Zoho CRM Review – The Good and Bad for 2021

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You want your customer relationship management (CRM) software options to help you maintain strong customer relationships while also keeping you organized.

However, the right CRM software varies from business to business, depending on the type of company you’re running and the features you need your CRM to have. Finding the one that’s right for you is half the battle, and putting it into action is a bit of a learning curve, but one that is worth diving into.

We made some of the process easier for you by focusing on a top CRM software called Zoho. Zoho is one of the most well-known software providers for businesses. Since its creation in 2005, it has grown to include Zoho Office Suite, Zoho Invoice, Zoho Expense, and Zoho Social.

If you’re considering CRM software for your company, Zoho is one to look into. We have made the process easier for you and have our review of Zoho here.

Compare Zoho to The Best CRM Software

Zoho is our top pick for CRM software if you’re running a small to medium-sized business. Since day one, Zoho has focused its attention on SMB, meaning that they know how to take your small business and help it grow. Its ease of use is something that makes it one of the top CRM software options available. 

This is especially true when you have a small to medium-sized business that may not have the ability to hire someone whose sole job is running CRM software. Thanks to Zoho, you can still have smooth customer relationships even though you don’t have a designated person to do the job. This software is user-friendly and has all you need to keep your customers happy.

While Zoho is at the top of our list when it comes to CRM for small to medium-sized businesses, it’s one of many different customer relationship management tools on the market today. We have analyzed, tested, and reviewed a variety of CRM software that narrowed it down to a list of the top 6 CRM software systems, including Zoho, and written a whole separate post on them. 

That article details what CRM software is best for whom, along with the pros, the cons, and the pricing for each. These in-depth reviews will help you make the right decision. See all of our top picks here.

Zoho: The Good and The Bad

For every product on the market, there are pros and there are cons. While we think that the pros of Zoho outweigh any of the cons, it is important to discuss both so you know what you stand to gain from using this software, as well as some of the things you need to be careful of.

The Good

Easy to Set Up: Right out of the box, Zoho makes installation and setup simple and straightforward. This makes it the ideal choice for small to medium-sized teams that needs something they can hit the ground running with. And not be stuck spending hours learning to install, implement, and troubleshoot. 

Even without an in-house tech team, setting up Zoho takes minimal effort. The included step-by-step guide covers each part of the process and simplifies it so you don’t have to fuss with complications. You will likely start with the basics of your setup and then add on extensions and integrations to personalize the system and make it work best for your company’s specific needs.

Easy to Use: Once you have the product setup, Zoho is easy to use. Little to no training is required to get the hang of this CRM software. This is in large part thanks to the user interface, which is built to promote productivity. The Home page shows any tasks you have open, leads for the day, amount of money by stage, what sales you have closing that month, and more. 

The design is no-frills, but we like that that allows you to focus on what really matters. The simplicity is what makes it so easy to use. Navigate from page to page using the simple menu bar at the top, which includes items such as Leads, Contacts, Accounts, Deals, Activities, Reports, Analytics, and more. The menu bar automatically orders these items from most important to least, but you can customize their order any way you want.

Flexible: Different businesses have different needs in CRM software, and Zoho provides flexibility that allows it to work for all kinds of different businesses.

In addition to that, Zoho provides a lot of options for customizations. You can add extensions and integrations through the Zoho Marketplace to better manage your finances, improve sales, increase productivity, and much more. Many (though not all) of the extensions on Zoho are free and don’t require coding to integrate them into your existing system.

Video Guides: Because Zoho has so many different features and numerous ways to customize them, implementing them all can get complicated. That’s where their free online videos come in handy.

These videos provide how-tos of everything from interlinking modules to handling data processing bases so that you can take advantage of the customization options and make the setup of your Zoho exactly what your company needs.

Mobile App: When you need to use CRM software on the go, Zoho’s app allows you to do most of what you can do on your laptop. The interface is user-friendly and keeps things basic enough to not overwhelm.

You can even work offline when there is no network available to connect to. The location feature allows you to see leads that are near where you are right now, and closing deals on the app is a simple, streamlined process.

Great Value: Zoho has several different options for pricing plans, one of which is the Free Edition that comes with zero costs and zero obligations. The free option is available for up to three users. If you upgrade to a paid plan, several options provide a lot of additional features and add-ons. Continue reading to learn the exact plans and their prices in greater detail.

The Bad

Free And Budget Versions Don’t Offer Much: Though the free version is a great place to start, what you get with no monetary obligations won’t get you too far. Many of the features that are available with Zoho only come with the higher pricing plans. 

Even the Standard $12/month plan has a limited set of features. The more robust Professional version at $20/month isn’t all that much pricier, which helps, but if you’re looking for a free or lowest-level package with all the features you could want, Zoho doesn’t quite make the grade.

Customer Service Wait Times: With a program like Zoho that has seemingly endless options for add-on features, chances are good that questions will arise along the way. While you can refer to the videos section we mentioned above, there are times that you may need a live person to talk to in order to get the answers to your problems, and Zoho frankly struggles in this area. 

They’ve had many complaints from users about being placed on hold for upwards of 10 minutes and/or going through multiple transfers to solve a simple question. Not necessarily a dealbreaker, but definitely not fun either. 

Zoho Pricing and Options

As mentioned above, there are a few different pricing plan options that make Zoho accessible to all businesses, regardless of your budget. Though the smaller plans limit what you can do with the software, they still serve as a great place to get started with CRM software in your company.

The free plan is available for up to three users. Anything past that puts you into the next pricing bracket. With the free version, you get lead, contact, and account management features as well as reports and analytics.

Zoho Standard

The first paid level of Zoho gives you quite a few more perks than the free version. It is priced at $12/month if you pay for the whole year, or $18/month if you pay month-to-month.

However, that price is per user. So, if you have 2 employees using Zoho, that means it is $24/month for the whole year paid in advance, or $36/month for month-to-month.

This is easy to overlook, but makes a huge difference in your total cost per month. If you’re a smaller company, it’s better to minimize the number of people you have on Zoho and only give access to those who truly need to use it.

With this level of Zoho, you get everything that the free plan offers as well as scoring rules, email insights, and much more room for customization across the entire platform. This is key to making Zoho fit your specific needs rather than the general needs offered in the Free Edition. The Standard plan’s database size is limited to 100,000 records.

Zoho Professional

Level up to the Professional plan and you get some key features that can add a lot of value to your company. This plan gives you everything that the Standard plan does, but also includes inventory management, Google Ads integrations, and the ability to use Zoho for process management.

The Professional plan is priced at $20/month/user with an annual plan and $30/month/user with a monthly plan.

Zoho Enterprise

If the above plans don’t give you what you need, the Enterprise plan may. This plan is geared towards businesses that are on the larger side of small-to-medium. It includes everything that the Professional level does plus a number of additional features.

One is multi-user portals for customers, vendors, and partners. It also offers Zia AI which is an AI assistant that provides predictions and suggestions. You’ll also love the CommandCenter that allows you to personalize the customer experience.

If you want to get more customization options, Enterprise is the way to go. At this level, you can customize page layouts, modules, buttons, web tabs, and more. You also get the ability to build and distribute custom apps.

This plan is priced at $35/month/user for an annual contract and $45/month/user for a monthly contract.

Zoho Ultimate

If you want to get the most of out Zoho, the Ultimate plan is what you need. This plan includes everything that the Professional plan does and more. At this level, you also get Zoho Analytics which opens up a whole new world of options and information. Zoho Analytics is a self-service BI and data analytics software tool that helps you to visualize your data and analyze it in a unique way.

Zoho Ultimate offers greater storage space and much more advanced customizations, as well as data enrichment. You also get a free 30-day trial when you opt for this level of Zoho.

The Ultimate plan will cost your company $45/month/user on a yearly basis or $55/month/user on a monthly basis.

Comparing The Best Customer Relationship Management

Though Zoho is high on the list of Crazy Egg’s best CRM software, check out the other options that made our top list. 

  1. Hubspot – Best free CRM software
  2. Freshworks CRM – Best CRM software for ease of use
  3. Zoho CRM – Best CRM software for SMBs
  4. Salesforce– Best CRM software for growing businesses
  5. Insightly – Best CRM for project management
  6. Nimble – Best CRM for social media management

Zoho is one of the best options for customer relationship management software in the market. The lower tiers of the pricing plans are ideal for small to medium-sized businesses, and the upper tiers such as Ultimate work well for larger companies that have more needs and a bigger budget. 

Zoho’s versatility is another reason it made one of the top choices on our list. It works for a variety of companies in a variety of industries. In addition to that, Zoho is user-friendly, thanks in part to the design that highlights the most important features on the main screen. This makes it easier to access the data you’re after. 

Pricing is another benefit of Zoho—it is priced lower than other CRM competitors, thus is more accessible for small to medium-sized businesses. If you find that Zoho is not the best fit for your company, check out the other CRM software options that made our top list.

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