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Author : Nicole van Zanten

launch zoho crm

How To Launch Zoho CRM in Two Days

When hiring a new vendor or signing a contract with a software company, there can be feelings of both excitement and fear – excitement at the opportunity to have such a solution make your life easier, and fear at the concern that launching such a service or platform might take hours upon hours to get off the ground. Well, we’re here to tell you that when it comes to Zoho, you can launch Zoho CRM in as little as two days. Yes, you read that right. Two days.

How can we make this happen? Because here at ZBrains, we have the magic formula to launch your CRM quickly and efficiently – simply because we’ve done it hundreds and hundreds of times for our clients.

Here are four easy steps on how you can launch Zoho CRM in two days.

1. Plan.

During the planning stage, it is important to define your sales and overall business process, with both the data and actions at each stage of your sales process. Your sales manager and lead sales people should know this process like the back of their hand – they just need to put it on paper.

For example, consider the following:

  • What happens when a lead comes through your website?
  • Who should be on the initial introduction call?
  • What are the steps you need to take when a prospect turns into an opportunity or proposal?
  • Who signs off on a won deal?

You certainly have all of this information in your head – your team simply needs to integrate such plans into documents.

2. Specification.

Once you have documented your sales process, you should convert your process into a specification document, which lists each field by module, action, trigger, and user. Start with all the standard fields in Zoho CRM, then add your own custom fields, as well as remove the fields you’re not going to use from your specification document. Go through this process a few times as you’re specifying just to ensure that you haven’t missed a step. It always helps to document in the initial planning and specification stage as much as possible.

3. Build.

Now is the time to build and customize your CRM from your specification document. Granted, if your process involves custom programming, or if you don’t have any of the content, it might take a longer than 2 days to build, but just to get started, 90% of companies do not need custom programming for their sales process.

But that’s just an aside. Building the process and framework typically takes two days alone – and remember, you can always customize as your team learns and adapts the Zoho CRM platform.

Which brings us to…

4. Train.

After the system is actually built, you should conduct a Zoho training session with your users, as well as help them get acquainted with the new system. We always recommend recording training sessions as much as possible, so that your team can go back and re-watch after your official training sessions are held.

If your team is wondering how long an implementation process takes, you can rest knowing that the response is two days. To launch Zoho CRM within this timeframe takes into account that your team has come to the initial planning meeting with an idea of the sales process and other marketing content that is available. All information is good information! We can turn this into actionable strategy and tactics for your team while using Zoho CRM.

Here’s Why Zoho’s Growth Is Great For Users

Here’s Why Zoho’s Growth Is Great For Users

The year of 2005 saw the first release of Zoho CRM, and it’s no secret that Zoho has grown exponentially over the last few years; with 3500 employees globally and 25 million users on the platform, the once small-yet-mighty CRM has scaled tremendously since inception. Yet, with growth naturally comes questions – is Zoho’s growth an opportunity for users?

The short answer is yes. The explanation is below.

Zoho has paid a great deal of attention to R&D, especially in 2017. The company invests in people, who they consider to be vital as part of the R&D focus. For example, Zoho has a comprehensive program that hires high school students and trains them in what is called Zoho University – in fact, over 15% of their engineers come straight from this program. It fosters community within the business, and trains employees early on in the process – training those employees who will only contribute to the platform and the future ahead.

This fostering of community exemplifies their focus on growth, especially as it steers to 2018 and beyond.

Here’s why Zoho’s growth is great for users – and why you should feel confident in the software path ahead.

Zoho has a focus on aggressive development horizontally.

Within Zoho CRM, there are a plethora of features that are available to solve key business challenges. From Zoho Sheet and Zoho Creator in 2006 to the expansion of Zoho Notebook, AppCreator, SalesInbox and more into 2016, the company is focused on adding more and scaling further for users. Aggressive development means that you and your company can benefit from everything Zoho has to offer – including the remarkable features that the company is building in R&D.

Growth means that the gap will close between the more “expensive” solutions.

We’ve covered the price point that Zoho boasts – one that is far less expensive than competitors like Salesforce. Yet, growth within this software platform means that the gap will close between features available with Zoho versus features with a competitor like Salesforce.

By this, we mean that Zoho essentially has all of the features and benefits that you need from a CRM (we would argue that the platform offers even more for small and medium businesses than Salesforce does). Growth over the last ten years has meant that features are being introduced at an even quicker pace and greater availability to users.

Speaking of price, it’s like getting a Ferrari for the price of a Honda.

…and who wouldn’t want that?

We all know that Zoho offers a powerful engine for a great price – the Ferrari for the price of a Honda, as we mentioned. That, combined with the ability to scale and grow as more and more users join every single day, it’s clear that Zoho offers a competitive pricing structure for companies.

Zoho employees are global, trained internally, and have a great deal of focus on developing new features around-the-clock. What was once a small platform with a big dream has since become a global business with over 25 million users and 3500 employees. Confidence in Zoho only continues to grow, as Zoho growth in 2017 continues to expand beyond what the company could have ever imagined.

We are proud to work so closely with brands and businesses who are scaling their own companies using Zoho, and we’re excited to see what the next 10 years brings to this software and our clients. To hop on board or to simply learn more, click here to start a conversation with our team.

Zoho CRM

Will I Outgrow Zoho CRM?

When you are searching for the ideal CRM that will suit your business, there are plenty of criteria that must be considered – such as price point, features and functionality; yet, one point that is not always considered is the ability to scale. Arguably, this is one of the most important criteria points that your team needs to review before signing on the dotted line. Why? Because most businesses want to scale and grow, which means that you need to find a CRM that will scale with you. When it comes to the Zoho CRM, the benefits of this software are many and, rest assured, it’s a CRM that will scale with you and your business.

Discover the benefits of Zoho CRM – and why you won’t outgrow this software.

zoho global

#1. You’ll join the ranks of global brands.

Did you that Zoho is used by the likes of Amazon, Benchmark, Mogl and Selectra?

They all have one thing in common. They’re huge.

All of these brands (and so many more) are massive in nature, and global in business reach. They rely on Zoho, and Zoho has scaled with them along the way.

#2. Zoho add-ons and integrations will expand your team.

There are many integrations that Zoho offers, and many that we offer here at ZBrains. Below are our favorites:

Commission Calculator

This calculator is something we offer here at ZBrains. The calculator helps determine commission calculations, approvals, statements and payroll integration. You can learn more here.

zoho quickbooks integration

QuickBooks integration

Need to update customer purchases, sales orders, invoices and more? Integrating QuickBooks with Zoho CRM allows you to know where your clients are at in every point of the cycle.


The SmartScheduler from ZBrains gives you the ability to search through employee information such as calendar availability, proximity to client, area of expertise, and any other data that can be collected from Zoho. This gives you, the business manager, the ability to set appointments with others in as easy as 1,2,3.

#3. It’ll remind you when your calls and meetings are coming up.

Instead of adding new team members as soon as you see growth occurring, why not consider working smarter? We love the ability to get reminders and make calls with the Zoho CRM. With the Zoho PhoneBridge, you will receive reminders to attend every scheduled call; you can also make calls from the CRM, which means you can stop wasting time by dialing phone numbers.

#4. Automation is key.

Much like working smarter with phone calls, automation will make you work smarter.

You can automate follow-up emails, processes and new meetings. For example, when you finish a call with a prospect, you can automate an email sequence to follow in order to move them further down the funnel, or develop a proposal.

zoho security

#5. New clients and employees mean you need higher security.

As you scale, you need to have the highest level of security with new clients and processes. After all, it’s difficult to scale when security is a challenge.

We’ve written a great blog on the security features of Zoho that we love here at ZBrains.

Zoho is ideal for a team of any size. Though the company focuses on small to medium businesses, should your team expand and revenue explode, Zoho will always be there for you. The benefits are plentiful, and the ability to scale delivers far beyond what other CRMs provide.

To learn more about how Zoho can scale with you, connect with us here.

Why Small Businesses Don’t Need Salesforce

Why Small Businesses Don't Need Salesforce


You’ve been searching review sites and soliciting colleague feedback for weeks. You know your business needs a CRM, but you’re not sure which CRM is best for you. As a small business, you need to have all of the features in place to scale quickly as you grow, and overcome any potential pitfalls, yet you don’t need a price tag that puts into question the ROI for your company. 

Well, you’re in luck. Though we might be biased (surprise, surprise), we’re biased because we know that Zoho works for small businesses just like yours.  We wouldn’t be so passionate about this business if that wasn’t true.

While Salesforce is the number one CRM on the market, at least by market share and revenue, Zoho is truly made for growing companies. Salesforce caters to large, enterprise clients – such as Coca-Cola, ADP and Delta. Zoho, on the other hand, was created for customers who own or are part of small businesses in technology, consulting media, real estate verticals and more. Although the features and benefits are similar, functionality is different when considering Zoho vs Salesforce.

With that said, here’s why small businesses don’t need Salesforce.

Because as a small business, you need a CRM that will scale with you.

As a small business, you do not need hundreds of thousands of contacts in your CRM – yet. That’s like a single bachelor living in a 10,000 square foot mansion. Necessary? No. Nice to have? Perhaps. Yet, the annoyances far outweigh the benefits – more rooms to clean, higher cost of rent, more space for stuff.

Similarly, a CRM that offers too much comes with room to house bad data (after all, if you never reach your ceiling, why would you perform housekeeping tasks on a weekly or monthly basis?), the price tag is outside of what you can actually afford, and the feature-set isn’t what a business like yours needs.

Instead, work with a CRM that can scale with your business – so you can add on those extra rooms as your company expands. Small Businesses Don't Need Salesforce

Because cost is a factor.

Cost is a factor for any business, but even more-so for a small businesses.

Why pay for an enterprise CRM when your needs aren’t that?

Zoho starts at a price that is affordable for even the smallest of independent contractors or businesses. Salesforce, on the other hand, starts at 100% more per user than Zoho’s standard user price. Simply put, when it comes to cost, small businesses don’t need Salesforce, or a similar enterprise-focused CRM.

Features are plentiful within Zoho.

Zoho can record phone numbers, emails, meeting notes, to-do lists, documents, and much more without leaving the system. Similarly, the Zoho Import Wizard, Web Forms, or the Zoho CRM API to easily import contacts from other third-party business applications. The features are plentiful and the opportunities are endless.

The Zoho platform also centralizes all forms of sales info and communications, such as email, phone, SMS, social media, and in-person, into contacts, activity and records.  These features are provided natively in some cases, and in others they exist as Zoho integrations.

Reporting matters.

Zoho provides a comprehensive view of all sales activities, including deal size, lead source, competitor information, and any other metrics you select. In addition, you can collect data and provide reports around sales forecasting, invoice data, and contract management (through digital signatures). Reporting in Zoho is everything, especially as a business grows and scales.

On-the-go is a necessity for small businesses.

Both Salesforce and Zoho offer native mobile apps for Android and iOS devices, which makes on-the-go data and insights so easy to consume. For example, you can update a record or contact through mobile, and view past notes on your iPhone as you’re walking to a meeting with a potential new client. Forget the clunky laptop as you’re in transit.

If you’re an enterprise client or massive business, like the aforementioned Coca-Cola, ADP and Delta, you should consider the features and benefits of both Zoho and Salesforce; yet, if you are a small business that is ready to scale and centralize your communication through a feature-focused CRM, Zoho is for you. This platform will provide everything you need – features, reports and more – with a cost that makes sense for your business. And that’s exactly why small businesses don’t need Salesforce.

Questions about Zoho? Click here to connect with an expert from our ZBrains team.

Zoho’s System Security Capabilities – What You Need To Know

zoho security

When it comes to security with online software, you’ve likely heard it all. “Change your passwords“, says your Information Technology group. “Don’t connect to public Wi-Fi“, your colleagues suggest. Yet, with your CRM – Zoho, specifically – we are lucky that the platform has built-in, ready-made capabilities that will protect you and your business. Particularly, Zoho’s system security capabilities are second-to-none for Tech and Marketing teams alike.

But, why should your business even care about security?

Well, let us tell you a story about a little ol’ company named Sony.

Sony created a globally popular movie, The Interview, featuring Seth Rogan and James Franco. The Interview depicts two friends who run a popular tabloid show; these two friends pitch and land an interview with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un. During this time, they are recruited by the CIA to turn their trip into an assassination mission. Naturally, North Korea (in real life) wasn’t impressed with this storyline. As the story goes, hackers who claimed to be from North Korea hacked Sony Corporation in one of the most popular cyber attacks in entertainment. From releasing salaries of Sony’s executives to spoiling the release of upcoming movies, to distributing medical information about Sony employees – the consequences of the hack were felt far and wide.

Yet, it was Sony Corporation who wasn’t prepared, and were completely unaware about what could happen if a company disregards security through online software. Needless to say, Sony changed their practices immediately, and focused on safety and security of their online software.

Now, your business might not be as large as Sony; but the principle remains the same. Safety and security of your online information is integral to the reputation of your business.

So, with that said, if your team uses Zoho, you can sleep well knowing that you are in safe hands with this software. Below, we’ll show you the system security capabilities you need to know, along with where they can be found in Zoho. Some features are through Zoho Vault, the online password manager for teams, and others are built right in Zoho CRM.

Here are Zoho’s system security capabilities – and what you need to know. zoho security

1. Zoho securely stores passwords.

Application used: Zoho Vault

Passwords are encrypted with the strongest encryption standard (AES-256), which means that you can securely store passwords through the software without worrying about changing them frequently for safety and security.

There are many password solutions out there – from OnePass to Security Server Online. Yet, many are clunky and – to be quite frank – a pain to use. After all, who wants to log-in to multiple platforms only to reach one?

Zoho’s system security capabilities gives you the ability to securely store passwords should keep your Tech team at rest.

2. Track user actions.

Application used: Zoho CRM, Campaigns and Social 

If your company sends an email, tweet, updates a lead or tracks an opportunity, you want to track who does what, and when. For example, if your Marketing team creates a lead and your Sales Representative needs to know who performed this action, Zoho will tell you. Similarly, if you need to assign or re-distribute a password, your Tech team can see how and when this was done.

Tracking user actions allows your teams to see how and what changes were made, helping identify potential breaches if they are taking place.

3. Passwords are shared securely.

Application used: Zoho Vault

Within your team, you might share passwords through email, text or over the phone. But, you don’t need to worry when it comes to Zoho.*

You can define access privileges through the platform, meaning you can share passwords with team members quickly and easily online.

*PS: Never share private or sensitive information (like passwords) over email! This is integral to Zoho’s system security capabilities. 

zoho security

4. Database security.

Application used: Zoho CRM

Hackers attempting to reach CRM systems and databases happen frequently. Much like the example of Sony Corporation above, it’s important to have security systems and checks in place.

With Zoho’s CRM database, encrypted data (AES-256 bit) is always sent over the internet. In addition, the connection is through SSL. This makes safety and security a priority and focus within Zoho.

5. Control access.

Application used: Zoho Vault

Many companies using Zoho have large teams, meaning that many passwords or access abilities need to be shared within such teams. Instead of sharing passwords or providing access to 100+ individuals on just that – an individual basis – Zoho allows uses to provide passwords to users and groups in bulk and deny access when a user is removed.

By using Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Vault and more, it’s clear that safety and security is a priority when it comes to this software. Whatever the case might be, and regardless of your company’s industry, security needs to be at the forefront of all business decisions.

Questions about Zoho’s system security capabilities? Connect with us here.

Zoho Sales Qualification Process – What is it and why should I have one?

Zoho Sales Qualification

When your pipeline within Zoho is expanding and you’re building for the future, you might face the challenge of “bad leads” – leads that aren’t qualified for your business, or perhaps aren’t ready to purchase your services or products. Without a Zoho Sales Qualification process, you might simply be deleting these leads from your CRM (gasp!) or leaving them in the sales cycle, meaning you have bad data and inaccurate statistics.

Let’s turn that around – now.

If you can relate with the story above, it’s time to implement the aforementioned sales qualification process.

So, what is the Zoho Sales Qualification process?

This process is, in a nutshell, the steps you can take to ask the right questions of your prospects and determine whether or not they are a good fit for your business. Once you determine whether or not the relationship should continue, the qualification process also continues – qualifying or disqualifying such prospects within your sales funnel. Sales qualification works for business of any size – small, medium to enterprise. After all, 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy, which means they’re taking up space in your CRM instead of being an accurate representation of who’s ready to sign on the dotted line.

There are four key steps in a Zoho Sales Qualification; this blog will provide an overview of what you need to know to go through the process.

Find out how you can implement sales qualification for your business below…

Step 1: Identify who your target prospect is.

The first step to any sales cycle is to identify who your target prospect is. By this, we mean that you should look at organization level qualification – qualifying the company. For example, you should look at the following: Zoho Sales Qualification

  1. What is your target territory?
  2. What is your focus industry?
  3. What is your ideal target company size? (either in revenue or employee size)
  4. What is your target persona’s job title? (for example, Communications Director or VP of Sales)

By understanding who your target prospect is, you can accurately perform outreach targeting and understand who should be in your funnel – and who shouldn’t.

Step 2: Determine prospect need.

After the prospect has shown interest in your services or products, such as filling out a form or sending you an email through your website, it is best to hold a discovery call to get to know one another. This is before any other move is made, such as putting together a proposal or turning into an opportunity.

Discovery calls will determine whether the prospect has an immediate need, or a need over the next 6 months. On the discovery call, you can ask the questions above to ensure your prospect is within your target audience. You should also inquire about need, pain points and company information.

Step 3: Qualify the stakeholder.

Once you have determined the prospect’s need, it is time to qualify the stakeholder. This is where the fun begins!

In this step in the process, you determine if the prospect is a decision maker. Ask yourself the question – can they sign on the dotted line? Or do they need a direct manager to do so? Is there anyone else who should be involved?

In this process, it is best to follow the BANT model. This model asks the following questions…

Budget: Is the prospect capable of buying?
Authority: Does your contact have adequate authority to sign off on a purchase?
Need: Does the prospect have a business pain you can solve?
Timeline: When is the prospect planning to buy?

Using proper qualification means you can use Zoho lead scoring to give your leads actual numerical scores, which makes the distinction between qualified and unqualified easy if you’re just looking at passing a threshold.  (Lead scoring assigns a point value to things like the usual BANT qualifiers, plus other metrics that you set.)

Step 4: Know when to disqualify.

Once you have gone through the BANT model, it is time to determine if you need to qualify or disqualify. Remember – disqualification isn’t bad! It keeps your Zoho CRM clean and with accurate data.

This makes it so you can disqualify based on asking wto simple questions:

  1. If the company is not going to purchase your services because of budget, territory, lack of business pain, etc. – it is best to disqualify.
  2. If there is an opportunity to purchase services, qualify – and nurture.

Remember – it doesn’t hurt to keep your prospects in a nurturing sequence within your email software. A prospect that is disqualified today might be ready to purchase in 6 to 12 months, and by keeping your prospects in nurturing, you’ll be top of mind when the time is right.

Questions about how to qualify prospects through the Zoho CRM? Click here and we’ll be happy to help you with Zoho Sales Qualification, Zoho implementation consulting, or anything else related to Zoho.

Sales Pipeline Velocity – What Is It, and Why Is It Relevant?

Zoho Sales Pipeline Velocity

Picture this: You’re closing deals because of your hard work ethic and quality pipeline. You’ve placed a great deal of emphasis on your sales strategy over the last year, and results are really paying off. Yet, you want to go one step further – you want to understand how quickly it takes for a new lead to become a closed deal, helping you and your team know the factors and levers that you can pull to move more efficiently. You want to really understand what your pipeline looks like, from lead to meeting, opportunity to closed deal. You want to understand your Sales Pipeline Velocity.

Your Sales Pipeline Velocity is like a mathematic equation. To find out how fast opportunities are moving through your pipeline, you need to determine the following:

Qualified Opportunities x Win Rate x Deal Size / Length of Sales Cycle

If you use this equation, you will accurately determine how quickly your opportunities will go through each stage of the buying process and turn into closed deals, meaning actual revenue for your business.

Yes, but why should you care about Sales Pipeline Velocity?

By accurately determining your team’s Sales Pipeline Velocity, you will have the ability to predict future sales and revenue, and discover how you can increase your team’s ROI.

You can predict sales and velocity by understanding how many opportunities it takes to turn into actual revenue. Yet, you can even go further – you can determine how many leads it takes to turn into a meeting, how many meetings it takes to generate an opportunity, and how many opportunities it takes to generate a closed deal.

How will the Sales Pipeline Velocity impact your business?

The Sales Pipeline Velocity will impact your business in four significant ways…

1. You’ll better understand and optimize qualified leads.

You know that qualified leads are where the revenue is really made. Qualified opportunities are leads who have contacted you, or have shown interest in your product or services. Only a fraction of leads actually make it through your pipeline to become qualified, which means that you need to focus on these gems.

By understanding and monitoring the Sales Pipeline Velocity, you will see how your qualified opportunities have grown over time. If it is not, this is a red flag to be aware of – which means you need to focus more on marketing and driving more leads, then focus on pulling levers where it matters most.

2. Your leadership team will have realistic expectations for sales cycles.

Most executive teams think, mistakenly, that a deal can be generated and closed within a month or two. Yet, that’s not always the case. Some sales cycles take upwards of six months to one year to close. Great sales teams spend time early in the sales cycle to establish the value they offer, instead of pushing and pushing to close a deal.

Back to understanding the pipeline velocity, understanding the average time to close a deal will provide accurate data to your leadership team – setting realistic expectations and targets. Zoho Sales Pipeline Velocity

3. You will accurately predict revenue.

Further to setting expectations, understanding your velocity will help you accurately predict revenue. Instead of guessing, crossing fingers and simply hoping for the best each and every quarter, your team will have the ability to predict how much revenue is in the pipeline every month. No more guessing; instead, rely on data to tell the tale.

4. Deal size will become more relevant.

Instead of spending time and energy on the small deals in your pipeline, understanding and interpreting data will give your team insight into which deals matter most – and which ones you should push to the side momentarily.

Deal size becomes more relevant when you focus your time on data and insights, making your sales pipeline much more relevant than ever before.

How Zoho helps optimize your Sales Pipeline Velocity

Thankfully, Zoho tells users exactly what their Sales Pipeline Velocity looks like – providing accurate data and insights. There is a fantastic Zoho Motivator dashboard available to users that displays potential stages, which includes open records, won records, closed records and initial states. It also provides KPI analysis, and gives you insight into how you can increase your opportunities, win rate, average deal size and sales cycle length.

Interested in seeing Zoho’s Sales Pipeline Velocity in action for your business – or, just have a general Zoho consulting or Zoho implementation question? Click here to contact us.

Here’s Why Slack Integration With Zoho Is A Must-Have

Slack Integration With Zoho

When it comes to working more efficiently and closing bigger deals for your business, there’s no doubt that having a CRM for your team is essential. Yet, many companies go a few steps beyond exclusively using a CRM, and also include integrations and add-ons to scale their efficiency. One of our favorite third party tools to use with a CRM is Slack integration with Zoho. Slack is a user-focused productivity tool that allows you to chat with your colleagues, share files, start video and audio calls, and hold virtual stand-up meetings while you’re at it. The platform was initially created as an alternative to email (gasp! right?) and many companies have adopted this service in place of internal email communications. Slack is available for users as a stand-alone app for desktop, mobile and tablet, enabling users to stay connected and productive wherever they are.

So, what does Slack have to do with Zoho? 

Well, as we teased, Slack integration with Zoho is available to use with all package options of this CRM. But what does this mean, you ask? For effective team communication, Zoho has integrated Slack into Zoho projects, meaning that you and your team can push project updates to Slack feeds and mange your project activities through the platform. For example, you can group project activities and conversations in Slack so your team will always be aware of status updates and progress.

Setting-up your integration with Zoho and Slack is super easy (Zoho has a great how-to here). From a high level perspective (TL;DR), here’s our Top 3 favorite things you’ll love about Zoho and Slack integration:

  1. You can share data records with with user and channels in Slack. All you need to do is click on the record you want to share (within Zoho), and press “Share via Slack”. This will give your colleagues a business card view, making it easy to chat about users and records within one platform.
  2. You can share reports within Slack, such as revenue breakdown, leads overviews, and much, much more. Again, this saves users from flipping between dashboards and programs.
  3. Need updates or reminders on leads, prospects or closed opportunities? Slack will do just the trick. You can add instant notifications to Slack so, for example, if a prospect engages with your website and you want to send an email to them within 24 hours, you’ll receive a Slack notification to do just the thing.

Does this make you curious about how this program can work for you? Here are give more reasons why Slack Integration With Zoho is a must-have.

#1: It strengthens team communication.

It’s so easy to talk and communicate on Slack, there’s little wonder as to why team communication is strengthened with this platform. Not only can you text 1:1 or in groups, you can also start video and audio messaging.

For those of us who love to communicate through emoticons, Slack has a very Facebook-like “reactions” tool that enables users to react to messages with emoticon-like symbols.

There are also mobile and desktop notifications, which are not invasive as users enable their own settings. For example, you can be notified if there is any activity in a certain project you are following, or you can turn off notifications all-together after a certain time. Users can turn off notifications after 6PM on weekdays, or be completely silent on weekends. Only check at your leisure, and when you need. Slack Integration With Zoho

#2: Increase the speed of your sales cycle.

Everyone loves the idea of closing deals faster, right? Right.

With Slack, you can see when your colleagues are online and get answers to your questions immediately. For example, if you are on a sales pitch call and your prospect is asking you for a case study within a certain industry, you can message Jane who is online and ask for a brief overview while you are holding the call. Your prospects will be impressed, and it’ll save you time in following-up via email, increasing the speed of your sales cycle.

Integration with Zoho also means that you can pull in any conversations around deals and topics to CRM, which will give you greater visibility into the progress of certain deals, or any areas that are facing challenges within the process.

#3: Save time in your day.

What’s the point of third party integration if doesn’t save you time and efficiency in your day, right?

With Slack integration, you can push your project updates to Slack feeds so you won’t have to check multiple sources for project timelines or sales contact information. You won’t need to update multiple forms, CSVs or CRM. Focus on closing deals instead of performing administrative tasks.

Speaking of administrative tasks, Zoho Books is another tool that connects with Zoho CRM. This integration gives you flexibility for things like syncing your customers’ contact and account information to viewing generated invoices. It makes your life easier – and saves so much more time in your day.

#4. You can work from anywhere.

Slack Integration With ZohoFrom an employee perspective, productivity is higher when working remotely versus strictly being tied to an office. Employees are statistically happier when they have work/life balance, which means they will be more loyal to your company, your department and your team.

Using Slack integration with Zoho, you can truly work anywhere. You do not need to be glued to the office and your chair to make updates to Zoho – simply use the Slack app and Zoho, and your leads will update in synchrony.

#5. Save time in meetings.

Meetings. Ugh.

Meetings are a necessity for external communication and sales funnels; however, internal teams can drastically save time with various integrations when it comes to internal meetings. For example, you can host stand-up meetings with Slack third party tools, like GeekBot, a meeting tool that allows you to hold update meetings through text in real-time. Or, you can set a requirement to have daily huddles and updates in project groups with quick written updates, instead of bringing your team together in-synchrony and in-person.

When it comes to Slack integration with Zoho, there are so many benefits to connecting your CRM with this productivity tool. Not only will it help you communicate more efficiently and effectively, it will help you save time and stay connected as a cohesive team.

If you have a question about the Slack integration with Zoho, a different Zoho integration, or just have a question about implementation or consulting, we’d love to hear from you.  Contact us today to schedule a short chat with one of our Zoho certified consultants.

Why Scoring Rules are Awesome

zoho lead scoring

When it comes to sales outreach and performance, there are a plethora of options to help managers and leaders alike in hitting goals and reaching targets; yet, time is always of the essence. Does your team have enough time to prospect and qualify each and every lead? Do you have the bandwidth to manually research what your prospects are clicking on, and the types of content they are converting on? If the answer is “no”, you’ll want to read on and learn more about the lead scoring model – particularly, Zoho lead scoring.

The lead scoring model refers to that of “scoring” a prospect, lead or client. Over 68% of B2B marketers are already using behavioral and demographic scoring, which helps them qualify and convert prospects. Scoring rules can include:

  • Company size
  • Industry
  • Web page visits
  • Job title
  • Company location
  • Email opens
  • Fiscal revenue
  • Downloads
  • Form submissions

(and much, much more).

For example, if your target persona is a Marketing Manager in a company with $10 million in revenue, you could further score and gauge interest by creating smart lists that display contacts who are actively engaged with your content and website (indicating interest) versus those who are not.  

zoho lead scoringWhen it comes to usage within CRM software, like Zoho, the lead scoring model can be used by everyone across a range of job functions, from Marketing Managers to the VP of Sales. Typically, Marketing and Sales functions are closely tied with lead scoring, as they are the front-line in connecting with B2B or B2C clients and customers

Fun Fact: 68% of effective and efficient marketers are more likely to identify lead scoring based on content and engagement as one of their main drivers of revenue.

Now that you know what lead scoring is and who uses this sales and marketing function, it’s time to talk about how awesome it is. Zoho lead scoring, in particular, will help give your business a competitive edge unlike ever before.

Here’s why scoring rules are awesome – and why you should try Zoho lead scoring now.

Reason #1: It prioritizes prospecting.

Remember when we talked about how much time in the day your sales team has, and where they prioritize their efforts?

Lead scoring does just that – in fact, using lead scoring best practices makes it even easier.

For example, when you implement your lead scoring practice, prioritize everything. Don’t waste your time. Create a lead scoring list that only shows you leads from your target industry, with your target annual revenue, who have engaged with your website over the last three days. You’ll receive engaged, interested contacts who have budget for your services or products.

Reason #2: You’ll close deals faster.

If a lead in the opportunity stage of your sales funnel clicks on your proposal and views it five times, then visits your website, they’re probably interested. So, why not pick up the phone and give them a call?

Engaging with your prospects based on their level of interest will not only show the lead that you’re in touch with their wants and needs, it’ll also help get that pen on the dotted line quicker.  

Reason #3: Keep your prospecting and client database cleaner

No one dislikes a messy CRM more than us. After all, what’s the point of having a data center if you’re not using it properly?You can assign scoring rules based on a number of factors, but importantly, it will help you keep your database cleaner.

For example, if an email bounces you can assign a negative score. Poor feedback on your company’s social channels? Assign a negative score.

Only keep in touch and prospect with those leads who are interested in your services.

Reason #4: Send focused communications.zoho lead scoring

Through automation in Zoho CRM, communication can be sent based on engagement with your website, products or services. For example, you can send an automated email based on a click that takes place on your contact page.

Much like keeping in contact with your target prospects, keep your communications focused and concise. As you determine what your scoring rules are, you will have a greater ability to stay focused and communicate efficiently.

When it comes to prospecting and the sales process, engagement through the awareness, consideration, purchase and experience funnel is key to success. With outbound leads costing 39% more than inbound leads, this means that you need to engage with the audience you have, while prospecting further down the funnel.

Scoring rules aid in this process. From targeted prospecting to focused communications, using lead scoring best practices with software like Zoho will help your team become more efficient and drive revenue along the way.

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