With the introduction of a native Microsoft Outlook integration back in CRM 4.0, the Dynamics team provided a convenient option for email centric marketing and sales folks. They can add leads, track emails, and access CRM records without ever having to leave Outlook. In Dynamics CRM 2011, the Outlook integration was given even more productivity powers.
The big concept behind this native integration was eliminating time wasting “alt-tabs” by bringing CRM capabilities directly into Outlook. This integration – available here – lets your front-line sales team see the familiar Outlook tree navigation pane but with new branches set up for access to Dynamics CRM Sales, Marketing, and Service modules.
This is very powerful, but there are even more goodies on the Outlook “ribbon” bar.
In the Dynamics CRM 2011 Outlook integration, a one-click opportunity conversion button lets users easily add addresses of incoming emails directly into the Dynamics CRM database. It has become quite popular within get-it-done-yesterday sales organizations.
There’s another productivity boosting feature that deserves more attention. The CRM 2011 Outlook client also boasts a click-and-go approach to incorporating template text into an email while automatically merging in name and contact information.
The ribbon bar’s “Insert Template” function displays a list of previously loaded letter templates–e.g., “thanks for contacting us”. Users then select the appropriate template, and the text is automatically inserted into the email with the addressee information added into the template as needed.
Now when making routine responses to inquiries, your sales staff won’t have to waste time and lose momentum cutting-and-pasting between Outlook and the Dynamics CRM application.