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Tag : sales automation

Why You Need a Zoho Sales Qualification Process

Zoho Sales QualificationSo, what is the Zoho Sales Qualification process?

With a Zoho Sales Qualification process, you can avoid deleting “bad leads” or leaving them in the sales cycle, ensuring accurate data and statistics as your pipeline expands within Zoho.

Let’s turn that around – now.

If you can relate with the story above, it’s time to implement the aforementioned sales qualification process.

So, what is the Zoho Sales Qualification process?

This process is, in a nutshell, the steps you can take to ask the right questions of your prospects and determine whether or not they are a good fit for your business. Once you determine whether or not the relationship should continue, the qualification process also continues – qualifying or disqualifying such prospects within your sales funnel. Sales qualification works for business of any size – small, medium to enterprise. After all, 50% of leads are qualified but not yet ready to buy, which means they’re taking up space in your CRM instead of being an accurate representation of who’s ready to sign on the dotted line.

There are four key steps in a Zoho Sales Qualification; this blog will provide an overview of what you need to know to go through the process.

Streamlining Your Workflow for Effective Sales Qualification

Step 1: Identify who your target prospect is.

The first step to any sales cycle is to identify who your target prospect is. By this, we mean that you should look at organization level qualification – qualifying the company. For example, you should look at the following: Zoho Sales Qualification

  1. What is your target territory?
  2. What is your focus industry?
  3. What is your ideal target company size? (either in revenue or employee size)
  4. What is your target persona’s job title? (for example, Communications Director or VP of Sales)

By understanding who your target prospect is, you can accurately perform outreach targeting and understand who should be in your funnel – and who shouldn’t.

Step 2: Determine prospect need.

After the prospect has shown interest in your services or products, such as filling out a form or sending you an email through your website, it is best to hold a discovery call to get to know one another. This is before any other move is made, such as putting together a proposal or turning into an opportunity.

Discovery calls will determine whether the prospect has an immediate need, or a need over the next 6 months. On the discovery call, you can ask the questions above to ensure your prospect is within your target audience. You should also inquire about need, pain points and company information.

Step 3: Qualify the stakeholder.

Once you have determined the prospect’s need, it is time to qualify the stakeholder. This is where the fun begins!

In this step in the process, you determine if the prospect is a decision maker. Ask yourself the question – can they sign on the dotted line? Or do they need a direct manager to do so? Is there anyone else who should be involved?

In this process, it is best to follow the BANT model. This model asks the following questions…

Budget: Is the prospect capable of buying?
Authority: Does your contact have adequate authority to sign off on a purchase?
Need: Does the prospect have a business pain you can solve?
Timeline: When is the prospect planning to buy?

Using proper qualification means you can use Zoho lead scoring to give your leads actual numerical scores, which makes the distinction between qualified and unqualified easy if you’re just looking at passing a threshold.  (Lead scoring assigns a point value to things like the usual BANT qualifiers, plus other metrics that you set.)

Step 4: Know when to disqualify.

Once you have gone through the BANT model, it is time to determine if you need to qualify or disqualify. Remember – disqualification isn’t bad! It keeps your Zoho CRM clean and with accurate data.

This makes it so you can disqualify based on asking wto simple questions:

  1. If the company is not going to purchase your services because of budget, territory, lack of business pain, etc. – it is best to disqualify.
  2. If there is an opportunity to purchase services, qualify – and nurture.

Remember – it doesn’t hurt to keep your prospects in a nurturing sequence within your email software. A prospect that is disqualified today might be ready to purchase in 6 to 12 months, and by keeping your prospects in nurturing, you’ll be top of mind when the time is right.

Questions about how to qualify prospects through the Zoho CRM? Click here and we’ll be happy to help you with Zoho Sales Qualification, Zoho implementation consulting, or anything else related to Zoho.

Zoho CRM Blueprint – The Blueprint to Sales Success

Zoho CRM Blueprint – The Blueprint to Sales Success

Hello, everyone!  This is the second post in a series on the latest new offerings in the realm of Zoho CRM.  Zoho has chosen to focus heavily on sales automation for this round of upgrades, and with good reason: as CRM is the most expensive and arguably most important Zoho offering, Zoho wants to ensure you get the most bang for your buck.  These new offerings are only available with Zoho CRM Enterprise (and now Zoho One), so the powers that be really want to entice you to use that version of the software.  And, for good reason – it’s already the best version of the system.  So, without further ado, let’s talk Zoho CRM Blueprint.

(You can find the first post of the series on Zia, the AI-powered sales tool, right here.)

I say Blueprint, you say…

When someone mentions a blueprint to you, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

Probably a plan to build a house or other structure, but it isn’t a full rendering.  Really more like a cross section showing all the walls, windows, and beyond… The guts of the edifice, where the wires and pipes go, the lighting fixtures – everything.

And so it is with your sales cycle, in a manner of speaking.  Even if you don’t see everything at once.

See, sometimes your salespeople need a blueprint to get from A to B.  Obviously they know how to sell, but, especially in today’s technology-driven work environment, outside stimuli are everywhere.  And, it can be easy to get distracted and lose focus.

So, wouldn’t it be nice if your salespeople had a blueprint, a sort of road map to get where they need to go, in terms of sales?

Obviously this is all a little abstract, but I’m hoping you’re with me so far!  This is Zoho CRM Blueprint:

zoho crm blueprint

What we essentially have here is a literal blueprint to success for your sales team.  This document has a few different color-coded blocks: White rectangles correspond to stages in the Deals module, while the gold parallelograms correspond to potential actions your salespeople can take in relation to those stages.

Now, ordinarily, your sales staff might have deal stages in front of them and just be expected to follow up with clients on a schedule, moving the deals stages accordingly when appropriate.  But, that isn’t always enough to ensure success, as general instructions aren’t always clear.  Even if you or your Zoho consultant of choice have set up workflow rules for your sales staff to let them know what tasks they need to carry out in relation to a deal, salespeople still have to access the task and click “complete.”  Zoho CRM Blueprint takes this routine a step further, making it possible to complete tasks directly from the Deal screen and giving those tasks a wider context from which salespeople can view them and understand exactly where they are in the sales cycle.

Zoho CRM blueprint allows for setting simple instructions, as the illustration above shows: Start.  Schedule Appointment.  Qualify.  And so on.  Like a Zoho training session, but better.

Drawing up your Zoho CRM Blueprint

Unlike conventional blueprints, using Zoho CRM blueprint doesn’t require the use of drafting programs to really nail down – in fact, you don’t even really need a steady hand.  It really is as easy as creating deal stages, creating per-deal tasks for salespeople (called “transitions”), connecting the dots, and doing a little drag-and-drop.  Observe:

zoho crm blueprint

You can give conditions to Zoho CRM Blueprint transitions, too.

Part of drawing up your sales process involves setting parameters, and of course you’ll want to make sure everyone is on the same page.  You can use these parameters to ensure that, for example, contracts are closed within a certain window of time, or that your sales staff doesn’t go crazy with giving out discounts.  When your sales team goes to complete a transition, they’ll see an additional dialog box if you choose to add one asking for some details:

zoho crm blueprint

Not only does this keep your sales team in line with your company vision, but it gives you even more data with which to build reports and gauge the health of your company.  For example, with the data collected from this dialog box to the right, you’ll be able to determine the average discount rate given by all sales team members, the average discount given by salesperson, and of course the amount of time taken to close a deal by salesperson and on the whole, if you aren’t already collecting that data elsewhere.

Thankfully, Zoho CRM anticipates this is just what you’ll be doing and created a screen just for drilling down into this data.  Kinda makes me want to go in and start playing with it right now… Either that or make some sales; I haven’t quite decided yet.

zoho crm blueprint

How do these Blueprints fit into Zoho’s ultimate vision for the CRM?

Again, Zoho’s game as of late seems to be taking the sales process and automating as much of it as humanly possible, so after implementation you hardly have to touch it at all.  After all, why spend any time thinking of what to do to improve sales processes if a machine can analyze your behavior and tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t?  Why fret over which tasks to complete in what order if you can have the Zoho CRM blueprint right in front of you?  Of course, Zoho recognizes that less time spent thinking means more time spent doing actual work, and since, barring your deftly-worded phone conversations, sales procedures themselves don’t tend to be all that individualized – that is, they tend to fit right onto a blueprint.

Look!  Blueprint is now a component of Zoho Desk, too

zoho desk blueprint

Zoho has added blueprint functionality to Zoho Desk, which means you can give your support agents the same daily structure you give to your sales team.  It also means you get all the same reports for your help desk that you do for your sales team, from time spent per transition to time spent on each blueprint itself.  And that, in turn, lets you analyze your weak points and work to eliminate bottlenecks in your process.

Hungry for more?

Well, that makes at least two of us.  I can’t wait to see what else Zoho has in store in terms of sales automation.  The very prospect is a little mind-boggling: someone had to design the sales process itself, but once it’s committed to the blueprint and you have a dedicated staff to carry it out, it arguably runs itself.

Stay tuned for more updates like these, and let me know if you have any questions by clicking the link below this post!



Zoho’s Zia: AI-Powered Assistant for CRM Sales

Howdy, you zany, tech-minded readers.  This blog’s been a little quiet lately… and, rather than bore you with my very personal story of wearing 19 different hats, solving global hunger, and curing cancer, I figure I should just get down to business and tell you about some new Zoho offerings, as that is what I seem to do best.  So, without further ado, let’s talk about Zoho’s newest addition to the CRM: Zia.

Zoho CRM is getting even better

zoho crm zia

Zoho has, in fact, been just as busy developing new product extensions as we’ve been over here helping Zoho users.  Their last big CRM update was almost a year ago, in June 2016, when they came out with the new UI, so I suppose they were due for an update.  (Zoho doesn’t seem to be able to fathom letting most apps stagnate for more than a year.)  This round of new additions certainly did not disappoint.  This blog post will cover one of those updates, while some of the next blog posts I write will cover the others.

So, this Zia.  What is it, exactly, and why is it here?

Zia: Like having a business coach right at your desk

zoho crm zia

Zia is a nifty little widget that sits right in the lower right corner of your CRM (if you’re using Enterprise edition, that is) and gathers information about how you use the CRM.  That’s everything from how many tasks you complete (and their types) and which records you interact with, to what emails and templates you’re sending out to your prospects and clients.  Zoho’s AI tool then delivers predictions about how well you’re going to be doing, sales-wise, not only to individual users, but to team leaders as well.

Zia also points out anomalies with special Zoho CRM screens

One important part of forecasting sales is pinpointing aberrations in your trends and finding out just why they occur.  Zia can hopefully help you prevent these weird glitches entirely with the helpful tips, but, if she doesn’t (yes, it’s a she – Zoho told me so), she provides extra screens with charts to help you visualize sales trends versus actual figures.  Pretty neat.

zoho crm zia

But, where else can we find Zia inside Zoho CRM?

Zia isn’t limited to just a few screens and a lower-right widget.  Truth be told, you can find her in every lead or contact you’ve reached out to in the form of SalesSignals, a real-time recommendation as to the best time to call someone.

[caption id="attachment_2411" align="alignleft" width="168"]zoho crm zia Hm, looks like I missed my mark today.[/caption]

And furthermore, Zia will even politely interrupt you after seeing you’ve performed a particularly rudimentary task over and over again, asking if you want to create a macro that simply does that task for you.

So, if it isn’t abundantly clear why you should use Zia, this is the gist:

  1. Zia sees where you’re spending time doing tasks and helps to automate them.
  2. She sees when you’re contacting people, when you’re having the most success, then generates suggestions about how to duplicate that success.
  3. Zia notices anomalies in your forecasting and offers suggestions about how to rectify those before they become realities.

Basically, it’s like having a coach right there at your desk to help you use the CRM.  Not a bad deal, as the price of Enterprise hasn’t gone up…but, you might just want to upgrade to that version if you aren’t on it yet!

Still need some help with Zoho CRM?

Did you just upgrade to Enterprise edition and get confused by the array of new features, including Zia or Blueprint?  Or, are you a new Zoho user looking for some expert Zoho consulting?  Just contact us using the button below this blog post and we’ll get back to you ASAP.