Before I even venture a response, I have to issue a disclaimer almost immediately. There is actually no way to recommend a CRM package without a thorough understanding of the needs of your company. That is usually a step that comes after designing a strategy to get to that point that involves defining who your customers are, what results you want from your initiative, including how it benefits the customer experience, what kind of business processes you use and know and how they will have to change, what changes are necessary to your corporate culture and how do you create the environment to support those changes. Finally, then, what vendor will be of value to you. So I am entirely hesitant to recommend anything.
What I will say is that Maximizer and MSCRM 1.0 are both good for very small companies. Both have their strengths and weaknesses. Maximizer comes from a contact management history, while MSCRM was built as a CRM solution from the ground up and is the first pure .NET product on the market. It has surprisingly robust capabilties for small companies in both sales and support. But you have to be a Microsoft shop to use it. Maximizer is fairly good too, but I'm not as familiar with its customers so I can't speak to how happy or sad they are with the product.
Before you even look at a package/vendor, I would seriously recommend you design and get buy in for your CRM strategy vis-a-vis your call center. If you'd like more information, please feel free to email me here.
This was first published in October 2003