This video will show you how to set up an Outlook Task in order to manage your contacts like a CRM system. It assumes you have set your Outlook Tasks up to look something like this, if you haven’t then please go and view our instructional videos “How to display your Outlook Tasks”and “Setting up your Outlook categories”. I’m going to use Joe Soap as an example.
As you can see there is a lot of information in the subject box. First to appear is the contacts full name, this is so that you can immediately identify who the task relates to when a reminder pops up. After this if the contact is a prospect or a long range prospect you will see a number which relates to the conversion stage where that person current sits in the pipeline. As you can see Joe has (3) against him which means he is currently at ‘Interaction’. Allocating a conversion stage helps you to keep track of progress, so if a prospect has been at a (3) for a while you can decide on a tactic to progress them to stage 4; or move into a more suitable pipeline category. Next is the contacts company or organisation name followed by their primary contact number. Finally the ‘Next Action’ for the contact, so you can easily see what you have to do. The subject contains the must know information for that contact.
Below the subject is the reminder and Due Date. You can see that they are both set for a Monday and the reminder is for 8am. This is so that when I open Outlook on a Monday morning I am presented with all the sales tasks I need to do for the whole week. From here I can decide to process the task using one of the 4ds:
- Do it – Do the task immediately (or that week)
- Delay it – if I do not have time to do a task and it is possible for me to delay it then I can change the reminder date for the next week. Keep the Due Date the same as then you can see how many times you have delayed a task, if you are delaying it more than twice you need to think about why that contact is in your pipeline.
- Delegate it – certain tasks can be delegated to either an assistant or team member, reset the task for a few days in advance to check if it has been done.
- Delete it – you should only delete a task if it is absolutely of no relevance, for example the contact has retired and moved away.
To learn more about how to process tasks using the 4Ds please watch our instructional video ‘Processing Due Tasks when you don’t have a CRM system’.
The only reason to not set a task for a Monday is if you arranged to call or contact someone on a specific day at a specific time, for example a call arranged for 10am on Wednesday.
In the main body of the task we have more detail relating to the contact. At the top we have the contact details, this means they are immediately available for you so you don’t have to scroll down the task to find their phone number.
Below the contact details is the activity history with the most recent activity at the top. On the left is the date the activity happened, then the initials of the person who entered this information into the task (this is only relevant if you have a PA or team member who helps you to manage your tasks) Then is the detail of the activity itself, give enough detail to inform you of the key points from the activity but don’t write it down what happened word for word.
The rest of the task is where you would put all other important information you need to know about the contact. These can vary significantly depending on your job role and industry but field we recommend are:
- How you know the contact
- IF they are subscribed to any marketing lists
- Their office address
- Their Assistants details, this information is vastly underrated, by developing a relationship with your contacts Assistant (or by getting your own PA to do so) you are more likely to get through to your intended contact.
- Social Media Profiles, such as LinkedIn, Twitter and if they have a blog
- Company website, including if they have a Company Profile
- Ideal Contact time
- Fat CRM data such as hobbies, preferences, sports teams or anything else of importance regarding the contact that will help you develop your relationship with the stakeholder.
It is also advisable to keep a template task so that when you add a new person you can add the fields with ease.
You then need to add your categories to the task, go to ‘Categorise’ on the ribbon and select which ever categories are relevant.