CRM Tool

I am looking to see what everyone uses as their CRM tool. I am in charge of organizing our client database for ongoing Business Development purposes and I am looking for suggestions.

I am considering simply using M$ Outlook…but would love to hear what others have established.


I’ve worked a bit with SugarCRM. I was first attracted to it because they offer an “open source” version so no investment (other than time) required upfront. You can always upgrade to the paid version to get all the extra features. I also like that it can be locally hosted and readily imports/exports CSV files. It has built in outlook integration, though I haven’t tested this out (stay away from the built in email system, as it is wonky).

I found it requires some tinkering to get everything customized to fit your needs but it is flexible and very configurable. It depends I guess on how many users will be interacting with the system and how intense your CRM needs are. Most of these systems seem clunky and overly complex to me.

Thanks, i will check it out.

for the time being, it is going to be 1 or 2 people regularly interacting with the database.

The thing i like about using Outlook for this purpose is that it is all online and ready to go NOW. Minimal learning curve, from what I can tell.

Agreed. The big CRM solutions like sugar are really design for big teams of salespeople where everyone must have concurrent access to customer records. And there is a long, defined sales cycle workflow to follow. When there are only a couple people, it’s hard to justify a dedicated system when the tools within outlook work well.

Granted, scalability is something to consider as well.

Although, I wonder how much of a sales force I would need to manage even if my company grew beyond my wildest expectations.

Then again, if it did that, I would be hiring someone specifically to manage and update the system at that point :wink:

Salesforce is “La Fromage Grand” in the CRM /sales field. Might be interesting to check out thier site-



I’ve used by Goldmine and ACT. They are more-or-less similar and you can get into a single license for $100 or so; until you get up to 5+ licenses figure $100 a seat. I recently began to implement ACT at my current office and it’s been a little annoying getting it set up on the network for two of us. I’m sure Goldmine is about the same (the last few times I implemented Goldmine I was the only user, so I can’t remember the networking issues).

The biggest difference between the two: Goldmine is about tracking completed actions, while ACT is about scheduling future actions. If your focus is on monitoring how many calls your sales person made, go with Goldmine. If you’re all about scheduling future calls, then go with ACT. That’s hard to understand on this side of the wall, but when using ACT it’s very difficult to monitor how many calls you’ve made and that’s often a key metric for judging sales activity before the jobs begin to pop. One thing I did before deciding between ACT and Goldmine: get a few “Dummy” guides to both for a song (not sure if anyone wrote them for SalesForce or other enterprise-level CRM’s) and use them as guides for your next step.

Information is golden, and the key to benefiting from CRM-use is to capture every interaction and use that information to build upon in your next call. They don’t say the average sale comes after six calls for nothing.

Best of luck,


Does somebody know more CRM sites?