Installed applications on the other hand give you complete control over your valuable data and security, and because you have direct control over your database this should make it easier to integrate with other applications. On the downside not only will you face a lengthier implementation period, but you will also need to factor hardware and administration costs into the equation.
Whatever solution you chose it is important to realise that the technology is only as effective as the procedures behind it. If you have sloppy sales procedures than all any SFA or contact management solution will do is enable is emphasise these failings.
It also pays to be wary of over complicating matters. You could have an all singing all dancing solution that produces fancy graphs and pictures for every conceivable scenario, and may even put the kettle on for you, but if your sales people see themselves having to 'waste' time entering numerous facts and figures they simply won't use the system.
Budget CRM packages cannot hope to rival the capabilities of enterprise level CRM solutions but they are very capable at what they do. They provide a cost effective way for small businesses and departments to manage their sales processes and customer relationships. So don't delay otherwise your customers will just slip away.