Sushil Sharma has been in the electronic spare parts business for 20 years. In 2015, Sushil decided to set up PartsBaba, a B2B ecommerce platform that sells IT parts for laptops, printers, and mobile phones. He aimed to bridge the gap between the spare parts manufacturers and the field service technicians.
In his quest to build PartsBaba’s online platform, Sushil tried multiple tools, from Magento to WordPress. As he was unfamiliar with web design and coding, he found it challenging to implement the different integrations and APIs. He tried building sites on five different platforms, but he had to scrap his work each time and ended up losing all the customer information.
That’s when Sushil decided he needed a CRM to retain customer data. Around this time, he also discovered that his accounting software, Tally, was prone to data manipulation.
While searching for alternatives, he stumbled upon Zoho One. Since he was already using Zoho Mail, Sushil was confident in the brand. The software’s tagline, “The Operating System for Business,” made sense to him. He realized this was the unified solution he needed, and he hasn’t looked back since.
Commerce, CRM, Inventory, Analytics, Books, Campaigns, Cliq, and Connect
In October 2020, Sushil built his ecommerce platform with Zoho Commerce. It only took four days to get the site up and running to its full potential.
Within a year, PartsBaba acquired 10,000 new users and 3,500 regular customers. Despite the two-month lockdown, sales increased by 20% from the previous year.
When Zoho Commerce released its beta version of the android app, Sushil saw even greater success.
PartsBaba acquired 300 new customers through the app in just over a month. “I heard that 50% of online sales happen on apps rather than websites,” says Sushil. “More people have access to smart phones than laptops or computers.” PartsBaba could now expand its customer base to those who owned only smart phones.
Zoho Commerce also elevated Sushil’s sense of autonomy. “Earlier, the individual sales reps would give random discounts if customers ordered in bulk,” explains Sushil. “But with the differential pricing feature in Zoho Commerce, I can control the pricing of the product and set apt profit margins for different order quantities.”
Zoho One also led Sushil to discover the solution to another problem that PartsBaba had been facing: keeping track of inventory. Since PartsBaba ran simultaneous sales in its brick-and-mortar and online stores, accurately tracking inventory was a challenge.
Zoho Inventory solved this problem. Whenever an invoice is generated, whether offline or online, the product is ticked off from the inventory. This helps PartsBaba avoid back orders and customer disappointment.
Many of PartsBaba’s time-intensive, repetitive tasks are now automated thanks to the seamless interaction between all of Zoho One’s apps.
Zoho CRM automates successful customer interactions. For example, when a new user signs up on the website, they receive a welcome email through CRM. PartsBaba also has a growing YouTube and social media presence, and Zoho CRM helps the company keep track of new followers.
Zoho Campaigns sends new-product and service notifications to leads and existing customers.
SalesIQ helps PartsBaba interact with customers online and ease the purchasing process. Zoho Desk collates all support tickets received post-work hours to ensure a great customer experience.
Zoho Books automatically sends invoice and tracking details to the customer once an order is dispatched. PartsBaba customers can also access all order details by logging in to the customer portal. This has made it so the in-house staff no longer fields order statement requests.
Plus, any purchase in Zoho Commerce is now auto-populated in Zoho Books, leaving no room for errors. Pre-Zoho One, PartsBaba used Tally for accounting and ran into data manipulation issues. Now, not only is the data accurate, but it also gets pooled into Zoho Analytics to generate valuable insights.
Zoho Analytics provides a visual representation of operational profits according to the category, sales person, customer, product, state, or invoice. This information can also be filtered according to different time periods—daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.
“Such customizable analytics have helped me decide where there is potential for better business and take proactive decisions,” says Sushil. “This business intelligence was inaccessible to me before Zoho One.
Zoho Analytics has also helped PartsBaba predict future sales based on historical data and set relevant targets. Armed with the knowledge of which Indian states produce more sales, Sushil plans to employ regional sales representatives who know the local language. This has been made possible due to the remote working capabilities in Zoho One.
By adding more licenses and providing local sales reps with access to Zoho One, scaling PartsBaba has become easier. The leads generated in Zoho CRM are assigned to local sales reps across Indian states who can speak with prospects in the local language and convert them to customers. Sushil can even view the sales happening across states in real time.
“PartsBaba benefits from all the innovation and enhancements happening in Zoho One. While PartsBaba would otherwise struggle to transcend geographic boundaries, Zoho One’s remote work features allow the company’s small team to function across borders without the added cost”
With the aid of TrainerCentral, Parts Baba is now equipping many high school graduates with the skills needed to become after field service technicians. When the company launched its first online training in October, 2021, over 1,500 students enrolled. Today, over 4,000 field engineers and computer shops have accessed the PartsBaba technical training course online. The company’s free training also has over 500 five-star ratings!
PartsBaba now has a slew of free online training courses in the works. Sushil claims graduates can earn anywhere from 25,000 to 50,000 rupees each month after completing their training.
PartsBaba’s switch to Zoho One did come with an adjustment period. Employees who were used to the old software resisted the change at first, which cost PartsBaba a six-month-long delay in incorporating all the back-office capabilities. But now that all of his employees are onboard, Sushil wants to explore all the apps that Zoho One has to offer.
“I am no longer looking for any solution outside of Zoho,” explains Sushil. “We have only used 50% of the features in Zoho One and are looking forward to using all the features. We have started using Zoho Cliq for internal communication between teams and Zoho Connect to share training material with new employees. We are going to explore Zoho Subscriptions next.”
Bolstered by the capabilities of Zoho One, PartsBaba is also aiming to go global. Sushil plans to explore the drop shipping model by collaborating with international manufacturers and listing their products on the PartsBaba site.Apart from this, PartsBaba plans to map around half a million service centers in tier two and tier three cities in India, and it hopes to enter the spare parts business for electrical vehicles. The company also plans to promote self-reliance by creating product-specific tool kits and guides that enable users to fix minor technical issues themselves.
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It’s interesting that we’ve been able to transfer an entire old system onto one single system and build an entire investor’s ecosystem.We’ve been able to transfer an entire old system onto one single system and build an entire investor’s ecosystem
“It took me a really long time, almost 10 years, to find a suitable solution to run my entire business. Zoho One works seamlessly for us not only to manage our customer-facing touch points, but also improves our internal processes and communications.”
“Adoption of Zoho is now at its highest because they continue to reinforce the value by expanding our usage. Zoho continues to make our jobs easier and as people see that, more people want to use it.”