Zoho One: game-changing tech that’s helped boost sales by 46%


Imagine the scenario. Your business is growing rapidly – new client leads are coming in thick and fast, and your order book is looking very healthy. But your business processes and systems just aren’t keeping up with demand.

That was exactly the situation facing AI Global Media when the team approached A2Z Cloud for expert help to implement Zoho’s business systems back in 2018. Since then, AI Global Media has seen a 46% growth in sales.

We caught up with Jane Henderson, AI Global Media Director, to learn more.

AI Global Media is a digital magazine publisher that delivers expert news and insights for clients across 14 brands – covering healthcare, finance, business innovation and many other areas.

“Back in 2018, we were a young company that was growing quickly,” explains Jane. “We had ambitious plans to scale our business but we were hitting a brick wall as our processes were holding us back.”

At that time, the team had a well-developed database for mass mailing. But this wasn’t joined up with the follow-on sales process and there was little automation – so it was all very time-consuming.

“We needed to professionalise the system to streamline our work and better serve our customers,” explains Jane. “We wanted to find the right CRM to help us co-ordinate our sales process more effectively.”

Finding the right solution and partner

Jane and her team researched various options and decided that Zoho was the right choice for their business – based on its ease of use and cost-effectiveness. They looked at various suppliers who could work with them to implement Zoho CRM. Ultimately, this came down to a choice between a local firm and A2Z Cloud.

“Initially, we thought that a local supplier might be best,” explains Jane. “But then we met Lucy Beck, MD at A2Z Cloud, and her business engineers and we were just so impressed by their knowledge and approach.

Jane Henderson, AI Global Media Testimonial

“Their location in the south of England was not an issue – the team supported us every step of the way during the initial stages and through the implementation,” adds Jane.

Going above and beyond

A2Z Cloud’s business engineers spent two weeks at AI Global Media’s offices in Burton-on-Trent to capture their requirements and then implement the new system and train the team.

“A2Z Cloud listened very closely to our requirements and invested the time needed to ensure that the CRM delivered what we wanted,” explains Jane.

“Our business does not fit the standard mould and we had very specific requirements. There were some mini hurdles along the way. But, if A2Z Cloud couldn’t solve a problem, they would reach out to their contacts at Zoho to find the right solution. Can you imagine getting the same support from, say, Microsoft?”

AI Global Media’s CRM was delivered within three months back in 2019. The result is a CRM that has enhanced the whole customer journey.

“We now know where each customer is along that journey and our sales and marketing teams all have access to the same data, which has been transformative,” says Jane.

The team at AI Global Media quickly adapted to the new business system – which Jane attributes to the accessibility of Zoho CRM and A2Z Cloud’s support.

“Zoho works in a very logical way. Many team members had not used a CRM before so it needed to be intuitive,” says Jane.

“We also had the right support from A2Z Cloud during the development and implementation stages – which was so important in those early days.”

Reaping the rewards

Having seen how Zoho CRM could transform their business, Jane and her team decided to invest in Zoho One. This package brings together more than 50 of Zoho’s most popular apps in the suite – enabling users to run their entire business using one system.

“We took advice from the team at A2Z Cloud,” says Jane. “They recommended Zoho One as an affordable option for a small, but growing, business like ours.

“Initially, we were only really interested in Zoho CRM and Books but now we’re using more than a dozen apps in the suite to manage our business in a much more joined-up way. So A2Z Cloud’s advice was spot on.”

The team at AI Global Media is using Zoho for everything from HR (Zoho People) to financial management (Zoho Books), sales and marketing (Zoho CRM) and business reporting (Zoho Analytics).

Enhancing the customer journey

Zoho has allowed AI Global Media to flesh out and improve its processes. The team now has data-driven insights on virtually every aspect of their work, which has streamlined many activities and added much-needed automation behind the scenes. Data is shared across the business in a more co-ordinated way – enabling teams to work together to enhance the overall customer journey.

As an example, Zoho Survey has helped AI Global Media improve the lead nurturing process. Surveys are sent out automatically to qualified leads to capture more data and enhance their records. Marketing schedules and emails are now managed through this system. Tasks are triggered when data fields are updated or when specific date milestones are reached – keeping the company’s marketing on track.

“We definitely made the right choice with Zoho,” says Jane. “What appealed to us was Zoho’s simplicity. Yes, if you had an unlimited budget you could buy the best-in-class package for each app individually – but do you need all those features and at what cost? For us, Zoho wins on price, accessibility and trust.”

Over the past five years, AI Global Media has seen a 46% increase in sales.

“This just wouldn’t have been possible without Zoho,” says Jane.

A successful partnership

So, with the Zoho business suite fully integrated into AI Global Media’s operations, what kind of support and maintenance is needed as software upgrades and changes are introduced?

“A2Z Cloud gave us the tools and training to run this system ourselves,” says Jane. “So, we can handle most of the changes internally but it’s reassuring to know that their business engineers are on hand for larger projects.”

Jane is full of praise for A2Z Cloud’s dedicated team – particularly Dash, who led the development and implementation, and, more recently, Katrina and Jake.

“We’re so glad we chose to work with A2Z Cloud,” concludes Jane. “It’s been a hugely successful relationship. They’ve given us the tools to make Zoho work for our business and provided support and flexibility when we’ve needed it.”

AI Global Media journey with A2Z Cloud

How Zoho One has transformed AI Global Media

Here Jane Henderson shares her thoughts on how Zoho’s business apps have transformed the business:

Zoho Analytics – a powerful reporting tool with fantastic business insights and visual charts.

Zoho Books – enabled us to consolidate two systems into one. Our credit control team now has greater insights and control over managing accounts.

Zoho Campaigns – at an early stage but we’re already seeing a 3-4% increase on our average open rates.

Zoho Cliq – game-changing for team collaboration and hybrid working.

Zoho Connect – great for internal company-wide announcements and informal catch-ups – which has enhanced our internal communication.

Zoho CRM – streamlined and improved our whole customer journey and contributed to a 46% growth in sales.

Zoho Forms – used to collect leads/contact forms on all our customer websites. Previously, we had to export the data and clean it up – this is now a seamless process.

Zoho Mail – used by our sales/editorial and accounts teams internally – a great way to separate customer emails from internal/transactional emails.

Zoho People – our HR platform provides a central source of data – removing duplication of effort and streamlining HR processes.

Zoho Projects – excellent for team collaboration and workload management.

Zoho SalesIQ – in testing but looks promising for capturing customer interactions on our sites.

Zoho Sign – a quick and easy way to capture digital signatures. Used on all contracts and forms internally.

Zoho Social – enables us to manage social media marketing for 14 brands using a single platform.

Zoho Survey – streamlined our survey process and helped us generate 40,000 survey responses in 2023 (previously this process was manual).

Zoho WorkDrive – provides an easy way to share digital files and assets (such as logos and images) with clients.

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