In a Nutshell
- Flexible pricing plans
- Advanced sales and marketing automation
- AI-powered lead management
- Few customer support tools
- Social media tracking is limited
Zoho at a Glance
Best for: Small and medium-sized businesses across all industries
Key use: Lead management
Free trial: 15 days, or a free edition
Zoho CRM is part of the company’s suite of business software. The CRM suite offers a very wide range of tools and features for sales and marketing teams, including AI-powered sales workflows and automated marketing campaigns that are fully cross-channel. With Zoho, it’s easy to collaborate between departments, but also to filter out unnecessary noise to concentrate on the data and tasks you need.
Zoho’s best features are the AI-assisted sales automation tools, deep, customizable analytics, and extensive integrations.
Tools for Sales Teams
Zoho’s main focus is on automating and simplifying the workload for sales teams. The interconnected tools include workflow automation, macros, webhooks, and custom functions that allows sales teams to keep all the tools and data that they need at their fingertips. You can use Zoho’s default automation rules, like sending a text message when a delivery has been dispatched, or set your own.
Zoho SalesSignals brings together all the data about each lead into one place, uniting website behavior, social media activity, and interaction with sales reps.
Zia is Zoho’s AI feature. It automatically identifies the best time to make contact with each prospect, analyzes tone and sentiment from emails, spots trends and anomalies that help make sales processes more efficient, and makes suggestions to help streamline workflow.
Features for sales teams include:
- SalesSignals to unite cross-channel interactions
- Customizable, real-time notifications whenever a lead reaches out
- Automatically add social leads
- Auto-assign new leads
- Automated workflows with up to 10 conditions
- AI-powered automated follow-up
- Lead and deal predictions
Tools for Customer Support Teams
Zoho CRM offers some customer support tools, but most of those are available through Zoho Desk, which is a separate customer support platform that integrates with Zoho CRM. Zoho CRM customer support tools include:
- Live chat customer support
- User portals
You can use Zoho to create automated special offer campaigns and discount vouchers, but it’s not a focus of the software.
Tools for Marketing Teams
Depending on your plan, you can take marketing automation all the way with Zoho. You can use Zoho to send mass emails, set autoresponders, use email templates, and create complex marketing campaigns. Zoho helps you set budgets and track ROI. With certain Zoho plans, you can manage Google ad campaigns, capture website leads, and even enter and organize leads acquired at trade shows and face-to-face meetings. Here are some other features:
- Email templates
- Email campaigns
- Website visitor tracking
- Mass emails
- Google ad campaign management
- Web forms
- Webinar hosting
- Business card scanning
- Automated contact management
Customization and Integrations
Zoho itself runs a wide empire of business software, so the Zoho CRM integrates with all other Zoho tools. Zoho CRM comes with an open API to connect with favorite business tools, and built-in integrations with dozens of apps like MailChimp, Shopify, Zapier, Office360, and more.
The basic Zoho CRM is fairly standard looking, but that’s mainly because it’s so open to customization. You can change the layouts, filters, and views; add fields, components, and subforms; and adapt functionalities and capabilities.
Zoho also created a pipeline-centric CRM designed specifically for small businesses called Bigin. It starts at $7 per user per month and is a great place for small businesses to dip their toes in the CRM pool.
Reporting and Dashboards
Zoho CRM offers a wide range of analytics, reports, and dashboards. The level of customization and depth of visualization depends on your pricing plan. With Zoho, you can access real-time reports that are customizable, shareable, and searchable so that you can easily find the data you need. Dashboards and visualizations can be customized and shared as much as you want, making it easy to compare data, spot trends, and follow KPIs. Zoho’s reports include forecasting and report segmentation, so you can assign different areas of reporting and analytics to different representatives.
Zoho’s Mobile CRM app is effective and efficient. It syncs fully with the cloud-based CRM, so you can pick up where you left off even when you have to go offline for a while. The mobile CRM includes sales insights, geographic lead location, and scheduling assistance.
Plans and Pricing
One of the beauties of Zoho CRM is that it’s so flexible. You can begin on the free version, which has limited sales automation, email automation, collaboration, and workflow management tools, and offers only basic analytics and customer support. It’s suitable for up to 3 users, making it a good way for small businesses to start out.
The Standard plan adds more sales and email automation tools, customized reports and dashboards, social media and email insights, and more extensive integrations and developer tools.
Upgrade to Professional to get more workflow rules, emails, and customized reports and charts. Professional also gives you inventory management, Google Ads management, webhooks, and unlimited records.
Enterprise adds a host of advanced features that include Zia Voice, Zoho’s conversational AI service, BI tools, autoresponders, user portals, and more.
Finally, the Unlimited plan delivers all this, plus advanced customization, data enrichment, enhanced data storage, and more.
Finally, the Ultimate plan delivers all this, advanced BI bundled with Zoho Analytics, plus advanced customization, data enrichment, enhanced data storage, and more. All paid plans come with Classic support. You can get premium or enterprise support at an additional cost with any paid plan.
Visit the Zoho pricing page for full details.
What’s more, you can try out any one of these pricing tiers for 15 days for free (or 30 days free for the Ultimate plan), without providing your credit card information. With Zoho, you can easily upgrade your plan mid-year, too.
Ease of Implementation and Use
Zoho is entirely cloud-based, so there’s nothing to configure, set up, or download. There’s plenty of support to help you onboard, including training programs, how-to videos, FAQs, webinars, and even tutorials that allow new users to practice with Zoho features before using them for real.
Although there’s so much information to help new users, Zoho itself is pretty intuitive. The dashboard is self-explanatory, with every feature clearly labeled. If you're not certain what a particular tool or icon is for, you can quickly click over to the Help Center and find guidance on how to use it and tips for getting the most out of it.
Zoho has a very comprehensive help center that offers how-to videos, eBooks, tutorials, webinars, training programs, FAQs, and in-depth documentation.
Users who need help can reach out to others in the User Community forums and the self-service portal before turning to official customer support through email and phone. Customer service agents are available around the clock from Monday morning until Friday night. Zoho has local phone numbers in over a dozen countries worldwide.
What Users Say About Zoho
“Switching to Zoho CRM has made us more efficient at a much lower cost. Most importantly, the transition process was painless and took only about 72 hours”
Daniel Miller, Marketing Director, Benchmark Email
"Zoho helps us transform our sales process and maximize our time in the field. We're ranking leads based on data; currently we have over 200,000 leads in the system"
Forest Smith, Director of Information Technology, Marcoa.
“For us, Zoho acts as a central system to perform any business action. Zoho not only addresses our business needs, but also any issues that arise with their great support services. Without Zoho, we wouldn't be able to keep track of customers interested in BookingLive" - Matt King, Sales Director, BookingLive
Zoho’s cloud-based CRM stands out for its AI-powered sales and marketing automation, extensive analytics, visualization, reporting, flexible pricing, and wide range of integrations. It’s easy to use and quick to set up, with excellent customer service. As part of the Zoho business software stable, it's very valuable, but it has relatively few tools for customer support teams. For small to medium-sized businesses, Zoho is scalable and effective.