We have been using SugarCRM for a little over a year. It is a great solution and the latest version has a lot of features that make it more useful for project management. It is written in PHP so it is easy to expand and their development community already has dozens of plug-ins created which enhance the program. We use it to track sales leads, projects, fixes and employees. Our customers can submit website updates and changes directly to the CRM. If you are looking for a CRM solution I suggest you install it and give it a try.
When it comes to CRM tools, you should definately look into ACT!
The new SQL version can handle a few hundred thousand records and depending on your needs, you can opt for a stand-alone version, a work group version or a web based (hosted) version.
I`ve been using ACT! since it was a DOS program
(I`m way older than most of you young pups on this Forum)
Over the years, I`ve customed the #$#$ out of ACT! many times over for many different clients/industries.
I`ve spent some time implementing big CRM systems (Siebel and SAP CRM) for "the big guys" and also have a demo system of SugarCRM setup at my office.
Sugar does nice work with the sales process, tracking your contacts, customer interactions and pipeline forecasting (although how accurate your forecasts are will never be magically perfect with software). This aspect of the application is on par if not a little more user-friendly than SAP. Areas that I`ve found lacking are the Office integration out of the box, and Sugar doesn`t integrate well with backoffice functions (production, accounting, etc.) as well as the big boys do.
For other options, MS has a CRM product under their MS Dynamics line that looks like it integrates very nicely with office and their small business accounting package, and there is another open source CRM product called "Tiger CRM" that apparently is a derrivative of Sugar with less focus on selling add-on products.
There are tons of options, but before rushing out to run demos I would put some major thought into what you want your CRM system to actually accomplish. CRM systems are notorious for being expensive to implement and having low acceptance rates, mainly due to putting in "cool technology" not determining where your business is going, and how a CRM system fits into that plan. No matter which system you choose, you MUST change the way your sales force does business or your investment (and yes, even the free SugarCRM has high design, implementation and maintenance costs) will be for naught.
I have a couple of free articles about CRM implementations that you might find helpful here: http://www.prevoyancegroup.com/free_content/articles/
Good luck and let me know what you end up choosing!