Businesses spend a lot of money, time, and effort to bring leads into the sales funnel. Despite those efforts, research
shows that about 24% of U.S. companies take about 24 hours on average to make their first move toward a lead—just enough time to turn those onboarded leads cold. There could be any number of reasons for this tardiness, like a shortage of employees, overloaded sales reps, or inefficient process management, but as we examine these causes, we find that the underlying problem is always about record ownership
—either the lack of it or inaccuracy in it.
is an important determinant of successful lead turnover in a business. That's the first step, in fact. To whom is a lead assigned? Is that record relevant to the sales rep's territory? Does it match the rep's skill? Is the rep available to handle this record end-to-end? These are among the many different parameters one has to consider when assigning records, and that's why we have assignment rules
in Zoho CRM.
Watch this video to learn more about Zia's Automation Suggestions which include workflow suggestions, macro suggestions and record-owner suggestions.
Assignment rule is an automation feature that enables businesses to assign records in every module automatically based on certain conditions. You can assign records to the following:
- A default user, role, or group
- Users who satisfy certain criteria
to learn more.
In addition to this automation feature, you can also benefit from Zia's record owner suggestions for incoming records.
Zia's record owner suggestions
Zia is Zoho's AI-powered assistant. By nature, it can learn from historical data, compare configurations, and compute different findings. You can read more about Zia's capabilities here
Zia observes your organization's record management pattern and takes all of the following parameters into consideration when suggesting an appropriate record owner:
Zia skims your records and identifies existing record assignment patterns. Let's say you assign records based on product type and customers' geographic locations. For example:
- Customers from New Jersey who are interested in mutual funds are assigned to Catherine Ross.
- Customers from Georgia who are interested in corporate fixed deposits are assigned to Roxanne Murphy.
Zia observes this pattern and suggests an ideal user if the incoming records match similar conditions.
Reps' everyday activities
Zia also observes the type of communications users most often perform—emails or phone calls—and determines the user's preferred mode of communication based on these observations.
For example, if User A mostly manages email communication, then the records that have a value in the email field will be assigned to User A. Similarly, if the email field is empty and phone number field has a value, then that record will be assigned to a user that mostly manages calls.
Online status of users
While setting the assignment rule, if you check the "user availability before assigning record" option, Zia will take into consideration a user's online status—namely, if the user is logged in to CRM or not. If the user is not logged in, the record will be assigned to the default user.
Zia also suggests users based on the number of records they manage per day. For example, if User A manages 50 customers per day and User B manages 30, Zia will check if they've reached their maximum limit before suggesting an assignment. Zia calculates the threshold limit and suggests users who have fewer records per their daily limit—all to avoid overloading users.
In order for Zia to predict the record assignment pattern in the organization, there must be at least 1,000 records present in the module you are creating the rules for.
Assess and moderate Zia's assignment patterns
You can assess and moderate Zia's assignment patterns from the "Zia" tab near Assignment rules. This summary page displays a report of Zia's assignments so far and the patterns it observed in order to assign them.
The Zia tab is accessible only to CRM administrators.
Zia suggested owner - Reports
This section gives a quick look at the records Zia has assigned and the records manually reassigned later by CRM users, for different time periods. These two components can be compared against each other so you can understand if and why Zia's assignment was overridden. You can click on the number of records within each component to see those records.
If a record was assigned by Zia, you can see Zia's icon next to the record owner's name. On hover, you can also look at the fields Zia factored in for that suggestion.
How does Zia form a pattern to assign owners to a record?
Zia determines a pattern from the existing data and uses it to assign the most appropriate owner for a record. The following factors influence this reasoning:
Fields contributing to Zia's prediction
Let's say you assign leads from Region A to Peter and Region B to Mark. Also, you like to assign leads from the IT industry only to Peter and the ones that belong to Telecom industry to Mark.
Now, if your organization has used the above pattern for all the leads that show interest in your business, then Zia will identify the region and industry as the two main fields that influence the lead assignment.
Let's say most of the leads don't mention their industry at first and the field is therefore empty. In that case, they'll automatically be assigned based on the region to which they belong. In that case, Zia will give more weight to the region—because region becomes the deciding factor for lead assignment in absence of industry.
So based on the above data, Zia will list out the fields that determine the prediction and score for each field.
- CRM users can't add new fields to the contributing list, as Zia derives these automatically based on the pattern.
- If you don't want Zia to consider a field when predicting the assignment pattern, you can uncheck it.
- If you think Zia's suggestion is inappropriate, you can reassign the record to other user.
- In the future, if you add any other field to the assignment rule criteria (for example, besides region and industry, you might also use "city" as a criterion), then during periodic updates Zia will use this field (city) as one of the determining factors. You can then view the field among the list of contributing fields.
- The data will be updated automatically every month. The last updated date and time will be displayed. You can't refresh this data manually. However, if a user modifies data in any of the contributing fields, the algorithm will be refreshed automatically after some time.
Determining the user's pattern
For determining the user's pattern, Zia will pick all the contributing fields and their corresponding values to find the suitable match.
For example, let's say Peter is assigned leads that meet the below criteria:
- Belong to IT industry
- From Region A
- City is New York
- Bill amount is more than $10,000 USD
Similarly, let's say you have other assignment rule criteria based on bill amount, such that some leads match these criteria:
- Belong to IT industry
- From Region A
- City is New York
- Bill amount is less than $10,000 USD
Let's say leads matching this criteria are assigned to Amelia, James, and Parker in a round-robin fashion.
Likewise you may have more such criteria with different values in the contributing fields to determine which user will be assigned a particular lead. For example:
- Bill amount = $10,000, city = New York
- Industry = IT, bill amount = $10,000, and city = Chicago
- Industry = Telecom, bill amount > $50,000, and city = New York
Zia considers all of these data types to draw a rough pattern that shows if the contributing field is x and its corresponding value is y, and so on, then A, B, and C users may be the eligible record owners.
The results are grouped under two categories:
Criteria view: Based on certain criteria a particular user will be suggested as the record owner.
User view: For each CRM user, Zoho CRM will display the records that best suit them.
Aside from the contributing fields and their values, another influencing factor is the record threshold, which takes into account the ideal number of records that a particular user is assigned per day, week or month.
Check Zia suggested owner
Patterns are how Zia identifies and understands how records have been historically assigned in an organization. Zia understands patterns by observing the characteristics of fields repeated in records. In the Determining the user's pattern section, you saw how patterns are documented by Zia. However, if you wish to test Zia's assignment, you can prompt Zia with desired field characteristics and see which owner Zia is suggesting and based on which conditions. This is like a sandbox environment in which you can assess Zia's assignment capabilities.
It lists the contribution factors Zia uses in its predictions. If you give a value, Zia will suggest users to whom a given record should be assigned. The higher the score, the higher the probability Zia will assign the record to that user.
Determining the user threshold
The user threshold is the number of records a CRM user usually handles everyday. It helps Zia determine a pattern and calculate the ideal threshold.
For example, let's say Peter is assigned the following number of leads each day in a week:
- Monday - 30
- Tuesday - 35
- Wednesday - 40
- Thursday - 25
- Friday - 15
Zia identifies the number of records assigned per day in each week and estimates the ideal number of leads that can be assigned to Peter on a Monday, Tuesday, etc.
Similarly, if Peter is always assigned 30 leads per week and Mark is always assigned 35 leads per week, Zia will recognize the pattern and calculate the threshold for both users.
This computation will help Zia avoid overloading or under-loading a user with too many or too few records. It will always take the user's threshold into account before suggesting them as potential record owners.
For example, if User A has 90% probability to be a record owner and User B has 70% probability, but User A has reached their daily threshold, then despite the lesser probability, User B will be chosen as the record owner.
Also, if you have configured individual threshold limits for a user under the "threshold" tab, then instead of computing, Zia will rely on those limits while choosing owner for a record.
Points to remember
- Zia can suggest a record owner only if the CRM account has at least 1,000 records in a module for the past six months.
- The CRM account must have more than one user and the records should be assigned based on criteria in order for Zia to understand the existing pattern.
- Zia takes into account past six months of data to compute reasoning and draw patterns. We recommend that you periodically check your account to get rid of redundant, inaccurate, and duplicate data in order to achieve accurate predictions.
In some cases, if the contributing fields lack values or have values that occur less frequently, Zia won't be able to generate scores for such fields. In that case, the score will be displayed as inconclusive.
- If the admin doesn't have permissions for a certain contributing field, the field value will be represented with three asterisks (***).
Enable owner suggestions by Zia
If Zia's record owner suggestions are enabled, as you create a record, Zia will suggest a more suitable record owner than the one that is already set in CRM and will display the confidence percentage and the factors based on which the suggestion is displayed. You can either retain the existing owner or accept Zia's suggestion.
View Zia's reasoning
- Go to Setup > Automation > Assignment rule > Zia.
Select the module (custom or standard) for which you want to see Zia's reasoning.
Toggle the duration of Zia's suggested owner - Reports to view records Zia has assigned.
- Under Fields contributing to Zia's prediction, uncheck the fields that you don't want Zia to consider and click Save Changes.
- To test Zia's assignment in real time, click on the Check button under Check Zia suggested owner.
- Under User pattern determined by Zia, filter using the user name to find the respective pattern.
- Under User threshold determined by Zia, filter using the user name to find the respective pattern.
- Select the Enable owner suggestions by Zia checkbox to receive owner suggestions during record creation.
- Click Add users to add users/profile/groups and click Save. When Zia suggests owners, it will pick from this pool of added users.