Zoho One Review: Is It Worth It?

2023.10.16 05:43 PM By Maria
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using a crm tool or software

Navigating the operational intricacies of a business can be a daunting endeavor. Each year, the proliferation of software tools on the market tends to muddle rather than clarify the decision-making process to find the best applications for various functions. Integrating and managing multiple software platforms across domains can soon become overwhelming. Enter the realm of integrated business management software, epitomized by Zoho One. This platform emerges as a beacon of simplicity amidst a sea of complexities, offering a consolidated suite of business solutions for all business sizes. It facilitates a centralized hub for managing, streamlining, and automating core business processes, eliminating disparate systems' chaos. Integrating various functions within Zoho One ensures that your data isn't strewn across multiple systems, making integrating applications and workflows a breeze.


Are you seeking reliable business management software? Zoho One stands out as a cost-effective and efficient solution, especially for small to medium enterprises. We're diving into the myriad offerings of Zoho One, elucidating why it earns our hearty recommendation, and guiding you through the seamless transition to this integrated business management platform.

What is Zoho One?  

Zoho One is a powerful all-in-one suite of over 50 business productivity applications designed to assist entrepreneurs who may feel overwhelmed by the technology required to manage their businesses. While several enterprise resource planning (ERPs) are available, Zoho comes at a price point with offerings that give it distinct advantages over most ERPs. 

 

Zoho One includes one of the largest varieties of business software available. Packing all these applications into a single platform, available at an exceptionally competitive price, Zoho turns any organization into a powerhouse of productivity, regardless of size.

 

Yet, the value of Zoho One extends beyond its features and applications. Zoho's leadership dedicates itself to supporting small business owners, backing their commitment with financial investment and concerted efforts. Zoho allows small businesses to streamline their operations through a unified platform at a remarkably affordable cost.

Why Should Companies, Especially Small Businesses, Use Zoho One  

Using a unified business software platform involves selecting a single software brand and employing all its included applications. The current trend centers around transitioning from a patchwork of software solutions to a cohesive and integrated software strategy. Here's why this shift is gaining traction for small businesses: 


  • Time Savings: When you opt for a unified platform like Zoho One, you simplify your decision-making process. Once you've chosen, you gain access to all bundled apps, streamlining your software management.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Instead of purchasing multiple individual applications, you can subscribe to a unified platform for a reasonable monthly fee. This subscription includes access to nearly every integrated app, eliminating the need for additional software expenses or costly custom integrations.

company employees discussing a project

Using a unified business software platform involves selecting a single software brand and employing all its included applications. The current trend centers around transitioning from a patchwork of software solutions to a cohesive and integrated software strategy. Here's why this shift is gaining traction for small businesses:

  • Time Savings: When you opt for a unified platform like Zoho One, you simplify your decision-making process. Once you've chosen, you gain access to all bundled apps, streamlining your software management.

  • Cost-effectiveness: Instead of purchasing multiple individual applications, you can subscribe to a unified platform for a reasonable monthly fee. This subscription includes access to nearly every integrated app, eliminating the need for additional software expenses or costly custom integrations.

  • Seamless Integration: The developers at Zoho One have designed unified platforms for smooth compatibility. They preconfigure integrations, ensuring essential data is automatically shared between applications without switching between different platforms. Most integrations are just a few clicks away, and the connections and data management are very stable compared to custom cross-platform integrations.

  • Comprehensive Data Insights: Unified platforms facilitate the collection and sharing of data across all incorporated applications. This consolidation of information provides a comprehensive overview of your business's performance. Especially for larger organizations with layers of multiple tools before switching platforms, gaining insights into their data can be significantly more accessible with a single ecosystem like Zoho. With Zoho One, everything you need is accessible in one platform, ready for quick integrations and clean data management. 

  • Leveraging AI: With all your business data centralized, you can harness the capabilities of artificial intelligence to uncover valuable insights that might have otherwise gone unnoticed within your operations. Zoho developed its own AI, Zia, which is constantly gaining new functionality.

  • Customization: Zoho One provides extensive customization options, enabling companies to tailor the platform to their needs. Customized reports, fields, and interfaces ensure that Zoho One adapts to your unique requirements.

What Does Zoho One Include?  

Zoho One offers an extensive suite of over 50 integrated business applications. These apps cover various functions, from sales and marketing to customer support, HR, recruitment, and finance. Everything is available through a single, cost-effective pricing plan, streamlining your business operations.


Here are the most common applications that we build out for our clients in Zoho One to help manage and grow their business: 

Zoho One for Sales & Marketing

  • Zoho CRM (or Bigin): This integrated tool manages customer interactions, sales pipelines, marketing effectiveness, and customer service. It provides a comprehensive view of customers and allows users to track leads, deals, and customer interactions from a unified platform. Zoho One's CRM tool is a game-changer when managing customer relationships. It empowers businesses to nurture leads, track sales processes, and provide exceptional customer service. This holistic approach to CRM enables you to understand and engage with your customers on a whole new level.

  • Zoho Bookings: Integrated and automated calendaring lets your clients schedule calls for open times on your calendar. It even has an option to set meeting rates in case the meeting type should be included as billable hours. Since it can be integrated with Zoho Books, you can invoice and charge clients with little administrative or financial work after the call.

  • Zoho SalesIQ: A real-time live chat and visitor tracking software that helps businesses engage with website visitors. It offers insights into customer behavior, enabling personalized interactions.

  • Zoho Sites: Zoho's website builder for easy content management and custom page delivery through your domain.

  • Zoho Marketing Automation: An all-in-one marketing automation solution for omnichannel campaigns, including landing pages, email marketing, surveys, events, and SMS marketing.

  • Zoho Campaigns: An email and SMS marketing solution for creating, sending, and tracking campaigns. Depending on the team's skill level, clients often decide between using the more robust Marketing Automation or Zoho Campaigns. We recommend Marketing Automation, though you can use Marketing Automation for tracking results across channels and Campaigns to allow certain team members to build and send specific email or SMS campaigns without access to break the required setup of the more robust Marketing Automation platform.

  • Zoho Social: Manage nearly every aspect of your organic social channels and audiences, including select Lead Form Ad types. Scheduling posts make it easy to match your content launch with your social derivatives. There's also an approval function, so your team can build custom social posts while you get to maintain governance of your brand by approving, altering, or rejecting before scheduling a post.

  • Zoho Survey: A tool for creating and conducting surveys to gather customer feedback on your products or services. While this is listed in sales and marketing, it's also an invaluable tool for gathering internal employee feedback.

  • Zoho PageSense: Improve your website with A/B Testing, funnel analysis, heatmaps, scroll maps, attention maps, and much more.

  • Zoho Analytics: A Business Intelligence (BI) tool for sophisticated reporting and analysis, compatible with various data sources.

using a crm software and testing its features.

Zoho for Operations, Finance, and HR

  • Zoho Workplace: This cloud-based office productivity suite offers many applications, including word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, email, cloud storage, and collaboration tools. With secure email, document storage, and collaborative workspaces, Zoho Workplace empowers businesses to work efficiently and effectively in a digital work environment.

  • Zoho Projects: A project management platform for tasks, projects, resource management, communication and collaboration.

  • Zoho Cliq: A communication platform enabling internal and external communications via chat, audio calls, video calls, and screen-share.

  • Zoho Inventory: Inventory management for tracking stock levels, managing orders, and fulfilling customer requests.

  • Zoho Books: An online accounting solution that automates invoicing, expense tracking, and bookkeeping.

  • Zoho People: An integrated HR management solution covering recruitment, employee records, performance management, etc.

 

Additionally, there are other applications like Zoho Forms, Zoho Desk (customer service platform), Zoho Invoice, Zoho Learn (an LMS and training platform), Zoho Backstage (for event management), Zoho Commerce, and many more. These tools collectively provide a comprehensive solution for various aspects of business management.

Why We Recommend & Implement Zoho One for Clients

We believe in the power of efficiency and the value of streamlined operations. That's precisely why we prefer and wholeheartedly recommend Zoho One to our clients. Here's why you want to consider Zoho One as your choice for a business management solution. One of the standout features of Zoho One is that it offers everything you need, all in one place. Instead of dealing with the complexity of managing multiple software applications, you can centralize your operations within Zoho One. This consolidation enhances efficiency, reducing operational overhead while creating a unified user experience.


Also, cost considerations are a significant factor for businesses of all sizes. Zoho One's pricing structure, with a flat-rate monthly subscription for all-employee pricing or a higher flat-rate monthly subscription for custom user packages if only some of your employees need the application, is refreshingly straightforward. Simple pricing means you won't be caught off guard by unexpected expenses. This affordability makes it accessible to small and medium-sized businesses, allowing them to benefit from enterprise-level tools without breaking the bank.


We appreciate the importance of tailoring software to fit your unique needs. Zoho One doesn't disappoint in this regard. It allows for extensive customization, whether adapting the user interface, creating custom reports, or building custom fields. This adaptability ensures that Zoho One aligns perfectly with your business processes.


However, like many application suites, not all tools can be ranked amongst the best against individual-purpose software. Zoho does a fantastic job at regularly improving its products to fit customers' needs, and the customizable functions help. Just realize that not every employee will love their specific tools or processes, no matter how cost-effective and efficient it is for the company. It's crucial to train solution experts and software advocates to address challenges and avoid rogue departments from going off and buying a separate tool when most of the functionality exists within Zoho One. 

Which Applications Do We Use/Recommend the Most  

Within the expansive suite of applications that Zoho One offers, there are a few standout tool suites that our company finds particularly valuable. Each instance we build for customers is unique, but these applications address typical business needs with precision, efficiency, and adaptability. Here are the top Zoho One applications we use and recommend the most:

Zoho CRM: Managing Customer Relationships Like Never Before  

Zoho CRM is a cornerstone of our Zoho One experience. It serves as the nucleus of our client relationship management efforts. Here's why it's indispensable:

software application
  • Lead Management: Zoho CRM allows us to efficiently capture, nurture, and convert prospects into paid customers. Its lead-scoring system helps us focus on the most promising leads.

  • Sales Automation: With automation features, we can streamline our sales processes, ensuring nothing falls through the cracks. As a result, you can notice shorter sales cycles and increased revenue.

  • 360-Degree Customer View: Zoho CRM provides a comprehensive view of our customers' interactions, allowing us to tailor our communication and provide personalized support.

  • Integration with Marketing: Seamless integration with Zoho Marketing applications ensures that our marketing and sales efforts are aligned, leading to higher conversion rates.

Zoho Workplace: Collaborative Tools for Enhanced Productivity  

Zoho Workplace is our go-to solution for collaboration, communication, and productivity. Here's why it's at the forefront of our recommendations:

  • Email and Messaging (Cliq): Zoho Workplace offers robust email and messaging tools that keep our team connected, ensuring efficient communication across projects and departments.

  • Document Collaboration: Document editing and collaboration within the suite empower us to work on projects in real-time, eliminating version control issues.

  • Cloud Storage: The integrated cloud storage solution simplifies file sharing and access, allowing our team to retrieve critical documents anytime, anywhere.

  • Project Management: Including Zoho Projects within Zoho One enables us to manage and track our projects from start to finish seamlessly.

Zoho Marketing Applications: Elevating Marketing Campaigns to New Heights  

Marketing is vital to our business, and the Zoho Marketing suite of applications inside Zoho One or standalone as Zoho Marketing Plus is our secret weapon for success. Here's why it holds a prominent place in our Zoho One arsenal:

  • Multi-Channel Marketing: Zoho Marketing applications enable us to create, automate, and analyze marketing campaigns across various channels, from email marketing to social media.

  • Segmentation and Targeting: We can segment our audience based on behavior and demographics, ensuring that our marketing messages are highly relevant to each group.

  • Analytics and Reporting: The robust analytics features help us track campaign performance, allowing us to make data-driven decisions to optimize our marketing efforts.

  • Lead Scoring and Nurturing: Zoho Marketing Plus integrates seamlessly with Zoho CRM, allowing us to score leads, nurture them, and seamlessly transition them to our sales team when they're ready to convert.

These business apps have played a crucial role in enhancing our operations, driving growth, and ensuring we deliver top-notch services to our clients.
team working on projects using software tools

How to Make the Switch to Zoho One  

Thinking about transitioning to Zoho One? Here's a step-by-step guide to help you make a smooth switch:

Step 1: Do Your Research and Determine Your Needs:   

Start by carefully examining your business operations and identifying the key challenges and inefficiencies you face. Take stock of your current systems and processes, noting areas that require improvement or optimization.

 

Once you've outlined your business needs and objectives, explore how Zoho One can align with and address these requirements. Investigate the features and capabilities of Zoho One's applications to ensure they are a suitable fit for your business.

Step 2: Test the Tool and Book a Demo  

Now that you've identified your business needs and established that Zoho One aligns with your objectives, the next logical step is to get hands-on experience with the platform. Begin by taking advantage of Zoho's offer of a month-long free trial. Sign up for the trial period to gain access to the Zoho One suite and its applications. During the trial period, you can explore the platform firsthand and understand how it works within your business environment.

 

While conducting your trial, we recommend booking a demo with a Zoho representative. This personalized demo session will provide valuable insights into the platform's functionalities, customization options, and how you can tailor it to your requirements. Zoho is great with customer outreach and is certain to be in touch with a representative who can help walk you through the system if you haven't already hired Universal Creative Solutions as your implementation partner. 

 

Involve key team members in the trial and demo process. Their feedback and observations can provide valuable insights and ensure the business platform meets the needs of various departments within your organization. Keep in mind that any change is likely to meet with resistance from someone on the team. No tool perfectly solves all your problems, at least not without creating another here and there. Ensure the team is focused on the end goal and the big picture, especially if one aspect of their job may be more challenging with this platform over another siloed option. 

Step 3: Work with a Consulting Company  

Collaborating with experienced consultants, such as Universal Creative Solutions, can make all the difference in your Zoho One implementation. As consultants, we understand the ins and outs of Zoho One's customization capabilities. Our operations experts will work closely with your team to identify the optimal settings, custom fields, integrations, applications, and reports that align with your business requirements. This tailored approach ensures that Zoho One fits your organization perfectly.

Upgrade Your Business Operating System with Zoho One  

Zoho One helps businesses become more competitive. With the central repository for company data, processes, and integrations, decision-makers can organize their workflows and build efficient roadmaps toward growing their businesses. Zoho One is suitable for companies of all sizes, but it's vital for small businesses that can free up resources compared to purchasing dozens of tools separately for their entire team. Zoho One gives your team the most capabilities for the dollar than nearly any other configuration. 

 

With so many business applications on Zoho One, learning all the features and capabilities is challenging without the right partner. You'll also need to decipher which tools are most important for your business because it's rare to use literally every application when some have cross-over functionality. That's where we can help. If you need help migrating, setting up, and customizing the Zoho One system for your organization, contact Universal Creative Solutions. We help you plan and customize your suite of Zoho tools to fit your daily operations to achieve or exceed your goals.