Deconstucting the D-Tools/Zoho CRM System – The D-Tools Lead Qualifying Engine

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Introduction here. I changed the title of this series from Explaining the D-Tools Zoho CRM system to Deconstructing the D-Tools Zoho CRM System because I realized that as I was trying to explain it I was tearing it apart an re-configuring it as I was explaining it. Just the act of explaining it made me realize it could be improved. In fact that explains my silence for the past few weeks. I have been deep inside our system trying to make it more reliable, easier to use, easier to explain, more accurate and ultimately more productive for all the users.

In the previous Lead Management post I went over our Lead Status qualification rules and explained how we implemented a Pre Qualification score. So far this has been extremely helpful in allowing our SA’s to see which leads needed to be contacted first. Since more targeted marketing has already produced results I added a Pre-Qual score of “4-Great” indicating that the lead record includes a corporate email address, a professional website, a phone number and a Job Function. Again this allows our SA’s to focus on the most productive leads first.

Check it out, when a new lead comes into the system the SAM evaluates the lead, follows the path on the chart, fills in the missing information, gives it a Pre-Qual score and assigns the lead to an SA based on the territory.

At this point the discovery (not sales) process begins and all the SA has to do is create a custom view (see this post on custom list views) in Zoho with “their” leads sorted by date created and/or Pre Qual score and it is clear which leads need to be contacted first. The lead status is still unqualified but once the SA makes some sort of personal contact with the the lead the status is elevated to a Qualified C status. If the Lead fills out a Lead Worksheet it is upgraded to a Qualified B and if the Leads attends a webinar or installs the trial it is then it is upgraded to a Qualified A status. At that point it would be assigned to a SC if the lead expressed interest in moving forward.

Notice that during this process the lead elevates themselves by actually doing something each step of the way and each step requires a little more commitment? This process has a number of advantages. First of all we now have a common definition of each Lead Status. We know exactly where the lead is at and more importantly we know exactly what to do next. For example if a lead is at the Qualified C status we know that they have not filled out a lead worksheet. Using the Zoho mass email function we can easily and instantly create a targeted email to all of the Qualified C’s and attach a worksheet.

The bottom line is that we now have an easy to use, efficient and scalable process for getting through all of our leads and only engaging the leads that have expressed genuine interest. This is good for us and ultimatly it is good for our customers because we have now focused our presentation on THEIR needs and issues. In addition everything is documented each step of the way.

Also it needs to be mentioned that this process is only possible with a well designed and properly implemented CRM system. Don’t try this at home with Outlook, ACT or god forbid Oasis CRM.

Here is a pdf of the entire D-Tools Lead Qualifying Engine document that the screen shots above were taken from. Here is a copy of the D-Tools Lead worksheet mentioned above. The Lead Worksheet form is pretty interesting, it is a basic pdf form but what we did was use the interactive elements of Adobe Designer to create form with drop down pick lists. This makes it much easier for the end user to fill out and the choices match the choices in our CRM system.

Adam Stone is a Zoho CRM customer and CEO/Founder of D-Tools Software.

Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 – Official Reports and Statistics powered by Zoho Reports

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You might recall the Beijing Olympics 2008 Dashboard that we did recently using Zoho Reports, which was well received. Coming to know about Zoho Reports through this Dashboard, we were contacted by the Official website hosting partner of Commonwealth Youth Games 2008, which is currently being held in Pune, India between 12th-18th October 2008.

They offered us the opportunity to host the Official Reports and Statistics of the Youth Commonwealth Games 2008 in their Website using Zoho Reports. We readily accepted the invitation and worked with them to bring out the Reports and Statistics of the games using Zoho Reports.

Checkout the same @   http://www.cygpune2008.com/graphical-reports/cygpune2008-report.php.
Games official website: http://www.cygpune2008.com (Navigate to the “Results Statistics”” section from the home page to view the reports)

Commonwealth Youth Games 2008

We would like to thank Dimakh Consultants, the official website hosting partner of Commonwealth Youth Games 2008 for providing this opportunity.

Hope you like it. Let us know your feedback on the same. Also, feel free to contact us (support at zohoreports dot com), in case you require any help in solving your reporting needs of your business using Zoho Reports. We would be more than happy to help you out.

Thanks,
Clarence
Zoho Reports – Online Reporting & BI Service

Zoho Projects Case Study : toneee.com

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Glad to share with our readers how toneee.com is using Zoho Projects. toneee.com is a company offering web development solutions. They not only design websites but also provide database development, document imaging, merchant services etc. Tone Williams, who owns the company explains in his own words, how he and his team are effectively using Zoho Projects.

Our Design Process involves dozens of tasks divided into 6 phases. We are able to quickly incorporate our existing process into Zoho Projects using the Tasks & Milestones area. We group tasks into Task Lists, and Task Lists into Milestones, which matches the phases of our design process. Furthermore, the system is flexible enough to create “Project Templates”, which inserts all tasks, task lists, and milestones into a brand new project in a single click! This saves our Project Manager an enormous amount of administrative/set-up time and practically eliminates human error during the set-up process.

The Dashboard allows our team members to review what is going on with a particular project, including the most recent documents uploaded, the most recent forum entries, and the items assigned to that member for the entire week. The Dashboard is referred to several times a day, since things change regularly with every project.

One of our most frequently used areas is the Forums. This is our central place of communication between our employees, contractors, suppliers, and customers. We oftentimes use categories to organize our conversations, since a single project may involve several services. In the above example, the client has a Web Maintenance Plan, and can request us to update the company website on-demand. Because the client also uses us for Merchant Services, we categorize e-commerce related enquiries/posts under “Merchant Service Items”.

More details about this case study here. Do tell us how you are using Zoho Projects in the comments or by filling up this form.

Zoho Mail Launches with Offline Support

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Over the past three years, we launched several new applications in Zoho, but one particular application has been in the background silently making progress during its private-beta stage – Zoho Mail.

Today, Zoho Mail is stepping out of private-beta. This is an important milestone for Zoho as Zoho Mail plays a pivotal role in our suite’s evolution. There is lot to talk about, so let us drill down into details.

\With or without\

Features

Instead of talking about all the features in Zoho Mail, I’ll share the approach we have taken in Zoho Mail and let you explore all the features.

Zoho Mail supports folders (including hierarchical folders) – the ones you are used to. But then, we also see the value of having Labels in your mail client. So we added labels support too. We don’t want to decide what you should use. We want to give you the choice. So we added support for both Folders and Labels.

Along the same lines, we noticed that some users prefer seeing a list of their emails serially (Ex: the Outlook style) and some users prefer viewing the emails as conversations (Ex: Gmail style). Again, we don’t want to decide what you have to use. So we support both. In conversations, responses are listed hierarchically so that you can look at a conversation and visually see who responded to whom.

Threaded/Conversational View in Zoho Mail

These are couple of examples on the approach we used for Zoho Mail. We do support all the common features you’d expect from an email system. I have included the list of supported features in this document.

Zoho Mail also has Zoho Chat Integrated. We understand that you spend most of the time in your email app. It is important to have Chat integrated right into it. You’ll find the same version of Zoho Chat integrated with other applications like Zoho Business, Zoho Docs etc.

You can chat while you are in Zoho Mail

Apart from Zoho Chat integration, we also integrate our productivity suite. You can now open your attachments (like documents, spreadsheets) with appropriate Zoho Applications.

Offline Support

Zoho Mail also supports Offline mode. This means you can access your email when not connected to the internet. Like Zoho Writer, this functionality is built using Google Gears.

To use Zoho Mail in offline mode, you’ll notice the ‘Setup Offline’ link on the top. You’ll need Google Gears installed on your browser (IE & Firefox are supported currently) to use offline support. Once you permit access, your mails will be accessible offline. You can choose to download images & attachments as well in the offline mode.

Zoho Mail automatically detects your connectivity and switches to online/offline modes seamlessly. While offline, you can view your emails as you would normally.

We had a chat with Brad Neuberg from Google Gears team regarding offline support.

Mobile Support

Zoho Mail is also available on iPhone. If you login to zoho.com from your iPhone, you’ll find the mobile version of Zoho Mail optimized for the iPhone. We do plan to support other mobile devices soon.

If you have access to Zoho Business, Zoho Mail is also integrated into Zoho Business.

Zoho Mail is integrated with Zoho Business

Over the next few weeks we will be talking in detail about some of the key features in Zoho Mail. Meanwhile, please do give Zoho Mail a spin and let us know your feedback.

Zoho Reports Integration with Zoho Creator – Step 1

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Integrating the powerful reporting & analytics functionality of Zoho Reports into Zoho Creator has been one of the most requested feature. We have heard it and enabled the first step towards this goal.

In Zoho Reports, we have introduced the feature of scheduled periodic import of CSV files from any accessible Web URL. With this feature you could set up Zoho Reports to periodically fetch data in CSV format from any accessible Web URL. This would be really useful in scenarios where you have new data being published or updated periodically and you would like get those updates inside Zoho Reports for reporting and analysis. Till now you had to re-import this data manually into Zoho Reports, every time an update is available. Now you just have to setup up the periodic import feature and Zoho Reports would do the rest for you.

With this feature you could also (enable Zoho Reports to) periodically fetch data from your Zoho Creator Application into Zoho Reports as changes happen to the same. As the latest data is made available inside Zoho Reports, you could create any type of powerful reports with it. The reports created using Zoho Reports could also be embedded back inside your Zoho Creator application using the new HTML Page view feature introduced in Zoho Creator 3.0

The following presentation demonstrates how you could periodically import data from Zoho Creator into Zoho Reports:

Do give the above feature a try and let us know your feedback. This is just the first step in making available the powerful reporting functionality of Zoho Reports to Zoho Creator users. We are continuing our work on this problem to further simplify the process. A much closer GUI level integration of making report creation features of Zoho Reports available within Zoho Creator is in development. We will keep you posted once we are ready with it…

Happy Reporting and Keep tab on further development…

Clarence
Zoho Reports – Online Reporting & BI Service

Browsers and Languages supported in Zoho

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There’s a plethora of services available in Zoho, from online word processor to CRM. And each Zoho service has a separate team working on it. Naturally, each team’s priorities vary and we will see how this relates to the subject of this blog.

Recently, a user asked us the browsers supported by Zoho. The simple answer is Firefox (2.0 onwards) and Internet Explorer (6.0 onwards). But to know what browsers each Zoho service supported, we made a simple form application in Zoho Creator like below and sent it to all the teams, asking them to fill the required info.

Zoho Creator form

And we heard back from all the teams within an hour! The page below lists the browsers supported by each of the Zoho services.

Another of our users asked about the languages Zoho’s UI is available in. For this, we created a Zoho Sheet and shared it with the teams. And the info got filled up as in the below Zoho Sheet.

A special mention is to be made of how Zoho Sheet handles UI translations. They have opened it up for the community to help them customize the UI for different languages. No wonder then that Zoho Sheet supports the most number of languages! (Think other Zoho teams will follow suit in adopting the same strategy)

Previous posts on the ‘How we use Zoho apps in Zoho’ topic :

We have used Zoho Creator extensively for solving many of our internal needs. We will profile such apps in the coming days. And to the readers of this blog, do let us know in the comments (or write to us) how you are using Zoho Creator, Zoho Sheet and other Zoho services for your personal / business needs.

Analyzing iPhone App Sales with Zoho Reports

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iPhone Application Developers, this post is for you. Don’t be scared away by the length of this post. The results are going to be extremely useful :)

If you are an iPhone Application Developer, iTunes Connect provides you daily and weekly sales trends for your application(s) as a CSV file. Sure, you can open that up with Excel or Zoho Sheet and do some basic analysis. But we have a better solution for you in Zoho Reports.

What kind of reports can you do with Zoho Reports? Here are few examples (click to enlarge).

If you really want to see this in action, I made this sample database public with some reports created.

Now that I got your attention (hopefully), let me drill down into the details on how you can create similar reports for your iPhone applications. Before we get started though, make sure you download all your daily reports (.CSV files) downloaded from iTunes Connect.

Obviously, the first step is to create a Zoho Account and enter http://reports.zoho.com. Once you are in, Create a Database from ‘Import .XLS, .CSV, .HTML…’ option. Give your Database a name like ‘iPhone Reports’ and select the ‘Data Location’ as ‘Local Drive’. Now browse and select one of the downloaded CSV files (you can add others later) and click ‘Next’ and then select the ‘Create’ option in the next screen. This will create a table from the CSV file with 24 columns and multiple rows.

Once the table is created, you are all set to create Reports from this data. Before jumping there, let us make sure you have all the data imported from all the .CSV files you downloaded from iTunes Connect. To Do this, use the ‘Import’ option available on the top and select ‘Import into this table’ option and import all your CSV files using the ‘Local Drive’ as the ‘Data Location’. You’ll end up using this ‘Import’ option daily as and when you have reports available from Apple.

Now that we have the data in Zoho Reports, we can now start building different types of reports. Let us start with a simple report that shows ‘Daily Sales’. For this, select the ‘New Report’ option (top left) and choose the ‘Chart View’ option and select the database we just created. Here, you’ll see a simple drag & drop interface where you can drag the columns from the left to the right to generate the report you need. Let’s try this together.

Application Daily Sales

Drag the ‘End Date’ column from the left to the ‘X-Axis’ column on the right. Similarly, Drag the ‘Units’ column from the left to ‘Y-Axis’ column on the right. After you dragged the ‘Units’ column, change the ‘Actual (M)’ option to ‘Sum’ for ‘Units’ and ‘Actual (M)’ to ‘Actual(D)’ for the ‘End Date’. The top section will look like this.

Now select the ‘Click Here to Generate Graph’ option and you’ll see the Graph created for you with the daily sales of your application. You just created for the first graph which might look like this.

You can change your graph type with the ‘Other Charts’ option. There are many options available including the 3D Graphs. The nice part about the Graphs in Zoho Reports is, these are click-able. Which means, you can click on the graph to view the underlying data.

Now, Save the Graph, give it a name (like ‘Daily Sales Report’) so that you have this graph saves permanently that updates automatically whenever you import the data.

You can also make changes to the Graph. For example, if you want to see the number of units you sold every day displayed on the graph, simply drag the ‘Units’ column from the left to the ‘Text’ section on the right and you’ll see the number of units sold in the graph.

But there is an issue with this graph. As we added the ‘Units’ column to ‘Y-Axis’, it counts every downloaded unit as a sale which may not be the case as your application might have several versions and users download it as free upgrade. It is important to filter this data out to get the correct numbers. To filter out the right information from this graph, let us do this…

Select the ‘Filter’ tab (the vertical tab) and drag the ‘Royalty Price’ column to the ‘Filter’ section and select the ‘Actual Values’ from the drop down. In the next column (Royalty Price), select ‘Individual Values’ and select ‘0’. Select the ‘Exclude Items’ in the drop down in the next column. What we are basically doing here is  excluding all the units where ‘Royalty Price’ is 0. Now Refresh the Graph and you should see the correct values for daily sales in your graph.

Now, let’s try another graph. This time, let us analyze the daily sales and separate them based on country. For this, it’ll pretty much be the same graph with one simple modification. So let us use the ‘Save As’ option to save this Graph as another graph and call it ‘Daily Sales By Country’.

Daily Sales By Country

Now that we created a new Graph, simply drag the ‘Country Code’ column from the left to the ‘Color’ column on the right and refresh the graph. You’ll see the daily changes color coded by country. Again, you can mouse-over or click on the colors to see the underlying data for this graph.

Let’s quickly try some more graphs.

Application Sales By Country:

Create a New Report from ‘Chart View’ option and drag the ‘Country Code’ from ‘X-Axis’ and ‘Units’ to ‘Y-Axis’ and voila, you have sales report by Country. But then, don’t forget to filter the upgrades. For this, select the ‘Filter’ tab and drag the ‘Royalty Price’ column to the ‘Filter’ section and select the ‘Actual Values’ from the drop down. In the next column (Royalty Price), select ‘Individual Values’ and select ‘0’. Select the ‘Exclude Items’ in the drop down in the next column.

You can change the graph type to fit your taste. Here is how it looks.

Application Sales By Currency:

Drag the ‘Customer Currency’ to ‘X-Axis’ and ‘Units’ to ‘Y-Axis’. You can also drag the ‘Units’ column to the ‘Text’ section to see the number of units displayed. Select the ‘Filter’ tab and drag the ‘Royalty Price’ column to the ‘Filter’ section and select the ‘Actual Values’ from the drop down. In the next column (Royalty Price), select ‘Individual Values’ and select ‘0’. Select the ‘Exclude Items’ in the drop down in the next column.

Application Sales By Currency & Country:

This graph is pretty much similar to the above graph with one additional step. Drag the ‘Country Code’ to the ‘Color’ section. This chart also lets you see which country accepts what currency.

Application Sales By Royalty Price

Drag the ‘Royalty Price (Actual (D)) to ‘X-Axis’, ‘Units (Sum)’ to ‘Y-Axis’ and ‘Country Code’ to color. If the ‘Royalty Price’ is 0, they are upgrades.

Application Total Sales

To see the total sales of the app, simply drag the ‘Vendor Identifier’ to the ‘X-Axis’ and ‘Units’ to the ‘Y-Axis’ and ‘Text’ sections. Select the ‘Filter’ tab and drag the ‘Royalty Price’ column to the ‘Filter’ section and select the ‘Actual Values’ from the drop down. In the next column (Royalty Price), select ‘Individual Values’ and select ‘0’. Select the ‘Exclude Items’ in the drop down in the next column.

You’ll see a graph something like this.

Now that you some of these graphs created, what do you need to do to keep them updated? It is simple. Download your reports fromiTunes Connect and Import them to the table. All the charts are automatically updated.

All the graphs I talked above assumes that you have a single app. If you have multiple apps, you can create other interesting graphs. More on that later.

Once you have these graphs created in Zoho Reports, you have many other options too. For example, you can right click on any graph and Export the graph as a PDF, Image etc. You can also embed these graphs in your blogs or website like I did above which means, when the data changes in the DB, these images are also updated.

I hope you find Zoho Reports useful for this use case. As you play with it you’ll uncover more of its power. Looking forward to see how innovative you’ll get with Zoho Reports.

BTW, did I mention that you can do all of this for FREE?

Related Posts:
Olympics Dashboard using Zoho Reports

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