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Tag : CRM Implementation

Is Zoho CRM working for you?

CRM Adoption: What It Is and Why Your Business Needs It

Is Your CRM Working for YOU?

Here’s what you should know about CRM adoption, to ensure that you are maximizing this tool. 

[caption id="attachment_5440" align="alignleft" width="400"]Planning A CRM Project It’s not uncommon to spend months planning a CRM implementation project. If you’re already down that road make sure the CRM adoption rate is high, this survey can help![/caption]

It can be difficult, overwhelming, and time consuming for users to learn a new CRM system, and sometimes that’s even after training. Most organizations spend months or longer researching and planning to bring on a new CRM or software. Then they begin to ramp up, perform initial training, and finally send their users out into ‘the wild.’ Your hope is everyone in your organization will be wildly successful with this new tool, and business operations will be better than ever!

With highly proficient teams, this shouldn’t be a concern, but we all know that every team is not highly proficient.  

In the real world where capabilities across teams vary, it is inevitable that different users will use the new systems in different ways – and to varying degrees of success. 

Some members of your team will not take to the new CRM at all!

This is low user adoption.

You might think, “well, that’s their problem if they don’t use the tools provided to make their work easier. We gave them training!” But trust us, we know you’ve probably made a decent investment in time and resources to implement this tool. You deserve to get the most out of it. You likely had the intention of equally balancing the goals of making your staff the best they can be, AND giving yourself and business operators the essential insights based on CRM data. 

But perhaps your CRM  just hasn’t taken hold.

If you suspect this might be the case in your organization, it’s time to take a closer look.

What is User Adoption?

[caption id="attachment_5441" align="alignright" width="400"]CRM Users Adoption What is CRM Adoption? A high level of CRM user adoption means that users are successful in their goals by using a software product. [/caption]

This is really straightforward, so we’ll share it quickly. 

User adoption is the process of ensuring that a system user can be successful in their goals by using a software product. 

In this case, we’re talking about how successful your teams are in being able to attain their objectives using your current CRM. This includes how quickly it becomes a routine tool, and how much users like it and want to keep utilizing it.

Consider your teams across Customer Service, Sales, Marketing, Operations, and Leadership when observing for user adoption.

Then consider if all teams used the tool to its full potential, and fully adopted the CRM.

What does great user adoption look like? With that data at hand, you have the power to create accurate dashboards and better forecasts, and you can empower your businesses’ leaders with the information they need to grow and make their teams successful. Win – Win!

Using Your CRM to its Full Potential

Curious if your CRM users on the teams we mentioned above are in a murky area of user adoption? You can make sure you’re getting the most of your CRM investment with this quick CRM User Adoption Checklist – it’s just 20 questions!

Take a look and get the info you need in order to assess whether or not it’s time to take action and realign around your CRM.

Is there potential for your CRM to work better for your organization? Take the CRM Adoption Survey and find out where you stand.

Take the CRM Adoption Survey

Zoho Implementations for Tech and SaaS

Streamline Your Tech or SaaS Business with Zoho and ZBrains

As one of the largest SaaS companies in the world, we like to think that Zoho knows a thing or two about making software systems for this segment. If you’re in the market for a new system, or starting your research here, this article will help you understand the capabilities of Zoho for SaaS and tech companies. And we’ll share details about what it’s like to work with ZBrains on your Zoho implementation.

This is your bread and butter, so you know that the details – KPI’s, clean data, and seamless integration – are paramount for most businesses, but are especially important for Tech & SaaS. 

[caption id="attachment_5119" align="alignright" width="450"]Zoho Implementations for SaaS Zoho is one of the world’s largest SaaS companies, and serves over 60 million users worldwide with their solutions.[/caption]

Before we get into it, ask yourself: What would your business look like if you could integrate your solutions for managing subscriptions, keeping an active CRM, giving internal and external customers an easy to use service ticket system, and being able to keep your accounting accurate and streamlined in order to maximize customer retention?

You need to keep a pulse 24/7 on all the numbers to ensure profitability and customer satisfaction. This is where the power of Zoho implementation and its integrations become very apparent. 

Are you already using several applications to keep your operations in line?  If you’re considering a new implembentation, or improving what you’ve got with greater integration, having the right system and partners in place can make a world of difference. Here’s our advice and insight on the process needed to make it happen.

Begin by Evaluating Your Inputs

A single source of truth is invaluable, so maybe it’s time to stop using siloed data, and multiple systems that don’t quite ‘talk to each other.’ Believe it or not, you can get a true picture of profitability, costs, and almost any other meaningful KPI with the help of a well-appointed Zoho implementation.

You know what data is needed, so let ZBrains assist in getting you up and running in a system that brings everything together. The ZBrains process is key to ensuring your success, and we’ve spent every year since 2012 steadily improving our business as Zoho Certified Consultants. This process is the heart of what keeps us – and you after implementation – running smoothly.  Let’s take a closer look at the ‘what,’ ‘why,’ and ‘how’ of the importance of integrated software, including subscription billing, CRM, service tickets, and the other applications from Zoho to keep your Tech or SaaS business running effortlessly.


Why should you consider a Zoho Implementation?

In a SaaS or tech company, like almost any other business, an  software is meant to help maintain operations, make them run smoothly, and provide visibility to your most important metrics. When you have organizational efficiency and combine it with the ability to keep your fingers on the pulse of your most important KPI’s is where the true power of an integrated software is recognized.

We like to ask clients this question: “How would your business change if you were able to keep subscriptions, product data, and financial data in the same system? What about the ability to centralize your operations including everything from insight into customers, quotes, sales orders and invoices, to product inventory, work orders and process automation?”

Your business, and oftentimes your clients, will require you to have easy access to this information. Without it, your customer service suffers, user experience can be a miss, and  inevitably your subscriptions dwindle and profits suffer.  Are you sure that all of your KPI’s are accounted for and are you able to measure them and benefit from the results of knowing what’s working and what’s not? Software is the key to organizing processes, people, and data you need to make sure you can.

Business Process Management On a New Level

Take a moment and imagine having a system in place that can offer you:

“a disciplined approach to identify, design, execute, document, measure, monitor, and control both automated and non-automated business processes to achieve consistent, targeted results” that are aligned with your strategic goals. 

When you are finally able to align consistency with your business goals, every little step in that direction adds up, and gets you one step closer to success. Does this idea intrigue and energize you? If so, keep reading. 


Can good business processes really solve problems?

How do the aspects of the definition above apply to common activities you do in your business like: quoting, time tracking, equipment tracking, job costing, inventory management, scheduling, invoice and expense tracking, customer service, and subscriptions management? Do you currently have a way to achieve each of these points?

  • Is the process simple to see data and share between teams and/or departments? Or is the data siloed?
  • Does it take more than one hand to count how many software systems you’re using?
  • Are your associates able to seamlessly handoff projects from one department or process to another?
  • Does information get lost in the shuffle or is never considered at a global level?
  • Can you see which associates are working, where they are, and how effective they are in a given project? 
  • Is your subscription management process automated, including dunning management?

You’ve come to the right place if implementing solutions for any of these problems feels like a good next step for your business. You can achieve streamlined operations and processes with Zoho, but first let’s discuss some benefits of standardized processes.


6 Ways Standardized Processes Help Tech or SaaS Organizations

Which of these points could benefit your business the most? 

1) Increase Your Productivity 

Imagine a solution that could give you access to your service team status and location immediately, or that would allow you to create a quote faster. Or what if resources spent less time with double-data entry? And document handling was all digital? What if you could automate some of your routines? How could this affect your productivity factor?

2) Quality Control & Customer Experience

[caption id="attachment_5120" align="alignleft" width="450"]Zoho Customer Management Zoho’s subscription lifecycle management tools include features that can improve customer experience, helping you retain more subscribers than ever.[/caption]

When reviewing your NPS or customer feedback, does it say that some customer experiences are perfect while others fall short? Standardization makes your business, project planning, and deliverables executions more straightforward. This data also means you can streamline the training/onboarding process. Subscription lifecycle management features an also improve customer experience including:

    • Recurring payments and accounting features that ensure payments come on time and can facilitate payments through multiple methods.
    • Subscription metrics & reports help you stay up to date on your subscription business metrics and provide comprehensive reports
    • Even subscription automation that allows you to automate billing and subscription related tasks with the help of workflow rules and webhooks.

3) Bring Teams & Customers Together with Easier Collaboration

A well-provisioned system allows for more meaningful collaboration across teams because it helps to remove siloed information. Transparency in your organization helps your teams identify best practices, remove redundancies, and share expertise across departments more easily. Additionally, a good solution for your organization could include a customer portal where they can view invoices, make payments, or connect with an agent via a ticketing system to solve technical issues or request work.

4) Reduce Operational Costs

This can take many forms from being able to accurately quote and job cost, to giving clients self-serve options and giving your employees the tools needed to easily track time and materials in order to avoid overages or oversights. We’re just scratching the surface of how effective software helps reduce costs. Now imagine a system that can offer recurring billing and invoicing, and even dunning management to deal with payment failures and declines. The system can automatically initiate a recovery process which will save time in your financial department and reduce churn rate!

5) Give Yourself More Time for Innovation & Beat the Competition

Combining your entrepreneurial business instinct with the data an integrated system like Zoho One can capture is almost like a superpower. Put experience to work, plan and implement your innovations, and then use metrics you’ve captured to measure the results. With the power of data behind you, you are able to make accurate and incremental changes often and quickly. When you continually add automation to the mix, you’ll be giving yourself more time for innovation. Using the time you’ve saved to innovate, you’ll  be well on the way to being able to beat your competition.

How much time do you spend wrangling data? Checking multiple sources, and rechecking? What time is lost chasing invoices, customer data, and subscription information? When you are spending less time searching for data, managing individuals, and chasing processes, you can spend more time working in your business. With this gain in time you can focus on the innovations that move your business ahead of your competition! 

6) A Single Source of Truth to Rule Them All 

After points one through five, you can easily recognize how standardized processes can improve business operations beyond the basics. Zoho can help you bring your data to one ecosystem, and provide you with a single source of truth. Imagine a single sign-on that lets you access Zoho apps to operate every department, and gives peace of mind with security protocols that more than 60 million users rely on every day at work.

Have the scenarios we’ve shared about how Zoho can help your Tech or SaaS business been resonating with you? If so, you’re likely a serious candidate for implementing Zoho. And maybe you’re also convinced that ZBrains is the certified Zoho Partner to assist in your implementation. Let’s keep the conversation going!


What’s the ZBrains Business Process Analysis?  And how does it impact my Zoho implementation?

Every new engagement with ZBrains begins with a Business Process Analysis or BPA. Using what we know about all of the reasoning we shared above, we’ve developed a process that applies the same principles to our assessments. This is what is looks like:

Starting a BPA with ZBrains

The business process analysis is integral to all ZBrains consulting projects and Zoho implementations. As with any planning effort, it ensures a successful project plan is in place that fits with your business processes. We always start by getting to know you and your business.The best way we can solve your business problems is to first completely understand your current state.

Here’s what we do:

  • First we analyze expectations and identify any existing performance gaps in your business processes. 
  • Next, we examine your business from a wider industry perspective. What makes you the same and differentiates your business from others?
  • Then, ZBrains Certified Zoho consultants evaluate opportunities for improvement. 
  • Lastly, we decide which methods need to be introduced to positively impact the business.

We start by meeting with your team to thoroughly discuss and review your processes. This means taking time with sales, marketing, accounting, customer service, finance, and your operations teams to ensure every requirement is captured, and that we fully understand your existing systems. We’ll identify the best way to consolidate your operations into a centralized platform with Zoho as the hub.

After the BPA is finished, you receive expert recommendations on changes, augmentations or implementations from our team that are needed to meet your goals. We share a project timeline, deliverables, and an outline of targets so that you’ll always know project status. The strategy you receive can be executed with precision to create a successful business plan for the upcoming quarters and beyond.


How we work with Technology and SaaS Businesses

Zoho and ZBrains are both in this industry, and because of it we believe we’re uniquely positioned to offer our expertise here. And ZBrains specializes in small to medium businesses, just like yours. Here’s what a Business Process Analysis with ZBrains looks like for you:

Most often, we work with a champion from your company, normally a President, VP, or another C-level representative. We’ll talk about your executive dashboards, and business analysis tools, areas for improvement, and overall company goals with a new Zoho system.

Also, we ask to include members from teams across your organization in the intake sessions. This means representatives from all teams who will be using the software. We like to include SME’s from your Sales, Estimating, Marketing teams, Customer Service teams, and other Service or Resource Management representatives, and of course, Finance. This ensures that we get a global perspective of the business in our  intake, and we find that it encourages greater user adoption later on!


What information does ZBrains gather during a BPA?

During our sessions with each of your various team representatives, ZBrains will collect detailed information about their daily/weekly/monthly processes. We’ll see what’s working for them, what isn’t, and what improvements are needed. Discussions with your teams will often include the following:

[caption id="attachment_5121" align="alignright" width="450"]ZBrains assessment Process for Tech Businesses ZBrains collects detailed information about all your business processes. We’ll see what’s working, what isn’t, and what improvements are needed.[/caption]

Sales and Estimating

We’ll review and discuss all points of your sales process. Then, we look at if and how your quotes or estimates are created and shared with clients. What other documents are required and will they be managed digitally? We’ll dive into how new leads are addressed, and how is existing business managed? How do you measure success – what are your critical Sales KPI’s?

Finance & Subscription Management

We’ll drill down to completely understand what information is required from your front office to back office. We include review of documents for customers, all the way through to which data is required in order to generate executive reports. We’ll also dive into how you’re managing subscriptions, reporting on churn, and ensuring that payments are received. What information are you capturing from usage stats in order to segment and serve (or market to) your clients?

Customer Service & Support Teams

Keeping any hard-earned client happy is almost always less expensive than onboarding a new lead. For this reason, we’ll look at all of your CRM data and service ticket processes for service requests, including options like live chat for support. Do your current systems integrate? Do you want them to? We’ll also discuss document requirements.

Project Management Teams

What are your current project management tools? Who is using them? Are you taking advantage of features such as: task automation, team collaboration, issue  & time tracking, and mobile project management options?

Production & Installation

Are you a SaaS or Tech business that also sells product, like an IaaS or IOT as a Service org? If so, how do you procure goods? Are you purchasing parts or equipment? Do you have composite items and  a need for CPQ? What is your current process for handling bill of materials, work orders, and routing? How are you handling time tracking? We also get into your potential needs for planning capacity, and on-site maintenance, to name a few. 

Additionally, how are your installation teams scheduled and dispatched? Are factors like crew size, availability, proximity, or skill set taken into consideration?  How is time tracking addressed? Are your production or field/on-site service teams tracking their own inventory, and assets? What about work orders, scheduling, and routing?

Inventory Management

If you are stocking products, we go into detail about your inventory management processes including current and desired states. Do you have multiple warehouses, mobile warehouses? How are you handling order fulfillment? What about installation or service components? Are you ordering the same components from multiple vendors depending on lead time, price, and other factors?  Do you need to track reorder levels for items you keep in stock?

Other Zoho Integrations

Finally, we’ll look at your current integrations to determine compatibility with Zoho. We can also help identify any new integrations that might benefit your business processes. Some of the Zoho integrations commonly used by Tech and SaaS organizations include:

    • ShipStation,
    • TaxJar,
    • Avalara,
    • QuickBooks (Online and Desktop),
    • Xero,
    • Ecommerce solutions like Shopify or Magento,
    • SMS solutions like Twilio,
    • And many, many, others.


Considerations for Budgeting and Timeline for Zoho Implementation

As we mentioned earlier, Zoho is uniquely positioned for the SMB. For example, Zoho One includes more than 40 integrated applications in a single ecosystem. You’ll be hard pressed to find a solution that isn’t included, and when you can’t or you have a preferred tool, you can almost always integrate. 

A major software implementation for a large business can be as high as six-figures to implement, plus another five figures for the service costs. These incredibly robust enterprise tools are really powerful, but for a small or medium business like yours, they’re oftentimes out of reach. You shouldn’t dismiss the functionality just because the big names are cost prohibitive. Upon inspecting more closely, we think you’ll see that these big-name-solutions themselves are more often than not complete overkill. This is another reason how a BPA can help any small or medium sized business identify the actual tools they will need and utilize.

Incase you need more talking points: Why Zoho is a Solid Choice

  • You deserve a solution that is also robust in functionality and nuanced for your business! 
  • More often than not, Zoho is less expensive to implement and has a lower total cost of ownership than competing solutions.
  • Zoho applications are built to suit your business, and customization is possible using rapid development platforms like Zoho Creator.
  • Zoho is accessible. Built and designed with the SMB in mind, and you don’t need a dev at every turn. Simply add custom fields or new reports. Customize dashboards. Drag and drop functions make it easy to do this work in house, without sacrificing enterprise functionality. 

As a fellow in our industry, you probably already know how common it is for technology implementations to end in low user adoption. They can be too complicated and cumbersome for users and they become bogged down. Sometimes the new apps are placed, but don’t fit into the workflow. However, when you take the time to address the business needs, then build your system to solve for nuances of your business – and you get insight users in every department – you get better user adoption and a higher chance of success. As you can imagine, with so many variables, the budget and timeline for your Zoho implementation will not be exactly like any other. (However, you can get a price range using our instant quote tool.)

Thanks for reading through, and learning about the ZBrains process. We hope it’s been useful. If you’re interested in the next steps or have any questions, our Zoho Certified Consultants are ready to help you get started with your implementation or new integration – just get in touch!

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Zoho Project planning

Zoho Project Success: Understanding ZBrains’ Implementation Process

When you’re in the process of researching partners for your next Zoho project, CRM implementation, or Zoho integration, it’s important to understand how your selected partner works. You’ll want to understand how much involvement is required from you and your team, and what to expect at each stage. ZBrains believes in transparency and partnership throughout our project process, working with you and your team from the start to ensure good outcomes. We want to be sure that your business can meet its goals again and again with the help of systems from Zoho, and this method has proven successful.

Let’s dive into the process, and don’t miss the infographic outline at the end of this article!

The ZBrains Business Process Analysis and Project Approach

Zoho project meetingFirst, we start with our Business Process Analysis [BPA]. We will sit with your team, and over several hours we review your business process together. This includes your wants and needs, and current systems. This gives us the best view of how you are currently working and what opportunities exist to do better.

With this information the ZBrains team spends a few more hours on our own analyzing what we’ve learned to determine the best Zoho solutions and an implementation approach that suits your business.

When you’ve reviewed and accepted the project proposal, we’ll start the work. Here’s how a ZBrains Zoho project comes to life!

• Zoho Project Specification

“Measure twice, cut once” applies here because before anything is built, we make a spec doc based on all your input and our findings during the BPA. It houses all the details that our developers will use going forward.

• ZBrains Implementation Blueprint

Next, we build a draft, or a sort of blueprint of your Zoho implementation. This includes all of the inputs, or places to house the data you need your system to capture in order to effectively operate your business.

Once the inputs are in place, ZBrains begins to build all of the outputs you need. This includes reports, documents, pages, and the rest of the things you require to communicate the work that your Zoho system does.

ZBrains Implementation Process

• Project Integration

Then it’s time to put all of the pieces together! We create all of the wiring needed to integrate your solution, including workflow automation and business logic.

The integration part of your solution is where you gain efficiencies and can potentially simplify or automate rote work.

• Zoho Project Implementation

When your build is complete, next up is implementation:

  • We work through user acceptance testing (UAT) to ensure that your requirements are met.
  • Your team gets involved with training, so they’re ready to use the new system.
  • Your experience will uncover needs and inform change management, so we can get everything just right.
  • When that is set, ZBrains migrates your up-to-date data to the new system.
  • We plan a launch, and your Zoho system goes live!

The good news is that after implementation, you’re not left on your own. ZBrains stays connected for support and post-care so that your Zoho implementation is successful for the long haul!

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Click to download a pdf
Zoho Project Implementation Process
Zoho Pricing Article

Unveiling the Cost of Zoho: Is It Worth the Investment?

The pace of the business world isn’t slowing and you may be looking for new ways to get work done and achieve more in your organization. Part of this is likely all of the activities around becoming more efficient, and one place a lot of organizations start is with their CRM, or Customer Relationship Management software. If you’re reading this article, you’re curious about Zoho and asking, “How much does Zoho cost?”

Keep reading for more about how the cost of Zoho is figured. We’ll talk about what to keep in mind as you are considering Zoho CRM, Zoho Books, Zoho One, or any other application in the Zoho ecosystem.

How much does Zoho CRM cost?

“How much does Zoho CRM cost?” For sure, it’s a loaded question. And when you search for this information, you’ll find a lot of variation in pricing levels. They range from Ultimate and Enterprise options to Professional and Standard. These options have diminishing features – all the way down to the amazing cost of zero dollars for Zoho CRM Free version. Yes, you heard that, Zoho CRM does offer a free version. It’s not a gimmick, it’s not just a trial period, and you don’t have to use a credit card to get access now only to be billed later.

[caption id="attachment_4719" align="alignright" width="450"]Zoho CRM pricing questions answered Zoho CRM does offer a free version. However, be sure to ask the correct questions to find out if it will work for you.[/caption]

However, understand that this free version comes with many limitations. If you’re here, answer a couple quick questions to find out if you’ll need more than the free version of Zoho CRM.

  • Do you have more than three users?
  • Are you interested in features like:
    • sales forecasting,
    • multiple currencies,
    • scoring and assignment rules,
    • custom modules,
    • process automation,
    • or prediction and artificial intelligence tools?

If you answered YES to any of these questions…then it’s time to talk about your business needs and goals and find the best fit version of Zoho CRM for you.

Of course, we’ll be glad to help. Our Business Process Analysis is designed to ensure we capture all the information about your business AND your goals so we can provide accurate, realistic recommendations for your digital transformation.

But maybe you’re curious about Zoho Books, too? Pairing an accounting solution with your customer relationship manager is another step toward integrating your processes. Before we get too far ahead, let’s talk about the cost of Zoho Books.

How much does Zoho Books cost?

This online accounting software has tiered pricing, available add-ons, and even bundles available that can impact the pricing of Zoho Books. Each configuration varies slightly in price, so generally speaking, this solution is positioned well for small-to-mid-size businesses.

[caption id="attachment_4720" align="alignleft" width="450"]Costs for Zoho Books Zoho Books is well positioned for small-to-mid sized businesses, and we often recommend this solution or a Quickbooks integration for even more functionality.[/caption]

The top tier Professional plan maxes out at 5000 transactions allowing for over 500 contacts and 10 users, so this should give you a sense of its capabilities in terms of volume. In comparison, Basic version allows for up to 50 contacts and two users, while the mid or Standard plan offers up to 500 contacts and 3 users.

Books is both an affordable and powerful tool for businesses as we just explained. But more often than not, you’ll need additional functionality beyond accounting and finances in order to integrate various areas of your business. For this reason, a few add-ons (for example, additional users) and bundles are available to meet those needs. Popular bundles for Zoho Books include:

  • Zoho Inventory, an inventory management software that easily integrates with Zoho Books
  • Zoho Subscriptions, which helps you manage your subscription-model business in tandem with Books
  • And Zoho Expense, to assist with and integrate your expense tracking activities with Zoho Books

Would you like to know more about Zoho Books pricing and options available? Our Zoho Certified Consultants would be happy to assist! Get connected here.

Or perhaps you’re interested in moving all of your business processes, including CRM and Books onto Zoho? Let’s talk about the pricing for Zoho One.

How much does Zoho One cost?

To start, are you familiar with Zoho One?

[caption id="attachment_4721" align="alignright" width="450"]cost of zoho one Did you know that one subscription to Zoho One includes access to over 40 applications?[/caption]

“Zoho One is a truly revolutionary suite that can run your entire business – seriously. It has 40+ integrated applications that encompasses everything like CRM, email newsletters, documents, inventory, and more. You simply need a username and password, integrate your applications, and you’re set; one dashboard to rule all.”

Zoho One offers centralized administrative control, and all-in-one licensing model. It has over 40 integrated applications with enterprise-level features and mobile apps included. It’s a lot, but it was designed to be just that – a full spectrum set of unified business tools that’s affordable, accessible, and impactful. Monthly cost per license ranges from $37 per user, per month, when billed annually for the All Users Plan, to $90 per license, per month, when billed annually*. The second option is named the Flexible User Pricing. It’s for instances when not everyone in your organization will need the applications. *Pricing updated June 2021

We often recommend Zoho One option for its flexibility to grow with the needs of businesses. You know as well as anyone that organizations grow, processes change, and business needs evolve over time. This platform gives you the tools needed to get your sales, marketing, customer support, finance, human resources, and operations departments moving in the same direction, successfully.

When you’re ready for the next steps of your Zoho implementation – or if you have more questions about Zoho pricing and whether or not any of the solutions we discussed here are a good fit for you – we hope you’ll let us know.


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article about business process analysis

Designing a Business Process Analysis Template for Success

If you’ve found this article, there’s a good chance that you already know Zoho is a viable solution for your business. Perhaps you’re just not sure how to implement. In a slightly worse-case scenario, you need to repair after a failed implementation. Zoho capabilities are wide-ranging, so finding the optimal solution – or combination of solutions – is paramount. This is why the business process analysis template  is so important.

Starting off on the right foot by setting up business software correctly helps your sales, operations, accounting, and other teams communicate effectively and work more efficiently. A lot of experience and tried-and-true testing that has gone into what we call “Business Process Analysis.” This process ensures that a full understanding of your business needs is acquired and approved by you before you commit to any large project. Managing expectations and adapting to change is crucial to our success. Our process is designed around these ideals. 

Starting off this way is the best of both worlds: 

  • You have more control of your budget. You get to mitigate the risk of stepping into a project that is based solely on time and materials billing.
  • With greater flexibility available to possible changes in requirements, you’re not tied into a single, rigid solution that hasn’t been thoroughly vetted to close a sale. 
  • Because we collaborate with you at each step of the system design – you can rest easy knowing that your business is getting what it needs!

In this article, we’ll review the features of a Business Process Analysis with ZBrains that leads to successful implementation. We truly believe in this process, and that’s why we use it for nearly every project that is done here at ZBrains

Let’s take a closer look at business process analysis template here at ZBrains:


Business process analysis meeting

1. The Assessment phase is foundational to a successful project. We start by understanding the current state of your business processes, and you get a better understanding of how Zoho + ZBrains can solve for business gaps – both known and unknown! Starting here increases adoption and overall project success. Our teams translate your vision into an achievable project plan. Because of this plan, we’re more likely to achieve project success. We define a successful project as one that is within budget and timeline, but most importantly, widely adopted across the organization. After all, what’s the point of implementing a system if no one is going to use it?


2. Planning is our deep dive, and a phase where every stone is turned as we define each detail of your new system. We’ve already identified your business needs, and matched them to Zoho solutions.  This step ensures everything is correct, down to individual screens, fields, automations, and more. Having a plan ensures you don’t miss the mark, which can be expensive in resources and time!


3. Your customized solutions and project plan come to life during Deployment. When your personalized plan from ZBrains gets your stamp of approval, we begin to build your system. During this time we recommend training, and after the project is completed, we also recommend support for your new implementation. Support and effective change management are critical and enables your team to provide immediate feedback and drive user adoption for a successful project launch. Efficient use of time during deployment gets you up and running quicker.


4. Optimization! Now that you’ve spent some time with Zoho, you’re probably ready for more – more improvements, new processes, and greater control of the data within your organization. When you partner with ZBrains, this is really just the beginning.

Interested in learning more, or need to start this conversation in your organization? Here’s how to start:

  • Take a look at the infographic below. 
  • See how we’ve helped clients in the past
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Maximizing Business with Zoho Expert: Solutions for Tech & SaaS

As a Technology and SaaS company, you’re managing leads, sales, deals, and likely managing subscriptions. Perhaps you are even using Zoho apps to do it. With Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, Zoho Subscriptions, and Zoho Books implementations, capturing your data across the business is covered.  It’s a great start to business problem solving.

But are you using that data to the fullest? 

Are you keeping an eye on the correct metrics for your Key Performance Indicators? In this article we share the top three problems that we see a lot of Technology, Saas, CaaS, TaaS, and Subscription-based businesses contend with and how to solve them. Keep reading to ensure that you’re resolving these possible lapses in reporting. Avoid these pitfalls that could be leaving a hole in your potential revenue.

Problem 1: You’re Losing Track of Subscriptions or Recurring Revenue

using kpis to measure successSome businesses use deals to keep track of annual subscriptions or contracts, but depending on your contract structure, this can lead to a case of counting your chickens before they’ve hatched. Keeping an eye on your KPI’s slightly shorter-term will give you a more accurate pulse on the health of the business. Business problem solving can start by tracking Monthly Recurring Revenue. 

What is Monthly Recurring Revenue?

“Regardless of your subscription model, monthly recurring revenue as a KPI is foundational to your business. Take the total number of paying clients by the average revenue per customer to achieve this figure. Straightforward really, but if you have a lot of pricing variants, it can get sticky. (Bonus points if you can segment your recurring revenue by new vs existing clients.) Taking into account your known churn rate when looking at MRR could give you insight into whether or not it’s time to acquire more accounts.

Keep your Monthly Recurring Revenue data at hand when you add this metric to your executive dashboard. In Zoho CRM, or Zoho Analytics depending on your business need, you’ll be able to bring this KPI front and center, with the ability to drill down for specifics when you need them. You won’t lose track of subscriptions or recurring revenue as easily when you make it part of your organization’s KPI’s.

Problem 2: Your Quoting, Job Costing, and/or Sales Process is Complex

As the market space for SaaS and Tech businesses continues expanding, so must the service and product offering of many organizations. If your business model includes software services, plus physical equipment – and maybe even installation – then your quoting complexity certainly goes up a notch. 

people working on a whiteboardHere’s a quick bonus tip: With a solution such as a custom Zoho CPQ tool, built on Zoho Creator your org can use your own factors, triggers, and calculations. Then you’re able to assemble quotes that include software, hardware, and  services. (P.S. The app includes a quote configurator, as well as kitting or bundling!) 

With complex businesses, and complex quoting, so exists a complex and often longer-term sales process. They can be difficult to keep tabs on. This is where having the right tools and a handle on the right KPI’s can really help. Start by asking yourself some questions geared toward business problem solving. For example, do you know with certainty:

    • How many new deals are in your pipeline right now? 
    • Which deals are closing this week?
    • Do you have a deal that started out promising that is now going stale? 
    • Do you know why? 

There’s a KPI for that! Here we provided a little bonus tool suggestion with the customer Zoho CPQ tool. However, we recommend a very common tool with far-reaching KPI’s to keep tabs on quotes, your open deals, deals with subscriptions renewing soon, and more. It’s a sales pipeline.

Use a Sales Pipeline in Zoho CRM, in tandem with your custom Zoho CPQ tool, to have quick insight and a connection between the data in your deals and your sales process. Tracking pipeline data can help you:

    • Know when it’s time to dive into issues with sales staff, saving time and maybe even saving a few deals your org might have lost due to inattentiveness.
    • Identify patterns in pipeline data to help you identify your ideal customer to target as you search for new leads.
    • And if you are dealing with complex quotes and long sales cycles, you can also see when customers are dropping off at certain stages of the cycle. You’ll know the seat of the problem and won’t have to guess where to start adjusting your sales process.

This insight from an integrated Zoho solution can solve for complex sales processes and mean a big leg up against your competitors.

Problem 3: You Don’t Know if Your Current Clients are Happy.

Anecdotally, you can poll your sales staff on behalf of clients. Or you can talk to a few customers to find out what they do or don’t like about your offering. However, without an active effort to utilize data from Zoho CRM, Zoho Survey, and potentially custom Zoho Creator functions in this process, you may never know the full story. If this sounds familiar, actively start business problem solving for customer satisfaction.

Are there things you could be doing differently to ensure happy customers and what are they?

We suggest three KPI’s to track, both lead and lag measures. They can help you understand objectively if your clients are happy. This mix of KPI metrics provides a rounded set of information to indicate the overall health of your existing customer base. 

First, Churn Rate. 

The SaaS industry average is said to be between 5-7% annually. Do you know yours?

The outlay of cost (CAC) to acquire a new client is usually significantly greater than the cost of maintaining an existing customer. Right off the bat, this is a bonus because the lower your churn rate, the less you may have to invest in acquisition. Satisfied clients aren’t generally searching for new business solutions. So for this reason, we recommend keeping tabs on Churn Rate as a lag indicator of customer satisfaction. To do this, use Zoho tools to calculate the percentage of your cumulative cancellations over your cumulative sign-ups every month. 

Secondly, On-Time Delivery. 

On-Time Delivery is a process metric that can tell you if your operations are working as intended. However, on-time delivery can double as a lead measure for customer satisfaction. In most cases, if your staff have promised a delivery date, and it has lapsed (calculated as a rate of deliverables made on time) there’s a very good chance that customer perception will be impacted. Knowing your baseline for on-time delivery, and acknowledging anomalies alongside other satisfaction metrics could be a simple way to stay aware of potential negative trends.

And if you need assistance with this or any KPI’s, Zoho’s many tools are indispensable. Zoho’s almost endlessly customizable with the Creator app. It allows you to create the features you need to capture the data your org needs including on-time delivery and churn rate. Zoho Creator  puts the tools to innovate and improve squarely into your hands.

Finally, Net Promoter Score. 

Net Promoter Score is used widely to measure customer satisfaction. Zoho Survey is a perfect tool for measuring this, and straightforward to do. With a single question, customers are identified as Promoters, Passive, or Detractors. We suggest adding in a comment field in order to collect statements if your customers wish to leave one. Using the quantitative data of the 1-10 rating, alongside the qualitative comment data, you open the door to actionable insights.

Ready to start solving business problems and empowering your organization through better use of the data you’re collecting? Instead of leaving it to chance, contact us for an assessment that’s geared specifically to your business. Whether you’re in SaaS, other technology, or you use subscriptions in any form, the ZBrains team of Zoho Certified Consultants are eager to help.

CRM Implementation Steps: How to Keep Your Staff Informed

CRM Implementation Steps #3:  | Keep Your Staff in the Loop

As you plan a CRM implementation, it’s important to know exactly how you’ll be using the modules inside your CRM. Who knows your business systems better than the folks who use them every day? Your expertise and their experience is a recipe for success. In this Zoho CRM tutorial, we will guide you through four easy CRM implementation steps, empowering you to make the most out of Zoho CRM and optimize your business operations.

Keep your staff in the loopKeep your staff in the loop.

This one’s very important. Obviously, you don’t want your staff to come in one day to a system they haven’t a clue how to use.  

As soon as you’ve decided you’re going to implement a new CRM, bring in your staff or your key champions, and detail the plan. Be sure to include an implementation timeline.  

As long as your staff knows what you plan to do, they can plan their days around occasional work stoppages, and be prepared the day you launch your new CRM.

Read All CRM Implementation Quick Tips

Visibility for CRM Projects

Deployment is never a one-fell-swoop sort of maneuver, and hiccups do occur from time to time. If you know an issue has surfaced that will affect your staff or put things a little behind schedule, better to let them know as soon as you know than share it later when it seems like a surprise to everyone.

Keeping employees abreast of the latest CRM developments, and inviting them to take part in ideation or input, will ensure their happiness with the new system. Afterall, one of your goals is productivity, isn’t it?

Is there potential for your CRM to work better for your organization? Take the CRM Adoption Survey and find out where you stand.

Take the CRM Adoption Survey

Don’t Overlook CRM Training

CRM Implementation Tip #5 | Don’t Overlook Training


Once your CRM is up and running it can be a relatively common impulse to rush back to work using the new CRM tools you just spent so much time planning for and implementing. 

However, before you take off running back to business, it’s time to think about training.


CRM Training IdeasMake sure everybody who’ll use the system knows exactly how to do so – train them!


Even if your new CRM makes life easier all around the office, your employees probably won’t be able to sit down on launch day and navigate their way through the system without some prior knowledge and CRM training.

You can take all the mystery out of their first days on the new system by giving them training sessions, either set up by you or by a Zoho certified consultant.  You should schedule one session per employee group or department: accounting, sales, marketing, etc.


Each group of employees will likely be using the CRM to perform different functions so their training will vary slightly.


Training Your Staff for a New CRM Implementation

Make sure you allot time to answer questions when you schedule these sessions. Most of us need more than one exposure to learn something new. 


For teams that work together with certain data in the CRM, schedule a training session that includes everyone in those departments so no one is left in the dark about another’s process. For example, an Order Fulfillment team that receives data directly from a Sales team would benefit from training together.


Multi-departmental training also serves to take some strain off you. Now, employees who have questions about certain CRM processes can also rely on each other. This shared knowledge can strengthen teams and inter-departmental communication when one associate can ask CRM questions of someone from another department. If they need help understanding the implications of their specific actions on certain data you aren’t the only resource.


Click through for the rest of our implementation quick tips!


Read All CRM Implementation Quick Tips



We hope this insight is helpful, but if you want to ensure that you’re getting the most possible out of your CRM, we recommend taking this CRM Adoption Survey. Find out if you could be doing better.


Take the CRM Adoption Survey


Transition Your CRM in Phases

CRM Implementation Tip #4 | Transition Your CRM in Phases

Big business changes, especially changes in everyday systems like a new CRM implementation, can be turbulent times. This quick tip describes how to disturb your business the very least during CRM implementation time. This one is really simple.

Transition CRM in stagesTransition your CRM in phases, not all at once

It bears repeating – yes, again – that even a successful CRM implementation doesn’t happen all at once. With so many facets of your  system designed specifically for your business, you’ll need time to test everything out and make sure it’s working as it should.  


For that reason, it’s a great idea to start using parts of your new system a little at a time – gradually – until you’re completely migrated over to your new system. A phased approach can account for some improvements in user adoption, but it’s not always possible to do. Need more quick tips for CRM Implementation? 


Read All CRM Implementation Quick Tips



What if a phased approach won’t work for you?

If it doesn’t make sense to move your entire operations to a new CRM in chunks, you might decide to implement a new CRM behind the scenes while your employees continue working on the old one.  (Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still keep them informed about what you’re doing.)  If you choose to go that route, you’ll have a little more time to make sure things are working as they should – all the more reason to move deliberately, and in smaller phases.

Is your organization using its CRM to the fullest? Take the CRM Adoption Survey and find out!


Take the CRM Adoption Survey


Streamline Business Processes with CRM Implementation.

CRM Implementation Process Tip #6 | Streamline Procedures

While you may be in the mood to shake things up by deploying a new CRM, you may not have thought to shake up your very business processes themselves.  Well, in the name of efficiency, why not?

Streamline with a CRMUse your CRM Implementation as an opportunity to streamline your procedures!

There isn’t an exact science behind this, but we’re willing to bet the majority of businesses who elect to set up their own CRMs aren’t so well-versed in how their systems work. There’s a good chance that they’re missing some opportunities to streamline processes inside of their unique CRM systems.

Hand off the right CRM data at the right time

Using a CRM to pass information from one department to another is common in businesses, but, it’s not always done in the best way. For example, your Sales team member’s objective could be to pass information to Sales Managers. Historically, your sales team had to communicate certain information to Sales Managers verbally because of an imperfect information transfer. Now that you’re implementing a new CRM this is a great time to look into how to transfer all relevant information from Sales Agent to Sales Manager!

Read All CRM Implementation Quick Tips

Next steps for CRM Implementation Process Streamlining

That’s just one small example, of course. We recommend spending time to thoroughly outline all the areas in your business where information passage could be faster or serve the users better.  Then research ways of doing those things inside your new system.  Of course, if you aren’t quite sure what to do or simply don’t have time, you can always consult a professional, too.

Does your current CRM support your current procedures? Take the CRM Adoption Survey and find out where you stand.

Take the CRM Adoption Survey

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