CRM for those new to it stands for Customer Relationship Management and over the last decade or so some great tools have popped up to help companies organize those relationships with their customers. These tools help companies track customer information and the opportunities that arise from those customers. The level of complexity that a CRM tool goes to to achieve this goal varies service to service.
CRM options for any business type
SalesForce.com is the current undisputed leader in market share for CRM especially for medium to large sized companies. Price becomes one of the major constraints when picking a CRM and SalesForce is not cheap. If you can keep your user count low, 5 or less users, then your are looking at $25/user/month otherwise with more than 5 users your company will have to shell out $65/user/month and even more if you are looking for a fully featured version.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM is another great option for medium to larger sized companies. It allows a company to customize functionality is easy to use control panels. Dynamics CRM offers full fledged licenses for $65/user/month and more limited access for $30/user/month but in the case of the dynamics the full fledged version gives you access to all attributes of the CRM, compared to SalesForce where you miss out on functionality like work flow automation unless you pay the $125/user/month.
BatchBook has much more reasonable pricing at $35/month for unlimited users. This option can really save small to mid sized companies money in that it is will cost far less per user and that in its simplicity you will spend much less on IT help.
Insightly sets its pricing at $7/user/month and has a solid free level for up to 3 users and 2500 records. For very small companies that are just starting out and what to start tracking customer interaction this is the best option.
Industry Specific Options
Real Estate and Brokerages: Aptotude is a specialized and more expensive version of SalesForce.com. Each user account will run you $89 per month. With that comes industry specific work flows for brokerage and real estate firms.
Conclusion: With complexity comes cost, many of which will end up be hidden. Go for the most simple, very often least expensive, option that will work for your goals for the upcoming several years. Don’t plan too far into the future with a CRM, pick something that works for your company NOW. You can always switch to a different CRM when and if your company takes off.