Upshot adds Outlook integration

Upshot is to integrate its online CRM offering to Microsoft Outlook. The integration will allow Outlook users to have all the...

Upshot is to integrate its online CRM offering to Microsoft Outlook. The integration will allow Outlook users to have all the information from e-mail move into the UpShot CRM system and vice versa.

It will also enable users to access UpShot directly from Outlook and therefore increase user adoption by adapting to sales representatives work habits, said Upshot chairman and founder, Keith Raffel.

"We're coming up with a one-click way to integrate Outlook e-mail with UpShot's CRM solution," Raffel said. "Salespeople spend an awful lot of the sales process working through e-mail. A lot of that info never gets into the CRM system."

As a result, companies often find they have an incomplete sales history, making their sales forecasts inaccurate, Raffel added. UpShot's integration synchronises Outlook contacts, tasks and calendar functions with UpShot.

While users have been demanding integration of sales force automation applications with e-mail for some time, it has "been like pulling teeth" to get vendors to respond, said Sheryl Kingstone, an analyst with the Yankee Group.

However, with Microsoft's planned entrance to the CRM market late this year, many rival CRM vendors are rushing to integrate CRM with e-mail.

Some companies have opted to transfer all e-mail en masse to the CRM system. This route, however, leads to information overload because non-pertinent e-mail gets included in the sales system.

In contrast, UpShot has added an option to click when sending an e-mail if the data is crucial and should be sent to the CRM system.

"That avoids the problem of having to integrate all of it," Kingstone said. "You can have that feature whether you're in Outlook or in UpShot."

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