CRM Abstract

Someone on LinkedIn posted the question: How do I use Microsoft Outlook for CRM ?   I posted my answer on LinkedIn.  Outlook is great for what is called a “PIM” (Personal Information Manager). Outlook is great for E-mail, quickly adding contacts from e-mail into distribution lists or categories and calendar management for yourself.   Then, it’s quite easy to get those contacts your smart phone.  We use Outlook in house with Office 365, and it works really well.  The difficulties using Outlook as CRM include:

  • Creating proper conversation notes and sharing them.
  • Documenting conversations by date/time stamp.
  • Implementing contact security among your peers.
  • Creating a sales forecast.
  • Creating a mail-merge to a Word document.
  • Creating effective user fields to classify contacts by more than one field such as "category".
  • You have to resort to redundant data entry in Excel for call reports or sales forecasts.

What’s the best CRM platform for you?  I will say “ask more questions” about your own business process that you want to improve. Constrain that by how you want to pay and of course, how much you wish to spend.  Some products like Act! and WiredContact can be self-hosted or hosted by us.  Or, some programs are only hosted on their data center like Zoho and Benchmark One (Hatchbuck).

If you aren’t sure how to approach this, feel free to contact us for a complimentary discovery call.