Categories: Outlook Guide

How to use Outlook as a CRM

Microsoft Outlook is a bunch of different services, mixed together. Webmail, contacts, tasks and calendars, basically everything Microsoft could fit in. But when you have so much functionality in one tool, why not use it for something bigger? Something like CRM.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that helps people manage their customer data and statistics. Unlike common CRM platforms, Outlook gives you tools for solving complex tasks which involve email organization and management, alongside the regular features.

All the data about your customer, like  notes, contacts, events and other info, can be stored into the contact category of Outlook service using Business Contact Manager. Moreover, Microsoft Outlook software can sort your customer data into different sections to help you work with customer’s events and organize tasks. Thanks to a solid number of inbuilt features Microsoft Outlook can easily manage all your CRM needs.

Now that you know what Outlook is capable of, let’s look a bit closer at all the Outlook managing features and explore how can we use them:

Sort customer data into categories

Sorting data is one of the main features a CRM tool can provide. If you want to attach your customer’s contacts to a category, click on the contact and you will see the contact window pop-up. Then attach a category to your customer by choosing one from the menu in the main customer contact window. Sometimes, you won’t find a category that suits your customer’s data. Fear not, you can easily create a new one and give it a custom name in the subject field. A great example would be to collect all your sales leads in one category and name it Sales Leads.

Attach tasks to customers

Categorization isn’t the only useful feature that Outlook has to offer; if you want to attach a task to your customer’s contact you can do it by following these steps.

First click Open on the contact and choose Actions in the tab. Select New Task for Contact. Tasks in Microsoft Outlook will appear in the Tasks section. You can attach dates, details about your prospects and follow the progression on every task involving your prospects. Outlook also has an appointment system that allows you to set-up all your events in advance. Be careful, appointments appear on your calendar, but tasks do not.

Leave notes about your customers

In the Activities you can find a summary of all your appointments and tasks attached to a customer. From here you can also view all of your email communication with this customer.

You can attach a follow-up date if you need to message your customer or respond to an email. Choose between multiple color schemes to match it perfectly to the type of event. For example, putting a yellow flag could mean a customer should receive a contract, a green one – you need to make a phone call.

With notes you can mark your customers according to how active they are on your platform. If a user is actively consuming your products, you can note them as a highly valuable client and offer them special deals. And vice versa, if it’s a new customer you might want to offer them a discount on their first purchase.

Bonus:

Tools for better lead generation with Outlook

Although CRM is a powerful tool for customer relations, it lacks some relevant tools for the lead generation process. These tools are a standalone service that isn’t a part of the CRM ecosystem. They are email addresses finder for searching and extracting emails in bulk and email addresses verifier designed to clean lists from bounced and invalid emails.

Email Addresses Finder searches and exports bulk email lists to a service where you can manage them. Some email finder tools can also enrich your emails by adding valuable personal data like first and last name, position, company name, location and so on. With enriched emails you can import all your data to Outlook and start pursuing better leads.

Before you import you emails, though, you need to make sure they are valid. Email Verifier tool validates your emails using multiple verification methods:

  • Syntax check (checks for typos in email name)
  • Domain check (checks whether domain name exists or not)
  • SMTP Authentication (pings email server with EHLO message)

What’s more, advanced services feature an email list comparison against the database of bounced emails. This results in a clean email list ready for outreach campaign.

Keep in mind, email finder and email verifier are not implemented in the Outlook system, but you can easily find and install them in your browser as extensions.

Conclusion

Outlook can be a solid CRM, especially if you are mostly dealing with emails. There you can store all your customer data, sort your customers by categories and mark them by colours. On top of all that, it can help you organize and manage events and tasks for your customers. Email tools work really well in a fusion with Outlook as they offer a lot of features for email management.

That’s the real power of Outlook, one big enterprise monster capable of everything and more, than you could have asked from a CRM platform.

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