FAQs on Blueprint in Zoho CRM

FAQs: Blueprint

What is a Blueprint and how it is useful for my business?

Blueprint in Zoho CRM is a sophisticated tool designed to digitally replicate and streamline a business's offline processes within the CRM software. It's particularly beneficial for companies with defined sales processes that require strict adherence. The core functionality of Blueprint revolves around improving the efficiency of these processes by providing a structured and systematic approach to managing them.

The main features and benefits of Blueprint in Zoho CRM include:
  1. Systematic Process Design and Execution : Blueprint allows you to define each stage of a business process, ensuring that they are executed in a well-organized and systematic manner. This structure is crucial for maintaining consistency and efficiency, especially in complex or large-scale operations.
  2. Guiding Teams Through Processes : It provides clear guidance to teams throughout the execution of various processes. This includes setting up stages like lead qualification, deal follow-up, and order management, ensuring that all team members are on the same page and following the same procedures.
  3. Automation of Routine Actions : Blueprint can automate routine actions such as sending email notifications, assigning tasks, or updating fields, which significantly reduces manual work and the potential for human error.
  4. Validation of Important Information : It plays a key role in validating crucial information at the right time. This feature helps in avoiding common issues like incorrect customer details or policy violations.
  5. Customizable Transitions and States : The tool is built around the concepts of States and Transitions, where States represent different stages of a process, and Transitions are the conditions that need to be met to move from one State to another.
  6. Efficient Lead Conversion and Tracking : Blueprint makes the lead conversion and tracking process much easier and more efficient. It allows for better planning and allocation of tasks across different teams.
  7. Visual Process Design : You can visually design your processes using the Blueprint editor, which employs a simple drag-and-drop interface, making it user-friendly.
  8. Reports and Analytics : Blueprint also enables the creation of usage reports, providing insights into the effectiveness and efficiency of your processes.
To effectively utilize Blueprint in Zoho CRM, it is essential to understand its building blocks - States and Transitions - and how they work together to create a seamless workflow.

Can I edit a Blueprint stage field to go back to a previous state?

No. If you have built a Blueprint on a certain status field, you cannot edit this field while a record is still in the Blueprint. However you can use a simple workaround to roll back to a previous state.
This answer is provided in two parts. 
  1. Why we do not make the Blueprint fields editable 
  2. Workaround to roll back to previous states. 
The original idea of having a Blueprint is to streamline a process across teams. So when you have set  step by step guidelines, you wouldn't want your teams to deviate from this path. Also, when you have mandated a few fields and attachments in order for a user to move from one state to another, allowing the user to update a Status field without meeting the specifications for that change, would rather beat the purpose. Example, in order for a user to move a deal from Negotiation to Contract, you have mandated NOTES. But the user updates the field value (edit), without providing these notes. Which beats the purpose of having a Blueprint in the first place. This is the reason why, Status fields on top of which you create a Blueprint, are not editable while the record is still in the Blueprint. The system will automatically move the records to subsequent stages as and when you complete the mandatory actions prompted by the system at each stage. 

That said, there could be exceptional cases wherein you may want to move the record to a previous state. This case is being evaluated by our teams and you should have an answer soon. 

Nevertheless, to achieve this, there is a workaround using Common Transitions.

Common Transitions are those that can be reused at any point in the process to get to a certain stage. For instance, in a deal followup process, typically closure of a deal (whether won/lost) happens at the end of the process, after crossing 6-7 steps. But in reality, a customer may express disinterest at any point in the process, not necessarily at the contract stage. So you can have what we call a Common Transition called "Drop Deal", so that this button will be seen at all stages in the process. You can simply perform this transition to mark the deal as lost and get out of the process. 

This common transition can be used as the workaround in your case. 

Step 1: Create your process flow. 
Step 2: Once you are through with all the states and transitions for an ideal scenario, now create a State called "Rolled Back" (you can rename however you please). 
Step 3: Create a transition from any of the states to this "Rolled Back" State. Name the Transition "Roll Back". 
Step 4: Select the Common Transition checkbox. 

Now this "Roll Back" Transition will be available at any stage in the Blueprint. So if you want to edit the Lead Status, click the Roll Back transition, then your record will get out of the Blueprint altogether. 

Now the Lead Status field becomes editable. You can edit the value to choose the desired stage and re-enter the Blueprint from that stage onwards.

I have configured a Blueprint, but records have not entered the process even though they meet the Blueprint criteria. Why?

There can be some reason that your records are not entering the blueprint though they meet the criteria, please check the following:

  • A Blueprint is disabled by default. Make sure that it is enabled. 
  • A Blueprint could be created for specific layouts. Verify if the record in question belongs to the layout specified in the Blueprint settings. 
  • If your Blueprint entry criteria contains an unused State in the Blueprint, the record would have entered the process, but transitions will not be shown for that record, as the State is not even part of the Blueprint. 

If a record meets the criteria of many Blueprints, which one gets executed first?

The order in which the Blueprints have been listed decides the order of execution. If a record meets criteria of multiple Blueprints, whichever Blueprint appears foremost in the list gets executed. You can reorder Blueprints at any time based on which Blueprint should be considered first for execution.

Can I mandate the status update of a task in the 'During Transition' settings?

Yes, you can mandate the status update of a task in the During Transition settings. 
You may click the +Add button and select Task from the list of Associated Items and add Field as Status from the drop-down.

I have assigned a Transition to a specific user but the Transition is visible to other users as well. Why?

A Transition will still be visible to users other than the Transition owner, if the user is on the Administrator profile. 

Can Workflows or Approvals or Assignment rules overwrite Blueprint?

Other than Workflow, no other automation tool can override any action of Blueprint.

Is there a limit to the number of Blueprints, I can create in Zoho CRM?

Yes. Blueprint is available from the Professional Edition onwards of Zoho CRM.
You can check the feature availability and the number of blueprints available in professional, Enterprise and Ultimate editions here.

I have deleted Blueprints associated with a pick-list field, yet I am unable to edit the pick-list values.  

If you wish to edit the values of a pick-list field while you have Blueprints based on it, you will not be able to edit the values until the Blueprint is deleted.
Even after deleting the Blueprint, if you continue to get the error, it means you have records that are part of the Blueprint you just deleted. Either the records must exit the Blueprint, or the records must also be deleted in order for you to edit the pick-list field associated to that Blueprint.

How will I know the number of records that are currently in a Blueprint and how many records have completed processing a Blueprint? 

You can check for these details by going to Setup > Automation > Blueprint > Usage.  
You will not just get reports of how many records are in a Blueprint and how many records have completed processing a Blueprint, but also reports on
  1. Overall Report
  2. Average time per Blueprint
  3. Average time per state
  4. Active records in a Blueprint
  5. Completed records
  6. Transition occurrences
  7. Number of records in a Blueprint
  8. Duration of states

How are Blueprints in Zoho CRM different from Zoho Flow?

Blueprint allows you to create a replica of your offline business process in your CRM. From lead generation to deal closure, an organization follows multiple business processes. You can use blueprints to give your CRM users a guide for how to carry out all the steps in a business process. For example, you need to collect certain documents before sending a quotation to your customer. You can set up a stage in a blueprint that mandates document upload and only the record will only be allowed to move to the next stage (Sending quotation) once the correct documents have been uploaded.

Zoho Flow is an integration platform that helps you connect different applications without using any code. 
For example: Zoho Mail App and Google Calendar. You can use Flow to create a connection between these two platforms that creates an event in Google calendar for every new email that you receive in Zoho Mail.

Is this possible to send email alerts after a transition has taken place in Blueprint?

Yes, you can configure your Blueprint to send email alerts after transitions. You just need to configure the transition by choosing Email Alerts under the After Transition stage of your Blueprint.
Read more about actions that can be automated in the After Transition section here.

If a user doesn't have access to a particular record but is made a transition owner, can that user execute the transition and edit the record too?

Blueprint overrides the field access rights set for a user. For example, if a user has Read-Only access to the Amount field, but needs to execute a Transition that mandates the Amount field, he or she can update the amount while executing the Blueprint transition. At all other times, the user will continue to have Read-Only access to the field.

If a user doesn't have access to a particular record but is made a transition owner, can that user execute the transition and edit the record too?

Blueprint overrides the field access rights set for a user. For example, if a user has Read-Only access to the Amount field, but needs to execute a Transition that mandates the Amount field, he or she can update the amount while executing the Blueprint transition. At all other times, the user will continue to have Read-Only access to the field.

What is a Continuous Blueprint and how is it different from a Regular Blueprint?  

A continuous blueprint allows you to design a process that occurs without any pauses. For example, call scripting.


Differences between Regular Blueprint and Continuous Blueprint.

Regular BlueprintContinuous Blueprint
Process is intermittent. Each stage could occur at different points in time.
Process is continuous. All stages occur at one shot, without a pause.
Different stages of the process can have different owners.
The entire process can have only one ownership.

How can I switch a regular blueprint Blueprint to a continuous Blueprint?

you can simply toggle on the switch beside Continuous button in order to switch from a regular to continuous blueprint. One can also switch it off by toggling it off.

How do I choose the records that should enter a Blueprint that I created?

You can set any entry criteria while creating a Blueprint. Only the records that satisfy these criteria will enter Blueprint in the order in which they are placed under the rule listing page, i.e. under Setup > Automation > Blueprint.

How can I create my own sales process in Zoho CRM?

You can use Blueprint to create your own sales process. Learn more about Blueprint here.

We hope that this list of frequently asked questions about bluprint 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.

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