Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs. vs. Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager – the Microsoft Outlook Advantage

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The other weekend I was volunteering to pick up food for my church’s Angel Food Ministry . (read about Angel Food below).  The guy I was picking up the food with was the owner of a small business and had just hired a telemarketer to call into his client base to drum up some additional business. 

When he learned that I represented a CRM package from Microsoft he was surprised. “I didn’t know they do that,” he said.  He explained that he wanted a CRM solution for his new hire to use and that he had been talking to  As I described Microsoft Dynamics CRM, he was impressed that it worked native to Microsoft Office Outlook, making it easy to use.   (I’m the director of sales and marketing for The TM Group, a Michigan partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Microsoft Dynamics ERP solutions.)

He loved Microsoft Outlook and his whole staff was familiar with it already. I explained that Outlook is a great personal productivity tool that allows you to track your contacts, emails, tasks, and calendars, but it is limiting if you have a team of folks working on leads, opportunities, or orders together.  When using Microsoft Outlook only, each person has his own emails, tasks, and appointments which makes it hard to get an overall picture of what is happening with a customer or prospect.

We get asked about the differences between Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager vs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM quite frequently.  Once I had talked to a company that didn’t have a CRM solution, but did have a very complex sales process involving a team of individuals.  Their vendors would require them to prove an involvement in a deal before they would authorize any discounts.  This required their team of 6 or more to save their emails related to this opportunity to a place on their network where an admin would wade through it all and put together a report for the vendor.  This was extremely time-consuming and Microsoft Dynamics CRM would have automated this.

Back to my friend with whom I volunteer - while the capabilities of and Microsoft Dynamics CRM are impressive, I explained to him that with only one user, he should really look at Microsoft Outlook with Business Contact Manager.  

Like Dynamics CRM, Business Contact Manager allows users to organize their Outlook information by companies instead of contacts, manage sales leads and business opportunities, and track direct marketing campaigns. If he then decides get his whole team involved in the project, he could then migrate the database easily to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  We’ve converted other Business Contact Manager users to Dynamics CRM already. Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager is designed for single user installations.

He took my advice and didn’t purchase  In fact, he discovered he already owned Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager and wasn’t even using it yet. For “The Lowdown on Business Contact Manager” visit

At The TM Group, we have over 26 years experience helping companies of all sizes make the right business software choices for their budget, needs, and future growth plans.  Many of our clients have started out with 1 or 2-user CRM or ERP systems and then carefully “grown” into the larger solution (and the Microsoft Dynamics solutions make this very easy to do).  Our Microsoft Dynamics CRM training classes are ideal for small companies, and an excellent starting point for getting up and running quickly.

 For more information about the benefits of Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager vs. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, please feel free to contact me at or call 888-482-2864.  You can visit our website at for more background on Microsoft Dynamics and The TM Group’s complete range of consulting services.

About Angel Food:

Angel Food Ministries is a non-profit, non-denominational organization dedicated to providing food relief and financial support to communities throughout the United States. Angel Food is available in a quantity that can fit into a medium-sized box at $30 per unit. Each month's menu is different from the previous month and consists of both fresh and frozen items with an average retail value of approximately $60. Angel Food Ministries also participates in the U.S. Food Stamp program, using the Off-Line Food Stamp Voucher system.  For more information, visit  .

By Ken Jacobsen of The TM Group, a Michigan partner for Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Dynamics GP, Microsoft Dynamics SL and Microsoft Dynamics NAV

3 thoughts on “Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs. vs. Microsoft Office Business Contact Manager – the Microsoft Outlook Advantage”

  1. Martin Thorshaug

    I'm helping a guest farm renting out conference spaces here in Norway to find a not to expensive crm-sollution and have looked in to BCM and sharing. And it can be done as described here:

    It is also discussed here:

    It does not seem straight forward. But If you are only a few people using BCM, I do not see any reason to spend money on MS CRM.
    Or perhaps it will be to slow/troublesome in the long run?

  2. Exactly the article I was looking for, as I am part of a starting small business.

    Really helpful, Thanks!

  3. Andree,

    Thanks for the "TRUTH!" I have been searching for the right tracking system for contacts, leads, and prospects, etc; I am a one (1) man show, representing several concerns. I having been reading about, trying them out, and becoming too frustrated with all the CRMs and information about them. Thank you again.

    Create a Great NOW!

    At Your Service,

    Doug Graham
    "Helping Others, Help Themselves!"

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