The Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide – Introduction

Welcome to the first post from the “Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide” series. In this post, we explain what Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office  is and discuss the benefits of using the add-in with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online or Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013.

What is Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook?

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Office Outlook (CRM for Outlook) is an add-in that allows CRM 2013 and CRM Online users to access records in their CRM database directly from Outlook. The add-in is a free software component that adds functionality to Microsoft Office Outlook, and it must be installed locally on each computer.

The CRM for Outlook add-in is a true differentiator for Microsoft Dynamics CRM. While many other CRM applications provide some level of email tracking through Outlook, CRM for Outlook provides a high level of integration between your CRM Online or CRM 2013 database and Outlook. If you currently use Outlook for email, calendar, and contact management, and are looking for a CRM solution, Microsoft Dynamics CRM should be on your shortlist of potential CRM systems.

Key Benefits of CRM for Outlook

CRM for Outlook provides a number of benefits for Microsoft Dynamics CRM users:

  1. It allows users to access CRM records directly in Outlook without having to open up their web browsers and log into the CRM organization.
  2. It makes it very easy to track incoming and outgoing emails from your Outlook inbox.
  3. It allows users to create new CRM records, including Tasks, Faxes, Appointments, Service Activities, and Campaign Responses directly from the CRM tab in Outlook.
  4. It allows users to track Outlook appointments in CRM.
  5. It provides a shortcut for converting emails into Opportunity, Case, or Lead records.
  6. It can improve user adoption because the plugin allows users to a familiar user interface for Outlook users.
  7. It can provide offline access to records in the CRM database.
  8. It provides the ability to refresh data in Microsoft Office Excel directly from CRM.

Cost of the CRM for Outlook Plugin

The CRM for Outlook add-in is free for Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online subscribers and CRM 2013 license holders.


The CRM for Outlook add-in is compatible with Outlook 2007, Outlook 2010, and Outlook 2013 on computers running Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1.

It is not compatible with Microsoft Office Outlook for Mac OS X.

Downloading Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 for Microsoft Outlook

CRM for Outlook is available to download from the Microsoft Download Center. Click the following link to

The “Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide” series

Part I – Introduction to the Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide
Part II – Installing the CRM for Outlook Add-In

9 thoughts on “The Ultimate CRM for Outlook Guide – Introduction

    1. Hi Mike,

      Unfortunately, the CRM for Outlook plugin does not work with Office for Mac OS. In order to synchronize activities between Outlook and CRM, you will have to deploy server-side synchronization. Server-side synchronization is an option if you are using Exchange Online and CRM Online. There is also a company called Reva that offers server-side synchronization:

  1. I have submitted the join form 3 or 4 times and no one ever contacts me. How do I access your tutorials? Do I have to use you as my host for CRM to access them? I’d love to watch/read whatever you have! Please please contact me.

    1. Hello Raegan,

      You probably already got the email, but just to answer you here, Success Portal access is free, but you have to set xRM as your Partner of Record (POR) with Microsoft (which is also free). We understand that you’ve already chosen another Microsoft Partner as your POR, but unfortunately, that means that we can’t give you Success Portal access unless you were to alternatively purchase a product or service through xRM, which overrides the POR requirement.

  2. Thank you for this article. Outlook integration is an important consideration for my company. What other CRM products integrate with Outlook?

    1. Vijay,

      Lots of CRM products do integrate with Outlook to some degree. Usually that means that companies can track emails by using a special email tracking account in the CC line. Other products will synchronize contacts and activities. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the most complete integration though, allowing users to sync contacts and activities, track emails, and access records through the user interface of Outlook.

  3. Several CRM products offer Outlook integration, but the integration with Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the best. In addition to being able to track emails and sync contacts, appointments, tasks, and other activities between Outlook and CRM, you can actually access your CRM records from within Outlook.

  4. Hi, thanks for writing this post. Hopefully you can answer this question for me. Does the CRM Outlook integration work on the Surface tablet?

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