Zoholics Event Next Week

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Our first Zoholics event in US is less than a week away. If you still didn’t register for the event, you might want to get your ticket right away as we only have a handful of tickets left.

We have great line up of speakers including Paul Greenberg, Gene Marks, Doug Sleeter and our own Sridhar Vembu. We have attendees from 19 states and 7 countries attending the event and frankly, we are surprised by the interest we have seen for the event.

If you are flying in to San Francisco, you can take the free shuttle form the airport to Hilton. If you are interested in the event, but couldn’t make it, we will keep you updated through our Twitter account. All sessions will be recorded and posted on Zoholics site after the event. The hashtag for the event is #zoholics.

We are looking forward to seeing you at the event.

 

Fresh updates on exchange rate in Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books

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When running your own business, it’s mighty difficult to keep track of everything. Your memory cells will plead for mercy if asked to remember the exchange rate entered for every currency ever used.

Keeping that in mind, in Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books, you can:

  • View last set exchange rate: Exchange rate set for a customer’s currency is now saved in settings. When creating a new invoice for the same customer, system reminds you of the last set rate. You can choose the existing rate or set a new rate or set a new rate just for the invoice. There’s more flexibility as you can modify them whenever you want. New rate does not affect your old invoices. If you want to view the rate set by you on a given date, just go over to the exchange rate history page in settings.

Exchange Rate

  

  • Recalculate Item Price : Another thing to take note of, are the item prices which you would probably have stored as per your currency. You can’t run around looking for a calculator everytime you want to recalculate the item price. Just select your customer’s currency in Zoho Invoice and have the price recalculated for all the items in the invoice.

  • Import and export exchange rate: Why type when you can just import it all in quick and easy steps. Get the data from one of the currency conversion sites as a CSV or TSV file and pull it in Zoho Invoice smoothly.

Learn more about setting the exchange rate for a currency in our help section. ​We hope you like the additions and it comes in handy when tackling the ever fluctuating rates. You can add your suggestions below or even share  how you manage the rise and fall of the exchange rate for your business.

Reach out to customers on birthdays and holidays with Coconect and Zoho CRM

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This is a Guest Post by Melinda Yeoh, CEO of Coconect.com

We understand that it’s tedious to remember and send birthday greetings to customers. Also, when you are busy, it’s easy to lose track of the time where you didn’t keep in touch with your contacts – An easy mistake for most business owners & sales professionals.

Coconect now integrates with Zoho CRM so that you will never miss sending birthday greetings to your customers. Plus, you’ll have a systematic way to schedule in bulk and send messages, the whole year through. You also do not have to set reminders and tasks for each contact one by one, hooray! All you have to do is to link your Zoho CRM contacts, and your e-card or text messages will be sent to your contacts for the whole year.

Why are we doing this? We believe that every great business is built on relationships. And two things are needed to build a relationship – time and effort. We cut down both, and even added some fun in exchange! Coconect is an efficient way to build relationships and stay in touch consistently with many customers in one go. While Zoho CRM concentrates on helping you to manage contacts and follow up your sales & marketing pipeline; Coconect provides an extension to reach out consistently to your contacts on holidays and events, without overloading them on sales messages.

Go ahead and give it a try, we are pretty sure that your customers will be impressed by your thoughtfulness.

Oh yes, join us on Facebook too.  Looking forward to see ya!

- Melinda

Get more info about customers in a single click!

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How would it be if you could navigate to a customer’s Twitter profile in a single click from your CRM account?

Or, how about Facebook profiles?

How much easier could selling get?

As a Zoho CRM User, you can now create custom links that help you use your customer data in an efficient manner. You might depend on other online Apps for information – like Zoho Support for tracking your Customer Support Requests. By defining custom links, you can navigate to the required service directly from your CRM account.

How’s this making selling easy? Well, take this case. Before talking to a prospect, it’s obvious that you’ll do your homework. You’ll gather information about the prospect from several sources – Social Media being the primary source. By taking the ‘Twitter’ field as the reference, you can create a custom link for the Contacts module. Then, all it takes is one click. You land on your prospect’s Twitter profile instantly. You save time spent on searching, and you can do what you are good at – selling!

This is just one of the many possibilities. Weather, Maps, Search… it’s all at the click of a button.

Construct your own links and do let me know how it worked for you. Add your comments right below.

- Sharanya R

PayPal Payflow Pro : New addition in the gateway list

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Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books now support PayPal Payflow Pro payment gateway. You can configure Payflow Pro as your online payment option and have your customers make online payment on the same page without being redirected to any other site.

​​​​If you are from US, CPayflow Proanada, New Zealand or Australia and your company processes large number of transactions on a daily basis, then Payflow Pro is a good choice for you. Your customers will love you too as they don’t have to wait in the long queue to make their payment.

​​Payflow Pro requires you to have an Internet Merchant Account, essentially an account that handles the funds received via credit card payment from your customer. The real beauty with Payflow Pro is the extensive reporting it offers. It lets you know the payment status and their customer support is always available to troubleshoot any questions you have for them.

Online Payment Gateway

Read more about Payflow Pro and find out if it suits your business needs.  While you are at it, also check out other payment gateways that we support – PayPal -  Standard and Business payments, Google Checkout and Authorize.Net.  Read more on how to set up the online gateway in Zoho Invoice and Zoho Books and quickly start receiving online payments from your customers.

Zoho Recruit: Candidate and Client Contact Sync

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In Recruitment industry , there are many opportunities – where clients become candidates and vice versa. Having candidate and client details in two different modules disconnects the continuous tracking.

The new Candidate and Client Contact sync in Zoho Recruit helps you track the entire activities of a candidate, who is also a client contact and vice versa. It also helps to avoid retype/manual work copying and pasting all the info.

Another interesting note about this feature is its Merged View option, which gives you a quick glance of both candidate and client contact details in a single screen.

We hope this new feature makes your recruitment more easier – we hope you like it!

Stay tuned!

The Key to a Successful CRM Implementation is Simplicity

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Even if you have a history of running businesses and working with CRM, it doesn’t necessarily lend itself to an easy initial CRM implementation. After a lot of trial and error Kenneth Hart of Thirsty Swagman found a CRM implementation that worked best for his small business.

Business

Kenneth Hart is the founder of Thirsty Swagman a premier travel destination service that offers international tours of the world’s best pubs and other hot nightlife spots. No boring backpacking and sightseeing on Thirsty Swagman, said Hart. You only do the good bits, such as pubs, bars, city nightlife, and festivals.

Situation

When Hart started Thirsty Swagman back in 2008 he just had a simple website with a web form. People filled out the form, they received the information via email, and then Hart or one of his employees copied and pasted the information into an Excel spreadsheet.

That technique worked for a little while until Hart reached 1,000 contacts. After that all sorts of problems started happening.

“Contact information started to get really messed up,” admitted Hart.

Cells and rows weren’t in line and a customer who was from London all of a sudden was living in Amsterdam.

That was just the beginning of Thirsty Swagman’s problems. Hart had worked with CRM packages such as ACT! and Microsoft CRM and he was well aware that he could have a tool that could track and massage leads. That wasn’t possible with contacts in Excel. Those contacts could never be active. They didn’t live. They didn’t breathe.

Unfortunately Excel is what Hart chose when he launched his business. He had a startup and at the time he believed he couldn’t afford the huge costs of a real CRM package.

CRM experiments for a startup

After six months of collecting contacts in Excel, Hart decided to give Salesforce a try. Hart had used Salesforce at his previous company so he was very familiar with its capabilities.

Given that Hart was operating on limited funds he only chose Salesforce’s basic edition, which is called group edition. Unfortunately, for Hart’s needs, Salesforce group edition was very limited. It seemed more appropriate for B2B CRM as it required each contact to be associated with a business, Hart said. There was no way to do personal accounts. While he tried some funky workarounds such as creating a fake account just to get contacts in the database, it really didn’t work for his B2C business.

“It became very painful to manage once we had about 3,000 contacts in there,” said Hart who knew there was a B2C version of Salesforce, but complained that it was far too expensive for his small business and far too complicated to implement.

Discovering Zoho CRM

Hart needed a better B2C CRM solution that wouldn’t break his startup’s bank. He began researching others who had been in his same situation and discovered many other small businesses were using Zoho CRM. In fact, he saw stories of others who had started with Salesforce and then switched to Zoho. After reading the positive stories of Zoho and its fractional cost of Salesforce (1/4 the price according to Hart), Hart signed up for a trial and now he loves it.

Moving to Zoho was completely painless, Hart said. After paying a negligible cost for Zoho to handle the Salesforce-to-Zoho migration it only took 8 hours to be up and running. “There wasn’t anything else we needed to do,” said Hart who has been using Zoho CRM for four months.

Unique use of Zoho CRM

Since he implemented Zoho CRM, Hart says he’s cut administrative efforts by more than 50 percent. And that keeps improving as he slowly adds other services such as Zoho’s web to lead which automatically enters web form data directly into Zoho CRM. In addition, Hart started using Zoho’s B2B module which uses the same interface and integrates very nicely with Thirsty Swagman’s B2C lead management tracking.

If Thirsty Swagman starts working with a travel agent who has a series of clients, Hart can enter all those clients and associate each one appropriately with the travel agent. If the clients book a trip with Thirsty Swagman, he knows exactly where to send the commission check and for how much.

Advice for others

For other businesses that are in a similar situation as Thirsty Swagman, Hart offers the following advice:

Choose a cloud-based application with proper CRM – Don’t just use some type of spreadsheet document because it requires a ton of copy and paste which can cause errors. Plus, with a spreadsheet, you don’t have a history of what you’ve sent in the past. In addition, you want a cloud-based application so more than one person can access at a time.

Keep it simple – Any CRM package will allow you to create lots of customizations. Problem is too much becomes an overhead thing to manage. Cut out any element you don’t need, such as unused fields.

“You’ll end up investing less time and personally I think you’ll get more out of it,” Hart said.

Listen to our interview with Kenneth Hart.