When I was the primary person doing customer engagemetns I used Outlook`s Business Contact Manager (BCM). Since we`re growing more now we switched to a web based one (SugarCRM) to track our clients & their projects.
One issue that comes up is policy about how to take/make/update notes or actions with your customers. My favorite decision so far in this regard is to always have written down the "next step" for that customer. This way - you never find yourself saying - "Were we supposed to do something, or are we waiting on them?"
First post... here we go...
I`m currently starting my first business. It will be a one person operation for some time to come, and I`m looking for an offline CRM program or suite of apps to help me do the following things:
Integrate well with MS Outlook
Manage contacts and history with compaines and multiple contacts at companies
What I don`t need is service management, as I will not be providing any repair or servicing options for the product I sell, or parts and inventory control as I will be dropshipping directly from my manufacturers.
I`ve looked at Prophet 4.0 and I really like the way it`s integrated into Outlook, but it doesn`t offer any type of quotation software.
I`ve also looked at CRM+ from Tigerpaw, but it has the service and inventory controls I don`t need.
I`ve looked at ACT! as well, but it`s a paint to get to sync with Outlook... I`ve actually used this one before, it`s a good program, but agin, it`s the MS compatability issue.
Does anyone have any suggestions?
m....that`s a tough one.
About offline CRM program with follow up customers, quotation and beyond,
I`ve never heard till now... sorry.
Personally, I will be with you guys on the line to buy one.
I mainly give service to customer, but I do quotation on material (PC Tech).
So far I could get is M.Outlook sync to my Palm (PDA), there is a software for Palm that sync offline Quickbook (customers, invoices and more) and for Quotations I have another shareware software.
Yep, looks kind of Frankestein solution, but it works for me. I know you aren`t looking for that, but we will keep looking for that `hero-software` that help us out, without putting a mortgage in our house.
But if you need an ONLINE CRM INTEGRATED...
(That`s the sofware my the last Company I worked with years ago used to use)
It gets almost everything and as I can see now, you can use it through the IPhone.
Good Luck !
SalesForce.Com is the "Cadillac" of CRM in my humble opinion. I have extensive experience with SalesForce and I can fully recommend it 100% as it has all of the features mentioned above and will grow with your business. You can even sign up for a free edition, and move up to a paid addition as your business grows. To sign up for the free edition, check out this link:
Word of Caution:
I also have experience with Oracle`s CRMOnDemand, which is a competing product. Stay away from it at all costs.
I took a look at that software (getting the FREE Personal Edition) and it`s AWESOME.
For a business start-up guy like me this FREE Version goes beyond any I could possible use (beside, I`ve got lost into the features it has).
And the FREE tip & NO SOFTWARE TO INSTALL, SYNC with M.OUTLOOK is a sweet hook.
I`m in to it to test it.