Make Your Team More Productive: Tips for Using Outlook as a Comprehensive CRM System

Published 31. 7. 2023

Productivity has become the lifeblood of successful teams. Whether you're a small startup or a large corporation, finding ways to maximize efficiency and streamline processes is crucial for staying ahead of the competition.

Did you know that the widely used and familiar Microsoft Outlook platform can be transformed into a CRM to help achieve this coveted productivity? Gone are the days of managing multiple platforms and struggling with disparate systems.

With Outlook’s solution of easily integrating with your CRM, you can consolidate your efforts while at the same time improving customer service and overall team efficiency.

To answer the questions of how to use Outlook as a CRM, we will cover the following:

Working smarter and not harder
The benefits of using Outlook as a comprehensive CRM system
Tips for Optimizing Your CRM in Outlook for Maximum Results
And finally, how eWay-CRM contributes towards greater productivity

Did you know?
A study from the career advisory platform, Zippia, shows that on average, companies can see a 50% sales productivity increase by using CRM.


It’s About Working Smarter, not Harder

Productivity is not a gift that is automatically bestowed on some teams and not others. It requires a solid foundational strategy and a good amount of planning to achieve.

It’s mainly the result of a number of effective components being used together – such as clearly defined work goals, dynamic management and importantly, having the correct tools for the job.

Productive teams not only possess a deep understanding of the requirements of their job but also are trained and equipped for efficient work practices. With the addition of the right tools to streamline work processes, such as a CRM or ERP system, their productivity is further amplified.


You cannot mandate productivity, you must provide the tools to let people become their best.

-Steve Jobs, Co-founder and former CEO of Apple


In short, by combining solid management practices and training with tools like a CRM integrated with Outlook, teams are better prepared to face challenges.


Tools for Maximum Productivity: Using Outlook as a Comprehensive CRM System

Using a comprehensive CRM within the familiar interface of Microsoft Outlook can bring numerous benefits to teams seeking to improve efficiency – without the steep learning curve associated with the interfaces of more complex CRMs.


how to use outlook as a crm


When considering the benefits of integrating your CRM into Outlook, here are some of the standout advantages:


Centralized Information Management

Using your Outlook as a CRM means that all customer-related data, communications, tasks and appointments are housed in one place. This means that everyone on the team can easily access and update information, ensuring that everyone stays on the same page.

Contacts can easily be uploaded from Outlook to the CRM – and synchronizing this information across the team is simple. Every new email coming into Outlook can instantly be stored in the CRM. This means that each email brings a new opportunity for fostering customer relations.

With centralized information, the team can quickly track customer preferences, purchase history, and communication preferences. This enables personalized and targeted engagement, which ultimately leads to stronger customer relationships.


Enhanced Collaboration

Another key advantage of using a CRM integrated with Outlook is the ability to share customer information and communication history across the team. This greatly assists with strengthening collaboration.

In addition, responsibilities can be assigned, progress can be tracked and the status of tasks visible across the board – ensuring everyone is in sync and working as a cohesive unit.

This streamlined collaboration facilitates the easy exchange of information, eliminating the need for back-and-forth communication while also reducing the risk of miscommunication.


Troubleshooting Made Easier

The reality is that there will always be customer issues that need attending to. However with your Outlook-integrated CRM, when issues arise, team members can refer to the shared customer history to understand the context of the interactions.

This enables much faster and more efficient troubleshooting and resolution of problems – reducing the frustration for customers.


Stronger Customer Relationships

A CRM system integrated with Outlook allows teams to maintain a comprehensive view of customer interactions, including emails, calls, and meetings.

They can also track customer preferences, purchase history, and communication preferences. This leads to more personalized and targeted engagement, which ultimately builds stronger customer relationships.


Streamlined Workflows

By automating repetitive tasks and reminders through the CRM system, teams are better safeguarded against wasting time and making common errors.

Workflows for lead management, customer onboarding, and follow-up processes can be created, ensuring consistent and efficient execution of tasks.


Integration with Other Tools

Integrating your CRM system with other tools is another effective way to boost productivity. By combining the power of your CRM in Outlook with these additional tools, teams can unlock even more benefits and optimize their operations.

For example, integration with Microsoft Teams allows team members to access and discuss information in real-time. They can create channels dedicated to specific clients or projects, where they can share updates, and documents, and collaborate on tasks directly within the CRM system.

Or when it comes to data-driven decisions, integrating with PowerBI enables teams to gain valuable insights from CRM data much quicker. They can create interactive dashboards, charts, and reports that offer a comprehensive bird’s eye view of customer interactions, sales performance, and other crucial metrics.


Did you know?
The CRM market is booming, expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.16% until 2027.


Tips on How to Use Outlook as a CRM

To make the most of Microsoft Outlook as a comprehensive CRM system and maximize your team's productivity, consider the following tips:


Start by Setting Up Your Outlook

Let’s first discuss the setup for new Outlook users or for those who already use it but are not too sure about the proper steps. Starting off correctly is the best preparation one can do before integrating with a CRM system. To optimize your use of Microsoft Outlook and improve efficiency, consider if the following has been done:


  • Organize your emails logically into folders for easy navigation and quick retrieval.
  • Learn the important Outlook keyboard shortcuts to save time and streamline your workflow.
  • Create a professional email signature in Outlook to enhance your outgoing messages.
  • Set up an out-of-office message to inform others of your availability during vacation or absence.
  • Share your Outlook calendar with colleagues to simplify scheduling and avoid lengthy back-and-forth conversations.
  • Use email templates and Quick Parts to expedite repetitive tasks. Save frequently used emails as templates for easy future use.
  • Use notifications selectively for important emails. Avoid being overwhelmed by constant email notifications and focus on what matters most.
  • Set up the timing of your email deliveries in Microsoft Outlook by utilizing the "Do not deliver before" feature, allowing you to schedule emails for the most appropriate times and prevent the risk of forgetting important occasions.
  • Familiarize yourself with Quick Step for handy shortcuts and repetitive tasks – also ensuring you learn the quick steps that are not reversible to avoid, for example, permanently deleting important emails.


Customize Your CRM

Once you have found the best CRM option for your team that integrates with Outlook, such as the user-friendly eWay-CRM, you can get started with customization. Tailor your CRM in Outlook by keeping in mind your team’s needs and by choosing the features or modules that are most relevant.

It’s also important to create custom fields to capture specific data relevant to your business. This customization allows you to track and organize information in a way that aligns with your workflow.

Additionally, customize views and filters to prioritize and visualize important information, making it easier to access and track relevant data.


Utilize Categories and Labels

Categorizing contacts, tasks, and appointments helps with easy organization and retrieval of information. Assign relevant labels to quickly identify different types of records, such as leads, clients, or priority tasks.

These distinctions make it easier to navigate through your CRM data and find specific information more efficiently.


Leverage Email Integration

Integrate your Outlook email with the CRM system for seamless communication and comprehensive record-keeping.

By tracking email conversations and linking them to relevant contacts or opportunities, you can have a complete view of your customer interactions.

Another valuable function is to utilize your CRM’s email templates for consistent messaging and time-saving communication, ensuring that important information is communicated effectively.


Set Reminders and Follow-ups

Take advantage of the reminder and scheduling features in your Outlook-integrated CRM. This way you will stay on top of important tasks and appointments. With this, you can set reminders for upcoming deadlines or client follow-ups to ensure timely actions.

Not only do reminders assist with effectively managing your workload, but also in nurturing important customer relationships by no longer dropping the ball on conversations.


Collaborate Effectively

Using Outlook as your CRM also can greatly contribute to team collaboration. This can be done by easily sharing the CRM tasks and information with the team – ensuring everyone is on the same page.

You can also utilize shared calendars to coordinate schedules and appointments, making it easier to plan and schedule meetings. Additionally, you can use task assignments and delegation features to distribute workload efficiently and promote accountability within the team.


Sync to your Smartphone

An Outlook-based CRM system that syncs seamlessly with smartphones further boosts productivity by enabling team members to access the CRM system on the go.

Whether they are in the office, on-site, or traveling, the ability to access customer data and update information from their mobile devices ensures critical information is always at their fingertips.


Did you know?
A  study by Nucleus Research found that mobile CRM access boosts productivity by a significant 26.4%.


A Trusted Option: Here’s How eWay-CRM Boosts Productivity

eWay-CRM has become a trusted system for over 1500 companies. With a number of features, from sales management to email marketing all operated from the well-known interface of Outlook, eWay-CRM is instrumental in enhancing companies' productivity

In addition to the usual benefits of a CRM (mentioned previously in this article), here are some more ways in which eWay-CRM specifically helps companies improve efficiency and streamline their operations.


Sales Functionality

eWay-CRM offers a range of sales features that enable teams to streamline their processes and boost sales productivity.

Here's how eWay-CRM enhances sales functionality:


  • Better organization of deals and leads: With eWay-CRM, all deals and leads are centralized in one place. This eliminates the need for scattered information across different platforms or spreadsheets, ensuring that sales teams have a complete view of their sales pipeline.
  • Useful integrations with web forms and lead-generating tools: eWay-CRM seamlessly integrates with web forms and lead-generating tools, making it easy to capture and import leads directly into the CRM system. This integration eliminates the need for manual data entry, saving time and reducing errors.
  • Everything the sales team needs in one place: It enables sales teams to store and manage all relevant communication in one place. Emails, notes, and documents can be linked directly to contacts, deals, or leads, providing a comprehensive view of the customer journey.
  • Task Reminder Functionality: eWay-CRM includes reminder functionality to help sales teams stay on top of important tasks and deadlines. Reminders can be set for follow-up calls, meetings, or any other sales-related activities.
  • Automated Workflows: It offers automated workflows that streamline repetitive sales processes. Workflows can be configured to automatically trigger actions based on predefined conditions, saving time and manual effort.
  • Power BI Dashboards: eWay-CRM integrates with Power BI, providing visually compelling and customizable dashboards for sales analytics. Teams can gain valuable insights into their sales performance by tracking key metrics.


successful sales person


Email Marketing Made Easy with eWay-CRM

eWay-CRM goes beyond traditional CRM functionalities by offering powerful email marketing capabilities.

Examples of how eWay-CRM assists with email marketing in a user-friendly way:


  • Send marketing emails from your CRM: You can create and send marketing emails directly from the CRM platform. This eliminates the need for separate email marketing tools, streamlining your workflow and keeping all your customer interactions in one place.
  • Proven templates: eWay-CRM provides a range of professionally designed email templates that have been tried and tested to lead to more successful marketing efforts. These templates save time and effort while ensuring that your emails make a positive impression on your audience.
  • Track email behavior: You can track and analyze user behavior with detailed statistics. You can see who opened your emails, which links were clicked, and how recipients engaged with your content.


Efficient Project Management with eWay-CRM

eWay-CRM extends its capabilities to project management, providing businesses with the tools they need to effectively manage projects.

Here are some of the ways eWay-CRM assists with project management in a user-friendly way:


  • Keep up to date with deliverables: eWay-CRM allows you to track and monitor project deliverables, ensuring that tasks are completed on time and projects stay on track. This visibility helps you manage project timelines and deliver successful outcomes.
  • Create tasks and subtasks: eWay-CRM enables you to break down projects into manageable tasks and subtasks. Assign responsibilities, set deadlines, and track progress, ensuring that everyone knows their role and tasks are completed efficiently.
  • Centralized project communications: All project-related communications are stored in one central location. You can easily access emails, notes, and documents associated with a specific project.
  • Time tracking is simplified: eWay-CRM simplifies time tracking with its timesheet functionality. Team members can log their hours spent on specific tasks or projects, providing accurate data for project costing, resource allocation, and client billing.


collaborative and winning team


The Solution for Maximum Team Performance

Productivity, or the lack thereof, is a common issue for many businesses. However, as we all know, it is essential for business success and companies should keep innovating to get the best results.

Having the correct tools and resources on hand, the goal of increased productivity becomes far easier to achieve. For anyone wondering how to use Outlook as a CRM or about its value in boosting productivity, the answers detailed in this article should make the decision much easier.

In short, using a CRM integrated into Outlook, such as eWay-CRM, is a valuable asset for maximizing team productivity and achieving exceptional results. Implement these strategies now and prepare to watch your team's productivity grow to new heights.


Discover the ease of a user-friendly CRM that sits right inside your Outlook! Get started with eWay-CRM for free today.