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Contact Management Software?

I am looking for recommendations for contact management software (like Goldmine or Siebel) for use only by me (not a sales group). Any input would be appreciated. Thanks! - by Misty
What features are you wanting? - by Liberty
Ideally I want a program that can manage all of my customer and prospect information (including customizable details), and my calendar, and facilitate mass emails and faxes, and track my quoting and sales and cold calls and follow ups (although it doesn't necessarily need to tie to the documents themselves - just report on them). Bascially something that can track all of my sales activities. - by Misty
Misty, you mention the two ends of the spectrum in your examples. My experience with Siebel was that it was an inflexible, difficult to get into tool which was (at the time) superb at managing huge amounts of information over cross-function groups globally.

The "lower-end" is occupied by tools such as Maximizer, ACT, and Goldmine. These are superb for SMB use and cover all of the subjects which you've portrayed. In fact, we pushed ACT to the limit and were sync'ing every Friday via FTP (5 users spread across the city of Toronto). You need to back-up fastidiously to some device which is separate from your computer. It works well with MS Outlook (you don't mention your set-up).

You don't mention how your office is configured for technology. If you're not "on the lead edge", you might want to consider something like Salesforce.com. The beauty of this tool is that they are responsible for all of the infrastructure ... you just connect via the web! It is middle of the road in terms of cost.

After your research, I think you're going to end-up with ACT ...

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
Thanks very much for the input Pat.

I brought up Siebel and Goldmine because they are the only CRM software I was aware of. From what I know of them, neither are right for me. Siebel is geared towards managing sales teams, and Goldmine (at least the old versions) is too complicated to set up.

I am looking for a system to manage my own personal sales activities. I have Windows, Outlook & Office. I am not looking to sync up with any of my company's proprietary software. The program will be installed locally on my laptop, and backed up onto the server. There will be no information sharing.

I would prefer an online system like SalesForce as well, but my employer is not willing to pay a monthly subscription fee. I will consider paying a subscription fee myself if I feel the value is right, but I would rather not.

My employer is willing to pay for a software package. My boss has recommended ACT!. It looks like the least expensive program out there right now, so if I want to buy another program I will need to have a strong case to justify the price difference. - by Misty
I think you'll be happy with ACT and it appears that your employer is supportive of the product.

Good luck & Good selling!
Pat - by OUTSource Sales
We have a Goldmine system even though we've only got a few salespeople. We got it for it's server and syncing abilities many years ago. I personally use ACT!, and find it to be a much better system, especially for the independent. ACT just didn't have the Server based system at the time.

ACT has gotten a reputation lately of being unstable however. I don't know about the current version, but the past "2000" level versions were all difficult to install and run without problems, so keep that in mind. I still use ACT 6.

Maybe a current user can give you better insight, but unless you have a large organization with very detailed sales management needs, I would recommend ACT. - by TommyMac5
I have used ACT for the last 12 years and I swear by it.

It's simple to use, yet it's very thorough.
Between the ability to manage information...portray it in whatever reports you need...and mail merge your data for letters and envelopes...you can't beat it!

Disclaimer - I do not work for ACT. I do not get paid to reccomend ACT. I am not an ACTor. I sometimes ACT like an idiot, but it's just my boyish charm.... - by Defmall
I would look at another program instead of ACT!. It is pretty buggy and many companies have a hard time working out those bugs. GoldMine is usually pretty stable and Sugar has a free version if your interested in that. Also, MS CRM seems to be getting more popular too. Good luck! - by bg1229
I strongly recomend Maximizer single user, I got a old version and wanted new features, I got a deal on Act 2010. I spend houres with customer service, had to buy a new computer. There is a couple of stupid bugs, like if you want to say: I have finished that task, let's close it. It will close the task at the date and time it was scheduled. Can you imagine. You ask yourselve when you completed a task, the only record you have is act, the record can be wrong all the time.

Because I am a programmer, I can go around the bugs. But Maximizer is all set so you can call people and do nice follow up. When you dial a phone number it will ask immediatly: is the person answer, was busy, you left message. And will keep track of your answer. You have to buy add-on to do that with ACT or do it manyaly, a big waste of time.

Max is easy to learn and less expensive than act. - by FrankB