Our group of marketing experts at Gravity has diverse experience in using CRM platforms — whether we are adapting to a client’s existing platform as their virtual marketing officer (VMO), or we used a platform in a former sales, marketing, or communication position. In fact, there is rarely a CRM we hear about that someone at Gravity has not had some familiarity with.

A CRM (customer relationship management) platform is meant to be a tool to help automate a sales and marketing process; serve as a central and accessible record of client communication; easily distribute emails; track and nurture leads through a sales funnel; and connect website engagement directly to a database.

We started using the Zoho CRM platform in 2013 to manage our own customer relationships and sales efforts. We found it to be an extremely affordable service with functionality that rivaled and in some cases surpassed Salesforce. We quickly envisioned how our clients — the core of which are successful business-to-business (B2B) companies with established sales teams and processes — could benefit from it as well. In 2016 we moved from being an advocate of Zoho to reselling it as a Zoho Partner.

In February we were excited to launch a Zoho User Group — the first of its kind in southeastern Wisconsin — with the help of special guests from Zoho’s global headquarters in India and U.S. headquarters in Austin, Texas. We hosted 30 business leaders who had a range of experience from Zoho novice to seasoned expert, shared some top user tips and new rollouts in 2018, answered simple support questions, and explored more strategic uses of the suite of applications.

Gravity can’t wait to get to know the Milwaukee area Zoho community of users better as the user group kicks off and grows over the next couple of months. Following are the top reasons why we see Zoho as a win for our VMO and Web Services divisions. We’re confident these benefits can help scale your business as well.

1. Website integration. Today’s websites need to be more than just a brochure. Even the smallest website can drive growth opportunities when it is integrated seamlessly with a CRM. Zoho’s web forms, workflow automation, and API make it easy for a website to serve as a critical and seamless bridge to conversion.

2. One-to-many. As a marketing firm that was started by a lifelong sales guy, we firmly believe that marketing and sales are inherently the same. Marketing does one-to-many what a sales person does one-on-one. Zoho’s Campaigns, Forms, Survey, Sales IQ (live chat and visitor tracking), Reports, and CRM applications help marketing and sales actually act as one when moving a contact along the buyer’s journey from suspect, to prospect, to qualified lead, to customer.

3. Purposely Independent. Zoho is a proudly and purposefully independent software company. With hundreds of developers, they are truly oriented to making their product the best in the world. And to be considered the best product in the world means it needs to be flexible and customizable for every unique and individual business use.

4. Simple. Zoho was created in the founder’s garage. So its founders, developers, and support teams know what it is like to need the simplicity and automation Zoho provides. They use it themselves to grow the Zoho business. Zoho CRM is meant to be simple enough that a small business or a new-to-CRM business can find the platform useful and not overwhelming.

5. Robust. While Zoho is easy to use on the small scale or at the beginner level, it also offers robust features and capacity for enterprise-sized companies. Developers purposely avoid users feeling restricted in functionality or customization. You cannot outgrow Zoho.

6. Zoho One. This year, Zoho released its new platform called Zoho One, an all-in-one-suite that gives you more than 40 application and complementary mobile apps to support sales, accounting, project management, and human resources. You can run your entire business in one integrated account and one password.

Are you a user of Zoho and want to learn how to better leverage it within your company? Are you aware of the buzz and curious about how it might benefit your sales process? Or, do you just want to get on the Zoho User Group email list? Join the user community or give Ana Yardley, Gravity’s vice president of digital marketing a shout at ayardley@gravitym.com and 414-376-6500 ext. 207.