A motivational speaker gives her tips on business success

Debbie Mayo-Smith: Outlook as a CRM system

Photo / Thinkstock
Photo / Thinkstock

To: Debbie Mayo-Smith

Hi Debbie, I do have a question and your advice would be really helpful.

We sell sponsorship for a number of our clients, and for some the contacts are the same. We want to build a master database which allows us to categorise so that when we need to send out a prospectus to say tertiary related sponsors, that we just filter on that and mail out to them this seems pretty simple, i.e. just a filter out of excel, but them we want to be able to record conversations, i.e. just notes of when we might need to follow up; what the sponsor said etc and then if possible prepare an update report.

Do you think Outlook might be able to manage that.

Your advice is greatly appreciated.

From: Debbie Mayo-Smith [mailto:debbie@successis.co.nz]
Sent: Wednesday, 16 January 2013 7:44 AM

Outlook will probably be easier for many reasons. This is exactly what I use. But one word of caution. You can systemise anything easily. The real task is ensuring your team faithfully follow up. It is just toooooo easy to ignore tasks.

Also the dilemma you face is you have 17 or how many different calendars so you don't have control or governance as I imagine you don't have a central network SharePoint.
First the system.

Every client and prospect have a category set up for them. Each person can have multiple catagories. Sponsors, Associations, press, FMG, Financial services. You can do anything you want.

Then when you want to contact a segment a category, simply sort contacts by category. They will all be aligned. If a client has three categories, they'll be listed three times.

You can then highlight the selection you want to email and select mail merge. You can then do a personalised email to them in one fell swoop, however you cannot add attachments.

When responses come in that you need to follow up on, simply drag and drop the email into the task icon. It creates a new task with the original email in the body portion. And of course a task can be created from scratch.

Then when the allocated day arrives the task is due, a reminder pops up. This is how I follow up with conference speaking submissions. Once I did this for 5 years until I finally won the speaking engagement with Julie O'Donovan when she was with the QLD electrical contractors assoc.

Then when you want to see the activity that has occurred with a specific contact you open that contact and click on the activity tab. Voila. It will list all the emails, meetings, appointments and notes you've had on them.

All outlook contacts can be exported into an Excel file and vice versa excel pulled into Outlook.

The only thing I might suggest, and it is doubling up on work or perhaps substitute the use of a Google shared Calendar for Outlook. The whole team can have access to it and each person can have their own colour. This way they can put their follow ups/ specific appointments etc. on it and you or anyone can have access to it and see where you are as a group. Each person can also subscribe to have their own calendar prompts sent to them via email. It comes in at 5am each morning.

Here are two videos (the email merge is old but will still explain it to you) that should help

Thank you and best regards

- NZ Herald

Written by international speaker and bestselling author Debbie Mayo-Smith. For more tips, over 500 how-to articles visit Debbie's article webpage.

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A motivational speaker gives her tips on business success

Debbie is one of the most in-demand speakers in Australasia; in the top 7pc of speakers globally and well-loved for her practical, plain talking technology quick tips. A best-selling author of sixteen books, Debbie has sharpened the activity of over 1 million individuals around the world through her presentations, training, newsletters, books and videos.

Read more by Debbie Mayo-Smith

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