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What is Zoho CRM?

What is Zoho CRM?

Manage sales activities, delight your customers, and set goals – all from onZoho Finance Suite Zoho Projects Zoho Desk Zoho SalesIQ Zoho Campaigns Zoho Survey …and many others. e central app

Person working in zoho crm

You have the business idea, and you have the drive.  Now, how do you handle your customers?

Maybe you started out writing notes manually, or using a spreadsheet.  But as your business has grown, you’ve realized that solution isn’t scalable… Salespeople’s notes fall through the cracks.  Customers wonder where you went.  And, even when everything happens on time, it all requires lots of different apps.  That means a lot of work, and a lot of cross-referencing data between programs.

You need something that works for you, instead of the other way around.

Enterprise players use a CRM to manage their customers.  Zoho provides this enterprise-level solution at a fraction of the cost. 

So why not you, too?

Why do you need CRM?

It seems like a pretty surface-level question.  Philosophically, you’d want to use a CRM to maintain your customers’ expectations of you and your business.  You may have basic standards like:

  • Replying to your customers’ emails or calling them back within one business day.
  • Making sure your clients, or even your prospects, know your business practices after meeting with you once.
  • Delivering proposals and other documents to your clients in an organized, timely way.

But, behind the scenes, the CRM does much more than this.  Your salespeople use CRM to track and organize their own sales activities.  By doing this, they can keep on task – so above the surface, your customer sees your business running like a well-oiled machine.

zoho crm

CRM is truly an invaluable tool: it can help you grow your business directly (through sales growth) and indirectly (through giving you insights about how to improve things).

Specifically, your sales team can use CRM to:

  1. Prioritize their daily tasks
  2. Send emails and even proposals directly to prospects
  3. Make phone calls
  4. Track their sales targets
  5. Plan any next activity for a customer (or any record in the CRM)

When your salespeople can do this, it’s easier for them to hit sales targets. And, when they don’t hit their targets, the CRM itself can help you figure out exactly why not. This means the CRM is truly an invaluable tool: it can help you grow your business directly (through sales growth) and indirectly (through giving you insights about how to improve things).

What sets Zoho CRM apart from so many others?

zoho crm logo

Especially today, CRMs are practically a dime a dozen.  And, conversely, big names like Salesforce loom large.  But, in the software game, those smaller players can be too niche or too limiting, and the Salesforces of the world can be too overwrought – and too expensive – for many.

Zoho’s CRM sets itself apart from its competition by making itself both extremely customizable and affordable.  That way, you don’t need to limit yourself by using something so niche – and, you don’t have to break the bank just to use a household name.

But, this CRM is far from just a customizable blank slate.  It includes loads of standard features designed to give your business a leg up from the very first sign-in.

Zoho CRM Sales Management Features

Lead Management

Lead Management Sales Funnel

This CRM helps with your leads in these ways before you’ve even contacted them, then continues helping as you nurture them.

Zoho Webforms

  1. Zoho CRM webforms sync customer-submitted data from your website straight to your CRM.  No more copy + paste!
  2. Zia scans the web and enriches your customers’ data, which gives you insights about how you may want to steer the conversation.
  3. Use built-in Zoho lead scoring rules to give certain leads priority over others.
  4. Distribute leads automatically with lead assignment rules.
  5. Nurture your leads by sending targeted email campaigns right from the CRM.
  6. Convert your leads into Deals, a kind of record that denotes closing probability.
  7. Integrate with Google Ads to see which Ads campaigns brought you the most leads.
  8. Use Zoho’s CRM Analytics to gauge how your sales efforts helped bring in business, and where they fell short.

Deal Management

zoho crm deal management

Once you have prospects who have entered into your sales process or pipeline, you’ll need to prioritize them.  Zoho makes this easier to do than ever with these deal management features.

  1. Use standard and custom deal views to see a snapshot of all your deals, and sort them by stage, probability, sales rep, and more.
  2. Zia can assign deal closing prediction scores to your deals, giving you an extra advantage.
  3. Zoho CRM’s deal stage tracker gives you an easy way to see just where each deal is in your sales process.
  4. Create and send quotes or estimates for your prospects right from the Deals module.

Account & Contact Management

zoho account and contact management

Once a prospect becomes one of your client, their journey with you doesn’t end!  You can use this CRM to keep them delighted even after they buy – which could lead to future sales or even referrals.

  1. Integrate with Zoho Desk to view any customer’s support ticket history with you.
  2. Use your CRM’s email analytics to determine the best day and time to send mass emails.
  3. Integrate with many different VOIP providers for a unified communication experience.
  4. Track all transactions related to any account inside CRM.
  5. Use the native Analytics to determine which industries you best serve, and which accounts are your most profitable.

Workflow Automation & Custom Functions

zoho crm workflow automations

A salesperson’s life is filled with doing a lot of the same things over and over again, from calling and emailing to setting meetings to sending proposals… While the subjects of the activities likely won’t be repetitive, the actions themselves can be, and this leads to activities falling through the cracks.  Zoho CRM workflow automation not only helps prevent this, but speeds up a salesperson’s rote daily activities.

  1. Workflow automation tells the CRM to perform a task or tasks automatically when certain conditions are met.
  2. Workflow analytics can help you gauge how well email templates perform when sent by a workflow rule you’ve set up.
  3. Webhooks can integrate third-party apps to the CRM modules of your choice.
  4. Custom functions can send information between Zoho apps or modules in a single Zoho app when certain conditions are met.  Zoho provides a gallery of custom functions that you can use to get started.

Keep your team on task with Zoho CRM Blueprint

Zoho Blueprint

By now, you know this CRM provides an array of great tools to help a sales team better organize themselves.  But, sometimes all that data in front of someone’s face can have the opposite effect.  What do you do when a salesperson has too much in front of them and doesn’t know what to do?

Zoho CRM blueprint allows administrators to simplify the life of a salesperson by boiling down their options and allowing them to select their next action for any given record.  This allows you to determine that every record has a next action, and it keeps the salesperson focused.

Blueprint is easy to work with: it uses a visual, drag-and-drop editor, and allows for programming workflow automation to go along with record actions right on the spot.

Zoho CRM Integrations

CRM is a fine tool on its own, but you can bolster its power considerably by connecting it to other business apps.  This includes not just other Zoho apps, but even third-party apps you may use, like QuickBooks Desktop, or many others.  For third-party integrations, you can sync (essentially, copy+paste) real records from one platform to another, eliminating the need for double-entry entirely in some cases.

CRM Integration options with Zoho

You can connect these apps to Zoho CRM to view related records in CRM related lists.

  1. Zoho Finance Suite
  2. Zoho Projects
  3. Zoho Desk
  4. Zoho SalesIQ
  5. Zoho Campaigns
  6. Zoho Survey

…and many others.  These CRM related lists allow for real-time record viewing in the CRM.  However, using related lists is not the same as syncing records directly to your CRM.

Integrating these apps with your CRM allows for a true 360-degree view of your customers, from invoices to be paid to campaigns interacted with to help desk tickets open to surveys completed.  Make assessments on-the-fly, or weigh each metric in custom reports for custom lead or account scoring.  The choice is yours.

Zoho CRM Pricing & Review: Which edition is best?

Selecting a CRM software

If Zoho’s CRM were available on its own, that would be fine.  But, part of what makes Zoho so great is its accompanying software suite.  This CRM only reaches its full potential when bundled with other Zoho apps that connect to it natively.  For example, you can connect your CRM to Desk, Zoho Books, Zoho Inventory, and even custom Zoho Creator ERP software.

To help customers who need more than just Zoho’s CRM, Zoho has preconfigured bundles of apps to choose from, including Zoho CRM Plus and Zoho One.  These packages serve different needs and come in at different prices.  While packaging Zoho this way ultimately helps the user, it can confuse those who don’t know the ins and outs of the different packages.

Zoho CRM (Enterprise edition): $50/user/mo * 10 users = $500/mo

Zoho CRM Plus (Enterprise edition by default): $69/user/mo * 10 users = $690/mo

  • Comes with CRM, Campaigns, Desk, SalesIQ, Social, Projects, Survey, and Analytics.
  • Equivalent to getting CRM Enterprise @ $500/mo and the other apps at Enterprise Level@ $834/mo combined

Zoho One (Enterprise edition by default): $45/user/mo * 10 users = $450/mo

  • Comes with 45+ different Zoho apps
  • Equivalent to getting Zoho CRM for less than retail cost

Why doesn’t everyone just pick Zoho One?

Zoho one logo

Zoho One seems to be the obvious choice.  It includes Zoho CRM as well as over 40 others.  The reason some users choose to absorb a higher cost instead of picking Zoho One is Zoho One’s caveat on their licensing agreement.  Zoho Corporation offers Zoho One at such reduced pricing because they mandate that all of a company’s W-2 employees must have a software license in order to be in accordance with this agreement.

For smaller companies, where all employees likely need a Zoho One license, this is a great deal.  It provides an extremely low cost of entry, and increases the likelihood that you will continue using the software as your company grows.

For larger companies, it’s the opposite.  Some companies just have too many employees who wouldn’t need the software, so Zoho One isn’t feasible for them.

And, for companies that use lots of contractors or other non-employees?  You’re in luck.  The agreement only specifies use by W-2 employees, so if you employ lots of contractors, you can purchase just enough licenses for your W-2s, or give licenses to your contractors.  The choice is yours.

The ultimate takeaway from Zoho CRM?

When using the app at its fullest potential, Zoho CRM allows for much more than just contact management.  It gives salespeople a place to plan their daily activities.  It allows for a 360-degree view of any customer, lead, or account.  Sales Managers will have the tools they need to keep tabs on their sales team members.  And, company administrators will have everything they need to ensure everyone follows the processes put in place.

zoho software

In short, Zoho CRM gives you everything you need to run the sales side of your business the way it was meant to be run.  The question is what is the best way?  The best way for you might be different than the best way for any other company.

Companies like us, as Zoho consultants, show their value by sitting down with our customers and getting to know them.  That way, we can come to a conclusion about the best way to implement Zoho CRM for your business.

Are you ready to get started with Zoho CRM?  Contact us today and we’ll sit down with you, too.