If you’re looking to beef up your sales and marketing, now is an excellent time to explore the latest tools from Microsoft with little to no upfront investment. In a previous post I discussed the power of Microsoft 365 and how it gives small businesses a technological leg up for a fraction of the cost.
Now you can sign up for a beta version of Microsoft 365 and try it for free until its general release. I can’t guarantee that you’ll get it if you sign up, but it’s certainly worth a shot. Unlike most beta releases, which require you to transfer all your data into the new system, the transition will be automatic and seamless.
If you’re accepted into the Microsoft 365 beta program you’ll be up and running with your own enterprise-level Exchange environment, including Outlook and a SharePoint site where you can host files and access them remotely.
CRM Online is a contact management solution that’s now available for a free 30-day trial. Once the trial is over, and if you like what you see, the entry price is only $34 per month per user. Like Microsoft 365, if you decide to keep it the transition to the working version will happen automatically.
With CRM Online you can set up email campaigns and basic lead forms that sync automatically with your system so you don’t have to re-enter any data from those campaigns. Contact forms and data capture have been difficult to build and manage in the past unless you paid an arm and a leg to have someone program the code. You can also tie in CRM Online with Outlook.
At LexJet we’ve had access to these tools for years and I can vouch for their value. However, for most small businesses, the ability to implement them has been cost-prohibitive. Microsoft 365 and CRM Online allow small businesses to adopt the same enterprise-grade tools we use, which go a long way to helping you stay competitive in a dynamic market.
One thing you should know going into it is that while CRM Online and Office 365 work with most smart phones, they do not currently work with Safari, Firefox or Chrome; it’s Internet Explorer-only for the time being.
For more information about CRM Online and the 30-day free trial, go to crm.dynamics.com/en-us/how-to-buy, and for the Office 365 beta, go to www.microsoft.com/en-us/office365/online-software.aspx.