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Zoho Boosts CRM with SalesInbox and Multichannel Tools

Online business software provider Zoho has come out with new offerings for multichannel commmunication and marketing-focused email management. The tools are designed to help companies build better relationships with customers who communicate with them in a wide variety of ways.

Released last week, the latest version of Zoho’s software for customer relationship management (CRM) features what the company said is the first email client designed specifically for salespeople. Zoho SalesInbox provides marketers with multiple ways to organize email messages according to different sales criteria. It also monitors incoming emails to notify salespeople about important messages that they’re expecting.

Zoho CRM 2016 also adds new automated tools for managing tasks and schedules, makes it easier for users to create sales-related games and competitions, and provides a Timeline View feature to help marketers keep track of individual customer interactions over time. The new suite of CRM tools is rolling out to Zoho customers over the next couple of weeks, according to the company.

‘Reinventing’ Conventional Email

“Email clients remained horizontal for decades,” Raju Vegesna, Zoho’s chief evangelist, said in a tweet last week. It’s the “[f]irst time we are seeing a specialized email client for salespeople in Zoho SalesInbox,” he added.

SalesInbox reinvents the conventional email inbox by enabling salespeople to organize messages in ways that prioritize important customers or deals, according to Zoho. In addition to automatically sorting incoming emails based on a user’s existing CRM preferences, SalesInbox also supports the creation of dynamic folders for different personalization parameters.

The timeline feature allows marketers to view individual customer interactions over time to identify current and past deals, as well as overdue tasks, social media mentions, support ticket histories and other actions. Zoho SalesInbox also introduces Response Watch, a feature that monitors incoming emails and automatically notifies users if they don’t receive replies from key customers within allotted periods of time.

Zoho SalesInbox works with a number of standard email services, including Gmail, Outlook, Exchange, Yahoo! Mail and Zoho Mail.

New Sales Gamification Features

Other features of Zoho CRM include SalesSignals, which provides real-time information about customer actions across multiple channels such as social media or support tickets, and mobile apps for field sales so salespeople can track activities, find prospects and close deals while on the go.

Zoho CRM’s interface has also been redesigned to “minimize the processes involved in sales” and make it easier for reps to filter customer data in a variety of ways. A new Page Layouts feature, for instance, lets a user organize multiple products and processes under a single CRM account for better management across sales cycles, the company said.

Another addition with this release is Gamescope, designed to enable sales managers and other users to create team-focused contests and games that award points, trophies or badges for sales calls, closed deals and other accomplishments. The new tool complements Zoho Motivator, the sales-promoting gamification software launched by the company last fall.

With the Zoho Marketplace, salespeople using Zoho CRM can also add extensions for a variety of other third-party cloud applications such as DocuSign, Eventbrite, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey and Zendesk.

Zoho CRM is available for free for up to 10 users, with standard edition pricing after that starting at $12 per user per month. Zoho SalesInbox is currently available to existing customers by request.

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