Zoho CRM Review

Zoho CRM Review

With a rich set of features and extremely affordable, Zoho CRM is a top option for small to medium-sized businesses to automate, manage, and improve customer relationships and increase their sales.


  • Free for up to three users
  • Extensive customization options and integrations
  • Clean and easy-to-use interface
  • Strong automation capabilities


  • The amount of customizable features and options can be overwhelming at first and complicate the initial setup process
  • Users report having difficulties with customer support
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Zoho CRM Pricing:

  • Free version available for up to three users
  • Most popular plan costs $35/month per user and includes all basic CRM functionality plus advanced features, including Zia (Zoho's new interactive AI chatbot)
  • Plans range from $12-$100/month per user, depending on the functionality you need
  • Free 15-day trial (no credit card required)

Zoho CRM Full Review

Founded in 1996, Zoho is a multinational company (formerly known as AdventNet Inc.) offering a suite of online applications and tools to help businesses of all sizes grow. With over 30 million users across all products, the company has the resources to deliver valuable software at affordable prices.

Zoho CRM is an award-winning marketing platform, and one of the company’s best-selling applications. Zoho CRM is geared towards small and medium-sized businesses, and includes advanced features to manage the entire sales process. A recent overhaul of the software has significantly improved the user experience to provide an crisp, easy-to-navigate interface. Users can access customer support through a variety of channels. However, many users report having difficulty dealing with live customer support, as it can take a while for support to help resolve issues.

While Zoho CRM's integration capabilities aren't as extensive as Salesforce's, Zoho is capable of integrating seamlessly with several essential third-party applications, such as Google Apps, Outlook, QuickBooks and Mailchimp, in addition to integrating with all other products in the Zoho suite.

While Zoho is offered at a lower price point, the range of features still stacks up exceptionally well against other competitors. Extensive customization options, multi-channel customer communication (phone, email, social media, chat), and even a new AI-powered chatbot released in February 2018, help to simplify the sales process and improve productivity. A free version is available for up to three users making it the perfect option for small businesses looking for a fully-customizable and robust CRM.

Zoho CRM Key Features

Below, we'll discuss the key features of Zoho CRM and how they can benefit your business.

Contact Management

Contact management is one of the most important capabilities of any CRM system. Zoho CRM includes several options to add and manage contacts, prospects, leads, and accounts. Information can be collected through web forms, via an inbuilt social CRM platform, or imported manually.

However, before you start collecting information, it’s crucial that your CRM is set up correctly with relevant fields, so that you have all of the relevant information at your disposal. Zoho CRM allows you to customize information through a drag-and-drop builder according to your business process. As an example, you can create specific layouts for your accounts and contacts, depending on your business’ specific needs. It’s worth taking the time to set this up correctly at the start, as it can help to improve your workflow and ensure your team has the correct information to achieve sales targets.

Zoho CRM Review Creating a New Contact

The company recently overhauled their email management and marketing with SalesInbox. Available for Enterprise users, SalesInbox is a dedicated mail client integration for salespeople that intelligently organizes and prioritizes emails. Past notes, messages, tasks, and contact information are easily accessed in one location, allowing your sales team to preview the sales cycle for each contact. Prospects are added to your CRM from an inbox, while leads can be converted to contacts using automatic triggers, or by simply dragging and dropping from one column to another.

Lead Management

Zoho CRM includes comprehensive lead management functionality that enables businesses to collect, nurture, and move qualified leads along the sales pipeline. New prospects start off as leads and are then converted to 'contacts' once they become qualified. An automated scoring system can be set up to help you determine if leads should be marked as qualified, and to help your sales team target the most high-value contacts in your system. Leads can be allocated to individual team members based on specific criteria, such as revenue, lead source, and location. Once a lead has been qualified, they can be converted to a contact and a company account is then created automatically.

Zoho CRM Review Filtering Contacts for Leads

Leads can be generated from a variety of different places. For example, signup forms can be integrated into your website, while leads from other sources can be imported manually, through the use of a file, or from an existing CRM system.

Zoho CRM Review Importing Leads

One extremely useful feature the SalesSignals notifications module. SalesSignals provides real-time notifications when a prospect or lead interacts with your business across social media, online chat, or email, allowing you to respond directly in the CRM. As an example, you may want to receive information when a new lead opens an email, or when your company is tagged in social media. Monitoring this information allows you to act quickly and seize new sales opportunities.


Automation is the key to helping your sales team stay productive and effective. Zoho CRM has strong automation capabilities that allow you to automate routine sales tasks. You can create workflow rules that can be applied to multiple business areas including leads, accounts, deals, products, sales orders, and much more. Specific actions such as updating a required field, sending an email, or adding a tag can be applied when certain conditions are met. Workflow rules can have up to 10 conditions providing extremely advanced automation for reducing time-consuming administrative tasks.

Zoho CRM Review Automation Rules

Zia AI-Powered Sales Assistant

In February 2018, Zoho launched Zia (Zoho Intelligent Assistant), which is an AI-Powered Sales Assistant. Zia leverages your database, as well as your Zoho usage, to identify opportunities for improvement. For example, based on your usage of Zoho, Zia can suggest macros to help automate repetitive tasks that your salesforce performs on a regular basis. In addition, Zia can analyze your lead database and based on your previous interactions with customers, identify the best time to reach out to each contact.

Alternatively, you can ask Zia questions about your customer base, and Zia will pull data from your database in order to answer your questions. For example, you can ask Zia to show you a table of the leads generated by each channel for this month.

Overall, Zia is a powerful new tool to help your business leverage its data, and help your salesforce become more efficient.


Zoho has recently updated their UI, removing unnecessary clutter to provide a powerful and minimalist layout. This goes a long way to improving the delivery of data and allows businesses to make informed decisions.

Users can create customized dashboards to view digital representations of key metrics. Dashboards are constructed using components, which are customizable reports. Users can select a chart type (pie chart, donut, funnel, etc.) and axis information (if available) for a component.

Each dashboard can be customized to include up to 10 reports, allowing you to view all of your important information at a glance. The dashboards can also be shared with your team to keep everyone informed.

Zoho CRM Review Dashboard Example

Zoho CRM has a robust reporting component that provides users with essential insights into important business data. Reports are built from modules (Leads, Accounts, Contacts, Deals, Tasks, etc.), with over 40 standard reports currently available. However, if you are unable to find a suitable built-in report, there is an option to create your own custom report.

Zoho CRM Review Create new Report

You can organize reports into folders for easy access, and reorder them to your liking, through drag-and-drop. An export element allows you to quickly transform any report into excel, CSV, or PDF format for sharing with colleagues. You can also configure reports to be generated automatically and have them be emailed to yourself on a regular basis.

Zoho CRM Review Reports Library


Integrations are an essential element for any CRM. Your business will likely use a range of software programs across different departments, and ensuring they all work together is crucial. Zoho has an extensive suite of products, such as Zoho Mail, Zojo Projects, and Zoho Campaigns, that can easily expand the functionality of your CRM, while a range of third-party integrations can improve productivity and collaboration across teams. Some examples of supported third-party integrations include MailChimp, Quickbooks, and Office 365 & G Suite.

Mobile App

Zoho has invested a substantial amount of money into its mobile offerings, with a dedicated iOS and Android CRM app. Through the app, users have access to their calendars, newsfeeds, and basic CRM information. One useful feature we like is the geolocation feature, which allows sales reps to find nearby prospects and set up meetings according to geographic location. Also, if you happen to go offline, the app will automatically save and sync your data the next time you are connected.

The Android App is rated 4* in the Google Play Store, but the iOS App is only rated 2.8* in iTunes.

How Does Zoho CRM Compare to its Competition?

Below is a side-by-side comparison of how Zoho CRM compares to other CRM software.

Zoho CRM vs. Salesforce

Salesforce is the market leader for cloud-based CRM systems, with over 150,000 customers. It has extremely powerful features and can do just about everything you would need from a CRM. However, for a small business, this can also be its downfall. The setup can be overwhelming, and at $75/user per month, the price is a lot steeper than Zoho CRM. It can be difficult to justify the extra cost for a small business, as the core features don’t differ significantly—Zoho’s platform has the same key elements such as contact management, forecasting, and reporting. Given its price point, Zoho CRM is the more suitable option for small and medium-sized businesses who don't need additional bells and whistles in their CRM.

Salesforce is more suitable for your business if you require advanced functionality, such as collaborative global sales forecasts, or multiple user dashboards that allow different departments to work together on the same project.

For many small to medium-sized businesses Zoho CRM is a simple and efficient solution without the heavy price tag.

Zoho CRM vs. Hubspot

Hubspot offers a simple CRM solution for small businesses looking to manage their contacts. The software is free for up to one million contacts, with an unlimited number of users and storage. HubSpot CRM offers contact management, lead tracking, and pipeline management, with some helpful email and social integrations.

Both CRM’s are easy to set-up and have user-friendly interfaces. However, Zoho offers a wider range of advanced features, including workflow automation and the ability to add leads directly from web forms. While Zoho CRM's free version is an excellent starting point, as your business grows, you will need to consider upgrading to a paid-plan. Compared to Zoho, HubSpot’s paid subscription price is a big jump at $50/user per month (compared to Zoho's 35/user per month), but it's also a worthy option for small and medium-sized businesses to consider.

Is Zoho CRM the Right Software for You?

Zoho CRM is an excellent marketing solution for small and medium-sized businesses. It can be a powerful tool that helps improve your business's efficiency by streamlining all aspects of your organization into one central system. Sales, marketing, customer support, and even inventory management can be handled through the intuitive CRM, while a mobile app provides on-the-go support.

The software is intuitive and easy to use, with numerous customization options. The system also comes equipped with some advanced features, such as Zoho's AI-based Zia, which automatically leverages your data in order to identify opportunities to improve your sales team's productivity.

Overall, Zoho CRM is one of the top marketing systems for small and medium-sized businesses.

Lloyd Park

Lloyd Park is a Research Analyst at SoftwarePundit, where he conducts in-depth analyses of software markets and products. Lloyd also has experience managing the development of software platforms and is an expert in content production & media software. You can connect with Lloyd on LinkedIn.

Lloyd is an expert in several software categories including:

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