Maximizing Use of the Outlook Client

Dynamics 365 for Outlook—is deprecated with the July 2017 update for Dynamics 365 (online) and will be removed in a future major release. This information is provided for older versions of CRM and on-prem deployments.

In this section, we’ll cover several ways to maximize the use of the Outlook client. Jump to the following sections to learn more:

Tracking Activities

Does information get lost in your users’ inboxes? Are things slipping through the cracks because of this? There are things you can do to avoid these types of problems, like tracking emails to Dynamics 365 and set the regarding record. An Outlook email can be associated with an existing record in Dynamics 365. Once tracked, the user can delete the email from their inbox, killing two birds with one stone.

Tracking creates an equivalent record in Dynamics 365. This allows users to define the parent (or regarding) record within Dynamics 365 with the Set Regarding option. In order to relate the activity to another record (such as relating an email to the contact that received the email), you need to use the Set Regarding button.

You can track:

  • Emails
  • Appointments
  • Tasks
  • Contacts

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to track and set the regarding record in CRM for an Outlook item via the Outlook Client, also know as Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook.

  1. In Outlook, select an email, contact, appointment or task. You can select it from the main page, or you can open the specific Outlook item.

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2. Toward the right-hand side of the top ribbon, click on Track. This will cause the record to be created and replicated in CRM. It is important to note that after clicking Track, this email isn’t tied to any other CRM record such as contact, account, lead or opportunity. To tie it to a CRM record, click the Set Regarding button. A new window will pop open where you can look up the regarding record.

3. You can refine your search in the look up window by changing the View or adding search terms.

4. Select the record it’s regarding.

5. Click OK.

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6. This saves the item in the regarding record. It can be accessed in closed activities or activities, depending on its status.

You can tell that the email was successfully tracked because a people icon will appear.

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A second way to tell that the item was successfully tracked is by looking at the bottom of the page. Here you can see the regarding record and related records. Outlook items that are not tracked will not have this section.

You should track activities to the most granular level of record. For example, if you are sending a person an email track that email to the contact instead of the account. Activities that are tied to records that have a child type relationship, such as the relationship between contacts or opportunities to accounts, will roll up to the parent record. For example, a phone call is created and related to a sales opportunity, then that activity will appear on the opportunities’s activity list and the parent account’s activity list. The system isn’t creating a duplicate; it’s just showing it in both places.

Converting Activities from Outlook

Once an email, appointment or task is tracked to Dynamics 365

, you can convert it to a Dynamics 365 record. Emails can be converted into an opportunity, lead or case.  Appointments and tasks can be converted to an opportunity or case, but not a lead.

If you want to convert the Outlook Item, select the item, and on the top ribbon click on the Convert To button. Here you can select what type of record you want to convert it to.  You will see the same conversion screen that you see when converting an activity in the browser version of CRM. When you are ready to convert, click OK, and a new record will be created.

Below you can see how to convert an email to an opportunity.

  1. Select the tracked email that you want to convert.
  2. Within the ribbon, click Convert To and then select Opportunity. A new window will pop open.
  3. Complete the required fields within the Convert Email to Opportunity window. When you are ready to convert, click OK. A new opportunity record will be created.

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Below you can see how to convert a task into a case.

  1. Select the tracked task that you want to convert.
  2. Within the top ribbon, click Convert To, then select Case. A new window will pop open.
  3. Complete the required fields within the Convert Task to Case window. When you are ready to convert the task, click OK. A new case record will be created from this task.

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Adding Sales Literature

You have the ability to attach sales literature from CRM to emails that you are sending in Outlook.

  1. Open a new email in Outlook.
  2. Track the new email to CRM by clicking the Track or Set Regarding buttons. This will make the Attach Sales Literature button no longer greyed out.
  3. Select the Attach Sales Literature button. If used frequently, recently used records will appear in the drop down window. To search the database, click More Sales Literature… and this will open a look up window where you can select the document you want to attach.

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4. Within the Look Up Record window, you can select the document you want to attach.

5. Click OK. This will close the window.

6. Now you can see that the document is attached to the email.

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