Disclosure: CRMAdvice is reader-supported. When you buy a CRM Software through links on our site, we may earn commissions.

Zoho CRM Review

Last updated: January 2, 2021

Zoho-review

Mike Markus
He is a CRM software enthusiast/analyst and the co-founder of CRMAdvice.org. He studied MC-IT Course from Melbourne University.

Zoho CRM tosses around some pretty serious claims.

Is it really the champion of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tools?

And does its latest flexible free trial make it a better value for your money than HubSpot CRM and Pipedrive CRM?

Zoho-CRM-page

Zoho CRM is rated 9,5 out of 10 on CRMAdvice.org

Whether you want to manage your business leads,

automate your online marketing campaigns,

track the lifecycle of inventory and stock,

or assist customers in making effective use of a product or a service,

Zoho CRM covers it all.

During the last four years of using Zoho CRM, I put it through its paces to find out just how good this premium CRM was, and was surprised to find Zoho CRM performed well in almost every area.

In this Zoho CRM review, I will help you decide if Zoho CRM is the right CRM tool for your business.

ZOHO CRM Overview

Zoho CRM Pros:

1. The Best Calendar Feature We’ve Seen
2. Use Mobile CRM On the Move
3. Generate More Revenue with Less Effort
4. Data-Driven Decisions
5. Live Chat with a Client (EXTRA Valuable)
6. Business Card Scanner for Busy Sales People
7. Featuring One of the BEST CRMs in the Game

Zoho CRM Cons:

1. One Bad Experience with Bugs
2. Fast Software Development

Zoho CRM Pricing (Ultimate Guide)
Do I Recommend Using Zoho CRM Long Term?
Conclusion

NEW USER EXPERIENCE: Easy to set up
USABILITY: Effective, efficient, and engaging
CAMPAIGN BUILDER: Designed for both high and low volume email
AUTOMATION: Automate everything from welcome emails to different sales routines
EMAIL CONNECTION: Zoho CRM syncs to your email
EMAIL TEMPLATES AND EDITOR: Create an email template from scratch
Choose a template from the predesigned list of templates
and insert an HTML
COMMUNITY: Zoho CRM Community – connect with fellow CRM administrators, and they’re helpful
REPORTS: Their reports and analytics are top-notch
SUPPORT: Used to be the only weakness, click here to read more
MONTHLY RATES: €12-€100 per user per month (billed annually);
monthly starts from €18
TRIAL: 15-Day Free Trial
OFFICIAL WEBSITE: www.Zoho.com

Zoho CRM Pros

1. The Best Calendar Feature We’ve Seen

What can be so special in a calendar tool?

Well, this is one of the easiest to use and understandable calendar features I have come across.

Using multiple calendars?

No problem at all.

Zoho CRM connects all your calendars to one system so you can avoid the hassle of multiple sign-ins.

Now, you can easily keep track of events and deadlines by syncing your Zoho CRM Calendar with Microsoft Office 365.

Zoho-CRM-Office-365

When using Google Calendar, you can sync your CRM events with it.

The events will show up in both Google and Zoho CRM.

So, you can easily add guests from your Google calendar events as contacts in CRM, and continue your correspondence.

Zoho-CRM-Google-Calendar

Next:

Balance life and work by putting all your events in one calendar.

As your CRM records will be automatically updated with the help of CalDAV (a protocol used to sync calendars), you can now create and modify personal appointments and CRM events on your mobile phone.

You may be asking: “Mike, what if I’m going offline?”

Don’t worry – changes made to your phone’s calendar while you are on the go will immediately reflect across synced devices when you’re back online.

Zoho-CRM-Apple-Calendar

That’s not all – as a Zoho CRM Calendar user you’re getting access to all this:

You can plan your demos with prospects, calls with customers, training sessions, and just about anything sales related using this built-in calendar.

Zoho-CRM-calendar

Call prospects directly from your calendar and avoid the hassle of searching for phone numbers.

Turn a one-time event into a recurring one by checking a box to add it to your participants’ calendars.

Set up email reminders for people who haven’t responded to invites and notify others about upcoming events with a single click.

Great job, Zoho team!

Important Note: Zoho CRM has a very forward-looking calendar, you can’t go back in time and see what was on your calendar six months ago. But if you have a business where you need to look back as well, HubSpot CRM has it.

2. Use Mobile CRM On the Move (Even While Being Offline)

Using Zoho CRM Mobile Edition makes everything easy.

Having said that:

It makes it easy to access data from anywhere, at any time, even when you’re offline. (Changes made offline will automatically sync across devices once you’re connected to a network.)

It gets even better.

When you’re out at lunch and remember a contact that you’ve been meaning to reach out to, you’ll be able to do so RIGHT AWAY with this mobile CRM app.

In addition, planning your workday to stay on top of your day’s activities is no longer a problem.

Sending out an email, negotiating a deal, or talking to a customer, you get an overview of all your upcoming activities.

Zoho-CRM-Mobile-Edition

Important! This helps you to be well prepared and informed and IMPROVES your sales conversion rate.

Never be in a position where you don’t know what’s coming next, and never let opportunities fall through the crack.

***I was using Zoho CRM Mobile Edition on the move to meet clients, while all the other team members were in the office, and we had to make a collective decision.

What you can do is post the status of your tasks to keep your team informed of your progress so that they can guide you with valuable insights at crucial deal states.

Zoho-CRM-mobile-collaboration

I find it really helpful.

3. Generate More Revenue with Less Effort (Lead Management)

Now, let’s start with defining a lead, and then we’ll discover what lead management is.

Zoho-CRM-Mobile-Edition

Every unqualified contact/account that you receive from different sources becomes a lead and probably a prospective customer.

Next, let’s find out what is lead management in the first place:

What-is-Lead-Management

Important! You need to have a lead management platform in place if you want to make the most of prospects who are interested in your product or service.

What makes Zoho CRM so special compared with other CRM tools is you get all the information easily, and the User Interface (UI) is very simple and easy to understand.

With just one click, you can access all the information about the DOs and DON’Ts, notifications, attachments, calls – all in the same place!

Zoho-CRM-UI

4. Data-Driven Decisions = The Best Decisions

Honestly.

Attracting new customers will always be a difficult but essential part of your business.

It doesn’t need to be difficult.

Look:

When managing a sales team.

Creating and sending targeted email campaigns.

Or running ads on Google, for example.

One thing for sure, you need data that drives your decision-making process.

After using Zoho CRM for years, it has proven itself.

That said, to create targeted campaigns for strategically important customers in your mailing list, Zoho CRM helps you to identify the emails that work well, and the ones that need an immediate course correction.

Email-Campaign

Note: All sales from different campaigns will be seen under Deals.

Next, when running ad campaigns on Google, you will have a complete picture of your ad spending and how much revenue each campaign generates.

Zoho-CRM-Google-Ads

I’ve used this tool twice to find out the IDEAL set of keywords (that actually convert leads to sales), and the product helped me out at both times.

Zoho CRM Data-part gets better:

In most cases, teams reflect their management.

So being effective, proactive managers increases your team’s chances of achieving success.

Zoho CRM’s key performance indicators (KPIs) track how well your team is performing, and adding a KPI monitor to your dashboard gives you key measurable information at a single glance.

CRM-KPI

Plus, a bit of friendly competition never hurt anyone.

And, because of that, I am sharing this sales performance scorecard with my team each Monday before they start the week. It’s been working well.

sales-performance-scorecard

Personally, I am all in favor of empowering everyone in my organization to make data-driven decisions. This is helping us make decisions based on actual data rather than intuition or gut feeling.

5. Live Chat with a Client (EXTRA Valuable)

Now, this gets interesting.

I know there are all those Chatbots on different websites, but if you’re selling high-ticket products and services, having a live chat system on your website is the ABSOLUTE best way to engage with your incoming prospect.

It’s so much more personal, and you can convert them to leads right from your chat window.

In fact, you understand your visitors better by seeing whether they’re a recurring customer or a new prospect even before you engage with them.

Zoho CRM stores chat transcripts for each record, so you have the entire history of customer interactions and a summary of all their visits at your fingertips.

CRM-live-chat

Next, when your business is doing very well, and your website receives thousands of visitors every day, it’s EASY to miss out on hot prospects.

Zoho CRM automatically segments visitors into leads, prospects, and customers. So, it seems like they’ll go the extra mile to help you out.

It looks like this:

CRM-Customers-Leads

Consider the fact that with this tool, you can always prioritize your engagements accordingly.

Note: Before starting to chat with a visitor, try to first view their status, their previous deals with your company, and their general history in the Zoho CRM pipeline; with all this information, you can provide a personalized chat experience.

Overall, as live chat is the most preferred communication channel when a lead lands on a website, the overview of all the details in one window lets you easily give them the best service possible.

Zoho-CRM-detailed-information

6. Business Card Scanner for Busy Sales People

In 2021, despite all the technological advancements, business cards are still irreplaceable.

I believe business cards are part of the branding exercise that marketers take up to beat the competition.

Let’s say someone gives you their business card. What are you going to do with it?

Zoho CRM allows you to scan a business card or QR badge, and appropriate fields are automatically filled in.

CRM-Business-Card-Scanner

So, within seconds, you can export all this information to other Zoho apps.

But what if you attend events to meet with international clients?

No problem at all; Zoho CRM reads business cards in seventeen different languages.

7. Featuring One Of The BEST CRMs in the Game

I have used every CRM platform out there, I think.

What I like about Zoho CRM is it’s simple enough to immediately begin improving a company’s sales process, at the same time out of the box but powerful enough to create complex workflows, automation, custom solutions, and integrations.

Zoho CRM makes it especially easy to find the last communication and pick up right where you left off with any lead, deal, or client.

Next, it syncs with other Zoho products, as well as many internal systems, making it perfect for a connected workflow.

Finally, Zoho is consistently looking to make their product better and has shown an extraordinary commitment to improving its design and functionality.

Plus, its pricing is affordable, considering all the features offered.

*Bonus: There are multiple billing levels available, so the system will scale with your business, or even better check out Zoho One for a simple and affordable solution to even more of Zoho services.

Zoho CRM Cons

So, a couple of things Zoho CRM people on their payroll are not telling you about…

1. One Bad Experience with Bugs

Back in 2018, there were many issues with the product. The application was buggy.

So, I started reporting bugs to their support department.

Then, I found out their support is not based in America.

Note: It’s 100% acceptable, but sometimes they can’t understand what I’m really saying (maybe it’s because of my own European accent, though).

Next:

After I reported those issues, they would use remote access into my computer, and repeat the same steps over and over again, expecting different results.

I personally gave up reporting this issue back then. They didn’t even seem to make it a priority to fix it anyways.

Then I even had a “Technical Account Manager” who wasn’t very responsive.

If there were any unresolved issues with the application, he would just send them back to the support department (the same support department I’d been previously fighting with for months on that specific issue)

For me, it seemed they were acting like preprogrammed robots, where everybody in the company seemed to have a communication gap between other departments.

You can tell there was a pretty bad work ethic and culture.

Thankfully, these things have changed. I’m not sure they read my review, but things are so much better now. Unbelievable!

Since the 3rd quarter of 2019, I haven’t had any issues or bugs when using Zoho CRM.

It seems like we all learn from our mistakes.

2. Fast Software Development – Is It Good or Bad?

Zoho CRM brings out new releases fast and often, so there are annoying things that happen.

Leading-edge software development comes at a cost.

An example is the design of the Contact view in Zoho CRM being changed recently without notice.

Even though this doesn’t consume much of your time, if you need consistency and 100% predictability, then be aware that a couple of times or days a year, Zoho CRM is not as good as it can be.

IMPORTANT! If you are okay with 99% predictability and consistency, Zoho CRM is one of the best options.

Zoho CRM Pricing (Ultimate Guide)

With pricing, the Zoho CRM website makes it a bit complicated.

But let me explain it here.

Zoho CRM offers a per-user month-to-month subscription.

Zoho CRM comes with four different plans.

Zoho-CRM-Office-365

In addition, there is a Zoho CRM Plus,

Zoho-CRM-Office-365

and a Zoho One.

Zoho-CRM-Office-365

“Mike, what is the difference between Standard and Enterprise for example, is it just the features?”

Yes, the features and limits of the existing features vary between the different editions, of Zoho CRM.

“Which one you suggest, if I’m a solo entrepreneur and having around 500 contacts and a 2,500 people email list, using a bit of social media as well…”

I will suggest the Professional or the Enterprise Edition of the CRM. The Professional Edition of the CRM allows you to integrate your email account (Gmail/Outlook/Yahoo etc) to the CRM, this helps you to track all the conversation commencing with your customers.

“OK, with Standard plan I can’t do it, right?”

Email integration is a part of the Professional and higher editions, correct.

“What about Zoho CRM Plus and Zoho One…”

Zoho-CRM-Office-365

“If you’re totally honest Mike, which is the most popular: is it Professional, Enterprise, Zoho One, or Zoho CRM Plus?”

Zoho One suite is the most popular among the four.

Look:

Zoho One is the next level.

It’s all of Zoho’s applications in one subscription.

Zoho One has more than forty integrated business and productivity apps for your entire organization, all under one roof. That includes the Zoho CRM Enterprise Edition.

By the way, 30 EUR/license/month plan is applicable for organizations that need Zoho One access for all its Employees. Since you said you are a solo entrepreneur I would suggest trying Zoho One suite as it will provide a good bandwidth as your organization expands.

Zoho CRM accepts a variety of payment methods. They accept payment via Mastercard, American Express, Visa, and PayPal.

Zoho One offers a thirty-day money-back guarantee. When I tested the company’s refund policy, I received a refund, hassle-free, within three days. You can purchase Zoho CRM via bank transfer or check transfer for yearly subscriptions.

Note: If you are not satisfied with their product or service, cancel your subscription any time, and they will refund your purchase amount in full.

Do I Recommend Using Zoho CRM Long-Term?

YES

Simply put, the best value for your money.

Zoho CRM won our Best CRM Award for the third time this year.

This should tell you enough about the quality of this CRM tool.

It’s hard to find a more reliable, trustworthy, and affordable CRM platform.

Zoho CRM isn’t perfect – but it’s very close.

For small and medium-sized businesses, or start ups, I absolutely recommend Zoho CRM if you’re looking for a great solution for an even better price.

You can get started with Zoho CRM from here.

Conclusion – Is It Really Beginner Friendly and Easy to Use CRM?

It is an easy to use application that offers a good overview of open items, action items, and tasks to do.

It is a layered product that you can use with ease, without flooding your screen with more information that you need to follow customer cases.

If you want to drill down to more functionality, you can enter it without changing too many screens and wasting time moving back and forth.

With Zoho CRM it’s quite simple – if you implement it well enough, it can boost your business and help you standardize your commercial processes as well as digitalize your commercial operations.

Overall, Zoho CRM has proved to be one of the most fascinating tools I’ve ever used and implemented. It’s a very user-friendly, highly efficient, and incredibly easy to integrate tool. I’m not saying those things often.

The Bottom Line

An impressive CRM service that’s worth every penny.

It’s easy to see why Zoho CRM is so widely used.

If you are a small business owner, you will not find a better solution in the CRM industry than Zoho CRM.

Get started with Zoho CRM Now!

If you’re looking for a more feature-rich CRM which is more appropriate for larger companies, check out HubSpot CRM.

If you need a sales-focused CRM with the best pipeline system and with a lower price point, check out Pipedrive CRM.

Our CRM Software Review Process:

  1. Using Each CRM Software for 5+ Years.
  2. Ran Businesses With All of Them.
  3. Attended their Events.
  4. Tested for Consulting Industry,
  5. Business or Life Coaching,
  6. Authors,
  7. Blogging,
  8. E-commerce,
  9. B2b Marketing & Sales,
  10. Offline Business,
  11. And for Pipeline Based Sales Model Business.
  12. Compared Usability, Cost & Value.