Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool that many small, medium, and large businesses depend upon for the efficient management of clients and customers. Without these tools the ability to keep solid records and communication with external resources becomes a challenge that can immediately affect bottom line. The good news is you don't have to spend a fortune to have a powerful tool to keep your client base happily connected. The open source community has plenty of web-based CRM tools to that run the gamut of features and power. I have found five such tools to make your customer relationship efficient and flexible. Let's take a look and see if one of these tools fits your needs.
1. X2 CRM
X2 CRM is a powerhouse of a tool that offers features such as: email marketing campaigns, web leads capture, and route leads based on business rules. With X2 CRM you can also engage and correspond with prospects, price and generate sales quotes, and easily define your sales process, reports, and charts. It also provides a powerful administration tool with mobile client applications. With X2 CRM you can either purchase a hosted solution or install the software on your own, internal hardware.
2. Sugar CRM
Sugar CRM might well be one of the most widely used CRM tools on the planet. Used by Chevrolet, Coca Cola, Loomis, and more - Sugar CRM has all the tools you need to ensure the efficient management of customers. Sugar offers a Community edition that, along with being open source, features: Personal home pages, activity management, contacts, accounts, project management, campaigns, web-to-lead forms, dashboards, cases, email client, email marketing, leads, opportunities, bug tracking, and a shared calendar.
Dolibarr may not be the most well-known CRM tool, but it offers everything you need to make the management of your customers a snap. Dolibarr features: products and services catalog, stock management, bank accounts management, customers directory, orders management, commercial proposals, contract management, invoice management, invoices and payment management, standing orders, shipping, NRP VAT support, agenda, and much more. Dolibarr offers an incredible simple installation routine and can have you up and running quickly.
Vtiger is proud to enjoy over 2.8 million downloads. This CRM tool focuses on sales force automation, customer support and service, marketing automation, inventory management, calendar and inventory management, product customization, reports and dashboards, and much more. Vtiger is seriously powerful and offers some of the best product support in its category. Vtiger uses over 20 modules to help expand the already large feature set.
OpenCRX is another powerhouse CRM solution that combines groupware and CRM in one outstanding package, And with an easy to use, Java-based installer, OpenCRX is a solution nearly any small to medium-sized business should give a serious look at. With OpenCRX you can manage your customers, accounts, products, sales, calendar, and more. OpenCRX does a great job of managing activity and tracking sales and offers plenty of customizations to make it easily fit within your business.
There is no excuse to not take advantage of one of these powerful Customer Relationship Management tools. If you're serious about growing your business and making the relationship between your business and your customers a smooth one, you need to give at least one of these CRM tools a try.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for Techrepublic and Linux.com. As an avid promoter/user of the Linux OS, Jack tries to convert as many users to open source as possible. His current favorite flavor of Linux is Bodhi Linux (a melding of Ubuntu and Enlightenment). When Jack isn't writing about Linux he is hard at work on his other writing career -- writing about zombies, various killers, super heroes, and just about everything else he can manipulate between the folds of reality. You can find Jack's books on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords. Outnumbered in his house one male to two females and three humans to six felines, Jack maintains his sanity by riding his mountain bike and working on his next books. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website Get Jack'd.