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Author : Sarah Matlock

zoho zbrains field services

The Zoho, ZBrains, and Field Service Relationship

You may be wondering how these three things are related. Let’s begin by asking: What is Zoho, and who are ZBrains? Why are their offerings important to field services companies and improved customer experience?

zoho field services architect

What is Zoho?

Zoho is a cloud-based business suite geared to optimize your business by automating processes.  Zoho encompasses not just customer management, but finance, project management, and a host of other business needs.  Using all these apps effectively can be a lot to handle – and to boot, last year Zoho introduced Zoho One, its entire suite of 35+ apps, in one platform.  This has given users access to many more apps than before, many with overlapping functionality.  We’ve noticed it can be a little challenging to learn about the uses of all the different Zoho apps, especially when having to deal with day-to-day office or field work at the same time.

Who are ZBrains?

ZBrains is a Zoho Premium Partner that focuses on adding value to Zoho’s existing ecosystem, with a focus on field services companies.  Our services include process consulting and training on various apps, providing integrations to different third-party apps, and even implementing custom add-ons to automate setting service appointments, optimize service or delivery routes, create mobile work orders, and even calculate commissions.  Our in-house developers and consultants make sure you have an open line of communication to our home office.

Find out below how the union of Zoho & ZBrains is beneficial for your field service business:

zoho field services mobile devices

Integration

Imagine this: a field technician arrives at an appointment to meet with a customer, only to discover he is unprepared: A communication error in your scheduling department has caused him to bring improper materials to the appointment. This situation likely not only upsets your customer, but can also have a negative impact on your bottom line. Thus, having all elements of your business integrated is essential: It helps to avoid miscommunications and eliminates human error caused by manually transferring information. According to Field Technologies online,  the most important concept in field service management is integration. Here at ZBrains, we can help you do this with Zoho solutions tailor-made for your unique business needs.

Automation

It can be difficult to make important decisions and move your business forward when you’re bogged down with manual day-to-day processes. By automating your general workflow, you can let your software do the grunt work and keep the hard decisions for yourself. With Zoho One, you have access to apps that not only help your CRM run smoothly, but can help you in all areas of your business. This allows you to collect and analyze data from almost every department to help you strategically plan your next steps.

Mobile-Readiness

Increased real-time information is the unity of the cloud and mobile devices. If you’re out in the field, it’s important that you stay apprised of any scheduling changes or updated client information. Zoho has developed their apps to work with you wherever you may be accessing them through your phone, tablet, or other device!  To match this, we’ve made our Zoho SmartScheduler to work on all mobile devices as well! It will schedule your appointments for you, taking into account parameters you set, including territories and areas of expertise. With drive time calculation and Google Maps integration for drive time calculation, it’s the only scheduling optimization tool you need!

zoho field services happy customer

Better customer experience

The increased data accuracy achieved by integrating and automating your systems allows for faster response times and productivity from the different departments that run your business. With a steady flow of more accurate information that is able to be accessed on the go, you can easily keep your customers engaged and deliver messages when they’re most crucial. Integration, automation, and mobile capability together allow for more time to cultivate the most important relationship of your business – the one you share with your customer. When they’re happy, you get more referrals and repeat business, leading to a healthy bottom line.

ZBrains is able to ascertain just how Zoho can be best used for your business by engaging you in an exploratory consulting session called a Business Process Analysis.  In this session, a ZBrains consultant takes full stock of your business and can recommend a Zoho solution that is customized for your business – and then, construct the resulting system according to that vision.

 

Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we’ll reach out to you. You can also register for our upcoming Stump the Chump webinar tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 26th at 9 am PST. Ask your Zoho questions, and if you stump us, we’ll buy you coffee!

 

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zoho wordpress lead magnet

Zoho + WordPress New Lead Magnet

Your business’ website provides clients, or potential clients, with the best information for them to make informed decisions. There are many ways for them to land on your page, but do you have a sense for why they are landing there? For example, are they researching their options, or are they already motivated buyers? Considering 79% of leads never convert into sales, and underdeveloped lead nurturing tactics are often to blame, it’s important for you to know your lead conversion rate.

Understanding and capturing the visitors to your website is crucial to maximizing your website as a functional sales tool. Making it easy for your potential clients to get in touch with you is crucial, and no one understands this better than both Zoho and WordPress. The two have teamed up to introduce a new Lead Magnet update! Now, you never have to miss the window of opportunity to capture and qualify a lead to close a sale!  

zoho wordpress new lead magnet

Here’s how you’ll improve your lead conversion rate with Zoho + WordPress New Lead Magnet

Quality Information, Faster Response

The conversion rate yardstick is not static, as it depends on your business’ definition of a qualified lead. For some, it may just be an email address, but for others, you may want to know the size or location of the business, the needs, or the authority of the person in contact with you, among other factors. With the Zoho CRM forms plugin for WordPress, you can easily create forms using Zoho CRM webforms or the Contact form 7 plugin. The lead information that’s entered is automatically pushed into your CRM. You’ll never miss an incoming lead, and even better, you’ll be equipped to respond to them faster!

Customize Forms

Every business is unique, and so it follows that the information you collect from your prospects is unique as well. This plugin takes that into account and allows for mapping custom fields from the Leads module of your CRM.  However, the plugin does not limit you to only capturing lead information. With this new lead magnet plugin, you can send information to custom modules created in the CRM, so everything a prospect or contact can tell you is recorded properly.

Simple Installation, Configuration & Use

zoho wordpress new lead magnet

You can install the Zoho CRM forms plugin from the WordPress plugin marketplace with just a few easy clicks. After that, creating a form from the plugin interface incredibly simple. It’s light on code, so you’ll only need to do a few drag & drops and copy-pastes, then your form short-code will be ready for use anywhere on your WP site.  If you’re already on Zoho CRM and host your website from WordPress, the new lead magnet plugin is free to use!

Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we’ll reach out to you. You can also register for our upcoming Stump the Chump webinar on Friday, Jan. 26th at 9 am PST. Ask your Zoho questions, and if you stump us, we’ll buy you coffee!

 

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zoho erp to scale your business

Scale Your Business to Excellence with Zoho ERP

When it comes to scaling your business with Zoho, lots of kinds of businesses have a good trajectory – but, that’s not always the case for manufacturers and distributors.  Out of the box, many of Zoho’s apps, even Zoho Books and Inventory, simply don’t stand up to the customization needs of those kinds of businesses, so those companies are forced to either limp along with lackluster procedures and reporting, or pack up and go elsewhere entirely.

But, a proper ERP solution doesn’t have to be outside Zoho at all, in fact.  Zoho ERP harnesses all the power of Zoho Creator to do the things that regular Zoho apps don’t do.  That is, it takes the best of what’s already there and customizes it to make it even better.  Many business owners know exactly what they need their systems to do, but just don’t know how to get them in place.  Would you benefit from having an ERP add-on to manage your orders and inventory?

Here are four ways Zoho ERP picks up the slack and helps you take back control of your business.

Order Management

Zoho ERP’s ability to split purchase orders into multiple sales orders, and to split a single sales order into multiple purchase orders, comes in handy for many manufacturers and distributors.  The add-on allows for storing unused line items in their own repositories, and then picking your preferred vendors from a list for any given item.  Then, you can send them off to be fulfilled with just a click.  Additionally, Zoho ERP fills the gap that Zoho Books leaves open, which is customizing products at the line item level (for freight amounts and the like).

Synchronization

Zoho ERP being built on the Zoho Creator platform means syncing with any back-office software that has an accessible API. From buying inventory to shipping goods, you can track all data across platforms, from start to finish, so you can keep your company moving as smoothly as possible.  Among the objects you can integrate: Receipt of goods, purchase orders, and bills.  Zoho ERP connects with your Zoho CRM as well, giving enhanced visibility to certain users directly inside the CRM, so you never have to have multiple tabs open.

Fulfillment

All the fulfillment data you need are right at your fingertips with Zoho ERP.  The system not only tracks inventory on hand, but also the inventory you need to purchase in order to fulfill upcoming orders.  Zoho ERP can even take past PO history, along with SO, Quote, and Invoice history, and use that to project future needs for your business, saving valuable time every time you run a report.

Insights

Understanding your customer is one of the more important aspects of running a business. Without them, would you even be in business?  With data collected from sales orders and invoices, shipping and return information, as well as key customer information and communication tracking, you’ll have a better understanding of how to scale your business to better serve your customers, resulting in more positive results and ROI.

 

Here’s what our clients say:

 

Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or contact us and we’ll reach out to you. 

 

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Zoho Projects hero

Zoho Projects – Enhanced Dependencies & Gantt Chart

Before project-based business software headed to the cloud and became the flexible family of apps we know today – like Zoho – lots of companies were forced to bend to the will of their software, and had procedural problems because of that.  Businesses handling lots of projects have been hampered by a limited way to visualize task dependencies, non-intuitive reporting, and a general lack of integration with other apps.  In some cases, companies have even found it easier to simply track projects with spreadsheets – and, that comes with its own host of issues.  What can a company in that situation do?

Fortunately, Zoho has revamped their Projects app to bring those very elements to the businesses that need it the most.  The updated Zoho Projects includes better reporting, more task dependencies, and a host of integrations that make data flow automatic, so you can focus on doing real work.

Here’s a rundown of the new features in Projects.

Enhanced Gantt Charts

The success of any project is ultimately measured by two questions: Was it on time, and was it within budget? In project management, these two conditions are managed by a tool called the Gantt chart. The updates to Zoho Projects has enhanced their already great Gantt charts.

Supports all Task Dependencies

Gantt charts organize tasks based on dependencies, and they help you visualize a critical chain of tasks that have to be completed as assigned in order to keep a project moving at its scheduled pace. Inevitably, when projects start creeping outside of their timelines, rising costs come with them, so it’s important to keep on top of tasks as closely as possible. Zoho Projects has always been a great tool to manage Finish to Start dependencies, but is now prepared to provide four more!

 

Here’s a refresher on the five task dependencies now supported in Zoho Projects.

Finish to Start – A task or activity is unable to start until a previous task or activity that it is dependent on has finished. For example, in a construction project, you can’t install a door or window until the framing is finished.

Start to Start – A task or activity must start before another activity can begin. For example, furniture can’t be installed until carpet installation has begun.

Finish to Finish – A task or activity must be finished before another activity can finish. For example, a new electric dryer can’t be tested before the proper electrical wiring had been placed.

Start to Finish – An activity must start before another activity finishes. For example, old plumbing pipe must be removed before new pipe can be set in its place.

Unscheduled Tasks – Predefined dependencies for tasks that don’t have a start or end date.

View and Edit Dependencies with Ease

The new Gantt Chart eliminates the Dependency Tab from Zoho Projects. Now, you can view, edit, and reorder your dependencies by clicking and dragging between the Jump to task bar icons in the left panel. The dependency graph is also available in the Task Details page, where you can view and edit the dependencies that a task shares with other tasks. You can even set your preferred or most frequently used dependency types as defaults by going to the Setup page and choosing Task and Timesheet under Org Settings. It is here that you can also decide which actions should occur when a task is advanced, postponed, or rescheduled.

Project Timeline Gantt Chart

Every great tool is made better when it provides valuable feedback into the health of your business. In this case, the new Project Timeline Gantt chart update provides insight into the progress and health of your projects. You can quickly get a clear visual of your projects and upcoming milestones, and even get all details of a task, including: percentage complete, duration, start date, end date, and owner. The Gantt bars show the lengths of time your projects span and how far along they are, while an easy drag-and-drop helps you reschedule tasks if needed. You can also edit tasks and milestones directly inside the Gantt chart, saving from you having to switch to another view.

Manage your People, and your Meetings

All, successful projects depend on a host of other factors in conjunction with a well-laid schedule. Zoho Projects is prepared to help you manage them that much better! Every project needs manpower, but scheduling the correct people has historically had to be handled separately—until now.

Zoho People Integration

Zoho People now integrates with Projects! This allows for both vacation and time-off requests, as well as managerial approval, all within one platform. It also allows for enhanced visibility and mitigates issues that may arise when your workers are unavailable. Work can be reallocated, as employee leave data is reflected in both the Project Calendar and Resource Utilization chart.

Zoho Meetings Integration

The new Zoho Projects not only helps you manage your team better, but it also helps you manage your time better.  We all know the amount of time it can task to set up and coordinate meetings with your team, whether they happen frequently or they’re just last-minute. With the new Zoho Meeting integration, you easily meet with your team to collaborate and provide clarity, resolve issues, and help make decisions by simply click Meet Now on the Task Details page!

Customized Controls and Views

Zoho Projects has a few more updates which will help your projects and your workflow run more smoothly. For example, using timers within a task or project used to mean you had stop and restart from the beginning. Now the timers have been enhanced to  allow for pausing and resuming tasks while you take a break or switch to a new task. Zoho Projects has even added new custom views and capabilities for creating task views based on the field value conditions that you set. Furthermore, you can filter tasks from your master list and save those filter criteria as a new view. This update helps you get to the information you need more efficiently.

 

Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we’ll reach out to you. You can also register for one of our upcoming Stump the Chump webinars Friday, Jan. 19th at 9 am PST or Friday, Jan. 26th at 9 am PST. Ask your Zoho questions, and if you stump us, we’ll buy you coffee!

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4 ways the commission calculator saves time.

Sales Process Simplified with ZBrains Commission Calculator

Simplify with the ZBrains Commission Calculator

When it comes to keeping your business afloat, there’s something that’s even more important than improving sales or internal processes: paying your employees on time. Of course, employees who aren’t paid on time generally aren’t so thrilled to be working, and even businesses with the most efficient processes can suffer from low employee morale if your staff aren’t paid on time. And, even if you do manage to make payroll with time to spare, how much time are you spending manually calculating commissions? And, how much time would you save if those calculations were all done for you?

The ZBrains commission calculator is designed to take the hard work out of your commissions process, and not only save you valuable time every sale, but potentially save your employees from ever worrying about when their next check will arrive.

Here’s 4 ways our commission calculator makes for happy sales people and happy profits!

zoho crm integrationSave Time and Customize

Manually tracking and calculating each salesperson’s commission can be time-consuming for your accounting department. Let the Commission Calculator do the work for you! Automate the various commission structures you employ, such as sliding scale, split, profit-based, and payment-based, or achieve maximum flexibility with commission override capabilities. You can also assign multiple structures to one employee if needed.

zoho surveyEliminate Human Error

We’re all human and we make mistakes. No two sales teams are the same in size and scope, just as no two commissions are the same in size and scope. When your accounting department is calculating commissions, there may be the occasional mistake made. With the Commission Calculator, the process behind calculating commissions has a standardized method, so you can guarantee that the parameters you set will yield the same results every time. Coupled with automation, you can eliminate many possibilities of human error while calculating commissions.

zoho crm integrationIncrease Your Mobility

The commission calculator process is so simple, approval can be done anywhere, with whatever device you choose. You can even assign bonuses and override previous approvals, all while on the go! Not to mention, it can integrate with your ERP system, allowing your accounting department streamlined and automated access to information.  This ensures you never have to wait to reward your employees, which will keep them happy!

zoho supportKeep Your Team Motivated

An added bonus is that you can include incentives and challenge employees with a little gamification to make sales goals fun and challenging. And, for those who aren’t so into games, the Zoho Creator portal add-on allows any sales team member access to their statistics on the fly, so they know exactly what their sales figures are at any given time.  With such ease of use, the commission calculator affords your sales team valuable time to spend on closing more deals, which in turn makes them (and you) more money, which in turn leads to more growth…which in turn leads to a happier, thriving business.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the link below and we will reach out to you!

 

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Zoho VS GoldMine and the cloud

Zoho VS GoldMine CRM – How They Stack Up!

In the days of cryptomining, is all that glitters really gold? Cryptocurrency may just be a buzzword to some, but it shows just how inclusive the internet is when looking for solutions to different problems! CRM solutions are no different, and we know you have plenty of options at your fingertips – we won’t pretend to think otherwise. In fact, before we bring you onto our team as partners, we want you to explore various solutions; we’re so confident in Zoho, we know that they’ll offer the best solution to you every single time.  We are setting our biases aside to compare Zoho VS GoldMine CRM and give you an honest comparison between the two regarding safety & security, integrations, performance, and of course costs.

Zoho VS GoldMine CRM – which one will help your business soar to the cloud(s)?

Zoho vs GoldMineSafety & Security

When comparing Zoho VS GoldMine CRM, or any CRM for that matter, security is key. Zoho is stacked with nearly 30 million users worldwide, from small to large organizations, so security is paramount.  If you run one of the oldest versions of GoldMine CRM, you’re aware of administrator “master rights” and how admin rights protect your precious information on your server. GoldMine’s newer, cloud-based iteration doesn’t provide many details on its security – but, it is clear that you are not actually reliant on GoldMine CRM for that data security, but on another provider. Zoho holds ISP/IEC 27001 global level security standards (tested independently) as well as SOC compliance. Not to mention, they outline their security measures to assure you that your information is well protected.

The Winner: Zoho

 

Zoho vs GoldMineIntegrations and Compatability

Zoho partners are positively flooded with requests to integrate outside applications with Zoho, or even create new apps within the Zoho environment, and there’s no end to that in sight. Zoho’s comprehensive package of apps called Zoho One offers 40+ integrations to start! That includes nearly anything you can imagine for a business, from accounting and inventory to sales and human resources. Conversely, for GoldMine CRM, integrations are somewhat limited: QuickBooks and Windows (presumably the environment on which you’d install GoldMine) are your top options. However, as a cloud solution, Zoho is able to run on many common browsers, including Safari 4 and above, Chrome 17 and above, Mozilla Firefox 17 and above, and Internet Explorer 9 and above. All of Zoho is also mobile- and tablet-ready, whereas GoldMine CRM has to rely on middleware, called Dejacloud, to add this capability.

The Winner: Zoho

 

Zoho vs GoldMinePerformance

GoldMine CRM may have been top-of-the-line at one point, but today its outdated interface requires more server-related maintenance just to upkeep – which is typical of on-premise systems – and this is work that most businesses find they just don’t have time to do any longer.  On the other hand, Zoho and its suite of apps are completely cloud-based, which means all server maintenance is handled by Zoho themselves (hence the monthly fees you pay to use the software).  Accessing Zoho CRM via the web means you need only have a working internet connection to have all the capability you need – no costly dedicated servers, or dedicated IT professionals (at least in this regard).  Of course, every website has bugs from time to time, and hardly any are up 100% of the time – but, putting liability in the hands of someone else – and knowing that the company liable for maintaining your software also does it for millions of other users at the same time – should instill a fair bit of confidence in Zoho.

The Winner: Zoho

 

Zoho vs GoldMinePrice

Depending on your needs, both GoldMine CRM and Zoho offer a range of solutions for small businesses to large enterprises, so pricing is difficult to boil down. However, to put it succinctly:

  • GoldMine offers both a client-server (“Own It) model, and a cloud-based model that begins at $60/mo per user for basic features.
  • Zoho One’s all-inclusive subscription begins at $45/mo per user, and a very basic Standard CRM package beginning at $20/mo per user.

 

The Winner: Zoho

Zoho vs GoldMine

Trust us, we know this is a lot and may not begin to scratch the surface of your questions when thinking of switching or choosing CRMs. If you’ve been using GoldMine CRM for some time, switching it up entirely may seem especially daunting. But, learning about other options as a first step before diving in headlong doesn’t have to be.

To learn more about Zoho, or continue the conversation about Zoho VS GoldMine, give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we will contact you! We are proud to be a Zoho Premium Partner and are ready to help you make the move to this CRM that will be an ideal fit for your business.

 

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