Dynamics CRM 2015 Outlook Client: The Top 5 Reasons to Roll it Out Today

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Dynamics CRM 2015 essentially comes in three different user interfaces: the CRM web, the Outlook Client and the CRM mobile app.  The user’s experience is highly dependent on how they choose to access their CRM data.  At AKA, we spend a lot of time considering how to best configure the user experience within these different clients.  Today, I want to specifically review our latest thinking around Outlook Client:

Several years ago, there was much talk about the “death of e-mail,” that e-mail was becoming less significant as a form of communication.  There is some truth to this.  I certainly use e-mail to less of an extent than I did five years ago.  Today, I find myself communicating more frequently with tools such as instant messenger, text, Yammer (social network sharing), to name a few.  That said however, when a proposal needs to go out to a client for their review, it is going to be sent via e-mail.  Most written communications that require some additional review time on the reader's part are sent via e-mail.  In addition to tracking these important communications back into CRM, CRM offers organizations and end-users the following benefits:

Here is our list of top 5 reasons to use the CRM Outlook Client within your CRM 2015 deployment.

1.  Have Outlook and CRM share data

a.  Track Outlook e-mails into CRM 2015, making it part of the permanent history of any Lead, Account, Contact, Case or Opportunity.  Simple enough to do - if the e-mail might potentially need to be referenced in the future – track it!

b.  Use Outlook to facilitate data entry into CRM 2015.  It is easy to train users on how to do this.  A great example is:  When an e-mail comes in from a new contact to your organization, you’ll want to track it into CRM and capture that contact information.  From there, the newly entered contact can be added to marketing lists, categorized and better engaged via CRM capabilities.

2.  Use Outlook Tasks and Appointments -   On a daily basis, we are in Outlook managing our calendars; why not create Tasks and Appointments and track them to CRM.  Tracking them to CRM provides the full historical record of the engagement.  Tasks and Appointments can also be automated based on business rules.  For example, a new task can be create when a new lead is entered into CRM.

3.  Convert e-mail directly to Leads, Contacts, Cases and Opportunities.  There is no need to rekey information as the Outlook Client can push this information to CRM.  CRM will then create the appropriate record and begin the tracking process.

4.  Outlook has several great formatting tools which allow organizations and users to highlight particular records.  For example, Opportunities that are past due can be formatted to be in red font.

5.  Outlook becomes CRM.  As Microsoft continues to merge its Office application capabilities into a single user experience, organizations can look to the Outlook client as their primary CRM interface.  We really like the “single screen” CRM experience, where Excel, Word, etc. can be embedded into CRM for a one screen view at contact, customer, etc.

The CRM 2015 Outlook Client is a powerful tool to drive CRM business processes.  We hope that you’ll fully review its possibilities within your CRM empowered organization.

By Andrew Winters, Adolfo Ramirez and Gordon Darling, AKA Enterprise Solutions

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