on time and can facilitate payments through multiple methods.
    • Subscription metrics & reports help you stay up to date on your subscription business metrics and provide comprehensive reports
    • Even subscription automation that allows you to automate billing and subscription related tasks with the help of workflow rules and webhooks.

3) Bring Teams & Customers Together with Easier Collaboration

A well-provisioned system allows for more meaningful collaboration across teams because it helps to remove siloed information. Transparency in your organization helps your teams identify best practices, remove redundancies, and share expertise across departments more easily. Additionally, a good solution for your organization could include a customer portal where they can view invoices, make payments, or connect with an agent via a ticketing system to solve technical issues or request work.

4) Reduce Operational Costs

This can take many forms from being able to accurately quote and job cost, to giving clients self-serve options and giving your employees the tools needed to easily track time and materials in order to avoid overages or oversights. We’re just scratching the surface of how effective software helps reduce costs. Now imagine a system that can offer recurring billing and invoicing, and even dunning management to deal with payment failures and declines. The system can automatically initiate a recovery process which will save time in your financial department and reduce churn rate!

5) Give Yourself More Time for Innovation & Beat the Competition

Combining your entrepreneurial business instinct with the data an integrated system like Zoho One can capture is almost like a superpower. Put experience to work, plan and implement your innovations, and then use metrics you’ve captured to measure the results. With the power of data behind you, you are able to make accurate and incremental changes often and quickly. When you continually add automation to the mix, you’ll be giving yourself more time for innovation. Using the time you’ve saved to innovate, you’ll  be well on the way to being able to beat your competition.

How much time do you spend wrangling data? Checking multiple sources, and rechecking? What time is lost chasing invoices, customer data, and subscription information? When you are spending less time searching for data, managing individuals, and chasing processes, you can spend more time working in your business. With this gain in time you can focus on the innovations that move your business ahead of your competition! 

6) A Single Source of Truth to Rule Them All 

After points one through five, you can easily recognize how standardized processes can improve business operations beyond the basics. Zoho can help you bring your data to one ecosystem, and provide you with a single source of truth. Imagine a single sign-on that lets you access Zoho apps to operate every department, and gives peace of mind with security protocols that more than 60 million users rely on every day at work.

Have the scenarios we’ve shared about how Zoho can help your Tech or SaaS business been resonating with you? If so, you’re likely a serious candidate for implementing Zoho. And maybe you’re also convinced that ZBrains is the certified Zoho Partner to assist in your implementation. Let’s keep the conversation going!


What’s the ZBrains Business Process Analysis?  And how does it impact my Zoho implementation?

Every new engagement with ZBrains begins with a Business Process Analysis or BPA. Using what we know about all of the reasoning we shared above, we’ve developed a process that applies the same principles to our assessments. This is what is looks like:

Starting a BPA with ZBrains

The business process analysis is integral to all ZBrains consulting projects and Zoho implementations. As with any planning effort, it ensures a successful project plan is in place that fits with your business processes. We always start by getting to know you and your business.The best way we can solve your business problems is to first completely understand your current state.

Here’s what we do:

  • First we analyze expectations and identify any existing performance gaps in your business processes. 
  • Next, we examine your business from a wider industry perspective. What makes you the same and differentiates your business from others?
  • Then, ZBrains Certified Zoho consultants evaluate opportunities for improvement. 
  • Lastly, we decide which methods need to be introduced to positively impact the business.

We start by meeting with your team to thoroughly discuss and review your processes. This means taking time with sales, marketing, accounting, customer service, finance, and your operations teams to ensure every requirement is captured, and that we fully understand your existing systems. We’ll identify the best way to consolidate your operations into a centralized platform with Zoho as the hub.

After the BPA is finished, you receive expert recommendations on changes, augmentations or implementations from our team that are needed to meet your goals. We share a project timeline, deliverables, and an outline of targets so that you’ll always know project status. The strategy you receive can be executed with precision to create a successful business plan for the upcoming quarters and beyond.


How we work with Technology and SaaS Businesses

Zoho and ZBrains are both in this industry, and because of it we believe we’re uniquely positioned to offer our expertise here. And ZBrains specializes in small to medium businesses, just like yours. Here’s what a Business Process Analysis with ZBrains looks like for you:

Most often, we work with a champion from your company, normally a President, VP, or another C-level representative. We’ll talk about your executive dashboards, and business analysis tools, areas for improvement, and overall company goals with a new Zoho system.

Also, we ask to include members from teams across your organization in the intake sessions. This means representatives from all teams who will be using the software. We like to include SME’s from your Sales, Estimating, Marketing teams, Customer Service teams, and other Service or Resource Management representatives, and of course, Finance. This ensures that we get a global perspective of the business in our  intake, and we find that it encourages greater user adoption later on!


What information does ZBrains gather during a BPA?

During our sessions with each of your various team representatives, ZBrains will collect detailed information about their daily/weekly/monthly processes. We’ll see what’s working for them, what isn’t, and what improvements are needed. Discussions with your teams will often include the following:

[caption id="attachment_5121" align="alignright" width="450"]ZBrains assessment Process for Tech Businesses ZBrains collects detailed information about all your business processes. We’ll see what’s working, what isn’t, and what improvements are needed.[/caption]

Sales and Estimating

We’ll review and discuss all points of your sales process. Then, we look at if and how your quotes or estimates are created and shared with clients. What other documents are required and will they be managed digitally? We’ll dive into how new leads are addressed, and how is existing business managed? How do you measure success – what are your critical Sales KPI’s?

Finance & Subscription Management

We’ll drill down to completely understand what information is required from your front office to back office. We include review of documents for customers, all the way through to which data is required in order to generate executive reports. We’ll also dive into how you’re managing subscriptions, reporting on churn, and ensuring that payments are received. What information are you capturing from usage stats in order to segment and serve (or market to) your clients?

Customer Service & Support Teams

Keeping any hard-earned client happy is almost always less expensive than onboarding a new lead. For this reason, we’ll look at all of your CRM data and service ticket processes for service requests, including options like live chat for support. Do your current systems integrate? Do you want them to? We’ll also discuss document requirements.

Project Management Teams

What are your current project management tools? Who is using them? Are you taking advantage of features such as: task automation, team collaboration, issue  & time tracking, and mobile project management options?

Production & Installation

Are you a SaaS or Tech business that also sells product, like an IaaS or IOT as a Service org? If so, how do you procure goods? Are you purchasing parts or equipment? Do you have composite items and  a need for CPQ? What is your current process for handling bill of materials, work orders, and routing? How are you handling time tracking? We also get into your potential needs for planning capacity, and on-site maintenance, to name a few. 

Additionally, how are your installation teams scheduled and dispatched? Are factors like crew size, availability, proximity, or skill set taken into consideration?  How is time tracking addressed? Are your production or field/on-site service teams tracking their own inventory, and assets? What about work orders, scheduling, and routing?

Inventory Management

If you are stocking products, we go into detail about your inventory management processes including current and desired states. Do you have multiple warehouses, mobile warehouses? How are you handling order fulfillment? What about installation or service components? Are you ordering the same components from multiple vendors depending on lead time, price, and other factors?  Do you need to track reorder levels for items you keep in stock?

Other Zoho Integrations

Finally, we’ll look at your current integrations to determine compatibility with Zoho. We can also help identify any new integrations that might benefit your business processes. Some of the Zoho integrations commonly used by Tech and SaaS organizations include:

    • ShipStation,
    • TaxJar,
    • Avalara,
    • QuickBooks (Online and Desktop),
    • Xero,
    • Ecommerce solutions like Shopify or Magento,
    • SMS solutions like Twilio,
    • And many, many, others.


Considerations for Budgeting and Timeline for Zoho Implementation

As we mentioned earlier, Zoho is uniquely positioned for the SMB. For example, Zoho One includes more than 40 integrated applications in a single ecosystem. You’ll be hard pressed to find a solution that isn’t included, and when you can’t or you have a preferred tool, you can almost always integrate. 

A major software implementation for a large business can be as high as six-figures to implement, plus another five figures for the service costs. These incredibly robust enterprise tools are really powerful, but for a small or medium business like yours, they’re oftentimes out of reach. You shouldn’t dismiss the functionality just because the big names are cost prohibitive. Upon inspecting more closely, we think you’ll see that these big-name-solutions themselves are more often than not complete overkill. This is another reason how a BPA can help any small or medium sized business identify the actual tools they will need and utilize.

Incase you need more talking points: Why Zoho is a Solid Choice

  • You deserve a solution that is also robust in functionality and nuanced for your business! 
  • More often than not, Zoho is less expensive to implement and has a lower total cost of ownership than competing solutions.
  • Zoho applications are built to suit your business, and customization is possible using rapid development platforms like Zoho Creator.
  • Zoho is accessible. Built and designed with the SMB in mind, and you don’t need a dev at every turn. Simply add custom fields or new reports. Customize dashboards. Drag and drop functions make it easy to do this work in house, without sacrificing enterprise functionality. 

As a fellow in our industry, you probably already know how common it is for technology implementations to end in low user adoption. They can be too complicated and cumbersome for users and they become bogged down. Sometimes the new apps are placed, but don’t fit into the workflow. However, when you take the time to address the business needs, then build your system to solve for nuances of your business – and you get insight users in every department – you get better user adoption and a higher chance of success. As you can imagine, with so many variables, the budget and timeline for your Zoho implementation will not be exactly like any other. (However, you can get a price range using our instant quote tool.)

Thanks for reading through, and learning about the ZBrains process. We hope it’s been useful. If you’re interested in the next steps or have any questions, our Zoho Certified Consultants are ready to help you get started with your implementation or new integration – just get in touch!


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