Customer Spotlight: Start-up Goes Mobile With Z-CRM

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“We have to get organized!”

Less than a year after starting his own digital marketing and lead generation consultancy, president and founder of Lucid Digital, Mark Gadala- Maria, realized there was a major deficiency.  At this point in time, it hadn’t yet become a major hurdle, however Gadala-Maria knew that if business continued to grow at the rate it had in just a few months since the company’s inception, it would soon be a problem.

“One of our specialties is lead generation for both ourselves and our clients, and at the rate we were acquiring leads, I knew I had to get organized FAST otherwise I would have a disaster on my hands.”

So Gadala-Maria did what any savvy business owner would do – he asked Google for the answer…

The Business

Lucid Digital is a web development, digital marketing and lead generation consultancy based in Miami, Florida.  The company was founded in 2011 by Mark Gadala-Maria who, only one year after completing his undergraduate degree at Florida International University, decided to venture out on his own.

Lucid Digital focuses on creating an online digital presence for any business.

As Gadala-Maria puts it, “Since this company’s inception I have been obsessed with web development and internet marketing of all forms.  While many would say my specialty lies more with Search Engine Marketing because of the years I spent working for one of the biggest SEO companies on the planet, in reality my skill set and underlying focus has been on all forms of Digital Marketing & Application Development, web and otherwise.”

The Challenge: Managing a rapid inflow of leads via mobile 

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As with any new company, the inflow of business and leads was modest soon after Lucid Digital went live.  When the company was receiving just a handful of new leads per day, using email and spreadsheets was a serviceable way to manage these.

However, just a couple of months into business, the volume of leads rapidly increased and Gadala-Maria needed an easy way to organize these leads and make sure they were being accurately tracked.  Additionally, several of Gadala-Maria’s new clients needed the ability to manage leads on-the-go which was virtually impossible without a native mobile application.

Selection Criteria

Mobile Optimized – “Having a mobile app and being mobile optimized was huge for us and probably the biggest consideration.  We have employees in the field that need quick and easy access to CRM on-the-go without having to log on to a computer.  Additionally, we have several clients that we send leads to while they’re in the field so this offers major value to our clients as well.”

Cost – “We were a new company with not a lot of money so cost was a major consideration for us.”

Invoicing Integration – “I was really looking to integrate invoicing into my CRM solution so I was looking for something that was capable of integrating invoicing and accounting.“

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

Prior to starting Lucid Digital, Gadala-Maria had used Infusionsoft CRM at his previous company.  Despite his familiarity with Infusionsoft, Gadal-Maria thought it best to go in another direction.

“Although there were a lot of things I liked about Infusionsoft, there were also a lot of things I didn’t, and when it came time for me to pick a CRM, I realized it was too expensive and lacked the capabilities especially those involving mobile that I needed.  Additionally, I wasn’t a big fan of Infusionsoft’s user interface.”

Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM

“We actually found Zoho CRM with a simple Google search for CRM software!”

Once Gadala-Maria settled on Zoho, he was pleasantly surprised with the ease of implementation into Lucid Digital.

“To be honest, Z-CRM was perfectly easy for me to integrate within the company.  It fit right in and was exactly what we needed.  It was pretty much ‘plug-and-play’ for us.”

Now having used Z-CRM for several months, Gadala-Maria has even more enthusiasm for the software.

“Zoho CRM was not only the most affordable but by far the most efficient for what we do at Lucid Digital.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I don’t think there’s any other software out there that can do what you’re doing for us, and certainly not at the same price.”

“I also recently signed up for Zoho Invoice to integrate with CRM and take care of all of our accounting.  We have been using Quickbooks however it’s not the best and the fact that we can integrate the leads directly with the invoices is perfect.  I’m also thinking about adding Zoho Projects and Zoho Campaigns just because it will be so nice to have everything managed in one place.”

Life After Implementation

“For us Zoho CRM has been amazing!  I use it not only for my customers but for my business as well.  In addition to satisfying all of my ‘must-have’ criteria, Z-CRM’s user interface is great.  Very simple and easy to navigate which makes it a pleasure to use on a day-to-day basis.

When asked about his favorite Z-CRM features, Gadal-Maria did hesitate:

“The mobile app is a monster favorite of mine!  I also love the notes options for leads, and  the customizability of the interface.”

What Would You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“Right off the bat I would tell anyone looking for a CRM that it has to be Zoho.  The reason I’m such a big fan is because I really haven’t seen anything that is THIS good and businesses need EXACTLY what Zoho offers.  I’m still in the process of integrating other Zoho tools and I’m excited about doing it because I can see how much my business will benefit.

I’m a big tech guy and I’m really into the technical industry, and in my book, Zoho is doing everything right.  I haven’t seen anyone else doing things the way Zoho is doing it and I can’t wait to integrate more Zoho tools.”

To learn more about Lucid Digital, CLICK HERE

Are Small Business Incubators the Future?

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iStock_000021656315XSmallI’ve been to Las Vegas once in my life. A group of friends and I made the trip in November 2009 to celebrate a close friend’s bachelor party. Yes, we had a good time. No, it wasn’t anything like the cliché “Vegas baby Vegas,” experience we’ve come to expect thanks to Hollywood.

Either way, the Vegas strip is an incredible spectacle. People are everywhere. Buildings stretch to the sky like a stack of chips on a heater. Roller coasters weave and duck right above the sidewalks and you can eat your weight at any of the mile-long buffets.

Think about the image you have of Las Vegas. Casinos, hotels, money, expensive food and live shows. Doesn’t exactly describe a mecca or hub for entrepreneurs and small business owners working to establish their product in a city overrun with people in search of nothing but brand names, or who are even aware Las Vegas exists beyond the four-mile-long strip.

As much as the casinos and hotel feed the city’s economy, most people on the strip are not citizens. They are tourists in town for two to five days and then gone faster than Lady Luck at the craps or blackjack table. Local businesses aren’t making money off tourists. They have to appeal to the citizens of Las Vegas in a location that appeals specifically to them. That’s why I found this recent story so fascinating.

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Zoho Projects iPhone / Android Mobile App updates

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A couple of months ago we made an announcement that our Zoho Projects Mobile Apps goes FREE for all users – both iPhone and Android Mobile App.

Fast forward now we’re pretty excited with the uptake it has got among our customers and were bombarded with lot of feed backs and suggestions to improve our Mobile Apps. We LISTENED to all your views and delighted to introduce a bunch of enhancements and bug fixes that makes it easier than ever for you to connect from anywhere and get your work done much faster with Zoho Projects.

Here’s the list of all the cool things you can try out on your mobile

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Salespoint for Zoho CRM: The iPad App for Field Salespeople

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This is a guest post by David Falk, CEO of Salespoint, a Barcelona-based field sales mobile app provider for manufacturing, insurance, electronics and food services.

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We believe that the key to successful CRM implementation is to create a win-win situation for sales reps as well as their management. If sales reps are made to realize how they can benefit by using the system (huge saving of time, access to interesting data, etc.), this would in turn enable their management to easily access the information they require for steering the organization.

Today, we’re proud to announce the integration of Salespoint with Zoho CRM.  Read more

Scheduled Maintenance

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As previously announced, we started upgrading our data center infrastructure. Additional details about this upgrade including the services affected are available here.

If you are a Zoho Mail user, you can find the affected services here. Accessing mail.zoho.com will redirect you to your Mail alone. For Calendar, please go to calendar.zoho.com. Other features like Tasks, Notes, Search etc will be available after the upgrade.

We will keep you updated on the progress. Thank you for your support.

UPDATE as on 2:40 am PDT: The infrastructure upgrade has been completed successfully. However, a few minor features within some services might be affected, we are working to restore these.

UPDATE as on 6:10 am PDT, on 2nd September 2013: All services and features are now fully operational. Order has been restored in the Zoho universe. Thanks for bearing with us through the maintenance period :)

Could You Work at a “Bossless” Office?

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Menlo Innovation headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich. Photo by Elise Hu/NPR

Menlo Innovation headquarters in Ann Arbor, Mich.
Photo by Elise Hu/NPR

The modern workplace is at it again. Every day there’s a story about another company throwing conventional office rules out the window — no dress code, work from home, bring your dog, cat, parakeet, or python to the office — and blazing the trail toward a new way of thinking. This time, the traditional hierarchy of a company is in question.

No managers. No team leaders. No bosses.

If you’re a small business owner, this concept isn’t that unusual. In fact, most small business owners open their own place for just this reason. But can it work on a larger scale with 50 or more employees outside of Sir Thomas Malory’s Camelot or Alexandre Dumas’ 17th century France? Can a group of people govern themselves in an office environment with a “Round Table,” or “all for one, one for all,” mantra?

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Small Business Stories You Might Have Missed

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iStock_000019991402XSmallIt’s time for another installment in our ongoing series, “Small Business Stories You Might Have Missed.” At Zoho, we hope this series is helping you stay in touch with small business news and also giving you helpful tips to improve the state of your own business.

This week, we will be looking at everything from how good writing can improve your business’ online presence to the importance of embracing new technology.

Want to learn more about how you can better reach your audience in 2013 and the future? We have an article for that too.

So grab your laptop or tablet and a cup of coffee, and enjoy!

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