“We had more Excel files than we knew what to do with.”
It was September 2014 and national head of auction operations G. Praveen Kumar knew that a change had to be made.
“It was simply becoming too complicated to manage a multitude of shared Excel files for all of our data. I knew we needed a secure, online solution to manage our deals and work flows, but quite honestly I wasn’t sure where to look, or which platform would be the best.
I knew we needed something, and I wanted it in place before the start of fiscal year 2015. I needed something online that we could learn very quickly, where we could store our data and share it across users. There was a real sense of urgency to get something in place.”
“Each of our sales was averaging between $10,000-$200,000 and we badly needed a CRM to help manage these large groups!”
It was mid-2012, and JusCollege, a startup hospitality company focused on booking vacations for large groups of college students was just beginning to get traction.
As co-founder Allan Teruel recalls, it was an internal incident which prompted the search for a CRM solution.
“We were using Google Docs for sales tracking and one day we accidentally deleted a very key Google doc that had important customer information – this was because Google Docs was not really meant to be used as a sales tool. At that point I decided we need to make an investment into some kind of a software to manage our sales pipeline and began what turned out to be a very brief search before I found Zoho.”
“I was bored out of my mind. I didn’t know what to do.”
It was 2010 and Peter Bowen had just retired from owning and operating an advertising agency in Toronto. However, retirement did not prove to be all he had hoped for.
“I thought I was going to retire but I got bored and I didn’t know what to do with myself. So I thought that this would be a great opportunity to do something I enjoy doing, have some fun, and keep myself occupied.”
Peter decided to start his company, First One On, and knew from prior experience that he needed a CRM to keep his sales pipeline organized. Having recently used Sugar CRM at his previous company, he thought this would suffice, however he was soon disappointed and left searching for a new CRM solution – until he found Zoho.
“When I was willfully staying overtime to work on work-projects, I knew that I must truly love what I’m doing! To me, web-design and SEO was a fun hobby that I just happened to do for work, so I knew that I could be successful on my own.”
Quick to Impress founder Jeff Garibay had this realization after working as a corporate web-designer for several years. He was ready to leave his corporate job to start his own venture, and immediately knew he had a very important need to fulfill in order to make his entrepreneurial venture successful.
“I needed a tool that allows me to demonstrate for clients how to use their content management system. I wanted to dial-in remotely, see what they are seeing, and be able to walk through the whole process of any updates or support that they need.
I had experience using Five9 at my previous company, but that wasn’t really robust enough for my needs. When I looked at other options, they didn’t look too promising…until I found Zoho Assist.”
Most small businesses today do not have the huge budget for promoting their businesses. They cannot afford a dedicated team for marketing or branding when they have to be focused on supporting their current business. That’s when a firm like Alpom Designs comes to the rescue.
Marjorie Yarrow is the CEO and founder of Alpom Designs, a marketing and graphics designs firm dedicated to helping small businesses get noticed. Alpom Designs helps small businesses with their branding, marketing, graphics design and web development.
Throughout her professional career, Marjorie has always preferred having a unique identity for her work. She believes that working with small businesses provides invaluable experience and makes a difference in the clients’ growth.
When she started Alpom Designs, Marjorie needed a complete accounting software for her business. As a freelancer, Marjorie had used Zoho Invoice to invoice her clients. When she started Alpom Designs, it was only natural for her to switch to Zoho’s online accounting software, Zoho Books, to manage her business finance.
“Zoho Invoice is a wonderful software application and it was so easy for me to switch to
Zoho Books which had the same interface. A few of my friends were like – Choose QuickBooks, Try QuickBooks, but I felt like I needed more options and I really didn’t want to follow the herd. So that’s when I decided to go with Zoho Books.” she exclaimed.
While Alpom Designs helps businesses with marketing and branding, Zoho Books helps manage Alpom Design’s business finance.
Read more about Marjorie’s story for useful lessons for budding entrepreneurs.
“We had evolved our CRM from spreadsheets, to Goldmine CRM and finally to ACT CRM, but we knew we needed to move to a native cloud-based CRM”
Three years ago Tonari Inc. knew it was due for a CRM upgrade having used a few different systems including Goldmine and ACT for several years. However, having grown beyond the feature offering of those CRMs, Tonari was left operating without one all together.
“Goldmine and ACT never really were good enough. They had flaws in terms of reliability and of course there was the problem of not having access to our CRM everywhere. About three or four years ago we were in a little bit of a slump and it was time for us to redefine ourselves – we changed a lot of things internally and none of the other CRMs were cutting it so we were left without one. I knew that it was time to implement a CRM that was truly effective for us.”
“We had been through the ringer!”
Those were the words that Secita Solutions founder Mike Moore used when describing his search for an adequate CRM to use.
“I tried ACT, Sugar, Maximizer, and Vtiger and was tired of looking for CRMs…until I found Zoho. As soon as I did, I started planning big things down the road for Secita because I immediately knew Zoho was going to take us to the next level…and beyond!”