Zoho CRM Blueprint 3.0 — What's in store for you!

Zoho CRM Blueprint 3.0 — What's in store for you!

Hello everyone,

We hope all of you are doing well. We are excited to let you know that we have launched a set of useful enhancements in Blueprint. Here is a rather elaborate post on what those enhancements are and what to expect. Feel free to get back to us with any questions you may have.

Summary of enhancements:

  1. SLAs now support automated actions apart from existing default email alerts.
  2. "Same-state looping" has been introduced.
  3. The During Transition settings now let you mandate Tags.
  4. Introducing Automatic Transitions (Early access only*):
    Avoid process delays by automatically pushing records from one state to another after the passage of an acceptable time period.
  5. Introducing Mass Inclusion/Exclusion of records (Early access only*):
    Whether you want to include records into a Blueprint or take them out of one, you can now do so in bulk.

1. Automated actions now supported in SLAs.

SLA or Service Level Agreement in Blueprint, is a setting that enables you to keep a track of records that are falling behind in a process. How is this done?

By triggering a standard escalation alert to yourself or your team members, whenever a record has rested in a particular Blueprint State for more than a defined period. This way, you can take note of records that have stalled within a Blueprint and take further action on them before further delay.

Now in addition to standard email alerts, you can also now configure custom email notifications, tasks, field updates, run a custom function, or trigger a webhook as part of automated actions in SLAs.

For example, let's say that as per your process, you want to be alerted whenever a record has stayed in the Negotiation State for more than 5 days. For this, apart from the the default email alert you can choose to automate a field update where a field called "Urgency" gets updated from "Mild" to "Severe" whenever a record has stayed in the Negotiation state for more than 5 days. Later you can filter out records for which the urgency is severe and prioritise their transitions first.

2. Same-state looping

A process often contains steps which you have to attempt multiple times for it to be successful. A typical example would be an attempt to contact a customer. In order to gather their requirements you will have to call them. But often they may be unavailable or may ask you to call later. Unless you speak to them you cannot go to the next stage, so you have to stay in the same State until they answer. However your staying in the same state doesn't also mean you did not do your job — you just have to try multiple times until you are successful.

In such cases, you can now create a transition that "loops back" to the same stage. The From and To state is the same. For example, in the following deal follow-up process, you can use the "Retry contacting" transition infinite number of times, until you are successful in which case you will select Customer Available and progress further.

3. Mandate tags in the During Transition settings

You may now mandate tags as part of the During Transition section of a Blueprint. The transition owner would then be prompted to enter a value for tags in order to complete the transition.

4. Automatic transitions

Automatic transitions have been introduced in Blueprints, to help you combat process delays. Often, a record that traverses through a process tends to stagnate in a particular state and you may not even realise it. This causes unwarranted delays. One thing you can certainly do is set an SLA for the state and be notified whenever there's an escalation.

But ultimately, SLA is also a notification or a task/field update of sorts— the record at the end of the day, needs your manual intervention in order to progress further in the process. If you only want to be notified of escalations, you may configure SLAs. On the other hand, if you want the system to act and automatically move a record from one state to another at any point, you can now create automatic transitions.

So what are automatic transitions and how do they work?

An automatic transition is one in which a record in a Blueprint automatically moves from one state to another, after a specified "Wait" time has elapsed.
As per the process, in order for a record to go from State A to State B, you will have to perform a Transition A. If this Transition A has not been executed within a said time period, say, 5 days, then the Automatic Transition configured for that state will get executed and the record will be pushed forward automatically to another state in the Blueprint as per the configuration.

For instance, in the following screenshot, CRM will wait for one of the transitions to take place: Either "Confirm Interest" or "Drop deal". If no action is taken on this record until a said date, the record will be moved to the "Price Quote" stage automatically and the users can take it up from there.

To configure an automatic transition

Select the Automatic Transition checkbox as you create a regular transition.

Then, mention a "Wait time" and corresponding automated actions.

According to the following screenshot, the deal follow-up process flow has a handful of major steps to be performed before a price quote can be drafted — namely, Contact establishment, qualification, needs analysis and value proposition. If a particular deal has moved to the "Contacted" stage but the user has not taken the action required for Qualification, Blueprint will wait for 5 days and directly move it to the "Id.Decision Makers" state. From there the user concerned can take over drafting a price quote.

A price quote cannot be created without knowing requirements, contact details etc, so there the action items from previous states can also be done altogether at this point, without wasting any more time.

5. Mass Inclusion and Exclusion of records to a Blueprint

While creating a Blueprint for a module, you have the option to specify entry criteria. When you specify one, only records that meet these criteria can go through with the Blueprint.

Well, an important point to note is, only records that henceforth meet the criteria can go through with the Blueprint. So what about existing records? How can you get already existing records that qualify for the Blueprint into the Blueprint.

That is where the mass inclusion of records come in. With this enhancement, you can easily include a bulk of records by specifying your desired criteria. All you need to do is go to Bulk Include > define conditions to pull out the records you have in mind > click Include.

Also, if you have the need to "exclude" records in bulk from an existing blueprint, you can filter them out in a similar way.

When is it ideal to include/ exclude records in bulk?

  • Bulk inclusion: When you have created a new Blueprint and you have existing records that qualify to enter the Blueprint, you can include them in bulk.
  • Bulk exclusion: When you want to push records from one Blueprint to another, or you want to disassociate the records from a Blueprint altogether.
We hope you find these updates useful. If you have any questions or suggestions on this subject, please let us know by commenting below.

(*) Early access: Automatic Transitions and Mass inclusion/exclusion of records are early access features which will be enabled for those who have request them. This will be done in batches. 

If you are interested in gaining early access to these two features: SUBMIT YOUR REQUEST HERE. 

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