If you’re reading this page, chances are that your small business already lives within Microsoft Office’s suite of tools. Including Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, along with cloud-based tools like an online storage solution OneDrive and Outlook for email, it’s proved to be a reliable, secure and scalable solution for businesses of all sizes.
Moreover, thanks to app integrations, it’s possible to tailor and customize Office 365 to meet all your needs, from allowing readers to sign documents online (with DocuSign) to adding diagrams to your presentations or documents (with LucidChart). In short, it can be used for everything from email marketing to sales processes.
However, in this article, we’re going to focus on the CRM integrations you can add to Office 365 to boost business, improve marketing, generate more leads, and offer outstanding customer support.
1. Create Contacts Directly From Outlook
A CRM tool is only as good as the contact list you have in it. In short, without customers, there’s not much customer relationship management you can do. Which is why you want to reduce friction as much as possible when adding new contacts to your CRM.
The great thing is that thanks to Office 365 integrations, you can transform Outlook into a one-click contact creation tool.
Why it works: you save time when adding contacts. No need to leave Outlook to select the best leads or to add prospects to your virtual rolodex.
2. Bring Up Contact Information From Your Inbox
Email is likely to be your most frequently used touchpoint for reaching customers and leads. So why jump back and forth between Outlook and your CRM tool when all the data you need can be displayed right in your inbox?
The data itself can cover a variety of points and avoid embarrassing mistakes. For instance, having two salespeople in the pipeline pursuing the same prospect or misplacing the reference of a previously bought product – all of which could lead to customer frustration and damage your business in the long run.
Why it works: make emailing faster and more efficient by bringing up important data as soon as you need it. Avoid data silos and reduce human error that can damage your business reputation.
3. Track Marketing Campaign Success
Moving on to the marketing side of things, a good CRM solution should complement your campaigns. One great way to do that is to track the success of your email sends by displaying open rates and reply rates.
By getting a good idea of how recipients respond, you can create A/B testing and tweak subject lines, or simply prioritize follow-ups with the most eager readers of your emails.
Why it works: email click rates are a great metric to get a quick overview of your campaign’s success. You save a ton of time by doing it from the place where you send the emails instead of using a third-party solution.
4. Reveal Logs of Contact Activity
Creating records of your history with a customer or client ensures they feel looked after and heard. It is tremendously beneficial, whether it’s for marketing purposes, to hone in on a lead, or to offer better quality support. In short, you want to have the full picture and context.
Once again, if you’re going to be emailing, you might as well bring the information in the same place where you’re typing the message. A good CRM integration with Office 365 will let you do just that, allowing you to click a simple button to bring up the entire history records associated with a contact.
Why it works: creating engaging and personalized emails starts with accessing the right customer data. Bring it up where it matters the most to increase your efficiency.
5. Share Contact Info With the Whole Team
Have you ever contacted customer support and had to give the same information to numerous agents? It’s frustrating. And it probably happened because your history records weren’t available immediately, or stored on two different systems.
This is why it’s extremely important to avoid data silos in your business. Hopefully, your CRM solution should let you work with Office 365 to make data sharing as easy as clicking on one link.
Why it works: ensure the whole team is in the know by sharing all the right customer info and updating it in real-time across all devices.
6. Create Customer Lists to Segment Offers
In an ideal world, every customer would get personalised, tailored offers. But of course, when you’re trying to scale your business, you have to take shortcuts. More often than not, this means segmenting customers into lists for better targeting.
While this is a common feature of most CRM tools, not all of them let you bring the lists up in your Outlook inbox. The CRMs who do, however, give you a great way to speed up your group emailing campaigns, whether it’s to promote a new product or gather feedback from a specific group of users.
Why it works: save time and efforts by grouping customers into lists and sending mass emails to the right segment – a primordial part of any good email marketing strategy.
The Bottom Line
CRM tools, which were once reserved for huge enterprise organizations, are now more affordable, flexible and scalable than ever. That flexibility is particularly useful when it comes to integration with other products.
And if your business already lives in Office 365, you have every reason to bring your CRM there too. No need to spend all day juggling between dashboards anymore – with the Act!365 Outlook plugin, you can turn your inbox into a powerful marketing, sales and support solution.