For salespeople, the customer relationship management (CRM) software they use every day is akin to a command center. Most of the interactions they have with customers revolve around the data residing in that application.
To make it simpler for salespeople to have those conversations with customers, Zoho has revamped its namesake CRM application to embed support for email, social media, live chat, and phone communications. The latest release also sports a new user interface that provides access to a Timeline View, Page Layouts, and a new Gamescope feature that makes it easier to apply gamification techniques to the sales process.
Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist of Zoho, says there is also a new email client for Zoho CRM, dubbed Zoho SalesInbox, which the company claims is the first one specifically designed for salespeople. Vegesna adds that Zoho worldwide is now signing up users of its software-as-a-service (SaaS) application at a rate of about a million a month.
“We have over 300,000 active business using Zoho CRM,” says Vegesna.
A big reason for this, says Vegesna, is the cost of employing Zoho CRM for business is on average $50 per seat. By contrast, Salesforce charges roughly $500 per seat per month.
To help spur more usage to its CRM application, Zoho has also launched a Zoho Developer program under which it is encouraging developers to create applications using its application programming interface (APIs) at no cost to them. Zoho will then reveal those applications to its customers via a Zoho Marketplace.
Zoho may not always be at the front of pack when it comes to innovations in the CRM space. But in terms of price points, it’s leading the way by making CRM software more widely affordable. As such, it shouldn’t be much longer before Zoho evolves from being a provider of a suite of SaaS applications into a full-blown cloud platform in its own right.