Drive Productivity with Salesforce and Microsoft Exchange Sync/Outlook


Salesforce is the world's #1 CRM and Microsoft Office is the world's #1 productivity suite. Join us to learn how to increase your reps' efficiency with Salesforce's cloud-based and installed options for linking Salesforce to Exchange and Outlook. Plus, hear from PetroSkills how increased efficiency helped them succeed.

Employees spend 28% of their time on average checking and responding to email. Another 19% of time is spent searching for and gathering information, according to McKinsey research. These two tasks, email and information gathering, account for an amazing 18.8 hours of a 40-hour week. If you could reduce that time even by a few hours, think of the income-producing activities that could replace less productive administrative tasks.

In a 2015 Dreamforce session, Salesforce Senior Product Manager Damien Joly and Senior Product Manager Matthew Barnhardt explain how to increase efficiency and success with Salesforce CRM email integration. Integrating Salesforce CRM solutions with Microsoft Office is a natural alliance for increasing productivity. Email Connect is one of the first collaborations of the partnership; newly designed features increase productivity even more.

Presenting with Joly and Barnhardt is Hossein Moshfeghian, a Solutions Architect from PetroSkills, a Salesforce client. “We’ve had to move from organic processes to systematic solutions,” says Moshfeghian of the 200-employee company. One of the solutions PetroSkills chose was Salesforce plugin for Outlook. “The plugin allowed us to bring Salesforce to Outlook where [the reps] did their work.” Moshfeghian explains that previously employees complained about having to enter data into CRM at the end of the day, but the IT Solutions Department received a lot of positive feedback with Salesforce for Outlook.

PetroSkills has been piloting the new solution, Exchange Sync. Moshfeghian talks about how updating individual computers is time consuming and expensive. “Change is expensive and annoying for users,” he says. “Something that was Cloud-based was very exciting for us.” Moshfeghian expected the conversion from Salesforce for Outlook to Exchange Sync to be a 2-3 week process. In reality, he says, it was mostly a point and click set up.

Make Time Spent Reading Emails More Productive with CRM Email Synchronisation

Salesforce CRM email synchronisation allows information from Salesforce CRM software to be accessed in Microsoft Outlook. In the video Joly explains the need to sync CRM software and Microsoft Office. “The two are integrated,” he explains. “We spend a lot of time managing email and contacts details in many ways: email, phone, computer. Workers are spending a lot of time on each format.” This CRM email synchronisation is especially important when you consider other employees across departments have contact information about clients. It’s not just the sales department, it’s marketing, customer service, engineering, and IT. CRM email synchronisation decreases time spent searching for information because it is stored centrally.

Updated Salesforce CRM for Outlook Now Uses the Exchange Server

Salesforce CRM for Outlook has worked in the past through plug-ins. The Dreamforce session shown in this clip explains the new method of using Salesforce with Outlook: using the exchange server. “This is a major change to have CRM for Outlook on the exchange server,” says Joly. “There are no plug-ins. It’s very convenient to deploy as an admin.”

Salesforce CRM for Outlook Has Evolved to Meet Two Goals

The development team at Salesforce focused on two goals for Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Office compatibility:

  • Extend the reach of Salesforce CRM data across departments and in the calendar; and
  • Enrich the visual experience with Salesforce content in email and Outlook calendar.

Salesforce’s Data Becomes Even More Powerful with CRM Outlook Exchange Sync

Meeting the first goal, extending the reach of Salesforce contacts’ data and managing the calendar wherever desired, is an important achievement in terms of saving time searching for information. “It’s all about extending the reach of Salesforce data...and the same thing applies to calendar,” says Joly. Sales reps may keep contact information in the CRM program but others in the organisation are keeping contact information in different places. The inconsistency of contact information storage leads to loss of time and loss of potentially helpful information across the company.

The solution the Salesforce team offers is synchronisation in order to sync contacts and calendars. Salesforce CRM Outlook exchange sync allows emails and scheduling in Outlook to be synced. Synced emails mean everyone’s contact information is updated in real time. Synced calendar means your availability remains the same even if you have someone scheduling your time.

Salesforce’s CRM Email Connector Matches the Visual Experience of Salesforce CRM

The second goal of the Salesforce developers, seeing and managing Salesforce content while reading emails or Outlook calendar, was met by embedding a Salesforce visual experience directly into Outlook. This CRM email connector provides an impressive interface while increasing productivity. “It’s all about the visual experience,” explains Joly.

CRM data is synced directly within email, a huge time-saver considering you can access information from two previously separate sources of data. For example, if you are coming to a meeting and reading an email about it, the CRM email connector shows contact details for participants. A CRM email connector is an important tool for productivity because it streamlines both email and information gather, two big demands on time.

When reading emails or checking the calendar, users benefit from the CRM information because Salesforce details are shown directly in the email and match the visual design of Salesforce programs. The user interface of the Salesforce CRM email connector matches the visual experience in Salesforce. When reading email, a horizontal bar appears showing tabs. Action Items will appear when there is a possibility of a task to be created. Salesforce CRM contact information is matched between the email and Salesforce data and contacts can be created for people not known in Salesforce. Details about companies can also be updated. If your layout has been customised, it will also be customised when you click the Salesforce tab.

When reading email, a horizontal bar appears showing tabs and giving the option to create a task when there is a possibility of a task to be created. A Salesforce tab connects the the visual experience of Salesforce while matching the email and contact info with the data in Salesforce. Contacts can be created across the two programs, allowing users to create contacts that automatically sync back to your Salesforce CRM. Details of companies can also be accessed. Because ExchangeSync is Cloud-based, updates to both calendar and email are instantaneous across devices, allowing reps to manage their sales pipeline without having to go back to the office at the end of the day to enter information.

Another capability of Salesforce CRM connector available in the Winter 2016 update, is to save the email in Salesforce.

Sync and visual experience are the two pillars of solution to the two business goals. Sync keeps contact and calendar events up-to-date in both Salesforce and Microsoft. Instantaneous synchronisation in email, calendar and CRM streamlines tasks, allowing for more productive use of sales reps’ time. The visual experience of Exchange Sync lets users see Salesforce content relevant to emails and events. This feature further increases productivity and streamlines time spent managing email. The average profession may get hundreds of email a day. The instant updates between Salesforce and Microsoft applications is a huge time saver.

The partnership between Microsoft and Salesforce has innumerable benefits to the user. “Integrating Salesforce with Microsoft Office was a natural avenue of development to take given that Salesforce is the number one CRM application and that Microsoft, with their office applications, is the number one productivity suite,” says Joly. Salesforce continues to offer solutions to make Outlook and Salesforce an efficient, time-saving team.


Questions? We’ll put you on the right path.

Ask about Salesforce products, pricing, implementation, or anything else. Our highly trained reps are standing by, ready to help.