As more organizations come to depend on customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage their business, a larger percentage of them are starting to spend most of their time managing their business from within that application.
Zoho wants to help make it easier to do that by tightening the integration between its CRM application and documents that are related to specific customer records. The new release of Zoho CRM includes support for a new document library that allows customers to store files directly within the CRM application. In addition, Zoho has added a MailMagnet feature that highlights recent emails from any given customer and support for a new geo-location capability that allows salespeople to easily view all customers physically near them using their smartphone or tablet device.
According to Raju Vegesna, evangelist for Zoho.com, the company’s SaaS applications are gaining traction in the small-to-medium business sector where customers are tired of paying extra to integrate their CRM applications with other applications. Vegesna says, at a recent conference with its partners, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer recently noted that for every dollar a customer spends on an application, they spend an additional $7.84 on integrating that application. Vegesna says Zoho argues that integration should be “a feature not a bug.”
Vegesna says Zoho is also having success migrating SMB customers off of Salesforce.com, which Vegesna says is no longer focused on SMB customers. In fact, Vegesna says that Zoho is helping as many as five customers a day make that transition.
All told, Vegesna says that within a year of buying their first Zoho application the typical customer is using an additional five to six applications because the barriers to adding additional Zoho applications have been deliberately take down. In the long haul, Vegesna says he’s confident that rival CRM vendors will be forced down a similar integration path. In the meantime, however, Vegesna says Zoho is starting to gain some momentum among SMB customers that don’t have the time or money to hunt for information that they instinctively know should be one click away at any given moment.