Category : Certified Zoho Consultants

3 Reasons to Use a CRM Consultancy When Implementing Your CRM

3 Reasons to Use a CRM Consultancy when Implementing your CRM

crm consultancy

No matter what kind of business you run, implementing a CRM correctly is no small feat.  Sure, it may seem tempting to ease your way into any CRM by simply turning it on.  But then, the wealth of features you’ll probably see before you might just make you hang up your hat before you even get started.

Working with a product like Zoho, which advertises itself as DIY, we see this kind of thing happen a lot.

And, we get calls about it weeks, months, or even years after the initial projects start.  It’s still not off the ground, or No one is using the system correctly.  People lose faith in themselves at that point.

Well, I want to tell you not to give up.  Most CRMs are tricky to use correctly because they’re very powerful, and Zoho CRM is no exception to this.  Play around with Zoho One long enough and you might get really confused at the array of 45+ apps.  It’s not your fault.  And, I believe software as powerful as Zoho should come with sufficient resources to help you along the way.  Chances are you believe that too, if you’re reading this blog post.

With that in mind, let me tell you three ways using a CRM consultancy (like us!) helps greatly with proper CRM deployment.  You may get some ideas of your own from this.

#1: Your CRM consultancy will make sure you’re using your system in the best way possible for your business.

crm consultancy

Even with loads of documentation available, deploying a CRM and related business apps by yourself is at best a chore, and at worst a show-stopper.  And, with no one at your side to help, it can be pretty difficult to know if you’ve deployed your software the very best way.  Tech-savvy team members certainly do help, but unless they themselves are CRM experts, that’s only one piece of the puzzle.  Having someone on staff who has worked previously with the CRM you’re deploying is closer to what you’ll need – but, if they too worked with a faulty system in the past, they may not know the very best way to do things either.  Your best bet at a successful CRM implementation is with a CRM consultant at your side.  If you plan to deploy Zoho CRM, for example, you’ll want a Zoho CRM consultancy to assist you.

Ordinarily, using a CRM consultancy helps with figuring out the best way to use your CRM by exploring just how you do business. That can involve everything from a business process analysis, review of current software systems and purposes, and interviewing key personnel to gauge their responsibilities.  It also takes into consideration the business owner’s vision for the company moving forward, as this vision usually highly impacts how your business software is utilized.

Once this analysis is complete, your CRM consultancy will have everything they need to present you with a clear plan for moving forward, and you’ll have what you need to make an informed decision on what exactly you’d like to do, which parts of the plan make sense, and which parts need revision.  It’s not a simple process, but it’s necessary for you to get the very most out of your new system.

#2: Your CRM consultancy will make sure you have a high adoption rate so you don’t end up with another failed project.

crm consultancy

Even if your new CRM is set up correctly, that doesn’t guarantee your staff will use it the right way all the time.  We’re all human, but sometimes we find our customers’ Zoho CRMs set up in ways that actually hurt productivity.  And, it’s not their fault!  Those people just did what they thought was easiest and best, and no one was there to tell them yes or no.  And, of course, CRM usage (adoption) eventually dwindled because the CRM wasn’t deployed in a way that actually provided value to the users.

While a good CRM consultancy likely won’t recommend bending the rules of CRM to fit someone’s arbitrary desire, one can usually account for quirks by setting up additional reminders, workflow automation, and the like, to steer things in the proper direction.  Setting up the system the right way ensures the CRM works better without needing additional customizations that end up bloating the system and making things more confusing in the long run.

Your CRM consultancy will be able to figure out the extent of the “quirks” during the business process analysis and interviews, and make recommendations to set up workflow automation, reminders, or custom function that actually help your team’s performance and make them want to use the system more.

#3: Your CRM consultancy will ensure your system stays up-to-date and scalable, depending on your plans for the business.

crm consultancy

Aside from helping to solve your current problems and make sure your new CRM has a high rate of adoption, the next-most important thing a CRM consultancy can do is make sure your system can also solve future problems.  And, it’s not as if your system can anticipate problems before they come up all by itself.  Rather, the system needs to be configured to act that way!  And, the way a consultancy does this is simple in theory, but a little complicated in practice.

A good CRM consultancy will be able to predict what problems can come up based on how you already do business, and how you plan to grow your business.  To understand these parts of your business, a CRM consultancy will carry out interviews of key personnel to understand their current business responsibilities, current system duties (if any), and their trajectories in your business.  Then, based on business knowledge, the consultancy will put a plan in place that accounts for those future problems.

Future-planning like this can solve problems as large as a planned change in your business model in five years and as small as how to organize the departments in your website chat widget once you ramp up your website traffic to a certain number per day.

Looking to the future

crm consultancy

As proper deployment of your CRM can lead to success for years to come, it’s not something to be taken lightly.  You may very well have the time and ability to tackle your deployment head-on, but if you’re unsure about anything, it’s best to contact a certified CRM consultant.  Around half of IT projects fail to some degree, whether out-of-budget, working only partially, or a complete loss.  You stand a much better chance of succeeding by putting your own business sense together with someone who has CRM sense.  Together, you really do have the best of both worlds.

On that note, will our worlds collide anytime soon?  Contact us and let’s see if we’d be a good fit for your CRM system goals.

Zoho Premium Partners and Software Commoditization

You Want It, They Got It – And, Now What?

Why having one of the Zoho Premium Partners by your side means more than ever today

Rest easy!  This is only a 5-7 minute read.

zoho premium partners

When you think of the word Zoho, chances are you also think of the word choices.  Within its library of 45+ apps (which expands nearly every month), Zoho also offers a number of subscription editions, each with its own advantages and drawbacks.  And, nearly limitless customization possible in each respective edition. So, when planning to introduce your business to Zoho, the average consumer (or even the above-average one) faces the daunting task of not only keeping that business afloat as usual, but learning a brand-new software system with all its idiosyncrasies, and keeping track of the constant growth and development of that software, too…

It’s a lot to get your head around.  Frankly, I don’t know how anyone goes into a Zoho implementation themselves with even a slight degree of confidence – unless they are already intimately familiar with the system from a previous job.  Self-deployment usually comes with a lot of hard knocks.

But, this post isn’t just a commiseration session.  Instead, I want to bring to light just why this limitless library of software means you need a Zoho consultant in your life.  And, not just any Zoho consultant, but a Zoho Premium Partner.

Really So Obvious?

While it’s true that, yes, you need someone to help you with Zoho because there’s potentially a lot of software to deal with, that’s not the end of the story.  There’s a reason why this is the case.  Something known as the “infinite store shelf” has severely disrupted all sorts of businesses – most notably software vendors.  

Take a Trip Down Memory Lane…

zoho premium partners

The theory goes that we used to just walk into stores to make purchases, and even with larger catalogs, the array of items to choose from had a limit.  And, expanding upon that, people knew the purpose of what they were trying to buy, so there wasn’t much confusion.

Now, in the present day, the situation has completely changed.  Search engines have brought us all much, much closer together. Plus, we’ve brought all the products we peddle along for the ride.  When software companies in particular create new products, other software companies (wisely looking for a piece of the profit that comes with a new product) then offer their own takes on those products.  Then, before you know it, you – the consumer – are in a world with infinite software choices. And furthermore, the moment you learned all there is to learn about, say, one software app of your choice, you then learn the app has been updated, or it’s spun off another, similar app that may be better, or…

Did I mention it was a lot of work?

(This is why Zoho’s own business model of providing more than just a single software app, like CRM, works so well.  Choice paralysis is very real, so if you’re going to bombard someone with options, the least you can do is make them all easily accessible from underneath your own family of products.  This is what Zoho is aiming for with their Zoho One suite of apps.)

The Harsh Bite of Reality

zoho premium partners

Now, just imagine having to do all that preparation, not just for Zoho CRM, but for Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Books, or even Zoho MarketingHub.  It’s not possible to take on yourself unless doing so is your sole job.

The idea that once a new product is born, it turns into something everyone has to have is called software commoditization (or commodification).  We’ve talked about software as a commodity before, but not at this particular angle.  And, I’m guessing you’re working out why this software commoditization makes having a Zoho consultant so important.

So, that’s easy enough, right?  Why shouldn’t you just pick from a list of Zoho consultants?

What Zoho Premium Partners Mean in the World of Software as a Commodity

zoho premium partners

The overall problem with software as a commodity is that with nearly infinite software choices, the learning curve for your system is potentially infinite as well.  Getting help from a Zoho consultant may get you started on the right foot, but that’s only half the battle.

Zoho Premium Partners like ZBrains are distinct from other Zoho consultants in the breadth of their achievements for other clients.  To achieve the rank of Premium Partner (Zoho’s highest current designation for partners, replacing the old Alliance Partner title), a partner must:

  • Not just generate, but grow Zoho licensing revenue for the clients they serve by $200,000 from the previous year
  • Develop not just on Zoho CRM, but on Zoho Creator as well
  • Produce a number of case studies per year

So, what do all these statistics mean?

    1. Generating Zoho revenue: This means that clients under our watch have successfully grown their businesses with Zoho, to the tune of over $200,000 higher than the previous year.  That doesn’t take into account the number of clients a partner serves; it’s just an overall revenue figure – but, it sets us apart from other Zoho partners who may not have as much experience.
    2. Developing for multiple apps: Zoho CRM is a fantastic hub for most any business, but many businesses need help with more than just customer relationship management.  Choosing a partner who works with multiple Zoho apps, including Zoho Creator (Zoho’s platform as a service), significantly expands your software customization options.
    3. Case study production: Case studies are a great way for Zoho Premium Partners to demonstrate how they’ve helped past clients.  Other types of Zoho partners aren’t required to produce these.

With all that said, we don’t take our distinction as one of the Zoho Premium Partners lightly at all. We worked hard to get to where we are now, and we too attended that school of hard knocks.  But, now we’re here, and our sole purpose is to help you deploy software in the best way possible for your business.

zoho premium partners badge

Bringing It All Together

In summary, the “infinite store shelf” and the general turning of business software from a luxury item into a commodity, makes it much more difficult to master – let alone select – the program(s) your business will end up using.  The more traditional buying experience may be gone, but that doesn’t mean you’re entirely in the dark. You just need a more qualified software consultant to help you deploy your Zoho apps. And, Zoho Premium Partners have more of the necessary qualifications to ensure your deployment not only goes smoothly, but is correct for your business.

Maximize Business Processes with Zoho Flow

Maximize Your Business Processes with Zoho Flow

Even if it’s not immediately apparent, your business has all kinds of moving parts that contribute to its overall performance– and, sometimes one bad part can bring down the whole lot. Even if you have a suite of Zoho apps that function like a well-oiled machine, if you aren’t automating simple workflow processes between apps, chances are you’re losing out on valuable productive work time. With this in mind, Zoho has created Flow, a tool to do just that: help your business do what you want it to do with very little extra input by helping information flow across your third-party apps to your Zoho apps automatically! Zoho Flow brings the power of Zoho into even more of your business and allows for all sorts of optimization that wasn’t possible before, giving you the power to make the very most of your most significant and repetitive workflows.

Zoho Flow iconHere’s how Zoho Flow helps you maximize your Business Processes

Within the workspace, you’ll find a handful of tools to keep your workflows organized and manageable. Here’s a breakdown of six key areas to get you started!

 

User-friendly Flows Custom Builder

Search and create new workflows in the Zoho Flow Builder Tab! Here, you can connect and integrate the key applications that your business uses. This dynamic builder helps you to visualize and customize your workflows as needed. Begin by giving your workflow a name and description if desired, then use the easy drag-and-drop function to configure the apps you use, and the triggers, actions, and steps that follow. Use Flow’s logic to create contextual workflows and introduce decision branches. Build, configure, or edit your workflow by using four simple builder tools: Save, Auto Arrange, Undo, and Redo.

Advanced Flow Design

Need to customize your integrations further? Zoho Flow allows you to get down to the nitty gritty using Zoho’s Deluge scripting language. Using the Customer Functions tool, you can solve your integration complications and create more detailed automated decisions. Flow gives you the ability to use Deluge scripting for complex functions, workflow reformatting, and creation of advanced decision workflow trees. Whether you choose the simplified editor or custom function, Zoho Flow enhances visibility into your workflows and makes it easier to automate processes than ever before.

Data-driven Insights Dashboard

zoho flow data-insightsWith Zoho Flow, you don’t have to sift through multiple applications and platforms to manage and track your business workflows. Keep track of total, live, paused, and drafted flows in the Dashboard. This gives you full visibility of your processes and metrics to get real-time data driven-insights about your workflows, up to the current year’s execution success or failure rate. The Dashboard gives you actionable insights into your flows to help you determine what works best. As soon as a workflow isn’t executing properly, you’ll know, and you’ll be able to address it! View your top five flows and recent executions as well to stay on top of your business processes.

Monitor and Troubleshoot Flow History

zoho flow history-monitorEvery action of your workflows is recorded, making it convenient to track and troubleshoot what may have gone wrong. With a centralized log of the history of each of your workflows, you can identify any actions and problems as they occur. Apply filters to view a specific timeframe on the specific workflow in mind. This tool allows you to troubleshoot and fix any issues as they arise, instead of waiting until they occur again, or they turn into bigger issues.

Coordinate and collaborate with your team

When building workflows across multiple teams, or across multiple departments, it’s important that you orchestrate your processes and functions together. Collaborate with your team, and save time with the ability to add members to your flows, and build workflows that will benefit everyone involved. Manage the members of your team and decide their user-level and deactivate, reactivate, or remove members. Your team can also share, unshare, test, and reconnect connections to limit and allow the flow of data as needed.

Explore Templates and Apps in the Flow Gallery

Wondering if there’s an app you aren’t using yet that will maximize your control and automate your business to perfection? Zoho has identified common workflows and created convenient templates for you to explore and use if you see fit. With over 90 applications (and counting) to choose from, and 200 templates (or Flows) that cover the most important automations, you can explore ideas and solutions you may not have thought of on your own. This growing collection features the bios, triggers, and actions of all the apps available that you can use to simplify your business’s workflow processes.

Zoho flow gallery


Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We’re 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 Live Zoho Blueprint Q&A Webinar next Thursday, Feb 22nd at 10 am PST. Ask a Certified Zoho Consultant your questions, and if you stump him we’ll buy you coffee! 

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4 Common Problems Manufactuers Face and how zoho and zbrains can solve them

Top 4 Problems Manufacturers Experience and how ZBrains can help!

zoho manufacturing

Manufacturers hold the most important position of all at the figurative heart of most any tangible good: if they hadn’t made it, you wouldn’t have it.  Even with such an obvious thought – and so much importance given to manufacturers generally – many of these companies still operate at a fraction of their full potential, owing largely to problems that are in their control but not always so easy to really sit down and tackle.

Here are 4 common issues in the manufacturing industry that Zoho and ZBrains can help improve.

Lack of Lean Manufacturing Methodology

Lean may be the way to go for some, but many businesses still struggle with outdated production methods, multiple exchanges of inventory, too-large lots, and below-average build quality as a result.  Many of these issues stem from a simple lack of a system to help manage production correctly, and implementing a system that accounts for leaner manufacturing can quite literally help turn a struggling business around – or even just help boost sales and improve productivity.  Zoho Inventory can help manage inventory in multiple warehouses, and the more robust Zoho Creator ERP can help you order your raw materials more effectively, manage your picking, and even optimize your production routing, all ultimately helping to reduce wasted product and time.

zoho manufacturing forecasting mobile

Subpar Forecasting

If you don’t know who’s buying what, and when they’re buying it, you’re left with too much or too little to move your product at the correct pace. Future forecasting in Zoho Inventory gives you better visibility into what is needed with custom dashboards and less data input. Insights into customer trends and demands gives valuable feedback into what your optimal reorder point is and can help you use older inventory as needed. Data-driven insights help you understand your customers on a whole new level, allowing for more accurate forecasting into the material needs for production.

Bad Customer Experience, Leading to Worse Business Experience

Are you getting your customers what they want, when they want? With the advent of online reviews and the popularity of the instant gratification mentality, consumers have more input than ever before.  Sales can definitely be stifled by bad data or inaccurate lead times, and your customers can definitely be disappointed by the slow turnaround. At times, products are even sent to market without proper development because somewhere else in the supply chain, someone dropped the ball, and you’re left to pick up the slack. Maybe you just have a supplier that simply doesn’t suit your operation anymore. These are all common issues that can contribute to a less-than-stellar customer experience.  However, using a tool like Zoho CRM can give you not only the visibility you need to gauge the overall health of your manufacturing or distribution business, but can directly help your sales staff engage your customers and vendors – and, in the process help you see where to improve things.

zoho manufacturing chart

Resistance to R&D

If you’re not already ahead of the curve and using a streamlined ERP solution to manage your inventory and orders, changing the way your business operates to adapt to the technological environment may seem daunting. Why bother if resistance from your team or adaption to new technology will only take away from the main goal of delivering a product, right? Adopting new technology to fuel your business isn’t just a set-it-and-forget-it phase; it requires continuous input and adaptability. But, when done correctly, you’ll find your business flows like never before, with less waste, and even less money spent!

At ZBrains, we’re here to help you face all these problems head-on with the help of our Zoho certified consultants and our slew of software solutions.  Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we’ll reach out to you. You can also join one of our upcoming Live Zoho Q&A webinars on Feb. 9th at 9 am, or Feb. 22nd at 10 am.

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Zoho forms New Updates

Zoho Forms Updates – Take Payments and More!

If you use Zoho in any capacity, you know that the more information you have, the easier it is for you to sell to your clients – and, by the same token, the easier it is for your clients to give you information, the easier it is for you to sell to those very same clients!  Zoho Forms is built to collect information, of course, but Zoho Corporation has recently augmented it with a couple of great new features designed especially to make your customers’ lives easier: Collecting payments and sorting answer options by relevance.

What is Zoho Forms?

Zoho Forms is a form building tool that gives you the ability to create and share online forms for your business. This is a great tool to use for reaching out to your customers to easily collect information. You can fully customize the forms to match your company’s aesthetic. The easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor allows you to build forms to ask the right questions, and includes the ability to perform calculations and use conditional logic.

Zoho Forms Homepage

Along with these basic functions, you can also customize field rules, form rules, and personalize the end pages. You can share these forms through public links, email campaigns, or embed them on your web page! Reach your customers wherever they are and customize your email notifications so you know exactly when a form is submitted! Zoho Forms also integrates with Zoho CRM, Campaigns, and Desk, helping you stay on top of your data!

New Features!

Zoho Forms Now Accepts Payments

zoho forms paymentsYou can now accept payments to your organization from right within Zoho Forms, saving you even more time and improving your customer experience! With the addition of a payment field, you can now accept payments or donations in fixed or variable amounts. Collect payments in your preferred currency, through your choice of these pre-integrated third-party gateways: PayPal, Stripe, and 2Checkout.

 

The Addition of Group Choices

Organize the dropdown fields of your form with the addition of group choices! This allows for further customizing your dropdown choices by categorizing them under a parent choice. For example, if you run a sports equipment store and you’re gathering information on what equipment your clients need based on which sport they play, you can create an option for Baseball with the group choices being, baseball bat, glove, and cleats. You can then create a second for Football with the group choices being helmet and shoulder pads.

 

 

After creating your group choices, you can further customize the information your client sees to only show options relevant to them in the field rules tab. By using our previous sports example, you can add an additional field to your form to include Sports options. Then, create a field rule to only show the group options which are related to their previous answer. So if they choose Baseball, the grouped options will only show the Baseball equipment options, and will not include options for other sports.

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 Zoho Q&A webinar tomorrow, Friday, Feb 9th at 9 am PST. Ask your Zoho questions, and if you stump us, we’ll buy you coffee!

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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 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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Measuring your project's success

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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A look at Zoho updates in 2017

A Look Back At 2017 : Zoho is Growing!

2017 is suddenly behind us – and, for some, the year probably seems like it’s flown by.  Interestingly, it’s said that the more new life experiences you accumulate, the slower time seems to go by – and, if that’s true at all, Zoho Corporation must have had the slowest-feeling year of all, as they revamped a significant portion of their offerings.  But, this is about the only area Zoho did anything slowly.  With 50 new features, 100 marketplace extensions, and 4 product updates every week, Zoho is definitely growing! Here is a recap of some of Zoho’s new features and updates from 2017!

The Newest Additions

Zoho One – The biggest and most exciting development from is Zoho One. This revolutionary all-in-one business suite packs a punch with 35+ applications, including Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, Zoho Campaigns, Creator, and more! Account administrators have one secure account for applications and overall control, giving them the ability to access all programs from just one account.

Zia – Zoho’s AI-powered sales assistant that helps you make the most of your CRM account. She learns the ins and outs of your business by studying the strings of activities performed every day by you and your team. Zia then interprets performance and anticipates the needs of your business, providing solutions to you on-the-fly, detecting anomalies in your activities, and making suggestions to automate workflow!

Zoho Sprints – This agile project management solution encourages and enables teams to focus their energy on building the best products possible. Your team can take a look at the big picture with an easy-to-read dashboard. Track your team with the scrum board, and log time with the Timesheet function. Advanced reporting will give you actionable insights into your team’s progress and predict any roadblocks or bottlenecks in your process. In short, Zoho Sprints enables your team to get ahead and be prepared for the next development sprint.

Zoho Cliq – Easily communicate and collaborate with your colleagues with Zoho Cliq. Zoho’s new chat app eliminates the standby time of waiting on email responses from your team and allows you to exchange ideas more fluidly. Multi-panel chat, unlimited file sharing, and audio and video functionality keep your conversations at the forefront of your mind and easily accessible. Not to mention, it integrates, it’s secure, and it’s mobile!

Updates to Your Favorite Applications

New Zoho Campaigns UI – Zoho Campaigns got a facelift this year with a sleek new interface design. Along with the new look, you can get even more from Zoho Campaigns now with a customizable dashboard, image editing capabilities, additional automation, and more advanced reporting. Take your email campaigns to the next level!

Zoho Social now Adapted for Digital Agencies – Zoho Social also got a great update that makes it much easier for digital agencies to manage their clients’ social media platforms. With this new version of Social, agencies can manage all their client accounts from one platform. It also allows for agency branding and logos, with increased collaboration abilities to keep your team and your clients in the loop.

Zoho Notebook Improvements – Notebook began as a simple note-taking app on mobile but has now adapted to become even smarter, and now works as a desktop application as well. Added Mac and iOS 11 Support expands the devices from which you can use Notebook. With new intelligent formatting, Smart Cards, and document scanning, you can simplify and ease your note-taking process even further.

CRM Improvements

Marketplace Extensions – In 2017, Zoho expanded its marketplace to allow Zoho CRM to integrate with some of the biggest technology partners out there! With more than 80 new extensions available, you can optimize the potential of your CRM further than ever before. These new extensions will not only help you make the most of your CRM but can also help your business run more efficiently and avoid juggling multiple systems.

New Integrations and Platforms – Zoho CRM has further increased its capabilities with new integrations and platforms! The Finance Plus integration allows your sales reps to easily track the details of their deal expenses in the CRM. The Telephony Platform integration allows you to bring all of your phone conversations, including call recording, into the CRM. The SalesSignals platform helps consolidate all of your notifications, such social media, email, and third-party apps, into an organized timeline. These are just 3 of the new integrations that were released this year!

CRM Improvements – Amidst all the improvements to the other Zoho apps, Zoho has also polished up the CRM itself. Updated workflow rules make automation easier and advanced filters which update in real-time help you keep track of your leads. Speaking of leads, you can now add leads directly from social media, and use new lead scoring rules to ensure you focus on the right leads in your funnel. And, don’t forget the new Sticky Notes to help you stay on top of it all!

How Zoho can help you with your bad data

We know that was a lot to take in, and Zoho is improving faster each day, seemingly.  Now, you can catch up with the big boys, improve your business, and slow things down a bit yourself – only figuratively, though.  Check out Zoho’s 2017 recap for more updates and improvements!

Interested in learning more about Zoho, or have a question? Reach out to our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help with all your Zoho needs.  Give our team a call at (888) 207-4111, or click the button below and we will reach out to you!

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