Business News Daily receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure

Home

Zoho CRM Review

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
  • CRM tools help organize and streamline lead and customer data, identifying the best areas where you should focus your marketing and sales efforts.
  • Zoho CRM can be used to automate certain business processes so you don't repeat certain tasks. 
  • With Zoho CRM, you get real-time notifications when customers interact with your business. 
  • This article is for business owners and professionals who want a detailed breakdown of Zoho CRM, our best pick for remote teams.

Zoho CRM is a widely adopted customer relationship management (CRM) platform, which has a strong emphasis on increasing leads, accelerating sales and measuring performance. It makes great use of artificial intelligence (AI), and its business intelligence features can empower remote workforces to achieve more together. Advanced options such as Zia, the AI-powered assistant, provide exceptional lead and deal predictions to identify the potential customers who are most likely to convert, helping sales teams focus their efforts in the most efficient way possible. The user-friendly platform integrates with hundreds of popular apps and software, making it easy to build a custom CRM for any business.

Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

The Verdict

Zoho CRM is a flexible CRM with easy-to-use modules that put the data and tools that employees — regardless of their location — need to successfully move customers through your company's sales pipeline.

Zoho CRM Pricing

Zoho offers transparent pricing based on monthly and annual terms. There are four bundled service options. Free trials are available for each subscription level. The Standard bundle includes everything in the free version plus added features. (Each successive tier includes everything available in the bundles that precede it.)

  • Standard
    • Pricing: $14 per user per month when billed annually
    • Additional features: automated workflows, custom dashboards, bulk emails, prospect scoring, sales forecasting, email insights, reminders, 50 custom modules, 1GB of storage and more
  • Professional
    • Pricing: $23 per user per month when billed annually
    • Additional features: real-time sales notifications, blueprint business processes, inventory management, validation rules, web-to-case forms, up to 10 GB of data storage and more
  • Enterprise (most popular)
    • Pricing: $40 per user per month when billed annually
    • Additional features: Zia AI, customer journey command center, Canvas visual CRM view, advanced customization, mobile software development kit and mobile device management, up to 15GB of data storage, multiuser portals, and more
  • Ultimate
    • Pricing: $52 per user per month when billed annually
    • Additional features: advanced business intelligence and analytics software, 5GB of file storage, up to 30GB of data storage, and enhanced feature limits across the system

TipTip: Zoho CRM's Free Edition includes leads, documents, mobile apps, and more for three user accounts and is a perfect solution for growing home businesses that want to test the software.

Usability

Zoho's dashboard is user-friendly, thanks to the ability to quickly toggle between classic, personalized and custom homepage views. The upper navigation bar puts many sales-focused tasks, notifications, and features at your fingertips, but you can also add components and reorder your page to better suit your needs. The sales agent's personalized homepage sets the day's open tasks and leads as the top priority.

The Zoho CRM dashboard gives you a quick look at key tasks and notifications.

 

Other helpful tools that are easily accessible from the top navigation menu include the "Feeds" notification module. From here, you can communicate with remote team members and share your views to speed up the decision-making process — as if you're all in the office together. It also provides you with important notifications when someone makes changes to a relevant lead or deal you're following. When utilized properly, this area serves as both a system of record and collaborative space to ensure that remote team members are always working on the same page with the same information.

The Feeds tool helps facilitate smoother collaboration among remote employees.

You can also use the modular dashboard-building tools to easily create custom solutions for yourself or other departments across your organization. The drag-and-drop system provides endless homepage combinations that won't take long to cobble together a tailored solution for your business. Once you've built your dashboard, you can save it and share it across your team, department, division or company.

You can easily customize your dashboard and share it with others.

Zoho CRM Features

Leads Custom modules show the details about your leads stored and displayed as individual records.
Gamification You can gamify sales efforts by turning routine tasks into rewarding, routine-breaking contests.
Artificial intelligence  Enterprise and Ultimate subscribers receive a full suite of prediction and AI features.
Add-ons and integrations Zoom, Slack, Mailchimp and Amazon Seller are just some of the add-ons included with all paid subscriptions.

 

Leads

Leads are the second dropdown menu after "Home" on Zoho's dashboard navigation menu, letting you know how important they are to Zoho's functionality. The software collects all of the individuals or representatives of an organization with whom you could potentially convert into a customer.

You can also use the SalesSignals feature to track your leads' interactions with your brand across multiple channels, such as emails, cold calls, surveys, and social campaigns, and get notifications when your lead visits a new section of your website. Details like where your lead is interacting on your website and for how long can provide valuable information to help your sales agents nurture leads into loyal customers.

Zoho organizes all of your leads with great precision.

Gamification

The sales floor can be an exciting atmosphere — something that can be a challenge for remote teams to manage — and Zoho builds on that to take your sales team's targets, incentives, and promotions to new levels of success. Every lead generated, call made, and deal closed turns into trophies and badges to create a fun and competitive sales atmosphere, no matter where your team takes their calls.

Features such as pop-up notifications can keep your teams on their toes and let them know how close they are to reaching their daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly or annual goals.

The gamification functionality can incentivize sales members to reach their monthly and annual goals.

Artificial Intelligence

Available for the top two tiers, Zia, an AI-powered assistant, helps your teams collect customer data, write documents or find helpful information such as sales numbers to make everyone's job easier. The intelligent assistant can also help streamline sales efforts by predicting which deals are most likely to close soon, letting your team members focus their attention and delegate tasks accordingly — and that's the tip of the iceberg.

Did you know?Did you know? Zia can analyze sales patterns and recommend products or services to cross-sell to each customer and predict when those customers are ready to make a repeat purchase.

Add-ons and Integrations

Each of the four paid subscription bundles includes the option to integrate with popular third-party software and apps for online meetings, team collaboration, telephony, productivity, storage, analytics, email marketing, customer service, finance, business operations and website visitor tracking. You'll find tools from companies such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Slack, Trello, Dropbox, Google Analytics, Mailchimp, Zendesk and QuickBooks.

Setup

Zoho customers are provided with personalized onboarding help through a specialist. Your support specialist will walk you through your tailored implementation plan in a series of one-on-one meetings to help you set up and configure the platform to your needs.

If you require any additional help or prefer to hand the implementation over to Zoho, the company offers a "jump-start" service that costs between $2,000 and $8,000, with 10 to 40 hours of work done by a dedicated expert.

Customer Service

Zoho has a Classic, Premium and Enterprise-level service plan. The Classic plan is free and includes live chat and toll-free support eight hours a day, five days a week. The premium option, which costs 20% of your license fee, adds remote assistance, product onboarding, configuration assistance and 24-hour support five days a week. The Enterprise option costs 25% of your license fee and provides support within one hour, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It also gives you access to a technical account manager and quarterly reporting with recommendations.

Zoho has an impressive resource list for its customers, including free training webinars and paid courses for administrators, developers, sales reps, and sales managers. They also have e-books, guided step-by-step tutorials, useful tips and a self-service request portal. You can also request a concierge to serve as a personalized consultant for any questions you have.

Drawbacks

Zoho's standout features, including Zia AI and unlimited customization, are not available, unless they are bundled with many other features. While Zoho provides a great set of basic tools for free, there is a large gap between the lower and upper-tier options, pushing most customers to a high-priced bundle. Standard data and file storage may also feel low for some subscribers.

Customer support could be incredibly expensive for larger organizations when payment is calculated as a significant percentage of their license fee. The free support provided by the entry-level bundle provides basic support during business hours. However, the potential to wait until the next day for a response could spell disaster for some companies should an emergency arise. These types of service options are similar to what some of the other CRM solutions we looked into offer, such as Salesforce.

Summary

We recommend Zoho CRM for:

  • Small businesses looking to implement their first unified CRM software solution
  • Any size of business with a sales-focused model that wants to gamify the selling process to build camaraderie and competitiveness across remote teams
  • Medium-sized businesses that want to streamline their sales processes with helpful organization and insights from an AI-powered assistant

We DON'T recommend Zoho CRM for:

  • Small businesses without a tech-savvy staff member to help should any issues come up
  • Small and medium-sized businesses that only want to pay for certain core and premium features

Image Credit: shironosov / Getty Images
Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM

The Verdict

Zoho CRM is a flexible CRM with easy-to-use modules that put the data and tools that employees — regardless of their location — need to successfully move customers through your company's sales pipeline.

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Jeff Hale is a writer and editor based in San Diego with a background in business development and marketing. He has identified new market opportunities for Fortune 500 companies and developed communications strategies and digital branding for tech startups and small businesses. Jeff covers emerging technologies and business solutions with a focus on efficiency and growth. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from Chapman University.