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Author : Jeremy Mozlin

Introducing Zia, Zoho CRM’s AI-powered assistant

Howdy, you zany, tech-minded readers.  This blog’s been a little quiet lately… and, rather than bore you with my very personal story of wearing 19 different hats, solving global hunger, and curing cancer, I figure I should just get down to business and tell you about some new Zoho offerings, as that is what I seem to do best.  So, without further ado, let’s talk about Zoho’s newest addition to the CRM: Zia.

Zoho CRM is getting even better

zoho crm zia

Zoho has, in fact, been just as busy developing new product extensions as we’ve been over here helping Zoho users.  Their last big CRM update was almost a year ago, in June 2016, when they came out with the new UI, so I suppose they were due for an update.  (Zoho doesn’t seem to be able to fathom letting most apps stagnate for more than a year.)  This round of new additions certainly did not disappoint.  This blog post will cover one of those updates, while some of the next blog posts I write will cover the others.

So, this Zia.  What is it, exactly, and why is it here?

Zia: Like having a business coach right at your desk

zoho crm zia

Zia is a nifty little widget that sits right in the lower right corner of your CRM (if you’re using Enterprise edition, that is) and gathers information about how you use the CRM.  That’s everything from how many tasks you complete (and their types) and which records you interact with, to what emails and templates you’re sending out to your prospects and clients.  Zoho’s AI tool then delivers predictions about how well you’re going to be doing, sales-wise, not only to individual users, but to team leaders as well.

Zia also points out anomalies with special Zoho CRM screens

One important part of forecasting sales is pinpointing aberrations in your trends and finding out just why they occur.  Zia can hopefully help you prevent these weird glitches entirely with the helpful tips, but, if she doesn’t (yes, it’s a she – Zoho told me so), she provides extra screens with charts to help you visualize sales trends versus actual figures.  Pretty neat.

zoho crm zia

But, where else can we find Zia inside Zoho CRM?

Zia isn’t limited to just a few screens and a lower-right widget.  Truth be told, you can find her in every lead or contact you’ve reached out to in the form of SalesSignals, a real-time recommendation as to the best time to call someone.

[caption id="attachment_2411" align="alignleft" width="168"]zoho crm zia Hm, looks like I missed my mark today.[/caption]

And furthermore, Zia will even politely interrupt you after seeing you’ve performed a particularly rudimentary task over and over again, asking if you want to create a macro that simply does that task for you.

So, if it isn’t abundantly clear why you should use Zia, this is the gist:

  1. Zia sees where you’re spending time doing tasks and helps to automate them.
  2. She sees when you’re contacting people, when you’re having the most success, then generates suggestions about how to duplicate that success.
  3. Zia notices anomalies in your forecasting and offers suggestions about how to rectify those before they become realities.

Basically, it’s like having a coach right there at your desk to help you use the CRM.  Not a bad deal, as the price of Enterprise hasn’t gone up…but, you might just want to upgrade to that version if you aren’t on it yet!

Still need some help with Zoho CRM?

Did you just upgrade to Enterprise edition and get confused by the array of new features, including Zia or Blueprint?  Or, are you a new Zoho user looking for some expert Zoho consulting?  Just contact us using the button below this blog post and we’ll get back to you ASAP.



3 Ways the DIY Zoho QuickBooks Integration Gives You Control

DIY Zoho QuickBooks Integration Gives You Control

If you’re any sort of follower of this site, you already know that we provide an integration between Zoho CRM and QuickBooks – for both Desktop and Online versions of QuickBooks.

quickbooks zoho integration

However, you may not have known that our new version of the integration is totally do-it-yourself and gives you a host of great new options for managing your data.  Whereas before you’d have to consult with our engineers whenever you needed to change a field mapping or make any sort of tweak to your settings, our new dashboard makes it easier than ever to sync, filter, and back-fill your data.

#1. Customized field mapping for your company

quickbooks zoho integration

If you’ve implemented Zoho CRM you probably know a thing or two about CRM customization – namely, that it has to be done for your business to run effectively.  That said, it probably doesn’t make much sense for you to even attempt to map your data from your CRM to QuickBooks, or vice-versa, using a predetermined mapping scheme.  Our DIY dashboard gives you the ability to set field mapping across platforms yourself, even to custom fields.


#2. Record filtering so you only sync what you need

quickbooks zoho integration

Your company might have criteria in place to transfer records from one system to another so your systems don’t get bogged down with unnecessary information.  For example, maybe you only want to transfer a Zoho account record to QuickBooks if that account has an email address present.  Well, just because you’re moving to a new syncing system doesn’t mean you should have to lose that criteria!  With our record filtering module, you can set criteria by which records can sync – as many criteria as you want, and for any of the modules you have available to you.

#3. Migrate your historical data so your systems match

quickbooks zoho integration

When you’re moving from an old system to a new one, it can be a real pain to back-fill all your old data so your systems are communicating with each other effectively.  If you simply don’t have the time to spend babysitting a data migration, why not let our data migration tool do the job for you?  For migrating data from an old system to a fresh, new one, nothing works better: just select your historical sync dates by module and hit Submit.

If you already have some data on your new system, the historical data sync will still work; you’ll just have to make sure the names of your accounts, products, invoices, etc., are consistent across platforms, as the integration uses the name of any record as the key field.  For more info on that, you can contact us and we’ll give you the scoop.

Total business control at your fingertips

With the various market niches that businesses can fill, it happens that no two are alike… And, so it goes with both your CRM platform and your data syncing needs.  Choose a system that allows for deep customization – Zoho CRM – and choose an integration with QuickBooks Desktop or Online that allows for complete customization of your syncing needs.  Have any integration questions?  Contact us at (888) 207-4111.

Migrating (Data) from Salesforce to Zoho | 3 Things to Know

zoho crm salesforce data migration

Lately, we’ve been getting a good number of questions about moving from Salesforce to Zoho CRM: namely, questions about migrating data between the two platforms.

I’m talking about things like:

  1. Does it all transfer from system to system the right way, or do things get lost in translation?
  2. Does it take a long time to do?
  3. Is it expensive?

First things first: it’s absolutely feasible to migrate data from Salesforce to Zoho, and to get your whole team on the platform.  But, the three concerns listed above are clearly important to address, and far be it from me to leave you hanging.

#1. What actually comes over in a data migration?

zoho crm salesforce data migration

Something that can really hamper you when migrating data is when information simply will not transfer from one system to another – that is, things get lost in translation.  At best, this leads to loads of manual entry after the big move; at worst, you’ll permanently lose valuable information about your clients and the overall health and history of your business.

This factor alone can sometimes keep people on a CRM that no longer suits them – and, in the case of staying on Salesforce, this can mean keeping a system that’s too complicated and has low user adoption, a system that’s too expensive to be a wise choice for your business.

Thankfully, there’s one important point to consider: Zoho CRM’s data import tool is able to read the metadata of records exported from Salesforce.  That means you’re able to keep all your notes and other auxiliary data attached to individual records, and that you don’t lose a bit of your past history.  (It’s important not to use the API data migration tool if you want to keep your metadata.)

#2. How long does it take to go from Salesforce to Zoho?

zoho salesforce data migration

It goes without saying that time is of the essence in the business world.  Projects taking too long – even data migration or CRM platform migration projects – can be relegated to the back burner if the project manager knows they will take too long for the company to carry out and not be totally messed up for days on end.  Sometimes, these projects are simply never completed, and the business isn’t able to move on from a system that’s outlived its usefulness – even if it’s something robust like Salesforce.

Zoho Corporation offers a data migration service of their own but with one caveat: it can take up to several weeks to complete.  Even for the price point ($100), not many companies can afford to be in limbo between systems for that long – and, for those in a hurry, it won’t do at all.

Fortunately, Zoho CRM’s built-in tool for migrating data helps immensely with this with its ultra-quick migration time.  Even for many modules and thousands of records, as long as your Zoho consultant knows how to map your fields correctly, data migration only takes two days at most.  That means that portion of the project can be completed over a regular weekend.

#3. What will a Salesforce to Zoho migration cost?

zoho crm salesforce data migration

Cost is yet another factor that can put a data migration project on hold if it’s too much to bear; it’s unfortunate that halting a simple data migration project could ever come down to cost, but it does indeed happen.  ZBrains’s team of consultants can spend a weekend, or even two solid weeknights, with your data to make sure it all flows from Salesforce to Zoho, but in return the service costs more than a flat $100 fee.  (Let us know if you’d like a quote based on the number of modules you need to work with.)

If price is still an object, you might even choose to use a Zoho training session to get familiar with the ins and outs of data migration from Salesforce to Zoho CRM yourself at that point.

Still not sure how to approach migrating from Salesforce to Zoho?

If you still have questions about how this would work, don’t hesitate to contact us.  Salesforce can be quite overwrought for businesses, and we’re happy to take a look at your existing configuration and tell you what it would take to replicate your current system on Zoho – or, even improve upon it.  Contact us today and a certified Zoho consultant will get back to you within 24 hours.



Increase Zoho CRM Adoption – Use Tooltips

Zoho CRM Tooltips: the three-in-one helper that’s brand new to the CRM

If you’ve ever had to force an entire team to start using a new piece of business software, you know what a pain it can be.

zoho crm tooltips

Not only can your team not read your mind (so they just don’t know how awesome the new system is or how many hours you put into overseeing its development), but training isn’t always engaging for everyone, and sometimes people are left with questions about what to do with the array of new data entry options before them.  Not the best way to success.

zoho crm tooltips

In this breakneck-paced business world, there isn’t always time to ask questions to peers about using your new system properly, let alone flag down your supervisor for a best practices tutorial.  So, people are forced to adapt.  And, they do so – but, not always in the best way, as you find out when you run a report in your system and all the numbers are off.  You might ignore this the first time this happens, but as soon as you see it again, you know something’s amiss; you realize you can’t accurately gauge the health of your company because your staff aren’t using the new system correctly.

So, what’s a business owner to do to make sure the team stays the course and doesn’t break off into a bunch of factions using the new system improperly?

Well…there is something you can do – and, in retrospect it seems like such an obvious feature, I’m really glad Zoho Corp chose to implement it in the new Zoho CRM UI.

Introducing Zoho CRM Tooltips

zoho crm tooltips

Zoho has introduced a tooltips feature in the CRM for custom fields.  The idea here is that standard fields are all going to be pretty self-explanatory, but nonstandard or custom fields might be a little harder for your staff to grasp the meaning of, especially if you just added them yesterday and didn’t tell anyone.

Zoho CRM tooltips places a handy question mark bubble next to custom fields of your choice (the tooltips can be enabled or disabled in CRM custom fields) and allows an explanation of the custom field in question to be set.

This does a few different things for you:

  1. Reminds your team of the proper way to use your custom fields
  2. Ensures more accurate data entry for better employee record-keeping
  3. Allows for more accurate, more complete reports for executives

Of course, providing help to your team in the form of a little question-marked bubble is great, but the real end result – better insight into the health of your business – is unbeatable.  Zoho CRM tooltips is just one more reason to use the new version of CRM if you haven’t begun to already.

Psst! Need a Zoho CRM tutorial for tooltips and other Zoho best practices?

zojo crm tooltips

Zoho realizes what an issue proper system adoption can be, and to that end they’ve released a couple of gamification features: essentially, they turn using the system into a game, with points, badges, a leaderboard, and – as your game director sees fit – the possibility to win prizes.  Gamification in the form of Gamescope is a component of the new Zoho CRM and Zoho Projects; Zoho also uses the leaderboard concept and applies it to sales in general in the Zoho Motivator app.




Zoho Salesinbox Prioritizes Email

Too many emails?  Use Zoho SalesInbox to sort and prioritize them

Lately, I’ve been wanting to delve into the new Zoho CRM a little more deeply.  On the surface, the new CRM looks wonderful with its new facelift, but beneath the surface (or, with just a few mouse clicks), one can see that Zoho did much more with the new CRM than simply alter its appearance.  Next on the list of new features I really like is Zoho SalesInbox, a variation of the Zoho CRM email integration.

[caption id="attachment_2165" align="alignright" width="300"]zoho salesinbox You don’t want this.[/caption]

Zoho SalesInbox tackles a common problem with most businesspeople, especially executives: their email inboxes are filled to the brim with all manner of messages, some of them relevant, some of them very pressing, and others completely impertinent.  Having to sort through them may not take that much time, but, spend enough mental energy doing even menial tasks and you’ll soon find yourself depleted.

SalesInbox takes away a little bit of that menial thought labor by automatically sorting your emails into groups: Emails from contacts related to Deals, emails from other Leads and Contacts, emails from people not in your CRM, and emails from colleagues.

zoho salesinbox

Again, it’s only a slight reduction in work, but you’ll quickly get into the habit of scanning your screen from left to right, just like a line of text – and, you won’t be nearly as fatigued with the tedium of sifting through new messages.

Salesinbox provides cool new features to help you sort

zoho salesinbox

  1. Flag certain contacts to automatically put mail from them into a column of your choice.
  2. Flag emails from Contacts related to Deals of your choosing (for example, Deals with an amount over $10,000) so they appear in your inbox first.
  3. See how contacts have progressed through your sales funnel with at-a-glance details.

And, perhaps the best (and most obvious) feature of having a Zoho CRM email integration…

4. Automatic lead creation with the click of a button – or, with a workflow rule.

This is great if, for example, you’ve made a post in an outside forum or any other place you can’t easily insert a Zoho webform: Let clients know to email you using a certain word in the email subject line, like “quote.”  The system will create a new lead any time someone not already in your CRM uses the word “quote” in the email subject line.

Just on its own, this feature of the Zoho CRM email integration is fantastic: it effectively ends manual entry if you can tell the system your requirements for becoming a Lead.  Just imagine how much time you’d get back in your day!

Speaking of workflow rules, you can have the system remind you to work on those bigger deals when they email you.

[caption id="attachment_2168" align="alignright" width="300"]zoho salesinbox Okay, maybe overselling it, but I’ll bet this comes in the next build.[/caption]

This feature is the next-best thing to having a personal assistant: if someone you deem important emails you and you haven’t replied in a time frame you specify, the system can remind you to email those people back.

As well, you can program the system to let you know when someone else hasn’t replied to you in a while.  Maybe you’ve had a client fall through the cracks because you simply didn’t follow up as zealously as you could have… Well, that doesn’t even have to be a factor anymore.

There’s even more to Zoho SalesInbox that I haven’t covered here, so for a full breakdown I suggest taking a look at Zoho’s own article on the subject.



Test Your Toys in the New Zoho Creator Sandbox

Before you think about Zoho Creator Sandbox, imagine for just a moment…

zoho creator sandbox

Remember when sandboxes were the place to be during recess?  Innocent times, those… We were young and didn’t have a care in the world.  Weren’t ready for that great, big outside world – not slightly – and the sandbox kept us insulated: from the harsh blacktop, from the rough-and-tumble world of the soccer field, and of course from the big, scary older kids.  And then, when the time was right, we left the safety of the sandbox and ventured into the world along with the upper-graders, now our contemporaries.  And, after that initial jump, we continued adjusting ourselves in the real world until we finally graduated elementary school and outgrew the need for special insulation.

With such regulation and care given to how we spent our precious free time during elementary school, why wouldn’t we apply that same logic to our computer programs?  That is to say instead of simply building a computer program or app from scratch and thrusting it into the real world, hoping it would perform as specified, why not develop the app in a sandbox environment, testing and making adjustments to the functionality as needed, and only then pushing it into production?

Well, as a Zoho Creator user, maybe you’ve come to this conclusion before – and, maybe you’ve even gone to lengths to develop your apps inside a sandbox of sorts before pushing them into Creator, and ultimately into production.  But, that wasn’t such a good way of doing things; there was too much room for error between concept and reality.  Programs didn’t work the way they were supposed to, and your customers let you know it unequivocally.

Zoho Creator Sandbox

zoho creator sandbox

Zoho has understood your concern on this one.  For Zoho Creator, they’ve developed a sandbox environment for you to test your apps in before you move them to production.  This Zoho Creator sandbox is a welcome addition to Zoho Creator for obvious reasons.  For one thing, it’s even better than an elementary school sandbox; rather than insulate your app from production in an unrealistic environment, the Zoho Creator sandbox mimics your production environment exactly – only, it doesn’t affect your actual business data or reports at all.

zoho creator sandbox

Essentially, allows you as a business owner to add one extra step to your app development process to ensure that:

  • Employees are trained properly on your app before its use in production.
  • You will understand the effects of employees’ use of the app before its use in production.
  • The app can be updated largely in one fell swoop – behind the scenes after a preliminary version is already in production – rather than in smaller segments, which may not make sense when presented in that manner.

If working on apps in Creator seemed daunting at first, it may be time to open up the program again and give it another chance; there are many situations in which you can use Zoho Creator sandbox to help streamline your procedures.  Maybe you need an app that will create custom reports from data in Zoho and QuickBooks, for example.  Or, perhaps you need an entire Zoho ERP suite that syncs up with Zoho CRM.  However, if you still don’t think you’re ready to design your own apps, the Solutions Architects at ZBrains can help you with that and everything that goes along with it. Contact us today for a free introductory consultation for your Zoho Creator project–or anything else related to Zoho.


5 Game-Changing Features of the New Zoho CRM!

New Zoho CRM is back with a vengeance after its facelift

If you haven’t already heard about the new Zoho CRM interface and new Zoho CRM features that were all rolled out in earnest over the past few weeks, you’ve probably been living under a rock – or, you’ve just been really busy.  Don’t worry!  It happens to me, too.

Before Zoho rolled out the new UI, however, they very quietly rolled it out to their partner network so we could all become familiar with it before we started helping people build out their own systems.  And, let me tell you: it is gorgeous.  But, that’s not even what I wanted to talk about.

Zoho proves with this new iteration of their CRM that beauty is much more than skin-deep.  I’ve put together 5 ways this Zoho CRM changes the game completely – and puts you firmly in command of your system.

1. Schedule a script to run independently instead of as part of a workflow rule

zoho crm features

This is really nifty.  Zoho workflow automation has always been handy, but, up to this point, if you wanted the system to carry out a task for you, that task would have to be based on some other action taking place, like the creation or editing of a record.  That would make it impossible for you to run a custom script that wasn’t based on an action – like, say, to sync data from Zoho to Google Drive (or some other cloud-based system) at the end of every workday.  But, with this new capability, there’s no more limitation in that arena, and you don’t need to base a scheduled script upon performing an action!

2. Automatically trigger leads to convert based on set criteria

zoho crm features

Workflow rules now extend to lead conversion, so if your Lead record matches that special criteria you set for qualification, you don’t even have to press convert anymore.  For people who have hundreds of things going on – and might be prone to forgetting to convert their Leads to Potentials – this is a lifesaver, but, it’s also good for new salespeople who might not be sure what your exact lead conversion criteria are.  If you tell your CRM what those conditions are, it takes the work off your salespeople’s plates.

3. Set multiple layouts per module

zoho crm features

Have you ever wished you could add another layer of granularity to your record separation game?  With the new CRM, you can plan separate page layouts for any module in Zoho – even custom ones!  This comes in handy if, for example, you deal with multiple kinds of leads.  While you’ll want to keep track of all your sales activities, you probably won’t want to take potential partners down the same sales funnel as your regular prospects.  The new Zoho CRM allows for multiple completely custom page layouts so you can take every kind of Lead, Potential, or Account down the sales path that’s best for your business.

4. Gamify your CRM activities!

zoho crm features

Sales gamification is a great motivator, as I’ve mentioned before.  In the new Zoho CRM interface, Zoho takes the same great idea they’ve applied to Zoho Projects (and on which they developed an entire app in Zoho Motivator) and applies it to the CRM – and, as it is in Projects, it’s a great tool to drive proper use of the system.  If you don’t believe it, just imagine this: After starting a contest, all your salespeople start taking notes on pertinent records, converting Leads to Potentials, and completing tasks in the CRM… It might sound like a pipe dream, but with Gamescope for the CRM, all you have to provide is the incentive; the CRM takes care of the contest itself (and provides fun, encouraging notes to users who complete enough CRM tasks even if you don’t provide a prize to the daily victor).

5. See all dashboards in the mobile CRM app!

zoho crm features

Any mobile CRM app is a great idea: All sorts of working people benefit from accessing their database on the go, whether it’s technicians out in the field or executives looking to stay abreast of current happenings from outside the office.  But, from the Zoho CRM mobile app it wasn’t always possible to see all your custom reports dashboards in one place… And, now it is.  So, rather than have to thumb (or finger) through pages of data from a smaller screen, you can just do the same thing you’d do in the office – look at your beautiful reports and know at a glance how your business is running.

But, wait… There’s more!

zoho crm features

Zoho, the overachieving developers they are, have done much more than this in the new Zoho CRM design, so for a full breakdown I recommend taking a glance at the article Zoho put out on the subject.  Or, better still, if you aren’t using Zoho yet, sign up for a free trial.

Zoho CRM Plus adds Zoho Motivator to the mix

Looking at Zoho CRM Plus?  Time to get Motivated!

zoho gamification

If you’ve been putting off buying a subscription to Zoho CRM Plus because it didn’t include Zoho Motivator, you just might be in luck very soon.

In the coming months, the powers that be at Zoho Corporation may be planning to lump the sales gamification app in with its CRMPlus package, which already includes a veritable boatload of apps and features – and, at no extra charge, either.

The really cool thing about Zoho Motivator is that, whereas some Zoho apps included with CRMPlus are only good for specific kinds of businesses, Motivator will improve any business that has a sales team.  Basically, it broadcasts statistics and goals on a TV monitor (which isn’t included, unfortunately), letting you know who’s in the lead.  Encouraging a little friendly competition never hurt – and, if office morale is in a little slump, you’ll be shocked at how much this little tool helps boost productivity!

zoho crm plus

Wait – What’s in Zoho CRM Plus?

Currently, CRMPlus includes Zoho CRM, your powerhouse for storing client data, especially where everyone stands in your sales cycle, as well as these apps:

  1. Zoho Campaigns – For sending out mass emails, drip marketing campaigns, and tracking open rates.  A great tool for organizing mailing lists and sending targeted content.
  2. Zoho SalesIQ – This attaches a chat bubble to your website, so you can easily engage website visitors, or leave an open line of communication for them to ping you instead.  Totally invaluable for any website meant to sell a product or educate.
  3. Zoho Social – For your social media blasts.  Social connects to Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and Google+, allowing you to blast out your social media posts on a whim, or use the calendar feature to plan ahead and “smart” post scheduler to blast at the best times for your readership.
  4. Zoho Support – Perfect for organizations that get a lot of, well, support requests.  Your clients can use a dedicated email address, and an administrator makes sure requests are routed to the most appropriate people on your staff.  Threads can be stored and transferred to a knowledge base that other customers can look at before they write in, too.
  5. Zoho Projects – For companies with complicated projects with lots of collaboration and individual tasks, Projects is the go-to.  Administrators can invite team members to different projects, create task lists, and ensure due dates are met.  The “feeds” feature allows team members to comment on each other’s work, which helps collaboration.  Pretty great tool for the job.
  6. Zoho Reports – Takes what’s possible with CRM Analytics and expands on them further.  Unlike CRM Analytics reports, Zoho Reports allows for 3rd party integrations and much more detailed reporting.  If custom reports are your game, you’ll enjoy this app.
  7. Zoho Survey – Fine tool for customer feedback.  Survey allows for custom surveys, reporting on results, and even integration with Zoho Campaigns for even easier reporting.

So, in other words, you’re already getting a ton of bang for your buck for $69/user/month (or $57/user/month if you pay annually)*. With the addition of Zoho Motivator potentially on the horizon, you’re essentially getting another Zoho app for free.  …And, in my humble opinion, it’s one of the more useful apps, so, again, if you’re one of those folks who put off buying CRMPlus licenses for your team because you thought adding Motivator would be too expensive, well…fret no more! *Prices updated June 2021

zoho gamification

Zoho Motivator’s new feature: Scorecard analytics means team building!

One thing that Zoho didn’t have to do but did with Motivator is add scorecard analytics to the mix.  Essentially, the scorecard analytics feature takes the salesperson’s activities and gauges what skills that person is best at – and, by also exposing team members who don’t excel at a particular skill, you can group team members whose skills need some work with team members who excel – according to real sales numbers! – and watch your whole team improve.

Even if you choose not to have team members work together in that fashion, it’s still good to know which people are good at which skills, as you never know when that information will come in handy:

Say you learn two of your team are great at following up with leads, and three others aren’t so great at calling, but they’re great at sending emails (and, you’ve checked metrics and see their emails get a lot of opens).  You now know who to put in the trenches when a business partner of yours shares a big lead list with you.  And, you also know who to utilize for an engaging email campaign!

zoho gamification

Now’s the time to motivate your team!

Nothing saps motivation like the heat of summer and the promise of vacation waiting just outside the door…and, conversely, nothing feeds it like the heat of competition and the promise of an awesome prize broadcast right on the office TV monitor.  You can breathe some life back into your team with Zoho Motivator and get a bargain on all your other Zoho apps with CRM Plus.  If you’re not signed up for Zoho CRM yet, give it a try for free here!


Zoho AppCreator Lets You MAKE Mobile Apps

You know you’re living in a decadent time when you learn that Zoho’s just created a new product that lets users create entire mobile apps from scratch.  The new product, called Zoho AppCreator, is pretty similar to Zoho Creator, but with a focus set squarely on creating mobile apps.

zoho appcreator

Forgive my amazement, but, remember when creating apps was something you needed to hire a very experienced developer to do, and, even when the thing was all done, you had to jump through flaming hoops of compliance to get the thing into the App Store or the Play Store?  Now, you can get all apps created with Zoho AppCreator into the app store, no sweat.  Unreal!

This is still a relatively new product, so I’m sure there will be updates, but let me give you the first-time rundown!  We can explore it together.

Zoho AppCreator – First Glance

zoho appcreator

Zoho’s new UI rollout really shines here – AppCreator is perfectly in line with all the other apps Zoho’s upgraded recently.  (Still waiting for a few stragglers, though… I’m looking at you, Zoho Campaigns…)  All the main buttons – the hamburger, the home and help icons – are in their expected places, and the lighter blue header is a nice change from the darker hues of most other Zoho apps.

Truly the easiest, coolest thing

Zoho AppCreator gives the user a screen with which to build real, functioning mobile apps that not only stand on their own, but can connect to Zoho CRM and other third-party business programs.  Building apps is all pretty much done in a familiar, drag-and-drop fashion; users can select the data fields of their choice from a bank, and even create their own custom fields if they so choose.  And, perhaps the best part: you don’t even have to know how to code to use this.  Apps you build with Zoho AppCreator will function on Androids, Apple devices, and Windows machines…just like that.

zoho appcreator

But, how can you use Zoho AppCreator for your business?

Pretty easily, actually.  Here are some easy potential use cases:

  • Connect to the CRM and set up a scheduling app to fit your needs
  • Send information to your CRM or other business program on the fly by entering through a form
  • Set the CRM to notify Zoho AppCreator users when certain conditions arise
  • Sync data from multiple business programs to a single custom app

There are loads more, of course – I’m sure you’re thinking of a few possible applications yourself.

Another thing you’ll love: As with all other Zoho apps, AppCreator is cloud-based.  That means any change you make to the app will reflect for all app users immediately.  That means no software upgrades!

What you can do now:

  • Sign up for a trial of Zoho AppCreator and get your hands dirty!  Er, you won’t get them dirty, actually, since the thing is so easy to use.  Give it a shot.
  • Stay tuned for more content on the latest Zoho offerings!  I plan to create a searchable page for the site that includes more in-depth info on Zoho AppCreator, which will include a comprehensive list of features and more potential use cases for the product, written in a more consultative way.








SalesIQ Mobile App – Never miss a chat again!

zoho salesiq mobile app

The big picture: You’ve probably shied away from SalesIQ in the past because you were afraid it would look bad if your sales team wasn’t logged in.  But, what if you could solve that problem with a mobile app?

If so, this is the one for you.  A programmable chat window on your website ensures your visitors have someone to talk to – and now, with the SalesIQ mobile app, you can be there whenever you want, even when you’re not at your desk.


It seems like these days, Zoho comes out with a new feature almost every week.

And, I’m not talking about silly, useless updates either – these are the real deal.  Last week, they released an update for Zoho Creator, the Zoho AppCreator, which allows for creating functional apps in Creator with a simple drag-and-drop interface… Impressive.  (Look for a piece going into a little more depth on that later this week.)

zoho salesiq mobile app

And, just today, I heard about this great update for Zoho SalesIQ – the SalesIQ mobile app.  As with any good mobile app, it’s lightweight (18 MB for Apple devices and only 9 for Androids) and provides enough functionality to make sense without giving you all the controls you get with the full version of SalesIQ.  For an example of what I mean, you can set your status to Away or Busy with the SalesIQ mobile app, but you can’t change your company’s business hours or address information.  I don’t know why you’d need to do that from your mobile, though.  (Before continuing, if you aren’t sure what SalesIQ is, I’d suggest reading this.)

The app doesn’t have the nice orbiting display the full version of SalesIQ boasts, but it does show numbers of visitors in each orbit you have set up, and then offers a detailed view you can use to chat those individual visitors up if you’d like.

Most importantly, the Zoho SalesIQ mobile app includes the option to make noise, vibrate, and flash the screen when someone responds to one of your website triggers.  That way you never miss your visitors’ requests when you’re away from your desk.

zoho salesiq mobile appZoho SalesIQ mobile app features and screens:

  • Visitors Online – Shows numbers of visitors in each category on your website(s) with the SalesIQ code embedded in them.  (You can get the code for this from inside the full version of SalesIQ, but not the SalesIQ mobile app.)
    • Detail – Shows individual profiles of visitors on your websites, including their names (if you or they have filled out that info), IP addresses, the current page they’re on, their referral method, their browser, and their operating system – just like the full SalesIQ.
  • Visitor History – Shows profiles of either all visitors or returning visitors to your websites, including all info from the Detail screen mentioned above.  My only gripe with this SalesIQ mobile app feature is the visitors don’t seem to be in any logical order, and there’s no way to sort them (yet).
  • Visitor Chats – Separate from the Visitors Online screen, this is where your chats take place.  You can choose between viewing Ongoing, Missed, or Historical chats here.
  • User Chats – This is for communicating with team members also online (whether on the SalesIQ mobile app or on the full version), good for announcements related to the product, e.g., you’re running a contest for your Sales team members to see how many conversions they can get that day.  You can send private messages or “message board” messages, which are like group chats.  (These features are available in the full version of SalesIQ too.)

zoho salesiq mobile app

  • Settings – This screen is pretty basic, but gives you all the functionality you’d really need from a mobile chat app:
    • Profile – Displays your photo, same as the regular SalesIQ.  Also displays your privilege level (Administrator, member, etc.) and the name of your company.  Useful in situations when you’re responding on behalf of others in your organization, or on behalf of other organizations (which as a Zoho certified consultancy we sometimes do).
    • StatusThe most important screen.  Allows you to set your status as Available or Busy.  This stays consistent between any instances of SalesIQ that are open, which is also very nice.
    • Notifications – Allows for setting the kinds of notifications you want in your SalesIQ mobile app (sounds, vibrations, and pop-ups) for new chat messages, followup messages, and messages from within your organization.
    • Theme – Allows for a slight skin modification.  Kinda cool if you have a favorite color, or you’re in a particularly orange or pink mood today 🙂
    • Reset data – Clears all data from SalesIQ.  If you ran a few test chats and want to clear those out, this is good to have, but I’m actually a little scared of hitting this by accident one day.  I don’t know why this is included in the app.
    • Sign out – Signs the current user out of the Zoho SalesIQ mobile app (but not your full version of SalesIQ, if applicable).

The SalesIQ mobile app is a great way to stay on top of your chat game

In short, this is a fine product for anyone looking to engage website visitors a little better.  To make the best use of this, set up automated SalesIQ triggers for website visitors so your system pushes notifications to visitors automatically and you can worry about people contacting you instead of fumbling with your mobile keyboard to type personalized messages to everyone you see.

As with most new apps, there are a couple of features that would benefit from a little tweaking, but overall this SalesIQ mobile app is a great addition to the Zoho family.  And, it’s only been around since March 30th of this year, so I’m guessing Zoho will improve this one and perhaps even add more features as time goes on.

I’m online right now (at least until 7 PM, when I tend to fall over from exhaustion)… are you?