Zoho CRM system

Zoho CRM is a product of Zoho Corporation. The company was founded in California in 1996. The main activity of the company is the development of software, network technologies and computer network management tools. The first revision of Zoho CRM was released in 2005. This product is designed to automate sales management and customer interactions. The advantage of this system was the use of "cloud technologies".

Zoho CRM is one of the popular CRM systems. It includes cloud solutions for customer relationship management. This product is aimed at small and medium-sized businesses. Five system options are offered for them Ц from the simplest and limited in functionality to a CRM system with the most advanced features.

The basic modules of the system are:

Zoho CRM modules
  • marketing Ц designed to support marketing activities. It allows you to plan, organize and control marketing campaigns. It includes a set of tools for working with target indicators, preparing reports, and managing interactions.
  • sales Ц it is necessary for managing sales and related activities. It provides account management, contacts, tasks, activity tracking, sales quotation and order processing. It generates sales reports.
  • customers support Ц it automates customer interactions. It makes it possible to set up situational management, to set routing rules based on incidents, to set task escalation, and to form a knowledge base about customers. It provides integration with mail and telephony, supports reporting on work with clients.

In addition to the basic modules, the system contains a set of additional components that expand the capabilities of the system. The functionality and composition of the components varies depending on the delivery option of Zoho CRM.

Delivery option

Customer segment

Description of function

Free Edition

small business

It includes basic functions in the field of sales automation, marketing and customer support, as well as integration with a set of online applications.

Standard Edition

small business

In addition to the free version, it allows you to manage marketing campaigns, create analytical reports, and provides collaboration between several groups of users.

Professional Edition

small/medium business

It includes most of the functions of sales automation, marketing, customer support, inventory controls, data management functions and extended user rights.

Enterprise Edition

medium business

It extends the professional version in terms of user management, data management and workflow automation.

Ultimate

medium business

It provides additional opportunities for integration with other Zoho Corporation products in comparison with the corporate version.

Zoho CRM functionality

The functionality of Zoho CRM allows you to manage the full cycle of interaction with customers across the organization. It is focused in the basic modules and components of the system extension. In addition, the functionality can be expanded through integration with other applications of Zoho Corporation and third-party developers.

The functionality of the system includes the following elements:

Sales automation.

  • working with "leads". Lead is a unprocessed data about potential customers. It is possible to generate leads. Leads can be created automatically (for example, after user registration on the site) or entered manually (after exhibitions, seminars, promotions and other marketing campaigns). There are maintaining a database of leads, converting leads into contacts, matching leads, assigning lead processing rules;
  • working with contacts (people) and accounts of clients. Contacts and accounts are clients or contractors who have shown interest in the work of the organization. Accounts provide work with organizations, and contacts reflect work with people (members of these organizations). The system allows you to create and keep records of the main attributes necessary for working with people and organizations;
  • working with opportunities. Opportunities are potential deals. The details are displayed for each potential deals associated with it: unfinished activities, history of completed activities, contacts, related products, sales, costs and notes. Working with opportunities also allows for correlation with competitors (conducting competitive analysis by product and manufacturer);
  • work with tasks, events, notes, calls. The "typical" functions for CRM systems are performed: assignment of tasks, control, evaluation of results. Events are configured for notifications of Zoho CRM users. You can create notes for tasks or events. Calls are registered. Such registration occurs automatically if there is integration with telephony systems;
  • overview of CRM information. The system allows you to review information on deals and all related details, such as open actions, history of completed events, contacts, products, history of sales stages, attachments and notes;
  • sales forecast. Zoho CRM provides tools for analyzing the work of the sales channel and evaluating possible profit. You can monitor the status of actual sales in relation to the established quotas for each sales channel with this tool;
  • working with the mailing list. This function connects email with contacts and allows you to send mail from various devices. A copy of the letter will be added to the contact or entered into the CRM record;
  • working with additional features. These include: creating macros that increase the convenience of work, conducting sales in several currencies, creating linked lists of customers.

Collaborate work.

  • working with statuses. If more than one user is working in the system, they can access the same data at the same time. Each employee sees the status of other users to increase the efficiency of collaboration;
  • messenger. Zoho CRM has built-in the ability to directly exchange messages between users;
  • news feed. One of the elements of the media platform of this system is the creation of an internal news channel. Users post status updates and exchange files within this channel;
  • formation teams. Teams are created to collaboration work within the system. This allows you to do project work.

Omnichannel.

  • integration with social networks. Zoho CRM has implemented integration with social networks LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Integration helps users manage social media pages in real time without leaving the user interface;
  • monitoring of channel. You can monitor profiles, pages, hashtags and keywords being in the system interface. It is possible to create leads from this information;
  • interaction with leads/contacts. The system allows you to interact with leads/contacts through various channels and send out alerts.

Marketing automation.

  • working with marketing campaigns. The system supports the main actions within marketing campaigns: profile management, identification of various attributes, compilation of a target list taking into account segmentation, campaign budgeting;
  • mailing list management. Mass e-mail distribution is supported. Mailing list management allows you to control such actions as: opening e-mails, clicking on links, rejections, reply mail messages. The mailing list can be planned in advance. You can create forms of refusal of respondents from mailing lists to fight spam;
  • application of templates. Electronic documents can be created using templates and a built-in HTML text editor;
  • website tracking. The system allows you to track the behavior of visitors on the site by setting up routing rules and transmit this information to marketing specialists for processing;
  • integration with Google AdWords. Integration with the Google AdWords advertising system has been implemented to conduct advertising campaigns and manage promotions. You can manage advertising campaigns from the Zoho CRM interface.

Customer support.

  • integration of support. The customer support module is integrated with the sales module. This allows sales and after-sales service specialists to be aware of all contacts with the client and monitor the history of relationships. The information is available to employees of both directions. It contributes to raise a cross-sales and to increase the amount of sales;
  • situation management. Situations are automatically created from web forms (the client fills in their on the site) or emails. Further actions on the situation may include: checking defects in the product, checking a lot of products, checking for compliance with the service level agreement, preparing a permission of product return. Actions on situations are set using software settings;
  • escalation of incidents. Zoho CRM allows you to configure incident escalation rules. However, there is a restriction on escalation routes. Only one incident escalation route can be active at a time (by product, by territory, or by customer type);
  • managing of solutions. There is the ability to maintain a knowledge base in the system. It allows you to apply the accumulated experience and quickly find solutions to recurring problems. Solutions in the knowledge base are classified by name, product, and status. The system displays previous questions and answers by keyword.

Inventory management.

  • product management. This functionality is integrated with the sales automation module. Product management is related to quotes and orders. You can set a delivery period and automatic order for restocking for each product;
  • price list management. The price list for products can flexibly change depending on the quantity, volume and discounts on the products. Products are interrelated with customer classes. This allows you to set a different price for the same product for different customers;
  • quota management. Zoho CRM enables customers to take orders for the delivery of products on time. The sales quota contains the product name, delivery date, quantity and price of the product based on the price list, terms and conditions of delivery;
  • manage of orders and invoices. The system implements a "standard" set of actions for: invoicing, creating orders from customers, creating orders to suppliers, registering and accounting for these orders. The information includes: the number, date, subject of the order, quantity and price of the products, billing address, delivery address, conditions;
  • supplier management. Suppliers include companies, people, and contractors who provide products and services. They can be either direct manufacturers or intermediaries (sellers). The supplier management module processes information such as the supplier's address, contact details, delivered products, purchase orders, supplier-related activities, and others. In addition, you can attach important documents related to each supplier.

Library of documents.

  • The system allows you to upload various types of files, attach them to records, organize shared access to documents and folders, keep a history of document changes, comment on them and create an e-mail.

Business analytics and reporting.

  • Zoho CRM business analytics includes standard and customized reports for user tasks. They provide information from the sales, marketing, customer support, inventory management module, as well as cross-functional information (from several modules). The report generator allows employees to create their own reports and dashboards (including charts, graphs and pivot tables) using the Drag-and-Drop interface.

Workflow.

  • You can create process diagrams for marketing, sales and customer support to automate business processes in the system.

The workflow management module includes four components:

  • business rules that trigger events;
  • workflow alerts, such as email notifications;
  • tasks assigned to users;
  • updating the status of records.

However, the functionality of these components is limited. Visualization of schemes is not provided.

Integration.

  • Zoho CRM has the ability to integrate with various third-party systems and with systems of its own development. The integration with telephony systems is possible in order to organize the work of the call center. The mobile version of the system works on iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry devices.

Advantages and disadvantages of Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is a convenient system that implements a large number of sales, marketing and customer support functions. It is one of the most functionality systems in comparison with other CRM systems. We can highlight a number of advantages and disadvantages of this CRM system summarizing the presented functionality.

Advantages of Zoho CRM:

  • low cost and rapid deployment of the system through the use of cloud solutions;
  • simple and intuitive interface. The system is optimized to perform the most common tasks;
  • the possibility of expanding the functionality through integration with other products of the company;
  • a free version of the system with great functionality.

Disadvantages of Zoho CRM:

  • the social media opportunity are limited;
  • poor functionality for designing and automating business processes;
  • no offline client;
  • limited platform and tools for software configuration.