Why the Right Applicant Tracking System Will Instantly Improve Your Company’s Candidate Experience

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In the expanse of the Hotel Irvine grand ballroom—nestled in the heart of sunny Southern California—recruiters move from booth to booth like tourists along the Hollywood Walk of Fame. They’re laughing and shaking hands and telling stories; formalities and rituals before business begins.

It isn’t long before the conversations shift from small talk to real talk. The, how have you been’s?” and so great to see you’s,” become, I need to enrich my pipeline and reach more candidates…show me your applicant tracking system…can you parse resumes with it?”

One thing you deduce at a staffing and recruiting conference is the air of excitement when recruiters talk about their career field. They want to stay current and understand how software solutions benefit them. They want to go home better than when they arrived.

And it is here where our journey ends. Not California like some Steinbeck-cliche or Manifest Destiny creed of the American West, but realizing that when recruiters gather together, their ambition is contagious.

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How Dave manages all his contacts like a symphony

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It was around noon, on a normal workday, and Dave was at his desk as usual, designing a floor plan for his new client, while ​humming along to a song that ​was playing on his stereo system (Dave is a successful architect and runs his own design studio). It was ‘Hotel California’ by The Eagles. As the guitar solo played along, he dropped the pencil and started acting as if he was holding his guitar. He was pretty good with the guitar, and used to jam with a couple of friends on the​ weekends. Dave was so engrossed in the song, that he was pulling riffs on his ruler, imagining it to be his guitar’s fret board. As he came out of his fantasy, ​he began to ponder about taking the plunge, and starting a career as a guitarist. But he loved architecture way too much to let go of it. So he mulled taking up a dual career; architect at day, and guitarist at night. It was not long before he became famous in the music circuit. Gradually, he began performing at local concerts on weekends.

He used to meet new people everyday; people like fellow musicians, vocalists, audio engineers from the music industry and people like realtors, interior designers from the architecture & design industry. Keeping track of so many people was turning out to be quite ​a herculean task. After all, he was pursuing a dual-career, and both these professions revolved around people. As time passed by, he felt the need for some ​to manage his vast list of contacts. Initially, he felt that an address book ​would fit his needs. As he began evaluating some of the most popular address books​ on the market, he started to realize that they offered very limited functionality. The next option was to try a sales automation solution, but he felt such a tool would be overkill for his modest needs like managing contacts, scheduling tasks and tracking work assignments.vibhav_image_blog2

The search for an ideal solution came to an end when he heard about ContactManager, which was suggested by a fellow musician during an open jam session. Dave was delighted when he tried his hand​s at ContactManager. It was just the right mix of simplicity and functionality.

Why did Dave love ContactManager, and how did he use it?

1) He classified and sorted all his contacts using Tags. Contacts were classified by profession into architecture or music. Contacts from the architecture industry were classified as realtors, designers, carpenters and engineers while contacts from the music industry were classified as composers, pianists and vocalists.

2) He collaborated with fellow musicians using Feeds. Music notes and sample recordings were uploaded directly from the cloud. Everyone involved in that music album could easily collaborate online and bring about a symphony.

3) He marked all ongoing music assignments and architecture projects as Deals. He also scheduled tasks and reminders under each of these deals ​so that he wouldn’t lose track of anything.

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Sometimes a CRM system is way too overwhelming for your small business, while a simple address book is completely inadequate, resulting in missed opportunities. ContactManager is the perfect fit. Find us here: https://www.zoho.com/contactmanager

While all characters in this post are fictional, whatever we mentioned about ContactManager is extremely real!

Just In: New Features in Zoho Writer

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It’s always exciting to bring the What’s New stories to our customers. The newest additions, the most sought-after enhancements, or the upcoming features – they have always made you love the product even more!

Today, I am happy to introduce some new additions to our online document editing tool – Zoho Writer. Because we understand the growing need for collaboration in an organization, we have added a few important features in Zoho Writer to help you work smoothly with your team inside or outside your office.

Here are some new features from the development desk:

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The Sales Pitch: 6 Ways to Turn Off Your Prospects

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When you’re pumped with a lot of information about the product or service you have to sell, and your mind is swimming with images of over-enthusiastic and over-smart sales guys you see in the movies, it’s easy to fall prey to old habits instead of making a smarter, more innovative pitch to your prospects. Sales reps only get one chance to sell – and the words that tumble out of your mouth can make or break a deal. How can you turn your next client meeting or cold call into a positive experience for you and your brand? Here are six big no-no’s you should avoid:

1. ​The Sales Spiel: Stephen Schiffman in his book The 25 Sales Skills: They Don’t Teach at Business School, calls this long monologue by the sales rep, a product dump. A product dump is a nervous sales rep’s attempt to fill the awkward silence and is the most ineffective form of one-way communication with a prospect. A sales rep goes into the spiel mode either when he is new, nervous or when he puts his product over and above the customer. Your product can never trump your customer. The prospect tunes out because this is information he could read off the brochure or on your website. This approach is un-innovative and ineffective.

“Selling is not just show up and throw up!” – Mark Roberge [Tweet this]

The Sales Spiel

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Introducing Zoho SocialShare – The easiest way for brands to share content

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We’re always looking for ways to create and share great content that will engage our audience. Creating good content is an art in itself, but so is curating and sharing content.

Discovering, curating and sharing great content that your audience will find interesting is hard enough as it is. But it doesn’t stop there – when you find good content, you need an easy way to add it to your social sharing pipeline. Meet Zoho SocialShare, the new browser plugin from Zoho Social, designed to help your brand easily curate and share content.

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Convert your blog readers to subscribers with the Zoho Campaigns plugin for WordPress

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You work hard to create, curate and publish the best content for your readers. And while you may succeed in generating an audience for your blog, you know that generating traffic is not the end goal. You’re looking for engagement. One way to take your readership beyond a static blog and into a more engaging, connected customer relationship is to convert them from casual readers into email subscribers.

That’s why we’re happy to announce a simpler way for WordPress users to assemble a fresh band of email subscribers and gain maximum marketing exposure.

With the new Zoho Campaigns plugin, we make it easy to embed a sign-up form onto your WordPress-hosted blog, allowing visitors of your page to sign up to receive your email campaigns. Increase your brand awareness by engaging in multi-channel communication, and boost the success of your marketing efforts by tracking analytics of your subscriber base and email campaign performance.

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Salesforce Acquisition: Nobody Rings a Bell at the Top

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Yesterday rumors broke out that Salesforce is entertaining buyout offers and has hired investment bankers to consider “strategic options”. My first thought? What a great time to sell! My second thought: please don’t jinx it – not when someone is coming up on a $50-$60 billion payday at 10x forward sales. The P/E of course is incalculable since there is no E.

Nobody rings a bell at the top of the market. But we gotta admit – Marc Benioff is the best salesman in software the cloud, ever. Now, I am trying hard not to think of ​Steve Case and AOL and Time-Warner, because this time it ​will be different, of course.

In the past few weeks, BlackRock’s chief Larry Fink released a letter addressed to the CEOs of S&P 500 companies talking about the need for a long-term view. That may not be a good idea, because it is no fun to think about write-downs and kitchen-sink quarters. Only spoilsports talk about a hangover when the party is in full swing.

Consolidation

Consolidation is coming to the cloud; we at Zoho recognized that a long time ago. Our entire strategy has been dictated by our desire to stay independent (as I have explained before), even as consolidation alters the landscape around us.  Even CRM, a very significant industry just by itself, doesn’t make much sense as a stand-alone product. The proof is that Salesforce (hint: their stock ticker is still CRM) has been on an acquisition rampage over the past few years trying to complement its product portfolio and show growth by acquiring revenue.

But even with the more than $3 Billion spent on acquisitions in the past 3 years, and even with their market cap of $40 billion $50 billion dollars, Salesforce finds itself the target of a takeover.

Why do we expect consolidation? Simple – there are too many companies not making money. Why don’t they make money?​ Again, simple – they spend way too much on sales and marketing. Let’s consider a hypothetical combination of Box and Zendesk – both “Post-IPO Non-profits”  as we call them – you could cut the combined sales and marketing spend by half, and that may just be enough for them to turn a profit. That is the classic case for consolidation; a case that looks ​compelling on a spreadsheet – you know, the tool that Box actually doesn’t know how to build.

If only company cultures were modeled as cells in a spreadsheet, where people stay in their neat little boxes and hairy code-bases magically combine to produce beautiful children.

Take the case of Salesforce acquisitions for the past 3 years – here is the extensive list. How many of them have been integrated even at a single sign-on level, let alone at a product level? In fact, to solve that problem, Salesforce recently acquired a single sign-on company.

Winner’s Curse

​When you escape the jinx, there is still the curse – the winner’s curse. Most acquisitions fail and silently get written down or written off entirely – see for example, Zimbra’s acquisition by Yahoo. Salesforce has written down a bunch in the last few years, after overpaying by hundreds of millions of dollars – at least, the money didn’t come out of their profit!

Jinxes and curses? No, we don’t want these to befall our customers. Since consolidation is coming, if you are a customer of cloud companies, it’s time to get used to being traded around.

Except, of course, if you are a Zoho customer. With us, you will not underwrite any acquisition premiums or bloated sales and marketing costs. You will get a broad suite of deeply integrated products that helps you run your business on the cloud. Private and bootstrapped since our founding – we don’t answer to anyone but you. We never will. We aren’t going anywhere.

Sridhar