Functional overview of Zoho CRM software

Are you searching for the best CRM software for small business? Do you want to know about the specifications and features of Zoho CRM software? Have a look at this article and get more details about the functional overview of Zoho CRM, one of the best Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software for small businesses.

What is Zoho CRM?

Zoho CRM is a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software developed by Zoho for managing and developing the relationship with the customers in an efficient manner to scale up the growth of the business. It is one of the best choices for business as it has all the core functionalities required to develop a business. Zoho CRM software helps an organization or a small business to track and improve the sales and marketing process. It assists to provide customer support and to manage the inventory using customization inventory management functions.

A business is nothing without its customers. To develop the business on a large scale, a company or an organization must have a strong relationship with its customers. The built-in features and specifications of Zoho CRM help to manage the customers and to expand the business. The software is available in standard, enterprise, professional and ultimate edition. The features present in Zoho CRM software varies from all the 4 editions. Zoho CRM Enterprise edition is one of the most popular editions of Zoho CRM software.

Functional overview of Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is packed with many customization features suitable to start and develop a strong relationship with customers. The features of Zoho CRM software are mentioned below.

Multi channel communication

Zoho CRM software provides a wide communication platform to reach out to the customers across the globe. A Zoho CRM user can interact with their customers via phone, email, live chat, in person and even through social media. To have a telephone conversation with the contacts and leads, Zoho CRM helps to make calls with single click dialing option. To officially engage with the contacts and leads, the user can write content and receive responses from the customers through e-mail communication. Zoho CRM has an email system and a Sales Inbox to send and receive emails. The customization options present in Zoho CRM helps to manage the call logs and can perform email analytic and visitor tracking.

Sales signals

Zoho CRM gives real-time notifications on each and every activity of the customers. i.e submitting a survey, sending an email, etc. The real-time notifications are considered to be sales signals which ensure the Zoho CRM users to track their customer activities by displaying them in an organized timeline. The software has default integration with Zoho Campaigns and Zoho survey. Generally, business users use different apps to check individual notifications of the contacts. So, to avoid the process of checking different apps, Zoho CRM allows integration of a third party app which helps the sales signals to keep track of all the real-time notifications from different business applications.

Sales force automation

Zoho CRM provides sales management functions such as pipeline analysis, lead generation and qualification, competitor analysis, sales stage and probability analysis, sales tracking and other metrics for the executives, organization, and the sales forces to focus on the business, track all the business opportunities and increase the sales revenue. It also helps to identify the bottleneck in the sales process in advance and to utilize the customer data for the future up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. The sale force automation modules present in Zoho CRM are Contacts, Accounts, Leads, Potentials and Sales forecasting.

Sales tracking

Sales opportunity management focuses on tracking, prioritizing and monitoring the deals in the pipeline. Zoho CRM offers a sales tracking system which delivers a 360-degree view of all the pipelines, sales cycle, deals, and contacts. The display of all the critical business information helps the user to make wise business decisions and to announce a big deal alert. Zoho CRM has a drag and drop type customization wizard and the users can update the deal's stage, create quotes inside the deals module and email it directly to the customers. It helps to improve the sales management effectively and to monitor the sales opportunities across the sales cycle. Zoho CRM also helps to import sales opportunities from third-party services and solutions.

Sales forecasting

Sales forecasting is much needed to track the progress of the sales and to set targets. Zoho CRM forecasts the revenue and helps to assign targets to the team based on the data like quotas achieved in the last fiscal year, deals in the pipeline and the details of an individual or teams that are working towards a goal. Zoho CRM helps to identify the star performers by providing the sales forecast by an individual salesperson or a team. It also displays the target and sales achievement by a territory in the dashboard as forecast reports. Through Zoho CRM, sales comparison can be performed effectively to set realistic future targets and improve the sales performance.

Lead management

An organization or a person that a company has a potential to deal business with is referred as lead. To convert a lead into a potential buyer, Zoho CRM ensures necessary follow-up options and effective communication measures to uplift the lead management process. It helps to capture and import leads from seminars, emails, websites, trade shows and content management systems. Interested leads can be easily converted into deals with a single click. The workflow rules present in Zoho CRM assist to assign leads to sales rep based on a product, department or geographical location. The marketing performance indicators such as cost per deal, conversion ratios, ROI of leads, etc. can also be measured in Zoho CRM.

Workflow management

The workflow automation process of Zoho CRM makes the business hours more productive by finishing the routine tasks on time. The process has set of workflow rules, tasks, alerts, macros and other custom functions to perform instant and scheduled options automatically. The workflow automation process helps to reduce the operation cost and to improve the work efficiency.


Zoho CRM has effective follow-up options and provides a platform to integrate iCal and google calendar. It automatically sends follow-up emails, autoresponders, meeting reminders, logs important customer calls and invite employees, contacts and leads to attend meetings and events. Zoho CRM effectively manages the recurring events in the calendar.

Account management

Zoho CRM's account management provides a good interface to manage all the accounts in a single database. It holds the account information and provides a complete view of the location, pending deals, contact, latest activity, project association and more details about the customers. Account management reveals the parent-child relationship between customer accounts and their subsidiaries. It also contains the customer data across geographies, products, and status. Detailed information about the price quotes, invoices and sales orders are also present in the database. Zoho CRM provides purchase history of the customer and helps to find the sales opportunities.

Document library

Documents such as brochures, invoices, PDFs, guides, forms, etc are frequently used in business. To manage and organize all the business related documents, Zoho CRM provides a document library where role-based folders and subfolders can be created or deleted. All types of files can be uploaded, created and deleted in the documents tab. The documents present in the repository can be shared with the salespersons based on the profile permission and the users can also attach or send documents to other contacts from their Zoho CRM account.

Social networking

Zoho CRM is integrated with Twitter, Google+ and Facebook so that the social media accounts of the customers and leads can be linked automatically with their Zoho CRM profile. It also let the business users view the social media interaction of their customers from the dashboard. A company can also monitor their organization-specific pages in Twitter, Google+ and Facebook and engage with their own prospects and customers from the CRM's social tab. Only administrators with special permission can access the social tab in CRM.

CRM mobile edition

Zoho CRM app helps to access customer data and work online using a mobile phone from any location. The app is available for Android devices, iPhone, and iPad. The web app can also be accessed on mobile devices. An offline mode without internet connection is available to add, delete or modify records which will be saved locally and synchronized later with the online account when connected to the network.

Integration with third-party apps

Zoho CRM connects with various third-party integration apps, add-ons and services. Google account users can integrate their Gmail, Google Adwords and other Google account with the Zoho products such as Zoho mail, Zoho Projects and Zoho Campaigns. Some of the integration and add-ons supported by Zoho CRM are Google Apps sync, Shopify connector, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Address locator, Plivo, Piesync, Zillow, Dropbox, ServiceNow, Google analytics, Microsoft outlook, etc.


Zoho CRM is designed with Gamescope features to make sales more fun. The games included in Gamescope are related to sales activities and can be played by an individual or as teams. To encourage the sales rep, a sales manager can set goals or targets to perform better. When the goal is met or the set of activities is completed, then the user will win a 'badge' or 'trophies'. Gamescope acts as an encouragement for the sales representative and also improves the sales performance of the business in a fun way.

Features of Zoho CRM-free trial version

Zoho offers a 15-day free trial version of Zoho CRM. The free version of Zoho CRM has limited features when compared to the paid version. Some of the features present in the free version of Zoho CRM are listed below
  • Automation
  • Multiple users ( allows to onboard up to 10 members for free)
  • A complete view of contacts, pipelines and sales
  • Collaboration
  • Mobile CRM
  • Social CRM
  • Analytics
  • Integration with third-party apps- Gmail, Outlook, Calendar, Google apps, etc.
  • Security

Limitations of Zoho CRM-free version

  • Lot of customization options are missing in the free version of Zoho CRM.
  • The User Interface of the free version is not so intuitive when compared to the paid version.
  • No phone support. The toll-free phone support is available only for the paid users.
  • The customer service is slow for free users because the Zoho helpdesk system takes more time to process the ticket submitted by the trial version users and provides a late response to such users

System requirements

Zoho CRM is an on-demand user- friendly application which is compatible only with certain Operating systems, devices and web browser. Listed below are the system requirements of Zoho CRM
  • Operating Systems: Windows, Linux, MAC OS X
  • Web browser: Internet Explorer 11 and above, Chrome 40 and above, Opera 10 and above, Firefox 38 and above, Safari 7 and above
  • Devices: Android phones, iPad, iPhone
  • Other requirements: Enable cookies, enable javascript, install acrobat reader, install flash plug-in

Pricing plans

Zoho CRM software is available in 4 different editions and is suitable for small business, medium business, large business and freelancers. Each edition has a free trial version for 15 days. The paid version of the software can be obtained through monthly payment or annual subscription. The payments can be made through all major cards and cheque or bank transfer. The users can upgrade, downgrade or cancel the subscription anytime. The pricing plans for Zoho CRM editions are listed below
  1. Standard-$12 per user/month (billed annually)
  2. Professional-$20 per user/month (billed annually)
  3. Enterprise- $35 per user/month (billed annually)
  4. Ultimate- $100 per user/month (billed annually)

Benefits of Zoho CRM

  • Automation of vital sales operations
  • Real-time access to important sales and customer data
  • Integration with Google apps and other third-party applications
  • Access using Android and iOS mobile phones
  • Can be accessed anytime and anywhere
  • Maximum use of social media
  • Provides customer support

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