9 Nifty Tips to Optimize your Web Forms for Lead Generation

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web formIn the marketing department of the Zillum Furniture and Furnishing company…

Bob, the product marketer – “Lisa, I’ve got this idea! How about we build a landing page and put up a web form? Visitors can sign–up to receive notifications on the great deals and discounts we offer on furniture and furnishings.”

Lisa, another marketer – “That’s great but why would people want to give you their information? We need to offer some incentives.”

Bob – “I’ve a solution for that too. We can offer interior design advice, free of cost!”

Lisa – “Cool… interested people would definitely leave their contact details and we can follow up to get a deal with them.”

Do you have such conversations at your workplace too? Are you trying to figure out a way to convert the traffic to your web page into quality leads? Lead generation, as we all know is simply about attracting people to your business. You could start a campaign, advertise, participate in trade shows, or conduct webinars. All this to get people interested in your product, just enough to persuade them to know more about it!

You can take these efforts a step further by using a good web form builder. And if the form builder has a WYSIWYG editor, you can just drag and drop and create web forms in minutes!

Take a look at some tips on setting up a good web form. Along with them are hints on how to implement them using Zoho CRM. Read more

Gain More Insight Into Sales With 3 Types of CRM Reports

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While you are busy calculating and assigning the sales target for your team, it is always helpful to go back and analyze what brought more deals to a closure. As you ponder over it, you may come across a lot of questions.

What is the average time taken for leads to complete the sales cycle?
In a month, how many leads are being converted to customers?
Who are the Star Performers in your sales team?
What are the regions that generate more business?

It is possible that you are not quite sure of the answers to these questions that you ask yourself on a regular basis… Accurate numbers are required. So what do you do now? Of course! You pull a variety of reports with the required filters to get the information that you need. But do these reports provide insights to effectively manage your sales process and sales team!

Let me help you out at this point… Read more

5 Ways to Maintain Clean and Accurate Customer Information

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Has it ever happened, that you make a follow-up call, only to find out that another member of your team had already contacted the customer? That would be a little embarrassing but where was the confusion? After cross-checking you clearly noticed that there was no record of a call being made to the contact, but there sure was a duplicate contact, assigned to another sales rep!

Inaccurate or incomplete CRM data often hamper sales and marketing performance. Many of your contacts would have changed their phone number, email address or even their company, leading to an accumulation of redundant and incomplete data in your CRM. So how are you going to maintain clean CRM data? Help yourself with these 5 tips to not only get your CRM system under control but also to save time and headache down the road.

#1 Maintain Complete Data
Ask yourself one question: How complete are my records? Believe it or not, incomplete information is not a good sign for data quality. The CRM account requires you to fill in numerous fields that are mandatory. It’s time-consuming! And as a sales rep, that becomes a reason for you to neglect proper data entry. The best way to deal with this is to set important fields as mandatory: like name, email address, phone numbers, and address. So, determine the fields that are most important for complete information and encourage users to fill in those important details.

#2 Avoid Entry of Duplicate Leads & Contacts
Since email address is unique for each individual, one simple trick to prevent duplicate records is by comparing the email address of the contacts. While adding a lead/contact in Zoho CRM, you now have an option to check whether the newly added record already exists in your CRM account. Now this will definitely save the effort of going through the records for duplicates

#3 Existing Duplicate Records? Merge Them
Preventing duplicates work great when adding new contacts manually, collecting leads/contacts using web forms, importing, etc. But what about eliminating duplicates from your existing data? By now, you will surely agree with me when I say that duplicate records are not necessarily identical. Let’s say, two contacts have the same last name, email address or company name but one record has a phone number or address that is not found in the other. This is sometimes frustrating as some of the crucial information that you are looking for is scattered in both the records. In that case, instead of blindly deleting one record and potentially losing important data, you can merge the information into one contact.

#4 Maintain a Style Sheet
While automation does most of the work, human efforts are essential for data quality. One way to make data entry easy and maintain consistency, is by introducing naming conventions. Sometimes you see the same country name in different formats. For example, USA, US, United States of America. You can avoid this by creating a list of abbreviations and standard data entry formats for data items like postal addresses, company names, designations, etc. Having a standardized format for all the data helps you generate accurate reports and filter records based on the exact criteria. Pre-defined drop-down values also helps a lot in eliminating a small part of the problem.

#5 Use Roles for Security
With data pouring in from several sources and multiple users accessing it, maintaining a clean CRM database is not that easy. One best practice is to restrict access to data in your CRM account. Define Roles that will help you control the access rights of users while working with CRM data. That way, users will modify only those records that are relevant to them.

We all realize how important it is to add clean data in the CRM system… and not just that, to avidly maintain it too! Maintaining data quality is not a one-time event. If not taken care from the beginning, you may end up having a tedious task ahead.

These are my top 5 tips, do share your techniques to maintain a clean CRM.

New Editor Options and More in Zoho CRM

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Struggling to create a perfect email template? Then, here is your answer – Zoho CRM now has a new WYSIWYG Editor for templates! Creating email templates was a little complex earlier as you had to manually type in the HTML code to insert images and could only insert images that were hosted online in a web server.

Now, if you visit the various templates in Zoho CRM, you will find a difference. Earlier, you had few editing options that you could use to create a template. With the recent improvements on that front, adding images/logos to your email templates is made easy with the WYSIWYG Editor.

  • You no longer need to edit the HTML code of the template to add the images.
  • You can even insert images from your desktop, the images need not necessarily be the one hosted on web.
  • You also have the option to insert tables easily.

The new Editor makes editing and formatting a lot simpler. Apart from this, there is yet another important feature, the Zoho Mail Add-on Users, that we have released. It is the feature that helps you to take a backup of the email accounts of the deactivated users with Record-Level Sharing and Complete Sharing Account Types.

When a user’s account is deactivated, all the email conversations the user had with the customers, are lost. To avoid such a problem, you now have the option to store the deactivated user’s emails within Zoho CRM using the Zoho Mail Add-on Users feature. For more information about this feature, refer our Online Help.

Please try the new features and let us know your feedback. You can also connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Pavitra J.

New in Zoho CRM: Navigation in Reports, Russian Language Support and More

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again, I bring you news on the latest enhancements in Zoho CRM. In our latest
update, we have addressed some of the following customer requirements:

Navigation in Reports – Now there is no limitation on the number of records that are fetched in a report. A report will list all the records with the matching criteria which are accessible to you. Please note that a maximum of 2000 records will be listed per page and while exporting, you will be able to export the report one page at a time.

Enhanced Workflow Rules Limit – If you are using the Enterprise Edition, you now have the advantage of creating 30 workflow rules/module compared to the earlier limit of 20 rules. 

Russian Language Support – Russian users can now use Zoho CRM in their own language. Russian Language is yet another addition to the long list of languages that we support.

Record Owner in Mail Merge – Your mail merge documents can now include the record owner’s information too.

We would like to know your feedback on these Updates. Please drop us a comment here or connect with us on twitter and facebook.

Zoho CRM – Feature Enhancements

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Last week, we made some minor yet important enhancements to Zoho CRM. Here’s the list –

  • Along with the Related To and Contact Name details, you can also view the Owner of the event in the Calendar when you hover the mouse on the event.
  • The Modified Time of an activity will be available in a record’s Open Activities and Closed Activities related lists.
  • Choose the Category in the Support form within Zoho CRM, which will help us automatically assign your question to the support executive, who can give you quick assistance with complete solution.
  • Switch from the default English Language to your preferred language (Chinese, French, Portuguese, Turkish, etc.) while signing up for Zoho CRM.
  • Save a few clicks by selecting the required criteria to search duplicate records using the Find and Merge Duplicates function

Please try and let us know your suggestions and comments. For more information, please refer our What’s New section.

Watch this space for some interesting announcements that are coming up!

Pavitra J.

New in Zoho CRM: Minor UI Improvements

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2010 has been a

year of integrations for Zoho CRM
It has been a successful year with lots of internal and external
integrations. Before we

bid farewell to 2010

, we are rolling out a few
more UI improvements in Zoho CRM.

Here they are:

Earlier, we were supporting 17 types of custom fields, like Text, Decimal, Formula, Lookup, Pick List, etc.

Now, we have added the

Long Integer

type custom field that can support up to 18 digits


This field will help you to record numbers that exceed

9 digits. For example, Bank Account numbers​

, Support Ticket numbers etc.​

We have also added a one-click option to


the tasks

from the List Views.

This option will save you a few clicks while closing tasks.

Another addition is the

product description

field for the line items. This will help you include a small description of
the products associated to Quotes, Invoices, Sales Orders and Purchase

The next new feature lets you transfer

Lead Created Time

‘ details in Accounts, Contacts and Potentials upon lead conversion.

This will help you keep track of the time

the lead was generated and the time taken to close the deal


Lastly, there is now an option that lets you

choose the


while creating a field.

This too, will save you time as you won’t need to visit the Edit Page
Layout feature to add the new custom field in the appropriate section.

We hope you like these improvements. Please share your suggestions and comments with us.

Happy New Year!