After a long search for good and affordable CRM software, I've landed at X2.
BACKGROUND: We have looked at a VERY large number of software packages, including sexy new products, tried and try older products etc. etc. Many recognizable names. And only X2 seems to hit our sweet spot -- specifically because of features for notes tracking and "rich portal". It's very strange that what we consider to be centrally important sales software features are in fact not very well supported in most CRM software platforms.
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: As a sales person I want (a) to write notes and keep track of how the sales story is developing. That and ( figuring out what to do next.
1) NOTES AND STORIES -- More stories, more results. Faster. But most software is terrible at this. Notes all over the place and then try and get ready for a call? X2 "bubbles up" all notes from individual records to the master record -- and has cool filtering. So I can get ready for my next sales meeting faster!
2) RICH PORTAL GIVES CONTEXT -- The other thing that is incredibly aggravating about most CRM systems is the constant "loss of context". I click on a notes tab or a history tab -- and everything else goes away! Why do I even use software? To help me remember more things. So why does software constantly hide what I'm interested in? I call this "loss of context". It's like no one in sales or CRM design ever actually learned anything about UX and what a sales person actually does.
3) X2 DOES BOTH -- X2 seems to do both these things!
BLOG POST: I have written about the importance of notes here (as "narrative" or "sales story"):
[I decided to remove some material here; "suggestions" are premature . . . ]
Anyway, I'm testing out X2 now. Have high expectations. So far, so good.