What's New in Zoho CRM: Spring 2023 Recap
Zoho has been hard at work updating their artificial intelligence (AI) features throughout many Zoho apps. While ZIA (Zoho's Intelligent Assistant) has been present in several Zoho apps for some time, we have seen numerous updates thus far in 2023. Additionally, with the boom in generative AI Zoho has incorporated ChatGPT into several applications as well. Please join us to learn more about these exciting new AI features that are sure to save you time and boost productivity.
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Note-Based Workflow Rules
Within the CRM, users have been able to trigger workflow rules on virtually all of the modules. The Notes module was an exception...until now. Workflows can now be triggered based on the note's Created By, Created Time, Modified By, Modified Time, Note Title, Note Owner, or even the content of the note itself.
This new trigger could be useful in a scenario where a Customer Service representative takes a call from an upset customer. The representative leaves a note on the customer's record describing the issue the customer is facing. The workflow is setup to notify the Account Manager when a customer record is updated with a note containing the words "unhappy" or "upset". After this note is left, the Account Manager receives this notification and can deal with the situation appropriately.
Client Script Updates
Client Script is code that can run on a record while it is still in Create or Edit mode. The user doesn't have to save the record in order to trigger actions like a traditional workflow. Developers can write a client script function that triggers many different actions when a record loads or when a user is typing in a field. This allows the user to create the most complete record in one transaction. Previously, the user might have had to create multiple workflows to run after the record is saved.
You might be thinking to yourself, "This isn't new?"
And you would be completely right.
While client script isn't new, Zoho did announce new client script features and functionalities coming out this quarter.
The first new feature to client script is pseudo fields. Pseudo fields are fields that are almost temporary. The user can enter data into an actual field inside the CRM and a pop up will open containing the pseudo fields. Think of it like a quick form on demand. The pseudo fields could be different aspects of a field that will be concatenated together. An example would be a shipment label. The label is pre-constructed by combining the values of three inputs: Order Label, Unit, and Batch. This is used instead of creating additional custom fields for getting these inputs.
Example of pseudo fields concatenated to populate the Shipping Label field
Flyouts are floating User Interface components that can be created and controlled using Client Script. They are essentially pop-ups that come from the side of a record. The flyouts can pop out when a certain action happens, a record loads, or prior to saving. Currently, Widgets can be used to supply a flyout. The flyout can run independently of the Widget, and Client Script can communicate with it. It can be setup so that it waits for user input and then transports the data to the Client Script. This could be used in a case where a company has multiple warehouses in different locations. Each warehouse uses independent shipment carriers with different charges and delivery timelines. The flyout provides the service agent with necessary information during order creation based on the shipping address.
Example of a flyout used to provide necessary information during order creation based on the shipping address
Dynamic Lookup Filters
Dynamic lookup filter in Client Script enables the user to filter the results of a lookup field based on criteria. You can filter the results of a lookup using the current date/time, logged-in user, or almost anything that can be handled using Client Script. This would work well for a company that sells medical instruments. As the service agent fills out the record and selects the type of instrument for the order. The instruments that fall under that type will be the only instruments available to add on the purchase subform.
Example of a dynamic lookup filter used to show only relevant instrument types
This functionality is also extended to multi-select lookup fields. This is available in Create, Edit, Detail (Standard), and Clone pages. Dynamic filters can be implemented for picklists as well when using Client Script. This feature could be used in situations where a service agent is selling a certain type of medical instrument. They select the Type as "Surgical Instrument" and then the warehouse lookup is filtered based on the warehouses that store that type.
Widgets in Zoho CRM are UI components that you can create on your own and embed into the system. Widgets can be called up when the user clicks "Save" to validate information that has been entered.The Client Script is paused and the widget is generated. The Widget gathers the necessary information and then transports it to the Client Script. The Client Script then continues its execution with the data sent from the Widget. This could be beneficial in situations where your organization sells items with a fixed number of units. The agent can select the item to sell along with the desired units. When they click Save, the widget requires them to check the availability of the item in the selected warehouse along with suggesting alternative warehouses and provides support to choose from feasible warehouses.
Example of Widget invocation validating the availability of products on an order
It is also possible to integrate lookups with other third-party applications. Whether it be an ERP system or a file storage tool, Zoho can integrate with these apps almost like a lookup field. When the integration is setup, you will be looking into a completely different system assuming the API allows for it. When this field is accessed, it would appear like a picklist. The values, however, are not being pulled from the CRM but an outside source.
Zoho has also added the ability to trigger with OnType. This allows for the client script to be triggered right when the user starts to type in the field. This makes data validation or verification immediate. If there are any issues with the entry, a message can appear as they are typing.
Revamped Zoho Sheet View
Zoho's Sheet View might be a little known and under utilized tool. Zoho listened to feedback and has made numerous updates to make this tool more productive.
The first update Zoho has made to the sheet view is that any read-only or system fields that exist within the sheet view are now protected and locked from editing. The record editing permissions assigned to users are now carried over when editing from the sheet view. If a record is read-only to a user in the CRM, that same record is going to be read-only in the sheet view.
Picklists, dates, and checkboxes are now shown as their native field types in the sheet. This makes it impossible to enter the wrong value or input data in the wrong format. Sheet view also supports unique and required fields as well as maximum character length and other field properties. If the user doesn't fill in a required field or enters too many characters into a field, an error message will appear similar to creating or editing a record in the CRM. Any of the workflow automations that are setup for the record will be triggered from changes that are made in the sheet view. The edits made will appear in the records timeline and the audit log.
Example of Zoho's Sheet View
Zoho has recently released a CPQ tool within the CRM. CPQ stands for Configure Price Quote. Zoho has always had the ability to create Quotes, Sales Orders, and Invoices along with custom automation scripting behind the scenes. Zoho is now bringing a lot of automation to the forefront for Zoho CRM administrators to assist in the management of the components of a typical CPQ system. Keep in mind, this is not an extremely advanced CPQ system but as customizable as Zoho is and with all the features they are giving the public access to there is a lot that can be done with this.
Example of CPQ suggesting products for a Quote
Based on existing products that are already on the quote or other factors/criteria, the Product Configurator can automatically add or suggest other products. If you have a product that is required to always be sold with another item, for example a TV always has to be sold with certain connector or cables, this will come up as a suggestion. It could also give multiple suggestions for TV stands. The user could choose from the suggestions or ignore them all together. This feature makes it easy to add those new or additional products to the quote. The Configurator can also make field updates to the quoted items. If a TV stand is added to the quote, the price of both the stand and the TV are discounted. It is also possible to remove products via rules. If the TV is removed from the quote, the cables and connectors can be removed as well.
Zoho has added price rules. While price books have always existed in Zoho, price rules give the user the ability to create rules that are criteria based. These rules are setup using If-Then statements. For example, if the total for the quote is greater than $1,000 then apply a 5% discount to the entire quote. It could also be used for tax calculations. This could be helpful in situations where taxes might be applied differently depending on the product or location.
Lookup fields help show relationships and associate records from one module to another. The lookup filter is a new feature that enables you to define criteria so that only eligible records show in the list when populating the lookup. Let's say you only want active accounts to be displayed for the lookup field that is in the Deals module. You can create a filter with the criteria of "Active Account" selected. This ensures that users are only able to create deals for accounts that are currently active.
Example of a lookup to the Accounts module being filtered to show only "Active" Accounts
Locking Option for CRM Records
The new record locking option in the CRM keeps records safe from editing and deleting. Rules for record locking can be configured to run automatically based on conditions, or records can be locked manually by a user. Closed-Won deals are a great example of this. After a deal is set to the stage of Closed-Won, the deal record should not be edited or deleted. This can be setup for all profiles or only certain profiles. Record locking can also be setup only to lock certain aspects of the record such as editing, deleting, tagging, etc. In the case of the Closed-Won deal, we could lock everything except the final amount which will be added at the very end.
Example of record locking configuration
Global Sets for Picklist Management
Many times in the CRM there are instances where the same picklists with the same values are present on multiple modules. As a user, this can cause a headache if the picklist needs to be altered. In the past, users would have to go to each picklist on each separate module and make the needed updates. Now with global sets, users can add picklists to modules from the global sets. This will add both the picklist and the values. When a picklist needs to be updated, the user can navigate to the global sets area and make the updates. Updates made to a global set will be reflected on all related picklists instantly. Industry is a common picklist found on multiple modules. If an organization decides to add the value "Finance" to their current Industry picklist, they can make that change to the global set. The changes will be reflected on the Industry picklist in the Accounts module, Contact module, and any other module containing the picklist.
Example of a picklist existing on multiple modules
- Associate subforms
- Email templates
- Inventory templates
- "Save as Draft" option
- Responsive for mobile
User Field Improvements:
- When you associate a user to a record, they gain access to it
- Now you can specify the level of access provided
- Full Access
Additional Admin Tools:
- Now available for Roles, Profiles, and Webforms
- Filter for unused items
- Delete them in bulk
- Overview of functions' execution - last 30 days
- Detailed log information\
- View individual failures
- Rerun one or more failures
- Export for further analysis
Zoho CRM/DataPrep Integration:
- Export bad data from Zoho CRM
- Cleanse data in DataPrep
- Export clean data to Zoho CRM
Notebook for Zoho CRM:
- Quick access to Notebook from CRM
- Create notes
- Add to-do items
- Attach files and photos
- Record audio
- View notes as a related list
Voice Recording Field in Calls Module:
- New system-defined URL field for voice recordings
- Automatically renders the link in the form of an audio player within CRM
- Play, pause, mute/unmute, adjust volume and copy the URL
- Custom forecast categories
- Enhancements to stage history and tracking
- Portal users can be the owner of a Blueprint transition
- Portals now support Wizards
- Security update for custom record-level email sharing permissions
- Revamped user interface for Groups
- Messaging integration with WhatsApp
- Custom domain mapping
If you'd like more information about any of the features mentioned above, Zoho CRM, any of the Zoho products, or you'd like to consult with one of our Zoho experts, please call (866)880-4228 or send us an email at email@example.com. We are happy to help!