Zoho is Ready for Digital Prime Time

Zoho has unveiled what could be the first multi-channel CRM software with the latest major release of its Zoho CRM offering.

The new version of the already-popular solution (the company counts some 20 million users) will enable sales people to engage customers and prospects across all communication channels - including email, social media, live chat, as well as phone communications. Zoho CRM is also introducing a revamped interface and several new dashboard features.

One of the new offerings is SalesSignals, a solution which shows customer actions on various touchpoints like social media, satisfaction surveys and support tickets. Another is the new SalesInbox, a dedicated and verticalized mail client exclusively for salespeople. Emails are organized by opportunities, leads, those not in the CRM and colleagues, shows CRM data and metrics like template analysis, version comparison and open rates which should help make sure the quality of emails sent keeps improving.

The Zoho CRM is also introducing mobile apps for field sales representatives. Sales reps can check-in at customer locations, find prospects nearby, and track sales activities within the mobile app.

Zoho is also unveiling a number of improvements to the usability of its CRM solution, including GameScope, a feature that enables anyone to create contests and invite their peers to play a game for a friendly wager. The use of game-playing elements promotes healthy competition within a team. GameScope complements Zoho Motivator, which is a metric-driven gamification tool.

"Today, every progressive sales team needs a CRM that connects with customers and prospects regardless of their preferred communication channel," said Raju Vegesna, chief evangelist of Zoho. "At the same time, the CRM must remain flexible enough to advance the sales process through any channel. Our aim with this release of Zoho CRM is to provide the multichannel support that connects salespeople, prospects and customers and provide the usability enhancements that close more deals." 

The latest version of Zoho CRM is available immediately and has the same pricing structure as the earlier version. Zoho CRM is free up to 10 users. Paid plans begin at $12/user/month for the Standard Edition and increase to $20/user/month for the Professional Edition and $35/user/month for the fully-featured Enterprise Edition.

In what will be of immense interest to those interested in integrating their technology into the platform, Zoho has also announced the launch of Zoho Developer, a program that provides independent software vendors (ISVs) and application developers tools and resources to create extensions and build custom applications. In line with this effort, Zoho is also formally introducing Zoho Marketplace, an online store where users can buy extensions and custom-built applications and developers can sell them commission-free.

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