The next stop on the experience express - Zoho CRM Winter '21

Experience has been at the core of Zoho CRM since its inception in 2005, and every update improves experience for both our end users and their customers. Earlier this year, we introduced Canvas to let users craft their own CRM experience. Now we’re continuing this journey with the introduction of client scripts, a pro-code tool to help enterprises build their own hyper-personalized, bespoke CRM.

These two updates have redefined the CRM experience for both users and customers and we are building on top of the foundation we’ve laid for CX and UX with our Zoho CRM Winter 2021 release.

What’s new in Zoho CRM?

We’re bringing you a wide array of powerful features like client scripting, multiple sandboxes, multi-org support, an improved forecasting and reporting system, and a lot more to help your business deliver the Gold Standard in customer experience.

Client scripting

Client scripts empower your developers to use JavaScript codes to extend the capabilities of your Zoho Customer Relationship Management system to address niche business needs. Since the scripts are executed completely on the client side, your team can address a wide range of requirements through these low-latency scripts that perform actions like field validation, enrichments, auto-population, computations, and UI actions, as well as trigger widgets, flyouts, and functions as you work with Zoho CRM data.

Omnichannel communication

In today’s hybrid working environment, it’s vital for sales rep to maximize benefits across all channels of communication when engaging with prospects. To build on the robust omnichannel communication platform that’s already part of the Zoho CRM system, we’ve introduced a number of enhancements across our email and telephony systems to help sales teams be more effective.

Add a personal touch to all your emails

Personalized emails are key towards building long-term trust with your clients, so why not add a personal flair to all your emails to define your identity and establish yourself in the minds of your clients? Customize every aspect of your emails from font styles and sizes, to your email signatures for your individual email address and all your email aliases.

Get your business emails into the right hands

Depending on the roles of your CRM users and the nature of your email communications, you may want emails to be available to every user in your CRM, or keep them confidential and only available to a small group of key decision makers. Define your email sharing policy at the organizational level for each role and update the policy for users in bulk, so you can quickly set email sharing permissions for new employees or update them when users move to different roles in your CRM system.

Concurrently connect with multiple telephony vendors

There’s a wide range of reasons, from availability in all the countries you work in to cost of service and more, it’s not always feasible to depend on a single telephony vendor. Multi-vendor telephony support in Zoho CRM gives your business the flexibility to assign individuals or groups of users to different telephony systems and move users between different providers based on your business needs.

Kick off your call strategy with built-in telephony

With Zoho CRM’s built-in telephony system, you don’t have to worry about choosing and integrating a telephony provider. Purchase local or toll-free numbers for the users in your organization and assign unique outgoing numbers to help your sales reps build a personal connection with your customers.

*This feature is being opened in phases

Streamline and manage your sales calls effectively

With our native integration comes the ability for managers to monitor, coach, and help their reps to get better at sales calls. Zoho CRM allows them to keep an eye on how their reps are performing in their active calls, and manage calls that are in the queue waiting. Sales managers can also coach new sales reps as they progress through a call and jump in directly to take the lead when the situation calls for it.

*This feature is being opened in phases


The most successful sales teams are the ones who spend the better part of their day engaging with prospects and closing deals. For these teams, automation becomes an indispensable part of their daily workflow. Here’s what we’ve been working on to help your business automate your process more effectively.

Multiple scoring rules for prioritizing your prospects

Prioritizing prospects and customers to follow up with is one of the most important parts of your sales process. But the same criteria cannot be used to evaluate and score leads for different departments in your business. Set up unique scoring models for different requirements, so each model can have its own set of attributes and engagements that contribute to the score, allowing your sales, marketing, and service teams to identify and prioritize the right leads or customers.

Understand the underlying causes of workflow failures

Workflows are the building blocks that automate your sales processes. When they fail to trigger or don’t operate the way they’re supposed to, it directly impacts the performance of your sales teams and could negatively impact the customer experience. You can now get in-depth information about when and where your workflows fail, and all the records that are affected. Your team can use this data to fix the underlying issues and get your workflows up and running again.

*This feature is being opened in phases


Artificial Intelligence has been slowly integrating itself into the nooks and crannies of various CRM solutions, supporting sales reps with crucial insights to help personalize every interaction with customers, derived from the vast amounts of data stored in your CRM. We have some exciting updates to Zia, Zoho CRM’s AI sales assistant to bring new levels of insights and understanding of your customers, to help build more meaningful and personalized customer relationships.


Better recommendations for improved conversions

With the introduction of Zia’s recommendation last year, we aimed to help businesses make the right pitch to their customers to maximize conversions. This year we’re adding the following capabilities that helps your sales team make the most out of Zia’s recommendations.


Reference customers: Zia will make recommendations to new customers based on the purchase patterns of existing customers with similar profiles and provide relevant reasoning for each recommendation.

Recommendation notifications: Zia will collect information and automatically notify your sales reps when a recommendation is ready, making it easier for them to make pitches based on these recommendations when the time is right.

Automation for your recommendations: Build workflows that can automatically send the right communication to your customers based on Zia’s recommendations. Send the perfect upsell offer to a high-value client whose membership renewal is coming up or send a re-engagement offer to a loyal customer who hasn’t made a purchase in a while, and more.

Let Zia tell you why

Zia offers a wide range of functions to make the life of your sales team easier. Zia predicts, recommends, assigns records, and more but up til now, your team only saw the end result. Now you can get a glimpse into the algorithm black box, so you can see what factors that contributed towards Zia making the recommendations, predictions, and assignments that your team relies on.

Forecasting and performance

Setting meaningful targets and measuring performance against those targets is key to maintaining the long-term health of your business. We’re bringing some exciting changes to our forecasting and reporting systems, as well as introducing new components to help your business get granular when analyzing your business performance.


A new forecasting system built from the ground up

We’ve completely revamped our existing forecasting system to make it more robust and give more control to your business, allowing you to build multiple forecasts for different periods, leverage predictive AI to track where you’ll stand at the end of your forecasting period, and drill down into the data to granularly compare your current performance with previous fiscal years.

Segregate your sales data into zones. Focus on what matters.

When you work with high volumes of sales data, it can often be difficult to visualize the relationship between two dimensions just by looking at raw data in standard two-dimensional charts like bar charts or pie charts. Using the new Zone component displays your data in separate zones so it is easier to understand and analyze the areas that are doing well and the areas that need your attention. 

Unlock a deeper level of intelligence with reports 

The all-new Zoho CRM reports let you analyze, monitor, and track your business health while also providing you with the ammunition you need to make important decisions. The easy-to-use visual builder makes generating complex and precise reports a breeze. Get more granular access to your CRM data by viewing shared entries or unique entries in two or more related modules with the new inclusive/exclusive relationship tool. Expand your perspective and uncover deeper insights into your CRM data by joining multiple reports into one.

Eliminate points of friction for your prospects with webform analytics

Your webforms are often the first point of interaction for prospects in their sales journey. It’s vital to ensure that them submitting their information and being added to your sales cycle is as frictionless as possible. We’ve added a number of analytical charts to help your team measure the drop-off and abandon rates of your webforms across different devices to help you identify and eliminate friction points for your prospects.

User experience

This has long been one of the more forgotten aspects when it comes to CRM solutions. In the pursuit of robust functionality, attractive prices, and strong market presence, businesses often overlook the experience these CRM solutions offer to their daily users. Great user experience naturally translates to better customer experience, as your sales team is more productive and more effective when working with the CRM solution. That’s why  , which lets businesses provide a hyper-personalized CRM experience to their users, and now we’re bringing in a few more intuitive features to build on this strong UX foundation.

Color-coded meetings in calendars

Online meetings have become an integral part of today’s hybrid working model. With sales reps engaging with prospects through online meetings more than ever, it is vital to offer them an easy way to track and prepare for them. Zoho CRM now allows sales reps to color code different meetings based on factors that are important to your business processes, such as whether they’re online or in person. Now, even a quick glance at their calendar gives them a clearer idea of all their upcoming meetings and what they need to prepare for.

Bring a unique visual flair to your tags

When they’re working with hundreds of records everyday, a unique visual identifier makes it easier for your sales reps to search, categorize, prioritize, and segment records efficiently. Associate unique colors with your tags so your sales reps can see details like priority, deal state, associated departments, and more at a glance.

Administrator central

CRM administrators have one of the most challenging jobs: keeping your CRM system running like a well-oiled machine. We’ve brought some exciting updates to make their jobs easier with the winter 2021 release.


Access multiple CRM accounts with a common set of credentials

You can associate a user with multiple CRM accounts to allow business owners, upper management, and decision makers to manage multiple businesses or business units with ease. Users can switch between accounts quickly to make it easier to access key business data to help them understand growth and derive insights which can be used to prepare reports, agendas, and ideas for future planning, all with a single set of login credentials.

A new and improved testing environment for your customization

Sandboxes are essential in a CRM for testing and pushing error-free customization to your live production account. We’ve added a number of features to our existing sandbox to help your developers be more effective when building and testing out customization. This includes the ability to run multiple sandboxes, import all or only some settings, import sample or partial production data, and a unified deployment log to track your changes from all your sandboxes.

You can sign up for a free trial of Zoho CRM here and experience these features for yourself. We look forward to hearing your thoughts and feedback on these new features in the comments and on all the social media platforms.



4 Replies to The next stop on the experience express - Zoho CRM Winter '21

    1. Hey Scott, Apart from the features that are marked as being released in phases, you should be able to access all the features if your current edition of Zoho CRM supports it. If you are an existing user, then the new reporting and forecasting system might not be accessible yet as we need to migration to the new flow. Hope this helps!

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