How our tailor-made sales solution helps convert those all-important leads

by Jenna Wojcik

This past year, I kept running into a common complaint among ion8 clients – the Zoho CRM was  allowing users to  convert leads, without actually checking if they qualified. Strong leads and non-starters alike were being funneled into  the sales pipeline and added to the system by default.

You’ve probably heard the phrase, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. When a client needs something, we start inventing.

Putting our heads together with ion8’s in-house developers, we’ve replaced Zoho’s out-of-the-box convert button with a new feature. A bigger, better button that operates from a pre-programmed criteria so you decide what makes a good lead, and what doesn’t make the grade.

While the Zoho button automatically converts leads into accounts, contacts and  deals, our button checks your lead against your sales criteria. If it ticks all the boxes, it’s converted as a qualified lead. If it doesn’t, you’ll get a prompt alerting you to that fact and urging you to address the missing details.

And, of course, that criteria is entirely up to you. Each client draws up their own list of what a qualified lead looks like – whether that’s based on how many times you’ve communicated with that contact, their authority, their budget or their timeline.

Our new and improved custom button also offers a standardized naming convention so you can easily identify your accounts. These can be categorized by date, project, or department. Whatever works best for your team.

Tailored for training

In the months since we launched this new feature, we’ve received unanimously positive feedback. Clients are now confident that leads won’t be converted before they’re ready and sales have become more streamlined as a result.

It also has huge potential as a training tool. Now new members of a sales team have an easy way of seeing at a glance what makes a qualified lead. And it operates as a gentle reminder that they may have skipped a step. The button feature isn’t saying ‘you can’t convert’, it’s saying ‘here’s why you can’t convert’, and that has obvious educational benefits.

The beauty of our button is that it forces your staff to drill down into what a qualified lead looks like, and what they need to get from their conversations with potential clients. 

For example, if authority is a part of the criteria, your sales people know they need to establish that from the outset, determining that the person they’re speaking to has the authority to proceed with the deal. As any sales team can tell you, that’s the kind of small but important detail that’s good to know upfront rather than two weeks into the sales process.

No more wasting time on dud accounts that lead nowhere. No more nasty surprises right before closing. Your laser-focused team can now approach every account armed with all the information they need for the best chance of success.

Adapting your tools to meet your needs

Every company is different, and every sales department is different. Sometimes the standard applications can only take you so far and you need a bit of wiggle room. Zoho offers a lot of ability to customize so that, within limitations, you can make your system do almost anything.

This flexibility is important. Customizing your operations makes them more productive, more efficient and ultimately more profitable. Even the seemingly simple tweaks, like our button, can make a huge difference.

Zoho’s out of the box features may be more than adequate most of the time, but that doesn’t mean you won’t encounter moments of frustration when you realize a product isn’t doing exactly what you want it to do.

Those moments are where the magic happens. That’s when we get to work, marshaling our coding expertise and industry knowledge to deliver client-driven solutions to client problems.

As ion8’s leading Zoho consultant and solution implementation expert, Jenna has nearly a decade of experience ensuring success for our clients. She has executed many installations and customization of all apps in the Zoho One ecosystem, including Zoho CRM.