Zoho unveils new CRM suite for marketers

Zoho.com is launching a new customer relationship management (CRM) system for marketers, aiming to help them track leads from the beginning to the end of the marketing funnel.

Headquartered in Pleasanton, Calif., Zoho.com serves more than 9 million users, with a product suite containing more than 25 products. On Thursday, Zoho.com announced it’d be pulling together some of those products into Zoho CRM Plus, a software offering that helps salespeople and marketers track a customer from beginning to end of the marketing funnel.

Tracking sales performance in the marketing funnel with Zoho CRM Plus. (Image: Zoho.com).
Tracking sales performance in the marketing funnel with Zoho CRM Plus. (Image: Zoho.com).

For example, if a potential customer clicks on an ad after doing a Google search, or from a brand’s Facebook page, marketers will be able to access that information. Any interactions with that potential customer are also logged, including through an online sales chat, email communications that get sent out, or through social media interactions. The customers that are most likely to make a purchase get flagged by the system, so marketers can remember to keep reaching out to them to close a sale.

CRM Plus is also heavily focused on automation, pulling all of this lead data into one hub so marketers can see it all at once and work from its dashboard. And as an add-on to its automation side, Zoho also added a partnership with Google AdWords and telephony capabilities.

Aside from pulling its existing products into one suite, Zoho.com also announced two new applications for marketers – Zoho SalesIQ and Zoho Social. The first app allows marketers to get a better sense of who is coming to visit them and where those customers are located. While that’s common enough, what sets SalesIQ apart is it allows marketers to follow individual customers, instead of just getting general numbers.

Marketers can also see which countries potential customers are coming from, as well as what web pages they looked at, and for how long, so they’ll be able to guess just how interested those customers are in buying something. All of that data can be pulled into Zoho’s CRM, allowing marketers build a full customer profile.

Tracking where potential leads are located by country, using Zoho SalesIQ. (Image: Zoho.com).
Tracking where potential leads are located by country, using Zoho SalesIQ. (Image: Zoho.com).

Zoho Social is kind of like HootSuite, allowing marketers to post content to their brands’ Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google+ accounts. However, it also gauges sentiments, mentions, and so on, putting all of that into reports marketers can share with each other. What may also come in handy is Zoho Social’s suggest features, which give marketers the best days and times to post certain content and will allow them to post it multiple times on Facebook, to fit different time zones.

The latest features are part of what Raju Vegesna, general manager of Zoho.com, is calling the “biggest update” since the company first launched its CRM software. Zoho.com also has a lot of other apps for productivity, including ones for finance, accounting, collaboration and so on.

“You can pretty much run your business on Zoho … We’re trying to be the operating system for your business. If your business needs a lot of applications, we’re trying to be the platform that you run it on, with Zoho. That’s what we’re trying to do, at a high level.”
CRM Plus includes features like sales force automation, marketing automation, project management tools, data analytics, customer support, and the ability to send out customer surveys.

Pricing is set at $50 per user per year.

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Candice So
Candice Sohttp://www.itbusiness.ca
Candice is a graduate of Carleton University and has worked in several newsrooms as a freelance reporter and intern, including the Edmonton Journal, the Ottawa Citizen, the Globe and Mail, and the Windsor Star. Candice is a dog lover and a coffee drinker.

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