Microsoft Office 365 became no. 1 software for many companies. People use Outlook, Word, and Excel, communicate through Teams, and share documents on OneDrive. But when it comes to customer management software, Microsoft has not yet developed anything that would rule its category, just like Word or Excel.
When Microsoft discontinued support for Business Contact Manager in 2016, many Office users turned their attention to its successor – Microsoft OCM. But this year Microsoft stopped supporting OCM too! Now, we have dozens of thousands of disappointed customers who lost their Outlook integrated CRM twice in a short time.
Well, there are a lot of CRMs on the market, but to find something that sits right inside Microsoft Outlook can be a challenge. However, if you give it a try, you might be surprised how closely integrated some of the tools are.
Every extra click counts
For obvious reasons most companies don’t care if the software maker is Microsoft or somebody else. It is really important how efficiently you can work with the app. The decisive factor is whether the CRM is integrated with Outlook and other tools, such as Word or Excel.
Then, you can quickly access your clients, projects, business opportunities, and customer communications right in Outlook. With a perfect Outlook CRM software, your business data is always automatically synchronized and up to date. That means you don’t have to constantly switch between Outlook and CRM software and copy-paste everything. You just use one single database instead of two. Imagine how much time you can save. How much simpler and clearer the work can be. And how many unnecessary mistakes you can avoid.
No need to learn anything new
Are you one of the companies that use Office 365 daily? Have you ever measured how much time you spend working in Outlook? The average employee spends up to a quarter of their working time reading or writing emails. When you add the time spent working with the calendar etc., you will probably find that Outlook is the software you use most of the time. And as such, it really makes sense to choose Outlook as a basis for your CRM system.
However, discomfort and time spent switching between Outlook and CRM is not the only reason to pick CRM embedded in Outlook. Whether the company is looking for an OCM replacement or looking for a suitable CRM, one of the employees’ nightmares is the idea of having to learn to work with new software.
With CRM software embedded right into Microsoft Outlook’s well-known environment, the learning curve of every team member is significantly reduced. That’s what real Outlook CRM software should look like. No matter if it was developed by Microsoft or not. Another super benefit of a CRM properly embedded in Outlook is if it’s intuitive and user friendly. Simply it should look like Outlook and the user should have the impression they work with it. That’s two in one solution.
Just start using it
As already mentioned, there are plenty of CRMs on the market. But if you are looking for an Outlook CRM software, the selection will be pretty limited. The best way to make an informed decision is to try the software before purchasing it. Of course, most software developers offer a trial version.
Trial versions are usually time-limited or feature-limited. Or there is another option to use free CRM as an individual. Sure, that is an option for very small businesses. But no matter if you are an individual entrepreneur or run an e.g. very small family business, free CRM can be a very comfortable and natural tool for the beginning.
Think ahead of time
Make sure the Outlook CRM software you have chosen is ready to switch smoothly to a premium version for multiple users and that it supports integrations with 3rd party tools etc. Simply it has all features that you will need when your business grows. CRM should be a guarantee of longevity for the company. Or at least that’s what lot companies expect from Outlook CRM when looking for OCM replacement.
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