It’s always easier to grow your business through satisfied existing customers than to seek out new ones. Of course, any marketing plan should pursue both options. Nonetheless, it holds true that in order for your customers to continue flocking to you for their business needs, you’ll have to make sure your business excels in customer relationship management (CRM).

Zoho excels in just this. They offer a platform encompassing just about any services you need to successfully launch and maintain a powerful CRM campaign, including automation, tracking and customer reach. Plus you can use the Zoho app for iPhone and blackberry mobility as well as Google Apps for easy interaction.

Ordering Administrative Workflow

Small to mid-sized businesses will agree that administrative tasks are one of the biggest time killers. While they recognize this, these businesses rarely make it to the big leagues, simply because they fail to manage these tasks. Zoho offers business owners the ability to knock out this major time vacuum by setting up a workflow that lets you automate sales, marketing and support services. This is done through customer records that can be shifted, assigned and transferred as needed to the right personnel or agent – a process fueled by a set of assigned triggers made more efficient since there’s no longer any need to continually update records. The CRM automation process also captures incoming leads and filters it to the right sales agent. Agents can then create more niche assignments and filters to make sure that a lead is taken care of each step of the way.

Lead Tracking

But what’s the point of a lead if you can’t track whether it’s converted into a sale? To do this a great CRM system needs to be equipped with tracking. Zoho does just this with forecasting that lets you target your quarterly sales. What I love more than just tracking the deal that went right is knowing why a deal never happened. With their “pulse” feature, you can dig into why a lead went cold and then work to recapture the lead and fix the problem so future leads don’t fall into the same gap.

Managing Client History

Whether you’re working on a cold lead, a hot lead or engaging existing and repeat customers, you’ll need to demonstrate an awareness of the client’s profile, any past conversations or tipping points, etc. This is even more important if you’ve got several agents handling one client (or if a client has to go through several people), so that all agents are aware of the client’s full business history including email history. Remember when you go through a business or even a call center and are annoyed by having to repeat yourself and your account history? Zoho makes sure your clients/leads don’t feel the same way.

Any good business looking to be great will know that just a history of interaction isn’t really enough to fully understand a lead or client – you have to know their social activity. Zoho’s CRM system integrates social media so you can understand your client better through their LinkedIn profiles. Why LinkedIn? Because it’s the number one platform for professionals and all major decision makers (including the executive who’s going to approve your proposal). Using the social CRM feature, you can harness the power of LinkedIn to stay active, be visible and ultimately boost your business by sourcing and engaging with prospective and existing customers. I love this because it allows your business to go beyond just the “glass wall” of merely business interactions.

Businesses can use this feature to really get to know and connect with their clients on a platform they’re already on and at a level they’re already interested in. And rather than plugging in through separate LinkedIn accounts and creating more work for yourself and confusion for your team, you’ll connect through Zoho’s CRM account.

There’s so much more to Zoho that it would take a research paper to really break it all down. I strongly recommend business managers to check it out and see how it can simplify their professional lives.