Finding the right Client Relationship Management (CRM) system to support your business is important. What supports your business also supports you –an important point that many business owners overlook. The point of purchasing a CRM system is to save you time and make more money. How you – and how your business – operates in regards to making sales and using time is the most important part of this equation. The comparison between Infusionsoft and Zoho is a little unfair because while both operate as CRM systems, Zoho is not designed as a sales and marketing automation platform – and for many business owners operating in the online space, marketing takes up a great deal of their time and anything that automates all or some of these processes is worth considering. However, Zoho is an easy-to-use CRM system with a limited degree of automation and a very low price point so if that is what you’re looking for in your business, it could be the platform for you.

 

What can Infusionsoft do for my business?

Infusionsoft operates as a one-stop-shop for all your sales and marketing systems and processes. It combines CRM, marketing and sales automation, and ecommerce functionality.

 

What can Zoho do for my business?

Zoho is a CRM software program, plain and simple. You will most likely require a different tool for managing your sales and marketing campaigns. If you are in the kind of business where you do not need to communicate regularly with your clients, then Zoho may well be a good solution.

 

A comparison of the main function areas for each platform is detailed below. To talk through your specific business needs, use this form to book your free marketing automation strategy session today.

 

Customer Relationship Management:

Both Zoho and Infusionsoft offer you the opportunity to see all your client information in one place. This includes call logs, file notes, and lead scores. This information can be shared with other members of your sales team and your sales staff can then back each other up accordingly. This enables your team to focus their time and attention on your ‘hottest’ or most likely sales conversions. This functionality is pretty much the same for both systems.

 

Marketing Campaigns:

Again, Zoho is not designed to be a sales and marketing campaign management tool – nor does it purport to be so. To actually plan, execute and optimise your sales and marketing programs, Infusionsoft is the platform over 10 million business owners choose – and with good reason. It is intuitive and highly customised. It is also makes it easy to automate and scale promotional campaigns.

Zoho can be used for email marketing but it is rudimentary in terms of functionality. While you can set up a ‘chain’ of emails to run, you cannot segment and adjust the ‘flow’ of client communication in reaction to your clients’ responses. Infusionsoft allows you to do this. The key is the tags attached to every click point your client has with your marketing and on your website.

Once all your email chains are loaded in Infusionsoft, and your client decision paths have been mapped, you can automate almost the entire campaign to run as set. This is a huge time saver for you – and it has been proven to be a big winner when it comes to making sales.

 

Marketing Automation:

The value of automation is touched on above, but below you’ll see the difference between a simple CRM system like Zoho, and the customisable marketing automation software that is Infusionsoft. Again, compare this against what you actually need and want in / for your business. Infusionsoft is by no means the cheaper option here so think carefully about what your business needs and consider the scenarios below:

 

Scenario 1 (Infusionsoft):

You schedule 7 emails to promote your product and nurture your prospect towards the final sale.

Your prospect purchases your product after the 3rd email.

Your prospect receives a thank you email and / or upsell offers.

 

Scenario 2 (Zoho CRM):

You schedule 7 emails to promote your product and nurture your prospect towards the final sale.

Your prospect purchases your product after the 3rd email.

Your prospect continues to receive the rest of the promotional email chain encouraging them to buy something they have already purchased.

 

See the difference? When you add in the fact that the adaptive marketing in Infusionsoft can actually be pre-set and automated you begin to see the real value of a system that operates above the level of a simple CRM. This detailed level of automation means that you can automatically adjust your communications based on the actions of individual prospects. Infusionsoft allows your prospects to effectually segment themselves before your pre-programmed (seemingly) tailored marketing funnels go into effect. You can customise each and every email you send to match the needs of your prospect, based on what Infusionsoft learns about their behavioural responses to your marketing, and their click-paths on your website. Once your campaigns are established, all these steps are automated – and therein lies the beauty and the power of Infusionsoft for your business.

With Infusionsoft, you can follow up a prospect like this:

  • Email Prospect with a meeting request
  • Once your meeting is booked in, you can send a confirmation email
  • After you’ve met, you can email Prospect a thank you
  • You can follow your thank you with meeting notes and / or a quote or estimate
  • Once Prospect is on board you can email them an acknowledgement
  • After the work is complete you can email out a request to complete a client survey
  • Following this you can contact Prospect with a request for a testimonial or any further feedback

. . . and so on and so forth, thus building a long-term and enduring relationship with your new customer via a continual program of engagement and ‘discussion’. This is all, of course, automated through Infusionsoft – and it has been proven to be very effective for many up and coming businesses looking to optimise client spend and extend their customer relationship lifecycle.

It is quite possible to design, set up and run email marketing campaigns using the Zoho CRM – it is just less flexible than using Infusionsoft and you cannot automate as much of your process.

 

Interested in finding out more about marketing automation and how it can benefit your business? Book in for our free marketing automation strategy session today.

 

What about other kinds of marketing?

Good question; contrary to what some digital marketers will have you believe there are other ways to market to your list than simply using email campaigns. That said, Zoho does not really lend itself to any of these others. It cannot, for example, do any of the following:

  • Voicemail marketing
  • Text messaging
  • Letter creation (what used to called ‘direct mail’ in the old days)
  • Direct mail communications, including birthday cards, gift cards for seasonally-based campaigns, etc.

Not only can all of these marketing campaigns be designed and run through Infusionsoft, but they can be set up to proceed automatically – so you as the business owner can actually have a go at booking a Christmas family vacation and still make sales over this period. There’s that time / money equation again – and while family time is valuable to everyone, regardless of how many sales could be made over that period, wouldn’t it be great if you could do both?

 

Tasks and Reminders – the bare bones of CRM:

Managing client relationships is the basics of good business – and organised tasks and timeframes are key to maintaining these important relationships.

Both Zoho and Infusionsoft allow you to create tasks and reminders for you and your staff in relation to follow ups and action points regarding client accounts and projects. Following up quotes or adjusting job specifications for example, are tasks both systems can log and remind you to complete by a due date. You can also delegate these to your staff via your CRM system (both Infusionsoft and Zoho allow you to do this). These features help you to optimise the opportunities from each and every lead.

You can schedule a limited number of tasks using Zoho. After you secure a new client the Zoho system can automatically send you tasks and timed reminders regarding the actions you need to complete. However, you need to be aware that these tasks do not change based on actions the contact takes or emails you have sent. Zoho is simply not designed that way.

On the other hand, Infusionsoft’s CRM is connected to its sales and marketing platform so it can be more intuitive and flexible. You can actually automate task lists and reminders based on what your prospect has received and what they need next. You can connect your task list to your other marketing efforts; for example, you can set a task to call a prospect after they have read your new sales email, create a fulfilment list for your sales team to complete based on which clients have ordered what, and even pre-set reminders to call a contact on their birthday.

 

Price:

This is a pretty big differentiator for most business owners. The fact is that Infusionsoft’s $2K start up price tag, plus the ongoing monthly fees of $199 (at least) do seem scary. You must balance this against what you believe your CRM system will save you in terms of time and money; as the business owner you are in possibly the best position to make that call.

Zoho is free if you have 3 or less users, and only a small client list. From there the costs increase until you’re paying anywhere from $60 to $600 per month depending on the size of your sales force and / or the number of records on your client database.

Again, for both systems, if you want to add specific features and functionalities that do not come standard out-of-the-box, then you pay additional fees for these. All of this ought to be taken into account when you conduct your analysis to work out your desired Return On investment (ROI).

For an in-depth analysis on the value of each system to your business, and to talk through what kind of ROI you can expect, book in for our free marketing automation strategy session today.

 

Customer Support:

In terms of client service and training support, Zoho and Infusionsoft both only offer have customer support to paid members. You can also access Infusionsoft’s 24/7 chat help which is very useful as most marketing and sales programming is done out of hours. There is also a large online user community that can be very helpful in finding new and innovative ways to optimise the value from your investment in Infusionsoft.

 

Which System is Best?

Infusionsoft is clearly more than a simple CRM. However, if a plain CRM system is all you think you need for your business now and into the future, Zoho can be the way to go. It is certainly cheaper. Infusionsoft does much more than manage your CRM – but then it is also a greater investment. As always, the choice is your own and depends on your business requirements.

For expert advice that can help you decide on the best CRM system for your business, book in for our free marketing automation strategy session today.

 

If you’re not sure just what you need in your business right now, contact one of our trained CRM consultants. They’ll take the time to sit down with you and talk through what your business requirements are – and precisely what you need from yours new system.

 

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About Ben Pearce

With over 6 years experience in Search Engine Optimisation, Ben knows how to build and manage SEO strategies for any business looking to dominate their industry.