Category : Zoho Creator

Zoho Commission Calculator Webinar – Thursday, June 6th!

Stop wasting time with calculations – Start paying your employees easily

Our in-depth webinar on the Zoho commission app shows you just what you can do

commission calculator webinar

It’s a shame that after all the hard work you can do in building and improving different facets of your business – whether through optimizing sales processes, increasing efficiency in operations or fulfillment, or making sure you retain the clients you worked so hard to earn – employee payments tend to be one of the most overlooked, and most inefficient parts of a company.  Of course, everyone you employ gets paid.  Maybe you even get everyone paid on time, every time.  But, how much time do you spent calculating payments or doing manual work to prepare payments so you can be on time?

If you have a complicated commission structure, chances are you spend a lot of time doing just that.  Maybe you even have someone who works full-time doing that for you!

Now, we aren’t in the business of putting people out of work, but we do like to help people better their businesses, and that includes making processes more efficient – including commission calculation. To that end, we’ve developed commission calculation software on Zoho Creator that helps do just that.

We’ll be demoing the commission calculator and going through all its various features during a Live Commission Calculator Webinar on June 6th at 10 AM PDT.  

What’s so hot about this particular commission calculator webinar?

Aside from the fact that we built this app on Zoho Creator (so it integrates with Zoho CRM and other programs), this commission app is part of a software suite called FieldTech.  FieldTech is a software bundle built on Zoho that improves the functionality of Zoho, especially for service, construction, and manufacturing/distribution companies.  You don’t have to use all of FieldTech to use this commission calculator.  But, if you need to, the option is there – and we consider it a great “gateway” to the FieldTech suite, for those looking to refresh and optimize their business software suite.

Some features we’ll be going over in the webinar:

  • Calculating commission based on a fixed amount, revenue amount, or profit margin
  • Spiffs and incentives
  • Splitting commission between multiple reps or teams
  • Commission overrides
  • Commission approvals
  • Clawbacks or credits for refunds
  • Sales rep portal for up-to-the-minute commission totals
  • Emailed commission statements
  • Integration with Zoho CRM
  • Integration with Zoho Finance

commission calculator webinar

Stay right there for the Q&A session after the walkthrough!

After we show the features of the commission calculator, we’ll be answering any questions you have about the app.  Stay tuned in so you can ask us questions about the app, as well as listen to others ask questions of their own.

==> Register for the webinar here.

Thank you for stopping by this post, and we’ll see you on Thursday!

Zoho Creator Record Templates

Zoho Creator Record Templates make your custom apps even more personalized

When you think of Zoho, you undoubtedly think of a few different words or phrases.  One of those is very likely “customizable.” When you use Zoho, you know you have all sorts of options for customizing all the apps in the suite.  Following that tradition, Zoho has brought customization to record templates in Zoho Creator, so you can customize even more of your experience – or, in this case, your customers’ experience.

zoho creator record templates

Custom Record Templates in Zoho Creator? What for?

Zoho Creator record templates behave pretty similarly to Zoho CRM custom inventory templates.  Those custom templates allow you to customize what your customer sees when you send them an invoice, for example.  You may track all sorts of information related to your invoice in the CRM – but, how that invoice appears to your customer is very much up to you.  Place information exactly where you want it on your template with merge fields in Zoho Creator, just like you would on inventory templates in Zoho CRM.

But, wait. Why use Zoho Creator for this stuff at all?

It’s a common question: Zoho has so many different ways of doing nearly anything.  Why use Zoho Creator to create these record templates when you could just use the CRM?

You’ll want to use Zoho Creator when you have particular business needs that standard Zoho apps won’t meet.  Creator can be customized much more heavily than even very malleable Zoho apps, so the possibilities for your custom app are far greater.  At the end of the day, you’ll likely store some data in the Zoho Creator app instead of a standard app like the CRM.  Zoho Creator record templates provide a way to act on the data in that system so you don’t have to transfer it to the CRM first.

Sound confusing?  We hope not – but if so, just ask us and we can walk you through it.

zoho creator record templates

Create all kinds of record templates

The possibilities are endless; here are just a few you could use in your own apps:

  • Estimates or custom quotes
  • Brochures, catalogs, or sell sheets
  • Certificates
  • Newsletters or campaign emails
  • Name tags

These templates will all be tied to different record types.  For example, you may keep records in your Zoho Creator app called Estimates, Brochures, Certificates, or Newsletters.  The templates you design will allow you to customize how each of these records look.

Starting is a cinch!

Creating your own Zoho Creator record templates or modifying pre-built templates is easy:

  1. Navigate to your Creator app Settings menu and select Record Templates.  
  2. Click the New Template button, where you’ll choose between modifying a pre-designed record template, or creating a brand new template you can mark up as needed.

The drag-and-drop interface makes creating or editing record templates simple.  And, if you’re somewhat code-savvy, you can even drop HTML into the templates. Then your record templates are ready to use.

Once you’ve created and distributed records as needed using the record templates, you or your customers can print or export individual records as PDFs (just like inventory templates or emails) using special Zoho Creator URLs.

zoho creator record templates

The hits keep coming

With Zoho, the world really is your oyster – and this new feature in Zoho Creator reinforces that notion, making Creator an even more versatile platform on which to build custom applications.  There’s a lot you can do with Zoho Creator; in fact, we’ve even built our own vertical software for field services and construction companies on it.

In a bind? Contact us!

Let us know if you need any help architecting your own custom app – or just need help with Zoho Creator record templates – and we’ll plan it all out with you.  We can even build it for you if you so choose.

Using Zoho eCommerce Quoting to Increase Website Conversion Rates

Using Zoho eCommerce Quoting to Increase Website Conversion Rates

Or, “How do you get more sales? I’ll let you know in a micro-moment.”

Get comfortable!  This is a 10-15 minute read.

zoho ecommerce quoting

It’s no secret people are spending more time online than ever before.  And, that number is only set to increase as the years go by.  You’ve spent time and money researching the best way to position your brand so it’s accessible online – and you’ve spent an equal amount of time designing your website so it’s easy for customers to navigate.  But today, customers are bombarded with so much content, it leads to a sort of paralysis if they don’t like something about their shopping experience – and this leads to abandoned shopping carts galore.  As a Zoho user with an online webstore, how can you use Zoho eCommerce to help your case?

(Quickly, before we go too far down the rabbit hole: Zoho has recently pushed out an eCommerce app called Zoho Commerce.  This post is not about that app!  We may cover it later, but as the app is still fairly new, we’ll want to give you something a little more substantial on it later, perhaps.  Instead, this post is about designing your company’s website – your customer’s experience – to increase conversion rates, all while using what Zoho already provides, and with a little additional help from us at ZBrains.)

As usual, I’m not going to simply present you with a concept and hope you understand it.  It’s important to give a bit of background on the issues at hand before we dive into a solution.  So, strap yourself in and let’s get started.

Just in case: What does a Zoho eCommerce Quoting Tool do for you?

zoho ecommerce quoting

When businesses sell products that are very complicated and customized, for which SKUs don’t exist, those businesses typically endure a pretty painful quoting process.  Not painful as in difficult – more tedious and time-consuming. And, why isn’t it easy to just spit out a quote? Let me tell you just a few potential reasons:

  1. Logic doesn’t exist to produce a quote on-the-fly, so the info has to be emailed to someone, who then crunches the numbers themselves, puts the info onto a formal document, then sends it to the prospective customer manually.
  2. Pictures of the item(s) in question don’t exist on the website because they’re custom products, so the pictures have to be rendered individually and then sent back with the quote.  Or, they can’t be rendered at all, so that part of the quote simply doesn’t exist.
  3. Info about pricing is spread across departments, so a salesperson needs to consult someone in the production department to figure out how to assemble a quote.

And, I’m sure you can think of other reasons why the typical custom quoting process is slow and painful.  That’s why CPQ software is becoming more and more popular!

Now, let’s put this idea of quoting software into the present day.

Think You Have a Captive Audience?  Well, Not Anymore!

zoho ecommerce quoting

In the age of online shopping, capturing your attention is the name of the game.  From big, colorful banners, to auto-emails, to push notifications, to “Wait! Before you go…!” all vying for your eyes, that much is perfectly clear.  And, it seems if you don’t play your cards right, you could lose your customers’ attention as quickly as you garnered it.  

See, customers browsing the web are poked with all kinds of stimuli as they look at your page, and if you don’t provide it when it’s best – or you don’t provide it at all – customers’ attention falters and you’re left with an abandoned cart, or no cart at all.  These miniature stimulations of your audience as you lead them through your buying funnel have been dubbed “micro-moments.”  

Just think: Every banner, picture placement, headline, review, and call to action on a well-designed site has been perfectly placed by a company to in effect read your mind and make you want to buy products or services, and make the most of all the micro-moments you spend on that company’s website.  Don’t feel too self-conscious, now.

When in Rome…

The thing about these micro-moments is that everyone uses them to market to their customers nowadays, all the way down the marketing funnel.  This isn’t some new-age flash in the pan – Google even has a section on their business content arm devoted to it.

How does this all pertain to Zoho?  And, to you as a business owner?

Of course, this isn’t a general business consulting website, and, while you may wish to go ham and optimize your entire website to delight all your customers, we aren’t so prepared to give you mountains of advice pertaining to all of that.  But, we’re going to stick to one specific micro-moment you can manage.  That’s your customer-facing quoting process.

Why Optimize your Zoho eCommerce Site for Quoting?

The short answer: Because you too can profit from “hacking” people’s subconscious minds and making them want to buy from you!

And, ZBrains offers a tool that can help you do that – just by having it available on your website.  Enter the Zoho eCommerce integration for quoting.  This tool helps you in three distinct ways.

#1. Takes advantage of people’s visual nature

zoho ecommerce quoting

If you sell a product that’s pretty customizable, you may want to consult your customer directly before they cut you a check.  They’ll probably want to get to know you a bit, too, if they’re a new customer. That’s all pretty regular. But, people are already very visual creatures (why do you think Google prefers image- and video-rich pages over pages with just text?), and a study shows that the newest generation of consumers highly prefers buying visual content over any other kind of content.

Car companies already know this trick.  Just think of when you visit the website of a car manufacturer: many of them offer detailed pictures of each model sold.  The very best quoting engines even have ways to customize the look of the cars on the fly, so you can see exactly what your purchase would look like.

So, how do you get your website to do that?

You have an option in the Zoho eCommerce integration for quoting.  We developed the Zoho quoting tool especially for situations just like this, where you offer a product with many possible customizations, and you want to give your customers a visual representation of what they’re buying.

Sure, you’ll still want to get to know them and confirm their purchase before they buy.  Or, maybe they won’t click “Buy” at all, and will instead be redirected to a consulting call with you to iron out details.  But regardless, letting your customers see the products they’re planning to buy beforehand will give them the confidence they need to complete the purchase, ultimately.

#2. Gives instant gratification – to your customers and to you

[caption id="attachment_3583" align="alignleft" width="400"]zoho ecommerce quoting Okay, maybe not this instant. But close.[/caption]

Even the thought of younger people today wanting instant gratification may have turned into a meme at this point.  But, that doesn’t make it any less true – and, the more people can find things easily using their handheld pocket computers that double as phones, the more that sentiment will prevail.

The very nature of your Zoho eCommerce site, when equipped with a powerful CPQ tool, will support that idea.  Even without a visual aspect, letting your customer select all the various options they want for a particular product of yours – and then letting them see how each option affects the final price – carries so much more weight than a simple “Call us for a consultation.”  

If your pricing can be expressed with business logic of any sort, why not express that logic in a Zoho CRM quoting app?  And, following that, why not use a Zoho eCommerce integration to put that quoting app directly onto your website, to feed back into the CRM?  The Zoho CPQ tool does just that, giving both your customers and you the information you need to perform your next actions.

#3. It’s mobile-friendly

zoho ecommerce quoting mobile

While conversions from traffic on a desktop computer still reign supreme, mobile traffic continues to grow and grow, year over year.  We may be able to infer from this data that although the majority will ultimately make purchases on desktop computers, people might still give your products preliminary glances on their mobile devices, then return to their desktops to make official purchases.  Eventually, we’ll reach a point where mobile buying confidence eclipses desktop buying confidence.

In that light, the Zoho eCommerce quoting app is already mobile-optimized by default.  All we need to do at ZBrains is customize the tool for you based on your business processes.  The tool will behave the same way on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer – and it will give your customers the same information, either way.

How about Zoho CRM quotes?

So, now we know what a Zoho eCommerce quoting solution can do for you, and why CPQ software in general is helpful.  That’s one thing. But, a Zoho quoting tool that can connect to your website and connect to Zoho CRM?  That’s even better. That’s why I think you’ll be pleased that you can use the aforementioned Zoho eCommerce tool inside Zoho CRM to create your Zoho CRM quotes.

zoho ecommerce quoting

I won’t go into a whole song and dance about this subject, as we’ve covered it in depth before.  But, in case you aren’t familiar, creating quotes directly in your CRM with this quoting tool provides value in a few different ways:

  1. Gives your salespeople the exact info they need to assemble a quote for customers themselves.  That means no more shuffling around between departments to get proper quoting formulas, pictures of items, and the like.
  2. Gives you an audit trail for quotes.  When salespeople use their own spreadsheets to put quotes together, you don’t have any insight as to how or when they arrived at their numbers if there’s ever a problem.  Putting quotes together in Zoho CRM gives you direct insight into your every salesperson’s quoting process.
  3. Cuts down on licensing costs.  You may have solved points 1 and 2 with an outside quoting system.  But, keeping everything on Zoho helps the pocketbook like nothing else!  Zoho Creator licensing costs, especially when combined with other Zoho licensing with the Zoho One package, tend to be quite inexpensive.
  4. Integrates with Zoho Books.  One of the very worst things about having separate software for quoting and finance is reconciling quotes with actual work orders or sales orders at the end of the day.  By quoting through the CRM, quotes flow automatically into Zoho Books as estimates. And by the way, this same principle applies to Zoho eCommerce quotes.

When it comes to Zoho CRM eCommerce and Quotes, don’t be afraid

zoho ecommerce quoting consultation

Diving into a mountain of statistics and reports and trying to relate that to building some kind of initiative for changing your quoting process isn’t always the easiest thing.  And, maybe this exposé on eCommerce trends and quoting tools left you with even more questions than answers (though I certainly hope not).  

If you’re looking for a helping hand to guide you through the chaos of setting up a quoting tool for your CRM system, our Zoho CRM consulting can help.  If you need a Zoho eCommerce tool, something customer-facing, to help make their experience better, that’s perfect.  And, if you need something for your salespeople to help them put quotes together for prospective clients, that’s also great.  You can use the same tool to do both jobs! And, we can help you.

Please let us know you visited by contacting us!  Use the button just below this text, and we’ll be back in touch in 24 hours.

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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Zoho Creator custom solutions for your business

Zoho Creator – Build Custom Business Solutions

One of the most exciting things about the world of software today is how easy it is to do, well… anything. Computers are doing things today that we previously wouldn’t have even dreamt of, and, in doing so, opening our minds up to even more possibilities and, thankfully, giving us the tools to see those possibilities come to fruition before our very eyes – and keyboards. Tech giants like Amazon, Apple, and Microsoft are typically thought of as the forerunners in software innovation, but… what about you? You probably have all kinds of ideas about how to make your own business run more smoothly, and, if you’re reading this blog post, you’ve likely started your foray into Zoho and its suite of apps. So, what about all the things you want to do that Zoho’s standard apps just can’t do for you? Zoho Creator, as Zoho Corporation’s platform as a service (similar to force.com), is Zoho’s answer to nearly any gap you might come across, and then some.

Zoho Creator puts the tools to innovate and improve your lot squarely into your hands

How exactly will those tools help? To get you (or your Zoho consultant of choice) started, here are 4 ways Zoho Creator fills gaps in your business processes and generally makes life better.

Zoho Creator

Functionality and Mobility

Creator makes it easy for you to build custom applications for your business to automate your business process and reduce your workload. With its drag-and-drop interface, you don’t need to a be a programmer to build applications. Manage your data and collaborate with your colleagues using app-level and form-level sharing, and even give clients access to certain records or data with the client portal add-on. You can also stay connected with Creator’s native mobile apps, which allow you to take your data everywhere.

Gain actionable insights with custom reporting

With Zoho Creator you can create custom charts and generate reports with variables as you see fit for your business. Gain actionable insights through Creator by easily identifying trends or by setting benchmarks. These insights can be followed up by automated actions which can be easily set up. You can trigger these actions to occur based on different contexts – for example, send out an email to customers based on where they are in your order process. Reporting in Zoho Creator allows you to see business information with context and optimize your potential with meaningful data.

Simplify your day with automation

Save time with built-in workflows. Trigger actions based on customer information or actions, and map the information in the database. Using conditional statements and built-in functions you can configure approval systems and define rules for processes, allowing you full control over it all. You can also set up notifications, reminders, and schedule tasks through Creator to avoid delays and ensure your customers are happy.

Integration is key

When it comes to building an application for your business it is important that it can integrate with your other apps to ensure that you are receiving all the necessary data. Zoho Creator integrates with several apps including Zoho apps, Google apps, QuickBooks, and PayPal. Creator makes data collection easy, and you don’t have to worry about manually inputting data.

Zoho Creator starts at $5 per user per month, which is a great deal. Save time and money by creating a custom application for your business needs.

Did that get the innovation juices flowing? Or, just interested in learning more? Contact a member of our team today!

Test Your Toys in the New Zoho Creator Sandbox

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

zoho creator sandbox

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

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

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

Zoho Creator Sandbox

zoho creator sandbox

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

zoho creator sandbox

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

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

If working on apps in Creator seemed daunting at first, it may be time to open up the program again and give it another chance; there are many situations in which you can use Zoho Creator sandbox to help streamline your procedures.  Maybe you need an app that will create custom reports from data in Zoho and QuickBooks, for example.  However, if you still don’t think you’re ready to design your own apps, the Solutions Architects at ZBrains can help you with that and everything that goes along with it.  Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 to speak with a Zoho consultant today!