Tag : zoho consulting

3 Reasons to Use a CRM Consultancy When Implementing Your CRM

3 Reasons to Use a CRM Consultancy when Implementing your CRM

crm consultancy

No matter what kind of business you run, implementing a CRM correctly is no small feat.  Sure, it may seem tempting to ease your way into any CRM by simply turning it on.  But then, the wealth of features you’ll probably see before you might just make you hang up your hat before you even get started.

Working with a product like Zoho, which advertises itself as DIY, we see this kind of thing happen a lot.

And, we get calls about it weeks, months, or even years after the initial projects start.  It’s still not off the ground, or No one is using the system correctly.  People lose faith in themselves at that point.

Well, I want to tell you not to give up.  Most CRMs are tricky to use correctly because they’re very powerful, and Zoho CRM is no exception to this.  Play around with Zoho One long enough and you might get really confused at the array of 45+ apps.  It’s not your fault.  And, I believe software as powerful as Zoho should come with sufficient resources to help you along the way.  Chances are you believe that too, if you’re reading this blog post.

With that in mind, let me tell you three ways using a CRM consultancy (like us!) helps greatly with proper CRM deployment.  You may get some ideas of your own from this.

#1: Your CRM consultancy will make sure you’re using your system in the best way possible for your business.

crm consultancy

Even with loads of documentation available, deploying a CRM and related business apps by yourself is at best a chore, and at worst a show-stopper.  And, with no one at your side to help, it can be pretty difficult to know if you’ve deployed your software the very best way.  Tech-savvy team members certainly do help, but unless they themselves are CRM experts, that’s only one piece of the puzzle.  Having someone on staff who has worked previously with the CRM you’re deploying is closer to what you’ll need – but, if they too worked with a faulty system in the past, they may not know the very best way to do things either.  Your best bet at a successful CRM implementation is with a CRM consultant at your side.  If you plan to deploy Zoho CRM, for example, you’ll want a Zoho CRM consultancy to assist you.

Ordinarily, using a CRM consultancy helps with figuring out the best way to use your CRM by exploring just how you do business. That can involve everything from a business process analysis, review of current software systems and purposes, and interviewing key personnel to gauge their responsibilities.  It also takes into consideration the business owner’s vision for the company moving forward, as this vision usually highly impacts how your business software is utilized.

Once this analysis is complete, your CRM consultancy will have everything they need to present you with a clear plan for moving forward, and you’ll have what you need to make an informed decision on what exactly you’d like to do, which parts of the plan make sense, and which parts need revision.  It’s not a simple process, but it’s necessary for you to get the very most out of your new system.

#2: Your CRM consultancy will make sure you have a high adoption rate so you don’t end up with another failed project.

crm consultancy

Even if your new CRM is set up correctly, that doesn’t guarantee your staff will use it the right way all the time.  We’re all human, but sometimes we find our customers’ Zoho CRMs set up in ways that actually hurt productivity.  And, it’s not their fault!  Those people just did what they thought was easiest and best, and no one was there to tell them yes or no.  And, of course, CRM usage (adoption) eventually dwindled because the CRM wasn’t deployed in a way that actually provided value to the users.

While a good CRM consultancy likely won’t recommend bending the rules of CRM to fit someone’s arbitrary desire, one can usually account for quirks by setting up additional reminders, workflow automation, and the like, to steer things in the proper direction.  Setting up the system the right way ensures the CRM works better without needing additional customizations that end up bloating the system and making things more confusing in the long run.

Your CRM consultancy will be able to figure out the extent of the “quirks” during the business process analysis and interviews, and make recommendations to set up workflow automation, reminders, or custom function that actually help your team’s performance and make them want to use the system more.

#3: Your CRM consultancy will ensure your system stays up-to-date and scalable, depending on your plans for the business.

crm consultancy

Aside from helping to solve your current problems and make sure your new CRM has a high rate of adoption, the next-most important thing a CRM consultancy can do is make sure your system can also solve future problems.  And, it’s not as if your system can anticipate problems before they come up all by itself.  Rather, the system needs to be configured to act that way!  And, the way a consultancy does this is simple in theory, but a little complicated in practice.

A good CRM consultancy will be able to predict what problems can come up based on how you already do business, and how you plan to grow your business.  To understand these parts of your business, a CRM consultancy will carry out interviews of key personnel to understand their current business responsibilities, current system duties (if any), and their trajectories in your business.  Then, based on business knowledge, the consultancy will put a plan in place that accounts for those future problems.

Future-planning like this can solve problems as large as a planned change in your business model in five years and as small as how to organize the departments in your website chat widget once you ramp up your website traffic to a certain number per day.

Looking to the future

crm consultancy

As proper deployment of your CRM can lead to success for years to come, it’s not something to be taken lightly.  You may very well have the time and ability to tackle your deployment head-on, but if you’re unsure about anything, it’s best to contact a certified CRM consultant.  Around half of IT projects fail to some degree, whether out-of-budget, working only partially, or a complete loss.  You stand a much better chance of succeeding by putting your own business sense together with someone who has CRM sense.  Together, you really do have the best of both worlds.

On that note, will our worlds collide anytime soon?  Contact us and let’s see if we’d be a good fit for your CRM system goals.

Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One Review

Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One

Zoho is at once an amazing and frustrating product.  You probably have some idea of this, or maybe you’re still in the dark – but, the truth is out there.  

crm plus vs zoho one

Zoho is incredible in the scope of what it can do and at the price you pay for it.  

There are very few, if any other platforms that provide so many different software apps, and so much useful functionality, for such a low price, comparatively.  But, at the same time, Zoho’s various products – whose functionality often overlap – and software bundles with the very same issue, are often not explained in enough detail for potential customers to make informed buying decisions.

There is so much information about Zoho products available.  How can none of it accurately tell you the difference between, for example, Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One?  It’s enough to drive you up the wall.  

When comparing CRM Plus vs Zoho One on the surface, the offerings seem similar enough: Bundles of Zoho apps for members of your company to use.  But, one bundle includes many Zoho apps (Zoho One) and one includes comparatively fewer (CRM Plus).  And, Zoho One is more expensive… Unless you get your whole company on the software, in which case it becomes much cheaper.  Is this gaming the system? What gives?

Well, not quite.  There’s actually a method to the madness that is the different pricing and different apps present in the Zoho One and Zoho CRM Plus bundles.  In this post, we’ll address the two problems that seem to arise from having different bundles with seemingly (but not actually) illogical pricing models.  Then, we’ll lay out some facts to help you determine which bundle is best for your business. Finally, we’ll give you a bit of history that led to the introduction of Zoho One at all.

crm plus vs zoho one

One problem: Why are Zoho offering two different bundles at all?

The answer here is simple on its surface.  Zoho One and Zoho CRM Plus exist to meet two different distinct software needs.

What is Zoho One? 

Zoho One is Zoho’s all-inclusive bundle, boasting 40+ fully-featured apps, all Enterprise-level (Zoho’s top tier of features).  You can purchase a license for any number of employees at your company for $90/user/month. However, if all employees at your company use Zoho One, the price is only $35/user/month.  Obviously, that’s a substantial difference.

What is Zoho CRM Plus? 

CRM Plus is the original Zoho bundle: Nine essential Zoho apps, all Enterprise-level, for $60/user/month, regardless of how many employees use the apps.  This gives companies a better overall cost than they would get from buying different Zoho apps a la carte. (Apps include Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Zoho Desk, SalesIQ, Social, Projects, Survey, Analytics, and Motivator.)

So, we can see these two bundles serve distinct purposes.  We can deduce from the pricing info that CRM Plus is an intuitive choice for a company looking to save on licensing for many of the apps they would need anyway. But, they might not want to give all of their employees a license.  This situation comes up frequently for manufacturers, who often have many employees who work in a warehouse or factory and never interact with computers at all.  There’s no point in those employees having Zoho licenses they will never use.

Zoho One, on the other hand, is a great choice for a company that is either:

  1. Looking to save tremendously on business software licensing costs by buying licenses for all employees, even if not all of them use the software,
  2. Needs all of their employees to use Zoho One anyway, or
  3. Stands to save a considerable amount of money by allowing some of their employees to use Zoho One rather than CRM Plus or a la carte apps.

zoho crm plus vs zoho one

The Devil’s in the Details

This is a lot to unpack, but…better the devil you know than the devil you don’t, right?  Strap in and let’s examine the three Zoho One use cases posed above.

  • Businesses stand to save a good deal on Zoho One even if not all of them use the software.  This would happen in situations where a company with fifty employees had thirty of them in need of the software, and twenty with no need for Zoho One licenses at all.  In this case, it makes more sense to eat the cost of ten additional licenses than only buy licenses for forty employees.  This is because for only forty employees, the cost of the licenses increases by nearly a factor of three!
    • 30 users * $90/user/mo (Zoho One flexible user count) = $2,700/mo in licensing
    • 50 users * $35/user/mo (Zoho One for all employees) = $1,750/mo in licensing
  • You can benefit from Zoho One for certain if you need all of your employees to use the software anyway.  No matter how many you employ, the offer is $35/user/mo if you purchase a license for all your employees.  Especially for smaller companies, this seems almost too good to be true – and, more on that below, shortly.
  • For some companies who only need some of their employees to use business software, Zoho One may make more sense than CRM Plus simply because the $90/user/mo price provides more needed functionality than would be available with CRM Plus, or CRM Plus and a combination of a la carte Zoho apps.
    • 10 users of Zoho CRM Plus with Zoho Finance Plus and Zoho Webinar ($60/user/mo + $149/company/mo + $39/user/mo) = $600/mo + $149/mo + $390/mo = $1,139/mo
    • 10 users of Zoho One (flexible user count) ($90/user/mo) = $900/mo

Remember, before deciding about Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One, it’s always best to get some Zoho CRM Plus consulting, or Zoho One-specific help.  You can use that consulting time not only to set up the apps you need, but to get an expert’s recommendation on which bundle to pick, Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One, if either are a good idea for you.

Now that we’ve gone into great detail about the different apps and scenarios when one might be better than the other, there’s still one nagging question…

Another problem: Why are Zoho losing their shirts by offering Zoho One at such a discount compared to CRM Plus?

[caption id="attachment_3832" align="alignright" width="400"]crm plus vs zoho one Okay, not quite 80% off…but darn close.[/caption]

At first glance, this looks positively insane, and you’ll be certain you’re gaming the system by buying Zoho One.  This is especially true if you run a smaller company. Imagine having so much functionality that every employee can enjoy for only $35/user/month!

But, it’s not a mistake.  Zoho has a very, very good reason for doing this.

They’re playing what’s known as a long game.  And, to put this game into context, we have to imagine what life was like before Zoho One.

The good old days

Believe it or not, there was a time when Zoho One was but a twinkle in the eye of Zoho Corporation CEO Sridar Vembu.  As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and in this case, Zoho Corporation noticed something quite significant in their sales.

They were losing the attention of smaller businesses.

crm plus vs zoho one

A la carte apps and CRM Plus (the original bundle of apps offered by Zoho) were great for some companies.  But, for others who needed a lot of functionality to help them off the ground, Zoho’s cost for entry was simply too high.  Zoho likely lost a good number of clients to attrition during this time, and certainly lost many who simply could not stomach the price of CRM Plus, or even a handful of a la carte apps.  Others probably liked what they were getting with the a la carte apps but found themselves unable to scale, so they abandoned the platform.

In Zoho’s eyes, this was an untapped market.  And, Zoho’s idea was not just to make a bigger, badder bundle that would accommodate the needs of companies who needed more functionality.  No. They were going to offer everything they had, at a price even lower than the cost of their next-best bundle.

Consider all this:

Zoho Corporation makes its living on recurring revenue from their software.  They want businesses to use their software as long as possible by providing customers with value.  And – this is a big one – according to NAICS, there are about 1.5 million businesses that have more than 10 employees in the USA.  

This number, 1.5 million, is essentially who Zoho was marketing to in the USA with their CRM Plus software bundle.  But, if you follow the link you’ll see that there are just as many businesses in just the 5-9 employee count category.  As if that’s not crazy enough, look one row up and you’ll see there are seven times as many businesses listed as between 1-4 employees.

Again, what an enormous market.

Like Miracle-Gro for Small Biz

zoho crm plus vs zoho one

Zoho came up with this fantastic Zoho One package because they knew businesses needed some help just entering the world of Zoho. That way, they could not only realize immediate benefits of using the software, but also see what benefits they’d reap if they grew their companies.

Many small businesses remain one size forever because that’s what works for them – but, for companies that start small and grow with Zoho, those are customers Zoho never would have had access to previously.

Add in the fact that happy customers are prone to talking with their like-minded friends who run businesses, and suddenly Zoho has potentially increased their reach by millions in the USA alone.  Perhaps tens of millions worldwide!

By offering Zoho One, Zoho is betting you’ll start small with them and then grow into something that may not have been possible without the software.  Starting with Zoho and using it to grow makes it less likely you’ll use another platform in the future. If it works for you, why try anything else?

The Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One Review

Zoho CRM Plus and Zoho One may seem pretty confusing in how similar they are.  But, if you look beyond the names of the familiar apps, analyze the pricing a bit, and consider Zoho’s history, you see the distinctions between the two packages are pretty clear.

The Road Ahead

crm plus vs zoho one

All this, however, doesn’t mean we expect you to read this blog post and suddenly know just how to decide between Zoho CRM Plus vs Zoho One!  You’ll still have to prepare your own cost breakdowns according to what you need. And, if you don’t have time to put all that together, let alone examine your own business thoroughly to determine that exact need, this all may not have helped your stress levels.

So, let’s turn that around!  We’ve helped lots of businesspeople who were strapped for time, not only in determining which Zoho apps would work best for them, but which exact package would be best.  Is it Zoho One? CRM Plus? Maybe neither of the two? It remains to be seen, but we can show you the way so you turn from would-be Zoho user to Zoho Hero.

Then, if you need help with Zoho implementation or Zoho training, you can rest assured you made the best software choice, so you’ll have the best chance of really growing your company with Zoho, as opposed to just getting by.

Getting Buy-in When You’re Just Starting on Zoho

Getting Buy-in When You’re Just Starting on Zoho

On a time crunch?  This is a 7-minute read.

If there’s one thing we’ve said before but really can’t stress enough, it’s the importance of proper adoption when deploying Zoho apps for the first time.  Don’t worry, I can already see your eyes glazing over with that barrage of buzzwords. Because I understand your pain, I’ll try to make this “Zoho for beginners” article as painless as possible while also being informative.  The truth is there are several solid suggestions to ensure you have the strength of your whole team behind you when getting started on Zoho – and you can avoid spitting instructions at a bored or disgruntled room.

We may be salespeople here at ZBrains, but we aren’t psychologists, so there won’t be any Jedi mind tricks here, aside from those already built into Zoho’s software (they are the clever ones).  Without further ado, let’s get started!

zoho for beginners canary in coalmine

Zoho Cliq: Your Canary in the Coalmine

Before you buy a new car, you’ll probably want to test-drive it.  In this case, I want you to think of Zoho Cliq as a precursor to more involved Zoho apps like Zoho CRM, Zoho Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory, Zoho Desk, Projects, and others.  Cliq, as you may already know, is Zoho’s answer to Slack, a popular intra-office chat software.  

Cliq is nice because it does basically the same thing as Slack, but it comes pre-integrated into Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, and Zoho People – the idea being that your staff who use primarily one app the whole day don’t have to log into another app just to chat with other folks in the office.

The other nice thing about Cliq is it’s really darn easy to use, at least for most people.  You could add a safeguard against low adoption to your Zoho rollout by choosing to deploy Cliq for your whole team first, then letting the questions roll in.  And, if there aren’t any stragglers, you can safely assume you can roll out more difficult and important apps like CRM with only the usual training-related questions.  (And, fortunately for you, we provide Zoho training, so that’s even less on your plate.)

zoho for beginners training

Zoho Desk: like a Miniature CRM

Ready for yet another driving analogy?  Good, I’m not either. But, the fact is there’s another way to prepare for something as complex as Zoho CRM.  Rolling out Zoho Cliq first is great at letting you know who your “problem children” might be, but it’s not the same as sticking them into the fire, so to speak, and watching them try to survive.  And, I don’t want you to think about doing that. Instead, consider deploying a slightly more complex app, something that has a lot of the same features as the CRM without being the CRM itself.  That app is Zoho Desk.  

Desk has ways to sort through customers, prioritize emails in the form of tickets, and progress tickets through a series of possible actions with Blueprint, a feature that was first introduced in Zoho CRM.  From an administrative standpoint, it even includes workflow automation, so your CRM admin-to-be can get their feet wet with that, too. That way, they can be better prepared  for working with it more heavily in the CRM.

Even if Zoho Desk isn’t quite as easy as Cliq for year team to get their collective head around, it’s what our Chief Solutions Architect James Converse calls a “soft landing” point.  Essentially, if you’re gonna crash-land, make it on a nice comfy mattress instead of the hard asphalt.

All Done Testing? Time to Implement in Earnest

If you’ve already gone through these motions and it looks like your staff is ready to roll with you on Zoho, then that’s great!  Staff buy-in is one of the most important pieces of a successful Zoho deployment, especially if it involves using more than one Zoho app.

When it comes to Zoho implementation, you have the option to do it yourself or hire a consultant to help you.  There are advantages and pitfalls to both ways of doing it, so we’ll analyze those here:

zoho adoption consulting

Ensuring Zoho Adoption When You Implement Yourself

We usually tell people the most important part of any Zoho implementation isn’t the deployment of their specific custom fields, modules, and screens.  Nor is it the programming of workflow automation and blueprint (when necessary), or the writing of custom functions to ensure their system adheres to very specific business logic.  It’s not any of that.  Actually, it’s a lot more basic.

It’s the training.

Training in this case is almost like buy-in, and sometimes the two are interchangeable!  Some of your staff will give you their buy-in from being trained, and others will need to buy into an idea before opening themselves to the idea of learning a new system – but, it all looks the same in the end.

In any case, properly training your staff ensures everyone uses your system the way it was meant to be used.  You’ll probably need to train administrators at your business and have those admins train your other staff members.  Maybe you’re the only admin – and, that’s fine too. But, you’ll need to confirm that each person using a specific app knows exactly what to do in that app and when to do it.  

For example: in Zoho CRM, you might want to impart to a salesperson how to enter leads into your database, how and when to convert them to contacts, accounts, and deals, and how to use the Activities module and tasks to structure their day.  And that’s just a small portion!

Obviously, administering training for a Zoho app yourself is a big deal.  It isn’t for everyone, especially if you’re already trying to run a business.  You just don’t have time!

Zoho adoption training

Ensuring Adoption When Using a Zoho Consultant

Fortunately, you don’t have to work terribly hard to ensure proper Zoho adoption if you hire a Zoho consultant to help with system deployment.  That’s our job! We’ve done Zoho implementations many, many times, and while no business is exactly the same as the next, basic training on Zoho CRM and other apps tend to be pretty regimented.  We almost always give training sessions in advance of the actual app deployments.  And, we allot some time at the end of our training sessions for a Q&A session.  The answers to those questions usually get everyone’s noggins joggin’, and this makes the following Zoho consulting sessions to configure custom fields and screens that much more fruitful.

Now, you’re probably wondering how we find out about your business enough to recommend a Zoho plan that includes training on it, right?

The Truth About Our Zoho Consulting

It’s true that (nearly) everyone needs proper Zoho training, but after the training sessions our consulting sessions become much more tailored towards your business.  Zoho can be both a blessing and a curse in that it gives you multiple ways to do almost anything in business.  The question is always:

“What’s the best way to do all these things in the context of my own business?”  

We figure out exactly which way to go with you by sitting down for a consulting session called a Business Process Analysis.  In a BPA, we spend time with you and your team in order to get our heads around your whole business – then we make our formal recommendations to you, kind of like a doctor.  Only, this isn’t just a five-minute wham-bam appointment. And, there’s no smelly waiting room either.

You may be starting to see just how much goes into deploying Zoho.  It’s not something we take lightly, and you shouldn’t either. We’re here to help you every step of the way, from planning, to training, to deployment – and beyond.

zoho for beginners getting buy-in

To Recap

We covered a fair bit in this article, so to recap, we:

  1. Suggested implementing Zoho Cliq or Zoho Desk as a way to prepare your staff for a more complete Zoho deployment
  2. Demonstrated training as a way to get ultimate staff buy-in
  3. Discussed the value of a  business consulting session to get a plan in place to ensure you do everything the right way.

This isn’t a call to carry all these out yourself, of course. In the grand scheme of things, you may be working with much more than Zoho CRM, Cliq, and Desk.  (There’s Zoho Books for your finances…and 40+ other apps in the whole Zoho One suite.)  And, as Zoho consultants, we’d probably do it in a reverse order (point 3, then 2, then 1).  But, that may not be your style, so if you don’t want to engage with a Zoho consultant like us, you could really do any of these to help ensure buy-in from your staff.  Regardless, as mentioned before, hopefully these points on Zoho for beginners get the old noggin joggin’.

Let us know if you need any help with Zoho by clicking the Contact Us button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

Zoho MarketingHub: Zoho’s Answer to HubSpot, Adobe & Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Zoho MarketingHub: Zoho’s Answer to HubSpot, Adobe & Salesforce Marketing Cloud

zoho marketinghub marketing automation

Unless you have some fantastic luck, you could say the beginning of every good sale starts with good marketing.  Zoho Corporation, as usual with their regular schedule of updates, is well aware of this fact, and have been putting together a very exciting new platform that aims to capitalize on this notion and give their customers more marketing power and control – and in that way increase sales and put more money back in their customers’ pockets.  

This brand-new addition to the Zoho marketing stack is designed to encompass every marketing tool they’ve built so far, combine those tools with elements of Zoho Analytics, then come with a very attractive, updated UI smacked onto it… The new tool’s name: Zoho MarketingHub.

Obviously, the implications of Zoho releasing such a tool in the context of its present suite of apps – not to mention the not-so-subtle jab at HubSpot itself in the app’s own name – are far-reaching.  

In today’s post, we’ll go through the new features Zoho Marketing Hub brings to the table, how the app can affect (and improve) use of Zoho CRM, and what the app’s existence means for other related Zoho apps.

zoho marketinghub collaboration

Solving a common problem: Lack of a Marketing Hub

Many of our customers already come to us looking for help connecting the various software components of their business.  The marketing “stack,” or suite of individual apps, is an important part of this – though with the sheer number of tools available to help, each with somewhat overlapping functionalities, your confusion over where to start and which ones to use would be forgiven.

And, Zoho has a reason for presenting all the tools to you in this way.  As businesses and commerce itself both trend toward being more digitized, it becomes more and more important to have all the digital tools necessary to market effectively to potential and current customers.  Previously, Zoho offered different apps to fulfill different marketing duties (like Zoho Campaigns for email marketing, and Zoho Social for social media posts and monitoring) – but even with integration between apps, it wasn’t the same as having everything controlled by a single app.  Zoho putting all these different tools together under one umbrella is their ultimate answer to the question, “how do I manage the entire marketing funnel effectively, from A to Z and beyond?”

What does Zoho MarketingHub bring to the table, then?

Marketing Hub covers all of a customer’s journey, not just some of it.

And, there are a lot of features to note here, so strap yourself in…

zoho marketing hub lead scoring

Lead tracking.  As with both Zoho CRM and Zoho Campaigns, Zoho MarketingHub provides webforms with which to funnel your prospects, leads, and contacts into different marketing “buckets,” each bucket with its own objective and type of content.  These webforms can be placed on your website, but they can also be integrated directly with services like GoToWebinar and EventBrite for a more unified experience. As far as features go, this is par for the course from Zoho, but this next one is downright exciting…

Web behavior tracking.  Once you’ve obtained a lead’s information via a webform, you can use Marketing Hub’s Web Assistant feature to tell you exactly where that person went on your website, how long they were there, and where else on your website they clicked.  This borrows a bit from services like Google Analytics, but, combined with information your lead already submitted, allows you to identify their path to becoming a customer. And, for everyone who didn’t submit information to you, Zoho MarketingHub still gives an aggregate page popularity map, page click-through likelihood tracker, and many other useful reports.  

zoho marketing hub website marketing

Custom email campaigns based on interest.  You can use behavioral data gathered by MarketingHub to send very targeted email campaigns based on the products or services your leads are most interested in.  Once they receive this info, you can give them lead scores based on how they interact with your content: did they skim or really read it?  Did they click a link and stay on the page for long? You can then choose to send leads who score the highest to your sales team automatically, ensuring the team doesn’t waste time reaching out to anyone unqualified.

Tailor the customer journey by persona.  You can also use Zoho Marketing Hub’s data to modify your website itself so leads convert more quickly and easily in general.  Modify your customer journeys not only by product or service interest, but by their very persona. This is one of those things that will make your potential (or current) customers more satisfied with your content and your company on the whole, though they may not know exactly why.  One of the few instances where mind games are okay to play!

zoho marketing hub lead nurturing

Continue engaging your customers long after they’ve bought from you.  When you look at a list of customers, you’re really looking at a list of people who already trust you.  If you have services or products that pair well with those that your customers have already consumed from you, you can use Zoho MarketingHub’s data to make decisions about sending more email campaigns, custom surveys, and other promotions to help you sell more and sell easily.  

Plan future campaigns based on your exact ROI.  Arguably the most important stat to a marketer, Zoho MarketingHub’s Marketing Planner calculates the ROI of individual marketing channels, and the respective campaigns within each channel.  This enables you to focus more of your effort on campaigns that deliver and kill off the ones that don’t produce.

These new features of Zoho Marketing Hub are sure to improve the lives of the marketers who plug it into their campaigns – not just by informing them of what’s working and what isn’t, but by telling them exactly how profitable they are to the company.  And from then onward, it’s incumbent upon the sales department to take all this great information that MarketingHub gathers, and run with it.

So, how does that look, exactly?

Zoho MarketingHub feeds Zoho CRM.  Then, the CRM beefs up your sales potential

zoho marketing hub dashboard

If utilized correctly, introducing MarketingHub to your suite of apps has the power to turn a fledgling sales department into a breakout team, and an already powerful team into a group of downright all-stars.  And, while it’s true that MarketingHub integrates with CRM and can sync a good deal of information directly into the hands of your sales team, it’s not the raw data that concerns them most.

Of course, there’s value in knowing things like:

  • The amount of time a lead has spent on your website
  • The number of pages they looked at, and their exact click path
  • Which email campaigns they acted upon and which ones they ignored

But, it’s even better to combine this data with the power of Zoho CRM – and some workflow automation programming – to inform your sales team:

  1. Exactly how to open the lead based on how long they spent on your website
  2. Just what products or services to pitch based on the exact combination of pages viewed
  3. How likely that person is to become a customer based on their email campaign interaction – and when they might say yes based on behavior of others in that persona category
  4. Which warm leads to go after, and exactly when to go after them

Of course, a well-seasoned salesperson can glean a lot of this information by looking at the raw data from MarketingHub, but any salesperson worth their salt knows time is money – and, why spend time figuring out yourself what Zoho CRM’s calculations and workflow rules can figure out for you in a snap?  You could even integrate blueprint into the mix and place hotter prospects into different stages in the Leads or Deals module, and save even more time.  The sky’s the limit when it comes to translating the data from Zoho Marketing Hub into actionable CRM data for your team. (And, if you’re confused about what exactly to do, our team of Zoho consultants can help you with that and anything else.)

So, does this mean I can throw away Zoho Campaigns and Zoho Social?

zoho marketinghub

It’s not a bad question.  Earlier, we mentioned Zoho Marketing Hub combines many aspects of Zoho Campaigns with Zoho Social.  And, essentially, it adds a lot of intelligence to those apps.  But, does that mean you should just stop using Zoho Campaigns or Social?  

My answer: If you’re afraid Zoho is just going to turn off your apps or delete your old campaigns, I wouldn’t worry too much about that.  Zoho’s usual MO when it comes to building apps that improve upon existing ones is to either allow users the option to use either app (or both apps) in question.  (A good example of this situation is in Zoho Books vs Zoho Invoice.) Or, they may even choose to merge Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Social, and Zoho MarketingHub formally into one app.  

But, I would guess the latter move would be very complicated and labor-intensive.  Not to mention, having only MarketingHub as an option might even be overkill for some companies.  We wouldn’t want Zoho to turn into Salesforce…obviously!

Another value add: look for MarketingHub in Zoho One

zoho marketinghub zoho one cloud

Zoho Corporation will very likely add Marketing Hub to the Zoho One platform, as Zoho One has included all of Zoho’s apps up to this point.  This just further cements Zoho as one of the best values out there, in my humble (and admittedly biased) opinion. Leveraging the power of MarketingHub and CRM, you have the opportunity to feed data already coming from your website through both apps and present your sales team with new action items.  Nothing could be better for a sales department.

In Summary

In 2019, getting through 1000+ words might be a little too much to handle, so I’m happy to provide a short synopsis of this article.

MarketingHub is Zoho’s answer to the big marketing automation competitors like HubSpot, et al, and it packs the features to go along with its punchy name.  Apart from tracking click paths and seeing how to best convert web traffic, you can also send email campaigns and launch social posts right from the app, which means you could theoretically replace Zoho Campaigns and Social with MarketingHub.  With Zoho MarketingHub, you’ll get just what you put into it, so as long as you connect it to your website and allow the engagement and traffic data to flow in, the resulting reports should be pretty easy to understand – and, if they aren’t, you can always contact us and we’ll provide some Zoho consulting to you.

As always, we’ll keep you informed of any MarketingHub, CRM, or other developments in Zoho.  If you have any questions about anything here, we’d love to hear from you.

Zoho Desk Time and Payments Tracking

Zoho Desk Time and Payments Tracking

Track Time Automatically or Manually with the Zoho Desk Timer

A recent upgrade to Zoho Desk has made this web-based help desk software even more valuable. Zoho Desk Time Tracking is the newest feature, allowing you to track time spent on tickets and add billable time entries based on predefined costs. The ease and efficiency of this new component is instantly identifiable — it’s such a no-brainer that you may wonder how Zoho Desk ever existed without it! We’ve spelled out the details of this streamlined process below:

The timer is a stopwatch on the top of the page that tracks the amount of time spent working on a ticket or task. Press pause and start to pause and resume the timer as needed. When you click pause, the accumulated time is held for you. You can restart the timer to pick up where you left off, or you can apply the accumulated time to your timesheet. There is also a refresh button to reset the timer, allowing you to start the timer over.

zoho desk time tracking

  • Timer displays accumulated time in the HH:MM:SS format, starting at the one-second mark
  • Timers can be run on multiple tickets simultaneously

Zoho Desk Time Tracking for Tasks

Simplicity is the name of the game, which is why tracking time for tasks is very similar to tickets. The chief difference? An administrator could restrict you from running the timer on multiple tasks at once. When this happens, a pop-up on the upper right area of the screen prompts you to submit the time spent on the current task before beginning the timer on the new one.

zoho desk time tracking

Clicking “Yes” in the above box will submit the timer for the accumulated time for the current task and start the timer on the new task.

How to Track Active Timers

Although you could run the timer on multiple tickets and tasks, it’s useless if you don’t remember to stop and submit their time. When you have lots of work on your plate, paying extra attention to a timer is the last thing you want to do. That’s why Zoho Desk includes My Active Timers, a view that lists all of your active timers in the department. (Because let’s face it, multitasking is no longer just a mark of efficiency, it’s a way of life.)

zoho desk time tracking

To view your active timers:

1. Log into Zoho Desk
2. Check the Pending Activities icon zoho desk time tracking

3. A new window slides open on the right hand side of the screen

4. Click the My Active Timers iconzoho desk time tracking at the top of the window.

Your active timers along and their accumulated time are listed here. You can pause, stop or reset the timer corresponding to a ticket or a task from here.

Automatic Zoho Desk Time Tracking for Tickets

In automatic tracking, the timer starts every time a ticket is opened in your browser and stops when an action is completed. The actions to be tracked are set up at the department level by your administrator. For example, sending a reply, drafting a response, leaving a comment, etc. If no action is completed the timer does not record an entry. Also, while you can pause, resume, and reset time on an automatic timer, you cannot stop or submit your time since it gets added once you complete an action on a ticket.

*The timer is visible only if your administrator has enabled your ability to view the timer under settings. Otherwise your time will be submitted in the background.*

Reviewing Time in Zoho Desk

If you started the timer one hour ago, but at some point you took a 15 minute break, you must discard this time before submitting it. That’s why Zoho Desk allows you to review and edit your time spent on a ticket. A pop-up window appears with the choice to submit or ignore the spent time. You have 10 seconds to review the time before it gets auto-submitted.

zoho desk time tracking

For example in the image above, you have 10 seconds from when the window appears to submit the accumulated time. Failure to do so will automatically submit the displayed time. However, if you need more than 10 seconds for review, click on the tracked time to remove the countdown and remain on the window.

*This review window is visible only if your administrator has enabled your ability to edit your time spent on tickets.*

**You cannot review or edit the time spent in manual Zoho Desk time tracking mode.**