Microsoft has had a strong strategy over its competitors in having several of its products integrate to achieve greater productivity for the average user.
New versions of Microsoft SharePoint, Office, Dynamics NAV, AX, GP and CRM now integrate easier than ever before, allowing organisations to rely less on custom developed code but rather focus on all-round user productivity.
One example of the great integration between the Microsoft products is the Dynamics CRM Outlook Client. It is a great feature that promises increased productivity wherever you may be as a user and actually delivers in terms of various features and benefits.
Features and benefits (as a salesperson) in using the Dynamics CRM Outlook Client
- Centralised point of access to both CRM and Outlook information. This is very handy to many Outlook users as they spend most of their day within the Outlook interface going backwards and forwards between emails. The Outlook Client allows the user to view customer, contact and sales related information from within Outlook itself without the need to launch a separate web browser window.
- The next most important benefit to any user (or me as a salesperson in this example) is that you don’t have to copy paste information from Outlook into CRM. This is where the tracking of emails feature comes in. The Outlook Client allows the user to track every email using the subject line against a sales lead or a sales opportunity.
- Track tasks against customer records. A very handy feature is the ability to synchronise tasks between the Dynamics CRM world and the Microsoft Exchange world. So for example if I had a task which was named “Prepare Proposal for Customer X” in my to do list, I can track that in the CRM as well so that my fellow sales team can have historical access to all the activities that have occurred with Customer X.
- Shortcuts for creating contact records. Let’s say you received an email from a new contact, simply right click and inform the CRM that you want to create the email sender as a new contact and the name and email address are automatically copied across to a new window for saving.
- Shortcuts for creating a lead. When receiving an email enquiry simply right click on the subject and choose to create a lead record. This draws the information from the sender of email into the lead form along with attaching the email itself as a historical activity.
- Easily drop sales material into emails. When drafting and sales emails, the user can select from the literature menu to quickly attach relevant sales materials such as brochures to the relevant email without leaving the Outlook interface. This saves heaps of time when you have tens if not hundreds of product brochures to look through on a file server.
- Offline access to Dynamics CRM data. This is of great benefit to salespeople who are on the road without internet connectivity. It allows the salesperson to read and write to CRM data (within security privileges) while they are off the internet and then synchronising back with the server when they are online again. This is really handy for users who often are drafting emails while in flight and also want to access the various Dynamics CRM features at the same time.
So the overall idea is that having online and offline access to the Dynamics CRM data from within Microsoft Outlook serves not to only save time switching windows back and forward but also opens the door to various speedy shortcuts that every salesperson and marketer will need.
For more information about how you can utilise your Outlook client to chat with one of our consultants.