All companies, no matter their size, need to have some kind of customer relationship management (CRM) system in place to manage both customer relationships and the data associated with these relationships. However, a good CRM system need not be expensive or complex. Hence, here are a couple of low-cost or free CRM products worth considering if you are a reseller:
Salesforce CRM Personal Edition. This free version of Salesforce (paid multi-user versions are also available) fully integrates with outlook and various mobile devices plus there are plenty of customisation options. However, it also comes with a steep learning curve for users as there are numerous screens and functions to learn.
Microsoft Outlook 2010 with Business Contact Manager. This Microsoft CRM system comes with the familiar outlook interface and there are PDA applications for Windows Mobile smartphones. However, it’s not free and you need to buy an Office bundle that includes it. Moreover, it also comes with a moderate learning curve and there is some chunkiness in the design.
37 Signals’ Highrise. The Highwise CRM system is free and easy to use and learn by non-techies. However and if you are already using Microsoft Outlook, there is probably no point to using Highwise. Moreover, Highwise offers no upgrade to something more sophisticated.
While each of the above CRM systems have their pros and cons, its important to remember that a CRM system is only as good as the data you put into it and how well you are able to integrate it with your existing work processes and systems. Thus, its probably a good idea to consider several options before making a final purchase decision.