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SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Just how sweet is Sugar?

This matchup of SugarCRM vs Zoho is interesting because, although SugarCRM is more expensive than Zoho CRM (seemingly) as a rule, SugarCRM Professional Edition (PE), a mid-level business program, costs roughly the same per user as Zoho CRM Enterprise Edition (EE), a higher-level business program. We won’t rush to conclusions yet, because words like professional, standard, and enterprise are all quite subjective terms.  We’ll take a look at actual product specs to see how these two really match up.

SugarCRM vs Zoho Round One: The Costs*

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

As aforementioned, we’ll be comparing two different-tiered programs similar in pricing: Zoho CRM EE  comes in at $50 per user per month and SugarCRM PE at $52 per user per month.

  • It costs roughly $6000 to board 10 users of either Zoho CRM EE or SugarCRM PE for a year.
  • For the sake of comparison, it costs $10,200 ($85/user/mo) to board ten users on SugarCRM EE, the supposed equivalent to Zoho CRM EE.  That won’t be factored into our decision at the end of this bout, but, keep it in mind.

Another thing to keep in mind: Zoho CRM offers a monthly pricing plan (truly $50 per month) whereas the price per user for SugarCRM is still $52 per month, but, it can only be paid in one sum annually.  Thus, you have slightly less flexibility with SugarCRM’s payment plan.  However, this won’t affect every business owner.

As the price is dead even between SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM in this round, we’re calling it a tie.

*Pricing updated June 2021

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Round Two: Tracking the Sales

Sales is the bread and butter of most businesses, so, having a robust system for tracking sales is of utmost importance.  Both SugarCRM and Zoho recognize this; SugarCRM packs the ability to track Leads, Contacts, and Opportunities, plus the ability to generate Sales Forecasts and Quotas.  While this is a sizable list of features in itself, Zoho CRM packs all these and the ability to track competitors, sell as a team, create macros, and keep track of certain activities using a feature called feeds.

Feeds is a feature that turns Zoho CRM into a sort of social network, giving users the ability to track (or “follow”) certain users, tasks, or records, and lets users communicate about those items by adding comments to them.  This is an especially useful communication method for larger or disconnected offices; comments left this way are searchable inside Zoho and linked to specific activities, making looking up past conversations a bit easier than searching through multiple email threads about the same subject.

Because of Zoho CRM’s added features for the same price, this round goes to Zoho.

Round Three: How Social do you wanna get?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

In today’s business climate, having a presence on social networks is absolutely key to engaging prospective customers and keeping current clients in the loop about your goings-on.  That said, in the battle of SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM, both programs have a share of social interaction options.

SugarCRM PE lets its users interact with followers via Facebook and Twitter with integrations to both programs.  By itself, this is a fine starter pack of sorts for social networking, but, that’s all SugarCRM offers in that regard.  Zoho CRM EE offers the ability to monitor social mentions, making it easier to track customer interactions (or places where you’ll want to engage a customer who calls on you publicly), as well as a built-in tab for both Facebook and Twitter.

Overall, Zoho CRM gives users more social networking capability.  Being able to track social mentions would seem worth paying an additional price by itself, but, as Zoho CRM is still the same price as Sugar CRM, this round also goes to Zoho.

Round Four: Wanna Automate that Marketing?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Marketing automation is key for businesses that want to reach a wide audience quickly while also managing email and marketing campaigns.  Marketing automation as a concept seems to have evolved at a perfect time, as social media and other electronic marketing channels are more important than ever to the health of – at the very least – any tech-minded business, and many other kinds as well.

That said, hopefully your answer to that question above is a resounding yes.

Both Zoho CRM EE and SugarCRM PE come out of the box with a host of marketing automation tools, from web-to-lead capturing ability to mass emailing, email templates, and tracking campaigns themselves.  Zoho CRM comes with one extra tool: autoresponders, which send messages to mailing lists based on time or click-through statistics.  Some businesses may find this tool extremely useful, but, I don’t think its inclusion alone is enough to push Zoho over the top; thus, this round is a tie.

SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM Bonus Round: What About Workflow Management?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

For those not in the know, workflow management is simply a term for when your CRM reminds you or prepares you to do certain tasks in order.  The tasks you can program a CRM with workflow management capability to carry out are limitless, from simple email reminders upon moving records from one stage to another, to making certain information appear inside custom modules upon modifying a record, to programming a particular action to occur a certain time after another event has occurred.  (It’s kind of like having your own personal assistant.)

Zoho CRM EE comes with all those abilities, including automatic lead assignment, case escalation (which prioritizes certain activities above others in certain circumstances, which you may set), and completely customized functions.  This round is a bit of a mismatch, as SugarCRM PE doesn’t contain any of the marketing automation abilities listed (and none others, either).  This makes Zoho the unequivocal winner of the round.

Who’s the champ in SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM?

sugarcrm vs zoho crm review

Determining the victor between SugarCRM vs Zoho CRM was simple.  For the price, Zoho CRM EE offers more features than SugarCRM PE, plain and simple.  Based on this alone, we dub Zoho CRM the winner of this bout. As always, this review doesn’t take into account things like ease of use, general Zoho consulting services, or Zoho support plans, which can be very subjective topics.  Be sure to schedule a walkthrough of the CRM that interests you most before you make any big decisions.

Bonus Round: There’s even more to Zoho than meets the eye

Just when you think the bout is over and you’ve decided the victor in this Sugar CRM review with Zoho, hang tight!  There’s still one more thing to consider.  We’re admittedly a bit biased over here, as we’re Zoho consultants, but we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention that by choosing Zoho over Sugar, you’re not only gaining access to all of Zoho’s apps aside from the CRM, but you can also tap into Zoho’s extensive network of partners – including us.  You can use your Zoho partner’s expertise to figure out the best way to solve your business problems using Zoho now, and also put together a sort of road map for the years to come, that way there’s no reworking of your system and no abandoning ship after a small handful of years.

Aside from the CRM, Zoho offers a help desk app (Zoho Desk), as well as a finance app (Zoho Books).  Zoho’s platform as a service (Zoho Creator) can be used to improve the functionality of existing Zoho apps, or create entirely new ones to suit your business needs.  If you were considering something like Sugar CRM to begin with, chances are its malleability caught your eye.  Zoho offers that same sort of feature in Creator, and Zoho’s partners can help with this, too.  All of these apps are available as part of Zoho One, a suite of 40+ apps available for $35/user/mo.

Salesforce vs Zoho CRM Review!

salesforce vs zoho crm reviewsalesforce vs zoho crm review

Who’s the bigger force to be reckoned with?

With so many different CRMs available today, all with different specs, you’re bound to be a little bogged down if you try to absorb too much at once.  With that in mind, we’re going to pit just two against each other today: Salesforce vs Zoho.

When comparing features of Salesforce vs Zoho, it’s important to keep in mind the different versions of the two products.  Tags like “Professional Edition” and “Enterprise Edition” can be misleading, as standards obviously vary between companies.  In this case, the closest thing to Salesforce’s Professional Edition isn’t Zoho’s own Professional Edition, but their Enterprise Edition.

Anyhow, without further ado, let’s dive right in and figure out who wins in Salesforce vs Zoho…

The Salesforce vs Zoho CRM Review

salesforce vs zoho crm review

Round One: The Cost

This is a chief concern for many business owners when picking out any software programs.  Let’s take a look by making the simplest calculation possible: price per user.

  • It costs $50 per month* to board a single user on Zoho CRM EE. *Pricing updated June 2021
  • It costs $100 per month to board a single user on Salesforce CRM PE*. 

For companies only boarding a few users, this sort of cost won’t be a big deal, understandably.  But, when considering boarding ten users – or twenty of them – the cost per user becomes a much more important factor.

  • Cost per year to board ten Zoho CRM EE users: $5000
  • Cost per year to board twenty Zoho CRM EE users: $10,000
  • Cost per year to board ten Salesforce CRM PE users: $10,000
  • Cost per year to board twenty Salesforce CRM PE users: $20,000

In this case, the trend is clear: it costs twice as much to board the equivalent number of Zoho CRM EE users on Salesforce CRM PE, making Zoho the winner of this round of Salesforce vs Zoho.

Logically, the next thing you’ll want to do after comparing prices is see exactly what features you’ll get for the prices.  That process is a little more involved than just looking at a couple of numbers, so we’ll divide it into a few rounds by category.

 salesforce vs zoho crm review

Round Two: The Sales Automation

One of the big reasons you’re looking into buying a CRM in general is so the program will keep track of certain things for you.  Like, for example, your different leads, contacts, opportunities, and the like.  Both Salesforce CRM PE and Zoho CRM EE pack a similar list of features, including competitor tracking, catalogs, and sales forecasts.

One notable feature Zoho packs that Salesforce does not, however, is feeds.

Feeds allows users to keep track of updates to certain leads, opportunities, or other activities; users can even leave comments on those activities, much like one would on a social network.  This aspect alone gives Zoho an edge, although the rest of the sales automation features in Zoho are quite similar to the ones in Salesforce.

By just a nudge, Zoho wins this round as well.

salesforce vs zoho crm review

Round Three: The Social Aspect

Being able to interact with customers on social media is very important, especially in today’s business environment.  Both Salesforce PE and Zoho EE come into this round prepared for social battle, sporting Twitter and Facebook integrations, and Salesforce adding a LinkedIn plugin.  Zoho makes up for its lack of LinkedIn with a social tab (to more easily monitor Facebook and Twitter entries) and a way to monitor social mentions, but, with LinkedIn as a big a player as it is in the business space, this round belongs to Salesforce.

Round 3A: Integrated chat options

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that both Salesforce and Zoho have integrated website chat options.  In both Live Agent (Salesforce’s platform) and SalesIQ (Zoho’s), users can wait for visitor questions to roll in, or engage visitors directly via chat box.  (This feature works particularly well for members of a Sales team or a Customer Support team.)  Since Live Agent and SalesIQ are very similar, however, their inclusion doesn’t factor into the final decision.

salesforce vs zoho crm review

Round Four: The Inventory Management

Another great quality of many CRMs is their ability to track inventory.  That said, not all inventory management systems are created equally… Inventory management is where Zoho CRM EE really shines against Salesforce CRM PE; while Salesforce can track Sales Quotes, Products, and Price Books, Zoho can track those three categories of items plus Sales Orders, Invoices, Vendors, and Purchase Orders.  In addition, Zoho has an integrated order procurement and fulfillment option.  In this case, the unquestionable winner is Zoho.

salesforce vs zoho crm review

Salesforce vs Zoho CRM BONUS ROUND: Integration

The ability to integrate is another absolutely vital part of modern businesses, as integrated systems can save time and money.  Even if an integrated program doesn’t end up lowering costs, the potential for time savings can make up for that.

This round is no contest, though.  Zoho was built with integration in mind; users of the program can also access MS Office, MS Outlook, Gmail, Google Apps, QuickBooks Desktop – and, they can access Zoho CRM and modify records entirely from mobile devices.  Salesforce packs a few of those options – notably, integrations for QuickBooks, Gmail, Google Apps, and MS Office; however, some of the integrations are only offered for a higher cost.

On the subject of integrations, it bears mentioning that, like Salesforce, Zoho comes with a whole suite of apps and add-ons that can integrate with the CRM.  Zoho’s offering, called Zoho One, is a suite of over 40 programs – and the number grows nearly every month.  The entire suite, which includes CRM, Zoho Books, Zoho Desk, and a project management app, is just $45/user/mo, a far cry from similar offerings from Salesforce.  With Zoho already coming up with a lower total cost without the extra charges for certain integrations, Zoho wins this round as well, far and away.

salesforce vs zoho


Of course, this report doesn’t extract every single detail from both Zoho CRM Enterprise Edition and Salesforce CRM Professional Edition.  However, the overview of the few features outlined gives prospective users an idea of what to expect.

What this report does not do is detail the exact look and feel of each UI, nor does it mention the methods of online or phone support plans or CRM consulting services offered, since those tend to be judged more subjectively.

The real object is to get you to make your own decision between Salesforce vs Zoho.  While Zoho may be a cheaper option with more features, you may be looking into something more, still.  You might prefer something lighter than Zoho CRM Enterprise Edition–or lighter than Salesforce Professional Edition.  In any event, hopefully this post helps in your search for the CRM that’s most appropriate for your own business.


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Switching from Spreadsheet to CRM

Switching from Spreadsheet to CRM

There comes a time in every person’s life when he must abandon his training wheels and go forth into the night on just two of them.

zoho crm

As a very young person, you may have thought this was absolutely ludicrous.  Why abandon the safety of the training wheels?  (Maybe you saw a sibling get into an accident and it scarred you for a while.)  Whatever the reason, you may have held out for a while, but, when you finally got up the nerve to go out on two wheels – or, into the pool without water wings – or, onto the street in your car without a supportive parent in the passenger seat – it probably felt much better than you thought it would.  Much more freedom!  Many more possibilities.

And, so it is with your business.

For years, you may have been dealing with your customers in a very simple way, just keeping track of them on a spreadsheet you periodically update.  Maybe that’s just the way it’s always been.  Maybe you tried learning a different way of managing your contacts before, and it didn’t take for one reason or another.  But, that’s the way it is for now.

What if there was a better, more streamlined way of reaching out to and keeping track of your customers and prospects, though?  The very possibility of this can be a lot to take in, especially for someone who’s used to doing the same thing day in and day out.  But, the fact that you’re reading a tech blog – and, this blog post – means you’re probably open to the idea of it.

What does a spreadsheet do?

[caption id="attachment_723" align="alignleft" width="350"]zoho crm (other than cramp your style, obviously)[/caption]


The thing about spreadsheets is they’re very passive.  If you want a spreadsheet to tell you a piece of information, you have to pull a few strings, write a few formulas, and make it happen yourself.  Your record-keeping must be very precise, and, the spreadsheet probably demands a lot of your attention, and will keep on doing so in higher quantities as your business expands.

Moving through a sales cycle is a tedious, manual process, comprised of many copy+pastes and cross-references with other documents (or programs, if you use an inventory management system or QuickBooks).  Calling customers is completely manual, and, taking notes can be quite messy.  When it comes time to email those customers, you’d better have a special folder set up for correspondence, too, or else say goodbye to ever finding customer records without knowing what you talked about before – so you can enter search terms into your email client.

In short, spreadsheets are great if you’re keeping track of just a little data, not needing to modify it or move it very much…

zoho crm

But, is your business small and simple?

If you’re reading this, I have a hunch it isn’t, or, it’s reached the point where it’s about to break out…with a little help from a customer relationship management system – a CRM.

What does a CRM do?

Essentially, a CRM is like a spreadsheet in that it can certainly list all of your contacts, leads, and other records; however, it’s equipped to help you manage all sorts of business scenarios with a little more finesse.  For example, filtering certain leads or contacts (so, for example, you’re only looking at clients who have birthdays this month), which is impossible with a spreadsheet, is easy with a CRM.

Want to move someone from one category to another in your database?  It’s as easy as clicking a button, or, selecting an option from a drop-down menu.

zoho crm

Keeping track of past correspondence with customers, one of the best parts of having a CRM at your disposal, is suddenly second-nature, as all your notes appear on the same page as your contact, complete with dates, a sales history, and, of course, all the requisite contact info.  With a CRM, taking notes is as easy as typing what you want and pressing OK.

Even the act of calling customers itself, historically a manual task, can become nearly automatic with calendar reminders and integrated calling features within a CRM, as well.

Data security is much better with CRM, as opposed to spreadsheets

Have you ever been entering information in your spreadsheet, when suddenly – poof – a column disappears?  Or, it disappeared minutes ago and you aren’t sure when, and you don’t know how many CTRL+Zs it will take to get anything back?  With spreadsheets, being vigilant is a constant struggle.  One great thing about CRM is fields are protected, and you have to verify info before saving it.  This means there’s virtually no chance of accidentally mass-deleting 1000 phone numbers.  Sure, this may not be a problem if you’re a super-human, methodical worker.  But, most people aren’t perfect.  And, people tend to become less perfect as their workloads increase.  Which is what you’re trying to do with your business, hopefully.  So, why not use something that in essence catches your mistakes?

CRM improves security in another way too, however, by restricting or granting access to certain data modules (tables) or fields based on permission level.  Of course, you can solve this problem in spreadsheets by simply creating multiple sheets.  But, like all things related to using spreadsheets, it simply isn’t a sustainable solution in the long run.  It’s better to have a system that allows for creating system users that can be added or deactivated at will, and whose permissions can be changed easily, with just a few clicks.

[caption id="attachment_3553" align="alignright" width="300"]spreadsheet vs crm wheel spokes Just like this![/caption]

You can use CRM as your hub, and connect different spokes at will

Everything else notwithstanding, one of the best parts of having a CRM is the ability to connect other apps to it, hands down.  There’s only so much you can reasonably track in a CRM itself – and, there’s only so much you’ll want to give your sales staff access to.  But, with other apps to track things like customer orders and invoices, project statuses, and the like, you can give yourself and your sales team a 360-degree view of any given customer, so they know just how to react whenever that person gives you a call.  And, they’ll know just how to market to that person when it comes time to do so.

With great spreadsheets come great paper waste

[caption id="attachment_3554" align="aligncenter" width="500"]crm spreadsheet paper waste Is this you?[/caption]

Well, maybe not all the time.  But, if you’re using a spreadsheet – something that inherently doesn’t connect to anything else in the business – you’re probably making some kind of waste.  It’s likely you’re either sending loads of emails back and forth, or you’re printing out physical documents to send to accounting.  Having a CRM eliminates the need for any of that.  Of course, sometimes printing physical documents is harder to avoid, like in the case of warehouse pick sheets when employees don’t have access to mobile devices – but, in most cases, CRM drastically helps in this area.

Are you ready to do away with the training wheels?

The first step to eliminating a problem is at least admitting the existence of one.  You may be satisfied with your way of contacting clients at the moment.  But, can you imagine the difference without being encumbered by the manual labor of a spreadsheet?

Take off those extra wheels and explore the two-wheeled world – by taking a look at some CRMs!  You’ll probably find it’s a lot easier to get around, you can go a lot faster, and, you get a lot more done at the end of the day.

As Zoho consultants, we’re happy to give you a training of Zoho CRM, an intuitive, simple CRM solution, as it applies to your style of business – with all the Zoho support you need, to boot.  If you’d like to explore apps other than Zoho CRM, too, that’s no problem.  Zoho One is packed full of apps aside from the CRM, and they are all related or integrated to each other.

3 Reasons to Adopt Zoho SalesIQ to Reel in Your Customers

Just How Far Does a Little Chat Go?

zoho salesiq

Zoho SalesIQ is a fantastic way to get your customers talking and drive your sales up.  It might not be obvious why that is right away, though.  Here’s what’s going on:

Every day, thousands of people crawl the web searching for businesses just like yours.  Maybe they even find them.  …Maybe they even find you.  But, then, what do you do?

Maybe some of those customers convert without you lifting a finger.  Your website could look gorgeous, attract all the right traffic, and even have a logical path that potential customers can follow, one that can (and sometimes does) lead to a conversion without any intervention on your part.

But, the tacit approach isn’t going to win everyone over.  Some people need a little push in the right direction.  A little conversation.  You’re going to need to chat them up to make them yours.

Enter Zoho SalesIQ.

Why Zoho SalesIQ?

Zoho SalesIQ is Zoho’s prospect communication module.  It allows people in your company to chat directly with people viewing your website, which, when done at the correct times, can mean the difference between a few curious (but ultimately indecisive) lookie-lous and a few purchases.

But, why use Zoho SalesIQ specifically?  There are tons of other chat modules available.  Why choose this one?

zoho salesiq prioritized leads

1.  Zoho SalesIQ allows for prioritizing (scoring) your leads

For businesses that attract a good deal of traffic, this is huge.  For want of a better example, imagine for a moment that it’s 1998 and you’re the owner of a Furby distributorship.  You’ve just opened the doors to your very first retail outlet, and, it’s causing a huge commotion in your strip mall.  With all the fanfare, not only are serious buyers heading in in droves, but everyone off the street is also stopping by to witness the chaos.  You’re selling quite a few Furbys, obviously, but, you’re running into a bunch of people in your store who aren’t really sure what Furbys are, don’t have the money to buy them, or, are planning to take your Furby quote to the next-nearest retailer and demand a price match.

You think to yourself, Life is pretty good today, but, it would be even better if I only ran into serious buyers and other people carrying more than $50 on them, and, none of these other people!

In effect, by using lead scoring from Zoho SalesIQ, this is exactly the type of situation you’re helping to create.

Lead scoring is a way of separating the wheat from the chaff, as it were.  With Zoho SalesIQ, everyone gets to see your website, of course – but, lead scoring lets you prioritize your potential customers in a way that’s completely up to you by giving them points for each criteria of yours they meet.  The more points they have, the closer they’re allowed to come to you, and, if you’re getting bombarded, you’ll know to engage the good visitors first and get to the others later, if you want.

Here’s how scoring might work:

Did you just start an email campaign?  You can give people who accessed your page from one of those messages a higher score to denote their interest in your products.  Want to go after people who’ve spent more than two minutes looking at your website?  More than five minutes?  You can also give those visitors a higher score.  The more criteria your customers meet, the higher their score, and, the closer they get to you, figuratively; you can spend more time engaging those people on Zoho SalesIQ instead of engaging people who have less potential to buy from you at all.

zoho salesiq integration

2. Zoho SalesIQ plugs directly into Zoho CRM

Any time you can integrate one customer-oriented part of your business with your main customer hub, your CRM, you’re going to reap benefits.  SalesIQ’s CRM integration ability lets you do a couple of things that aren’t possible with a standalone chat module:

  • Start sending emails and alerts right away
    • With an integration to Zoho CRM, Zoho SalesIQ can transfer customer data directly to your CRM, making it easy to add them to email campaigns, and otherwise keep track of their progress through your pipeline in a more universal sense than would be possible with a standalone chat system.
  • Save a great deal of time
    • Zoho CRM integration means you spend more time interacting with customers and less time – well, no time at all, precisely – manually entering lead information into your CRM, because Zoho SalesIQ transfers information to your Zoho CRM with the click of a button.  For businesses with many qualified customers finding them every day, this feature is absolutely invaluable.
  • Recall and analyze the past with ease
    • Memory a little fuzzy on that last conversation you had with the 20th prospect of the day?  Zoho SalesIQ’s chat logging feature combined with access to past data from Zoho CRM allows you to make decisions you couldn’t have made before, such as placing your customer into an “interested” email campaign list from a “lukewarm” list.  Perfect for anyone who has more than a couple of conversations each day.

3.  Zoho SalesIQ’s mobile compatibility means you’ll never miss a potential connection

Obviously, almost anything can be made better when you’re doing it from the comfort of your living room as opposed to the unyielding chair of your office.  Engaging your customers is certainly no exception to this rule.

With Zoho SalesIQ’s mobile compatibility, you can have conversations with your customers outside of work, too – during a walk outside, a TV commercial, or even a lousy date.  (Priorities!)  Combine this mobile capability with aforementioned lead scoring and CRM integration, and it really is like bringing your customer base – the core of your entire business – with you, right in the palm of your hand.

zoho salesiq einstein

Zoho SalesIQ is clearly a wise choice

Hopefully this sheds a little light on a common problem some businesses have: Even in the best of times, they might be wasting lots of valuable resources talking to the wrong people, manually entering data, or missing lots of good connections – or not talking to potential customers at all!

Zoho SalesIQ takes the mystery out of your process.  Whether or not to engage your customers smartly (by prioritizing), efficiently (by integrating), or easily (by using mobile capability) shouldn’t be decisions you have to make – they shouldn’t even enter the equation.  Leave those details to Zoho SalesIQ and you’ll find you’ll focus less on the things slowing you down and more on what you do best: communicating with customers who really want to buy from you.

Want to see what SalesIQ’s all about?  Contact us at (888) 207-4111 for dedicated support and we’ll show you how it works and give you a personalized training session as well.

How is Zoho CRM better than Salesforce for SMB?


How is Zoho CRM better than Salesforce for SMB?


Zoho as your best CRM Choice

If you are a small or medium business searching for a cost-effective but powerful solution for CRM with an accounting integration feature, some automation, data security, and Google App integration, then you should consider implementing Zoho CRM. As a relatively new player in comparison to Salesforce, you may be skeptical until you read this article.


The most important aspect for most small businesses is the bottom line cost. If two options exist that offer relatively similar features, the one that is 50% less in cost is the natural choice. This is the exact reason why Zoho has been gaining market share for their software, which is priced aggressively and includes much of the same features if not more than Salesforce at the same price points.

What’s even more important is the fact that Zoho offers a simple ‘pay-as-you-go’ model avoiding what most businesses fear; vendor lock-in. If you want to try out a solution, generally you do not want to be locked in for a year. Zoho’s monthly option allows you to give it a trial without wasting valuable cash flow over a longer period of time. Salesforce, however, ensures a lock-in period of at least one year. The fact that Zoho is 1/5th the cost of Salesforce, does not lock you in, provides similar features and is an easy- to-implement solution makes it the clear choice for small and medium businesses.

zoho salesforce

Leading Feature Set

At a fraction of the cost of Salesforce you may question the power of features that Zoho Online CRM can offer, yet you would be surprised that it still compares well to Salesforce. The pay-as-you-go model for Zoho also refers to the fact that you can choose only which plug-ins you need, paying only for what you use. Even with most of the plug-ins, the price is still generally less than a comparable package with Salesforce. The leading features that Zoho offers includes software updates as they are rolled out, Zoho support during implementation and deployment, mobile access, an intuitive web interface that is easy to use and implement, customizable interface to match your own company’s workflow, automation of key aspects of your business processes and the ability to export your data anytime.

These are on top of the standard features you have come to expect from a CRM with such a flexible and detailed customer relationship management. Included features are prioritizing your sales activities, automating your sales force, tracking sales, engaging clients through email and social CRM, all within Zoho CRM.

Easy Implementation

Requiring a week of setup and training is just not possible in some small and medium enterprises. Instead of hiring an IT expert to help you implement your new CRM, which is often the case needed with Salesforce, you can implement Zoho CRM into your software environment and start using it usually within the first day. Of course, full customization and implementation may take a few days but this process is simple and easy with Zoho CRM’s intuitive online interface. Also, our team of Zoho Certified consultants can help you integrate your CRM with other ERP software environments such as Sage quickly and efficiently as well, and even offer specialized CRM training sessions for you and your team.

As an SME you need to weigh your options for performance and automation against the bottom line cost. The best option is generally a program that meets most of your needs as well as your budget. Outgrowing Zoho for Salesforce three or five years later is a good problem to have.

Integrations Galore

Like Salesforce, Zoho comes with a wide variety of integrations – and not just 3rd-party ones. Zoho’s family of apps includes CRM, Zoho Books (for handling finances as well as orders and invoices for customers), Zoho Campaigns (for email marketing management), and many others.  Zoho even offers a whole suite of apps called Zoho One, which contains over 40 apps.  Zoho One is available for just $45/user/month*, a far less expensive choice than Salesforce.  Add in Zoho’s platform as a service, Zoho Creator (similar to

zoho salesforce, and you have a myriad of integration options, including custom Zoho ERP software integrations. *Pricing updated June 2021


Still can’t decide?  We’ll talk you through it honestly

Looking for someone to help you make the decision between Zoho vs Salesforce? Feel free to drop us a line at (888) 207-4111 and one of our certified CRM experts would be happy to work with you to define the best solution for your business!


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Zoho CRM Integrations

Zoho CRM Integrations: the way to run your business to its fullest potential

zoho crm integrations

Zoho CRM

If you are researching Zoho CRM integrations, you most likely noticed that there are a lot of options for integrating your CRM with your accounting or ERP system. As you evaluate those options, here are some points to consider while doing your research. It’s always recommended to work with a certified Zoho consultant who can help with your integration after a thorough needs assessment.

1.) Do Not Enter

Why enter customer records if others are willing to do it for you? The best part about CRM integration into company websites, surveys and other apps allows you to collect information from clients by allowing them to enter their own information. It can then be assessed and included into your database. This can save large amounts of time if done properly.

2.) Enter Only Once

If you ever have to enter information more than once, your CRM and ERP integration was done poorly. Moving information or copying it from one program to the next ultimately leads to mistakes through human error. Ensure all new customers and old customers are available to all the stakeholders that require the information, such as marketing, sales, and customer service without having to acquire the information separately.

3.) Let History Repeat

In business, letting your customers repeat their invoicing and sales histories enables sales departments to better understand their client’s sales cycles. Make sure any CRM integration includes these vital areas of information.

4.) Order Processing

Any quote offered to client should be easily transferrable into your ERP system for immediate conversion into an order without extra processing. A simple quote to order process can save billing and sales departments tons of time.

5.) Proper Inventory Numbers

To be effective in selling products, your sales team need inventory information that is accurate and up-to-date on a consistent basis. Quantity of items on hand and their location will help them ensure the quickest delivery from the nearest location, enabling more sales turnovers in the long run.

6.) It Should Save $

The bottom line of a Zoho CRM integration with an ERP is to be able to produce better efficiencies and in the end save the company money in lost productivity. Yet it can also save money by keeping ERP licensing fees to a minimum and allowing those that need information get it through the lesser cost of a CRM.

7.) Let Them Roam

Road service personnel or traveling sales reps often waste time by not being able to place an order on their mobile devices while at the client’s business. Enabling this simple solution can ensure maximum sales and better production by your sales team. CRM integration with mobile capabilities can even allow payment collection on the spot. Ensuring that executives or other employees can work offline and enable syncing when they are back online allows productivity even when traveling or flying.

8.) Easy Returns

Proper CRM integration can make returns management an easy process instead of the logistical nightmare most companies are used to dealing with. Make sure your Zoho CRM can handle return tracking with ease and integrate the process with your ERP.

There are lots of other issues that can arise when implementing and integrating a new CRM system alongside your ERP. Having the right consultant that understands your business processes, asks the rights questions and can guide you to the most effective solutions makes even the implementation easier.

Zoho One: The Ultimate in Zoho integrations

zoho crm integrations zoho one

If there’s one thing Zoho has been doing lately to up the ante, it’s add software to the Zoho “family” of apps.  In 2016, Zoho began to offer all 35 or so apps in one unified package called Zoho One.  Zoho One sets itself apart from most software bundles as it can be had for less than the cost of a Zoho CRM Enterprise license.  Many apps in Zoho One integrate directly with Zoho CRM – for example, Zoho Books for managing finances and light inventory, and Zoho Campaigns for email marketing and analytics.  For companies looking to use Zoho CRM for integrations, or perhaps looking to get all their software under one umbrella, Zoho One is a fine choice.

Want to know more about how Zoho CRM integrations can help you?

Zoho CRM integrations are key to nearly any well-run Zoho system, and it’s not always obvious which way to go with them at first.  But, it’s nothing a consulting session can’t help suss out!  Contact us today to learn how our team of Certified Zoho Consultants can take your Zoho integrations experience to the next level, or, reach out for any CRM training or support questions.  Just use the Contact Us button in the upper right corner of this screen and a ZBrains Zoho consultant will get back to you within 24 hours.


Google Apps and Zoho CRM – 6 Ways to Utilize Both Together

Google Apps and Zoho CRM – 6 Ways to Utilize Both Together

zoho google apps

 To Pair or Not to Pair?

Many people are moving to Google Apps for their personal and small business for online computing. If you are looking for an all-in-one system where you have the ability to sync with your mobile devices, Zoho CRM combined with Google Apps for Business is a great option. Zoho has been working to integrate their online CRM application with Google Apps for the last four years to become the leading online CRM collaboration tool. For instance, as a Zoho and Google user, you can now access Zoho CRM from your Gmail account. When you are logged into Zoho, you can access the integrated Google Apps and if you are in Google Apps, you can access Zoho online CRM functionality.

In this blog, we will cover 2 popular Zoho Google Apps for Gmail and Calendar along with 3 major benefits for Zoho customers using Google Apps. There are also additional Google Apps: Documents, Drive, Sites and Vault which are described in further detail on our website covering Zoho Google Apps.

3 Powerful Google Apps that Help Zoho Users Save Time and Money:  

1.)  Gmail Integrated with Zoho

This is one of our Customers favorite Zoho Google Apps and one we use heavily in our business. Our Customers find they save money when moving over to Gmail for their daily email correspondence. If you prefer to use Outlook, you can use Gmail for your backend mail exchange. All your emails are safe with Google’s secure online back up. If you need to access emails when you are out of the office or away from your computer, you can now access Outlook anywhere you have a web-browser. Feeling bogged down with emails? Easily find what you are looking for with Google’s powerful built in search functionality. Zoho and Google Apps will work with all Microsoft file types so you can open any documents while on the road.

2.)  Zoho Plugged into Google Calendar

Another favorite is the ability to coordinate your schedule with Google Calendar.  You can view all events and create multiple calendars from the same interface.  This integrates with Zoho CRM so all your events and reminders can be seen in Zoho.  Coworkers have visibility on your availability so they can easily work around your schedule.  Google Calendar allow you to set permissions so you can set who the ability to view and modify your schedule.

3.) Google Drive integration for Zoho CRM

This special connection, developed by ZBrains, allows for CRM record file storage inside Google Drive.  The Google Drive integration works by creating and associating new Google Drive folders with Zoho CRM records based on a folder structure or hierarchy that you set.  When you create new CRM records – for example, for a client project – an equivalent folder and URL will be created in Google Drive, and that folder’s URL will be automatically linked to the appropriate CRM record.

zoho google apps

3 additional ways customers benefit from Zoho Google Apps:

1.)  Save money with consolidated technology

Zoho Google Apps help you save the time and money without the expense of maintaining and upgrading expensive server hardware since most of your data will be processed online in the cloud.  Integrating Zoho Google Apps also helps save time and money while traveling. Google Apps is an affordable solution to increase productivity for just $5 per user, per month, or $50 per user, per year. Sign up for a Google Apps FREE trial and see for yourself how easy it is to get started.

2.) Increase productivity with easy file storage

Google Apps cloud-based productivity suite lets you store files, documents, spreadsheets and presentations in the cloud. Avoid emailing documents for revisions now that multiple users can access these documents and make edits in a central location.

3.) Secure your data with a cloud-based system

Google maintains your data securely in the cloud with world-class data centers. You don’t have to manage 2 separate passwords since with one point of access and one password to sign on. You simply log into Zoho with your GA login credentials.

In summary, Zoho Online CRM is the best cost-effective CRM solution that works with Google Apps for Business available in the market today. Contact us if you are interested in learning more about Zoho Google Apps working for your business. As ERP and Zoho CRM consultants, our team at ZBrains provides Zoho and Google Apps customers with migration services, customizations, support escalation, webinars, knowledge-base access, system integrations and change management for your business.

Get in touch with us to learn how our team of certified Zoho experts will help you maximize your Zoho CRM solution. Our Zoho CRM training or comprehensive Zoho implementation packages will help get your team equipped and ready to take advantage of all the critical features of Zoho CRM that are essential to help you and your team better manage existing customers and new business opportunities.