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The Year in Zoho – Incredible Improvements

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Zoho Improvements through 2017

Even We’re Surprised

Zoho started as a capable and cost-effective solution, and we at Caldere have been proud to represent it. We are even more excited about it now that we’re heading into 2018 and we’ve seen the recent list of improvements.

Recently the Caldere team were thinking about all of the ways Zoho has changed over the past year. We knew Zoho continually adds functionality at a rapid rate, but we must have become used to it. Looking back, the sheer pace of improvement in the program has surprised even us. The added functionality has been so timely and useful it’s like it’s always been there.

It goes to show that (as all high performers know), exceeding expectations becomes an expectation of its own! We continue to look for innovations and cutting-edge development from the Zoho team, and we look forward to putting these improvements to work to solve problems for all our clients and colleagues.

What’s the Excitement All About?

Here is a sample of the ways in which Zoho has added functionality and become more user- and business-friendly in 2017:

  • A culture of constant upward climb: Zoho has had about 4 product updates every week without compromising usability. It’s almost annoying! But when you actually put each update into practice, the annoyance disappears.
  • Process and workflow improvements: The rollout of Zoho Blueprint allows you to intuitively plan your sales processes. Zoho CRM has added powerful new expansions to its easy-to-use workflow rules functionality.
  • Awareness of your whole business context: A wide variety of important new integrations and plugins allows you to connect Zoho more and more with the programs you already rely on. Zoho works with a large number of social media, e-commerce, telephony, team communication, financial, and marketing applications. This is in addition to Zoho’s own comprehensive suite of business applications that tie together every facet of your business from intelligent reporting to payroll. Everyone in your company can use and be supported by Zoho functionality.
  • Partner with the individual user to get more done: Functionality like “sticky notes” that are shared across Zoho apps, new ways to handle activity notifications, and new ways to score leads, make not only Zoho CRM but the entire Zoho platform a total no-hassle environment for getting and staying connected and organised.

Take a Deeper Look

When was the last time you were astonished by a software package? If you take a minute to review Zoho’s fun write-up on their 2017 changes, we bet you’ll be as delighted as we were.

Once you’ve had a chance to see what’s new in the Zoho world, we hope you’ll contact us to help plan your business future. We, and Zoho, consider your business success our priority.

Spring has sprung! Prune your duplicates!

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Spring has sprung…or has it? Make pruning duplicates part of your database spring cleaning!

I had such high hopes for a decent spring turning into a super summer. It all looked so promising, but here we are instead in a wet and decidedly soggy June, wearing macs and Wellington boots and hoping for an improvement in temperatures and all things summery. Wasn’t there a song about June bursting out all over? Seems to me June’s not so much bursting out as stopping indoors in the warm and dry. Frankly, I can’t say as I blame her.

Disappointing though, isn’t it? I mean, we wait all year long for a bit of half-decent weather, and when we should by rights be expecting to slap on a bit of SPF, instead we get weather resembling something Noah might have seen as he stood on the prow of his boat. So much for Mungo Jerry’s ‘In the Summertime’ – this year’s theme song ought to be ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ minus the singing.

I really shouldn’t be surprised though. After all, it’s Wimbledon in a couple of weeks’ time, and it would be too much to expect a guarantee of good weather as we cheer Andy Murray to victory on his home turf. Now I’m not a player of tennis, you understand, but I do like to watch a few matches with a bowl of strawberries in one hand and a glass of chilled white in the other. Nothing finer on a nice summer’s day – when we have them. Maybe I ought to bite the bullet and start watching the football instead. After all, they seem to be enjoying better weather in France.  Unfortunately, though, football doesn’t score with me the way tennis does.

With summer turning into a washout, I am resolved to doing something constructive instead of lamenting what I’m missing out on. It’s not exactly glamorous or especially fun, but with nothing better to do it seems like a sensible option to tackle a bit of postponed spring cleaning.

By the way, in case you were wondering what I did on leap day (yes, I’d almost forgotten too, it was so long ago), I managed to tackle:

  • Check the database for duplicates
  • Clean out old data
  • Database repair
  • Database backup

Duplicate Checking

Within Act! duplicate checking criteria is set as default.  An administrator can change these criteria to best suit our business.

Method to set duplicate checking:

  • Within the database select Tools -> Preferences.

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Have you forgotten…? Leap Year tips and tricks

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It’s these three words that strike fear and panic in the soul of your average office worker, and they have the same effect on me, causing my heart to race and sweat to bead on my upper lip and forehead.

What? What had I forgotten? I racked my brain, but nothing jumped or even stumbled into view. An appointment, a teleconference, a deadline? No, none of those were possible, as they would have pinged up regular reminders during the last couple of days. I checked my calendar even so. No, nothing there. Ok, so maybe I hadn’t forgotten anything important after all. Oh, but wait a minute, did I finish those VAT returns, complete that user licence registration and order new toner for the photocopier? Check, check and check. Nobody’s birthday, too early for Mothering Sunday, and I picked up the dry-cleaning yesterday. I gave up.

Happy Leap Year Day

The forgotten fact, for fact it turned out to be, was that this was a leap year. So, what did that signify exactly, apart from the undisputable extra day which, instead of lurching us headlong from 28 February to 1 March, means that in 2016 we have a chance to linger a day longer in the littlest month.

Most of us would relish an extra 24 hours in our week (just imagine what more you could accomplish), but the reality of that extra day doesn’t really amount to very much at all. In fact, I suspect that if you are anything like me, this leap year day won’t be much different to any other – the usual round of meetings, a few support calls, some client billing and a bit of routine administration. But it needn’t be like that.

After I was reminded that we all had an extra day coming up, it got me to thinking about this year, and I wondered, why not do things slightly differently? After all it doesn’t happen very often so why not mark the occasion somehow. What you choose to do can be entirely up to you – something silly, something brave or even something exciting. As for me, I’ve decided to set aside Leap Year day to finally do some of those jobs around the office that aren’t especially urgent and which always get left ‘for another day’. Monday will finally be the day when I get round to them. At least that’s the plan.

I’ll let you know how I do.

Incidentally, if you fancy giving this Leap Year day challenge a go too, I’d love to hear from you. Drop me a line at with details of what you intend to do and, more especially, how you got on.


Some things that get left for another day when dealing with CRM:

  • Check the database for duplicates (In Act!: click Tools, then choose Scan for Duplicate)
  • Clean out old data (Tools – Database Maintenance – Remove Old Data)
  • Database Repair (Tools – Database Maintenance – Check and Repair)
  • Database Backup (File – Backup – Database)

Editing Sales Processes in Act!

By | Act!, Tips and Tricks, Training, Uncategorized | One Comment
Increasing business revenue through new business opportunities is one of the most fundamental and critical roles of the Sales department. Once these leads have been identified, building relationships and progressing the lead through the sales process become essential for success. Tom Hopkins, in his book Master the Art of Selling, mentioned that top-level salespeople understand that selling is a process consisting of measurable, sequential steps that lead a prospect systematically to a positive result.

When this week I came across a great article by Alan Nielsen, Accelerate your sales, revisit your sales process, I started to think about the role of Opportunities and Sales Stages. Sometimes it is important for companies to either create new, or modify existing, sales stages. In both cases, stages created via consensus are the most effective, as they provide a great tool to help salespeople work from planning to completion, as well as to help managers create meaningful sales reports.Identify Sales Opportunities

The debate about when to start a sales process can become very passionate, with some salespeople wanting it to commence immediately after lead generation, and others insisting that it should begin only when a lead has been prequalified and tagged as a valid opportunity. The first choice has the advantage that it allows us to report on the success of campaigns or marketing lists easily, ensuring that all potential business has been classified (thus less likely to slip through the net). Its disadvantage is that it does create extra work (i.e. recording an opportunity dead). On the other hand, starting the opportunity once a lead has been prequalified allows us to go through fewer steps and is faster. However, it requires us to create separate reports to measure the success of campaigns or marketing lists. Which one is the best option is dependent not only on the industry, but also the organization’s culture. Once the starting point has been identified, then the next hurdle is to ensure that the stages are appropriate but never too numerous.

The Opportunities module within Act! allows us to easily create and manage sales opportunities and customize fields to track sales processes and the sales pipeline. To learn how, click Read More to continue!

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Using the Act! Scratchpad Tool

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We all do it… we write random notes on pieces of paper that get lost on our desks, in the wash, or even in the trash. Capturing this information in the new Act! Scratchpad can eliminate the hassle of entering our notes into Act!, organizing them, and finding them when we need them. We can quickly capture impromptu notes, phone numbers, and personal reminders with or without opening Act!. When we use the Scratchpad we get a convenient, virtual notepad. In this tip, we’ll learn how to make the most of this new tool.

Capturing Notes/Activities/History and Sending Them to Act!

When we have random tasks, notes, or other information which interrupt our work, we can quickly capture them with the Act! Scratchpad, then deal with them later by recording them in Act! or deleting them from the list.

To open the Scratchpad from within Act!:

  • Go to Tools → Act! Scratchpad.

  • Or, click on Start → All Programs → Act! (or Act! Premium) → Act! Scratchpad.
  • Or, double-click the Scratchpad shortcut on the desktop.

Click anywhere in the list to add a new entry. For example, we can type Call Astrid re: legal issues.

Use the toolbar or the Manage List menu to reorder, format, mark complete, or delete list items, or to clear or print the list. You can also drag and drop the list items to reorder them.

If you would like to send a list item to Act!, first click an item in your list to make it active. Then:

  • Right click the item, or select the Send to Act! Menu.
  • Choose from the following options:
    • Schedule Activity (Call, Meeting or To-do)
    • Insert Note
    • Record History

  • Complete the appropriate information (such as time, date, and Contact with which to associate the Activity/History or Note). In the example, I am scheduling a To-Do activity.

  • Click OK. The selected item will be added to Act!.

As you can see, using the Scratchpad is easy. We can forget all about sticky notes. Jot your notes down on your computer instead, and then use Act! to organise them when you have time to sort out the details.

How Can We Help?

Find out how Caldere can help you to build a more successful business:
Call +44 (0)118 945 6220 and speak to one of our dedicated specialists.

Contact us!