Get new posts in your inbox


“It came down to Zoho or Salesforce, and ultimately I know I made the right decision”

Four years ago, John Hood’s company, The Farm, was looking into finding a permanent CRM solution because the internal database they were using was “simply not cutting it and was ultimately hampering some of our sales efforts.”

Hood explored a myriad of CRM solutions including Sugar, Goldmine, Salesforce, and Zoho.

After a thorough exploration into CRM solutions, Hood made a decision on a CRM to go with, and hasn’t looked back since…

The Business

The Farm is a Professional Manufacturers’ Representative Firm, Specializing in High Quality Professional and Commercial Audio, Video, MI Products.  With a growing sales team that currently has nine sales reps, The Farm sells to 16 manufacturers covering over 800 manufacturers.

John Hood, in addition to being principal and owner of the The Farm , tasks himself with making the company as efficient and effective as possible.  “It’s my responsibility to make the entire sales and customer service process easy for my team, and enjoyable for our customers.”

The Challenge:  Finding a Full-Featured CRM at an Affordable Price

John Hood – Principal

“When I tell you ‘I tried everything’ I mean I literally tried EVERYTHING!” We had certain needs which I felt would be covered by most CRM’s but I was surprised that most ‘full-featured’ CRMs were actually unusable for us.”

Hood made the rounds with several CRM solutions and initially was unable to find a suitable match.

Selection Criteria and Competitive Analysis of CRM Solutions

In addition to standard CRM capabilities, The Farm had three specific features they were looking for:  real time email integration, strong mobile apps, and cloud hosting.

“I Tried goldmine but they were not hosted and had too many hardware demands.  Then we tried Sugar and they didn’t have the hosting we were looking for nor was it going to work on our mobile devices.  I looked at Salesforce but in addition to being exorbitantly expensive, I really didn’t like the Microsoft tie-in.”

Eventually, a Google-apps reseller suggested Zoho to Hood.  Soon after trying it, he knew he had found the CRM for The Farm.

Implementing Zoho CRM

Immediately after signing up for Zoho CRM and Zoho Mail, Hood found the applications intuitive and easy to use.“We started with Zoho CRM and Zoho Mail right out of the box, and they were both amazing.”

Hood’s favorite Zoho CRM features are the customizability and scalability.  “Soon after implementation, I realized there were certain things on the CRM I wanted to customize and thankfully, it was so easy!  Also, our company has enjoyed steady growth and Zoho CRM has made it easy to make big leaps and has proven itself quite scalable as I’ve added a number of remote and mobile staff.”

Life After Implementation

The Farm has enjoyed substantial growth in profit, customers, and employees since implementing Zoho CRM.  As a result of this growth as well as the satisfaction with Zoho CRM and Zoho Mail, Hood has implemented Zoho Creator, Zoho Reports, and Zoho Live Desk into The Farm.

“We use Zoho Reports to publish some really cool company stats and graphical reports on our website. and I use Creator to manage some small internal databases.  But, Zoho Live Desk takes the cake!  Live Desk has helped us sell a lot of merchandise!”

“Zoho has really helped me scale up and have a lot more remote people working.”

What Would You Like to Say to Other Customers about CRM Solutions?

“I would recommend zoho all day long.  A lot of the bells and whistles that a lot of other guys push are completely useless.  CRM done properly is simple and fast.  Zoho gives FAST results, I’m extremely happy, and recommend it to all of my colleagues.   I’ve tried everything, and Zoho is the best!”

To learn more about The Farm, CLICK HERE