Customer Spotlight: Finding Unrivaled Support with Z-CRM

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Two years ago, Rich Cornell decided it was time for him to venture into an independent business offering insurance and benefit solutions to employers.  Having previous experience in this field Cornell knew that tracking leads and customers would be of utmost importance from the very beginning.  As such, finding a CRM solution was one of his first orders of business.

As an experienced CRM software user, Cornell had experienced various problems with the previous tools he had used and, now starting a new business, he really wanted to find a solution that was simple, flexible, and cloud based. However he still had reservations about switching from the CRM tools that he was already familiar with, despite their shortcomings, to try something new.

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Come See Us Next Week in Boston

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The Zoho Team is headed to the northeast for our next Meet Up. We will be in Boston, Massachusetts next Wednesday, October 16 to meet with local Zoho users and also welcome new users to our suite of apps that can help you succeed as a small business owner. This time we are joining forces with On the verge, a Zoho Alliance Partner, to host a special breakfast event at the Boston Marriott Newton.meetup_boston_email

After successful Meet Ups with our users in Austin and Houston, we are excited to leave the state of Texas to meet and mingle with our customers in the Boston area. There is still time to register for the event, but space is limited so please RSVP here:

https://zohobostonmeetup.eventbrite.com/

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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

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

Customer Spotlight: Transforming from a “Hustle” to a Successful Business

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In December 2011, Jamar Jones decided it was time to take his company, Deluxe Signature Collection (DSC), to the next level.  Having been in business for almost five years, he felt that DSC had hit its earnings ceiling based on their current business practices.

“We started six years ago, but over the last year we’ve really tried to transform from a ‘hustle’ to a scalable business by putting systems and processes in place.”

Jones felt that the number one barrier limiting DSC’s growth was that he wasn’t efficient enough in communicating to customers which was therefore limiting his sales volume.  As such, he began the search for tools to assist in organizing his business to increase scalability.

The Business

Deluxe Signature Collection (DSC) specializes in the procurement and sale of quality sports memorabilia and the production of elite, public signing engagements.  DSC is headquartered in Southern California and aims to employ progressive business strategies to deliver intimate customer engagement and high quality events. Read more

Customer Spotlight: Business Thrives Thanks to the “Perfect Pair of Jeans”

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For nearly twenty-two years, Alexander Loffeld was a successful businessman working initially as a sales agent for shoe company Lisa Tucci, before joining another designer shoe company as a top sales manager.  On the outside, things seemed to be going well.

Loffeld however was fed up.  Corporate bureaucracy and the grind of long hours and constant deadlines were finally wearing him down.  In 2009, Loffeld decided “enough is enough.”

“I basically had a breakdown, and in one week I sold nearly all of my possessions.  For the next two years, I basically lived a very relaxing life and let the previous twenty-two years of work stress evaporate from my body.”

After two years however, Loffeld was ready to return to the game.  This time however, he was going to start his own business, Hillbay Consultancy Ltd.  All he needed was a few tools to help him get started…

The Business

Hillbay is a consultancy for the shoe industry.  In addition to selling shoes under their own label, Hillbay provides design, production, and distribution for a variety of companies across Europe.

Hillbay Consultancy has an extensive network of shoe manufacturers operating around Italy and works with a variety of customers at various levels of shoe production.

The Challenge: A Company Rapidly Gaining Contacts Seeking a Simple CRM Solution

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Loffeld knew immediately after starting Hillbay Consulting that he needed a CRM solution.

He was rapidly making new contacts and had an existing large database of leads for which he needed a customizable and easy-to-use CRM solution.  As a startup company, Loffeld was also very price sensitive and could not afford to try out an expensive CRM solution only to find it unsuitable for his needs.

Loffeld’s primary challenge then was quickly finding a long term CRM solution that matched his rigid criteria.

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

Loffeld had several years of experience with CRM prior to starting Hillbay Consultancy, and was thus very particular about two “must have” features:

Easy to Use – Because of the high volume of clients and Loffeld’s need to keep everything neatly organized, he did not want to waste time navigating through a complicated CRM solution.  Ease of use was essential.

Low Cost – As a startup, Loffeld was concerned with keeping costs low when selecting business software to integrate into his company.

Prior to using Zoho CRM, Loffeld had extensive experience with Exact Synergy’s CRM solution however he was less than satisfied.

Exact was quite difficult to use.  It needed a lot of hardware, was very difficult to learn, and was not very precise!  I needed something EASY!”

Discovering and Implementing Zoho CRM

Prior to Loffeld discovering Zoho CRM, he was already a user of Zoho Mail, so he was familiar with the company.  During his research into CRM solutions, he stumbled upon an article entitled “5 CRM Companies for You”

“I found an interesting article in a Dutch magazine which listed five different CRM solutions.  They touted Zoho VERY highly, and I somehow subconsciously was saving the ‘best for last.’  I tried every one of them with varying levels of satisfaction for the next two months until I finally realized I haven’t yet tried Zoho CRM itself!”

Having already tried out a number of CRM solutions, Loffeld was growing weary that he would find his ideal solution but was pleasantly surprised when he registered for Zoho CRM.

“I registered for Zoho CRM and after just a few hours, I knew this was it!”

But Loffeld didn’t stop with Zoho CRM.  As he began to grow comfortable with the interface and customizing it for Hillbay Consultancy’s needs, he began to discover other Zoho tools and solutions that integrate tightly with CRM.

“Once I imported all my clients, I began to brainstorm some different ways I could interact with them.  Then I discovered Zoho Campaigns, and integrated that with CRM to send mail out to my clients.”

As Loffeld dug deeper, he began finding value in a number of Zoho products.

“At the moment, I think I use everything of Zoho!  I use Zoho CRM, Campaigns, Sites, Invoice, Projects, and Mail.  Using these products together has made things even easier for me!  I also have begun integrating the mobile option which adds to the convenience.”

Life After Implementation

As soon as Loffeld decided that Zoho CRM was the solution for Hillbay Consultancy, he really “sunk his teeth in” and began taking advantage of Zoho CRM’s customizable features.

“I began optimizing Zoho CRM for myself by adding several custom fields, and grouping clients into separate groups.  To be honest, now I use every feature in CRM in addition to the new features that are added because everything is just so simple to learn.”

Hillbay Consulting is now thriving and has even started its own shoe label in addition to the existing consulting services.  With Zoho tightly integrated into the company, Hillbay has been steadily outgrowing and outperforming its competitors.

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

“If I were to write my own perfect CRM software right now, it would be nearly identical to Zoho.  The BEST thing is that it’s so easy to use!  Zoho CRM is like a good pair of jeans that fits great when you try it on, and one year later is even more comfortable.  I now essentially have Zoho integrated in all aspects of Hillbay Consultancy and we are thriving.”

To learn more about Hillbay Consultancy, CLICK HERE

Customer Spotlight: Largest Sensor Company in the U.S. Implements Z-CRM

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Over the last few years, Banner Engineering has been growing at a rapid rate.  With over 3000 employees, 7 corporate offices, and 147 products, Banner began realizing the challenge of tracking sales quotes from several sales representatives over a wide array of products.  Their system of tracking via MS Excel was actually causing more confusion and extra work.

Six months ago, Banner decided it was time to find a solution to these tracking difficulties and contacted Rivet Solutions, an IT and business solutions consultancy.  Rivet was tasked with finding a CRM solution that matched Banner Engineering’s extensive needs and implementing this solution as quickly and painlessly as possible.

The Business

Banner is the global leader in process and industrial automation, helping customers increase efficiency, reduce costs, ensure quality, monitor and control processes, and safeguard employees.

Banner focuses on delivering industry-leading photo eyes, sensors, vision sensors, wireless sensors, machine safety, e-stop devices, vision lighting, and a wide assortment of indicator lights, tower lights, stack lights, and pick to lights.

The Challenge: Finding a CRM that can Handle Extensive Information yet be Implemented in Under a Month

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Ameya Nisal of Rivet solutions lead the effort of finding Banner Engineering a suitable CRM solution.  The first thing he noticed were the extensive requirements.

“Banner had over nine pages of quotation parameters that we needed to meet which was a real challenge.  Additionally, they didn’t have the flexibility to be offline or in limbo for very long and they needed full implementation, automation, and training completed within a month.”

Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

As Rivet analyzed Banner’s extensive requirements, it became clear that Zoho CRM was the optimal solution.

“We considered SalesForce and Sugar CRM but quite honestly, I hesitate to recommend them because of the complexity of usage. “

This was especially important considering the timeframe that Rivet had to implement a company-wide CRM solution.

“We emphasized Zoho CRM because of the simplicity of usage.  It is considerably easier to use than any other full-featured CRM solution and considering the timeframe with which they wanted full-implementation, Zoho made the most sense. “

Rivet likes to go the extra level however to ensure that the customer is agreeable to their proposed solution.

“Zoho is always a very agreeable to customers because there is a lot of press out there, specifically GetApp.com, which recommends Zoho as the best all-around CRM solution.  I want the customer to feel 100% comfortable and once I show them these recommendations, they are entirely on-board. Additionally, CRM solutions like SalesForce and Sugar are exorbitantly more expensive and customers pay for features which they never use.  With Zoho CRM, you only pay for the features you use which Banner liked much more.”

Implementing Zoho CRM

Rivet solutions actively worked with Banner engineering and had them independently using Zoho CRM after only 25 days.

Life After Implementing Zoho CRM

“I’m happy to say that Banner has been successfully using Zoho CRM for over 5 months now.  The marketing/sales team incorporates all of their leads within Zoho CRM and Banner has been able to satisfy all of its requirements and needs with Zoho.”

“95% of Zoho CRM users are happy and comfortable using Zoho already.”

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

“This initially seemed a great challenge for Rivet solutions to implement a complete CRM for the largest sensor company from the U.S.  However, I think the ease with which we were able to implement this and the timeframe with which Banner Engineering was able to be completely and comfortably integrated with Z-CRM is a great testament to Zoho. “

To learn more about Rivet Solutions,CLICK HERE

To learn more about Banner Engineering, CLICK HERE