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Workflow Rule in Zoho CRM

A set of actions (email notifications, tasks and field updates) executed when a particular condition is met is called a workflow rule. These rules automate sending email notifications, assigning tasks and updating specific fields of a record when a rule is triggered.


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The following features of the workflow rule in Zoho CRM are

  1. Specify basic details on the record type for which the rule applies, rule name, description.

  2. Identify when the rule should be triggered for a record and based on what.

  • Rules can be triggered based on the record's action, i.e. when records are created, edited, created/edited, deleted, or updated specific fields.

  • Records that match the criteria will get the rule triggered either monthly or yearly based on the value of the selected date.

  • Based on a record's score, rules can be triggered when the score of a record is either increased, decreased or updated.

  • Rules can be triggered based on the recommendation in the record, i.e. after or before the day of recommendation.

Workflow Condition in Zoho CRM


One can create multiple conditions in the workflow rule. Each condition consists of two features. The first is specifying which record should be triggered, i.e. all records or the records that match the criteria. The second is adding the criteria for which it should be triggered. If there are multiple conditions, then the record will be validated against the criteria mentioned in each condition and when it meets a criteria, and other conditions will be ignored for validation.


The following options help you define the records that are to be triggered.

  • Rules will be triggered if all records match the criteria.

  • The rule will be triggered for all the records.

  • Records that do not meet any of the above conditions, this option is available from second condition onwards instead of all records.

Actions to be automated if the record meet the set criteria.


Instant Actions


Records that will be triggered immediately when the rule is executed is called Instant actions. Email notifications, tasks, field updates, webhooks, and custom functions, create a record and send notifications via Cliq, Slack, or Cisco Webex. These are the actions that will trigger the record.

Scheduled Actions


Scheduled actions are adding email notifications, tasks, field updates, webhooks, custom functions, and send notifications via Cliq, Slack or Cisco that will be scheduled and triggered based on a specified time.

Part 1 - Create Workflow Rules in Zoho CRM


You can create a workflow rule by entering the basic details.

  1. Go to Setup > Automation > Workflow Rules.

  2. In the Workflow Rules page, click Create Rule.


Part 2 - Specify the rule trigger



There are options based on which the rule will be triggered for a record that meets the rule criteria. Note that you cannot edit the rule once set.


  • Rules can be triggered when records are created, edited, created/edited, deleted, or specific fields are updated i.e. based on record's action.

  • Rules can be triggered on a particular date by choosing the Date field option.

  • Rules can be triggered when the score of a record is either increased, decreased or updated.

  • Rules can be triggered before, after or on the day of recommendation.


Execute Based on Record Action


The execution option let's you specify an action (Create, Edit, Delete, etc.) based on which workflow rules will be triggered.

If the option is unchecked


When the Budgeted Cost of the Campaign is greater than 5000 $ > Send email notification to the Manager. The message has to be sent only when a Campaign is edited and the value for 'Budgeted Cost of Campaign' is set to more than 5000$. Once the value is set and the user edits the record or modifies some field, this notification need not be sent (Though the current value for Budgeted Cost is greater than 5000$).

If the option is checked


When a Deal stage is 'In evaluation > Send email notification to the Manager. For every edit, irrespective of whether a change is made to the 'Deal stage' or not, email notification must be sent to the Manager.




Execute Based on Date or Date-Time Field's Value


This execution option let's you pick a date field from a record and allows you to define the day for the rule to be triggered. A maximum of 3000 records will be triggered every hour. If there are more than 3000 records, the remaining records will be executed in the next hour. This option is available only in the Enterprise Edition.



Execute Based on Record's Score


Rules can be triggered when the score of a record is either increased, decreased or updated.


You can also set the rule for the score based on the score of the record.


Execute Based on Recommendation


Automatic actions can be performed on the records before, after or on the recommendation day.

Part 3 - Create a workflow condition


Multiple conditions in a workflow rule will help the record that met the specified criteria and the ones that do not and have cases to have clearly defined action items.


there will be three options you will have to choose one

  1. The rule will be triggered only for those records that match the given criteria

  2. The rule will be triggered for all the records.

3. Instead of AllRecords, this option will be available from the second condition.


Edit Criteria Patterns


Using simple logical operators like and/or in the Criteria Pattern Editor will help you develop the advanced filters.

You can use the following characters in the Criteria Pattern Editor:

  • Round brackets: ( )

  • and/or operators

  • Criteria Row Number


since the criteria pattern will be automatically set as


you can change the pattern if it does not match the requirement.





Part 4 - Associate instant and scheduled actions

Actions once created can be associated with many rules. Activities like email notifications, tasks, field updates, webhooks, custom functions can be grouped under actions tabs that can either be Instant or Scheduled actions. A workflow rule is meaningful only if an action is associated with it.

Associate Actions to Rules


Add Instant Actions


You can either create actions and associate them with the rule or select an existing action and associate it with the rule.


Instant action includes email notifications, tasks, field updates, webhooks, custom functions, and record creation that are triggered immediately when the rule is executed.

Record Creation as Instant and Scheduled Action.


You can configure an instant or scheduled action to create records when the criteria are met.

  1. You can create a deal if the contact status is changed to interested.

  2. You can create a case a day after the customer inquiry is made.

Records can be created in both standard and custom modules.





You can create a record from the drop down of instant actions.



Adding Tags for convert instant action


You can add tags to a particular module which can be carried away during the conversion.




Add Scheduled Actions


You can schedule the actions that has to be triggered based on the Rule Trigger Time.


For scheduling actions, You can either create activities and associate them with the rule or select an existing action and associate it with the rule.



Email notifications, tasks, field updates, tags, webhooks, and functions are the scheduled actions that are triggered at a specified time after the rule is executed.

Add Custom Actions


You can create a custom action and associate it with the workflow rule. Sometimes more than the default ones in the Zoho crm, you will have to create actions that are required for your business purpose.

Here are a few examples of custom actions.

  • Say a user does not want to receive further promotional emails of a particular product, so you check the Email opt-out option in CRM. You can write a custom action that will automatically mark an unsubscribe option in MailChimp, so you don't have to update in both places.

  • Imagine sending the shipping details of products to your customers who have booked the products online. You can use custom action and associate it with the workflow to send out SMS notifications automatically.

Custom action will considerably reduce the effort when an action is frequently used.

Instances when the scheduled actions will be rescheduled:


The Execution Criteria for the Rule is either Edit or Create or Edit. If the rule criteria is satisfied for a record, then the instant actions are triggered, and scheduled actions are scheduled. But If the user edits the record, and if the record and rule criteria are not fulfilled, then the scheduled actions will be deleted, If the record is edited again and if the criteria are satisfied, then the scheduled actions will be rescheduled.

But for scheduled actions, If a user edits the record to change the date & time field value, the scheduled actions will be rescheduled as per the new date & time value.

Instances when scheduled actions will be deleted or not be rescheduled:


Following here are the seniors where scheduled actions will be deleted or not be rescheduled:

  • If the Enterprise Edition is downgraded to the Free Edition, all the scheduled actions that are scheduled for the record will be deleted.

  • If Execution Criteria for the Rule comes to play, then the scheduled actions will not be scheduled again. i.e. If a user edits the record, but the rule criteria are not fulfilled.

  • When records are deleted, the scheduled actions will not be rescheduled even if the deleted records are restored.

Instances when the Scheduled actions will not be executed:


scheduled actions will not be executed if

  • If the lead is converted

  • If the event gets cancelled.


Lock Workflow Rules


Zoho crm gives you an option to lock the workflow rule. No one edits a workflow rule unless it's absolutely necessary. Once it's locked, a message is sent out to all the users that they are not allowed to edit it unless it is necessary.



How to reorder workflow rules?


You can reorder the workflow rule by selecting the module you want to reorder, then reorder using the drag and drop option as shown in the video.




Hence these are the features of workflow rule in Zoho CRM that help you ease your workflow process.


We can help you design a customised, scalable CRM - offer training and one-on-one support on-demand before and after the implementation. We could speed up the sales pipeline by tailoring data-driven automated marketing campaigns while generating new leads with effective workflows.


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