Are you thinking of learning Zoho CRM all on your own?
If you are, it’s fine. We have plenty of clients who take on their training independently and I respect that. In fact, the videos that we offer on Marks Group Live are there to supplement your in-house training. They also provide advice, tips and tricks for using the application well. If you decide to self-train you may be fine. But there are some big pitfalls that you should be aware of. For example…
Ignoring established best practices
I’m no sales process genius. My firm does not do sales process consulting. But we are experts with Zoho. We’ve implemented Zoho and other CRM applications at hundreds of small and medium sized companies around the country. So we’ve learned.
Learned how good sales and marketing leaders construct their CRM systems. We’ve learned what works best depending on the size of a sales group or an industry. Learned the processes for ensuring that data gets quickly and accurately recorded. Now that we’ve seen so much we can bring that experience to our clients and let them enjoy what others have taught us. These are best practices and one of the biggest benefits of involving an outside expert, consultant or partner is that you can benefit from their experience. Doing your training on your own risks not taking advantage of this experience.
Painting yourself into a corner in Zoho CRM.
If you don’t know what you’re doing you could be doing things the wrong way. In Zoho there are certain ways to capture information that will give you the most flexibility.
For example, many years ago when we were just starting out with Zoho CRM I found out the hard way that you can’t create a custom view based on the subject of a task. So there I was putting all these tasks together so that I could group contacts with similar tasks and email them all and then I found out I couldn’t do that. Luckily, I found out early in the game and was able to make some changes. Imagine if you set up your Zoho system and trained people how to do stuff and then realized six months later that because of the way you set it up you won’t be to create a workflow or a report the way you intended?
Not involving someone with experience increases your risk of painting yourself into that corner, which will create a serious disadvantage for you and your team.
Spending too much time on irrelevant features.
I love Zoho and like many other software applications, Zoho CRM has tons of features and functionality. But here’s something I learned: our best clients only use about 25-30 percent of those features. That’s because software vendors like Zoho are trying to please a mainstream audience of users but not all users need all the features. Don’t believe me? Think about how many feature you use in Microsoft Office or Google’s Business Apps. Probably nowhere near what’s available. A good Zoho consulting partner will point you towards the features that will provide you with the most benefits and steer you away from those that don’t. They can also prioritize your objectives so that you only start using certain functions after you’ve completed others. Without the right amount of experience, doing this on your own can turn into a lot time spent on features that provide no or little value.
Spending too much time overall.
This is all a matter of just cutting to the chase. You don’t want to spend eight hours learning something that should only take you two, right? It’s natural that if you or your employees are attempting to learn something on your own for the very first time it’s going to take a much longer time. Those extra six hours, when you consider the cost of the employee and the opportunity cost lost of that employee not doing other stuff can be pretty expensive. When you have a good consultant you’re able to focus on exactly on what you need to be trained on and get that training done much more efficiently.
Again, it’s fine if you want to do your training in-house or leverage your internal people as much as possible. My advice, however, is to at least involve a Zoho CRM partner who can point you in the right direction, provide some strategy and help you avoid the minefields.