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Making better use of Tasks in Microsoft CRM March 4, 2013

Posted by Ivor's Window to the IT and CRM World in Management, Microsoft CRM, Microsoft Office, Sales Management, Training.
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Using Outlook Tasks

 As a young man I spent some time in the army before I started my commercial career, I was operating as an operations officer in a tactical headquarters, where lots of orders, activities, actions and tasks were all happening simultaneously. I had a very astute commanding officer who introduced me to the concept of To-Do Lists and effective task management, all very important when for example you are coordinating an air strike or vectoring in artillery. Everyone in the ops room always needed to know the status of all tasks at all times.

When I undertake CRM training, I find that very few people are actually using Outlook Tasks effectively, and when you consider that Microsoft CRM fully integrates with Tasks, it makes it very important that prospective CRM users start using tasks especially when the system is set up to generate tasks.

If tasks are generated for people, and they just don’t see them or respond to them, mainly because they don’t open tasks as regularly as they do e-mail or calendars, I find that sometimes it makes more sense to use CRM to generate an e-mail as well as the task, and embed a link to the task in the e-mail. We know that people are less likely to ignore e-mails and the tasks will get done.

Another method of managing tasks is to build a view within the dashboard of all open tasks and make this visible to management. This is similar to the process we used in the army, where everyone could see the status of each order or activity, albeit we did it manually on a large board on the wall. it’s a sort of name and shame.

Just because your users are not currently power users of tasks, is not a reason to not consider using them in the design of your CRM system.

This is blog number 7 in the series “The more things change the more they stay the same”.

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