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Debunking Myths From Zoho Competitors

Having competitors in the technology marketplace is good. It keeps software providers innovative and always seeking new feature capabilities that help customers improve productivity, decrease costs, increase revenue, and more. But with product companies too focused on their own innovations they sometimes lose sight of what else is out there and how quickly it’s changing – including their competitors. That’s where Cloudbakers comes in. We hear the rumors from all sides and we continue to vet the products ourselves, so we know exactly how to guide our own clients to receive the most return from their technology solution investments.

In this post, we bring some of those rumors, specifically about Zoho, to the surface and get down to the truth. Let’s hear ‘em!

Rumor #1: Zoho is very limited when it comes to customizing the interface and layout.

If it’s been more than a couple months since you’ve last looked at Zoho, it probably has more customizability than you’ve seen in the past. However when you compare Zoho to it’s biggest competitors’ backend advanced functionality, it still falls short. Why? Zoho knows that customers don’t need to pay for a mansion when they’re only looking for a house. When you strategize your requirements ahead of time, it’s easier to ask yourself later what amount of customization is really necessary for your business. With Zoho’s ability to create custom widgets and related lists, you’d be surprised what all you can accomplish for a fraction of the cost. Read here for more information on Zoho’s layouts.

Rumor #2: Zoho is limited on reports and dashboards. You are going to run into issues with the custom reports you want, especially when you want to look at data being pulled from different integrations.

When you’re looking at built-in CRM dashboards only, then yes, there is one giant out there that beats out Zoho. But, when you include Zoho Analytics, which comes with both Zoho CRM Plus and Zoho One, the tables turn. Zoho Analytics is a full-fledged BI tool we typically embed into Zoho for our clients. From a reporting perspective, most use cases are not overly complicated. Zoho can handle most of them out of the box without additional effort applied from our team. Zoho Analytics comes to the rescue for those complex outliers.

Rumor #3: The automation like validation rules and process flows is very limited. Your reps are going to have to do more manual work with Zoho.

Short answer, not true. Zoho has a large set of automation rules, blueprints, etc. that rival what is available in other platforms, no matter how large. Zoho also has the ability to utilize its custom functions and custom buttons, where more procedural logic is required.

Rumor #4: Custom integrations (especially if proprietary) are not possible with Zoho because you cannot create custom objects in Zoho.

Zoho’s Custom API integration uses almost the exact same methodology and authentication as its biggest competitor. Custom Modules (also called as “objects” in other solutions) in Zoho are possible to both create and interact with utilizing the Modules API to get list of all modules. From this API, you’re able to discern which modules are “Custom” and interact with data in these modules utilizing all standard API methods.

Another option we’ve utilized when we want to keep the CRM data model simple is to integrate into Zoho Analytics and expose that information on individual records in Zoho CRM. Analytics would allow us to gather information directly from an output such as BigQuery, run an analysis on that data, and show intelligent customer insights in Zoho CRM (Example: BigQuery → Google Cloud Storage Bucket → Zoho Analytics → Zoho CRM Account)

There are multiple ways for which we can get data from external systems into both CRM and Analytics, depending on the use case desired.

It’s not the first time we’ve heard some of these objections, and it won’t be the last. Zoho may not be the answer for a Fortune 100 organization, but it's one of the smartest solutions if you’re wanting the best bang for your buck. And like any CRM, the difference between a successful and unsuccessful tool is all in the way you implement.

For questions for other myths we can help debunk, reach out to care@cloudbakers.com.

Originally published on May 11, 2020

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