What do you like best?
We have used a number of different CRM systems over the years but never have really found one that ticked all the boxes until now. The best part of Zoho CRM is the ease of customisation behind the scenes. It is easy to add new modules and fields etc and then use those fields to kick off workflows. With our business, we have our leads that come in from our Wordpress sites (fairly easy to connect up) automatically added to our Leads module. Then based on their region, it routes the lead on a round robin to the relevant sales user.
Everything is importable and there are many ways to integrate Zoho CRM with other applications and services (Gmail, Office365 etc).
With regard to collaboration, Zoho CRM allows our sales team to quickly review our leads, prospects etc. But what is very useful is that it links directly to our email accounts. This then allows any of us to look at a lead, contact etc and find out who contacted them last and what was previously discussed.
Out of the box, they have thought of a lot of the modules that you will probably need (Forecasts, Documents, Accounts etc). Each can be tweaked or you can start from scratch. The choice is up to you.
It also doesn't need to be set up all at once. We have been using it for about 6 months and are finding new uses for it even now.
Great CRM system.
What do you dislike?
There are a few quirks here and there.
Each module has a key field for example, which you can't do a huge amount with as it is locked to being a text box. This means that when you add a something to the system, you need to give it an arbitrary title or number that makes the record unique perhaps. However, this may not be relevant and we haven't worked out how to auto-fill this.
Also, the "SalesInbox" module, which is Zoho CRM's email browser is a little confusing. But as it can auto store your emails directly from your email account, you don't really need to use it.
Recommendations to others considering the product
If you have requirements that other CRM systems don't really support, Zoho CRM probably will. It doesn't take long to get your head around and once you get it, you can make it sing!
What business problems are you solving with the product? What benefits have you realized?
We use Zoho CRM for 6 main business purposes:
1) Inbound Leads automation
3) Contact and contact history storage
4) Support and Contract storage
5) Shared email archive
6) Quote generation
The benefits of this are that everything is in one place and connected. A customer account can be linked to a contract, that contract has serial numbers of all of the software/hardware sold in that deal with a list of every email back and forth. It also links to PandaDoc (Contract creation software) that can show you the Statement of works for the deal.
If it doesn't do it out of the box, there is probably a way of achieving it.