I’m going to assume that you have been able to sign-up for Zoho CRM and that you can reasonably manage through setting your default values in the “Setup” menu of Zoho. Also, for those of you that don’t know anything about Zoho CRM, view a previous post Zoho CRM for Lead Management. This guide is to give you a quick run-down of the major lead types and flow of one type of lead to another.
These are not existing customers. These are leads that come in from your website, by phone, referral or other marketing that are not qualified. This is where you can set your lead status, create notes on when you talked to them and details of the conversation, attach files and emails, and create tasks for follow-up or other activities. This is also where you can reassign leads to other sales people or mark a lead as dead if it’s not going anywhere. When you have a reasonable expectation that this lead can become a customer, you will “Convert” the lead to a Potential by clicking on the Convert button.
Once you convert a Lead to a Potential (or add one in right away as a Potential), you have to set the stage of the sales process that you’re at: Prospecting, Qualification, Needs Analysis, Value Proposition, etc. By selecting the stage, a percentage is assigned to the potential that represents the probability that the sale will close and you will convert the potential into a customer. I have found the Stages to be reasonable for what I do but you can always change the stages and assign different percentages to each. You also set the Expected Revenue and the Close Month of the sale. This helps to forecast revenue using the percentage to close and the revenue. Once you close the potential, you Convert them to a Contact.
Accounts are your customers at a company level (i.e. Acme, Corp). Contacts are the employees that you talk to within that company. You can have many Contacts per company, which is nice for consolidating data and allowing for multiple salespeople to have their own Contacts at the same company. You won’t create a lead from your Contacts because they’re already customers but when you’re working a sale with the Contact, you can create a Potential and assign that Contact to the Potential (right on the Create Potential form).
Zoho CRM Tips
I have a couple of quick tips that you can use to make your Zoho CRM experience a little better.
- On each view (Leads, Potentials, Contacts, etc.) you can click on the “View” drop-down to select or customize a different view. This is then set as default so you can easily change it to show something like all of your open leads only.
- You can add custom fields and add/change values in drop-downs for every field. Go to the Setup menu item and select the type you want to edit.
- You can create a web-to-lead form to automatically add leads from your website and through their API (Application Programming Interface), you can integrate it into your existing contact forms, which we have used with great success.
- With the Professional edition, you can create Workflow rules that automatically assign a lead to a sales person based on a set of rules.
- You can always assign a lead or other type to another sales person by going to that lead and clicking on edit Owner.