I’m often asked to summarise Zoho CRM in a few words, which a non systems and CRM expert can understand. I’ve finally given in and here it is 🙂

Zoho CRM and Sales Force Automation Management Summary

Zoho CRM (ZCRM) is a cloud based business system development platform, accessed through a browser on computer, tablet and smartphone and available as an app on tablet and smartphone

ZCRM is powerful and comprehensive enough to be used as a permanent business solution on an Enterprise wide SME and Larger company basis, or as a Workgroup/Project tool in the corporate environment.

ZCRM can be used literally out of the box, for CRM and SFA purposes and then customised as required to become an x (Anything) Relationship Management framework.

The cloud based platform, initial data objects and ease of development all combine to mean that ZCRM has an extremely short analysis to implementation cycle, which often surprises business and users more familiar with “typical” software development cycles.

“One day with you achieved more than several weeks with the previous company and at a fraction of the cost! When you arrived on Friday the system was yet to be installed, by the time you left the system was fully implemented and we had all been trained to operate the software, I wouldn’t have believed it possible” Christian Higgins, Director, Lonsdale Contracts, 19/03/2014

(for the full story of this testimonial, see https://www.littleblue.com/testimonials/124/ultra-fast-system-analysis-im…)

ZCRM is flexible and quick enough to develop to be used as a rapid development and prototyping tool, when developing new business processes and more traditionally developed tools in longer development cycle tools such as Java and .net and also for products with longer commitment periods, think SalesForce and ServiceNow.

Salesforce.com users will find Zoho very familiar and all users find Zoho extremely easy to begin using and use productively, in helping them do their job. The reminders and notifications have been described as “having a very efficient PA who never takes a holiday”.

ZCRM has a very attractive seat per month price and a minimum one month commitment, which makes it very easy and comfortable to get into and test drive. The low operating and typical development costs mean that a Zoho implementation can be entirely financed through OpEx with no lengthy purchase or procurement cycles typical of CapEx financed system investments.

The customer contracts directly with Zoho Inc to supply the software and helpdesk support and The Zoho Partner works with the customer for:

• Training • Data migrations • Development and bespoke configuration • API and application integration • Business change management

All editions of ZCRM offer basic predefined typical CRM objects, including Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Events, Tasks, Potentials (Opportunities), campaigns etc etc. Customisation options extend from hiding module menu tabs and form fields that aren’t needed, adding custom items to drop down lists, custom fields to data forms and comprehensive role and user based security, through to the Enterprise Edition options of completely custom objects, custom functions or custom applications within the CRM wrapper, which really empower the development of advanced integrations such as APIs to external systems and services.

Zoho CRM offers and supports good data integration options with other applications, via web services, data import/export and drag and drop web forms. It integrates particularly well with e-mail and e-mails can be synchronised in the background and automatically tagged to the appropriate CRM entities as appropriate.

ZCRM interfaces and works with additional Zoho tools to enhance functionality and breadth, including:

• Zoho Campaigns – eMarketing (similar to Mailchimp) • Zoho Reports/CRM Analytics – Additional and more complicated reporting, basically a Business Information (BI) tool • Zoho Email – Fully integrated email platform

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