Zoho CRM best practices

Zoho CRM best practicesZoho CRM is one of the popularCustomer Relationship Management (CRM) tool for small business. Worldwide many SMBs use Zoho CRM to manage their customer facing processes. This article explores some of the best practices for effectively using Zoho CRM.

What can you do with zoho crm?

Zoho CRM enables organizations manage their Prospects/Customers/Contacts in one place while helping them in tracking their Sales Pipeline and Forecasting. The users can track their Marketing Campaigns to evaluate the RoI of marketing efforts. The module related to Customer Support helps in Case and Solutions Management. For more detailed Customer support Zoho also has helpdesk and support softwares. Zoho CRm also helps users in Inventory Tracking and Supplier management.

Best Practices for Zoho CRM

With the experience that we have gained in Zoho CRM Practice through numerous Zoho Implementations – we are listing here some of the best practices for the users of Zoho CRM.

1. Avoid Duplicates in Lead, Contacts, Accounts and Potentials

As a best practice put the duplicate check in place in Zoho CRM. While converting a lead into contact and potential, a duplicate record is found if already contact exists with the same email. In such case merge the lead into that contact instead of creating a duplicate.

Example: When we convert a lead into contact and potential, if already contact record available with same email address. It will ask either “ you add to existing contact “ or “create a new contact with lead name ”.

Most organizations do not take the adequate steps to check the duplicates. Hence over a period of time their CRM database becomes full of junk and duplicate records. If duplicates are not frequently checked then it becomes a gigantic task to remove the duplicates.

2. Data enrichment – Have quality data

Having the data is not enough – having quality data is what will differentiate your CRM from competitors CRM. here are some of the tips to enrich the data in Zoho CRM:

  1. Make important fields mandatory on pages
  2. Create formula fields to show the record completeness in Zoho CRM
  3. For easy conversion of lead into contact and potential, the mandatory fields of contact and potentials are also made mandatory in lead
  4. Train your staff to fill the information correctly
  5. To avoid data entry errors use picklist fields

3. Automate Processes using Workflow Automation

Automating the Zoho CRM processes will be the best way to remove the dependency on persons and automating the business process using rules. Workflow Automation with its immediate or time based actions helps organizations manage the business with specific business rules. Use the business rules to automatically assign the tasks, send email alerts, change the record values or submit the record for approval.

Workflow rules examples:

Here are some examples of workflow automation rules:

1. Automatically assigning a set of tasks to Sales person when a new potential record is created.

2. Reminding the user if a record is still in old status after a period of 3 days

3. Submit a record for approval of a senior colleague – like for discount approval. 

4. Use Macros to do repeated tasks – Manually

Macros are a set of actions that can be executed for a group of records in a Zoho CRM module. These set of actions include email alerts, creating tasks and updating a field in the records with specified value. Unlike workflow rules Macros are not automatically triggered or scheduled. End user need to manually run the macros. In macro you can configure email alert, assign tasks and do field updates.

Example of Macro:

You are managing a lead for an event where user perform a set of actions like

  • Make a call
  • Send a follow up email
  • lead status field as “Email sent”
  • A task is created to send a signed mail from CEO them

5. Use Security Effectively

One of the most underused feature of Zoho CRM (possibly because most Zoho CRM organizations do not know how to use it) is the use of Role and profile based security. They end up using their Zoho CRM suboptimally and in an insecure manner.

What are Zoho CRM security features?

1. Security in Zoho CRM offers you the access right of users while working with CRM data and modules, such as leads, accounts, contacts

2. One can set up the organization wide hierarch using Roles where users at higher hierarchy can always access all the records of at lower hierarchy

3. The permission to CRM modules, records, fields in a record are controlled by a Profile. They also control the access to common utilities like data import, data export, sending email, and mass update of records.

Typically you have Administrator and Standard Profiles. Using the profiles you can effectively control the access to features, functionality and data in the Zoho CRM application.

Here are some of the best practices when using Security in Zoho CRM

  1. Use the roles and profiles effectively to give users access only on need to know basis.
  2. Create groups to manage a set of common records and use them for setting up team selling, team support, and event management
  3. Use the default access of record as “Private” and use the Data Sharing Rules to open access
  4. Always evaluate the access gained by users indirectly through roles hierarchy. Users associated to roles and groups can gain additional access to the records that belong to other users through the sharing rules and roles hierarchy.

6. Effectively use Reports and Dashboards

Here are some of the tips for effective usage of Reports and Dashboards

1. Use flexible report layouts up to three level column grouping,

2. Use public/private folders to give access to reports

3. Schedule reports to deliver the report to the intended users including non zoho crm users through email.

4. Use the charts – Bar, Funnel, Pie, and Line Charts effectively.

5. Display charts in customized home page

7. Integrate with other Zoho Products

Zoho has host of other apps in the market that complement Zoho CRM well. User these apps to increase overall effectiveness of your business while your users collaborate, communicate and share information, all in a single, centralized place.

Recommended Zoho CRM integrations

Some of the key apps that you can integrate with Zoho CRM are:

Zoho Projects allows you to plan and track your projects from one single place.

Zoho Reports allows you to analyze your Zoho CRM data and create insightful reports & dashboards that are more in features and flexible than inbuilt reports in Zoho CRM.

Zoho Support allows you to monitor customer tickets right from within your Zoho CRM account

8. Integrate with Telephony

Zoho PhoneBridge offers a great way to Make and Receive Calls inside Zoho CRM. With this you can connect PBX systems with Zoho CRM for inbound and outbound calls. At the same time users can log the phone calls with the leads or contacts.

Supported Telephony systems

Telephony Systems Zoho supports include RingCentral, Twilio, Ozonetel, Ringio, Promero, Knowlarity – Super Receptionist, Asterisk 1.4, Avaya, Elastix 1.6

If your organization has used some of the above best practices and it worked for you share with us. If you have any more best practices to add – let us know – we can update the document with your feedback. If your organization needs helps in implementing and optimizing your Zoho CRM you can connect with us for details.

About Ramanjaneyulu Yaragorla

Ramanjaneyulu Yaragorla is a CRM developer with Dhruvsoft. His core areas of interest includes Zoho CRM, Zoho Support, Zoho Recruit, Zoho Projects, Salesforce.com and Microsoft Dynamics CRM. He lives in Hyderabad, India and loves to play cricket.


  1. Hi Ramanjaneyulu Yaragorla, the above is most helpful.

    I have a question – if i created a lead, later found out that this person is not the one i need and i have another name from the same organization which is the relevant one – should i delete the old lead and create another one or add to the existing lead the new and relevant lead contact person?

    • Hi Benny – Thanks for feedback.

      As a best practice we recommend to create a new lead and keep the old lead if the old lead may become useful at a future date. In case you assess that the old lead will never be useful you can delete the record to keep your CRM database clean.

      If you are keeping an old lead in database – you will be using that lead to run your marketing initiatives like email campaigns. They may become a hot lead in future.

  2. Nice Information. Keep it up

  3. AryvartCRM says:

    Zoho CRM Integration

    Zoho is staying to do development on the product. And those developments are usually helpful and positive. I am very confident that Zoho will continue making changes on the product and it will continue to become more valuable for our organization. Zoho CRM Integration with 3rd party app, which is useful for all the businesses.

  4. Can Zoho also receive emails and keep a record of those along with everything sent?

  5. Create formula fields to show the record completeness in Zoho CRM: What is meant by this? Can you elaborate?

  6. Hi, We have integrated our 3CX phone system with Zoho CRM. We have a mandatory “phone number” field in “contacts” that is often the main number of the company. When we get pop screen of the contact that is calling, it is often the wrong contact as the main number was used for multiple contacts. How would you address this? Should we remove the mandatory on the “phone number” field?
    Thanks, Lynne

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