Office 365 Things You Need To Know: CRM Online

As we kick off the last week of Office 365 Things You Need To Know ( I’m pleased to direct the focus toward those Microsoft products YOU should be viewing as up-sell or cross-sell to Office 365. Examples include Windows 10, Enterprise Mobility Suite, PowerBI, Sway, Delve, and, of course, CRM Online.

I’ve had the pleasure to work with CRM Online since it’s inception at Microsoft and I’ve always been pleased with some key capabilities:

  • Integration with Outlook – I live in Outlook, so it’s important to me that tools that will support customer interaction work well with Outlook.
  • Access via a browser or mobile client – when I’m not at my computer, I still want access to my data.
  • Offline Synchronization – I need access to customer information anytime, anywhere. Easy offline caching of information is critical
  • Information Sharing – EVERYONE needs access to CRM data. From the receptionist to the marketing team to the sales team to the support team – common data with mechanisms to capture and share data is critical
  • Customization – Not every organization has the same process, so the sales tool chosen needs to be easy to adapt to my process

One of the other great things about CRM Online is it integrates with many other aspects of the Office family including Word for mail merges, Excel for reporting, PowerPoint and SharePoint for presentation and collateral storage. These points of integration make the cross-sell from Office 365 to CRM Online (or visa versa) very compelling.

Here is my recommendation for building a CRM Online practice:

  • Admit you have a problem – how many of you REALLY have a CRM solution internally? Or do you keep names in Outlook and sales opportunities in Excel spreadsheets? No centralized process? No consistency from one employee to the next? That’s what I see most often in SMB partners AND customers.
  • Nominate one of your team to become the CRM Online champion. It will be this person’s responsibility to navigate the CRM Online product and help identity potential uses internally and with customers. They will also be responsible for bringing up CRM Online in every internal meeting where a business/communication problem can be addressed with CRM Online.
  • Adopt a CRM Online best practice – use your Internal Use Rights (IUR) for CRM Online and adopt some internal standards. It will not only improve your overall sales, but the experience will give you great talking points to use with your customers.
  • As a managed services partner, build a solution offering that includes CRM Online. Bundling and branding are essential to streamline the sales and delivery process. Remember simplification and repeatability are key to profitability.
  • Leverage our Ready-to-Go materials to promote your CRM Online bundle:

Some of my TS2 peers have also posted on CRM Online topics including:

Please check out our whole series of Office 365 posts at

Comments (1)
  1. Anonymous says:

    Welcome! We are going to be doing a blog series in October on Office 365 and Office 2016 . The primary

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