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What's New at Zoho JAN 2021

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | January 2021

Welcome to our first “What’s New” in this new year, Zoho Updates January 2021! We’ve gathered some notable updates, improvements, and fixes from CRM, Creator, and Desk for you from the past month. It’s exciting to see what’s taking shape for Zoho CRM in 2021 – have you already noticed some changes in your environment? What do you think so far? Let us know in the comments.

Here are your What’s New, Zoho Updates January 2021. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • You may have noticed updates this past month to some areas of the Zoho CRM user interface. This includes a visual enhancement on the Setup page, where you’ll now see the page heading and search bar sectioned nicely along the left. Zoho CRM has seen a few visual updates recently, and as we understand, this is just the start for the “UX revamp” they have planned in 2021. What do you think of the improvements so far?
  • The “URL to notify” regarding third-party applications has been increased to 300 characters over its previous 200 character limit when entering a Webhook URL.
  • CRM improvement when integrating Desk, now Products module can be synced, too. In the past only the modules for Accounts and Contacts could be synched.
  • Duplication is now reduced when integrating CRM and Desk. Both primary and secondary email records are checked when performing this action.

Zoho Creator

  • From Zoho Creator, “As announced earlier, we have officially started the Creator 5 upgrade process. We have planned to take this forward in phases and upgrade all Zoho accounts to Creator 5 by February 1st, 2021. As a step in that direction, we have come up with an upgrade wizard that pops up when you sign into your account.” Do you have questions or need help with your upgrade? Contact ZBrains today.

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

 

Zoho Desk

  • Learn more about Gamescope for Agents in Zoho Desk! This feature helps to increase engagement and incentivizes the behaviors that benefit users and clients. Keep reading for details on the points, badges, and trophies and how they work in Zoho Desk’s Gamescope.

Additional Critical Notes on Zoho Creator Updates

  • Zoho announced the end-of-life for Creator v1 on February 3, 2021, and will require a migration to Zoho Creator v2. The application will remain compatible until then; however, we strongly recommend scheduling your analysis and migration in advance in order to avoid any interruptions in service.  We suggest getting started as quickly as possible because the timeline for your migration is variable depending on the complexity of your solution. Contact us any time to schedule your migration analysis.

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

    • In Creator, this bug fix now loads data in batches as the user scrolls through reports, enhancing the performance of data-heavy lookups in C4.

 

Finding the updates helpful?  Let us know in the comments if there’s anything else we can do to help provide you with the latest from Zoho and make your day easier.

 


 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule assistance around any of these updates please contact our consultants or call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

Zoho updates December 2020

Zoho Updates, New Features, and Issues | December 2020

In the past month, we saw a number of updates and improvements in the Zoho CRM application. They’re outlined briefly in this post, along with additional insights about Zoho Creator and Zoho Meet. Keep reading for details.

Finding the updates helpful?  Let us know in the comments if there’s anything else we can do to help provide you with the latest from Zoho and make your day easier.

Here are your What’s New updates for December 2020. 

 

New Features from Zoho

Zoho CRM

  • In CRM instances with Cliq integration, you will find the capability to call or chat with the record owner directly from CRM when you hover over the record owner name. Enjoy this improved communication workflow!
  • External fields is a new feature in Zoho CRM allowing you to connect CRM with outside data sources. With this feature you can designate a custom, single line field for third-party application information is stored. With this “upsert API call” the external ID can be used to search, create, update, or delete records. Learn more
  • Improvements to the CRM Auto Number field now allows you (as an admin) to select the date formatting option from settings that you like best.

Zoho Creator

  • Security upgrades for Creator accounts associated to Zoho data centers in EU, India, China, and Australia. API and Security Permissions are designed to enhance application security by limiting user access to resources such as API access, PII data, and ePHI data.

  • Zoho Creator’s audit trail feature has been improved for all accounts using Creator 5. Quick summary includes the following:

    • IP address and source information can be captured including: OS, device, and browser.

    • Logs can be exported as .CSA, and you can apply filters while exporting.

    • Improved security.

    • Unchanged data retention for logs is 365 days.

  • Zoho Creator US V5.25.6 iOS now includes upgraded security including allowing reports printing options only for users with this permission.

  • Increased security in Creator applies field permissions to record and print templates when exporting or printing, and ensures that the results contain only the fields permitted for the end user.

  • From Zoho, “You can now control the availability of the change email address option for your portal users. We’ve introduced the Allow customers to change their email addresses option in the customer portal settings.” Read more about this improvement and more on Creator here.

Zoho Meeting

  • Exciting performance improvements and bug fixes to Zoho Meeting are now live. Users now enjoy multi-video feed support for webinars, bandwidth optimization, and improved reliability for recordings. Meetings have also been reworked to resolve several known bugs.

ZOHO UPDATESApplication Updates from Zoho

 Zoho CRM

 

  • Updates in CRM include limits of 1000 merges per month per organization for Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate edition users. This applies to merges performed while using the mail merge templates’ mail merge and print preview actions. If you need assistance with this new limit or have questions about how it could impact your organization, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  • There have been updates to the Workflow rules in CRM. From Zoho, here are the new limits for this feature:

    • Workflow rules per org: 2500

    • 2500 (maximum 2000 active rules)

    • Execution limit/org: 50

    • Workflow rules per module:

    • Free – 10 (maximum 5 active)

    • Standard – 30 (maximum 15 active)

    • Professional – 80 (maximum 40 active)

    • Enterprise- 125 (maximum 75 active)

    • Ultimate – 150 (maximum 100 active)

  • Turning on notifications in your Feeds Preference now allows you to receive notifications for actions via automations such as when records are created, updated, or deleted. (Just select ’Send Notifications.’)

  • If you are using Workflow rules in CRM Standard edition, now you can take advantage of these actions: Field Update Trigger, Delete Trigger, Field update action, and Email recipient in alert.

Additional Critical Notes on Zoho Creator Updates

  • Zoho announced the end-of-life for Creator v1 on February 3, 2021, and will require a migration to Zoho Creator v2. The application will remain compatible until then; however, we strongly recommend scheduling your analysis and migration in advance in order to avoid any interruptions in service.  We suggest getting started as quickly as possible because the timeline for your migration is variable depending on the complexity of your solution. Contact us any time to schedule your migration analysis.

Zoho BugsIssues Notices from Zoho

 Zoho Creator

  • In Creator, a bug affecting the field labels in PDFs attached to email notifications not translating as expected has been repaired

  • Bug fix for custom location in map report for Zoho Creator has been implemented.

 


 

If you have any questions or would like to schedule assistance around any of these updates please contact our consultants or call our offices at (888) 207-4111.

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

article about business process analysis

Process Makes Perfect: Features of Business Process Analysis Design that Leads to Successful Implementations

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 design 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 design here at ZBrains:

 

ASSESSMENT

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?

PLANNING

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!

DEPLOYMENT

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.

OPTIMIZATION

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
  • Reach out to a member of our team today 

 

We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Contact us any time.

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

 


 

ZBrains BPA Infographic

Get the PDF here: Business Transformation Process Chart

 

 

designing solutions to business problems with Zoho

How to Design Solutions to Business Problems for Every Department with Zoho

Regardless of your industry, there’s a good chance your organization has multiple departments working together to keep business rolling ahead. This includes Operations, Finance, Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, and maybe you have others, too. We’re here to share that it’s more straightforward than you might have thought to implement or design solutions to business problems for every department with Zoho applications.

 

You’ll see here an overview of the Zoho solutions offered for each department of your business; however, this quick article is just meant to get thoughts flowing. In other words, it’s just the start of what Zoho can do.  

 

If you could solve your business problems head on with a Zoho solution, how much time would open up for innovation in your organization?

 

Let’s take a look at what Zoho has to offer for each department in your organization:

Operations

It’s a hefty lift finding an all-in-one solution for operational problems; however, within Zoho’s more than 40 applications they exist. Certainly, there’s a good chance that you don’t need  – or really want – that many apps to run your business. This is where Zoho One comes into play. 

While the 40+ integrated applications encompass everything from CRM, finance, email newsletters, and 

documents, to project management, inventory, and more; you can choose which fit your business needs. You simply need a username and password, integrate your applications, and you’re set; one dashboard to rule all. In your operations department some highlight features include:

  • Project management style flexibility lets you choose from waterfall, agile, and kanban task boards. 
  • Team communication, collaboration, and client portal options ease keeping in touch with dispersed teams and customers.
  • Order fulfillment, multi-channel selling, and warehouse management tools.
  • The ability to create apps that meet the needs of specific business processes, like a  Zoho ERP app developed on Zoho Creator.
  • And we’ve only scratched the surface…

 

Finance

Zoho Books offers tax compliance, and is integrated with 40+ of Zoho’s applications – or whichever you choose to use –  for visibility across your business. You’ve got the basics and more covered in this full-scope solution including being able to see those details about your contacts, time tracking, banking, inventory, payables, receivables, and robust reporting.  

 

zoho sales toolsStreamline all of your back office duties with Zoho Books and organize all of your transactions in one place. If this isn’t the solution for you, Zoho also integrates with other solutions Quickbooks, but given this set of features you may want to take a closer look at Zoho Books:

  • Collect online payments securely and quickly.
  • Keep records of all your invoices, estimates, credit notes, and even recurring invoices in one place.
  • Convert estimates to invoices in just a few clicks.
  • Automatically remind overdue clients with payment reminders.
  • Never lose a minute of billable hours by monitoring and tracking how labor is spent in your company.
  • Manage inventory and even automate redundant tasks
  •  Capture and view all financial information related to your asset, liability, revenue, or expense accounts and organize them how you want.
  • Simplify tax season in just a few clicks to generate tax reports so you are set when tax season arrives.

Customer Service

Zoho Desk customer service app provides the platform you need for customer support teams ranging from startup to enterprise. Scaled capabilities make it easy to get the basics like customer feedback and a ticketing system, with the option to grow and add more. With small business features you gain even more capability such as:

 

  • Automate routine tasks using blueprint, 
  • Optimize resource management by connecting clients with the proper support agent, 
  • Improve customer experience with team collaboration,
  • And just like every Zoho app, the data is there and ready to meet your insights and analytics needs. 

marketing tools from Zoho

Marketing

Marketing departments are often called upon to design solutions to business problems, and the tools from Zoho certainly help! You’ll find an arsenal of applications in Zoho to support your marketing efforts from website creation and testing, to email marketing and social media. And because they integrate with CRM and the rest of the Zoho One suite, you’ll also get end-to-end data for a full story of lead to sale for every contact. With this sort of insight, Zoho makes answering big questions about your marketing strategy – and any adjustments you should consider – very direct. Learn more about marketing tools in Zoho One.

Sales

If your sales department is like any other we’ve met since starting ZBrains in 2012, you’re putting a lot of eggs into any CRM solution you choose. Don’t dig around looking for solutions only to wonder if they’ll work. We strongly recommend a partner for any CRM implementation involving this aspect of your organization and avoid common pitfalls:

  • Starting an implementation project without a planning roadmap in place.
  • You’ve got a new tool, but user adoption is poor.
  • You don’t have support – and this means internal training and external partnership.
  • You’re trying to do it on your own and it’s just not working out.

 

Trust in Zoho-certified CRM consultants at ZBrains to help you implement your new system and Zoho CRM in a way that truly complements your business. Our goal is to really invest time in getting to know your business so you get you all the tools you need to succeed. We even invented a name for how we do it – Business Process Analysis. Imagine the power you can put behind your sales team when a correctly implemented CRM is in place to foster your sales process from lead to sale, to cross-selling and upselling opps!

 

We hope this high level overview explaining how Zoho apps, and Zoho One can help you design solutions to business problems for every department in your organization has been informative. And as always, if there’s something you read that sparks an idea, there’s a pretty good chance that Zoho has a solution. At ZBrains we love the opportunity to address and solve those big questions whenever we partner with a new client. How can we help you?

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

zoho for manufacturing and distribution

How Zoho Can Solve Business Problems for Manufacturing and Distribution Companies

In this article, we’ll look at how to solve business problems around three common issues we’ve seen impact others in your industry and share some ideas that have been successful for them. Zoho solves business problems for many types of businesses, but Distribution and Manufacturing by the nature of their industry are especially suited for the use of Zoho CRM and other Zoho applications.

You might spend time trying to solve for traveling work orders, time tracking, asset management, RMA and MRP requirements. If you’re encountering them, these problems can take up a lot of time and inhibit innovation.

You’d rather be focusing on hard numbers, actionable steps, and measurable KPI efforts like:

  • operating efficiency
  • utilizing capacity to the fullest extent
  • keeping a keen eye on profitability
  • working to ensure that your shipping is staying on time

These days you may also be looking for even more in-depth functionality in order to do more with existing resources, including redeploying talent, improving productivity, and shifting operations. Let’s take a closer look at three problems in manufacturing and distribution that Zoho can help you solve.

Problem 1: You’re aiming for Lean Manufacturing goals and falling short

Lean manufacturing goals with ZohoAs a decision maker in the manufacturing industry you need to introduce and foster ideas and methods to increase sales, manage orders and the warehouse, and more. You do all of this while trying to keep a pulse on the end-to-end tracking of your process, too.

Zoho Inventory helps here:

  • So you can manage inventory in multiple warehouses.
  • It integrates with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books to automatically sync contacts and your orders.
  • You get a few steps closer to the financial data you need, while addressing lean wastes of waiting and extra processing.

Zoho Inventory not cutting it? No sweat, tools like FieldTech have been produced for more robust ERP requirements using Zoho Creator for things like inventory management, and to optimize your production routing.

These ideas scratch the surface of the data you can access with the Zoho ecosystem.  How else could organized and actionable data provide information to help guide your lean manufacturing efforts as you solve business problems you encounter?

Problem 2: Forecasting for your business is a foggy endeavor

forecasting for distribution and manufacturingYou need visibility to what’s being produced, purchased – and when –  in order to make the best inventory management decisions. And if you can get the information in a tidy dashboard with less data input, even better!

Zoho Inventory provides data-driven insights to help you understand your customers in a meaningful way. You gain a more accurate forecasting for production material needs.

Add Zia’s prediction tool in Zoho CRM to take advantage of key business indicators such as the likelihood of a lead converting to a deal, revenue forecasts, and how likely a site visitor is to purchase. Zia predictions can be implemented for both standard and custom modules so your business can take advantage of this tool.

What predictors would be most meaningful for your organization?

Creating a prediction using Zia is relatively straightforward, but you can also work with a ZBrains Zoho Certified Consultant to get a head start on taking advantage of your data.

Finally, in addition to predictions, Zia also looks for trends. Using the data you have, Zia relies on past experiences to offer predictions. Receive alerts for spikes or dips without having to check on a dashboard daily. Decide if you want notifications about leads, contacts, deals, tasks, events, calls, email, or something different depending on the components you select for Zia to watch.

Having the power to forecast and even predict business events in distribution and manufacturing is essential to smooth operations.

Problem 3: You need solve business problems more quickly and spend more time on innovation

people meeting with laptopUntangling from daily business operations and on-the-fly problem solving in your organization can be a daunting undertaking. In other words, it’s time to start solving those issues more quickly. You want to resolve them completely so you have time to devote to innovation.

Naturally, this is where a business can cut even more of the lean wastes. They can spend money less on operations, and begin to excel. If you had the time, what innovation would you put into place immediately for your organization?

Having a plan to remain adaptable, and the visibility to metrics you need to communicate for success starts with information architecture. Zoho’s CRM and streamlined ERP solution to manage your inventory and orders, along with the multitude of possible integrations to fit your process is a great place to start your journey. Consider this change if you currently:

  • Pay for several systems wherein a change to one affects the others resulting in development expenses.
  • You manage multiple vendors, and spend a lot of time reiterating the same business needs and goals.
  • Your teams are working from siloed data.
  • Existing systems make global reporting cost-prohibitive and time consuming.

Start with a Zoho solution that gives end-to-end visibility to your organization. Quit struggling to track, report, and act on data. Finally start solving problems for good so you can achieve a better, leaner business.

Begin solving business problems for your manufacturing or distribution organizations with Zoho solutions.  Don’t put it off any longer, contact us for an assessment that’s geared specifically to your business – our ZBrains team of Zoho Certified Consultants are eager to help!

Connect with a Consultant

Creative Thinking with Zoho

Creative Thinking to Solve Business Problems for Field Services and Construction with Zoho Applications

It’s important to act on creative thinking to solve business problems to stay on top in field services and construction. Your industry might have standard  KPI’s and processes that “work for everyone.” However, as business owners and operators we know it’s our job to ensure that we’re constantly innovating, improving, and making the most of the time available each day.

As a result, the way you work is almost guaranteed to change over time and you’ll need to keep solving new problems. The beauty of Zoho CRM and all of the other Zoho applications available, is that they allow for creative solutions to business problems.

This includes the data you capture and your Zoho systems, including what you’re doing with both to make your business profitable time and again. In this article, we’ll share four common business problems that we see Field Services and Construction firms encountering often. This includes everything from your deals and quoting to how to save time calculating commissions. And we’re going to tell you some of the ways that Zoho applications provide a framework. You can ensure you’re staying on the edge of innovation and setting yourself apart from competition, if that’s a goal of yours.

Let’s take look at some common business problems and which KPI’s you can track in Zoho to stay on top:

Problem 1: Your scheduling and routing efficiency needs help

For Field Services businesses especially, the routing efficiency KPI is a big one, but consider scheduling, too. Are these tasks cumbersome and wasting time that could be spent on the job? You might be asking and wondering:construction inside building

  • Are techs arriving to jobs on time?
  • Do you have the right person scheduled for the work they’re doing?
  • Is time wasted with crews making trips across town?
  • How much loss happens when an appointment cancels?
  • How much productivity – and profit – is lost with extra movement?

Making sure your business has a handle on routing efficiency measurements using geolocation can help you see where you can make up losses. But this is just the start. With the right creative thinking to solve business problems, and the right tools for the job, you can achieve gains in productivity.

The Zoho Scheduling App allows for setting appointments based on sales rep calendar availability, location, skill level, or any other metric you define. The app also recognizes cancellations and can suggest appointments to fill cancellation gaps.  For use with a larger sales team, the Zoho Smart Scheduler  combines savings to positively impact revenue!

Problem 2: You’re losing deals because of a disconnect in quoting.

Do any of these sound true for you?

  • Updating product pricing, calculating, and then generating proposals takes forever and are prone for error.
  • Collecting necessary signatures for a job is a hassle.
  • Some of your products are missing descriptions or images in your system.
  • Customers don’t have a way to electronically approve your estimates.

This losing deals issue exists in a lot of businesses, not just construction and field services. However, when your project profitability, service level agreements, and customer satisfaction rely on accurate quotes, it’s paramount to start each job on the right foot.

Optimizations give you beautiful looking quotes, faster quote delivery, more accurate quoting, and an easier transition into creating  jobs. Assemble quotes with the click of a button when Zoho CRM is customized for your construction or field service business . The information required is stored in your CRM! That is: items details, photos, and any other information you require for each SKU. Integrate your Zoho quoting (CPQ) tool with an app like  HelloSign or other eSignature tool of your choice, and approval signatures become a breeze.

How much time would your staff save with this sort of integrated quoting and communication tool? Do you think a stronger – and quicker – quoting process would help you land more deals?

Problem 3: Calculating commissions is an overwhelming task

It’s time again for you to calculate commissions for your staff and your business has grown to a complexity that makes this task, well, overwhelming. For you and for your employees. They want to compare month-to-month earnings. You both want easy to access statements and to get this finished on time. Ideally, you envision all of this working in a single system to save you time and effort.

With creative thinking to solve this business problem, Zoho created the Zoho Commission Calculator. Saving time and making this process more straightforward, now you can focus on your next innovation to tackle. And your sales staff can back to what they do best – sales.

Problem 4: Job Costing and Time Tracking feel impossible to capture

With Zoho as your hub, tedious and often difficult tasks of job costing and time tracking are made simpler in FieldTech.  This app connects your field service operation and optimizes your workforce. The benefits are far-reaching in terms of your new ability to report on accurate data around these two specific tasks.

building construction exterior

And the result of accurate reporting? You receive a direct line to the improvement opportunities that exist in these daily operations.

Let’s take a look:

Time Tracking

When your techs arrive on the job, they can select from available work orders and log time against individual tasks assigned on those work orders. One feature that stands out here is geo-location that automatically clocks techs in when they arrive on site. They spend less time on data entry, and don’t miss this task.

Of course, time tracking data is visible to managers, and in reporting. Bottlenecks become easily identifiable, and you can act on them – whether that’s staff training or an innovation in process.

Job Costing

Does your job costing process currently take you between spreadsheets and several applications to find the full story and get answers you need? To find material, equipment, labor, and other direct costs is taking a lifetime. With FieldTech implementation you can see how profitable your jobs are right from a centralized dashboard.

Job Costing ties into time tracking, too:

    • See which of your field techs are doing the best/most efficient work.
    • Get granular and see time spent for a particular job against expected time.
    • Easily see gross profit and how it compares against other jobs.

Imagine being able to compare data from your jobs to find out which are most likely to be successful for your company when you start searching for new leads. Kick off your next marketing campaign armed with data from job costing.

This holistic company view, accompanied by accurate data gives you uncomplicated, actionable insights.

Are you ready to use creative thinking to solve business problems and more with Zoho? Don’t leave it to chance, contact us for an assessment that’s geared specifically to your business. Whether you’re in Field Services or Construction, the ZBrains team of Zoho Certified Consultants are eager to help.

 

Connect with a Consultant

 

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

 

Have an Open Door Policy For Your CRM Project

CRM Implementation Tip #9 | Have an Open Door Policy

 

You can apply this tip to more than just CRM deployment. Upon deploying a new system of any sort, you’ll be greeted with both positive and negative responses. How do you deal with the pushback you might receive for doing something new?

 

CRM Project visibilityHave a CRM Project Open Door Policy.

 

Keep your door open, as well as your training sessions and email threads. When making big changes to your business and employees’ work days with a new CRM, consider giving them all the information they need or want to make the transition smoother.

 

When you do encounter some blowback from your traditionalist employees, be sure to heed their criticisms. Then, explain calmly and succinctly what the new system does to either improve life or alleviate their concerns. Show them how everyone will benefit from the new changes. Keeping your ear open lets employees know you’re willing to consider their feelings. Having an open door policy will ultimately make them happier in the long run, even if they aren’t satisfied at first with the new system. Trite but true, a rising tide lifts all ships, and the same is true with upgrades in technology like Zoho CRM.

 

Include extra training opportunities

 

If employees’ problems lie in the fact that they don’t feel they’ve been trained enough on the new system, host another training session, or several of them.  As well, keep everyone in the loop by maintaining a single group email thread, or message channel for company-wide CRM developments and questions. We also recommend these smaller group or department-specific channels for more specific developments and questions.

 

Read All CRM Implementation Quick Tips

 


 

Is your CRM working for you? Take the CRM Adoption Survey and find out where you stand.

 

Take the CRM Adoption Survey

 

Don’t Underestimate Data Migration Time

CRM Implementation Tip #2:  | Don’t Underestimate Data Migration Time

 

As you’re working through all the considerations for CRM Implementation – and it can be a bit of a process – be sure to give a healthy amount of time to how you’ll migrate existing data to your CRM. 

 

CRM Data MigrationDon’t Underestimate Data Migration Time

 

Whether you’re already using a different CRM or a spreadsheet to keep track of all your data currently, this is a task that must be completed for a successful implementation.

 

When planning your project, or reviewing plans from your consultant, be sure to allow extra time for data migration. Don’t underestimate it! Looking for more insight beyond data migration?

 

 

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CRM Data Migration Considerations

 

Even in the best of times, data migration isn’t a one-fell-swoop sort of maneuver. Discrepancies between modules in different CRMs can prolong the process.  

 

  • Additionally, if you want to migrate old data into a new CRM with customized data fields, your old data will have to be mapped to those new fields.  
  • If you choose to import and map the data yourself, you’ll have to allot time to learn how the system works. 
  • If you get help from a CRM consultant, you’ll probably spend at least a couple of phone calls and email threads explaining how you want everything to look.  

 

No matter what, the migration process is one that takes time. In our experience, it’s better to overestimate. Then you’ll be pleasantly surprised at the outcome. Underestimation can lengthen the project and catch you off guard. If you aren’t quite sure how much time data migration will take, give yourself a month. And, if you aren’t comfortable blocking off that much time, you can always get the help of a certified consultant.

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Should you choose Zoho FSM or FieldTech?

Should you dive into Zoho FSM?

zoho fsm or fieldtech

In 2019, we got the first glimmerings of a new Zoho app called Zoho FSM, or Field Service Management.  Now over halfway through 2020, Zoho has been slowly–very slowly!–opening the gates to this app and allowing both Zoho partners and users to test it.

And of course, the testing phase is part of any successful app rollout, especially when it’s something brand-new like Zoho field service management.  Zoho has toed the ERP waters before with their combination of Zoho Books and Inventory.  However, Zoho FSM is their first foray into something even grander, something that could dovetail onto that stack and turn Zoho into a real ERP contender.  The question is: Is Zoho FSM enough?

If you’ve known Zoho for any length of time, you know that improving their software continuously is one of their strong points.  They’re one of the companies that seem to lead in this category, giving you real value every time you renew your monthly subscription to one of their apps.  As opposed to some companies, whose software you may use every month, but it’s basically the same software–and, additions of new fields in a module are cause for New Release! announcements.

Hot Take: How do we feel so far?

Even with knowing all this, it’s tough to say how quickly Zoho FSM will be able to deliver on its promise.  But, we at ZBrains are hoping Zoho is able to push this app out to market quickly.

Now… that may seem like a strange comment for someone unfamiliar with what we do at ZBrains.  But, to explain: we don’t just provide Zoho consulting services here.  We’ve actually developed a whole ERP framework for Zoho called FieldTech.

So, at first glance, it would appear that this field service management app from Zoho is in direct competition with the FieldTech offering.  And, sure, in some ways, it is.  But, not in all ways, as we’ll discuss soon.

zoho fsm or fieldtech

So, why is the addition of Zoho FSM a good thing?

It’s a good thing because it gives you, as someone who may want us to help you one day, one more potential option for your field services, construction, manufacturing, or tech business to use as a field service management platform.  Connect that to your Zoho CRM, and suddenly managing your entire business through Zoho doesn’t seem so insurmountable.

Of course, we’d love for you to use our FieldTech offering.  But, we understand it may not be for everyone.  Zoho Field Service Management seems to be geared more towards scheduling appointments or work orders, work order management, and invoices related to those WOs.  FieldTech, on the other hand, tackles those areas and adds the possibility of custom quoting, advanced inventory management, shop orders, job costing, and commission calculation.  So, whereas Zoho FSM is one single app, FieldTech has a Service Order Management component–and a suite of other, connected field service apps.

The costs of using FieldTech versus Zoho field service management are different, too.  Zoho Field Service Management offers a price per appointment model, whereas FieldTech’s pricing is per user.  If a company needed to decide between the two platforms based on pricing alone, it’s hard to see which way the org would go.  At least so far.

But, essentially, as long as you’re using a Zoho service to manage your field service business, that’s a victory for us.

Does this mean we’re going to stop developing FieldTech?

Quite the contrary!  We aren’t privy to Zoho’s overarching vision for this app, or vision for any other apps they may want to connect to it in the future.  If Zoho stopped at just field service management, that would be fine.  But, as you can probably tell by the host of other features inside FieldTech, we’ve never intended to stop there with that suite.  We improve the platform on a weekly basis, and it’s only a matter of time until we release some new apps for the suite.

We’re guessing that Zoho’s FSM app will work well for users with a simpler use case.  And, our FieldTech Service Order Management app will work better for organizations with more complicated needs–either just for field service management, or organization-wide.

What should you do with regards to Zoho FSM?

zoho fsm or fieldtech

If you have access to the app, test it!  We’ll certainly be doing the same.  Any experience you have on the Zoho platform will help you make a more informed choice about which apps will work best for you.

As always, we will keep you in the loop about any Zoho FSM developments.  And, when the full version of the app finally comes out, rest assured we’ll provide a full breakdown of features, as well as an official comparison between FSM and FieldTech.

If you’re still a little in the dark about what to do, get in touch with us for a free introductory consultation, where we can talk about how FSM, FieldTech, or any other Zoho app would potentially affect your business.