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Best CRM tool for Mac?

post #1 of 56
Thread Starter 
I'm a Mac user that converted to PC because of perceived TCO and just converted back after about 4 years on Winblows. I'm currently using Sage Act! software as my CRM tool to manage contacts, appointments, opportunities, etc. and sync with my Treo.

What are the best CRM applications for Mac and do they sync with handhelds?

I know of Reidlin Account Executive and Opportunity Manager... any opinions on those? Any others?
Brandon
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post #2 of 56
I use ical, address book and a .mac subscription.

Works fine for me.
post #3 of 56
It would help a great deal if you specified what, specifically, you need, what's important for you, what you've already tried, why you didn't like it, etc.
post #4 of 56
Thread Starter 
I can live with just about anything... but it has to sync to my Treo 600. I have just under 1000 contacts and have imported them into the Address Book in OSX but it's kind of limited.

I'd like something that can track opportunities (I'm in sales/consulting) and attach documents (or link rather).
Brandon
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Brandon
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post #5 of 56
post #6 of 56
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post #7 of 56
Daylite or Redlien's Account Executive.

I see that Daylite is out of beta. I tried it a few times but never had much time to really use it to see how good it was. Though the new GUI is much improved.
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post #8 of 56
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the suggestions -- I downloaded a few demos and am trying them now.
Brandon
MacBook Pro 2Ghz & MacBook Pro 2.16 Ghz
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Brandon
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post #9 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by beley View Post

Thanks for the suggestions -- I downloaded a few demos and am trying them now.

Hey beley,

Just curious which one of these solutions you ended up going with. I am in the process of picking out a CRM for my company as well.

Did you ever take a look at Filemaker?
post #10 of 56
As far as I know, Redlien's dead in the water. You can still purchase it from the site, but the developer seems to be MIA. The blog hasn't been touched since 2006 and the comments from VersionTracker say it all.

Daylite's interface is still confusing and un-Maclike. I know the developers are from OpenStep, but they've been on the platform for years. MWSF saw some good integration with key business apps, but the product's still not going to go anywhere without an interface overhaul.

Nighthawk from Now Contact and Contactizer Pro from Objective Decision are both lightyears ahead of Daylite in interface design.

Unfortunately, there are also light years behind in adding a CRM module. From the talk on their blogs, Nighthawk's CRM module won't be out for maybe a couple of years. Contactizer's coders don't seem to be all that impressed with the idea of adding sales features to their contact manager at all.

If their a bright light at the end of this tunnel, it's Bento. No, Filemaker's little sibling doesn't do CRM (at least not well) but the fact that it exists at all means that Filemaker X can't ship without picking up its ability to talk to Address Book and iCal.

With that piece of the puzzle in place, we will finally be able to really replace ACT on the Mac, whether Filemaker builds a truly first class Mac competitor (my preferred solution) or some enterprising programmer does it for them.
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post #11 of 56
After countless hours of searching and playing I found a little company that makes a plug in for Filemaker called: Youmehub. It is simple to the point and has decent calendar functionality.


With your experience Frank, what do you think about the filemaker feature set in general? Is there a specific plugin extension that grabs your attention and which CRM in particular do you use?
post #12 of 56
One of the most frustrating things about Filemaker is that you know the program is capable of doing what you want it to do, but you can't get to the power of the program to harness it. Only really high level developers can, and even they haven't come up with an easy way to integrate standard Mac apps like Address Book, Mail and iCal.

I have no idea why Filemaker never expanded their product line from being a one-trick pony to include quality CRM, Accounting and Project Management apps. Apple should have slapped them in the face years ago. I'm thinking that somebody finally realized that the company was owned by Apple, and needed to either support the platform properly or risk becoming even more irrelevant and sold off. Hence, Bento.

I've been looking for a quality CRM for the Mac for years. Until I find something usable, I build a solution myself in Filemaker, but it lacks the integration with the Mac communication apps, the 'Dashboard' interface of today's CRMs and the polish of a real Mac solution.

I'm hoping the next version of Filemaker will support integration with the iApps, along with Tag Clouds as in Things, the possibility of building a "sidebar-style" interface like Address Book and be a generally better Mac application. I could care less if it even gets upgraded on Windows.
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post #13 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by beley View Post

I'm a Mac user that converted to PC because of perceived TCO and just converted back after about 4 years on Winblows. I'm currently using Sage Act! software as my CRM tool to manage contacts, appointments, opportunities, etc. and sync with my Treo.

What are the best CRM applications for Mac and do they sync with handhelds?

I know of Reidlin Account Executive and Opportunity Manager... any opinions on those? Any others?

Salesforce.com has some cool tools, but they may be a little pricy
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post #14 of 56
@Frank777 (and everyone),

Thanks for the breakdown. I've tried every app you listed in your initial post with the exception of Filemaker. It really is too bad Contactizer and Nighthawk do not support sales workflows. I'm used to the workflow of ACT! but want to work on my mac. Also, I just feel like there has to be something better; like I'm restricted in a lot of ways. And, as a graphic designer, ACT is UGLY.

For me, in their current forms, Redlien is actually the BEST thing I've found. Better than anything even on Windoze. It has a logical interface, nice workflow with follow-ups, activity logs with AWESOME report structure. And all with an easy to use and clean UI. One question... why has the dev dropped it!? He was onto something great! If I had the ability, I would ask him for the code and get to work on it myself, if just for personal use.

If it were possible to get the code from the dev, is there a place where I could submit it for open source development?


OK, as far as Filemaker and Bento...
Bento doesn't even let you link tasks with contacts as far as I can see, so that's out. How do you work with Filemaker? How much time should I expect to spend getting it up and running? Is it worth the time? Does anyone know if they planning some big UI and sync improvements with Apple apps for version 10 (google gave me nothin)?

-E
post #15 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by eroc View Post

@Frank777 (and everyone),

Thanks for the breakdown. I've tried every app you listed in your initial post with the exception of Filemaker. It really is too bad Contactizer and Nighthawk do not support sales workflows. I'm used to the workflow of ACT! but want to work on my mac. Also, I just feel like there has to be something better; like I'm restricted in a lot of ways. And, as a graphic designer, ACT is UGLY.

For me, in their current forms, Redlien is actually the BEST thing I've found. Better than anything even on Windoze. It has a logical interface, nice workflow with follow-ups, activity logs with AWESOME report structure. And all with an easy to use and clean UI. One question... why has the dev dropped it!? He was onto something great! If I had the ability, I would ask him for the code and get to work on it myself, if just for personal use.

If it were possible to get the code from the dev, is there a place where I could submit it for open source development?

I don't know. Redlien AE definitely had the right concept down, and a much more user-friendly interface than Daylite. Nobody seems to know what happened to Corey Redlien or why development has seemingly ground to a halt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eroc View Post

OK, as far as Filemaker and Bento...
Bento doesn't even let you link tasks with contacts as far as I can see, so that's out. How do you work with Filemaker? How much time should I expect to spend getting it up and running? Is it worth the time? Does anyone know if they planning some big UI and sync improvements with Apple apps for version 10 (google gave me nothin)?

I have also been looking for preliminary info on Filemaker 10 and have come up empty.
The big question is whether they plan to separate the Mac and Windows codebase to allow the Mac version to be REALLY good. Links with Address Book and iCal are urgent needs and a Sales CRM won't go anywhere without them.

AI really need to get the goods on Filemaker X. Fast.
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post #16 of 56
Another to look into would be Merlin, I don't know if it is more than what you need, but check it out nonetheless.

http://www.merlin2.net/

I say Daylite also one of the better choices as well.
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post #17 of 56
I was in the same boat as you. (Coming from windows ACT!)

I use Daylite now and it does a fair job. I with some of the merging actions were simpler. I looked at Bento and it doesn't seem in depth enough for true CRM work. More like a basic list keeping file.
post #18 of 56
Chronos has just updated SOHO Organizer to Version 7.0.

I haven't heard much about SOHO Organizer other than version 5 was a train wreck.

However, this new version seems to have everything I need except for sales management.

Anyone have any experience (good or bad) with this one?
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post #19 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

Chronos has just updated SOHO Organizer to Version 7.0.

Anyone have any experience (good or bad) with this one?

For me, the ability to have contacts directly linked with tasks/notes is a MUST. This software doesn't appear to, but rather has a "iCal-like" approach to tasks.



Just as a quick update- I've been using Highrise and I have to say that overall, I'm VERY happy. True, it doesn't have the reporting features of ACT! but I never used those anyway. (I would have used them in the form that Redlien had them in, but that story's over.)

Things I LOVE about Highrise so far:
- nice, CLEAN, user-friendly, logical, BEAUTIFULLY SIMPLE WEB 2.0 INTERFACE
- I can use it on my Mac OR PC because it's a web app
- fairly active development team (about 1 new feature every 3 weeks)
- the plan I'm on right now is FREE! (and it's really all I need at the moment)

It also meets my primary criteria for a CRM:
- logical workflow centered around task completion and follow-up creation
- tasks linked to contacts- easy interaction between them
- mobile access (I'm trying out a couple of 3rd party mobile solutions for my Treo (mobile web)).

By this point I must have tried (at least "clicked around") 20+ apps and visited the sites of another 20; prices ranging from free to $125/mo. Though I'm giving up some "features" with Highrise, it's got the one feature that REALLY matters- USABILITY. I actually WANT to look at and use the thing every day. (And you can't beat the price either.) There are also some really cool collaboration features for those working with at team.

Here are some links:
Highrise http://www.highrisehq.com/
Mobile Highrise apps:
Ncontxt http://ncontxt.com/
WhoBook http://www.whobook.mobi/

My personal Google Notebook on every app I researched (a good list of links to apps if nothing else)
http://www.google.com/notebook/publi...YXIwoQ9s_RlP8i

Hope this helps!
Eric
post #20 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by eroc View Post

For me, the ability to have contacts directly linked with tasks/notes is a MUST. This software doesn't appear to, but rather has a "iCal-like" approach to tasks.

If you go to the SOHO Product Page and scroll down to the Contact Management features, the third point from the bottom says that it can create and attach events, tasks and notes to contacts.
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post #21 of 56
I'm giving serious thought to moving from Filemaker to the new version of SOHO Organizer.
It seems like a well-thought out CRM (minus the sales tracking). Anybody using this one?

Does anyone know if you can schedule recurring calls in SOHO?
(To reminder you to call certain customers each month.)

Does this use OpenBase or Apple's CoreData?
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post #22 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank777 View Post

If you go to the SOHO Product Page and scroll down to the Contact Management features, the third point from the bottom says that it can create and attach events, tasks and notes to contacts.

I don't have Leopard so I can't give this a trial. Even though it states it can "attach" events, tasks and notes, the screenshots don't show this integration with a contact/company name in the task list. (Look under "Calendar List View" heading)

If anyone is giving this a try, can you post screenshots showing the contact/task/notes history integration? Or, simply, can you list the associated contact/company name in the task list view?
post #23 of 56
I don't have Leopard either, but I expect that I will in a month or so.
With the new machine, I'm looking to upgrade software, hence the interest in a new CRM.

Given the dearth of replies, I don't think SOHO Organizer has a lot of users.
Which is odd for a 7.0 product.

Especially since Daylite is still lacking in the usability area and NightHawk's Calendar is barely in beta.
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post #24 of 56
Sales Tracking continues to be a problem on the Mac platform.

I've discovered a new (and free) potential app in Zoho CRM.

It's web-only, and there's no integration with Address Book, iCal or Mail.
That's a show-stopper, but the lack of options means it can't be dismissed outright. Anyone tried this yet?
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post #25 of 56
There's a new forum set up dedicated to discussing the best CRM's

Go to http:www.CRMOSX.com

Its brand new so it will get better with time
post #26 of 56
For those that are still looking for a good way to harness your contacts on the Mac, Contactizer Pro is on sale until tomorrow from Maczot.

It still doesn't do sales management, but looks like a decent Mac-friendly contact manager for business.
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post #27 of 56
You should check out Elements SBM at www.ntractive.com. Elements is hosted CRM solution for small to medium sized enterprises using Mac OS X. Its called a hybrid web application because it combines the power of your desktop and the web, making it work a lot differently and a lot better than other web applications.
post #28 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by amyi View Post

You should check out Elements SBM at www.ntractive.com. Elements is hosted CRM solution for small to medium sized enterprises using Mac OS X. Its called a hybrid web application because it combines the power of your desktop and the web, making it work a lot differently and a lot better than other web applications.

Interesting.

One thing that sticks out on the site is that I can't seem to find out what ntractive costs. Unless I've missed it.

That's never a good sign.
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post #29 of 56
Yikes. MacWorld says the cost is $69.95 per user, per month.

This may take on the Salesforce.com market, but the small business Mac is still left out in the cold.

Hopefully, they will capture the high end of the Mac market and then offer a desktop-only version that can compete with ACT!, Daylite (and low-price leader Zoho). Certainly the screenshots so far show that the company understands proper user interface, which is what is killing Zoho and Daylite adoption.
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post #30 of 56
Im working as naval architect, and as all service providers (lawyer, real estate agent,) I used to deal with 2 parties in the same time. I would like to find software which helps me to organize my job. In my dreams, this software could manage all my deals and link them to customers data base, notes, tasks to do, invoice,
I have already try some software able to manage one of this skill, but not all in the same time. To have an idea, I am looking for a meet between these softs : omnifocus (for tasks), billing (invoicing), contactizer (data base) and daylite (for CRM).
I know that Im quite demanding, but I am sure that other service providers have the same needs and could tell me more about their different experiences.
Thanks
post #31 of 56
SugarCRM, open source

vTiger, open source

Concursive
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post #32 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by vgibon View Post

Im working as naval architect, and as all service providers (lawyer, real estate agent,) I used to deal with 2 parties in the same time. I would like to find software which helps me to organize my job. In my dreams, this software could manage all my deals and link them to customers data base, notes, tasks to do, invoice,
I have already try some software able to manage one of this skill, but not all in the same time. To have an idea, I am looking for a meet between these softs : omnifocus (for tasks), billing (invoicing), contactizer (data base) and daylite (for CRM).
I know that Im quite demanding, but I am sure that other service providers have the same needs and could tell me more about their different experiences.
Thanks

1. For tasks and basic CRM, try Highrise - it's online (and I have seen desktop and mobile sync apps for it). Do a search on this page/forum for links to the mobile versions of it.

2. For billing and invoicing (or both), use a combination of Bootstrap (accounting) and FreshBooks (invoicing and time-keeping/tracking). They have an integration pack where you can send your time tracking sheets from FreshBooks to Bootstrap.

3. If you need a heavy-duty and highly-collaborative project manager, try BaseCamp. It's from the same company that makes Highrise (the company is called 37 Signals and they really think about usability and UI design).

Let me know how it goes.
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post #33 of 56
Get an iPhone 3G? And with SalesForce.com and a lot of 3rd party applications for iPhone 3G and Mac, alongside iCal, Mail, AddressBook, etc. etc.

This could be a better solution than trying to find something just right to work with your Treo. I would think a CRM that's strongly web-enabled would be useful while you are on the go.
post #34 of 56
I just ventured on to a ZDnet blog where the writer was discussing the lack of CRM options for the Mac. He mentioned an industry-specific CRM built for Hollywood, and it is unbelievably cool.

If something like this with an attractive and efficient UI can be built with Filemaker, why hasn't some enterprising developer built a more general use CRM with Filemaker for the Mac market?

This thing looks like it beats pretty much every CRM in the Mac market today.
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post #35 of 56
I am the developer of CRMHaven available from www.holymackerelsoftware.com as a demo. I develop on the Mac for the Mac a number of tools that are not well represented for small to large businesses. CRMHaven is used around the world with one UK government account holding over 90,000 contacts. It is clean and fast. Runs on anything from a single laptop to a LAN to the Cloud. Plus it has clients for not only Mac but Windows and Linux as well.

The goal in creating CRMHaven was to make a tool that looked and worked like Excel since that is what most people use for their contacts. But is also uses the NUTD style of marking contacts then choosing what you want to do with them.

It links to Mail, Google Maps, Safari, Apple Address Book for Importing, Excel for exporting, Word for mailmerging, etc.

The demo lets you check it out shared for free or buy an account for $US1 for one month to check it out for your own data. After that it costs only $US40 per year including 500 Mbytes of storage space.

I would appreciate comments, even negative ones (tough skinned) as it is working well for the current clients but not sure how suitable it might be for others..
post #36 of 56
Thanks for the info. Sounds like it fills a much-neglected niche on the Mac side.
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post #37 of 56
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrayShades View Post

Sounds like it fills a much-neglected niche on the Mac side.

Business software in general is neglected on the Mac platform.

Just today, I ventured into the Apple Store to see if I could find Business Plan software for an upcoming venture. No such luck.

And while I understand that cloud computing is all the rage for CRM (because salespeople on the road can connect from anywhere) I'm still one guy with a MacBook Pro and would prefer to have an offline copy just for me. Where's the Mac version of ACT or a decent competitor?

Last (but not least) we still have no equivalent to MS Streets and Trips on the platform.
While this is general consumer software, it also works for mobile professionals.
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post #38 of 56
So let me see if I get this straight.

Salesforce.com wants to tap new, one-man show operations to run their software.
The idea is that these companies will hopefully grow into larger corporate customers down the road.

So to facilitate this, they strip out all the sales features out of their software and expect that "this emerging body of entrepreneurs will see the value in having their contact information stored in a single place and accessible through an Internet connection".

Did I miss something? Isn't contact management a basic part of the OS these days?
Address Book and iCal are still free, right?

If you strip out the features geared to increasing sales, how is the company expected to grow?
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post #39 of 56
Today I came across the apparently new Start, Run and Grow Your Business bundle on sale at the Apple Store. It's built with Adobe AIR so it's cross-platform.

It includes a "Sales Contact Database" as one of its components. No idea yet as to how capable this sales-tracking database is.

Edit: Here's the main site. Anybody have a screenshot of the database?
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post #40 of 56
CRM? LMAO! Boy, am I out of the loop. Where I come from, we call these things "databases".

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