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Mastering ZOHO CRM: Manage your Team, Pipeline and Clients

We have recently ported our CRM to Zoho, and we thought it a good idea to compile a list of articles explaining how to use ZHO to manage your team, pipeline, and clients.

Mastering ZOHO CRM: Manage your Team, Pipeline, and Clients

Who is Zoho CRM for?

[1]Zoho CRM can be easily customized to meet the specific needs of any business type and size. Start-ups, large enterprises, and verticals like real-estate, healthcare, insurance, legal, media, restaurants, travel, banking, tax, freelancers, and non-profits all use customer relationship management software for increasing their sales, marketing, and customer support efforts.


B2C companies have shorter customer life cycles, and they typically require more direct and less time-consuming solutions. Zoho CRM features like lead management, instant surveys, marketing automation, etc. helps B2Cs reach out to their customers more easily.


From managing an account’s contact information to staying up to date with business deals, payments, and reports, Zoho CRM enables B2B companies stay on top of their sales operations. It helps them create a common platform to keep their partners, vendors, and other business stakeholders in sync with each other.


SMBs aren’t small and medium businesses but smart and modern businesses. There’s no truth to the common misconception that cloud CRM is too expensive and complicated for SMBs. They can always start their CRM journey with the free version of Zoho CRM. By being a great technological leveller, small business CRM systems provide SMBs with a level playing field and the ability to compete against the bigger players in their industry.


With advanced CRM features like workflow management, advanced analytics, territory management, sales, and marketing automation, Zoho CRM can help reduce the time salespeople spend on mundane tasks, have more time to concentrate on their customers unify their operations across multiple geographic locations.

Manage your Team

[2]First, CRM is Customer Relationship Management. It refers to a category of software and it refers to a holistic approach to building and maintaining strong relationships with Leads, Prospects and Customers/Clients. CRM software supports such efforts by improving our efficiency and our effectiveness in tracking, measuring, communicating and enhancing such relationships. Such software can be On-Premises (locally installed) and/or Cloud-based (SaaS or Software as a Service). Zoho CRM is the latter – a subscription-based CRM from Zoho, a US-based company with most product development, management, marketing,g and support from India, notably Chennai, India. Actually, it is one of ~30 related apps in the Zoho suite that provide strong native integration to each other. Although it was initially targeted at Soho (‘Zoho’ was chosen because it sounded like Soho and because the domain name was available, rather than pay an exorbitant asking price for, it is finding increasing acceptance up-market, in ever-larger implementations. I love Zoho CRM for the following reasons:

  1. The User Interface (UI), or User Experience (UX), is, IMHO, beautiful – simple, clean, uncluttered, intuitive and easy to navigate. Ditto for their Mobile apps, too.
  2. Zoho CRM integrates with Zoho Books (alternative to QuickBooks) to provide effortless CRM+Books integration – ONE silo of data. The same is true for Zoho Campaigns, Zoho Surveys, Zoho Projects, Zoho Forms, Zoho Creator and so on. Zoho believes that hardware became commoditized a long time ago. The software is undergoing commoditization now, leaving integration as key to product differentiation. Thus the focus on integration among Zoho’s 30 apps.
  3. Zoho, the company, has a very benevolent corporate culture that is helped partly by being privately owned – long term to Zoho means years, not the next reporting quarter. Zoho has developed secondary schools to teach s/w dev to high schoolers, many of whom come aboard as FTs. Turnover is exceptionally low, and loyalty is high. Sridhar Vembu, one of the founders, eschews outside investment, insisting on remaining private to control their own destiny. Zoho reminds me of my days at Hewlett-Packard – no private offices, developers, support, and marketing co-located by product. They resemble some modern US startups but without the frenetic race to go public.
  4. Zoho provides high value at a price attractive to SMB – their subscription pricing is well under that of Salesforce, Microsoft CRM and other well-known CRM providers. They accomplish this by putting all of the budgets into the product rather than Sales, Marketing, Advertising & Legal. I like to quote Barbara Broccoli and Michael G. Wilson, owners of EON Productions, of the James Bond brand. Their mantra is, “All of the budgets goes on the screen.” Zoho follows a similar philosophy.

Pipeline and Clients

[3]Zoho CRM offers a wide range of benefits, most of which related to closing more sales and attracting more customers. But how exactly does its functionality help your customer relationships improve? Let’s check this out:

It automates vital sales operationsZoho CRM’s core value is that it automates daily sales tasks, converts web visitors into hot leads, imports prospects from external sources and parties including trade shows, direct emails, and seminar. Once imported into the system, leads match the appropriate sales agent and converted them into buyers sooner than you could ever imagine. Most sales operations in Zoho CRM are single-click ones and can be customized to meet your business’s specific needs.

Zoho CRM also allows you to manage customer accounts, such as: monitor all accounts from a shared database; view them across products, locations, accounts, and statuses; and track their purchase history for cross-selling or upsell opportunities. Likewise, you can accurately forecast revenue, establish/assign/edit sales quotas, identify individual/team performance, measure forecast accuracy, and create customizable forecast reports and dashboards.

Gives access to important data in real-time

Zoho CRM offers a handy Opportunity Tracking tool allows you to see where your customer is in the sales cycle, which is the deal’s size, contact history, and competitor profile to help you craft more fitting messages. Access these data in the easy, accurate Dynamic Reports & Dashboards.

Zoho also lets you identify and target inactive leads with historical data to realign your customer messaging. The Business Card View, for instance, allows you to quickly access all pertinent customer information in one window without the need to scroll or search. The Notes Section displays the time and content of past conversations for a more personal and logical communication. Sooner than you think, relationships will be streamlined, and you will be able to make smarter and more profitable business decision.

Makes maximal use of social media

Like it or not, most of our customers nowadays are coming from Twitter and Facebook pages, which is why it is essential to have a CRM that can link them to our products/services. Zoho CRM, for instances, follows their behaviors and categorizes them as leads and contacts, so that you could connect with them and send them invitations to give your work a look.

Allows you to go mobile

Zoho CRM has a special, dedicated mobile edition for Android and iOS users, which helps stay in control of customers even while on the go. You can control their actions, access sales records, or send invitations directly from your mobile device.

It is integrated with Google Apps and Zoho suite.

Zoho CRM connects to key Google Apps like Gmail, Docs and Calendar smoothly, on top of its native integration within the Zoho suite of apps. The result is you get to enhance the base system significantly with complementing apps.

Overview of Zoho CRM Features

SalesForce Automation

  • Lead Generation & Qualification
  • Pipeline Analysis
  • Sales Stage & Probability Analysis
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Real-Time Forecasting
  • Quota Management

Lead Management

  • Automate lead management process
  • Fast track leads to the deal process
  • Capture leads from the website
  • Import leads from trade shows, seminars, direct mail, etc.
  • Match sales-ready leads to the right salespeople.
  • Convert prospects into opportunities, accounts, and contacts with a single click
  • Sales processes as per own best practices (B2B & B2C)

Account Management

  • Single database
  • Customer data across products, geographies, account, and status
  • Parent-child relationships between customer accounts and their subsidiaries
  • Price quotes, sales orders, and invoices
  • Purchase history to find cross-sell and up-sell opportunities
  • Loyalty programs

Effective Follow-up

  • Log important customer calls
  • Save customer meetings and calls in an intuitive calendar
  • Invite employees, leads, and contacts to meetings and events
  • Manage recurring events by day, week, month, and/or year

Website Integration with Forms

  • Create forms with no coding
  • Set rules to simplify lead distribution
  • Upload forms live instantly
  • Catch leads directly into your CRM

CRM Workflow Management

  • Workflow alerts while creating or modifying records
  • Associate tasks to the workflow rules with CRM records
  • Email notifications with templates and upon triggering a workflow rule
  • Auto schedule the workflow actions at a pre-defined interval
  • Instant notifications to 3rd party applications via Webhooks
  • Custom Functions
  • Macros automate tasks

Sales Tracking

  • Sales Opportunity Management
  • Monitor sales opportunities across the sales cycle
  • Import sales opportunities from third-party solutions and services
  • 360-degree view
  • Drag-and-drop customization wizard
  • Big deal alert
  • Sales pipeline and sales escalation process
  • Free Edition


  • Track records that are critical to your business based on your criteria
  • Stay on top of sales updates in real-time
  • Identify cold prospects for a sales follow-up
  • Sort updates by users and modules
  • Sort records by record owner and module
  • Complete visibility based on last activity

Sales Forecasting

  • Revenue-based on data within Zoho CRM
  • Create, assign and revise sales quotas
  • Assess individual and team performance
  • Forecast accuracy against commit amounts
  • Fully customizable forecast reports and dashboards


  • Business Card View
  • A glance at important details of the contact without scrolling or searching
  • Customize fields


  • Captures collates and distributes customer email activity within your CRM.
  • Get notification and reply to customer emails within CRM
  • Intuitively scans your mailbox and displays only relevant emails
  • Send emails via your favorite mail client
  • Get a copy of the email linked to the right lead or contact in CRM
  • Link prospect and customers emails with your CRM data
  • Share emails from prospects based on your own rules
  • Create mail merge templates for different modules
  • Get updated user info in merged documents
  • Manage templates in secured folders

Document Library

  • Role-based folders, sub-folders
  • Share collateral with your salespeople
  • Send documents from your CRM
  • One document can have multiple versions
  • Quick feedback from colleagues to improve document

Social CRM

  • View social interactions of your brand with the prospect
  • Reply to direct messages, likes, and mentions via your brand’s social profile
  • Engage prospects from within the social stream
  • Stay tapped on customer’s interests and updates
  • Comment or like them inside CRM

Mobile CRM

  • Real-time access to customer data
  • Receive sales alerts
  • Search customers nearby, create tasks
  • Capture trade show leads directly into Zoho CRM
  • Digitalize and save business cards on your iPhone

CRM for Google Apps

  • Custom Modules, API, Webhooks, and Custom Functions
  • Create campaigns, email marketing & autoresponders
  • Enable security controls, organizational hierarchy & territories


Any CRM is going to be a lengthy implementation process. But in the long run a well worth exercise. Take a look at Zoho and see if it is a fit for your organization.

RapidPage compiled this article.

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