ZOHO CRM REVIEW

Zoho CRM – Build Strong Customer Relationships


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In today's dynamic business environment, acquiring customers and retaining them is an essential activity. Keeping your customers interested and engaged throughout is needed not just for the success of your business, but also for its long term survival. Out of the numerous business-strategy tools that technology offers, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools are a critical element for your business.

Here we review Zoho CRM, an on-demand hosted CRM service provided by Zoho Corp. Based on our experience, we can easily state that ZohoCRM is among the most popular and feature-rich solutions that we have reviewed so far. Zoho CRM is offered through the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, which is gaining increasing popularity for its ease of delivery and cost efficiency.

Will you not feel relieved and also excited if you are provided a CRM solution that starts with a click on your browser?
Will you be also keen on getting all the facilities of CRM without complex software installations?
Zoho CRM does just that and much more. The foremost remarkable feature of Zoho CRM is that it does not require you to procure any software and install it on servers within your organization.

Getting started
To get started with Zoho CRM, you just need to sign in for a package through their website – http://crm.zoho.com. For our review purpose we registered for a free trial account which took us less than five minutes. Based on your requirement there are three different packages available:

  • Free Edition: You can try Zoho CRM for free with 3 users with most of the important features available. The free edition offers 100 MB online space.
  • Professional Edition: The Professional Edition offers about 250 MB space with some additional Pro features, at USD 12 per user per month.
  • Enterprise Edition: The Enterprise Edition offers 500 MB space and has an entire range of features recommended for large corporate. This edition is priced at USD 25 per user per month.

A 15 day free trial of the Professional and Enterprise Edition is available straight through the Zoho CRM website. The free edition as the name indicates is free forever with its limited features.
Some Important Business Functions Served by Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM Dashboard

Marketing and Conversion Management: A detailed look at Zoho CRM reveals presence of all essential functions to manage your customer’s life cycle - right from the time customers arrive as a lead to the time they become an account and beyond.
Zoho has simple modules available through tabs that help you manage smooth interaction with your customers, and graduate every lead through the sales qualifying process.
Inventory Management: The Professional and Enterprise editions offer a fully-fledged Inventory Management system that helps you keep a close control on your stocks and accordingly make sales commitments. We observed that the Inventory Management module goes beyond the arena of a traditional CRM system, and offers features of Supply Chain Management tool. The module also helps you place orders and procure stock from your vendors before you supply it to your customers.
Customer Support and Service: Zoho CRM enables your management, frontline sales team, logistics team and your customer service team to work on a single platform. Customer support team through Zoho CRM gets access to entire customer history and allows them to respond quickly to any queries or complaints by the customer.
The customer support module also allows your customer desk personnel to note down details of every interaction with the customer, which works as a good feed for the sales team to find opportunities.
Workflow Automation: Zoho CRM has the capability to create automated workflows across Sales and supporting functions. Every organization has its defined business rules on how the responsibility of handling a customer is managed across people and teams. Zoho CRM allows you to replicate these rules and automate the process of business workflow.

Zoho CRM Workflow Automation

Benefits of Using Zoho CRM
Some of the clear benefits that we found in Zoho CRM in our review are as follows:

  • Completely Browser-based Solution: Zoho CRM runs straight from your browser and does not require you to download any software to your computer. The browser-based arrangement also helps you manage tasks from any internet-enabled location in the world.
  • Fully Hosted Solution: No installation needed. Register and start off immediately.
  • Email and Outlook Integration: Zoho CRM can help your sales force on the move. With email and Outlook integration your frontline sales team can update the system right from their mobile devices or laptops.
ZohoCRM Contacts Integration
  • Great Value for Money: Zoho CRM is generous enough to provide basic CRM functions for a small 3 user organization totally free of cost. (See more free CRM solutions). Even the pricing of the Zoho Professional and Enterprise editions are very reasonable as compared to the features provided.
  • Access Control: Users across hierarchy of the organization can be given access controls to various levels of information and report formats.
  • Customized Dashboards and Reports: The dashboards and report formats that can be created using Zoho CRM help your management to assimilate business information and take quick decisions.
  • Integrations with Google Apps and Google Docs: The latest version of Zoho CRM is integrated with Google Docs. This integration includes unified login support, which means that you may login to Zoho using your Google credentials and then directly view your Google Docs without any need to re–login to attach your documents to Zoho. After the Google Docs are attached to Zoho CRM, you can view and edit them using the Zoho Writer.
Zoho CRM Documents Integration

Drawbacks of Zoho CRM
There are a few drawbacks which we need to be wary of before using a web CRM tool like Zoho CRM.

  • Needs a continuous Internet connection because the data is saved on a secure third-party server.
  • You must note that your information is finally stored on a third-party server. No matter how secure the systems are, there is still a business risk in saving classified data on an external server.
  • When you login you find a clutter of user options which may be confusing, but you can easily get used to them in a short space of time.

Conclusion
CRM is a critical element of today's fast moving business. Zoho CRM provides this function and also additional features like Inventory Management that helps automate procurement apart from just maintaining customer data. The Software as a Service (SaaS) model is yet to gain total acceptance. However, with increased information security assurance, Zoho CRM serves as ideal CRM software for small companies wanting to implement a CRM solution in a matter of few hours.

Review of ZohoCRM by Susan M.

Read more CRM Reviews here..


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