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Get Better Leads with Lead Scoring for Zoho CRM

Howdy, all.

Today’s post is brought to you courtesy of James Converse, Chief Solutions Architect here at ZBrains.  James has worked with Zoho for years, and has done CRM implementation even longer, so he’s a real powerhouse of knowledge; I’m happy he was able to contribute to the blog.

No one knows more about setting up your lead scoring CRM, or lead scoring consulting in general here than James, and, while this piece is a little more technical than some on the blog, the tips included for Zoho lead scoring are easy to implement and use to your advantage inside Zoho CRM – today, even.

As always, call (888) 207-4111 if you have any questions or need help.




zoho crm lead scoring

Are you tired of spending time on leads and prospects that don’t buy?  If so, then this article is for you!  To be honest, I think we’re all a little guilty of jumping the gun when we get excited about a new lead or prospect.  After all, it’s in the DNA of a good salesperson to get a excited about a new opportunity.  The purpose of this article is to explain how to score or judge leads based on YOUR qualification criteria.  By doing this, and storing the lead score in your Zoho CRM system, you can search, sort, and filter on the lead score, allowing you to quickly hone in on the opportunities that have the highest chance of closing.  Additionally, the lead scoring system is based on the FACTS, rather than what the prospect is telling you.

Before we get into how to implement a lead scoring system in Zoho CRM, I’d like to clear a few things up about Zoho CRM and lead scoring.  Going to whip out my Certified Zoho CRM Consultant hat for this one.

Lead Scoring Consulting: What is a Lead Score?

zoho crm lead scoring

A lead score is a number assigned to each lead and prospect, which rates these records based on certain factors.  The higher the score, the more likely the company/person is to buy from you.

What’s the difference between a Lead and a Potential in Zoho CRM?  

Consultants define these two modules in different ways, but the easiest way I can describe it is the Leads module is for the marketing funnel and the Potentials module is for the sales funnel.  From a system standpoint, the Leads module does NOT have pipeline history, whereas the Potentials module DOES.  That being said, if you want a Zoho CRM record to show up in your forecast, it needs to be a Potential, not a Lead.  On an almost daily basis, I see implementations of Zoho CRM where the Potentials module is not being used at all, which completely defeats the purpose of using a CRM in the first place!  If I can give one piece of advice to anyone using Zoho CRM, it would be to use the Potentials module.

What is a prospect in Zoho CRM?

When a Lead is converted into a Potential in Zoho CRM, but that Potential has not been “Closed Won,” it is considered a prospect.  When a Potential is set to “Closed Won,” it is considered a Client or Customer.  To convert a Lead to a Potential, simply click on the lead and then press the “Convert” button at the top of the page.

zoho crm lead scoring

Defining a Qualification Process

Now that you know what and where the “Convert” button is in the Leads module, you can substitute the word “Convert” for “Qualify” – when you are converting the lead, you are qualifying it, and the putting it into the sales funnel.  At the very least, DO NOT CONVERT LEADS THAT AREN’T QUALIFIED.  If your marketers and lead generators continually convert leads that are not qualified, it’s a big problem because the odds of closing an unqualified prospect are slim to none.

You probably know what the right questions are for your business, but at a minimum, I would use what’s called a BANT qualification, which stands for budget, authority, need, and timeline.  A good salesperson likely has a much smoother way of asking these questions, like this:

  1. Is this a funded project? How big of a problem are we trying to solve? (Budget)
  2. What is your role in this project? Is there anyone else involved in this project? (Authority)
  3. How will this product/solution help you/your organization? (Need)
  4. When are you looking to launch? (Timeline)

How to Design a Lead Scoring CRM System

zoho crm lead scoring

Now for the good stuff!  If I take those questions above and define a set of possible answers, I can associate a number to each of those answers.  Then, I simply add up the numbers to determine a score.  Personally, I like to set a maximum lead score of 100 because I can associate it one-to-one to a probability percentage.  Then, when I compare my actual probability to my score, I can adjust my scoring system accordingly.  By studying and adjusting the score over time, you’ll be able to nail down a pretty accurate score for every lead that comes in the door.

To keep it simple, let’s associate 25 points to each of the four questions above:

Q1. Answers for Budget: Small (5 pts), Medium (15 pts), Large (25 pts)

Q2. Answers for Authority: Director (5 pts), VP (15 pts), C-level (25 pts)

Q3. Answers to Need: Small (5 pts), Medium (15 pts), Large (25 pts)

Q4. Answers to Timeline: > 6 months (5 pts), 3-6 months (15 pts), < 3 months (25 pts)

Please note any answers that are “None” or no answer at all result in a score of ZERO.

How to Implement a Zoho Lead Scoring System

To do this, you’ll need to know a little Deluge syntax.  If you don’t want to fumble with it for two days, then get help from a Certified Zoho CRM Consultant.  After you’ve defined the scoring system, create a Formula type field in the Leads module of Zoho CRM. Use the “IF” function to create conditions for your score, putting the actual score after the “THEN” clause.  For example:

  • IF(CONTAINS(${Leads.Budget},’Medium’),15,0)

You’ll have to nest several “IF” statements to cover all the options of a single question.  You’ll also have to add up the results of these “IF” statements with the “+” function (duh).

Make sure to copy the fields and formula over to the Potentials module in Zoho CRM because after you qualify the lead and convert it, the answers to the questions can change, thus changing the lead score in Zoho CRM.

zoho crm lead scoring

Once you’ve debugged your lead score field, run a few tests to make sure it’s calculating correctly.  Unfortunately, formula fields don’t go retroactively in Zoho CRM, but you could always open them in Zoho Sheet View and run the calculation in the spreadsheet.

Lastly, add the lead score field to your Views in both Leads and Potentials, sorting highest to lowest.  The key part about having an accurate score is collecting the information, i.e., the answers to your questions.  Don’t hesitate to call those prospects that haven’t answered your questions and just ask them.  If your prospects don’t have answers, chances are you’re wasting your time with them.

Hope this helps!

~ James Converse

Zoho CRM Certified Consultant | Zoho Creator Certified Developer

Chief Solutions Architect,

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Musician, car junkie, and burgeoning tech guy.

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