I thought this was a great question, since it invites personal opinion with rationale to support it, rather than asking for ‘best’ or ‘recommendations’. What is ‘best’ for one personal or business and their situation and needs may not be right for another person or business.
Personally I was a big fan of Goldmine which was really good, in its day. I used and selected Goldmine in 4 companies across a decade through the 1990’s. Since then I’ve used Salesforce.com. and various cloud systems like ZoHo, SugarCRM, VTiger as similar. I also use InTouchCRM which is a really good email marketing based CRM system, but doesn’t yet support the sales end of the process as well as my preferred system.
My favourite CRM is Nimble SCRM
Over the past 2 years I’ve shifted onto Nimble CRM as it provides really good support for office based sales activity, which is becoming known as Inside Sales.
Nimble is new breed of Social CRM which is really good for customer facing sales people and business owners. When you sell higher value deals, and you know your customers by name, you meet, phone and email them, meet new contacts at network meetings and through referrals, and manage maybe 250-1000 contacts and ‘relationships’ then Nimble fits the bill very well.
If you’re in a high volume low value sales situation the Nimble is probably not such a good fit as other CRM systems that maybe have stronger email and database marketing capability and integration with product and finance systems, and maybe e-commerce capability.
Why is Nimble my favourite CRM?
Briefly, Nimble is a great Sales Hub and Sales Contact Manager and is especially good for:
- multiple communications channels (email + various social channels LN TWTR, FB, G+ etc),
- it provides a consolidated view of each customer (comms, meetings, notes, forecasts etc.),
- it’s great for organising activities (to-do + calendar) and deals (sales pipeline), and
- it integrates with lots of other apps (Mailchimp, Hootsuite, Hubspot and dozens more).
There are some limitations, and it’s not an ‘all-in-one’ system, more a best of breed at what it does.
There is a link to my previous favourite CRM as Nimble has been created by the founder of Goldmine, Jon Ferrara.
There is a strong vision, strategy and pedigree underpinning the system, so, as with other strategic cloud/SaaS Apps, it’s more of a journey rather than a product.
Full disclosure: Having selected Nimble I have chosen to become a reseller.