Bigin by Zoho CRM

Introduction

Brief Overview of Bigin by Zoho

Bigin by Zoho is a streamlined Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution designed for small businesses and startups. Developed by Zoho Corporation, a leader in the SaaS industry, Bigin aims to simplify CRM processes and make it accessible for organizations with less complex sales operations. Launched as a lightweight version of Zoho's full-fledged CRM suite, Bigin focuses on essential CRM functionalities without the overwhelming complexity of more extensive systems.

Purpose of the Review

This review aims to provide a comprehensive evaluation of Bigin by Zoho, covering its features, ease of use, pricing, integrations, customer support, pros and cons, and comparison with competitors. By the end of this review, you will have a clear understanding of whether Bigin is the right CRM solution for your business needs.

The Easiest Small business CRM - Bigin by Zoho CRM The Easiest Small business CRM - Bigin by Zoho CRM
4.7
Pros:
  • User-Friendly Interface
  • Affordable Pricing
  • Seamless Integrations
  • Robust Mobile App
  • Customizable Pipelines and Workflows
  • Comprehensive Contact Management
  • Reliable Customer Support
Cons:
  • Limited Advanced Features
  • Limited Reporting Capabilities
  • Scalability Concerns
  • API Limitations
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Pipeline Management

Visual Pipeline

Bigin by Zoho provides a highly visual and intuitive pipeline management system. The visual pipeline allows users to view their sales processes at a glance, with deals represented as cards that can be easily moved across different stages. This drag-and-drop functionality simplifies tracking the progress of deals and ensures that nothing falls through the cracks.

Customizable Stages

One of the standout features of Bigin's pipeline management is its customizability. Users can create and define their own stages to match their unique sales processes. Whether it's lead qualification, negotiation, or closing, each stage can be tailored to fit the specific workflow of your business.

Multiple Pipelines

Bigin supports multiple pipelines, making it ideal for businesses that manage various sales processes simultaneously. Each pipeline can have its own set of stages and deal flows, allowing teams to manage distinct sales operations within a single platform. This is particularly useful for companies with diverse product lines or service offerings.

Pipeline Analytics

Bigin includes built-in analytics tools that provide insights into the performance of your sales pipeline. Users can generate reports to track key metrics such as deal conversion rates, stage-wise progress, and overall pipeline health. These insights help sales teams identify bottlenecks and optimize their processes for better efficiency and effectiveness.

Automated Workflow

To further enhance pipeline management, Bigin offers workflow automation capabilities. Users can set up rules to automate repetitive tasks such as sending follow-up emails, updating deal stages, and assigning tasks to team members. This automation reduces manual effort and ensures that critical actions are taken promptly, improving overall productivity.

 

Contact Management

Centralized Contact Database

Bigin by Zoho provides a centralized contact database where all customer information is stored and easily accessible. This feature allows businesses to maintain a comprehensive view of their contacts, ensuring that all relevant information, such as email addresses, phone numbers, and social media profiles, is available in one place. This centralization simplifies communication and improves the accuracy of customer data.

Contact Segmentation

Bigin enables users to segment their contacts based on various criteria such as industry, location, deal stage, and more. This segmentation allows for targeted marketing and personalized communication, improving the effectiveness of outreach efforts. By categorizing contacts into specific groups, businesses can tailor their messages to resonate with different audiences, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

Activity Tracking

With Bigin, tracking interactions with contacts is straightforward. The platform logs all activities, including emails, phone calls, meetings, and notes, providing a complete history of interactions. This feature ensures that sales teams have a clear understanding of their relationship with each contact, enabling them to pick up conversations seamlessly and provide a more personalized experience.

Enriched Contact Profiles

Bigin offers contact enrichment features that automatically gather additional information about contacts from various sources. This might include social media profiles, company information, and recent activities. Enriched contact profiles provide a more comprehensive view of customers, helping sales teams better understand their needs and tailor their approach accordingly.

Email Integration

Bigin’s email integration allows users to send and receive emails directly within the platform. This integration supports syncing with popular email services like Gmail and Outlook, ensuring that all communication is centralized. Users can track email open rates, link clicks, and responses, providing valuable insights into the effectiveness of their email campaigns and helping them follow up more effectively.

Contact Scoring

To prioritize efforts, Bigin includes a contact scoring feature that assigns scores to contacts based on their engagement and interactions. Higher scores indicate more promising leads, allowing sales teams to focus their efforts on the most valuable contacts. This scoring system helps in efficient resource allocation and boosts the chances of closing deals.

Workflow Automation

Automated Task Management

Bigin by Zoho streamlines task management with robust workflow automation. Users can set up automated workflows to assign tasks to team members based on specific triggers. For instance, when a new lead is added, a follow-up task can be automatically created and assigned to a sales representative. This ensures that no important actions are missed and that the sales process remains efficient.

Conditional Triggers

Bigin supports conditional triggers that initiate specific actions when predefined conditions are met. For example, if a deal reaches a certain stage in the pipeline, an email notification can be automatically sent to the responsible team member. These triggers help automate routine processes, reducing manual effort and increasing consistency in task execution.

Customizable Workflows

The platform allows users to create fully customizable workflows tailored to their business needs. Users can define a series of actions that should occur in sequence, ensuring that each step of the sales process is followed meticulously. This customization capability helps businesses optimize their workflows to better align with their sales strategies and operational procedures.

Automated Communication

Bigin’s workflow automation extends to communication processes as well. Automated emails can be sent based on specific actions or time delays. For instance, a thank-you email can be automatically dispatched after a meeting is logged, or a follow-up email can be scheduled a week after a proposal is sent. This automation ensures timely communication and enhances customer engagement without requiring manual intervention.

Data Updates and Notifications

Automated workflows in Bigin can also handle data updates and notifications. When certain conditions are met, such as a deal being updated or a new note being added, the relevant fields in the CRM can be automatically updated, and notifications can be sent to the appropriate team members. This keeps everyone informed and ensures that the CRM data remains accurate and up-to-date.

Integration with Third-Party Apps

Bigin’s workflow automation can be extended through integrations with third-party applications. This allows for more complex and comprehensive automation processes. For example, integrating with an email marketing tool can automate the addition of new leads to email campaigns, or syncing with a calendar app can automatically schedule meetings based on CRM data. These integrations enhance the overall efficiency and functionality of the workflow automation.

 

Email Integration

Seamless Email Syncing

Bigin by Zoho offers seamless email integration with popular email services such as Gmail, Outlook, and Office 365. This integration ensures that all your email communications are synchronized with the CRM, providing a unified view of all interactions. Emails sent and received are automatically linked to the corresponding contacts and deals, ensuring that every conversation is tracked and easily accessible within the platform.

Email Templates

To streamline communication, Bigin provides customizable email templates. These templates can be tailored to fit various scenarios, such as initial outreach, follow-ups, or thank-you notes. By using templates, users can ensure consistency in their messaging and save time on drafting repetitive emails. This feature is particularly useful for maintaining a professional and coherent communication strategy.

Email Tracking

Bigin's email integration includes tracking capabilities that allow users to monitor the performance of their email communications. You can track open rates, link clicks, and response rates for emails sent through the platform. These insights help sales teams understand how their emails are being received and identify which messages are most effective. This data-driven approach enables continuous improvement in email outreach strategies.

Bulk Emailing

For campaigns that require reaching out to multiple contacts simultaneously, Bigin supports bulk emailing. Users can send mass emails to selected groups of contacts directly from the CRM. This feature is ideal for marketing campaigns, product announcements, and newsletters. By managing bulk emails within Bigin, businesses can ensure that all communications are tracked and that campaign performance can be analyzed within the CRM.

Email Scheduling

Bigin allows users to schedule emails to be sent at a later time. This feature is particularly useful for ensuring that emails are sent at optimal times for recipient engagement, even if the user is not available to send them manually. Scheduled emails can be planned to align with different time zones, improving the chances of timely engagement with prospects and clients.

Email Personalization

Personalization is key to effective communication, and Bigin supports email personalization features. Users can insert personalized fields into email templates, such as the recipient's name, company, and other relevant details. This level of customization helps create more engaging and relevant emails, enhancing the likelihood of positive responses.

Unified Inbox

Bigin offers a unified inbox that consolidates all email interactions within the CRM. This centralized inbox allows users to manage and respond to emails without leaving the platform. It provides a clear overview of all ongoing conversations, ensuring that sales teams can efficiently handle their email communications and maintain a high level of responsiveness.

Mobile Application

On-the-Go Access

Bigin by Zoho offers a powerful mobile application that enables users to manage their CRM activities on the go. Available for both iOS and Android devices, the app provides full access to the CRM's features, ensuring that users can stay connected with their sales processes anytime, anywhere. This mobile access is crucial for sales teams that are often on the move and need to respond quickly to customer inquiries and updates.

Real-Time Notifications

The Bigin mobile app includes real-time notifications that keep users informed about important updates and activities. Whether it's a new lead, an upcoming meeting, or a change in deal status, users receive instant alerts on their mobile devices. This ensures that sales representatives can take timely actions, improving responsiveness and customer satisfaction.

Offline Access

One of the standout features of the Bigin mobile app is its offline access capability. Users can view and update information even without an internet connection. Any changes made offline are automatically synced with the CRM once the device reconnects to the internet. This feature is particularly useful for field sales teams who may not always have reliable internet access.

Voice Notes

The mobile app allows users to record voice notes directly within the app. This is a convenient feature for capturing quick thoughts, meeting summaries, or important details during or after customer interactions. Voice notes are automatically transcribed and attached to the relevant contact or deal, ensuring that all information is accurately recorded and easily accessible.

Business Card Scanning

Bigin's mobile app includes a business card scanning feature that simplifies the process of adding new contacts. Users can scan business cards using their phone's camera, and the app automatically extracts the contact information and adds it to the CRM. This feature saves time and reduces manual data entry, ensuring that new leads are promptly added to the system.

GPS Integration

For sales teams that conduct in-person visits, the Bigin mobile app offers GPS integration. This feature allows users to check in at client locations, log visits, and track travel routes. It provides a convenient way to document field activities and ensures that all interactions are recorded accurately within the CRM.

Customizable Dashboards

The mobile app includes customizable dashboards that provide users with a quick overview of their key metrics and activities. Users can configure their dashboards to display the most relevant information, such as deal progress, upcoming tasks, and recent communications. This personalized view helps users stay focused on their priorities and manage their activities more effectively.

Ease of Use

User Interface

Bigin by Zoho features a clean and intuitive user interface designed to minimize the learning curve and maximize productivity. The dashboard is straightforward, with clearly labeled sections and a logical layout. This simplicity ensures that users can quickly navigate the CRM, access the information they need, and perform their tasks efficiently without getting bogged down by unnecessary complexity.

Setup Process

Setting up Bigin is a hassle-free experience. The platform offers a guided setup process that walks users through the initial configuration steps, such as importing contacts, customizing pipelines, and setting up email integration. This step-by-step guidance helps users get up and running quickly, even if they have limited technical expertise. Additionally, Zoho provides helpful resources, including tutorials and support documentation, to assist users during the setup phase.

Learning Curve

Bigin is designed with ease of use in mind, making it accessible for users who are new to CRM systems. The platform's intuitive design, combined with comprehensive support materials, ensures that users can quickly learn how to leverage its features. For teams transitioning from spreadsheets or less sophisticated CRM tools, Bigin offers a gentle learning curve that facilitates smooth adoption.

Customizability

Despite its simplicity, Bigin offers a high degree of customizability. Users can tailor pipelines, workflows, and contact fields to match their specific business processes. This flexibility allows businesses to mold the CRM to their unique needs without overwhelming users with complex customization options. The balance between simplicity and customizability makes Bigin a versatile tool for various small business scenarios.


Pricing

Pricing Tiers

Bigin by Zoho is priced competitively to cater to small businesses and startups. It offers a straightforward pricing structure with a single paid plan:

  • Express Plan: Priced at $7 per user per month (billed annually) or $9 per user per month (billed monthly). This plan includes all essential CRM features such as pipeline management, contact management, workflow automation, email integration, and mobile access.

Value for Money

Bigin provides excellent value for money, especially for small businesses looking for a cost-effective CRM solution. The Express Plan includes a comprehensive set of features that cover all the fundamental needs of a CRM system without the hefty price tag associated with more complex CRM platforms. The affordability, combined with Zoho's reputation for reliable software, makes Bigin a smart investment for small businesses.

Free Trial

Bigin offers a 15-day free trial, allowing potential users to explore the platform and its features without any financial commitment. This trial period provides ample time for businesses to assess whether Bigin meets their needs and to experience its ease of use and functionality firsthand.

No Hidden Costs

Zoho's pricing for Bigin is transparent, with no hidden costs or additional fees. The Express Plan includes all features, and users are not required to purchase add-ons or upgrades to access the full functionality of the CRM. This straightforward pricing approach ensures that businesses can budget accurately without worrying about unexpected expenses.

Integrations

Integration with Zoho Products

Bigin by Zoho seamlessly integrates with other Zoho products, allowing users to extend the functionality of their CRM. This integration ecosystem includes Zoho Books for accounting, Zoho Desk for customer support, Zoho Campaigns for email marketing, and more. By leveraging these integrations, businesses can create a cohesive and comprehensive business management system that ensures data consistency and workflow continuity across different functions.

Third-Party Integrations

In addition to Zoho's own suite of applications, Bigin supports integration with a variety of third-party tools. This includes popular applications such as Google Workspace, Microsoft Office 365, Mailchimp, and Slack. These integrations enable users to synchronize their CRM data with other essential business tools, streamlining operations and enhancing productivity. For instance, syncing with Google Workspace allows for seamless email and calendar integration, while connecting with Slack facilitates real-time team collaboration.

API Access

For businesses with specific integration needs, Bigin provides API access that allows for custom integrations. This capability enables developers to connect Bigin with other software systems, creating tailored solutions that meet unique business requirements. The API documentation provided by Zoho is comprehensive and user-friendly, making it easier for developers to build and maintain these custom integrations.

Marketplace Extensions

Bigin users can also explore Zoho's Marketplace, which offers a wide range of extensions and add-ons. These extensions cover various functionalities, from advanced analytics tools to specialized industry solutions. By incorporating these extensions, businesses can enhance the capabilities of Bigin and adapt it to their specific operational needs.


Customer Support

Support Channels

Bigin by Zoho offers multiple support channels to assist users with any issues or queries they might encounter. Users can access support via email, phone, and live chat. Additionally, Zoho provides an extensive knowledge base and community forums where users can find answers to common questions and engage with other Bigin users.

Response Time

Zoho is known for its prompt and efficient customer support. Users generally report quick response times and effective resolutions to their issues. The availability of multiple support channels ensures that users can get the help they need in a timely manner, minimizing any disruptions to their business operations.

Quality of Support

The quality of customer support provided by Zoho is consistently praised by users. Support representatives are knowledgeable, courteous, and dedicated to helping users resolve their issues. The comprehensive support resources, including detailed documentation and step-by-step guides, further enhance the overall support experience by empowering users to troubleshoot and resolve minor issues on their own.

Training and Onboarding

To help new users get started with Bigin, Zoho offers various training and onboarding resources. This includes video tutorials, webinars, and detailed user guides. These resources are designed to help users quickly familiarize themselves with the platform and make the most of its features. Additionally, Zoho’s customer support team is available to assist with any specific onboarding questions, ensuring a smooth transition to using Bigin.

Community Engagement

Zoho fosters a strong community around its products, including Bigin. Users can participate in community forums to share their experiences, ask questions, and learn from others. This community engagement provides an additional layer of support and knowledge-sharing, enhancing the overall user experience.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  1. User-Friendly Interface: Bigin features an intuitive and straightforward user interface that makes it easy for small businesses and startups to adopt and use effectively without extensive training.
  2. Affordable Pricing: With its competitive pricing, Bigin offers a cost-effective solution for businesses looking for essential CRM functionalities without the high costs associated with more comprehensive platforms.
  3. Seamless Integrations: The platform integrates smoothly with other Zoho products and popular third-party tools, ensuring that users can extend its functionality and maintain a cohesive business ecosystem.
  4. Robust Mobile App: Bigin’s mobile application provides on-the-go access to CRM data and features, ensuring that sales teams can remain productive even when they are not at their desks.
  5. Customizable Pipelines and Workflows: Bigin allows users to tailor their sales pipelines and workflows to match their unique business processes, enhancing the platform's flexibility and adaptability.
  6. Comprehensive Contact Management: The platform offers a centralized contact database, activity tracking, and contact segmentation, helping businesses manage their customer relationships more effectively.
  7. Reliable Customer Support: Zoho's support team is known for its quick response times and high-quality assistance, ensuring that users receive the help they need promptly.

Cons

  1. Limited Advanced Features: While Bigin covers the essentials, it may lack some of the advanced features and customizations offered by more comprehensive CRM systems, which might be a drawback for larger businesses with complex needs.
  2. Limited Reporting Capabilities: The reporting and analytics features in Bigin are somewhat basic compared to more advanced CRM platforms, potentially limiting the depth of insights available to users.
  3. Scalability Concerns: Bigin is designed for small businesses and may not scale as effectively for larger organizations or those experiencing rapid growth, necessitating a switch to a more robust CRM solution over time.
  4. API Limitations: Although Bigin provides API access, the capabilities may be limited compared to more extensive CRM systems, potentially restricting the extent of custom integrations for complex workflows.

Use Cases

Small Businesses

Bigin is an excellent choice for small businesses that need a straightforward and affordable CRM solution to manage their sales processes. Its ease of use, combined with essential CRM features, makes it an ideal tool for businesses with limited resources and technical expertise.

Startups

Startups can benefit from Bigin’s cost-effective pricing and user-friendly interface. The platform allows startups to quickly set up and manage their sales pipelines, automate workflows, and track customer interactions without getting bogged down by the complexity of larger CRM systems.

Freelancers and Solopreneurs

Freelancers and solopreneurs who need to manage client relationships and track project progress will find Bigin’s simplicity and functionality beneficial. The mobile app is particularly useful for individuals who need to stay connected and manage their CRM activities on the go.

Service-Based Industries

Bigin is well-suited for service-based industries such as consulting, real estate, and legal services, where managing client relationships and tracking service delivery are critical. The platform’s contact management, pipeline customization, and workflow automation features help streamline operations and improve client engagement.

Retail and E-Commerce

Retail and e-commerce businesses can use Bigin to manage customer interactions, track sales opportunities, and automate follow-up communications. The platform’s integration capabilities with email marketing tools and other third-party applications make it a valuable asset for driving sales and improving customer satisfaction.

Non-Profit Organizations

Non-profits can leverage Bigin to manage donor relationships, track fundraising activities, and automate communication workflows. The platform’s affordability and ease of use make it accessible for non-profit organizations with limited budgets and resources.

Comparison with Competitors

Bigin by Zoho vs. HubSpot CRM

  • Ease of Use: Both Bigin and HubSpot CRM are designed to be user-friendly, but Bigin's simplicity and streamlined features make it slightly easier for small businesses to get started.
  • Pricing: Bigin is more affordable, with a straightforward pricing model, whereas HubSpot offers a free tier but can become expensive with its paid plans as additional features are required.
  • Features: HubSpot CRM offers more advanced features and scalability options, making it suitable for growing businesses. Bigin, on the other hand, focuses on essential CRM functionalities, which might be sufficient for small businesses.
  • Integrations: HubSpot has a broader range of third-party integrations compared to Bigin, although Bigin’s integration with Zoho's suite of products is a strong advantage.

Bigin by Zoho vs. Pipedrive

  • Ease of Use: Both platforms are known for their user-friendly interfaces. However, Bigin's simplicity makes it more accessible to users with no prior CRM experience.
  • Pricing: Bigin is more cost-effective compared to Pipedrive, which offers multiple pricing tiers that can add up for small businesses.
  • Features: Pipedrive offers more robust sales automation and reporting features, while Bigin provides all necessary CRM functionalities without the extras that may not be needed by smaller teams.
  • Integrations: Pipedrive has extensive third-party integrations, whereas Bigin’s strength lies in its seamless integration with other Zoho products.

Bigin by Zoho vs. Salesforce Essentials

  • Ease of Use: Bigin is more straightforward and easier to use than Salesforce Essentials, which, despite being a lighter version of Salesforce, still carries some complexity.
  • Pricing: Bigin is generally more affordable than Salesforce Essentials, which can be pricey even for its basic plan.
  • Features: Salesforce Essentials offers more advanced CRM features and scalability options, suitable for businesses planning to grow rapidly. Bigin focuses on providing essential features that are perfect for small businesses and startups.
  • Integrations: Salesforce Essentials offers extensive integration options, but Bigin’s integration with Zoho’s ecosystem provides significant value for users already using Zoho products.

Conclusion and Rating

Summary

Bigin by Zoho is a robust CRM solution designed with small businesses and startups in mind. Its user-friendly interface, affordability, and essential CRM features make it an excellent choice for organizations looking to streamline their sales processes without the complexity and high costs of more comprehensive CRM systems. While it may lack some advanced features and scalability options, its seamless integration with Zoho products and effective contact and pipeline management capabilities provide substantial value for its target audience.

Ratings (out of 5)

  • Ease of Use: 5
    • Bigin excels in providing a straightforward and intuitive interface, making it easy for users to navigate and utilize its features.
  • Features: 4
    • While Bigin covers all essential CRM functionalities, it lacks some of the advanced features offered by more comprehensive CRM systems.
  • Pricing: 5
    • Bigin offers competitive pricing that provides excellent value for small businesses and startups, with no hidden costs.
  • Integrations: 4
    • The platform integrates well with Zoho’s suite of products and popular third-party tools, though its integration options are not as extensive as some competitors.
  • Customer Support: 5
    • Zoho’s customer support is prompt, knowledgeable, and accessible through various channels, ensuring users receive timely assistance.
  • Mobile Application: 5
    • Bigin’s mobile app provides robust functionality, real-time notifications, and offline access, making it a valuable tool for sales teams on the go.

Overall Rating: 4.7

Recommendations

Bigin by Zoho is highly recommended for small businesses, startups, freelancers, and service-based industries that need a cost-effective, easy-to-use CRM solution. Its integration with Zoho’s ecosystem makes it particularly valuable for users already utilizing other Zoho applications. For businesses with more complex needs or rapid growth plans, exploring more advanced CRM options might be necessary.

Potential Alternatives

  • HubSpot CRM: Ideal for businesses looking for a free entry-level CRM with extensive marketing and sales features.
  • Pipedrive: Suitable for businesses seeking more robust sales automation and reporting capabilities.
  • Salesforce Essentials: A good option for businesses that need advanced CRM functionalities and scalability, despite its higher cost and complexity.
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