How to use Zoho Page Layouts for your Multifaceted Business

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What is Page Layouts?

Does your business have different product departments and/or multiple sales processes? You can benefit from Zoho’s new feature – Page Layouts – available in enterprise editions of Zoho CRM 2016.

Page Layouts lets you create multiple sales processes within one CRM. You will be able to create one layout for each sales process, having its own fields, records, views, workflows, reports, and dashboards.  You will be able to assign layouts to users, and set their permissions.

In essence, Page Layouts lets you do what previously you would have needed either another CRM for, or a mess of a solution inside an existing CRM, with duplicate fields, redundant fields, etc.

Why is Page Layouts useful?

To explain the usefulness of Page Layouts, it’s best if we dive into an example, and present a solution.

Let’s say we have a business called TrustIntact Insurance.TrustIntact is an insurance company providing car insurance, and general business liability. The issue is that car insurance is mainly dealing with individuals, and business liability is mainly dealing with businesses.  TrustIntact has different departments for car insurance, and business liability. Each department needs to capture different types of information, and has its own workflows, alerts and reports.

A few challenges are as follows:

  • The car insurance needs five lead statuses, and the business liability department needs eight. Some of these lead statuses trigger a workflow and email to leads, customised for the department.
  • There are different lead sources for each department
  • Most of the fields and custom fields are relevant to both departments. However, some fields are pertinent to car insurance (car make, car model, year, kilometres travelled), and some are applicable for the business liability only (business revenue, business net profit, ABN, etc).
  • There are different individuals working on each business department, and they don’t need to see the information of the other department

Below we will detail how to solve these challenges with Page Layouts.

How to set up a Page Layout

  1. Go to Setup -> Customisation -> Modules -> Leads.
  2. On the top right, click “Create New Layout”.
  3. Create the layout for “Car Insurance” with 5 lead statuses, specific lead sources, car make, car model, year, and other necessary fields.
  4. Save the layout, and assign it to a “Car Insurance” profile. This profile must be created prior to creating the Page Layout.
  5. Do the same for “Business liability”, but assign it to a “Business liability” profile.
  6. We have now created two profiles, one for each department in TrustIntact.
  7. Next, go to layouts.
  8. On the right of the screen, click “Layout Assignment”.
  9. Here we can set Car Insurance as the default layout for the car insurance profile, and Business liability as the default layout for the business liability profile. This means when a new lead is created, depending on the profile, it will default to a certain layout. So the car insurance sales representatives will automatically have the Car Insurance layout when adding new leads.

Next we can create views for each different department.

  1. Go to Leads, click the dropdown on the top left, and click “Create View”.
  2. Set the criteria “Layout” is “Car Insurance”
  3. Add necessary columns
  4. Add other criteria as required
  5. Share the view to a group of Car Insurance users
  6. Save the view
  7. Create a similar view for Business Liability.

Similarly, we can create workflows for each different department. All we need to do is set the workflow rule “Layout” is “Car Insurance” for Car Insurance, and “Layout” is “Business liability” for Business Liability workflows.

General tips

  • The “Layout” field which is automatically created and populated is very useful, and should always be kept in mind. With the “Layout” field, we can create customised workflows, views, reports, lead assignment rules, auto follow rules, approval process automation, etc.
  • User profiles and groups should be created before creating layouts, as layouts can then be assigned to certain profiles, and views can be made visible to certain groups.
  • Page Layouts is a very flexible tool provided by Zoho, it can be used for much more (or much less) than was detailed in this article. It’s possible to run a whole subsidiary company inside the same CRM, with staff working independently, and management able to oversee all relevant data.
  • You can rename the standard layout to something else, and use it as your base. Then clone it off into other layouts.

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