What is the difference between Workflows for Calls and instant Call Actions | CRM FAQs

What is the key difference between workflow rule for the Calls module and adding Call as an action in a workflow rule?

Creating a workflow automation for the Calls module is for efficient call management within CRM — this will automatically perform actions whenever a call is received, made, missed, or scheduled. This significantly reduces the manual effort required to update or add details about individual calls.

Whereas adding Call to a workflow as an instant action is a part of sales follow-up automation — this triggers a call automatically when the conditions are fulfilled. This increases the sales follow-up rate as it prompts the user to make a call via pop-up notifications, emails, or both.
For example, a tour and travel company called Go India Travels Pvt Ltd. is using Zoho CRM.
  • If they want their sales reps to be notified every time they miss a call, they can set up a workflow rule for the Calls module to help them manage calls.
  • If they want to automatically schedule a sales follow-up call two days after each lead is created, then they can add Call as an instant action in a workflow rule for the Leads module.

Let's look at these two types of workflow in more detail:


As we've seen, there is a big difference between workflows created for the Calls module and using the Call  action in a workflow. The workflow rules you create for the Calls module help automate your call management, making it easier for your reps to stay on top of their calls.
For example, if you forget to call a lead or contact at the scheduled time, the workflow rule will automatically trigger an email or a pop-up message reminding the rep to call the contact or lead that was scheduled for them. This not only reminds them to make the call, but also helps to reduce manual work scheduling calls and checking when calls are due.
However, that's just one example and workflow rules can do a lot more than this and can be customized to fit your exact business needs. Like if a sales rep misses an incoming call, CRM can automatically trigger a notification to their manager.
Workflow rules can also help you follow up on customers. You can set up a workflow rule that triggers a notification at the time the call has been scheduled for or at any other time to alert the rep ahead of the scheduled time, or remind them if they miss it. You could also configure a rule to assign the scheduled call to the contact owner, their supervisor, or the team manager.


In the screenshot above, the name of the rule is highlighted in red, the module each rule has been created for is highlighted in green, and the execution type is highlighted in yellow. The black arrow shows the option to add a new rule.
Now let's look at adding  Call as an action in a workflow rule. An action determines what the automation will to do or perform, which means that adding Call as an action will trigger a call to the contact or lead which the rule applies to. 


When you click on the + Create Rule  option, you will see the screen shown in this screenshot. Here, the red arrow shows that this workflow rule has been created for the  Contacts module.

The box highlighted in red shows, when this rule will be triggered. In this example, the rule will be executed at the time the record is created. It also shows that this event will only be triggered once. You can set the recurrence to the number of times you need the rule to be triggered.
The tab highlighted in orange shows the conditions which determine whether this workflow rule will be triggered.
The tab highlighted in green is the Instant Actions tab which is used to add actions which should be performed immediately when the condition is met. The tab highlighted in yellow is the Scheduled Actions tab which is used to add actions which should be performed at a scheduled delay after the condition is met.


The screenshot above shows the different action types that are available in the Instant Action tab. All these action types are highlighted in red, except for the Function  action which we will be discussing later. You will see that  Call  is not available as an action type. This is because the call key has not yet been enabled in Zoho CRM. We are still testing this integration, and we expect to add it to the available actions soon.
However, if you have a suitable API for calling, you can add it as an action by selecting Function , which is highlighted in green. To learn more about using APIs to schedule calls, refer to this forum post.

Adding  Call as an action can trigger a call to be made at the time specified in the workflow rule to automate call management and help contact owners keep on top of their scheduled calls. 

We hope that this frequently asked question is informative. If you still have questions that haven't been addressed, please let us know here. We will be happy to discuss them with our subject matter experts and add them in the future. And please don't forget to share your rating below!

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