Salesforce.com is a market leader in CRM software and the pioneer of the Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) CRM movement. CRM Market Awards named it 2012’s best Enterprise and Mid-Market Suite CRM.
Brilliant for small and large enterprises
Dec 27, 2013 by Francis Pindar
The platform is just so configurable to more or less any business process. It has some brilliant integration tools and the appExchange has 1000s of apps to make your business easier. With a couple of click you can install free apps to mange your projects or apps to manage recruitment, send SMSs, auto print documents etc. Love it!
In response to David Shore:
Ask Salesforce to switch on the "Person Accounts" feature in Salesforce. This allows you to have individuals within Salesforce without the need to continually add duplicate information. Email sync should be fine but make sure you have the latest version of the outlook plugin (if using outlook).
Get help at success.salesforce.com.
Not for all business users
Dec 16, 2013 by David Shore
I own an independent insurance agency and wanted to use salesforce to track my clients and keep detailed notes and e-mails.
Salesforce wanted me to create a business account for every individual even if they were not a business client. This is very time consuming and not flexible for my use. When I spoke with support the work around was to duplicate the client information in the business account page. In a world of limited time this was not functional.
I also found the synchronization of e-mails into the account also time consuming and not functional.
My older brother also used this product for his business and had nothing but issues with the synchronization.
Best CRM I have ever used
Dec 12, 2013 by Mavrick Moores
I have used Salesforce.com in nearly every company I have worked for, and I will be using it again now as I start my own small business. Salesforce has been phenomenal because of how highly customizable it is, allowing it be tailored perfectly to how each business operates. If it weren't for Salesforce I never could have tracked all of my contacts, leads and opportunities nearly as well. I'm looking forward to now using Salesforce in my own business to automate as much as possible and drive new sales and revenue.
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Founded in 2004, SugarCRM – an industry innovator, is now the world’s fastest growing CRM solution. Equipped with an eco-system of thousands of apps, this CRM is a powerful, flexible option for businesses of all sizes.
Admin turned Advocate
Dec 12, 2013 by Vladan Filipovic
Once you've sorted through your business needs, rolled up your sleeves to spend quality time under the hood, Sugar reveals its mesmerizing malleability and definitely gets under your skin.
It is with a certain sense of nostalgia that I remember the "before" and "after" snapshots of what was intended to be a Change Request summary for a much dreaded Sugar CRM makeover and data migration.
I was commissioned to perform this last ditch effort of face lifting of our conspicuously underused CRM system, to make it more palatable and finally win over all ten members of our Sales Team to commit to using it as their primary resource.
And it worked.
From five most heavily used Modules in our on-demand Sugar Professional - we were down to just three. A few out of the box modules i.e. "Tasks","Calls" and "Meetings" needed to be merged into a single "Activities" super-module, with the intent of saving novice users much grief in orchestrating their tight schedules.
Trust me, this kind of stunt is easier said then done. And if you are doing it in-house make sure to thoroughly get all the questions answered by Sugar Support Engineers.
However, what once seemed as a complex intervention in our case, after careful analyses of field mappings, relationships and dependencies - turned out to be a breeze to implement, and a recipe I am delighted to now share with all Sugar aficionados.
All alterations were done from the Admin panel in Studio. A brand new host module was created from scratch, as a common denominator of features found in the three modules about to be absorbed in it - after a meticulous study of necessary field mappings and data structures.
All the steps of building it and subsequent tweaks were done in easy to use Studio utilizing Sugar's robust but intuitive Logic; some custom fields and relationships needed to be introduced, old module templates restructured to align with the new one, and finally all raw data were exported, restructured and re-imported into our new custom super-module, making sure every single field of every single record landed where it should.
Before going live, we've had a chance to work all the steps out on a clone environment which was made available for us by Sugar Support, and once we thoroughly tested and confirmed that all the desired new functionalities were implemented flawlessly, and data migration has preserved all the historical usage, we went into our production environment and replicated the whole process.
So, six months and three minor Sugar releases later - we rolled out our pride and joy just before a new major version - Sugar 7 was announced.
I breathed a sigh of relief once the greatest test of the feasibility of customization efforts - user acceptance trial - was over:
the epilogue - all ten members of our Sales Team have cheerfully transfered all of their externally kept data into Sugar and are loving it.
This will be definitely an episode to remember and cherish in the coming year, as I am preparing to win over a few more partners and associates into considering switching to Sugar.
For me this CRM customization project (I later on summarized in 'A Guide through Sugar Makeover' whitepaper) became a litmus test of
how this kind of collaborative tool would weather the change and stay relevant with evolving business needs of those who depend on it.
In my view, Sugar has definitely passed The Test with flying colors, effecting a transformation in me from an unsung hero of Sugar Administration - into a full blown ranting and raving Sugar Advocate.
Can you tell I OD'd a bit? :)
Lost before SugarCRM
Dec 12, 2013 by Ashley Prichard
To say that our company was lost without Sugar would be an understatement. Our failures to keep a database up to date was very apparent during Christmas mailings in which we would receive at least 50% of our mailing back because of incorrect information. Sugar makes it easy for our sales team to keep customer information up to date. It is easy to learn and the availability of the internet CRM keeps us on track.
Sugar is a great tool to simply use as a database but that is not the extent of this tool. We currently use the sales pipeline and tracking in which we were able to customize since Sugar is an open source application. We have spent hours making our CRM completely custom to fit our needs and it has really made a world of difference.
We know that Sugar has a lot more to offer that we aren't even taking advantage of at this time including Outlook and Cloud capabilities. We look forward to learning more and growing our business using Sugar.
An evolving product with lots of promise
We are a plastics rotational molder and we use Sugar in addition to E2 Shoptech ERP. This is because E2 lacks a CRM of any kind and we needed one for customer contact tracking and marketing/sales/customer service purposes. We initially chose the system because it could be SaaS through a browser and was much less expensive than competitors such as Salesforce. The software accels in customizability. As the admin, there was a bit of a learning curve, but not much. If you're familiar with coding or systems at all, you'll understand the module layout very easily. But even a non-coder or system expert can easily review the online support documents and work out what needs to be done. We actually run 3 different companies on site and were able to differentiate contacts and accounts through different means. Because we do so much custom work, it was nice having the ability to add custom fields and drop downs. My faviorite part about the software is the dynamic linking of fields. For instance, if you are in a contact or lead record which is associated with a company's account, in the field "Account Name", not only can you see that company name, but you can click it and go straight to that record. And nearly all items are this way making it very easy to jump through data. Reporting is another feature we use extensively and there is a lot of customization available here.
Now for some of the cons. It's not perfect. For isntance, if you opt to have your database hosted on Sugar's server, make sure you have a strong internet (and network) connection or editing/entering records can be a long process to say the least. In business, nobody likes to wait. Fortunately, we haven't been too bad off, but we do get slow days. Also, there are some frustrating points of the software. For instance, when enter a record (let's say, a phone call) there's a field labeled "Related To". You can adjust this field to be a Lead, Account, Contact, anything. If you set it to Lead, you can then start immediately typing the lead in and it will strat to autopopulate based on current system entries (another awesome feature). But if you can't find what you want or your slow connection doesn't allow for fast enough updating, you have to manually search the database. Unfortunately, if the record doesn't exist, you have to open up a completely new Sugar window and enter the OTHER record first before finishing the first one. This is just one example as these types of small frustrations exist through the system.
Fortunately they are few and far between. The only other problems we've come across are reports that access lots of different data types are difficult to work into a single report. Also, email integration is very limited in functionality, both within the system and using the Outlook plugin.
But for small businesses (especially non-manufacturing) this system would be exceptional for the price. I've had a very easy time working with our account reps at the company in customizing our package. And they are constantly updating the system to make it better. Anytime I've submitted a support ticket, response has been quick and very helpful. I would recommend Sugar CRM to small to medium businesses.
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ACT! by Sage is the original CRM, used by thousands for over 25 years. ACT! is a great choice for small businesses looking for and Onsite CRM.
ACT! CRM has been an ongoing battle for our company. There are certain features within ACT! that our sales staff do not find “easy” to use, so they opt to not use it altogether. They don’t like that fact that there are certain fields that must be filled out or it keeps them from submitting an entry, it is easy to duplicate contacts which cause our data base to be cluttered with the same contact with various information. When you go to delete duplicates (using a feature ACT! provides), you end up deleting or merging the wrong contacts. We had a case when we were trying to delete duplicates and it ended up deleting over 1,400 contacts and broke syncing mechanisms for our database to server. Causing us a giant hassle with time and money to get it fixed.
When you go to use Groups, which we use to send our email blasts, it’s always a hit or miss. In the group feature you are able to set up certain criteria in order to select contacts based off your contacts within the database. It’s never right, and you always have to go back and manually add or take people out of the list. Part of this is due to the lack of information that our salesmen “forget” to enter, I’ll admit. However my first criteria I always enter first is that contact contains an email address, and it never fails to select contacts that do not have an email listed. Another issue we have with ACT is that we have it set up that each salesmen contacts are “private” so no other salesmen can see them, besides the sales manager and the administrator. That doesn’t always work. We have all the sales accounts set to the same settings, and there are a few that have their contacts show up in other peoples databases, for no apparent reason.
All in all, I would not recommend ACT! CRM. The consensus within our company is that hindsight is 20/20, and when the decision was made long ago, they wish they had opted for the other CRM they were looking at, but decided on ACT! due to budgetary reasons.
Response: Thanks for your honest review Emily - what other CRM were you looking at when you decided to choose ACT! for financial reasons?
Dec 12, 2013 by Ben Schmerler
ACT is a powerful tool for organizations to manage and touch their contacts regularly. As an IT services professional that needs to recommend software to a variety of different organizations with different requirements in regards to contacting prospects or customers, I don't hesitate to look to ACT! as a top recommendation. It is a versatile platform that integrates nicely, especially with people who rely on Outlook for email/calendars/contacts. Sage also provides excellent support when we run into difficulties either with technical issues or figuring out how to perform specific features within the application. If I had to criticize one thing about ACT, it would be that it takes some training to figure out. However, when you are dealing with a fully featured product that is meant to work in a variety of environments it is reasonable to expect some training.
I will continue to recommend ACT moving forward and always consider it a top choice when looking for a CRM solution.
ACT USER 5 YEARS
Dec 12, 2013 by Kumberly Graniero
Once really understanding the ins and outs of this program I love it. It is very easy to customize it to your companies needs. I love that it is compatible with smart phones/pads so we can use it everywhere. I've always gotten really great customer support and it is easy to train new employees how to use it.
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SageCRM is an innovative solution designed for midsized businesses with motivation to grow and optimize their sales, marketing and customer service.
Ease of use CRM
Dec 12, 2013 by Ian Valentine
Since we have implemented Sage CRM into our business model accuracy of quotes and orders has increased, and we are not constantly re-quoting material and services to the same people over and over again. We have times where multiple customers are asking for the same quotes on the same material, and Sage CRM has helped us to keep track of that. Add those features with the relationship and syncing capability to MAS Accounting software, and we have a great system. I cannot wait to see the update to Sage CRM, where the business flow gets a graphical upgrade. This software has increased productivity and decreased errors, along with providing our business with a great tool to do our jobs effectively. It was easy to learn to use, and always tells you when you have made an error or forgot to enter required information. Honestly, I don't know how we got along without a CRM for so long.