A Definitive Guide on Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM 2023
Communicating with customers has become a crucial factor for enterprises. Proper communication creates opportunities for growth. This would mean maintaining customer loyalty, fostering brand trust, and ultimately driving long-term success. As technology evolves, organizations try to minimize the gap between them and their customers through various innovative methods. Cloud Telephony Integration (CTI) with Zoho CRM tools is an innovative effort aimed at removing this gap.
With a large number of software providing cloud telephony integration with CRM tools, the focus is no longer on who offers the best software and services, but on what becomes the best choice for an organization. This choice lies in selecting a solution that fits its specific requirements and provides a great return on investment.
Let us look at all the pre-requisite information that can help you make a well-informed choice on cloud telephony Zoho CRM integration, its benefits, best practices, which integration to pick, and much more.
Also, we would provide some top industry combinations for cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM that could help you start your research and understand the top players and features delivered in this software.
- What is Cloud Telephony?
- What is Cloud Telephony Integration for Zoho CRM?
- Advantages of Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM
- Features of Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM
- Benefits of CTI for Zoho CRM Across Departments
- Important Stats for CTI with Zoho CRM 2023
- Cloud Telephony with CRM Integration Journey
- Mistakes to Avoid in CTI with Zoho CRM
- Top 5 Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM
What is Cloud Telephony?
Cloud Telephony, often called Cloud Calling, replaces the usual enterprise telephonic systems with more affordable and accessible communication systems. It employs routing calls using the Internet. Usually, this routing is done by third-party Unified Communications as a Software (UCaaS). Various software solutions like Office24by7 provide efficient cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM.
This software gives its users a variety of communication tools for various situations. Call center software like cloud call centers, VoIP call centers, and other call center software for communications use this technology.
What is Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM?
Cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM is a powerful way to improve customer service, boost sales, and streamline operations. Using cloud-based phone system integration on your Zoho CRM software, you can access customer information in real-time, call tracking and customer interactions, and automate tasks.
For example, if a customer calls in with a question, you can see their contact history, notes, and interactions in one place. This will help you provide them with a more personalized and efficient experience. You can also use cloud telephony to track calls and customer interactions.
This data can help you identify areas where you can improve customer service. For example, if you see a lot of customers calling in with the same question, you can create an FAQ page or a knowledge-based article to address the issue.
Cloud telephony can also be used in your Zoho CRM to automate tasks. For example, you can set up your system to automatically send follow-up emails after a call. This will help you stay in touch with customers and close more deals.
In addition to improving customer service and sales, it can help you streamline your operations. For example, you can use it on your Zoho CRM to reduce paperwork. Instead of filling out paper forms, you can have customers enter their information into your Zoho CRM system over the phone, saving you time and effort.
Advantages of CTI with Zoho CRM
Cloud telephony is a technology that is already changing the way organizations communicate with their customers. As an internet-based communications system, organizations might have various concerns regarding integrating it into their existing processes.
Some of the key factors which provide it an upper hand over traditional communications systems are:
Traditional communications methods use large hardware and physical inventory, which is costly to install, maintain, and upgrade. These also take up a lot of storage space and demand getting updated at least once a year. Traditional communications are susceptible to various deterioration and calamities like natural disasters, bad weather, infrastructural damages, etc.
Cloud-based phone system integration with Zoho CRM uses the Internet compared to the on-premise software used by call center services, etc. This has many advantages like no physical storage requirement, potential upgradation, scope for purchase of more space, and easy maintenance of existing space.
The Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which is employed by cloud telephony, completely substitutes the previous generation of PBX systems (Private Branch Exchange). Communication systems like the PBX are more costly and would require manual control.
With VoIP, you can customize how you use this software and what you use it for. You can reduce the need for physical components that support communication in various geographical regions and the cost required to maintain them.
The security of communication channels has always been a prime concern for companies with terrific competition in the industry. It is the same with any company, whether they handle sensitive information or not. Moreover, in the growing trend of remote working, there is always a concern over the secure transmission of messages.
This software uses VoIP and Session Initiation Protocol (SIP), which is more secure than the usual Transmission Control Protocol (TCP), thereby providing confidence to the company when it comes to working, even from outside their mainframe.
Cloud telephony is a dynamic tool that can evolve and be customized based on user requirements. Unlike the old generation of hardware, it doesn’t require a new purchase every time there is an update.
The API for cloud telephony helps to integrate it into mobile devices and has given companies an edge over their competition. It enables them to respond to calls, transfer calls to other agents, and even use three-way calling, no matter where the team is. Similarly, whenever there is a new requirement or feature in the industry, it can be easily integrated with the existing one.
All research and development which would go into updating the existing software would be done by the Zoho CRM and an integration software provider like Office24by7. It mostly happens sooner at your end than your competitors because of the efficiency these companies offer. This is a massive advantage for the company that uses this software.
An organization can easily add, remove or change user profiles with access to their cloud telephony network. This would only cost them a penny more if there is a significant increase in the staff. The organization can request more login IDs, share the existing software among more users, and start productivity on the same day.
In the traditional method, investments in hardware and software had to be made, which are of exceptionally high initial cost. It would also take time to install. Any issues that crop up with the hardware would prolong the duration, where the scalability would remain unproductive.
Getting updates and upgrades or some feature requirements was challenging with traditional software. But with cloud telephony integration, the organization can share their specific requirements with the service provider.
The organization does not have to spend time or money to update and keep up with the ever-changing industry trends and requirements, as it would be done by the service provider. This gives the organization the choice to pick the service provider that is most apt for their business.
Also, all data and software files could be on the cloud and wouldn’t require any storage from the organization, saving physical space, cost, and maintenance charges.
An agent might have hundreds of clients. To communicate efficiently with clients, they must be able to relate to their identity, their specific requirements, what has happened in previous meetings, and their history with the organization.
When having cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM, the agent can draw up all details about the respective customers, or a new customer profile can be created automatically. This supports ongoing communication and assists future ones as well.
It also helps agents daily by providing information on prospective conversions and people who wish to be safe for a specific amount of time but would like to take upon the conversation after that time. Timely communication leads to more intimacy and conversions or sales.
With cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM, the number of missed calls or calls that are not getting resolved can decrease in the long run, reflecting how clients and potential clients perceive the organization.
Team members can manage their time efficiently using cloud telephony integration into their CRM tool. Managers can use the data from the CRM tool to evaluate how the team members are performing. This analysis can be done much more easily than in the traditional way.
With the integration, managers can check on conversations recorded in their database from the past. This can result in improving the performance of the team. Cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM also automatically collects various data about the call and generates reports. This makes it easy to calculate individual performances in the past.
Reduce Lead Leakage
According to the statistical analysis done by HubSpot in defining 85 Key Sales Statistics That’ll Help You Sell Smarter in 2023, 80% of sales require five follow-up calls. This number reveals how important back-to-back follow-up can effectively result in more sales.
Each lead can be leveraged efficiently using cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM because of the features it provides for recognizing customer responses. The availability of parallel ringing also helps to close in on conversions.
For more understanding about Sales CRM, check out our Ultimate Guide to Sales CRM.
Features of CTI with Zoho CRM
Integrating cloud telephony systems with Zoho CRM is a great way to ensure the efficiency of an organization in terms of customer relations. When a CRM tool can provide more value to various departments in an organization, the CTI becomes software that can assist these opportunities. Moreover, it can enhance multiple operations done with the help of a CRM tool where communication is a factor.
The process of reaching out to customers, making successful conversions, and retaining them over the long run, can be handled much more quickly if various actions are taken within a unified tool with an integrated communications channel. This helps cut down the time to make a set of calls and make notes of each call for future reference.
Efficient Call Distribution
Calls can be efficiently distributed to their respective agents or departments. This can drastically change how customers see the company’s services. In the growing days of responding to automation, quicker transfer of calls to the right agent who can solve customer issues is a huge strength.
With call integration, this distribution process can happen automatically. Therefore there is no need for customers to go through the same process each time to get to the right staff to address an issue.
The benefit of CTI with CRM is that one can add sticky agents to specific customers for various reasons. Some clients may have a good rapport with some agents and wish to consider them the point of contact in that organization. Staff from a particular department can be assigned to some customers so that they can speed up the process by directly reaching out to the right person.
For example, Customer A might be working in a tech-based company and would like to discuss it with a technical person from Company X. They can be assigned mutually, which could mean more efficiency in the communication process.
Moreover, talking to the person to whom the customer spoke before is more efficient. It can cut down the time and effort required to build the conversation and understand the background and history of the product or organization of the agent.
The process of assigning customers to their agents makes these agents a Sticky Agent. There are two types of Sticky Agents:
Strictly Bind Sticky Agent: In this process, a customer is assigned to a particular point of contact or agent in the company. The call gets dropped if the agent is unavailable or does not answer the call.
Loosely Bind Sticky Agent: In this process, a customer is assigned to a particular point of contact or agent. But in a situation where that particular agent is not available or is busy, the call gets transferred to another agent.
Direct, Single, or Multi-level IVR
Cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM enables you to communicate via single-level, direct, or multi-level Interactive Voice Response (IVR). This can also be your automated first response for any customer. CTI provides you with phone numbers unrelated to direct telephone lines; even so, these can be used to receive and forward calls to other numbers.
Organizations can choose phone numbers that look like a local area landline number, a toll-free number for enhancing the brand image, or a mobile number based on its purpose. Cloud telephony integrations like the one with Zoho CRM provided by many software providers like Office24by7 provide call analytics, single-click dialing, and much more.
Many UCaaS provide metrics and data analytics solutions for their users to identify opportunities and resolve organizational issues. It helps to enhance the productivity of each individual, team, and department. It also helps to evaluate performances based on numbers.
Statistics in graphs, pie charts, bars, etc., as required by the user, can also be found in these. This helps team leaders, managers, and higher officials in an organization to evaluate and understand various operational information.
Missed calls are a huge threat to lead conversions. With CTI in place, you can opt to respond via message or provide yourself with a callback reminder or forward the call to any other agent who is free at that moment. This could greatly add to the brand name by providing more confidence in their customer service.
A lesser number of unattended customers implies more sales for the company.
With cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM, agents can make inbound or outbound calls automatically if they have a list of customers they wish to reach out to. These calls can be done simultaneously without any hassle, thereby increasing the efficiency of the agents.
Parallel and Sequential calls
Nowadays, the time a customer spends on a pre-recorded message is challenging for most customer-facing operations. People drop off such calls very soon, leaving them dissatisfied. This can lead to a ripple effect when a large enough group of people are dissatisfied with automated responses.
Parallel or sequential ringing helps to curb this challenge. The calls from all customers are received by all agents at the same time. Any agent who is free to pick it up can address the customer. This process helps in reducing waiting time and the number of dissatisfied customers.
Benefits of CTI for Zoho CRM Across Departments
Cloud telephony integrations can be of various benefits to departments across an enterprise. Let’s look at some of them:
The data collected by activating call-tracking features in an integrated CRM tool will automatically enter data for each call. Doing so gathers a lot of information about diverse customers with unique needs. This material can be studied by the Marketing department.
Each customer can be approached through different strategies, and various studies can be done internally to understand what works for whom. This can help in defining what the target audience is or what services are most sought after. This also helps in timely marketing strategies to produce awareness and promotion.
Understanding what a customer requires is a key factor in closing on conversions. To achieve this, it is important to have more than one meeting or call. It is impeccable for the sales agent to learn what happened in the previous meeting and what specific details were communicated.
Integrating cloud telephony with the CRM tool helps gather data and has easy access whenever required. This helps manage sales even if the previous agent or response differs from the person who will attend the call in the future. This helps to cut down the time and effort required from both parties to discuss and reach conclusions.
Cloud telephony integration with CRM helps to distribute calls efficiently so that customers get the right people for their queries quicker. Technical support teams can reach out to their customers sooner and offer in-depth knowledge and expertise related to the product or service.
It isn’t easy to store all call records and communication data along with the customer’s profile so that the Quality Control department can check the quality of services provided. This task is significantly reduced by integrating cloud telephony with CRM software.
It records every call or communication in the exact user’s profile and helps with quality checks and all necessary data. This helps in regulating the quality of services and resolving situations of conflict.
Various inside disputes may occur regarding performance and other factors that could lead to appraisals and promotions. The HR team can check all related information stored in the CRM to evaluate the performance and resolve conflicts, such as two employees having a dispute over who got a particular conversion.
Managers of the company can evaluate the work of each department and each employee separately, especially how they perform and conduct themselves with customers and their readiness and enthusiasm for completing chores.
Important Stats for CTI with Zoho CRM 2023
In the forecasted period of 2018- 2023, the cloud telephony market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17%. This number reveals that CTI processes with CRM will add more value to organizations in the coming years.
Here are some important stats taken from the 2023 Sales Trends Report published by HubSpot, which points out the fact that integrated services of cloud telephony could enable the much sought-after CRM software to achieve sales, customer success, and other types of goals.
- Almost one-third (29%) of sales professionals’ top goal for 2023 is to make their sales process more efficient.
- More than one in five sales professionals reports that the top reason prospects back out of deals is the length of the sales process.
- More than half of sales leaders (52%) say that misaligned sales and marketing teams have cost them revenue.
- More than one-third (36%) report that misaligned sales and marketing teams prevent both teams from succeeding.
- A third of sales leaders (33%) also find that when sales and marketing aren’t aligned, it wastes the marketing budget.
- 25% of sales professionals who leverage a CRM identified “acting as an organized, centralized database” as being one of a CRM’s biggest benefits.
- 40%of sales professionals feel that their CRM is ‘very effective’ or ‘extremely effective’ at improving sales and marketing alignment.
- 47% of Sales professionals feel that their CRM is very important to the sales process for performing better than goals in 2022.
- “Helping you keep track of your leads” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 32% of salespeople.
- “Helping you identify valuable opportunities” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 19% of salespeople.
- “Improving customer retention” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 24% of sales teams.
- “Offering detailed analytics and reports” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 22% of sales teams.
- “Acting as an organized, centralized database” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 22% of sales teams.
- “Streamlining to sales cycle” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 20% of salespeople.
- “Increasing your productivity/reducing time spent on administrative tasks” was identified as a benefit of CRM tools by 18% of salespeople.
Cloud Telephony with CRM Integration Journey
Here are some steps involved in the journey of integrating cloud telephony with your CRM:
Selection of CTI
The selection process to finding a good CTI can be broken down into six smaller steps:
Compatibility of Cloud Telephony Solutions: Not all CTI is compatible with every CRM tool. Most CRM software offers its own CTI. So if yours doesn’t provide a service of its own, make sure you get a good enough one within your budget, with all required features and which is compatible with your existing CRM tool.
Zoho CRM provides excellent tools that could give your enterprise an advantage in organizing and achieving goals.
Understand the Needs of the Team: Understanding what purpose and value a cloud telephony solution integration with a CRM would provide is the first significant step to deciding on the right software. You can check with your sales team to analyze these needs and how a CTI would help their day-to-day process. Make a list of their priorities and features that they would require from the integration.
Think About the Features You Need: Most companies offer cloud telephony integration software with an extensive array of features. These features might be different from what you need. Some integrations might miss out on one or two of the features that you expect. And you need only pay for what you want. These can be clarified with the service provider’s agent in the later steps of this process, where you schedule a demo with them.
Customizable packages are a great option to select from because no company will use all the features offered in a particular subscription or package.
Research: Once you know your organization’s features and priorities, it is time to research. You can read about similar software online, compare their features, price, customer support, and reliability, and even check for recommendations from other companies. Various websites focus on providing tech-related opinions and news.
Schedule a Demo: Once a list of all potential software has been made, narrow it down based on your budget. Doing this at an early stage helps to curb unforeseen expenses in the future. Once the price range and options available are rounded down, you can reach out to these software providers over their website or email requesting a demo.
Some software solutions like Office24by7 provide free trial options, which is a perfect way to dive in and understand the specifics of the software. But most of the time, free trials are only available with limited features, and it is better to get a demo about the specifics and check if the software provider can deliver the exact elements that the team requires.
You can check if the software is compatible with the existing CRM tool or one you plan to use. It is recommended that a team member who would use the software attend the demo.
UI-UX Philosophy: Is the layout too boring? Is the organization and interface too old school? Does the design of the software make you less excited?
A healthy work environment surely needs to be efficient, concise, and entertaining. Processes must take only a few steps to achieve their goal and, at the same time, be very well organized without clutter. Once you narrow down your options, the UI-UX design philosophy is one of those factors that primarily needs to be noticed. A company’s UI-UX philosophy will give you a prima-facie of its values and customer support.
Here are some bonus factors to consider when choosing a cloud telephony integration with CRM software:
How Big is Your Organization? If you have a small or medium-sized business, it is mostly true that you would only require some of the features offered by a particular provider. Even if, at the moment, the software is promising in delivering top features that can be used when the company becomes a vast corporation, think about it in shorter timescales. You can upgrade your subscription or add more features to your package when the time comes.
How Big is Your Budget? Suppose a cloud telephony integration with CRM adds value to your organization. In that case, estimating the return on investment (ROI) the software would produce in the long run is the right approach. Integrations in the market range from free of charge to subscription packages that can cost more than hundreds of dollars every month.
Understand if you can afford the rate of the software. Analyze how good an investment it would be to purchase one. If you need an aggressive marketing and sales strategy or if it doesn’t add value to your investment, try to opt out of it or get free software to see the scope of it.
How Good is Customer Support? Some cloud telephony integration software provides excellent customer support. You need to check if the service provided is reliable in terms of software quality, security of data, and how robust their support team is. It would require a proactive support team to troubleshoot malfunctions or difficulties with certain aspects of the software.
Now, you can also take into consideration the lifespan of the product and the company to get an understanding of their commitment to development.
Once the demo and free trial has resulted in a wise purchase of your software, you must integrate it with your CRM tool. Most CRM software provides its own CTI making the process easier. Other technical solution providers like Office24by7 provide reliable and easy-to-integrate cloud telephony software that can be used with top-of-the-class CRM tools like Zoho CRM.
Even though configuring the integrated software is a gradual process, permissions, data fields, and workflow networks must be configured and made in the beginning stages.
With more and more hands-on experience, these requirements would increase, and some would be redefined based on the situations the team handles. But the first configuration is an essential task to get things going. This helps to organize and adapt to the software as a team.
Once the configuration is done, there is no time to waste. You will need to check if all features work as expected. You would also require establishing call automation, automated tasks, and other functionality based on the requirements of each team. All teams can cross-check their access and understand how to leverage the maximum out of the integrated software.
Mistakes to Avoid in Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM
It is important to know what to look out for in order to avoid issues that could affect the smooth functioning of the system. Some of those mistakes that can happen when integrating cloud telephony with your Zoho CRM are:
Neglecting Data Accessibility
The data collected from the customers is a huge reservoir of information. Data from departments across the organization should be accessible to other departments – for example, sales, marketing, and customer or client services. This collected data can be a great way to reduce extra work on the task.
Inadequate Data Mapping
Gathering the wrong information or no information can be a huge problem for the company in the long run. For various departments to contribute to future endeavors and the growth of other departments, this gathered information can play a crucial role.
Ignoring CRM Compatibility
Having a CRM compatible with other tools used for various activities in an organization would hinder its efficiency compared to others in the market.
Overlooking Specific Requirements
If you have a CRM tool that cannot be customized or lacks enough features to support the tasks performed by the cloud telephony integration fully, then it is time to rethink.
If the price cap on the CRM tool is making it a burden on your finances, then perhaps you need to get something cheaper, yet maintain the value bought by the costly tool. The same goes with UCaaS too.
Neglecting Customer Service
It is very important to get software with good customer support. Once you integrate the software into your daily work, any technical issues or lack of requirements can lead to huge financial loss. Therefore the software must be a robust one with lots of recommendations. Their customer support has to be very keen on providing insights and solving situations in no time.
Failing to be Adaptable
With the rise of new features or technological advancements, the software must be able to adapt and integrate these into its features. For example, with the invention of AI projections for existing data, this must be something the CRM tool must be capable of doing to give the company a heads-up in the competition.
Top 5 Cloud Telephony Integration with Zoho CRM
Here is a list of 5 cloud telephony integrations with Zoho CRM available in the market based on no particular order:
Office24by7 is an innovative industry-best office automation solutions provider. It focuses on helping organizations automate and channel operations for various departments to increase efficiency.
Some of our product features include IVR, Cloud Telephony, Missed Calls, Single-click dialing Audio Conference, Voice Broadcasting, Virtual Number, Drip Management, Lead Tracker, Email Marketing, Builder, SMS Marketing, Voice Marketing, Push Notifications, Contact Management, Lead Management, Opportunity Management, Deal Management, Mobile CRM, Task Management, and Ticketing Management. Office24by7 has now developed cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM to increase the productivity of companies using Zoho CRM. The introductory pricing of Office24by7 starts at $25 and varies as per the requirements.
Aircall is a great software provider for those companies that require mobile-first solutions. It is a cloud-based call-center software easily integrated with your CRM tool. The software provides pop-ups of all necessary customer details so that you can give your customers expert and unrivaled personalized support. Aircall’s CTI is configured with 90+ popular integrations to various CRMs and other software. All these can be managed from just one interface.
Twilio is another commonly used CTI with Zoho CRM. It offers a wide range of features like call recording, call routing, and analytics. Twilio also provides automated and manual SMS notifications, emails, Whatsapp messages, and more. They also offer an extensive collection of pre-built SMS templates from which you can choose one of your interests. The users can also customize SMS preferences at the customer and agent levels.
Zoho has developed its cloud-based telephony software called Zoho Voice (previously known as Zoho Phone). They offer Click-to-Call, Call pop-ups, Call recording, Call analytics, and IVR. Over 50 million users use Zoho’s products in over 180 countries. The company’s customers include businesses of all sizes, from small businesses to Fortune 500 companies.
Zoho Voice uses a credit-based system. Using these credits, you can purchase telephone numbers, call charges, recordings, storage, voicemail transactions, etc. These can be purchased from their online store.
RingCentral is another cloud-based business communications solution that provides cloud telephony integration with Zoho CRM. It provides features like message, video, phone, and contact center services.
It is apt for small businesses looking for a phone system. The number of calls you can pick up simultaneously is limited by the subscription plan you have opted for. That is, you only get the option to pick two calls for the Essential plan, five calls for the Standard, and 10 for the Premium plan. The Unlimited plan provides unlimited numbers.
Also, if there is a need to place outbound calls or receive a dozen calls at-a-time, this setup would be limiting.
The CTI with CRM is a useful tool for sales as well as other departments because of its cross-usable data. According to the Sales Trends Statistics published by HubSpot in 2023, the inter-departmental transfer of data could increase the efficiency of all departments.
This can be made to practice through cloud telephony integrated CRM because all customer information can manually or automatically be collected and saved for future reference. Also, by looking at these data, the company can forecast trends in the market and think innovatively.
Out of a large number of CRM tools that can be integrated into a cloud telephony system, Office24by7 offers an excellent experience for a reasonable rate. The fact that it can be integrated with the Zoho CRM tool makes it more valuable and reliable.
All you need to do to make the right choice is, understand your requirements, define your budget, and narrow down options based on customizability, reliability, and customer support.