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CRM Help!

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  • CRM Help!

    I am a GTD practitioner running a small software development firm. I have implemented GTD in Outlook. I need to acquire a CRM for my business- either web based or server based. I am interested in any feedback from folks who use a CRM and practice GTD with it. Are there some more aligned with GTD than others? I would prefer not to run two systems such as MS Outlook + CRM. I tried MS Business Contact Manager for Outlook and it was terrible.
    Thanks for any assistance you can offer.

    Best for 2007!

  • #2
    Consider Avidian Prophet

    You might want to consider Avidian Prophet. I purchased it but the press of other obligations has thusfar kept me from installing it and converting customer records over to it. I learned about Avidian Prophet from posts in these forums, so you may want to do a search on it here.

    Prophet works from within Outlook and appealed to me since it's not yet another application that I have to have running. And should we ever outgrow it (an unlikely event since Avidian claims that they have clients with over 300 seats using it) I'm guessing that the data should roll into the Microsoft Dynamics CRM, or nearly any other CRM out there since Outlook is a de facto standard.


    • #3
      Prophet Best CRM by far

      Hi there,
      Prophet is the best CRM in the business today, I use with a server with 20 user and now I use as stand alone application awesome and easy to use.

      The new version just comes out 4.0 get the professional better features to do searches. Is compatible with the TREO 700 so you can keep your opportunities with you all the time.

      If you interesting to see how I use we can do a Webex meeting and 5 minutes you'll get the idea.



      • #4
        Mixed Opinions

        I tried Prophet Pro 4.0 and was disappointed with a few things.
        1. The lack of detailed feature sets and how they perform.
        2. What is needed software wise for the software to perform correctly.
        3. Tech support

        I was under the impression that the Pro version would allow me to use my ISP host SQL Server to store my prophet database. This (in my mind) would have allowed me to have a central database to access from work and from home. Not true. But had they had a more detailed feature set and explanation of how those features are implemented, I would have known better.

        Automated Sales Assistant, should allow one to insert field codes e.g., FirstName, LastName, WholeName, in an email template. In turn, these fields should be populated with the contacts names respectively. It does not work with my setup, I reported the bug.

        In talking to tech support concerning the bug, I was never once asked... "What version of Outlook are you using, what other add-ins do you have running, etc." Basic questions that should have been asked to diagnose any software issue. I was told the Automated Sales Assistant is programmed by another company for Avidian and that they would have a fix in the next release.

        At close to $300 for the Pro version, I decided to return it. I was not about to let my 30-day trial period lapse and be burdened with software that has minor issues and was not (in my opinion) presented in such a way I could have made better choices. What I mean by that is when you look at their feature set on-line, every feature is a bullet point with no details. I downloaded the users manual for Prophet Pro 4.0 and it didn't answer questions about the server side it should have. Also the manual itself (PDF file) was incomplete and missing text and diagrams on some pages.

        When I returned the software, I was never asked in any detail, "Why" the software was not to my liking, did I choose another brand, what could we do to improve your experience, etc.

        They are very good at selling the software, but lack follow through and follow-up. Which is odd for a company specializing in software to help individuals and companies do exactly that!

        If you are thinking about this software, try the "Standard" version first, and explore every inch of it during your 30-day trial.


        • #5
          Sage ACCPAC CRM.....Stay Away!

          We use Sage CRM here and though it is customizable to work with GTD (sort of) I find myself migrating back to simply using Outlook to manage tasks and projects and use CRM only as a Database and simple marketing tool.

          With Sage you can intergrate with Outlook, but it is rather cumbersome to do so. To file an email against a customer's file is at least a 2 or 3 step process, which is completely counterintuitive to the GTD mentality (and is way too easy to simply not do).

          On top of that, you can use SAGE CRM to send email, but not receive them.
          And who wants that? It's like having a car that turns right but not left!

          I have friends who are in the business of being computer nerds and they swear by Microsoft CRM only! (perhaps because they're MS Platinum dealers?).

          I have played with Microsoft CRM a little bit, and it seems to be a great product.


          • #6
            Can anyone suggest any affordable web apps that do project management, CRM, and billing?


            • #7
              For a low cost, networkable system, you might try "Intellect" by Chaos Software. I've used it several years for GTD and it works great. Other threads exist on the same topic.


              • #8
       as a GTD Solution

                There is a great interview (one of my personal favorites) with Ismael Ghalimi in the Connect Library (you can find it here: where he talks about using as his GTD system. I talked to Ismael at the GTD Summit as I am using daily to get a better idea how he implemented it and he pointed me to his very interesting web site ( where you can find some more information on his approach.

                I didn't go down this path for a number of reasons (mainly I am not allowed to implement the customizations in my company that would be required) so I am still using OmniFocus on my Mac and iPhone which works great for me.



                • #9
                  Since all of the votes for Prophet were on an older version over two years ago... a few questions.

                  If I add a contact in Prophet, does it automatically show up in my contacts? (I too HATE business contact manager - how insane to have to have two sets of contacts)
                  Which edition do you use?
                  Do you also have the Netcentrics GTD plugin? If so, are there any conflicts with it?

                  Thank you for the great question and all the wonderful answers!


                  • #10
                    Prophet to Salesforce

                    Even the acronym CRM makes me cringe. I went through a research project on selecting a CRM for my company. I went through so many it all started to blur. I used Prophet and I still think this is a winner if you are using Outlook; I am now on a Mac so I waved goodbye and started using Salesforce. I am pretty lukewarm about Salesforce for a number of reasons. Probably the most disappointing aspect of Salesforce is the pricing structure. I am on the one of the lowest plans and to get the functionality we want our investment would expand to over $12,000 per annum- that is huge for a firm our size and it is recurring. I think the Salesforce argument about 'no software' and reducing your spend on software is ridiculous. In three years I will spend over $36k on Salesforce and this could buy a heap of CRMs. I have friends who use Appshore and that looks very good and the price point is spot on.