Customer Spotlight: Z-CRM Offers More Than Comfort for “Pillow Goddess”

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Despite being a very niche business, “Deborah Main Designs” a one-of-a-kind pillow-making company, has a wide and varied clientele.  At the suggestion of a an employee who formerly used Zoho CRM to manage contacts and donors for a political campaign, Deborah Main, owner and CEO, decided to give Z-CRM a try for her contact management.

Today, Z-CRM is an invaluable tool for her business and have proven indispensable for her on-the-go necessities.  Check out her story below!

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Introducing Doc Scanner for iPhone

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Very often, we come across a printed article or a document that makes us wish it were available in electronic format. We end up taking a photo of it and saving the image, but the content itself remains un-editable.

We are excited to announce a new mobile app, that can help with such documents – Doc Scanner.

This app lets you take a photo of a document and extracts the content as editable text and can be saved as a document (.docx format) in Zoho Docs as well as Google Drive. Of course, if you just want to save it as an image or a PDF file, that’s possible too, with both Zoho Docs as well as Google Drive.

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When you take a photo of a document to extract the content, you have an option to crop the image before the extraction process to ensure better quality. You can also scan multiple pages as part of a single document.

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The app can extract information from documents in multiple languages including English (US & UK), French, German and Spanish.

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Please note that data extraction quality depends on lot of factors (lighting conditions, the angle at which the photo is taken, images in documents) which will have an impact on the extraction quality, so it cannot always be 100% accurate. In cases where we are not too confident about the accuracy of the extracted text, we display it in light gray color allowing you to make necessary corrections.

Text extraction works best while scanning text documents. Documents with lots of images or tables can be saved as images or PDF files.

The goal of the app is to offer an easy way of extracting content from printed material and we hope you’ll find this a valuable addition to the other utility apps on your iPhone.

The app is available for download in the App Store for $4.99.

The android version of the app will follow soon. We look forward to hearing your feedback.

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

Embarrassing Things Happen When You Don’t Use Zoho CRM With The Mail Add-On

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I’m not going to preach about the benefits of Zoho CRM, or why you should use it with our Mail Add-on.

Instead, I’m just going to highlight what happens when you don’t.

Below is an email, a real email, I just sent to the VP of Sales or a company that was trying to sell us some service. Fine company, but they are not using Zoho CRM with the Mail Add-On.

This is not the first time, in the recent past I’ve had the same experience with other companies trying to sell me stuff. From now on, they’ll get similar emails. I just made this a template in Zoho Mail.

Rodrigo

ps. I changed the names  to protect the innocent ;) Everything else is verbatim.

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============ Forwarded message ============
From : <my email>
To : <VP of Sales Email>
Date : Wed, 29 Aug 2012 14:56:37 -0500
Subject : Fwd: Re: New Partners
============ Forwarded message ============

<VP of Sales> -

Hello! We have never spoken before, but I’ve spoken to two of your sales reps – <Sales Rep 1> and most recently, <Sales Rep 2>.

The reason you’re getting this email is because, see, after some lengthy discussions with <Sales Rep 1>, I decided not to sign-up with you guys, and we left it there, amicably.
Then, <Sales Rep 2> contacted me again this week – starting from scratch (I understand <Sales Rep 1> left).

Now, this is not the fault of your sales guys. It’s just they don’t have the right tools.

The most valuable communication between you and your prospects/clients is stored in your email. When you combine your email with your CRM, not only you can avoid embarrassing situations like this, but most importantly you can provide better service to your customers; and everyone in your team can stay informed about what’s going on with each prospect.

Zoho CRM allows you to combine your email (any email you’re using) with your CRM. Painlessly. No BCC:, no nothing.

Yes, I understand you’re currently using Salesforce, but well, we just saw how that is not working too well for you guys!

Let me know if you’re interested in learning more and I’ll connect you with one of our account managers.

best,

Rodrigo


Introducing Mobile Apps for CRM, Projects & Docs

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At the Zoholics event today in San Francisco, we introduced three new native mobile applications.

Zoho CRM on Android
Zoho Projects on iPhone
Zoho Docs on Android

Zoho CRM on Android is the most requested mobile app. We launched the application today in Google Play (Market) and is available for free for users with CRM Mobile edition enabled. The application offers offline access to your CRM data from a broad range of modules – Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Potentials, Tasks, Events, Calls & Cases. You can view, edit and delete data from your mobile.

With this release, Zoho CRM is now available on iPhone, Android & Blackberry along with our mobile web app.

Zoho Projects for iPhone is also announced at the Zoholics event today. This app brings three key modules to the iPhone – Activities, Tasks & Timesheet. You can now create edit and close your project tasks on the go. With the in-build timer, you can start/stop timers for multiple tasks to record work hours on the go that can subsequently be logged into the project Time Sheet for billing.

The app also allows you to record text and voice notes for tasks and for quick capture of events and status on the move. No matter what you do, all your data is always in sync with Zoho Projects.

The application will be available on AppStore very soon for users with Mobile Edition enabled in Zoho Projects. (UPDATE: It’s available now)

Zoho Docs for Android is also introduced at the Zoholics event today. It offers the same set of features we have on our iPhone and iPad apps. You can now view your private and shared documents, spreadsheets, presentations and more on the go, on your phone.

Apart form these three apps, we are also previewing few other mobile apps exclusively for Zoholics attendees. We will talk about those in this blog at a later date.

Announcing Zoho Sync: Push Mail And Mobile Sync Service

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Zoho Sync for Mobile Devices

We made a new year resolution to keep our services in tune with the ever evolving world, especially with respect to the rapidly growing smartphone and tablet segment. Today, we are glad to announce the release of Zoho Sync for mobile devices. You can now get automatic notifications PUSHed to your mobile phone or tablet when new emails arrive and your device’s local mail, contacts and calendar applications will sync with the web client in real time.

Zoho Sync for Mobile Devices

What’s neat is that this 2-way synchronization happens over-the-air, in the background (provided an internet connection is available) and once turned on, does not require any further manual intervention. So wherever you are, however occupied you might be doing other things, your mobile device will be up-to-date with the latest messages, event updates and contact information.

Zoho Sync functions using your mobile device’s Microsoft Exchange® ActiveSync® (EAS) account support and does not require any additional software. Since almost all the latest IOS, Android and Windows mobile devices support EAS, you can easily enable Zoho Sync on most mobile devices that run on these popular platforms. If you want to sync only mail, only mail and calendar but not contacts and so on, you can specify your options in your device’s EAS account settings.

ZSync Exchange Account Setup     ZSync Automatic Notification

So how is using Zoho Sync better compared to the typical IMAP setup? Let’s see:

  • Instead of your mobile device having to check (poll) for updates at regular intervals, notifications are pushed from the server to the device. This improves battery life.
  • You’ll receive automatic notifications on your phone the instant a new email arrives.
  • You’ll receive automatic notifications about new calendar events and event updates the instant the changes are made.
  • Email, calendar and contacts related actions you perform on your mobile will automatically reflect on your web client and vice versa. For example, when you read an email on your mobile, it is marked as read when you log in to the web client later on.

During our in-house tests, the syncing was smooth on the iPhone, iPad and Windows mobile devices. However, we did experience issues with certain models of Android phones. This is because of limitations induced by the customized Android versions shipped by the individual mobile makers and we are continuously working on overcoming them.

So go ahead and set up Zoho Sync on your mobile device and let it tell you that ‘You’ve got mail!’, as soon as it arrives. Be warned that once you turn on push notifications, your phone could be buzzing continuously and you might get addicted to checking mail. And do make sure you back up data before setting up the EAS account because existing data might be removed.

And please help us by sparing a few minutes in providing feedback about how this worked for you.

Has your phone started dinging yet? Coz…. you’ve got mail!

Update (26th June, 2012): Zoho Sync support is now available in all plans. Previously it was open only to users in organizations with their email hosted under the Zoho Mail Standard 15GB plan. Please request the administrator of your organization to go to the Control Panel and ensure that Zoho Sync is enabled for users. This is explained in the list of Zoho Mail feature updates made on Feb 06, 2012.