We're struggling to find a CRM suitable for ourselves, a SAAS company. When customers sign up for trials, we want to be able to keep a record of their progress with prompts to call or email them when certain times have elapsed without any communication from them. All CRM systems I've come across make you first add a contact and then a lead/opportunity. Well every new trial signup is an opportunity!
Being able to put notes down and set reminders would be key too. Also recording renewal dates for yearly/3 year licences. Appreciate we'll need to use an API to pull some information from our database in about how the customer's system is used. We want to be prompted/shown a list of 'problem customers' to contact - i.e. ones that don't seem to be using the software.
What CRM do you use for your own SAAS company to help manage it's growth?
You should look at Zurmo: (zurmo.org).
It's open source and very easy to understand. You can install it on your own server, customize it when necessary. Or you can buy it as SaaS. For me it turns out it is very flexible. One drawback: look at the system requirements. It doesn't work well on the usual shared hosts because they also want to support big companies with a lot of CRM usage.
Besides, I use SupportFu but HelpScout is definitely great.
If you like, you can look at my profile page and go to my blog from there. I wrote a few posts on Zurmo and one on customer support tools (search for zendesk)