Zoho CRM Autumn 2022 update
Since we last heard from them at Zoholics, London 2022, the Zoho CRM team have been busy! With new features for data sharing, user experience, communication and much more we can see they are not resting on their laurels; after being awarded as officially “The world’s favourite CRM“. They have just released their Zoho CRM Autumn 2022 update and we are taking a look at it and telling you what it means for you and your system.
Their continual drive for new features to improve their already award winning CRM is testament to their desire to simplify business at every opportunity. This drive is making sure Zoho CRM stays ahead of the curve in the CRM market. Let’s take a look at what the new features mean for you, your business and its processes for 2023 and beyond!
- User Experience (UX) improvements
- Omni-channel communication
- Data management enhancements
- Operations enhancements
- Sales team improvements
User Experience (UX) improvements
Your Zoho solution is well engineered and full-functioning but if the User Experience is not great then any data going in might not be the best it could be. Or, you might find features too difficult to use or processes awkward to adopt.
For this reason Zoho are making every aspect of their system better, improving the UX to make your work easier, more efficient and more enjoyable. Let’s take a look at the latest Zoho UX improvements, starting with the Canvas palette.
Additional features for the Canvas palette
Canvas for Zoho CRM was a huge leap forward in improving the Zoho UX. It meant Zoho solutions could really be tailored to an individual business, allowing the look and feel to be customised to suit different businesses, different departments and even users. Industry needs and personalisations could be catered for improving adoption across a business. The latest improvements look like this…
- Image support for Canvas
There is now a dedicated image element, allowing you to upload images from your device as well as URLs. You can access a library of images you have previously used in Canvas and reuse them across different modules all through the My Images tab.
- Add and reuse components in Canvas
This is a big timesaver! Previously you might spent ages perfecting a design and have to do it all again when you want to use it in another section. Now you can now save your specific component designs as ‘reusable components’ and reuse them across different modules or templates.
- Add styles to presets in Canvas
Your brand is a valuable asset and when you create an on-brand style for one element you want to reuse it across all modules. Now you can! Save your design as a preset and apply it to different modules at a click of a button!
Email composition UI enhancements
Last year we saw a huge UX improvement to how you read and write emails in Zoho CRM. In case you missed them, they included;
- A floating email composition window
- Preset font styles and sizes
- Different ‘from’ email addresses and associated signatures
- Zia’s spellcheck and auto completion
Now you can freely resize and move it around to refer to the CRM record in the window underneath your floating email composition window. Additionally, the attachments section a can be collapsed giving you the room you need to work on your emails.
Omni-channel communication improvements in the Zoho CRM Autumn 2022 update
Today, there are many different ways we can communicate and more importantly our customers will expect the same level of responsiveness irrespective of how they choose to communicate with you. Zoho understand this and are pushing omni-channel communication improvements out all the time to support not just your customer service agents but the whole of your business.
Responsive templates for your email needs
Although there are multiple methods for communicating, email is still the most popular for business. However, today you can’t be sure what they are being read on, desktop, mobile, tablet? Then there is the question of operating system, PC, Mac, Android, iOS… In response to this Zoho CRM is now automatically optimised to the device your customer is using to open your email.
WhatsApp Business integration for Zoho CRM
WhatsApp is here to stay. It has over 2 billion active users every month and 175 million people reaching out to businesses through the application. You have to be present on this platform and offer meaningful engagement if you want your customers to interact with your business. And now you can. Zoho CRM’s integration with WhatsApp Business. Simply use your Facebook Business manager account (or create a new one) and integrate with WhatsApp Business directly in Zoho CRM.
- Stay on top of all incoming messages
Get notified in real-time with Zoho CRM’s SalesSignals whenever someone gets in touch with you throughWhatsApp for Business.
- Manage conversations with ease
Increase efficiency with prewritten messages for the most common queries and still have the ability to send personalised messages when the needs arise.
- Share key collateral with the click of a button
Business to customer interactions frequently involve sharing documents, things like quotes, purchase orders, sales orders, invoices and contracts. You can share these straight from your device, Zoho CRM or a wide range of cloud drives, saving time, and driving consistency.
Call bar enhancements for built-in telephony
Zoho introduced a robust built-in telephony solution as an alternative to a costly third-party application that might not have been as integrated as you wanted. To strengthen this offering they have added new functionalities to the phone menu;
- View calls in conversation
This lists all ongoing calls, along with additional information like call duration, who initiated the call and if the number is associated with a lead or contact in your CRM account.
- View calls in queue
This is a dedicated space where you can see all incoming calls and how long they have been queuing. Get instant oversight into the inbound call volumes your business is experiencing.
Data management enhancements
We at Goldstar are all about the data – we know it is the lifeblood of your systems, business management and analytics. In recent years we have seen a business’ CRM system become more of a hub for the entire business’ processes. It maybe due to the nature of a fully functioning CRM being the host for a single source of data truth. Or, it maybe the fact the CRM is a flexible tool that the whole business uses to great effect. Whatever the reason collaboration is key to success. But this means more than having access to important information or keeping the team updated, often you have to share records, or parts or records, with roles or teams across the business.
So, in response, Zoho CRM have released a few features to help.
Condition-based data-sharing rules
Sometimes you need to make sure a user only sees what they need to see, with everyone having access to a single source of truth this can get messy. With Condition-based sharing rules in lace you can define what is shared based on very specific criteria. This allows you all the flexibility you need to share relevant information based either on specific criteria or the record owner with other roles or groups in your CRM. This method is more automated, more accurate and saves time.
Sharing records with roles and user groups
If on the other hand, you have specific records you want to share with a particular role or group, this feature is key. This allows you to select individual records to be shared with roles and user groups defined in your CRM account.
Reason for loss fields
It is an undeniable truth that you will not convert every lead to a sale. But you can minimise the chances with a little statistical sequential analysis, but this starts with collecting data. You might already be collecting data on why a lead was converted to a sale but you might be missing the crucial data of why they are not.
The importance of the data you are not collecting
Previously we may have been able to offer a workaround to this but now Zoho have realised the significance and are offering a ‘Reason for Loss Field’ as standard. Previously this was a free text field that was optional on any leads that were not converted to a sale. The trouble with this is that it is very difficult to report on and even harder to ascertain any trends.
Now, the Reason for loss field is a dropdown pick-field list we can analyse and highlight trends in behaviour. You will be able to analyse the data and systematically measure which factors are contributing to any trend and correct them. With it being a pick-field list you can filter out certain responses that may skew any analysis, allowing you more examine in more detail and understand the context behind any loss.
Sort order preference for pick-list field values
While we are on the subject of pick-field lists, let’s have a look at why they are important and can help keep an eye of critical business information in the CRM and a recent improvement to their handling in Zoho CRM.
Frequently seen in dropdown windows, pick-field lists are a vital tool to collect specific pieces of information from customers and can keep track of critical information in your CRM. These lists rationalise responses and offer only specific replies to help group information and bring consistency in response (they usually also offer a free text option if relevant). This means when the information is processed into data it can give a more accurate representation and removes the need to group ‘similar’ responses that might otherwise cause inaccuracies.
To help you get the most from these lists, Zoho has now enabled you to sort records based on pick-list values in two additional ways; the entered order or the alphabetical order. These sorting options will be applied in record creation and edits, list views, reports and dashboards.
Filter support for lookup fields
While we are looking at information becoming usable data let’s take a quick look at this update for Lookup fields. This is an important feature in Zoho CRM that lets you link records across different modules with ease. To help this and give you better control Zoho have added filters to the pop-up menu when selecting lookup values.
In other words when you are trying to select the record to associate through the lookup fields you can filter them using a specific field or combination of fields to find all the relevant records that match your chosen requirements before associating the right one. Using this new feature you will save time and simplify the process making it even easier to link records across different modules.
Operations enhancements in the Zoho CRM Autumn 2022 update
Parallel transition support for Blueprint
You know as your business scales Zoho is a great choice as it can scale with you. But one fear is as you grow it gets more challenging to maintain quality or keep processes consistent and repeatable. That’s why we look to automate tasks with Blueprint. It lets you build processes that scale, preserve your prospect and client relationships the attention they deserve and ensure that everyone involved is accountable for their actions.
One part of Blueprint that was stretched was the management of multiple transitions between two process stages. In the past this would lead to multiple separate Blueprints within a single process. Now it can handle parallel transitions in the main process, making your route to automation far more efficient!
You can trigger automations reliably and force the following of a process, now we can have multiple events move us through the blueprint with parallel transitions. Only when all parallel transitions are completed will a record move to the new stage you’ve defined. This gives you more power to build clearer processes to help keep processes consistent and repeatable.
Sales team automations in the Zoho CRM Autumn update 2022
Zoho is not just about data and UX, having sharable information across your business means your sales team has so much more at their fingertips to manage accounts and convert prospects. But sometimes that data needs to be more targeted for use and personalised to whomever is receiving it. Zoho CRM has that all in hand!
Custom module support for scoring rules
If your sales team needs to focus – look no further. Having the function to create multiple scoring rules gives sales teams the focus they need to prioritise their engagements more easily. Different departments can score and prioritise who they talk to first. For example if your inbox has blown up with 100s of messages after a weekend, across email, telephone, WhatsApp for Business, social and direct messaging then having the ability to score these responses and focus on the most pressing is invaluable.
Thats what Scoring rules allows – you can prioritise data based on predefined ‘scores’. Don’t forget, each department might have their own focus so they can apply different scoring to the data. Zoho CRM is now taking this even further by allowing this scoring to be applied to custom modules. Where ever it sits you can now rank large chunks of data that may need to be prioritised and allow you a more efficient way to handle the most important jobs.
Mail merge functionalities available for Apple and Android tablet browsers and mobile
Nowadays workforces are always on the go. Whatever your device, whatever your operating system, wherever you are its vital to have the same access as if you were in front of a computer. With this update you can now send personalised documents out to prospects and customers at the click of a button. Whether it is a quote, invoice, contract or any sales-critical document your team can now send via their handheld devices as easily as their computer.
Zoho CRM lets you create and manage mail merge templates, merge documents and configure any required post-merge operations across all devices and browsers.
Configure Price Quote (CPQ) goes into pilot access
Now this one is really recent news – so new we haven’t tested yet but we thought we would mention it incase anyone is interested. Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) will allow you to create and deliver quick, personalised quotes to your customers while your team works on various deals. CPQ will accelerate your sales cycle and maximise the chances of closing deals by building product lists and combinations that can be pulled into your quotes. It will define pricing rules, be them flat or slab-based pricing, direct or volume-based discounts and even freebies for valued customers or supplementary items based on products you add to your quote. It will then quickly and accurately build an error-free quote, personalised to the needs of your customer based on product and price configurations you’ve set up in your system.
Sounds incredible doesn’t it. CPQ in Zoho CRM is going into pilot access, so not all businesses will be able to use it yet. And, as always, we’d like to test it ourselves before we go recommending it, so let us know if its on interest and we can check it out in more depth, but check back on to hear what we think in the coming weeks!
Marketing process enhancements
With access to the data in your Zoho CRM your marketing processes are so much more powerful. You can refine your target audience, streamline campaigns and really focus your spend. But you still have to collect the right information and analyse your data!
Criteria support for better segmentation
Retention is key to healthy sales, and happy customers become great advocates for your business – its the most persuasive marketing you’ve got available! Managing consistent and personalised interactions with customers is key to building the trust required to keep business and create advocates. The introduction of Recency Frequency Monetary (RFM) segmentation on Zoho CRM was prolific in empowering businesses to understand all their customers. The information it gives meant you could personalise campaigns and entice customers with offers that they might actually use. It meant happy customers might spend more and unhappy customers might give your business one more chance.
Now Zoho CRM have added another layer of granularity to allow you to refine your customer segments even more. You can now specify the criteria of information from the module that should be considered when segmentation is performed. In the example below you can see that we can define a module, with data from a specific period, AND an event that matches specific criteria, within RFM parameters. Your campaigns are are sure to be on target with all that taken into account!
Zoho Finance module support for segmentation
As you saw in the example above, in addition to the above Zoho CRM have given you one more layer of control. You can choosing the contributing module on which to run the segmentation. So now, along with numerous native CRM modules you could use, you can now segment by modules created as a result of your integration with Zoho Finance. You could use your customers’ purchases and payments to come up with highly personalised cross-sell, upsell and re-engagement marketing campaigns for each segment.
This is a perfect example of the extent Zoho integrations can impact a business. Bringing information from multiple sources to help data-driven decision-making at every point of the business!
And that’s it… for now.
So, that brings our Zoho CRM updates to an end for 2022, if you have seen anything interesting please get in touch and we can discuss what the changes mean for your Zoho solution.
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