Zoho Launches Its First Developer Programme and Marketplace, Multichannel CRM, and Email Client for Salespeople

Zoho has launched Zoho Developer programme, which provides independent software vendors (ISVs) and application developers the tools and resources to create extensions and build custom applications. Zoho also launched Zoho Marketplace where users can buy extensions and custom-built applications and developers can sell them commission-free. Together, Zoho Developer and Zoho Marketplace establish a platform—the first platform made in India—that caters to Zoho’s current and rapidly growing base of over 20 million users worldwide.

“With Zoho Marketplace and Zoho Developer, Zoho evolves from a product suite into a platform,” said Mani Vembu, COO, Zoho Corp. “At nearly two million, India has the second highest number of software developers in the world. Zoho has now become the first Indian company to have created a platform for them where they can not only create solutions but also sell them to Zoho’s vast global user base. On the other hand, Zoho Marketplace empowers our customers with tools, extensions, and applications that complement their Zoho products so they can focus on their business.”

Zoho also unveiled Zoho CRM, the industry’s first multichannel CRM. Zoho CRM supports email, social media, live chat, and phone communications, enabling salespeople to engage their customers and prospects across all channels in real time, with SalesSignals. Its new features such as Timeline View, Page Layouts and Gamescope improve salespeople’s ability to close deals.

Complementing its multichannel CRM, Zoho also launched Zoho SalesInbox, an email client designed exclusively for salespeople. Using customer data in Zoho CRM, Zoho SalesInbox automatically prioritizes customer conversations, ensures salespeople never miss an important email and provides full context for every email conversation.

Zoho Marketplace

The launch of Zoho Marketplace meets the demands of users who want to integrate third-party applications with Zoho applications, extend Zoho applications with additional features or automate new processes with custom applications. Now, these users can browse through a wide variety of solutions, find the ones that best fit their requirements and install them through Zoho Marketplace.

Currently, Zoho Marketplace offers extensions for Zoho CRM and custom applications. Most of these applications are free. Zoho Marketplace also offers a number of Zoho-developed extensions for Zoho SalesIQ. Going forward, Zoho Marketplace will offer more extensions available for other Zoho products.

Zoho Developer

Zoho Developer supports all Zoho applications that have REST APIs and is available to Zoho partners, ISVs, IT services companies, domain experts and developers. They can use it to add or customize business process and functions for Zoho CRM. They can also use Zoho Creator to build custom applications that bring brand new functionality to Zoho users. Once programme participants discover the development possibilities, they can develop solutions and distribute them on Zoho Marketplace, commission-free.

Develop a solution. As part of the programme, developers get the Zoho Developer Console, which lets them build extensions for Zoho CRM now and other Zoho products in the future. To create custom applications, developers have access to Zoho Creator. They also get access to Zoho’s extensive array of open APIs. Finally, developers have access to a quick-start guide, video tutorials, the Zoho Developer forum and other self-service and live support resources.

Distribute it for a profit. Once approved, developer solutions can be distributed on Zoho Marketplace, for free or at prices set by the developers. Zoho takes no commission from Zoho Marketplace sales. Developers can also privately share the custom solutions they build for individual clients rather than sell them through the Zoho Marketplace.

“The typical marketplace operator takes a significant cut of each partner sale, up to 30 percent or more in some cases,” said Vembu. “We don’t buy into that model. Our developers are doing us a great service by strengthening our ecosystem. We don’t believe they should pay us a commission on top of it. That’s why we don’t charge a commission on marketplace transactions.”

Zoho SalesInbox

* Hands-free email prioritization and organization: With an innovative multi-column inbox layout, Zoho SalesInbox automatically organizes incoming emails according to the information stored in the user’s CRM account–such as the deal status, size and closing date. This way, salespeople can easily spot the emails that require immediate attention.

* Context in every email: With Zoho SalesInbox, salespeople can view the timeline of previous conversations with a particular contact, the size of their current and past deals, overdue tasks, missed calls, support tickets raised, social media mentions and other relevant information related to the contact – all from their email client.

* CRM updates right from the inbox: When an email comes in from an interested lead, the salesperson can simply drag and drop the email from one column to another. By then adding some essential information, an opportunity is created in their CRM system while keeping their inbox organized.

* Reminders and Response Watch: Zoho SalesInbox lets salespeople set reminders for not just emails they need to send, but also for emails they need to receive. They can set a time limit during which they expect a reply. The Response Watch functionality would let the users know if the reply is not received during the allotted time, so they can follow-up.

* Mobile client integration: Zoho SalesInbox can be configured on the mobile phone for both iOS and Android devices, and can be mapped to all popular email services, including Zoho Mail, Gmail, Yahoo! Mail and Outlook.

* Helps salespeople send better emails: Thanks to its integration with Zoho CRM, Zoho SalesInbox users can receive detailed insights into how the emails they send are performing. Users can also see statistics about what email templates are performing best with customers, and can receive detailed numbers on how many emails have been opened, read or clicked through.

Zoho CRM

Multichannel support

* SalesSignals: Signals keep salespeople informed in real time about customer actions on various touchpoints like social media, satisfaction surveys and support tickets to help them act in time and make speedy sales.

* Mobile apps for field sales: Salesreps can check-in at customer locations, find prospects nearby, track sales activities, and close more deals on the move with Zoho CRM’s new mobile app. Sales managers can foster desired practices among their teams with metric-driven sales contests using the new Zoho Motivator app for iOS, which works in sync with Zoho CRM.

Usability innovations

* Clean and minimalist new interface: Zoho CRM is designed to minimize the processes involved in sales and maximize selling. It does so with an intuitive new interface and smart new features:

– Timeline View: Salespeople can see their customers’ historical data and interactions with their team, all in one place. They can also see any upcoming  action items that have been assigned to members of their team.

– Advanced Filters: This insight-discovery tool allows businesses to probe their CRM data based on activities such as tasks, notes and emails.

* Page layouts: Many businesses face the challenge of having to handle sales processes that might not always fit into the common CRM sales cycle. Page Layouts enable companies to handle multiple products and processes using a single CRM account.

* Gamescope: With this feature, anyone, not just sales managers, can create contests and invite their peers to play a game for friendly wager. Sales activities like making calls and closing deals could win an employee points, trophies and badges. It’s a fun-driven gamification feature that promotes healthy competition within a team.

@Technuter.com News Service

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