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Customer Relationship Management or CRM

Customer relationship management is all about communication. That’s why one of the most appealing features of Microsoft Dynamics CRM is how easily and thoroughly it integrates with Outlook. Sure, other CRM systems have integration with Outlook as well, but Microsoft products always play better together than they do with the other kids.

In this edition of the CRM Startup Series we’re going to show you what the integration looks like and how it makes using CRM as easy as using Outlook.

Track & Set Regarding

The most common question we get about Dynamics CRM is how it knows which emails to track. (After all, you may not want to track emails from your Grandma.) That’s handled by two simple buttons you’ll see added to your Outlook once you – or your CRM partner – have installed the CRM Outlook Connector.

The first button is Track. When drafting or replying to an email you can tell Dynamics CRM to track it by clicking this button. Once an email has been tracked it, and all subsequent replies, will be stored in CRM as activities. Once an email is tracked, you can ‘Untrack’ it at any time and subsequent emails will be ignored by CRM. After all, the whole sales team doesn’t need to know where you’re playing golf this weekend.

The second addition CRM makes to Outlook is the ‘Set Regarding’ button. This tells your CRM where to store whatever you track. You can Set Regarding contacts, accounts, leads, opportunities and other entities within CRM.

Of course, Outlook isn’t just about email and neither is CRM. You can also Track and Set Regarding appointments and tasks. Basically, it allows you to conduct business as usual while providing a direct line to CRM to make everything visible and trackable.

Inserting Content from CRM

Dynamics CRM is a great repository for sales collateral and customer service knowledge. It also allows you to build templates for common email scenarios. Finally, it makes it really simple to attach all of the above to any Outlook email.

Once an email has been tracked you’ll have the option insert templates – complete with subject lines, formatted body text and attached files – sales literature and knowledge base articles. It’s as easy as pulling a file from a desktop or shared drive but it’s centrally managed, so you know you’re pulling the right document. And if you’ve got SharePoint, the integration goes even deeper.

Connecting Dynamics CRM to Outlook takes a few minutes but it will save you hours in lost productivity in your first year alone. So, whether you’re using Outlook as your CRM or have a CRM that doesn’t play nicely with Microsoft, there’s an opportunity to do more without changing how you do.

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