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Zoho Update Gooses Sales Productivity

By Erika Morphy
Jan 11, 2013 5:00 AM PT

Although Zoho routinely updates its CRM application every few months or so, its latest release is far from routine, according to Zoho Evangelist Raju Vegesna, who described it as a step forward in collaborative productivity.

Zoho Update Gooses Sales Productivity

(click image to enlarge)

"Essentially we added three new features, all of which focused on improving the productivity and collaborative capabilities of the sales person," he told CRM Buyer.

A Central Document Library

One of the new features is a Document Library -- a module that creates a central repository within the Zoho CRM application. The point is to give users access to the latest versions of sales-related collaterals.

Features of the module let users create folders and share them with others, depending on their security levels and roles. Users can upload and create files in multiple formats and email documents -- such as proposals and collaterals -- directly to customers from the document library.

Typically document management and CRM are treated separately in the enterprise, Vegesna said. "We have brought them together so users can better manage their sales and marketing with direct access to these documents."

Reducing Email Clutter

Another feature, MailMagnet, intelligently scans users' mailboxes and displays only those emails from prospects and customers that are relevant inside CRM. The point here is to reduce users' email clutter.

This tool allows users to reply to emails, add follow-up tasks, and write notes from the MailMagnet panel. It also provides on-screen notifications when a new email arrives from someone listed in the user's Zoho CRM Contacts or Leads module. MailMagnet works withZoho Mail, Gmail, Google Apps, Microsoft Exchange and other email services.

It can serve as a de facto screen device, Vegesna said. "When they are trying to close a deal, all they [sales persons] want to focus on are the important emails from the customer or deal in question. This acts as a smart filter for the person, based on the deal he or she might be pursuing."

Mobile Becomes Location Aware

The update also adds location awareness to Zoho CRM iPhone, iPad and Android mobile apps by displaying customers and prospects for field sales people who are nearby. They can also view contact information and make calls to arrange meetings.

"The app reads the sales person's current location and then points out all of the customers close to that location," noted Vegesna.

Erika Morphy has been writing about technology, finance and business issues for more than 20 years. She lives in Silver Spring, Md.

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