Now, I admit, when it comes to using CRM software I’m an Outlook user and have been one for quite some time. I’ve just never had a need to upgrade to something more robust. Outlook has always given me the functionality I need to best manage and communicate with my database of clients, prospects, members, family and more. But as a sales coach and consultant for hundreds of companies each year, you can imagine I get this question asked of me all the time.
“Keith, what’s the best contact management software for me and for my team?”
The answer, “It depends.” Now I know this is no shocking revelation for you. After call, if we go back to selling 101, what may be best for one client may not be right for another depending of course, on their size, their industry, their needs, budget and objectives of a software solution.
And you’re probably aware that you can demo some of these online solutions yourself. But here’s something you may not know. You can actually use a fairly robust version of salesforce.com absolutely free. One of my clients who happens to be a Telecom guru, Peter Radizeski, informed me about Salesforce.com’s Personal Edition. (Peter’s also known as the marketing idea guy. And he is. If you’re in telecom or have any telecom needs, this guy knows more about this industry than anyone I’ve met and probably is the top 3 in his field. You can find out more about Peter at www.marketingideaguy.com.)
If you’re not familiar with this online CRM software solution, Salesforce is the leading hosted (online) CRM / Contact Management service. In fact, more than 646,000 subscribers at 29,800 companies worldwide depend on Salesforce to manage their sales, marketing, customer service, and other critical business functions.
While there are monthly fees to use the full blown product, they do have a free version, which works for any single user. It’s called the Personal Edition and is marketed as “CRM for the individual Businessperson.” According to Peter, “It’s the same software as the higher priced offerings, with some of the features turned off. And if you want to unlock those features, or add users, direct upgrades are available without having to re-enter data or start over. And no credit card is required to activate this version.”
Since they don’t actively promote this, just click http://www.salesforce.com/products/editions-pricing/personal-edition/ here to get it for yourself.