This video is going to show you how to process your due tasks when you don’t have a CRM system and are using Outlook instead. We have assumed that you have set everything up beforehand but if your screen doesn’t look something like this then please watch our instructional videos ‘“How to display your Outlook Tasks”, “Setting up your Outlook categories” and “Loading your CRM data into Outlook”.
Ok so everything is set and now let’s imagine its 8am on a Monday morning and Outlook has presented us with a list of reminders. The reason we set the reminders for 8am on the Monday morning is that you are now fully aware of all your sales tasks for that week. You can make a judgement call based on your work load to help you figure out the best way to process them.
We use a long-standing and proven approach to processing actions when they become due which is called the four D’s so here they are.
- Delay: for whatever reason you feel you can’t carry out the action this week. Simply reset the Due date for a Monday in a week where you feel you will have enough capacity and save the task. If you delay an action 3 times you should probably question its validity.
- Delegate: when you identify a task you want somebody else to do you should delegate it in your normal fashion so either call, email or verbally tell whoever you are delegating the task to. Make a note of who you have delegated to, reset the due date on the action to be for the deadline you have set the delegate, in this case it is Melanie, and save the action. It will now remind you on the date the delegated action should be completed so you can check that it has been done.
- Delete: upon reflection the action is no longer relevant and can be deleted. Now as you are using Outlook as your CRM system the Task itself is actually a CRM record so shouldn’t be deleted but rather just replace the action with another one, reset the due date and save the task or if the contact is no longer appropriate remove the reminder and Due date then set the whole task to ‘Dormant’ and remove it from your action box.
- Do: you feel confident you can complete the action this week. Add an Outlook category of “Action” to the task and save it. This will now appear in your tasks at the top of the list and makes it very clear that this task forms part of your sales to-do list for this week. So I have 5 mins and called Tarquin. I will now fill in the contact history, change the subject line to the next action and reset the due date for the future. Finally remove the action category by going to ‘Categorise’ on the ribbon and deselecting it. You can now save the task and the cycle starts again.
Using Outlook in this way will not only help you to keep detailed information on your stakeholders but will also keep you on top of your contact regime enabling you to become more efficient in your sales tasks.