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Tag : Zoho Integrations

Three Reasons to Process Credit Cards in Zoho

Today’s blog post is a guest post brought to you by our partner, Century Business Solutions.  Century is a technology-based merchant services provider that specializes in software integrations – kind of like we do.  Aside from being a partner of ZBrains for years, they provide credit card processing integrations to programs like QuickBooks, Sage 100, Microsoft Dynamics – and even Zoho CRM.  Because of the similarities in how we think, this post is in line with lots of other material you’ve probably read on this blog – and expands upon the topic of processing credit cards in Zoho much further.  So, without further ado…


3 Reasons to Process Credit Cards in Zoho

process credit cards in zoho

Running a business is hard. But, you probably already knew that.

Despite the challenges and the late hours, you keep striving to bring success to your company. The reason you get out of bed every morning might be as basic as needing to keep food on the table or as visionary as wanting to change the world.

Whatever your reason, you want your business to do well.

Processing credit cards in Zoho is a simple adjustment that will save you time and money and make your work life more efficient.

ZBrains, a Zoho Premium Partner and Zoho consulting company, can set you up with a payment processor that works seamlessly with your Zoho CRM software.    

But before we discuss that further, let’s dive into the three main reasons to process credit cards in Zoho.

Lower Processing Costs

Money is always a big concern for businesses. Companies should take opportunities to cut costs whenever possible. And if you’re currently using Zoho CRM but are processing payments outside of your CRM account, you’re probably paying a lot more than you need to.

Why is that?

It has to do with the level at which a card is processed.

process credit cards in zoho

All card transactions fall into one of three processing categories: Level 1, Level 2, or Level 3. The higher the level, the lower the processing fees.

Integrated payment software solutions are designed to pull all relevant customer data, merchant information, product specifications, tax amount, and more from your CRM software when processing a credit card. When you send more line-item details with a transaction, the card is qualified at a higher level, and you pay less in credit card processing fees.

When your payment processing is separate from your CRM system, your cards are qualified at lower levels (Levels 1 and 2) because key information is not automatically sent with transactions.

All of this is to say that when you sign up with a reputable payment processor that integrates with Zoho, you’ll cut down on monthly processing costs. Not to mention you’ll also save a ton of time through automation, so you won’t have to manually re-enter transactions into your CRM account.

Which leads us to our next point…

No More Double Data Entry

process credit cards in zoho

The dreaded double data entry dilemma.   

An unfortunate struggle known to all who process credit cards outside of their Zoho CRM system.

If that’s you, then don’t lose hope. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel: an integrated payment solution.

An integrated payment solution enters into your CRM system and allows the two systems to work as one. Which means—drumroll—no more double data entry!

It’s a fine thing when you can run a card and your CRM automatically reflects the transaction.

Go ahead…imagine what that would mean for you.

At the end of a long work day, instead of expending time and energy manually re-entering transactions into Zoho, you and your team could work on growing the business.  

Not only will integrated payment processing save your business a considerable amount of time (especially for businesses with a high transaction volume), it will also prevent human mistakes from occurring by automatically updating information directly in your CRM software.

Convenience is Key  

process credit cards in zoho easy button

Time moves fast. And when you end up wasting a lot of it, you can feel pretty defeated.

That’s why products are geared towards providing convenience and saving you time. Microwaves make heating up food a cinch, phones make it easy to contact someone, and your car gets you around town within minutes—granted the traffic is light.

Time saving products and services aren’t just beneficial for your personal life. Your business can be hugely impacted by simple changes, like utilizing a payment processor that works in Zoho.

Think of it like this. An integrated system will keep all your payment processing in one place, so you don’t have to switch between systems when taking a payment. It will make it easy for you and your team to stay organized and reduce the chance of human error. And it will allow you to set up recurring payments for customers who have repeat orders.

process credit cards in zoho tokenization

Integrated systems also use tokenization to make processing payments more convenient. Tokenization is a method of creating a unique string of numbers and letters to replace a credit card’s information. The token is used when a customer pays an invoice or when the merchant charges their card. The actual card number and CVV code are stored securely in the payment processor’s vault.

Tokenization reduces the amount of time and energy you and your team spend re-entering card information. Once a customer pays an invoice or the merchant enters the card information into their integrated payment solution, their card data will be stored as a token for future purchases.

Sounds pretty good, right?

If you’ve been processing payments without an integrated payment provider, then you’ve been doing things the hard way. But thankfully, making the switch to an integrated solution is easy.  

Start Your Journey Today

If you’ve been nodding your head while reading and are ready to learn more about how to process credit cards in Zoho, then:

  1. Contact our partner, ZBrains.  They’re experienced Zoho consultants, and as such, they’re equipped to customize your payment needs and add efficiency to your business.
  2. Allow them to set up the payment integration for Zoho CRM.
  3. Sit back, relax, and watch as your payment processing gets a whole lot easier.

Zoho CRM vs

Zoho CRM vs CRM: Different Strokes for Different Folks

zoho crm vs

In the search for the best CRM for your business, you have more than just a handful of options – and more of them are popping up every day.  Beginning in 2013, has emerged as a competitor to Zoho, so it’s time we took a good look at both platforms to determine the pros and cons of Zoho CRM vs  

In the spirit of delivering instant gratification (it is 2019, after all!), I’ll say this to start: Choosing between Zoho CRM vs really depends on the type of business you run.  Even more to the point: Do you run a call center with very few business software needs aside from the CRM? Then, consider

What makes so appealing?

zoho crm vs

In a word: Simplicity.  When people come to us at ZBrains with some questions about getting Zoho to work best for their businesses, they often remark that Zoho seems simple, but in taking a look under the hood, they realize there’s a lot than can be done to customize or improve the software, and the DIY approach that Zoho Corp themselves like to tout isn’t always the best.  Not to mention Zoho CRM can connect to a slew of other Zoho apps, potentially.

Conversely, with CRM, the interface looks very simple and easily customizable – perhaps even on your own. is very direct in its approach to selling you, the consumer, on their software, too: whereas Zoho is a family of apps, Close is a CRM equipped with a powerful phone integration, SMS integration, and email integration – and, that’s it.  For some businesses, this is enough – at least to start with. But, it’s probably not for everyone.

How do the features of Zoho CRM vs stack up? is banking on its simplicity to entice potential customers, so I’ll go through the list of features advertised on’s own website and compare those to anything Zoho offers in the same realm.

[caption id="attachment_3507" align="aligncenter" width="600"]zoho crm vs’s pipeline management[/caption]

Workflow and pipeline management

Close comes with a feature akin to Zoho CRM’s Feeds called Timeline View to make sure you see what you’ve already done (and, likely show an administrator what you’ve been up to as well).  You can manage your pipeline with a built-in feature that reminds me of Zoho SalesInbox, which organizes emails in order of importance, by associated deal size, etc. also includes canned and customizable reports, a search tool that covers the whole CRM, as well as custom lead module views so you can filter through leads easily and see only the ones you need.  All of these are useful features to have, but nothing revolutionary.

The Phones: Where Shines

The chief difference between Zoho CRM vs CRM, other than the latter’s lightness, is its native power dialer, predictive dialer, and SMS integration.  Power dialers are very useful in situations when you have a sales staff that needs to spend as much time on the phone as possible, as it automatically dials numbers and minimizes the time your team spends disconnected, as it were. combines this power dialer with a predictive dialer (in select software editions), which takes the power dialer up a notch by only dialing numbers that have the best chance of connecting.  This, in turn, allows users to have more successful phone conversations, and also reduce the number of calls that don’t connect.

Lastly, CRM packs a built-in SMS message integration, which allows users to send texts straight from the CRM – either individually or in bulk.

[caption id="attachment_3506" align="aligncenter" width="600"]zoho crm vs Zoho CRM’s phone integration[/caption]

Zoho, while sporting many native phone system integrations such as RingCentral and Jive, doesn’t have a built-in power dialer or predictive dialing system of its own.  (You can use the Zoho Twilio SMS integration to send text messages for an extra development fee, however.  See other Zoho Unified Communications options here.)

The Integrations: CRM vs Zoho CRM

zoho crm vs

Both and Zoho CRM boast a fair number of native integrations, but Zoho’s advantage in this regard is almost unfair.  This is because Zoho isn’t just a CRM but an entire family of apps designed to support each other. With you get their CRM, of course – and you get access to help desk integrations, marketing campaign tools, a website messaging app, lead generation apps, reporting apps, and even third-party sync tools like Zapier – to connect other third-party apps.  Some of these integrations are native and others are third-party.

Zoho’s native integrations help its case significantly

On the other hand, with Zoho, you also get access to many of those same kinds of tools: a help desk (Zoho Desk), marketing automation (Zoho Campaigns), website messaging (Zoho SalesIQ), advanced analytics, and about 35 other apps.  The difference with Zoho is all of their apps integrate natively and, in many cases, have the same UI so the user experience is much more unified than it would be otherwise.

The importance of your software being able to communicate natively with other apps in the same family can’t be understated – take it from someone who regularly counsels business owners on whether to use Zoho Books and Inventory in conjunction with CRM or use a Zoho CRM integration with QuickBooks.  Sometimes the QuickBooks integration is the only way to go – and we’re happy to supply the integration to those in need – but whenever the business has a choice, we always recommend going native and staying away from third-party integrations, as those are inherently less stable than something that’s already part of your software system.

What’s more: Custom Zoho apps make Zoho CRM a big winner

[caption id="attachment_3510" align="alignleft" width="300"]zoho crm vs Make your own masterpiece (app) with Zoho Creator[/caption]

The thing that really separates Zoho CRM from CRM, however, isn’t just the number of apps it can plug into – it’s the ability to build your very own custom apps and connect them to the CRM, using the power of Zoho Creator.  Granted, you may need some Zoho consulting to determine the best possible way to build your app, or connect it to the CRM, using the context of your entire business.  But, the very possibility (and notable companies verifying its success) make Zoho an enterprise-level solution that simply cannot parallel, even with its collection of native features and integrations.

Zoho CRM vs CRM Pricing: It’s no contest

zoho crm vs

Whereas in many areas, Zoho CRM and are pretty comparable, pricing is an area where Zoho shows its sheer power by not only undercutting the competition, but by offering much more bang for your buck. has three service tiers ranging in price from $65 to $145 per user per month.  For a team of ten employees, that’s between $650 and $1,450 per month in software licensing costs.  Add in the costs of any third-party connected apps, and you could be looking at several hundred dollars more per month in recurring costs.

Zoho, on the other hand, also offers different tiers of service, ranging from $18 to $45 per user per month.  But, this isn’t even where Zoho really shines. Zoho’s flagship offering, Zoho One – a suite of over 40 business apps whose numbers and features grow on a monthly basis – is just $35 per user per month, as long as all of your W-2 employees use the system.  (1099 contractors are not affected by this; only W-2 employees are forced to have accounts.) For a similar team of ten employees, you’d be looking at up to $350/mo. Even factoring in a few hundred more dollars for other apps you may need to use along with Zoho One, the costs are only comparable to the lowest level of – and you get so much more functionality.

Which one should you choose? Depends on your business trajectory

Despite the huge difference in pricing between Zoho CRM vs, and despite the gap in functionality as well, is strong in one very specific area: communication integrations.  Clearly, they are targeting a specific sort of business. The question is, do you run that kind of business?  And, will that type of business ever change or grow as you scale? CRM is fantastic for heavy phone sales, and they give you the ability to connect to many different business apps you may already use.  But, Zoho excels in many other areas besides CRM, and their pricing structure makes choosing Zoho an absolute home run in the short term and the long run.

zoho zbrains field services

The Zoho, ZBrains, and Field Service Relationship

You may be wondering how these three things are related. Let’s begin by asking: What is Zoho, and who are ZBrains? Why are their offerings important to field services companies and improved customer experience?

zoho field services architect

What is Zoho?

Zoho is a cloud-based business suite geared to optimize your business by automating processes.  Zoho encompasses not just customer management, but finance, project management, and a host of other business needs.  Using all these apps effectively can be a lot to handle – and to boot, last year Zoho introduced Zoho One, its entire suite of 35+ apps, in one platform.  This has given users access to many more apps than before, many with overlapping functionality.  We’ve noticed it can be a little challenging to learn about the uses of all the different Zoho apps, especially when having to deal with day-to-day office or field work at the same time.

Who are ZBrains?

ZBrains is a Zoho Premium Partner that focuses on adding value to Zoho’s existing ecosystem, with a focus on field services companies.  Our services include process consulting and training on various apps, providing integrations to different third-party apps, and even implementing custom add-ons to automate setting service appointments, optimize service or delivery routes, create mobile work orders, and even calculate commissions.  Our in-house developers and consultants make sure you have an open line of communication to our home office.

Find out below how the union of Zoho & ZBrains is beneficial for your field service business:

zoho field services mobile devices


Imagine this: a field technician arrives at an appointment to meet with a customer, only to discover he is unprepared: A communication error in your scheduling department has caused him to bring improper materials to the appointment. This situation likely not only upsets your customer, but can also have a negative impact on your bottom line. Thus, having all elements of your business integrated is essential: It helps to avoid miscommunications and eliminates human error caused by manually transferring information. According to Field Technologies online,  the most important concept in field service management is integration. Here at ZBrains, we can help you do this with Zoho solutions tailor-made for your unique business needs.


It can be difficult to make important decisions and move your business forward when you’re bogged down with manual day-to-day processes. By automating your general workflow, you can let your software do the grunt work and keep the hard decisions for yourself. With Zoho One, you have access to apps that not only help your CRM run smoothly, but can help you in all areas of your business. This allows you to collect and analyze data from almost every department to help you strategically plan your next steps.


Increased real-time information is the unity of the cloud and mobile devices. If you’re out in the field, it’s important that you stay apprised of any scheduling changes or updated client information. Zoho has developed their apps to work with you wherever you may be accessing them through your phone, tablet, or other device!  To match this, we’ve made our Zoho SmartScheduler to work on all mobile devices as well! It will schedule your appointments for you, taking into account parameters you set, including territories and areas of expertise. With drive time calculation and Google Maps integration for drive time calculation, it’s the only scheduling optimization tool you need!

zoho field services happy customer

Better customer experience

The increased data accuracy achieved by integrating and automating your systems allows for faster response times and productivity from the different departments that run your business. With a steady flow of more accurate information that is able to be accessed on the go, you can easily keep your customers engaged and deliver messages when they’re most crucial. Integration, automation, and mobile capability together allow for more time to cultivate the most important relationship of your business – the one you share with your customer. When they’re happy, you get more referrals and repeat business, leading to a healthy bottom line.

ZBrains is able to ascertain just how Zoho can be best used for your business by engaging you in an exploratory consulting session called a Business Process Analysis.  In this session, a ZBrains consultant takes full stock of your business and can recommend a Zoho solution that is customized for your business – and then, construct the resulting system according to that vision.


Interested in learning more? Reach out to a member of our team today! We are Zoho Certified Consultants here to help! Give us a call at (888) 207-4111 or click the button below and we’ll reach out to you. You can also register for our upcoming Stump the Chump webinar tomorrow, Friday, Jan. 26th at 9 am PST. Ask your Zoho questions, and if you stump us, we’ll buy you coffee!


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Business guy on hi phone looking at Zoho Cliq

Zoho Cliq – Keeping Your Team Connected

When it comes to team communication, waiting for an email response can be painstaking. Being able to communicate with your team is vital, especially when you are on a deadline. With Zoho’s new release you can leave these problems in the past. Zoho Cliq allows for colleagues to easily communicate and collaborate over chat. Cliq boasts robust integrations and extensive capabilities to help your team to optimize their communication and their productivity.

zoho cliq icon

Here’s How Zoho Cliq is Great For Keeping Your Team Connected!


Quick Chat Means No Need For Lengthy Emails

Instead of wasting time sending emails back and forth, get a quick response with a handy chat interface that lets your team exchange ideas much more quickly. Start individual chats with your colleagues or create group chats. Tired of long email threads clogging up your inbox? Create different channels for departments, projects, or just for fun. You can also send files through Zoho Cliq by simply dragging-and-dropping the file into the chat window. Keep your team connected and increase productivity by getting real-time responses.

It’s So Much More Than Just A Chat

Tired of clicking back and forth between chat windows? Well, Zoho Cliq solves that problem with multi-panel chat. Have multiple conversations open at once and avoid losing track of your chat conversations. Aside from chat, Cliq even allows for both audio and video calls, which means you can hold video conferences, share files, and chat all from one app! Cliq is also developer-friendly. Share code snippets in the chat window and get results on code performance inside the Cliq interface, no other apps needed.

Stay Up-To-Date With Integrations and Chat Notifications

zoho cliq zendesk integration

Zoho Cliq can be integrated with many of the applications that you use every day. Cliq automatically connects with Zoho CRM, Zoho Desk, and other major Zoho apps, meaning you can receive chat notifications about your deals, projects, and social media campaigns right inside the app. Cliq also integrates with popular external apps such as Google Drive, MailChimp, Zendesk, and many others! You can easily share files from your drive, receive email campaign updates, and even receive support ticket notifications or feedback – all through Cliq!

Keep Your Chats Secure

When it comes to chat programs for your business, it is essential that the information shared remains secure – after all, you don’t want sensitive business information in the wrong hands. With Cliq offering unlimited file sharing and storage for you and your team, Zoho knows the importance of keeping your business data secure. Zoho has over 30 million cloud users and multiple applications. It takes extensive measures to make sure that your data remains secure. Zoho Cliq is a part of this secure network. Zoho’s unmatched data protection means that you don’t have to worry about your chat’s security!

zoho cliq mobileIt’s Mobile!

With all of its features and integrations, it would be a shame to limit your communication capabilities to just your desktop. But, no need to worry: Zoho Cliq is mobile! Enjoy access to your chats and notifications all from your phone, tablet, or other mobile devices. It’s important for you to stay connected with your team while on the go, so Zoho Cliq is here to make it happen!


Zoho Cliq has a convenient free plan, and the paid plan starts at just $3 per user per month. Interested in Zoho Cliq or any other Zoho applications? Give the ZBrains team a call. We are Zoho Certified Consultants and we specialize in providing tailor-made Zoho Solutions for your business. Schedule a consultation today!


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Guy sitting at his computer looking at Zoho integrations by Zbrains

Looking for Zoho Integrations? (We’ve got you)

Working in marketing, sales, and business development means you have a multitude of apps and software that you use on a daily basis. From email to social media, CRM to accounting, you utilize many different programs to perform activities each and every day. So, when it comes to your CRM in particular, it’s important to integrate with the programs for not only overall ease of use, but to give you more insights into your clients and prospects than ever before. That’s why we love Zoho integrations.

Zoho integrates with dozens of programs – that’s why we’re sharing our top four most favorite integrations with Zoho that we are sure you’ll love for your business.

Here are the four Zoho integrations that we can’t get enough of.

quickbooks integration
1. Quickbooks Desktop

Did you know that Quickbooks can integrate with Zoho CRM? Well, now you do. It is one of our favorite Zoho integrations!

This integration can create and update customers, all of your sales orders invoices, and products. This integration allows you to sync data with the Zoho CRM, so you can have complete visibility of your customer updates through Zoho.

For example, if you are hopping on the phone with a client and they’re asking about the latest sales order that was processed, instead of flipping through the QuickBooks program itself, you can stay within their Zoho account profile and answer any and all questions they have. Need help with deployment of our integration? No problem! Our ZBrains team can help you with both your Quickbooks Desktop or Quickbooks Online integrations!

2. HelloSignhellosign integration

One of our favorite (and most efficient) integrations is HelloSign. Gone are the days of signing contracts on paper and waiting for snail mail to arrive; now, you can speed up your sales cycle and integrate HelloSign (signing documents online) within your CRM.

As soon as a client signs a contract with your business, this integration syncs the signed contract with their profile – keeping all of your data and files in one easy place.You can do it with the Zoho HelloSign integration built specifically for use with Zoho CRM.

google drive integration

3. Google Drive

When saving files, whether it is marketing collateral or signed contracts, you need a safe and secure place to store them. Many companies use storage solutions like Google Drive or DropBox, but such solutions often go out into the abyss and aren’t used or updated regularly.

With the Zoho CRM Google Drive integration, you can keep all collateral and files in one secure place, keeping the attachments you need within each prospect file. Google Drive integrates within Zoho CRM, creating a folder or series of folders that link to your CRM records of choice.

4. MailChimpmailchimp integration

Your marketing team is likely all over email – segmenting audiences, scheduling campaigns and dissecting data. Yet, what good is it if you can’t view this data within your CRM as your sales team is actively prospecting for new opportunities?

MailChimp integrates within Zoho so you can view this data within each prospect record – whether they’ve opened an email, what lists they are part of and so much more. Our Zoho MailChimp integration syncs the contacts you need for a successful marketing campaign right to Zoho CRM as if the programs were made for each other.

There are a plethora of Zoho integrations that will work for your business – and we’re so thrilled. With over 30 different programs that will integrate with Zoho CRM, this is truly just the tip of the iceberg. To learn more, or to uncover if your favorite program will integrate with Zoho, schedule time with one of our Zoho Certified Consultants.


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Woman sitting at her desk reading about common crm issues and zoho solutions

3 Common CRM Issues and Their Solutions

When new clients come to us at ZBrains, we often hear one of two things – either they have faced significant challenges with a previous CRM software they have used and they’re ready to move on, or they have just signed with Zoho and are unsure where to start. With these two challenges, you could say that we’ve heard it all – from A to Z; so, you can be sure that we have answers to your common CRM issues.

After thousands of conversations with various clients, we’ve wrangled our experts at ZBrains to tell us their top 3 most common CRM issues from new clients. If you’re brand new to CRM management or perhaps you have questions about your current CRM, we’re sure you’ll identify with one (or more) of the challenges below.

Here are the top 3 common CRM issues (and their solutions).

Business woman on phone looking at Zoho mobile applicationChallenge: I can’t access my CRM on-the-go.

Imagine you want to access a client contact history while en route to a meeting, or away from your desk – but you can’t access your CRM through your phone. Ugh.

Solution: Discover a CRM that works on-the-go.

Challenge: My team does not know how to use my CRM properly.

Whether it’s because of lack of process or lack of training, your team just doesn’t understand or know how to use the major features of your CRM, it can be difficult to get your employees on-board entirely with your CRM.

Solution: Educate, Track, Customize.

Save time by tracking everything- from emails to phone calls, and meeting logs in between. Zoho has it all – enabling your team to make the most of your CRM. Have a program that educates your team on the benefits and use-cases before diving in head first. In our experience, this has truly made a difference in overall adoption and usage. Develop a solid process for your team and have customizable solutions for your business processes. Get started on the right foot by signing up for one of our Zoho implementation plans.

Challenge: My CRM doesn’t integrate with the software I use every day.

Are you always flipping through tabs, browsers, applications and spending far too much time logging-in, or recovering lost passwords?Is it just another application that you need to manage?

Solution: Find an all-in-one solution.zoho one

This is especially true for sales and marketing teams, who certainly use many, many applications on a daily basis. From CRM to email, social media posting applications and more, it can be a challenge to keep track of it all. Zoho One has 35+ integrated applications that encompass everything from CRM, email newsletters, documents, inventory, and more. Here at ZBrains, we offer additional add-ons and custom integrations for your favorite business products, such as QuickBooks, MailChimp, Magento, and more.

It’s important to find a CRM that can integrate with a variety of solutions to optimize the potential of your business. It will keep you on-track and ready to close more, win more, and earn more.

From employees using your CRM (properly) to finding software that works for all teams in your company, these are our top 4 common CRM issues and their solutions. They’ve been compiled by our Zoho certified consultants here at ZBrains who are here to help you with your burning questions.  Feel free to drop us a line!


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Zoho CRM

Will I Outgrow Zoho CRM?

When you are searching for the ideal CRM that will suit your business, there are plenty of criteria that must be considered – such as price point, features and functionality; yet, one point that is not always considered is the ability to scale. Arguably, this is one of the most important criteria points that your team needs to review before signing on the dotted line. Why? Because most businesses want to scale and grow, which means that you need to find a CRM that will scale with you. When it comes to the Zoho CRM, the benefits of this software are many and, rest assured, it’s a CRM that will scale with you and your business.

Discover the benefits of Zoho CRM – and why you won’t outgrow this software.

zoho global

#1. You’ll join the ranks of global brands.

Did you that Zoho is used by the likes of Amazon, Benchmark, Mogl and Selectra?

They all have one thing in common. They’re huge.

All of these brands (and so many more) are massive in nature, and global in business reach. They rely on Zoho, and Zoho has scaled with them along the way.

#2. Zoho add-ons and integrations will expand your team.

There are many integrations that Zoho offers, and many that we offer here at ZBrains. Below are our favorites:

HelloSign integration

This integration allows you to sign documents with HelloSign and integrate it with Zoho CRM or our quoting (CPQ) tool. One of the major setbacks to signing contracts or proposals is the need to physically sign these documents – HelloSign eliminates this need.

Commission Calculator

This calculator is something we offer here at ZBrains. The calculator helps determine commission calculations, approvals, statements and payroll integration. You can learn more here.

zoho quickbooks integration

QuickBooks integration

Need to update customer purchases, sales orders, invoices and more? Integrating QuickBooks with Zoho CRM allows you to know where your clients are at in every point of the cycle.


The SmartScheduler from ZBrains gives you the ability to search through employee information such as calendar availability, proximity to client, area of expertise, and any other data that can be collected from Zoho. This gives you, the business manager, the ability to set appointments with others in as easy as 1,2,3.

#3. It’ll remind you when your calls and meetings are coming up.

Instead of adding new team members as soon as you see growth occurring, why not consider working smarter? We love the ability to get reminders and make calls with the Zoho CRM. With the Zoho PhoneBridge, you will receive reminders to attend every scheduled call; you can also make calls from the CRM, which means you can stop wasting time by dialing phone numbers.

#4. Automation is key.

Much like working smarter with phone calls, automation will make you work smarter.

You can automate follow-up emails, processes and new meetings. For example, when you finish a call with a prospect, you can automate an email sequence to follow in order to move them further down the funnel, or develop a proposal.

zoho security

#5. New clients and employees mean you need higher security.

As you scale, you need to have the highest level of security with new clients and processes. After all, it’s difficult to scale when security is a challenge.

We’ve written a great blog on the security features of Zoho that we love here at ZBrains.

Zoho is ideal for a team of any size. Though the company focuses on small to medium businesses, should your team expand and revenue explode, Zoho will always be there for you. The benefits are plentiful, and the ability to scale delivers far beyond what other CRMs provide.

To learn more about how Zoho can scale with you, connect with us here.

Here’s Why Slack Integration With Zoho Is A Must-Have

Slack Integration With Zoho

When it comes to working more efficiently and closing bigger deals for your business, there’s no doubt that having a CRM for your team is essential. Yet, many companies go a few steps beyond exclusively using a CRM, and also include integrations and add-ons to scale their efficiency. One of our favorite third party tools to use with a CRM is Slack integration with Zoho. Slack is a user-focused productivity tool that allows you to chat with your colleagues, share files, start video and audio calls, and hold virtual stand-up meetings while you’re at it. The platform was initially created as an alternative to email (gasp! right?) and many companies have adopted this service in place of internal email communications. Slack is available for users as a stand-alone app for desktop, mobile and tablet, enabling users to stay connected and productive wherever they are.

So, what does Slack have to do with Zoho? 

Well, as we teased, Slack integration with Zoho is available to use with all package options of this CRM. But what does this mean, you ask? For effective team communication, Zoho has integrated Slack into Zoho projects, meaning that you and your team can push project updates to Slack feeds and mange your project activities through the platform. For example, you can group project activities and conversations in Slack so your team will always be aware of status updates and progress.

Setting-up your integration with Zoho and Slack is super easy (Zoho has a great how-to here). From a high level perspective (TL;DR), here’s our Top 3 favorite things you’ll love about Zoho and Slack integration:

  1. You can share data records with with user and channels in Slack. All you need to do is click on the record you want to share (within Zoho), and press “Share via Slack”. This will give your colleagues a business card view, making it easy to chat about users and records within one platform.
  2. You can share reports within Slack, such as revenue breakdown, leads overviews, and much, much more. Again, this saves users from flipping between dashboards and programs.
  3. Need updates or reminders on leads, prospects or closed opportunities? Slack will do just the trick. You can add instant notifications to Slack so, for example, if a prospect engages with your website and you want to send an email to them within 24 hours, you’ll receive a Slack notification to do just the thing.

Does this make you curious about how this program can work for you? Here are give more reasons why Slack Integration With Zoho is a must-have.

#1: It strengthens team communication.

It’s so easy to talk and communicate on Slack, there’s little wonder as to why team communication is strengthened with this platform. Not only can you text 1:1 or in groups, you can also start video and audio messaging.

For those of us who love to communicate through emoticons, Slack has a very Facebook-like “reactions” tool that enables users to react to messages with emoticon-like symbols.

There are also mobile and desktop notifications, which are not invasive as users enable their own settings. For example, you can be notified if there is any activity in a certain project you are following, or you can turn off notifications all-together after a certain time. Users can turn off notifications after 6PM on weekdays, or be completely silent on weekends. Only check at your leisure, and when you need. Slack Integration With Zoho

#2: Increase the speed of your sales cycle.

Everyone loves the idea of closing deals faster, right? Right.

With Slack, you can see when your colleagues are online and get answers to your questions immediately. For example, if you are on a sales pitch call and your prospect is asking you for a case study within a certain industry, you can message Jane who is online and ask for a brief overview while you are holding the call. Your prospects will be impressed, and it’ll save you time in following-up via email, increasing the speed of your sales cycle.

Integration with Zoho also means that you can pull in any conversations around deals and topics to CRM, which will give you greater visibility into the progress of certain deals, or any areas that are facing challenges within the process.

#3: Save time in your day.

What’s the point of third party integration if doesn’t save you time and efficiency in your day, right?

With Slack integration, you can push your project updates to Slack feeds so you won’t have to check multiple sources for project timelines or sales contact information. You won’t need to update multiple forms, CSVs or CRM. Focus on closing deals instead of performing administrative tasks.

Speaking of administrative tasks, Zoho Books is another tool that connects with Zoho CRM. This integration gives you flexibility for things like syncing your customers’ contact and account information to viewing generated invoices. It makes your life easier – and saves so much more time in your day.

#4. You can work from anywhere.

Slack Integration With ZohoFrom an employee perspective, productivity is higher when working remotely versus strictly being tied to an office. Employees are statistically happier when they have work/life balance, which means they will be more loyal to your company, your department and your team.

Using Slack integration with Zoho, you can truly work anywhere. You do not need to be glued to the office and your chair to make updates to Zoho – simply use the Slack app and Zoho, and your leads will update in synchrony.

#5. Save time in meetings.

Meetings. Ugh.

Meetings are a necessity for external communication and sales funnels; however, internal teams can drastically save time with various integrations when it comes to internal meetings. For example, you can host stand-up meetings with Slack third party tools, like GeekBot, a meeting tool that allows you to hold update meetings through text in real-time. Or, you can set a requirement to have daily huddles and updates in project groups with quick written updates, instead of bringing your team together in-synchrony and in-person.

When it comes to Slack integration with Zoho, there are so many benefits to connecting your CRM with this productivity tool. Not only will it help you communicate more efficiently and effectively, it will help you save time and stay connected as a cohesive team.

If you have a question about the Slack integration with Zoho, a different Zoho integration, or just have a question about implementation or consulting, we’d love to hear from you.  Contact us today to schedule a short chat with one of our Zoho certified consultants.

Zoho Inventory Management

zoho inventory management

Zoho Inventory Management

Have you ever wished there were a way to use Zoho to keep track of all your inventory, so you could not only keep tabs on all your stock, but see how it was being used, and by whom, and use one unifying window to place orders from your vendors and ship them as well?  With Zoho inventory management, now you can.

Zoho has recently released the Zoho Inventory app, which means you can conduct all your Zoho inventory management from inside Zoho – and, import all your data to your Zoho CRM and Zoho Books, so you don’t have any more of the double entry you might be used to.

How the Zoho Inventory Management App Works

zoho inventory management

Using Zoho Inventory is as simple as using any other Zoho app; once you integrate it with Zoho CRM, you’re ready to roll!  Zoho Inventory comes with these great features:

3rd-party store integrations for increased sales

One of Zoho Inventory’s key features is the ability to integrate to platforms like Amazon, Etsy, eBay, and Shopify.  These integrations allow for tracking and data importing directly from these other platforms, which can significantly cut the amount of time you spend entering data at the end of the day or during your day – perhaps to none at all!

Conversely, if a lack of an integration was your only reason for not expanding to those online storefronts, you now have every reason to do so.

One window to rule them all

If you’re used to keeping track of all your inventory, your vendors, and analytics related to your inventory in separate windows or programs, you know what a hassle that process can be.  It doesn’t have to be like that for you, though.  With the Zoho inventory management app, you’ll be able to keep track of everything inventory-related: your key metrics, vendors, shipping statuses, and the orders themselves (both online and offline).

Track products’ journeys from start to finish

zoho inventory management

End-to-end tracking means you’ll know the status of any item you ship from the moment it leaves the stockroom shelf to the minute it arrives at your customer’s door.  Not only will you never lose track of anything again, but, the system can also remind you when your stock of particular items is running low, so you can order more of them.

Plug in your shipping engines

Zoho inventory management is more than just aggregating all your analytics and item statistics; you can even use it to inegrate to shipping modules powered by UPS, DHL, and FedEx, among others.  This ensures you have access to real-time shipping prices and facilitates the tracking of orders.

Integrate with Zoho CRM and Zoho Books (and other programs)

Again, any time you spend manually transferring data from one program to another – or even one Zoho app to another – is time that could be better spent doing anything else!  The Zoho inventory management app takes the extra work off your schedule by mapping and syncing customer data directly to Zoho CRM, and transferring financial data to Zoho Books.  The sync is bi-drectional, which means the system can also pull data from your CRM and your Books app into Zoho Inventory.

To boot, ZBrains customers have access to a host of integrations and custom Zoho ERP apps that can’t be found anywhere else.  These include the Zoho CRM QuickBooks integration, Zoho Executive Dashboards, Zoho Commission Calculator, CPQ Tool, and many others.

Zoho Inventory Management Pricing

You can view Zoho’s prices for Zoho Inventory below.  If you aren’t quite sure if you want to dive into Zoho Inventory, that’s okay, too; there’s a free trial version available.

zoho inventory management

Closing Thoughts…

Zoho Inventory looks like a great addition to the Zoho family.  Its purpose is simple and intuitive, but, it brings together a really good deal of helpful tools and statistics that would make the life of any storeroom manager (and his staff) quite a bit easier, and for a price that’s more than reasonable.

Still not sure what to do?

We can give you a tour of Zoho Inventory, answer any Zoho CRM consulting question, give you a CRM training session, or show you our Zoho support plans at your convenience; just call us at (888) 207-4111.

Method CRM vs Zoho CRM Review

method crm vs zoho crm review

method crm vs zoho crm review

Good method, or just madness?

This CRM face-off of Method CRM vs Zoho CRM is a little different than most.  Whereas most CRM software systems have a specific use that’s geared toward the size of your business, Method CRM is a little different.  Method CRM is designed purposefully, specifically, to integrate with QuickBooks.  Ostensibly, this (and by proxy its backing by Intuit themselves) is its biggest selling point.

However, Zoho CRM too has the ability to sync data with QuickBooks via QuickBooks CRM integration.  Does that mean it’s as good as or better than Method CRM, though?  Not necessarily.  There’s only one way to settle this…

Round One: The cost (of integration and more)

method crm vs zoho crm review

As one of Method CRM’s claims to fame is its seamless QuickBooks integration, one would expect the program to be quite expensive.  It certainly isn’t free, but, compared to other CRMs on the market, it doesn’t seem so bad.  Zoho CRM, with all its customizable features, clocks in at only a little cheaper:

  • It costs $40 per month to board one user on Method CRM Pro.  To board ten users for a year, you’d pay $4800
  • It costs $35 per month to board one user on Zoho CRM Professional Edition (PE).  To board ten users for a year, you’d pay $4200

As we see, an extra $600 in either direction probably isn’t going to make or break your businesses for the convenience of boarding ten users.  And, if you have any doubts, you can go back and see you’re only paying or saving an extra $5 per month per user.

However, the real price difference comes when talking about the integration itself.  Method CRM’s QuickBooks integration comes at no additional cost, whereas Zoho’s QuickBooks integration, while customized to fit the program exactly, costs an additional one-time fee of between $495 and $1295 depending on how many modules you need synchronized, plus a monthly fee of between $49 and $129 depending on the same.

That makes the winner of this round Method CRM by a healthy margin.

Round Two: Tracking your Sales

method crm vs zoho crm review

Keeping track of sales and where customers are in your pipeline(s) are the most important aspects of any CRM system.  Method CRM comes into the game with standard abilities to track calls, services performed, associated appointments, and services performed on individual records.  Method software also boasts self-professed unlimited contacts per company, alleviating a common problem of only having one or two contacts possible per record.  It also comes with standard data importing ability, custom record views, custom reporting, and team selling options.

Zoho CRM comes with many of the same options as Method CRM in this regard: Call and email tracking, appointment and service records, custom data views, importing ability, customized reporting, and team selling options alike.  Rather than infinite contacts per record, Zoho allows a fairly sizable 50 custom fields per module, likely enough to satisfy anyone’s multi-contact cravings (and also add a few useful fields to your standard modules).

One area where Zoho sets itself apart is in its feeds feature.  Feeds turns your CRM into a social network of sorts, allowing for individual record or event tracking (“following”) as well as commenting, for a much more collaborative, project-like CRM experience.  One notable benefit of this feature is that all comments are recorded and easily searchable, making it much easier to find conversations associated with particular records than it would be, say, scanning through your emails.

Aside from feeds, Zoho also features a competitor tracking ability, sales forecast reports, and sales quota tracking.

For these extra features, the sales tracking round goes to Zoho CRM.

Round Three: Any Other Integrations?

method crm vs zoho crm review

By now we know all about Method CRM’s and Zoho CRM’s respective abilities to integrate with QuickBooks, but, surely they can work well with other programs… right?

Well, of course.

Method CRM integrates with Gmail, Outlook, and MailChimp, giving its users a solution for the arguably most popular email clients.  Method also boasts an integration to SmartVault, numerous VOIP options (for an extra charge), as well as custom apps.

Zoho CRM features integrations with all three email clients as well, plus VOIP and custom apps.  (As with Method CRM, integrated VOIP comes at an extra cost.)  While Zoho CRM doesn’t integrate to SmartVault, it does integrate to Dropbox, which achieves the same effect.

That said, there doesn’t seem to be a clear winner of the integration round of Method CRM vs Zoho CRM.  It’s a tie.

Round Four: To Market Socially or Not to Market Socially…

method crm vs zoho crm review

This round combined social media and marketing integrations and abilities, if only to highlight one interesting aspect of Method CRM: it doesn’t seem to contain any of these.

Zoho CRM, on the other hand, contains out-of-the-box software integration capabilities for both Facebook and Twitter, as well as a built-in CRM tab and a way to monitor social mentions.  On the marketing side, Zoho CRM features web-to-lead capturing ability, plus email templates, a campaign manager, mass emailing ability, and autoresponders.  This is likely enough to get a marketing campaign off the ground, and probably enough to monitor your social networks adequately.

With that, the winner of this round is clearly Zoho CRM, but, this raises an important question for people who are already in love with Method CRM: does a CRM really need social media and marketing integrations in order to be good?  This will be the topic of a future blog post, so, keep your eyes peeled.

(For those awaiting my answer with bated breath… I say yes, without a doubt.)

Method CRM vs Zoho CRM Champion?

method crm vs zoho crm review

This is a tough one.  On one hand, you have Method CRM, which is very straightforward and seemingly light, its main feature being a complete QuickBooks integration.  On the other, you have Zoho CRM, which also integrates to QuickBooks – for a price some may consider hefty – but, in return, packs a host of great features, including some essential ones, that simply can’t be found in Method CRM.  So, how do you decide between Method CRM vs Zoho CRM?

On the basis of needing some of these features in order to run your business properly – and, going off the assumption that eventually you’ll need to purchase some other marketing or social media monitoring service in order to adequately satisfy clients and prospects on those particular channels – this bout goes to Zoho CRM.

Bonus Round: What else do you get with Zoho?

As Zoho CRM consultants, we’re obviously a little biased, but hear us out!  One thing that separates Zoho from a platform like Method CRM, aside from everything we’ve mentioned so far, is that by choosing Zoho, you get access to Zoho’s network of Zoho partners – including us at ZBrains.  Having a Zoho partner along for your CRM deployment means you have a dedicated business partner who can help you by determining the best way to use Zoho.  And, that’s not just the CRM; that can be for many other apps like Zoho Campaigns, Projects, or Desk – anything in the Zoho One suite of apps, in fact.  We can’t personally vouch for Intuit’s support of Method CRM, but with the tools Zoho puts at your disposal, the choice of Zoho partners can be a huge advantage for anyone looking to decide between Zoho CRM and Method CRM.