Most small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) use customer relationship management (CRM) application to view contacts and sales opportunities. Why not leverage Microsoft Office? The fact is that these SMEs spend a lot of money on the development of these applications and training of their personnel to use these applications, but in course of time, these applications are not utilized to their full extent. Sometimes users are not even aware of the facilities in the application and hence do not use them at all. Moreover, the priorities of operations also change. What seems to be an essential requirement today may lose its importance tomorrow. It is time to rethink if we really need these customized applications and to justify the amount spent on it. You can save time and money if you narrow the scope of your efforts and leverage Microsoft Office which has a lot of features for CRM.
The Significance of CRM
Customer relationship management (CRM) plays a significant role in the success story of a business. It helps you to manage leads, customers, accounts, and opportunities. The information obtained is organized and can be used for various sales purposes. So that is why businesses are ready to allocate huge budgets for CRM application development and training. Is this essential? Can this cost be reduced? These are the questions we need to ask ourselves at this crucial point of time when the competition is high and the economy, challenging. Every penny is precious and has to be put to good use.
Analyze the Requirements
First, assess your goals and requirements carefully before you indulge in the development of an exclusive application. A simpler strategy could often be perfectly adequate and far more economical. List out the requirements and prioritize them. Check which of these can be handled with Microsoft Office. You will find that almost all can be managed. The advantages are, you don’t need to spend money to buy a CRM tool. Microsoft Office has almost everything you need. Also, there is no special training required as most of the users will be familiar and comfortable with Microsoft Office. Leverage Microsoft Office and enjoy the benefits.
Microsoft Outlook: The Ready-Made CRM Tool
- The information collected from the Contact Us page of your website can be put to good use by automatically creating Outlook Contact, updating the sales team of the new contact, setting a follow-up task, and even setting a reminder for follow-up in your Outlook Calendar. The website leads can be put to good use this way. The leads are well managed.
- You can also use Microsoft Outlook categories and organize the data into categories so that you can have instant information on the source of the lead, the status of the lead, etc.
- Categorizing is very useful from the sales perspective. Microsoft Office has several views which you could use to organize the leads, group them, or sort them as per the requirement. You can change your sales strategy to suit the groups you have identified.
- A lead can be converted into an account by a simple action such as drag and drop.
Microsoft Excel, Word, Access, and Power-point are powerful tools with which you can prepare your reports
This suits the requirements of all SMEs. Over and above the facilities of Microsoft Office if you still feel you need to develop an application, you will find that the complexity, cost and time factor of the project has been greatly reduced due to the readily available features.
John Abrams is a technical expert, he has written technical blogs, manuals and reviews for many websites such as office.com/setup