Many don’t realize this, but Zoho, the company best known for its CRM and other office productivity applications, also offers a contact management option called Zoho ContactManager.
Does this make sense? It may very well. That’s because – and this may also come as a surprise – for many of our Zoho CRM clients, the Zoho ContactManager would be a better application for their business than a full-blown CRM product. Why? One word: overkill.
Zoho CRM is just plain overkill for many companies
Don’t misunderstand me – Zoho CRM has many powerful features like opportunity, quote, order and invoice management, marketing automation, workflows, reminders, add-on capabilities and a very flexible and customizable interface. But the issue I’ve found is that Zoho CRM is like a lot of powerful applications – there are just too many features. Think about it. How many features from Microsoft Office 365 or Google G Suite is your company actually using? I bet it’s a small percentage. If so, you’re not alone. The fact is, most businesses don’t need all the stuff included in Zoho CRM – at least not initially.
The clients that I work with just need a good, accurate, complete and reliable database of all of their prospects, customers, partners, vendors and suppliers. They also need to make sure that they are able to schedule follow-up tasks and appointments with all of these contacts. They want to take notes and keep some basic information about them, like their birthdays or product preferences. They want to be able to send and receive email and have those emails stored in a place where everyone on their team can see and respond to them if necessary.
What is Zoho ContactManager?
Zoho ContactManager does all this. It provides a unified view of everything going on with your company’s contacts. It doesn’t track opportunities as extensively as Zoho CRM, but it does track deals. It may not be as customizable as Zoho CRM, but it does enable you to sort, categorize, label and tag your contacts. It doesn’t come with all the powerful email and other marketing capabilities like Zoho CRM, but it does include email templates. It allows you to interact with contacts on Facebook and Twitter. And, like Zoho CRM, Zoho ContactManager has a powerful search capability.
All of that is just plain, simple contact management. Now be honest – are you doing this in your company? Can you look to one system where all of this data is being maintained? Is it updated? Consistent? Is it capturing all the interactions with the people you’re doing business with?
Probably not. But don’t feel bad. Most companies don’t really do a good job at managing their contacts. Their employees keep information in spreadsheets, small databases, email clients and private islands. I bet you do, too. So why jump into a CRM system right away? Why spend the extra money (and of course, Zoho CRM does cost more than Zoho ContactManager) on a bunch of features that you’re not using?
If you’re just starting out with a CRM system, then it probably makes more sense not to get Zoho CRM. Instead, get Zoho ContactManager. Do the basics. Prove your company has the culture to adopt a simple system for managing contacts. Finish high school first, and then move on to college.
Don’t worry – the data in your Zoho ContactManager contacts will migrate to Zoho CRM. The interfaces are very similar. You’ll be smarter about your CRM upgrade at that time, too, because you’ll know exactly what’s missing and what you want to add. You’ll have demonstrated that your company is indeed ready for a true CRM system.
Or maybe not. Maybe you’re happy with a good contact management system. Nothing wrong with that, either.
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