I’d venture to say that a majority of you are like me and throughout the day, the one application that tends to stay open the most often is Microsoft Outlook. Okay fine, maybe iTunes comes in at a close 2nd, but does that really count? Without Outlook, I’d be a very lost individual. You laugh but it’s true. It tells me where I have to be, when I have to be there, who wants to talk to me and who I have to talk to. Not to mention, I don’t half to have a phone book on my desk with important phone numbers. It remembers that too.
We all know any company who is serious about their customer relationships and wants to increase their sales in the most efficient and effective way will use some sort of CRM software. If you’re a QuickBooks user, there is no argument as to which software you should be using. Not being biased or anything. ;-)
Now that we’ve agreed on which software should be open, CRM and Outlook, wouldn’t it be nice if they actually talked to each other? I’d say so. The Method Team has launched an early beta of our Outlook plug-in for use with Method CRM and I for one could not be happier. Why you ask? Well, check out what I use to do on a daily basis.
- When an email arrived in my Outlook from someone other than my family, friends or coworkers, I’d take note of the person’s name.
- I’d switch to Method CRM and lookup the person’s name and see if they were an existing or potential customer that I was working with.
- Let’s just say it was a new customer. I’d have to switch back to Outlook, take note of all their contact information, switch back to Method, enter them in as a new customer and create an opportunity for them, switch back to Outlook to write my email response and make sure that I copy the email I received and sent, switch back to Method and create an activity to log the work I had just done and last but not least, copy and paste the email I received and sent just so I have a record of it.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it? Try doing that when getting upwards of 50+ emails and you’ll have a headache just from switching between the screens. With the Method Outlook plug-in, you can:
- Select an email and enter the email automatically into Method CRM.
- Instantly see if the person sending you the email is an existing or potential customer.
- Instantly see if the sender has any outstanding opportunities with your company and if you need to create a new one, go right ahead.
- If they are a new customer or vendor, add them right into Method.
- If the email is in regards to an existing problem, you can log an activity for outstanding cases or create a new case.
- Create your activities right through the plug-in and schedule a follow-up if needed- all in one step.
This has saved me a tremendous amount of time. I can’t tell you how many times I’ll say out loud in the office “I love this tool”.
Naturally, this plug-in will grow to allow functionality with calendars and other parts of Outlook. For now though, embrace the power of this tool! Want to hear the best part? It’s free! Here are the steps if you want to get started. By the way, this is for use with Outlook 2003 and 2007.
- Download: http://www.methodintegration.com/documentation/MethodCRMAddinSetup.zip
- UnZip the zip file anywhere, like C:\temp.
- Close Outlook.
- Double-click on Setup.exe.
- Go through the installation program.
- Open Outlook again.
- Once Outlook is open, click the "Setup" button in your toolbar and fill in your Method account information.
I hope you love this as much as I do.
Danny Do Couto