Background: Recruiting family physicians into primary care research studies requires researchers to continually manage information coming in, going out, and coming in again. In many research groups, Microsoft Excel and Access are the usual data management tools, but they are very basic and do not support any automation, linking, or reminder systems to manage and integrate recruitment information and processes. Objective: We explored whether a commercial customer relationship management (CRM) software program – designed for sales people in businesses to improve customer relations and communications – could be used to make the research recruitment system faster, more effective, and more efficient. Findings: We found that while there was potential for long-term studies, it simply did not adapt effectively enough for our shorter study and recruitment budget. The amount of training required to master the software and our need for ongoing flexible and timely support were greater than the benefit of using CRM software for our study.