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Contact management software (CMS) helps you track and record customer information. It’s similar to customer relationship management (CRM) software, but it’s not always as robust. While a CMS typically records data like phone numbers and emails, a CRM usually has more advanced features, allowing you to track the entire customer journey through your sales funnel.
Whichever type of software you choose, a good CMS or CRM can help you manage relationships with your customers and boost your sales.
Best contact management software
Here are the 11 best contact management software and customer relationship management tools for your business. Most of these tools cost money, but there are a few free contact management software recommendations on the list as well for anyone on a budget.
- Zoho CRM
- Salesforce Sales Cloud
1. Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is an all-in-inclusive, cloud-based business management platform suitable for businesses of all sizes. This CRM has a lot of functionality but is relatively easy to operate, making it ideal for start-ups and first-time users.
Some of Zoho CRM’s features include sales and marketing tools (with help desk support), analytics and customer support, team collaboration tools, and remote work support.
One special feature is its “best time to contact” function. With the help of Zia, Zoho CRM’s AI assistant, this feature analyzes the best time to contact customers and ranks emails according to urgency.
Along with its paid plans, Zoho also offers one of the best free contact management software plans. Its free plan includes sales and marketing features, customer and sales data integrations, and secure cloud storage.
- Routine automation for sales, marketing, contacts, and workflow
- Performance measuring analysis
- AI assistance in sales forecast, customer management, the best time to send emails, and detection of anomalies
- Real-time notifications
- Third-party integration for WordPress, Mailchimp, Unbounce, Linkedin, and other tools
Zoho CRM pricing comes in three categories: Standard, Professional, Enterprise and Ultimate. Plans start at $14 per month when billed annually.
2. Salesforce Sales Cloud
Salesforce Sales Cloud is a top-performing CRM platform for managing customer databases and sales processes. This customer management software has excellent automation functions to help your organization keep track of leads, contact customers, manage accounts, and provide after-sale services.
It can help you streamline your customer management and sales processes. Here’s a list of features that make Salesforce Sales Cloud one of the best contact management softwares in the market:
- Lead capture, generation, and distribution
- AI-assisted customer service analytics
- Sale quotation generation
- Contact database management
- Calendar/reminder system
- Email marketing and response control
Salesforce Sale Cloud does not have a free version, but you can try out the platform’s 30-day trial period. After that, prices start from $25 per month for the Essential plan. The Professional plan costs $75 per month, the Enterprise plan is $150 per month, and the Unlimited plan costs $300 monthly.
Nimble is a powerful and versatile sales and customer relationship management tool for small and medium-sized businesses.
With Nimble’s automatic prospecting tool, you can access customer details, history profiles, interactions, and email conversations.
Besides its task and sales management features, the Nimble CRM database management function allows you to access customer information from any mobile device, making it especially useful for remote teams.
Nimble also lets you know which customers are mentioning your products and services on social media. That way, you can gather feedback and stay on top of what customers are saying about your company.
Here’s a list of some of the features Nimble CRM has to offer:
- Automatic prospecting tool
- Easy mobile access
- Proposal generation
- Third-party platform integration
- Unifying contact information
Nimble CRM has a standard business package that starts at $19 per month. For organizations with more extensive contact databases or those requiring other advanced automation features, Nimble offers an upgrade of 100 credits for $10.
The Hubspot CRM software comes with everything an organization needs, from automatic contact management to sales and marketing support. Hubspot has both paid plans and a free contact management software plan.
Features such as pipeline management, company insights, and meeting scheduling make Hubspot’s platform one of the best free contact management softwares out there.
With Hubspot’s free plan, you’ll have access to contact management, task and activity tracking, email marketing, and service tools like email scheduling and live chat support.
Hubspot’s “marketing and non-marketing” contact labeling feature also separates prospective customers from other contacts in your database.
Other features of the Hubspot CRM include:
- Automatic contact database updating
- Pipeline management
- Reporting dashboards
- Email notifications and tracking
Hubspot has a free contact management software plan with features that can serve small to midsize users. Its paid plans start at $45 per month and go up from there.
Monday.com is a project management software with built-in CRM templates. This contact management software can help you plan, execute and deliver complex projects while keeping tabs on customer communication.
Monday.com’s CRM offers automated solutions for teams and task management, time tracking, and administration level control.
Since it includes a project management platform, it can also help you create collaborative work environments where project members update tasks, share data and communicate project timelines.
This tool incorporates the Kanban technique, which prioritizes tasks and balances demands based on available capacity.
Since Monday.com’s primary function is workflow automation, it might not be the best contact management software for organizations that require advanced marketing functioning and social media integration.
Some of Monday.com’s best features include:
- 360-degree feedback
- Return on Investment (ROI) and analysis tracking
- Workflow automation
- Activity planning
- Artwork/data management
Monday.com has a free contact management plan, plus affordable pricing on its paid plans. Prices start at $8 per month for the Basic plan and go up to $16 per month for the Pro plan. All of Monday.com’s paid packages have a free trial period.
Pipedrive’s CRM gives organizations a full view of the sales pipeline, including sales activities, potential sales, and customer contacts.
In addition to its robust interface, Pipedrive CRM has a mobile app to help business managers respond to urgent emails and manage deadlines from anywhere.
Pipedrive’s sales reporting tool can monitor individual and team level targets, generate reports, and analyze sales data. You can also integrate various email service providers with the Pipedrive CRM.
Some of Pipedrive’s best features include:
- Contact management
- Client tracking
- Campaign management
- Business card and badge scanning
Pipedrive has four monthly plans: Essential, Advanced, Professional, and Enterprise. Prices range from $12.50 for the starter Essential package to $99 for the Enterprise plan.
Bitrix 24 is a flexible and interactive CRM for managing client interactions, capturing sales lead data, and generating sales reports. With this contact management software, you can segment contacts according to needs and add customer feedback directly to the software.
Bitrix24 customizes message templates for email marketing campaigns and creates personalized invoices. In addition, its sales dashboard allows your sales team to track prospective sales, ongoing sales, and clients yet to receive invoices. This dashboard also compares agent ratings and offers an outline of ongoing sale transactions and their respective stages.
Bitrix24’s features include:
- Workflow automation
- Access controls/permissions
- Account management
- Audience targeting
- Audio/video conferencing
Bitrix24 has different prices for cloud-based and on-premise plans. Among its cloud-based plans is a free starter business tool suite that supports one user.
The paid cloud-based special plans cost between $19 and $55 per month, while the business plans prices range from $79 to $155 per month.
Salesflare focuses primarily on accelerating B2B sales through data automation, social media information integration, and sales tracking. This contact management software has a built-in email tracking for analyzing outgoing and incoming emails, prospective client scoring, and sales analysis.
Salesflare’s CRM gathers customer data from emails, social media profiles, calendars, and company databases. Additionally, you can access the fully functional Salesflare software from any device or platform.
Some of Salesflare’s best features include:
- Business card/badge scanning
- Calendar/reminder system
- Call center management
- Collaboration tools
- Content management
You can subscribe to any of the three Salesflare monthly plans. These plans include the Growth, Pro, and Enterprise plans, which cost $29, $49, and $99, respectively.
Nextiva combines analytics, chat, and surveys into one software to help businesses organize sales and customer service interactions. This CRM will take your business to the next level with its real-time customer data and sales analysis.
Nextiva has a wide variety of useful functions like one-on-one conversations and user tracking features. These features help you gather essential customer data to close sales, improve customer relationships and enhance communication.
This CRM makes it easy for businesses to create automation workflows and email campaigns. It analyzes customer data, feedback, and the entire sales pipeline to provide valuable business insights. With this information, you can better tailor your products, services and marketing to meet your customers’ needs.
Nextiva integrates with third-party platforms like Outlook, Salesforce, G Suite, and more.
Some of Nextiva’s CRM features include:
- Business analysis integration
- Customer experience score
- Customer journey mapping
- Trend analysis
- Customized wallboards
- Team performance and sentiment analysis
Nextiva’s Essential, Professional, Enterprise, and Ultimate plans cost $18.95, $22.96, $32.95 and $57.95 per month, respectively.
EngageBay’s CRM offers all-inclusive contact data automation to enhance communication and increase customer conversions. This CRM has a free package loaded with features, such as targeted marketing, workflow automation, sales pipeline visualization, and automated data entry.
The EngageBay free plan supports up to 15 users, making it one of the industry’s best free contact management software. With this CRM, you can organize your email contacts, track deals, and monitor your sales pipeline in real-time. EngageBay also has a free live chat and help desk feature.
With EngageBay, you can automate marketing campaigns and set up alerts and triggers based on specific customer actions. You can also use this tool to create email campaigns either from scratch or with its pre-designed email templates.
The EngageBay CRM categorizes customers using conditional metrics such as age, location, type of customer, purchase history, and other factors.
Some of the best EngageBay CRM features include:
- 360-degree customer view
- Appointment scheduling
- Free CRM
- Sales CRM
- CRM email integration
- Appointment management and scheduling
- Automated routing and scheduling
EngageBay offers a completely free contact management software plan. If you require more advanced features like email templates, web pop-ups, a landing page builder, or lead scoring analysis, you can subscribe to its Basic, Go, or Pro plans.
Prices start at $8 for the Basic plan, $27 for the Go plan, and $47 for the Pro plan. All packages come with a free migration service from any other platform.
With the Freshworks CRM, you can create stages for the entire customer life cycle. Its sales automation feature lets you assign tasks, set reminders, and review activity deadlines.
Freshworks’ WhatsApp integration lets you communicate urgent tasks with your team and respond to customer inquiries from your phone. This platform also comes with an AI assistant called Freddy.
Freddy helps you send emails and alerts at the best time for your customers to see them.
Freshworks’ CRM features include:
- 360-degree view dashboard
- Contextual collaboration with Slack
- Workflow automation
- Auto-assignment rules
- AI analysis to optimize when you send emails
Prices range from $29 to $99 for the Growth and Enterprise Sales plans and $19 to $99 for the Growth and Enterprise marketing plans.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Best Contact Management Software
Here are some common questions about contact management software and how to choose the best platform for your business.
What is the best contact management tool?
The best contact management tool is the one that fits your needs for contact tracking and customer relationship management, as well as your budget. Simpler (and lower cost) tools will record phone numbers and email addresses of current and prospective customers so you can communicate with them and move them down the sales funnel.
More advanced CRMs help you track and manage the entire customer journey, from prospective lead to converted customer. Some tools also use AI to optimize your email sending times and communicate with leads when they’re most likely to read your messages.
As you saw on the list, some platforms offer a free contact management plan in addition to more robust, paid plans.
What’s the difference between contact management software (CMS) and customer relationship management (CRM)?
Contact management software and customer relationship management software are often used interchangeably, since both help you track and record customer information. However, CRMs tend to be more robust, allowing you to manage the full life cycle of a customer within your sales process. CRMs may also include customer service software so you can communicate with customers via email, live chat or phone support.
Who would benefit from using a CRM?
Any business that sells products or services could benefit from a CRM, as this tool helps you manage customer relationships and improve your sales funnels. These tools are a great way to stay in touch with leads and customers, resolve issues and identify opportunities to make sales.
What integrations are included in contact management software?
The best contact management softwares integrate with a variety of third-party platforms, including email service providers and social media platforms. If integrations are important to you, make sure to check what the software offers before committing to a paid plan.
How much does contact management software cost?
Some contact management software is 100% free and works well for small businesses looking for a straightforward contact management solution. Paid plans can start as low as about $8 per month and go all the way up to over $3,000 per month depending on your needs and the size of your organization. You’ll usually get a discount if you opt to pay on an annual basis instead of a monthly basis.