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[SOLVED] Optimizing Outlook 2010 BCM

I’ve been working with this tool off and on, and now I’m HOOKED! Since I haven’t seen any other really useful tips on using BCM (anywhere, except this forum), I thought I’d add a new topic.

1) Keep in mind that BCM is a separate program within Outlook. If you don’t click on it, it’s too easy to forget it’s even there. And it can be somewhat difficult to navigate. So, I had Outlook open DIRECTLY into the Contact Management section. Go to File – Options – Advanced – “Start Outlook in This Folder” & choose BCM’s Contact Management. Now, when you open it, you’ll see your tabs for Accounts & Business Contacts in a LIST VIEW.

1a) Get rid of those gadgets while you’re at it. They simply take up space and aren’t that useful. If you want to view your gadgets, use the “Dashboard” view by clicking directly on the “Business Contact Manager” folder.

1b) I really like that pane on the right that gives you a “contact summary”. However, I would take out the “Communication History” (that stores Outlook-type events linked to the contact) and have it show your own Comments instead. Just click “Select Sections” and pick what you want shown.

2) Create an “Inactive” tab for those contacts or leads that are no longer active (but you still want to retain the record and send out correspondence). Click to create the tab, name it, and choose filters. Go to Advanced Filter – Field Name (Active) and choose “Is Not Selected”. Now you can look up all your inactive leads and contacts! (Of course, that means you’ll actually have to USE that feature…)

3) Move your BCM folder to the top above your email .pst folders. It just makes it easier to find and navigate to when you need it. Just click and drag it.

4) Create different kinds of custom accounts and business contacts to help you further classify your contacts. Note that when you do this, BCM will automatically create a new tab in your Contact Management folder! That’s cool!

4a) You can choose different icons to represent different accounts and contacts. Search online for other icons (.ico) when the ones presented don’t quite match what you’re looking for.

5) Project Management is great for managing recurring projects with checklists and timelines. This is great for managing all the timelines and tasks related to putting on seminars, trade shows or other promotional events that are more involved.

6) I really can’t stand the “Linking” thing that this program makes you do with files and notes that are outside of Outlook.

You can either:

a) Drag and drop the file into an appropriate .pst file in Outlook

b) Use OneNote to link to the contact. In OneNote you can store just about anything there for future reference.

c) Add a field for an online document storage URL (like Box.net). In Box.net, you can set up a folder to “share” and have it generate a URL. Just name a file after your contact/account and copy/paste the URL into the new field you generated.

7) Don’t forget that you can “right click” on all the other sections of Outlook 2010 to have them open up in another window. This is very handy so you can keep your contacts and contact notes open and in front of you at all times.

This is one of the few CRM programs that can work really well on a NETBOOK! I tried Act! 2011, SugarCRM and some other ones. Each has it’s pluses and minuses. Now that I can get Outlook to actually ACT like a CRM program… I think I’ve got a keeper!<!-- google_ad_section_end -->

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