Many businesses (dare I so most) start out managing their business sales and customer relations use Microsoft Outlook by default. It’s what you use for email and its rudimentary contact management features are a good starting point.
However, as your sales grow and you realize you need more than simple contact management you’ll need something more feature rich and powerful.
Microsoft offers a free “business contact manager“. Even though BCM fills a gap, there’s still some things lacking.
Prophet by Avidian Technologies, could offer you more of what you need..
What people will like most about Prophet is that it works right from within Outlook, what you’re already familiar with. Your learning curve is going to be quite hi, with little downtime in using a new program.
Profit starts at $100 for the personal edition and goes up from there depending on if you want the professional, pro, server or enterprise edition.
Business Contact Manager and Prophet at first appear to be similar in features, but there are some differences that Avidian explained to me and that you can read on their comparison page.
In BCM, only one contact OR one company (Account) can be linked with an opportunity
This means that a bank loan officer, a real estate agent and the customer cannot all be linked as they can in Prophet.
With BCM, Business Contacts are literally separate records from either local contacts or Exchange public folders. The implications of this are: Initially the business contacts need to be created within BCM. While the user may copy, or drag or move contacts, if there are a lot of mixed contacts this could be time consuming. Prophet is friendlier in the set-up in that it reads all local contacts, unless they are marked private, or are in a separate folder other than the default Contact folder
BCM’s Group email does not support custom or pre-selected salutations.
BCM Lacks any Sales Automation Series, i.e. series of emails, tasks, appointments.
They can only be generated one at a time, just like standard Outlook
No Drip Campaign functionality. No Workflow (Opportunity Stage based automation)