Microsoft Outlook is a great inside sales tool in itself which is why so many sales professionals will swear by it and will tell you it's the center of all their computer based reach out activity. Some rely it on to be their contact manager. It has a very functional address book to store and retrieve contact information but I would think its slightly lacking as a full fledged contact management application like for example. "It's has everything we need to send emails to prospects before we call them!" some would argue and I won't disagree that it won't do the job. I just think there are other options out there which could do the job better and give you a selling edge.
Lead nurturing technology features can also be priceless to sales. For example, the kind of insights and lead activity tracking lead nurturing software provides marketers to gauge which leads are more actively showing interest and more likely to be qualified can be a huge boon for sales teams to gauge interest levels and contact leads accordingly. If sales people are able to view what a lead has been clicking on, what website pages they have been reading and what their interest level looks like, it enables them to go into a call that much more prepared. Needless to say, the better prepared, the more in control of a call they can be and the better the productivity and results.
This is the same line of thought that the product development team kept in mind while developing which takes these features of lead nurturing and arms sales teams using Salesforce.com with the same level of insight which would help them track every email sent out beyond just a read receipt notification. Similarly with lite versions of lead nurturing technology as we've released in, there are some very cost effective and accessible lead nurturing solutions which can just as easily be used by sales to help close more customer than by marketing to generate leads. So if you're still relying on Outlook to keep in touch with leads or send out multiple emails, you may want to explore what else is out there. While some things may just do the job, others may be able to do it better. Give them a try.