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Technology has not just brought the innovation but a complete evolution how small businesses could succeed in this competitive age with a limited budget. So, there is no need for making massive investments in business infrastructure but businesses can maximize the efficiency while retaining the advantage of agility that comes in smaller size. But this is not the question that how business should take advantage from these new possibilities. The question is how to begin? Let us start with customer relationship optimization and understand why it is necessary for businesses instead of their sizes.
Customer Relationship Management is Necessary in the Internet World Today!
CRM software programs are taken important for every business today either it is small or larger in size. Based on the research made by the Gartner, CRM market is expected to reach $36 billion by 2017 and there are convincing reasons too behind the success of CRM. According to the CRM Company, it has the capability to increase sales by 42 percent and maximizes customer retention up to 27 percent.
The sale forecasting is also improved by 40 percent. So, there is no doubt that Company needs to invest in a CRM but the problem is how to decide on the right CRM system for your business. The answer to this question depends on type of business, business nature, your budget and many more factors.
Undoubtedly, Salesforce leads the market with its effective cloud-based solution where Salesforce packages starts $5 per month for an individual user that includes vast features range too like accounts or contact management, task or event tracking, Outlook synchronization, Salesforce1 mobile app development, Chatter, Lightning, reporting, content library etc. Small businesses have doubt why do they need CRM and how to implement a CRM system effectively?
Here, starting with a CRM system that offers a free version is always a great idea. Salesforce package starting from $5 per month/per user may sound cheaper for large enterprises but it could become huge when counted for multiple users or billed annually. If small businesses are not sure why do they need a CRM solution then money will completely go to waste.
In the year 2016, business news daily reviewed a complete list of CRM systems available so far. They also published the buyers’ guide too based on their findings. The multiple entries in the buyers’ guide gives a complete synopsis of features or benefits of different CRM systems and it was taken as a great source of information for Companies.
Based on the buyers’ guide and comprehensive reviews, CRM systems were rated based on three categories. These are Best Free CRM software, Best CRM for small businesses, and the best CRM for very small businesses. For the category, “Best Free CRM Software” Zoho won the race. For the category, “Best CRM for small businesses”, Salesforce won the race.
The free version of Zoho contains all necessary functionalities that are needed by some small businesses like leads gathering, contact management, workflow automation, data analytics, team collaboration, and set of tools needed to convert leads in conversion. This is a web-based platform that is possible to access on mobile devices too.
A free version allows up to 10 users to work together. Don’t you think this is just an excellent feature for businesses working for budgetary CRM solutions. Other highlights of Zoho CRM include security enhancements, third-party integration, 360-degree view of customers and able to represent the critical information wisely that is needed by businesses to make decisions.
A free version allows to connect up to 10 users that could be a boom for small businesses but only for small businesses or the organizations that are not looking to grow. For a growing business, this is always better looking for something better. This is the reason why Zoho occupies a pretty narrow market only. Further, Zoho cannot be customized like Salesforce.
For someone who wanted to generate custom reports, add modules, they need to upgrade for the package that costs $35 per month per users. So, you can realize itself either Zoho is the right choice for your business or not.
Other than this, Zoho customization features are getting criticism. Many users have complaint that even to complete a simple task, they need to navigate through multiple steps.
Till the time, we have realized that businesses having limited budget looking to streamline their sales process and customer interactions will gain considerable value by integrating the free version of Zoho. For the businesses who are planning to scale soon or more focused towards the future growth, Salesforce is the right option to opt for.
Salesforce comes in four editions – Salesforce CRM Starter, Lightning Unlimited, Lightning Professional, and Lightning Enterprise. When priced per users, Salesforce is quite expensive overall.
Zoho is available in three editions – Standard, Enterprise, and Unlimited. Price is calculated based on per user, per month. Also, the billed cycle is released every month unlike Salesforce where bill cycle is release annually.
Contact Management is other major component of CRM that helps to build rich data profiles around prospects, clients, account etc. and saving precious business hours and dollars of investment. Both platforms offer features for contact management, leads generation, accounts management, or business opportunities etc.
With Salesforce, you can always store the customer details for each account separately and access the details where you left the last. In case of marketing campaigns too, the customer activities are tracked in the real time and streamline them seamlessly into your sales pipeline.
Zoho contact management features will not disappoint either. With the Zoho import wizard, you can quickly integrate with third-party business apps as needed. Certainly, Salesforce wins the race here with its extra ordinary capabilities and contact management features.
Both platforms allow you to work with dashboards and generating reports in the real-time to track customer activities, storing most sensitive data, and more.
Salesforce has built-in Dashboards and report generation tools helping you in tracking lead generation, conversion rate, sales forecasting and more. You can choose the Report Builder tool of your own choice and start creating custom reports as per your convenience. You just have to drag or drop the features, and you are done.
In case of Zoho as well there is opportunity tracking features under the Dashboard Menu where you can see sales activities, opportunities, lead sources, competitor details etc. Also, there are more than 40 plus report generation tools that can be availed with a single click.
In Salesforce, you have to pay little extra for availing advanced reporting features. At the same, advance reporting features are available by default in all paid versions of Zoho.
The native mobile apps are available for android and IOS by both vendors. A range of Zoho mobile apps include Calendar, newsfeed, geolocation, access to the basic system. If you lose mobile data then app will be synchronized automatically when you are back online.
In Salesforce too, you can access a wide range of mobile features like task management, updates, calendar, file sharing, mobile dashboard etc. Salesforce allows you to connect with conference calls directly with an app into minutes.
In terms of usability, you would not face any complaint in both cases. Both vendors have gained 4 out of 5 starts and you are free to check the rating on Google Play Store as well.
Horizontal integration feature could be a huge selling point for any CRM system. Every buyer needs a solution that could help you in exchanging data in the real-time and provide flexible integration whenever you need them.
Zoho provides a decent integration facility with wider range of platforms as per your requirement. At the same time, Salesforce is an ultimate winner here where AppExchange contains more than 3000 apps for seamless integrations and supporting other business-related activities too.
What is your final decision today? If you are looking for an ultimate advanced CRM system with plenty of space to scale the get a price quote for Salesforce. In case, you are looking for some basic CRM system then you could bid for the Zoho as well. As usually, the final question is which one is better in terms of needs and budget? Well, if you are facing trouble then you should talk to the experts right away and clear your doubts. I would recommend Salesforce for the growing business looking to expand in the neat future. Here are the few reasons why should you choose Salesforce over Zoho –
So, this is not about saving your money only but it is all about making money through CRM platform where Salesforce works definitely better when compared to Zoho. I hope you must have decided till the time which one is more suitable for your business requirements.
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