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Working Within Outlook and Microsoft Contact Manager

 

What Is Microsoft Contact Manager?
Microsoft Contact Manager is an add-in for Microsoft Outlook 2003 set up for a single-user to provide added features to track contact activity and sales opportunities.  With Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, Microsoft Contact Manager became BCM or Business Contact Manager. 

Even with the older versions of Outlook and Microsoft Contact Manager you can still organize and easily manage al contacts, prospects, and customer information from one application.  You can also easily create and track direct marketing campaigns without leaving the company.  Microsoft Contact Manager also allows centralization of your product-related information letting you stay organized and keep an eye on tasks with automated reminders.

The Customer Relationship Management Association with Microsoft Contact Manager
Almost all of the Customer Relationship Management platforms out there interact with Outlook and Microsoft Contact Manager.  Why?  Because they simply have to work with the most used email and client management software out there.  While this allows you to use your Outlook contacts and other features within Microsoft Contact Manager, you still need to set up a separate database for all of it. 

With most CRM software being set up to operate outside of Outlook, where you need to switch between programs to use databases, Prophet’s version of Microsoft Contact Manager allows you to stay within the Outlook application and continue to make use of the current database as you have already set up.

What Is Prophet Contact Manager?
Avidian’s version of Microsoft Contact Manager, is part of the Prophet software base.  Like Microsoft Contact Manager, Prophet Contact Manager can operate fully from within Outlook.   With this version of Microsoft Contact Manager you can add, edit and easily update your contact and company records with the click of a button using only one central window. 

In the History and Activity section, review of email, tasks, attachments and appointments for any contact can be made also through a single window.  As with Microsoft Contact Manager, this software allows for quick search of any contact or activity by entering a keyword into the search feature.  If you wish to enter detailed notes into Microsoft Contact Manager, Prophet adds them to the appropriate contact along with a date and time stamp. 

Prophet also tells you who authored the notes.  If you wish to track, review, or report on activities which were recorded as notes in Microsoft Contact Manager, the Prophet version allows for this as well.  The Prophet version of Microsoft Contact Manager also allows you to assign automated email and follow-up to be sent out on a certain future date to any selected contacts you require.  All this comes within the familiar look of Outlook.

Prophet Vs. Other CRM In Use With Microsoft Contact Manager
When Prophet was developed, the people at Avidian acknowledged one major flaw of most CRM’s which was that they all operate outside of Outlook.  There is even an online hosted version such as Salesforce.com which states that it is better to have a hosted solution rather than use a direct solution in line with Microsoft Contact Manager and Outlook. 

When the first application people go to, as well as the last application before going home, being Microsoft Contact Manager and Outlook, there seems to be a need not to have to worry about where or what the other applications you need are.  Most salespersons would prefer not to have to bother with all these extra steps to simply keep track of their work and maintain productivity.  With these extra steps outside Microsoft Contact Manager and Outlook, few people will bother using the application effectively. 

While Microsoft Contact Manager provides a good tool for single user interface with Outlook, it is clear that other add-ins or options with CRM tools need to be available for multiple users and teams. 

The goal here is to increase sales and market value.  With this goal in mind, many options, both online and on-site, are readily available.  Microsoft Contact Manager can provide a good start, but to effectively use Outlook you need something to use right there along side of the Microsoft Contact Manager.  It is up to you how complex or how many features you wish to get.
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Signup for your free trial of our customer management software built in Outlook. Contact Avidian with your Prophet CRM questions or comments. Email Avidian with your Prophet CRM questions or comments.
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