CRM Software


Active Member
Does anyone have experience or recommendation for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) software.

One of my commercial clients is a US based manufacturer that manufactures the actual product in China and then distrubutes to the US (and soon other countries) using already established retail storefronts.

As part of the agreement with the retailers, they provide product support & service through a small call center and office located here in California.

From my previous corporate IT gigs I'm familiar with the CRM modules from the big boys like Oracle and SAP, but need to re-educate myself now to work with these customers that operate at a much smaller scale (and budget).

I've been quickly overwhelmed after some web searches, so thought I'd ask if anyone had any direct experience with anything like this? They seem to come in two different flavors - hosted where you pay an anuual or monthly fee and access the systems over the internet, or the more traditional software that you purchase and install on your own server. I'm well aware of the pros & cons of each approach, but would be open to either solution.

Many thanks,
While I don't have any direct experience with it, I have kept an eye on the development of an open source project called SugarCRM. At some point my wife's business may need something bigger that ACT and this looks like a good choice. It is now at version 4.5. the company makes their money from consulting, installation services and support.

Here is a link!

Larry in Denver
In my previous company I setup Netsuite. Their customer support was less than desirable, it had a steep learning curve, and certain features were kind of buggy -- but still I found it to be the best bang for the buck when it came to having all of the features that we needed in a single integrated package. I spent a *lot* of time evaluating different packages and still think it was the right decision for us at the time, but the best choice for your client will really depend on their specific needs and goals. I'd recommend at least taking a look at Netsuite and seeing if it meets your/their criteria.
I got a ton of friends at [the bastards got in years before IPO]. I think they're pretty modular and varied in their pricing structure.

I could very easily setup a call between folks if you want.
I have briefly explored this topic for one of my clients and came across Microsoft CRM, but I don't believe it would be an easy setup, and it has hefty server requirements.

Salesforce seems like a good product but you have to keep paying every month and depending on how many users you have it could add up to a lot of money.

Not a fan of ACT, I compare it to Quickbooks (good general solution, but there are better products available).

I will have to review the Maximizer web demo, I tried to create a profile but it did not work.

The Netsuite website does not mention prices, but I will check them out.
Thanks to everyone for the suggestions, it seemed so far off topic I almost didn't post (now I'm glad that I did)!

I'm focused on another job today, but this will be my priority Friday. My plan is narrow down the choices to 4-5 with a mix of hosted and non-hosted solutions and then set up some conference calls next week with a rep from each.

The calls will include the owner of the company, his cust service manager and myself to field the technical questions.

If anyone else has a favorite or comments on the packages already mentioned, please chime in... the more info, the better.

Thanks again,
Paul, 'anything goes' in the Wiring Closet, so please don't hesitate at all to post this kind of stuff. I actually learned from this thread as well, so thanks for posting!
Yeah Paul, thank. I have a client looking for CRM as well. They got Microsoft CRM and I'll be putting it in next week. I'll feed back after the install to give initial impressions.
Chakara said:
Yeah Paul, thank. I have a client looking for CRM as well. They got Microsoft CRM and I'll be putting it in next week. I'll feed back after the install to give initial impressions.
How did the install go?