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G2Crowd Says Zoho CRM is Heating Up in 2016

G2Crowd: Zoho CRM is Heating Up Winter 2016

Howdy, folks!  I have a feeling it’s going to be a big year for Zoho CRM in 2016.  Here’s what’s going on:

G2Crowd has just released their Winter 2016 CRM Grid Report.  G2Crowd, for those not in the know, is an organization that compares different software brands, packaging satisfaction reports and reviews across their website, and occasionally releasing digests like these.

zoho crm

As you can see, the grid contains a list of usual suspects and some pretty interesting data about them:

  • Salesforce leads the way in market presence and ranks behind only a few less-popular options in customer satisfaction.  No shocker there; Salesforce’s massive price tag comes with loads of customizability and support to boot.
  • Sage CRM, NetsuiteMS Dynamics CRM, and SugarCRM show high adoption but comparatively (and, to me, surprisingly) low satisfaction rates.
  • Insightly boasts a much higher satisfaction rate but a lower adoption rate than those older players, which makes some sense as Insightly is a newer product overall.
  • Hubspot CRM is quite close to Salesforce in terms of adoption and satisfaction, with Hubspot boasting a satisfaction rate comparable to Salesforce in spite of a comparatively larger disparity in terms of market presence.

And, most compellingly:

  • Zoho CRM has nearly as much adoption as Salesforce, with a satisfaction rating only slightly lower than the behemoth.  From afar, Zoho and Salesforce are outliers, sporting higher combined adoption and satisfaction rates than most any other system out there.

Pretty nifty!  I’d love to spend time analyzing all the competition out there, but, this entry isn’t quite the place for that.  (However, if you’re curious about how Zoho stacks up against a few solid competitors, you can check out this Zoho CRM Comparison Guide.)  I’d love to address why Zoho’s had such a surge in popularity over the past years, though, and also delve into what this all means to you as a (potential) consumer.

zoho crm

What’s so hot about Zoho right now?

Amidst so many different competitors in the CRM field, what makes Zoho such a compelling option?  It turns out to be a variety of things working together.

  • It’s cloud-based.  On-premise systems were great when they were the only option; nowadays, cloud-based systems allow users to access their data from anywhere with a reliable internet connection, which makes Zoho CRM perfect for the 21st-century businessperson, one who’s probably out of the office more than in, one who needs to be on the go.  Other companies, like Sage, for example, have been slow to release cloud-based CRM options – but, Zoho has been an up-and-comer in that regard since its inception.
  • It’s à la carteWith Zoho, you have all sorts of customization and integration options – not just for the CRM itself, but for its slew of add-ons (apps).  Some CRM systems come with a marketing automation tool if you’re lucky, or, conversely, you might be saddled with a bunch of features your business doesn’t really need.  Zoho eliminates that sort of mess by allowing administrators to choose exactly which proprietary or 3rd-party apps they’d like to use from a list that grows on an almost monthly basis.

zoho crm lower costs

  • It costs much less than its competitors.  Often, money talks more than other factors, and, in spite of Zoho’s array of custom features and applications, the program gets a good amount of mileage simply on the basis of its price.  The most popular Salesforce bundle clocks in at $125 per user per month, while Zoho’s basic bundle comes in at a measly $20 per user per month (not including the free version).  Obviously, popularity alone doesn’t mean equality in other regards (like features, support, etc.) – and, Salesforce being the most expensive option around makes it an extreme example – but, in terms of an overall comparison, the numbers hold up across the board: you get way more bang for your buck with Zoho.
  • You can do it yourself or use a consultant for support.  Zoho isn’t designed specifically to be easy, but, especially ambitious business owners or project managers can implement Zoho CRM, board users, and automate workflows themselves.  It’s a far cry from Salesforce (again, an extreme example), where you need to consult your account representative every time you need to make a change and then jump through additional hoops after that.  On the other hand, if DIY’s not your style, you can choose from a laundry list of Zoho CRM consultants who can help with implementation, general support, training, and any other Zoho need.

This combination of features and options makes Zoho CRM ideal for a business that needs a system that can start big and robust or small and scalable – and, also for ambitious project managers who’d like to implement their own CRMs for simple tasks.  Its home in the cloud makes it perfect for traveling businesspeople.  And, its price is good for anyone.

zoho crm

Looking to warm up your business?

It certainly bears mentioning that if you’d like to utilize Zoho CRM but aren’t too keen on the whole do-it-yourself thing, you have options available.  Using a CRM deployment package through ZBrains saves you the hassle of having to set everything up yourself, which ultimately gives you more time to run your own business.  We’ll handle the hard stuff for you – including support.

zoho crm

Why not go through Zoho directly for Zoho Support?

As enticing as it may be to cut out the middleman and do everything yourself – and simply contact Zoho for support issues – it’s not quite as glamorous as it seems.

Here’s the thing: Zoho is a big company.  They have clients all over the world, but yet – and I know this from dealing with them directly – they’re stretched pretty thin in the support realm.  They have a lot fewer people working in those support trenches than you might think; it’s really no surprise they’ve outsourced all implementations (deployments) to resellers like us.  (I’m guessing the vast majority of Zoho employees are coding and testing all day, which is why they’re able to churn out new products so quickly.)

Anyhow, they’re nice folks, of course, but they’re pretty overburdened.  Unless you have loads of time to kill on the phone or waiting on email replies, it’s always a better option to go with a team that’s more devoted to helping you.

What do you get with ZBrains that you don’t get with other Zoho consultancies?

Well, a few things, actually!  In this day and age, it pays to be a little different.  We’re a Zoho Premium Partner, so that means we provide custom Zoho integrations as well as expertise with Zoho Creator, which means you can integrate a host of popular platforms with Zoho CRM and use our help to create your own custom programs and apps.

Some of those platforms include:

In addition, we offer specially-made tools that help streamline other business procedures, like your quoting process, commission payments, advanced reporting, complex document assembly, and automated appointment scheduling.

As with Zoho itself, all these add-on options are offered on an à la carte basis – but, it certainly helps knowing they’re there.

That about wraps up this post.  Considering its market saturation and customer satisfaction thus far, 2016 looks to be a banner year for Zoho, and, if you choose it for your business…it might be a banner year for you, too!  What are you waiting for? 😉



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Musician, car junkie, and burgeoning tech guy.

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