K.I.S.S. - CRM
September 24, 2009 8:11 AM   Subscribe

My company needs simple CRM - we don't need the thousands of bells and whistles that come with other products. Also, we need buy-in. What are my options?

I've been looking at and loving the Highrise option, but there seems to be some negativity out there in regards to transparency and security. Though I do like that it's hosted and easy to use/easy buy-in, but are the contacts really shared? Is the visibility such that 2 people aren't working on the same account without knowing it??

I need something that simply does this:
* Shared database of contacts
* Sales tracking (we aren't high volume... don't need marketing options)
* Management dashboard with the ability to view/track activity with all clients/prospects.

We just need everyone on the same page (10-15 users) for our international clients, thus the ability to divide a company into "regions" would help too.

I've looked at:
SugarCRM - Too complex, high priced
Salesforce.com - Too complex, high priced
FreeCrm - Bad interface
Act - Too complex, high priced

Anything I'm missing?
posted by namewithhe1d to Technology (8 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
FWIW, SugarCRM has a GPL3 variant, their community edition. This is free to use, as far as I can see on their website. It may still be too complex, but it may not be high priced if your needs are met by the community version.
posted by jenkinsEar at 8:23 AM on September 24, 2009

I haven't really dug through it yet, but Fat Free CRM looks really promising. It's free and open source, too.
posted by cdmwebs at 8:25 AM on September 24, 2009

NetworkHippo just launched recently and may have what you're looking for.
posted by kiboflavin at 8:27 AM on September 24, 2009

Thank you for the suggestions, I'm going to start checking them out. I am a big fan of 2.0 look and feel, especially with CRM. So many versions just feel like a database application, or a spreadsheet/Access front end. Makes it very boring and cumbersome to use.. I want something that employees would be interested in..
posted by namewithhe1d at 8:30 AM on September 24, 2009

I've used Highrise and think it's great for a small company.

Here's my view on the "security" (really, access control) issue:

By default, all contacts in Highrise are visible to everyone (i.e. your whole company). You can change a particular contact/task/note to be visible to "only me" or to a specific group of people.

If you work as a single team and want everyone to have access to all the activity, then this is perfect. Just use the default settings. If you want to keep some information private or restricted to a small group, you can do that but you have to explicity specify it for each contact you create.

The main complaint from the CustomerFX article is that there's no "superuser" access that lets an administrator view other users' private activity. So if you want to keep track of what other users are doing, you need to tell them (and trust them) to use the default "public" settings. (Also, check out the comments on that article by David Heinemeier Hansson from 37signals.)
posted by mbrubeck at 8:35 AM on September 24, 2009

Elements sure is pretty. I know it's supported on Safari + Mac. Not sure about Safari + Windows.
posted by mmdei at 10:02 AM on September 24, 2009

Try http://crm.zoho.com/crm/login.sas
the complexity can easily be stripped out.
posted by dripped at 1:18 PM on September 24, 2009

As an update.. our company has chosen Highrise. Here is our CRM Comparison Matrix.

To understand why some got positive or negative marks, here are our CRM Project Requirements for our medium-sized, multi-national business:

*Shared database of Contacts and Clients
*Visibility into team activity including meetings, follow-ups and client “status” (Informe *Comercial)
*Track Deals
*Assign Leads
*Manage regions from Corporate
*Small learning curve
posted by namewithhe1d at 7:06 AM on October 29, 2009 [2 favorites]

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