Track your Meetings from Soup to Nuts

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When scheduling meetings with tons of customers, it is mighty difficult to keep track of everything. Zoho Meeting helps you track your online meetings easier, right from scheduling meetings, adding to your favorite Calendar App, ensuring your invitation email delivery to your customers, till getting reminded just before your meeting. Our settings for calendars, email reminders and invitation email failure notifications will help you to achieve this. Enabling calendar settings will generate an event in your calendar for the meeting at the scheduled time. If you reschedule the meeting, you need not change your events, calendars will be updated automatically!

Keep track of your scheduled meeting easier

Track using Google Calendar
Enabling the ‘Add meetings to Google calendar‘ setting will create an event in your Google calendar, for each meeting created in Zoho Meeting. When you invite your attendees with their GMail id, the meeting event will be added to their Google Calendar automatically! You may need to provide your authentication credentials and approve access to your Google account.

Track using Zoho Calendar
Of course, you can also track all your scheduled meetings using Zoho Calendar. By default, all your scheduled meetings will be added as events in Zoho Calendar. You can change this behavior in Settings tab.

Add to Outlook CalendarAdding to Outlook and other Calendars
If you are using Outlook, Yahoo or other Calendar Apps, you can add events to your calendar by clicking on ‘Add to my calendar‘ link from the invitation email or the web link. The event will be automatically recognized and added in your favorite Calendar App.


Ensure Invitation Email Delivery
Invitation Mail Failure Notification
The fact is, in most cases with other platforms you never really know if your invitation has reached your customers successfully. With Zoho Meeting you don’t have to worry about it, you can ensure the delivery of invitation email to your customers. If, for some reason like wrong email Id or customer’s mail server issue, the in
vitation mail gets bounced or not delivered to the Participant’s inbox, you will receive the delivery-failure message as a feed. You can view this in your left bottom notification bar once you login to Zoho Meeting. You can then re-check the email address and decide to resend the invitation mail, or re-invite your Participant.


Email Reminders

Most of us wanted to avoid eleventh hour frenzy for the meetings. Get reminded by emails at your preferred time span before the meeting starts. You can enable ‘Email Reminder‘ option and receive reminder emails a few minutes, hours or even a day before the scheduled time. With this setting enabled, all your meeting attendees will also receive the reminder invitation email.


What are you waiting for? Schedule a meeting with Zoho Meeting today and track your meeting ea
sier!

Build better Customer Relationships. Facebook Integration is here!

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Check out some of these statistics about Facebook.

  1. If Facebook were a country, it would be the world’s third largest.
  2. An average user has 130 friends.
  3. 67% of B2C and 41% of B2B companies that use Facebook for marketing have acquired a customer through this channel.

This makes me wonder: How would it be if a sales rep could use the power of people on Facebook? Imagine how much you’d benefit if your CRM account is integrated with Facebook?

Zoho CRM now offers an integration with Facebook, thus bringing your customers’ Facebook profiles inside your CRM account itself.

So, how does this help to build better customer relationships? Here are a few ways:

Instant information about your prospect:
You have a lead with you. All you have is the email id. How do you know more about this person before shooting that email? With the ability to associate Facebook profiles, you get most details – like their professional history, designation, schooling, location, etc inside the contact detail page. And with that info, you’re all set to make the follow-up with the prospect a success.

Facilitate faster decision making:
A prospect of yours has mentioned about your product in an update. Adding a reply to this comment is possible from the contact’s detail page itself. You not only engage your prospects in a conversation, but also help them get the right answers, right from inside your CRM account.

Know your customers better:
Says Rebecca Lieb in her book, Content Marketing: Think Like a Publisher, “Wall posts create a dialogue with users, friends and fans offering marketers an opportunity to be reactive as well as proactive in terms of content…” This can very well be extended to the sales teams too. The selling process does not end when a prospect ‘buys’ your product. You can be up-to-date with a customer’s updates and even comment or like them without leaving your CRM account. So, the next time you make that call – just to say “Hello” or to talk about a new offer – you know how to keep the conversation going!

These are just a few ways in which you could use the Facebook Integration, and we’d like you to tell us more. Do try this out and leave your comments below.

We also have an Online Guide to get you started.

We started off social CRM with the LinkedIn Integration, now it’s Facebook. Next..? :)

Push Comes to Shove

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In 2008, I wrote a post Why We Compete with Google, in response to the persistent question at that time “How can you guys survive Google in the online office space?”

My basic argument was that business software, due to its extensive sales and support requirements, simply does not have the productivity or profitability of consumer internet businesses, and could never produce the margins that Google enjoys in search or what Facebook enjoys in social networking today or for that matter how today’s margins at over-the-hill Yahoo and getting-there eBay compare to the still-hot Salesforce. I concluded that post (keep in mind it was written in 2008) with:

When push comes to shove – and there is a lot of very messy push and shove in the business software market -  Google’s resources are going to flow into figuring out how to monetize the humongous traffic of YouTube or compete in online auctions, rather than figure out a way to squeeze a bit more margin compared to Oracle or Adobe or Salesforce. That may explain why Google has been silent on CRM, Project Management, Invoicing or HR type of tools, because those markets don’t offer the profit potential they already enjoy.

Well, today, the Wall Street Journal has a well-researched post by Clint Boulton, Google Organizational Changes Cloud the Future of Apps. On purely strategic grounds, the enterprise business is very sales and support intensive, and it does not have the potential to offer Google-y margins. Microsoft achieved its 90% operating margin due to its monopoly pricing power, and the emergence of the cloud and mobile devices, in part thanks to Google’s role, has eroded that pricing power. So it was always clear, to me at least, that Google was in this game to make sure Microsoft does not have the infinite cash to keep throwing money at search. As Google’s strategic threat from Microsoft fades into the rearview mirror while Facebook emerges as a strong potential threat, I predicted that Google would naturally lose interest in what remains a fundamentally inferior business to their own core business. Senior executives in Google in charge of the Apps business seem to be reading the tea leaves, as Boulton reports. There have been a slew of executive departures and other organizational changes in the Google Apps division.

Signs are emerging that Google is de-emphasizing its efforts in online productivity tools that compete with Microsoft, which was never the core of its business to being with, to focus even more on search and social networking, and its increasing competition with Facebook.

Google Apps has had some churn to its core leadership as the company evolves under CEO Larry Page, including the loss of Dave Girouard as vice president of Apps and president of Google’s Enterprise business. Girouard, who joined Google in 2004, oversaw the development and launch of Apps for businesses. He left April 6 and no successor has been named.

A source familiar with Google Apps told CIO Journal: “I was personally shocked to see Dave G leave. That was his baby, and he was so invested in it.”

At Zoho, of course, we have patiently been investing in R&D, while building our business for the long haul. We came to the conclusion a while ago that ad-driven consumer internet business is a poor fit for a business-focused suite of apps. In an ad-driven business, the users are the product, to be packaged and sold to advertisers. When you ask someone to directly pay for something, as a visitor or a user becomes a customer, the very nature of the engagement changes.

That’s why since the very beginning we have never funded our business through advertising. We’ve made a commitment to our users that we’ll never display ads, not even in our free products, and that we’ll never sell their data to a third party so that they can be “better targeted”. We’ve understood since the beginning that advertising and business applications just don’t mix.

We will continue to execute to provide a compelling, ad-free cloud experience in our Zoho suite of apps, particularly Zoho Mail and the Zoho Office suite. We respect the engineering prowess at Google, and indeed, we will continue to actively participate in the Google Apps marketplace, but ultimately whether a business makes sense or not is not an engineering question alone. In that sense, I am not at all surprised that someone high up at Google looked at the business question of the Apps suite, and came to the conclusion that was obvious from the start.

Our deep, existing integration into the Google Apps suite makes it really easy to migrate customers from Google Apps. We welcome Google Apps users to Zoho, and we are very happy to provide migration free of charge!

Now, what about the other elephant in the room? Microsoft Office365 is going to be a formidable player, but so far, their execution in the cloud and in mobile is less than terror-inducing, to put it mildly. Our Mail & Office suite are written from the ground up to be in the cloud, on tablets and smart phones. We will continue to invest in R&D to make them stronger, and, unlike Microsoft, we will provide first-class support to all the devices out there, including the iPad, the iPhone and Android-based devices. Of course, we will also continue to integrate our Mail & Office suite with our other business apps, including our rapidly gaining CRM.

CRM Step 1: Automate Sales. CRM Step 2: Automate Sales.

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Adam Stone, CEO of D-Tools, is a self-admitted automation super geek. “Anything you have to do more than twice has to be automated,” said Stone. “I would rather have [my employees] honestly going skiing than do any automated repetitive task.”

At D-Tools, Stone’s entire sales process is automated. I want my sales people to focus on customers. I don’t want them to worry about who to call next or what their pipeline is. That should all be automatic. And that’s the situation D-Tools has now.

“We always know what to sell to who and when,” said Stone.

“When people tell me they don’t use CRM or don’t understand CRM. I almost can’t go on with the conversation anymore because you’re not even at that same level where you think there’s value in that,” Stone said. “The amount of money we spend on Zoho CRM versus what we get out of it is 100 times investment return.”

As for Stone’s advice on what to automate first, he said, “The first thing you should automate is sales and the second thing you should automate is sales.”

“The most important thing is get your sales in order,” said Stone. “Make sure your sales people are happy. Because if your sales people are happy, and you’re the company owner, you’re going to be happy eventually. Guaranteed.”

Zoho Recruit: Post Jobs on Glassdoor

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Today we are here to let you know the availability of yet another job board integration – Glassdoor.com.

Glassdoor is the largest online career community, offering an inside look at companies and access to millions of job listings. Glassdoor helps employees, job seekers, employers and recruiters find and share salary, ratings, reviews & interview information for more than 150,000 companies.

You can post your jobs to Glassdoor, directly from within Zoho Recruit – Online Recruitment Software. Once the candidate applies to the job opening, the candidate details are captured inside Zoho Recruit.

We hope you like it! There’s lots more cool features coming soon, so stay tuned.

Customer spotlight: Mobafone simplifies its accounting with Zoho Books

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Mobafone case studyOur accounting software continues to entice the customers by simplifying and streamlining their accounting processes. One of our happy customers, Jerome Schultz, General Manager of Mobafone GmbH found Zoho Books to be perfect for his business needs. His company engages in mobile application development and mobile service consultation. Being in the industry for more than a decade, the company aims to create unique customer experiences in the mobile internet space by developing the most innovative mobile apps.

Jerome is based in Germany but he frequently visits Mobafone’s offices in Thailand and Indonesia. Jerome would be away from Germany for almost half a year which means he has to record mutiple transactions while he is on the move. As Mobafone’s operations spans three countries, accounts have to be up-to-date which would also involve multi-currency transactions.

The company which already uses some of Zoho’s apps such as Zoho Creator and Zoho Projects was exploring for a cloud-based accounting software. The most vital reason that prompted Mobafone switch to our accounting software was Zoho Books’ integration with Google Apps and also that it is cloud-based.

Now that, Zoho Books simplifies bookkeeping and keeps Mobafone’s accounts in control. Managing accounts in multiple countries and currencies is not a painful task anymore. Click here to read the complete story as how Zoho Books saves time and improves productivity for Mobafone.

Announcing Zoho Commentbox – Online Feedback Management Software

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Managing feedback can get tricky. In an effort to simplify it, we introduce Zoho Commentbox.

Zoho Commentbox is a whole new way for you to create a feedback management portal and manage all your customer feedback instances, at one place. It gives your customers an opportunity to share their knowledge and ideas, and also lets other users search for a solution even without knocking your doors for help. Also, Commentbox helps you find the pulse of your customers and thus spend your time efficiently in improving your product.

Here is a sneak peek of what Zoho Commentbox is about.

Twitter Integration

Whenever someone talks about your product on twitter, the conversation is automatically pulled into Commentbox. When a specialist replies to it on Commentbox, a notification tweet is triggered to the conversation-starter, from a preferred twitter ID, without you having to even login to twitter separately. The entire conversation will be available for reference on Commentbox.

Zoho CRM Integration

Whenever a user logs into your Commentbox to contribute or ask for assistance, the user-details are added to Zoho CRM’s contacts module, automatically. This helps you look-up detailed information about every one of your customers.

Email to forum

Starting a forum topic and replying to one might never get easier. Configure an Email address you prefer. Whenever you wish to make a post, send mails to the configured Email address, and your post gets published on Commentbox. An email notification is sent to those who are following you or forum or sub-forum. To reply to the topic that you started, all they need to do is reply to that email. The response is published as a reply to your post.
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Embed feedback widgets

Commentbox feedback widgets can be embedded on your website or inside your product. That way, users can share their feedback right from within your product, without even having to navigate to another link.

Migration

If you have been hosting your community-driven discussions elsewhere, phpBB, vBulletin, Simple Machines Forum, Google Groups… anything! We offer easy migration, a hassle-free hand-off, and all the assistance you need to make the switch.

Here, is a list of other features you would love!

Get started with Commentbox today, and experience the hassle free online feedback management!!

Note : ​Existing Zoho Discussions users can continue to use it for as long as they wish without having to face any issues, or contact us to switch to Commentbox.