Outlook Integration (Accelerator)

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Accelerator is the advanced integration with MS Outlook.  We use Accelerator in almost all our projects.  It has a massive impact on user adoption as it makes using Sage CRM much easier.

Accelerator supports current versions of Sage CRM and Outlook 2016, 2019 (both 32 and 64 bit) and 365.  

Demonstrations of Accelerator can be provided on request and an extensive user guide can be downloaded from the link below.

Table of Contents

Key Features & Benefits

Features:

  • View or Create Sage CRM data without leaving Outlook
  • Easily file inbound and outbound emails against the appropriate CRM record 
  • Link Appointments & Tasks in Outlook to Sage CRM
  • Leverage email templates managed in Sage CRM

Benefits:

  • Increases user adoption to your CRM strategy
  • Makes staff faster and more efficient
  • Makes it easier to send out consistent company messages
  • Capture more information: Our experience shows that companies with Accelerator create more than 4x as many companies and people in Sage CRM, simply because it is easier

User Experience

The success of any CRM initiative is heavily dependent on the user experience.  And nothing makes the user experience better than making Sage CRM quick and easy to use from the context of Outlook.  The sections below walk you through the functionality available to the user through the Accelerator interface to Sage CRM.  

Viewing and Creating Records

As we sort through our email, the Accelerator panel will refresh to the correct record.  Once that record is up, we can filter though the CRM data. 

If a record does not exist yet in Sage CRM, we can easily create it. This includes Companies, People, Cases (jobs), or Opportunities – and of course communications. 

Filing inbound Emails

Generally, we manually file emails.  When filing an email, we can decide where we want to file it.  We can change the subject line, remove some of the email content – AND, if the email has a document attached, we can label the document properly for CRM (example = Signed PO).

You can set up Accelerator to automatically file emails if you wish. There are several options for automatic saving.  One example would be if you ‘tagged’ an email.  You can also set Accelerator to autosave all emails, but we do not typically recommend enabling that feature. 

Outbound Email

When we send out emails, we can choose to file these against a record in CRM.  We can also pull from our Sage CRM email templates. 

Using templates not only makes it quicker to formulate a response, but also ensure a consistent ‘branded’ response.  These templates can include attachments and merge in data from Sage CRM too.

Tagging Emails

Users can insert references (Tags) in emails to connect the email thread to something specific such as a Customer service issue or an Opportunity. These tags can display in either the email subject or in the body of the email.

When a outbound email that has a tag is filed, it will file against the proper record. 

When an inbound email comes back with that tag, then the proper record in the Accelerator panel will automatically display.  Additionally, you may choose to have tagged emails automatically file into CRM (Advanced setting).

Connecting Outlook Calendar Items to Sage CRM records

When using Outlook’s calendaring feature, you can connect an appointment to the correct Sage CRM record.

The record will then also display within Sage CRM.  

Accelerator Functions within Sage CRM

Within Sage CRM itself, there are additional features related to Accelerator. 

  • Initiate an email (with a tag)
  • Create a mailmerge document
  • See a graphical representation of communications created via Acccelerator

Configuration Options (Advanced Settings)

There are many optional features within Accelerator.  Under the advanced setting users can elect to modify certain features strictly for their instance. 

The video does not cover all of these advanced settings. You can download the user guide at the bottom of this page for a full listing and description of the advanced features.

Customization Options

Common customizations to Accelerator include:

  1. Modifying the screen layouts to match your desktop CRM, 
  2. Adding new tabs (aka custom entities)
  3. Ensuring that new cases or opportunities (or leads or whatever) connect to your existing workflows

FAQs

Why do I need this tool?  Using Accelerator means that users collect more data and have a easier time adopting Sage CRM.

What is the cost? Accelerator is sold as an annual subscription.  Please contact My CRM Manager or your Sage CRM provider for pricing details.

Do I need to get a license for each user? No, the number of licenses for Accelerator do not need to match up with your total Sage CRM user count.  For example, your CRM system might allow for 20 users, but you are ok to get Accelerator for just 10 users.

Can emails automatically load into Sage CRM without users having to do anything? Yes, but only if the email has a ‘tag’. Refer to tagging emails above.

Do cases (jobs) or opportunities link to our existing workflow(s)? Yes, this is a common  customization (minor).

Are calendar items bi-directional? Calendar items (tasks and appointments) created in the Outlook calendar do sync to Sage CRM.

Does it support custom entities? Yes.

What are the requirements?  Outlook 2016 or above including 365.

Doesn’t Sage have a built-in ‘free’ Outlook Plugin, why can’t we use that?  Sage does have a free Outlook Plugin that allows you to file emails.  It has a very limited feature set, but more significantly, it is technically prone to support issues and support mysteries.  In August of 2018, My CRM Manager changed our policies to no longer support the free plugin.  It was too frustrating for us and counterproductive to the success of a client’s CRM strategy.  Accelerator is far superior, and clients are much better off with it. You are welcome to try Sage’s free plugin, but we will not be able to assist you with support issues. If you have any issues, you will need to log a support query directly with the Sage support team.

Does Accelerator work when Outlook is accessed via Terminal Server? Yes. 

Can we see it?  Yes, demonstrations of Accelerator can be provided on request and you can download a brochure from this link.  An extensive user guide can be downloaded from the link below.

Fictional Testimonials

About the Publisher

CRM Together is a leading development partner for Sage CRM.  They publish 4 products that we use all the time, including: (1) Accelerator, (2) MobileX, (3) Crystal Manager, and (4) 365 (for client portals).

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