Introduction to contact management software
In business, who you know matters.. a lot. Your contacts are the lifeblood of your work, which is why contact management software is so key.
A contact management system lets you sync all of your contacts to one record, stay on top of your networks, and communicate in real-time. Additionally, you can view conversation history and filter your network into contact lists by title, industry, relationship to your business, and a range of other attributes and custom fields.
Reading this article on a site called : https://top-crmsoftwares.com, you might be wondering: “What’s the difference between contact management software and CRM, aka customer relationship management software?”
A contact management platform is, essentially, an address book on steroids. It provides the basic foundation (contact information) that you need to build up sales and marketing strategies and drive customer retention.
Contact management tools are particularly favored by SMBs, where a team member or sales agent/manager takes on multiple roles for one contact. In this context, contact relationship management can be seen as a kind of ‘lightweight CRM’ with simpler, more linear functionality.
True CRM, meanwhile, are more full-featured, handling leads, deals, and offering extended tools for sales, marketing, service, and support. However, the overwhelming majority of CRMs incorporate contact management as a key component of their business suite.
Benefits of contact management software
Record customer interaction
Automatically log all your cross-channel communications with customers, so you’ll have a record to consult later. This information will make a crucial difference when it comes to determining what product or service to offer them for cross-selling and up-selling, the tone of your next interaction, and how best to interact with similar customers later.
Improved customer service
With all-in-one contact management, customer service agents can deliver better performance with less effort. They’ll have easy access to a centralized contact list, complete with detailed records of past cross-channel customer interactions, and receive task notifications and follow-up reminders. All this contributes to improved customer experience, reduced churn, and customer loyalty.
Centralized repository of contact information
Contact information comes to you across many different channels, like social media, live chat, phone calls, your company website, face-to-face convos, web form capture, purchase records, and more. A contact management platform assimilates all this information into one business contact record—including address book and phone numbers—so you can access it from one place.
Greater collaboration across teams
A centralized contact record gives everyone in your business more visibility and makes your organization smarter and more transparent. Team members can consult individual case files worked on by other staff in real-time, reducing the need for real-life meetings. This eliminates tasks, hand-off mistakes, and redundant work, plus encourages transparent collaboration.
Reporting and analytics tools mine your customer data, providing insights into your audience, what kind of mdarketing campaigns you should be running, and your overall business needs. Intelligent lead management and segmentation tools can identify the right clients to focus resources on.
Key features of contact management software
Contact lists and segmentation
Segmentation tools sort contacts by industry, geography, place in the customer lifecycle, and other attributes. Identifying customer profiles helps personalize your customer experience, and lets you find out which demographic provides the greatest opportunities.
A mobile app for Android/iOS comes standard these days for any contact management platform. Wherever you may be, you can gain immediate access via mobile device to contact lists and key information, then act on it for sales, support, customer service, and marketing tasks.
Assign tasks to specific team members, give everyone full visibility on who is doing what, and set deadlines with reminder notifications. Cloud-based SaaS contact management tools, when operating as part of CRM, put all your work processes in one place and let you deal with task and workflow processes on-the-fly.
Seamless customer data recording
Automate your customer data entry, eliminating mundane admin tasks and freeing up time for the more important work. Automated data recording can, in turn, be used to run email marketing automation, sales automation, and more.
Import contact data from CSV and Excel spreadsheet files, business cards, or CRM and other digital tools. Export them just as easily, so you’re covered in case you migrate platforms, start using new apps, or need external stakeholders to have data visibility.
Here’s our list of the top contact management software.
Monday.com is a customizable, flexible project management CRM with a built-in contact list. The platform captures calls, emails, and meetings with contacts, leaving them easy-to-access anytime you need to.
Once your contacts are in your system, and in your sales pipeline, you can track sales progress easily with colorful, graphical views, including Kanban, maps, timeline, files, charts, and calendar. The visually-oriented platform has a clean layout with drag-and-drop flexibility and colorful accents that draw the eye to important information.
The built-in world clock takes the edge off communicating with contacts across multiple regions, displaying time zones (based on geographical location info) clearly next to contacts (and team members).
Lacks call recording feature, so if you want to attach phone conversations to a contact record (or generate voice-to-text transcriptions in-app), you’ll have to find a third-party tool. The mobile version has been described by some users as “clunky,” and lacks some of the desktop app’s features.
- Basic plan is $25 per user/per month, billed annually
- Standard plan is $39 per user/per month, billed annually
- Pro plan is $59 per user/per month, billed annually
- Enterprise plan requires contact with Monday.com
A 14-day free trial is available without a credit card.
HubSpot offers a free CRM with contact management tools and a full suite of paid business tools.
The CRM allows you to add contact records from Gmail and Outlook, or corporate email and web forms, with one-click. Once added, the platform auto-updates records and logs all sales activities with a contact. HubSpot automatically trawls its database of 20 million+ businesses and builds revenue, industry, and more into contact details wherever possible.
Apart from the sales process, this information helps segment customers and run marketing campaigns. The platform supports up to 1 million contact and company records, which should comfortably cover pretty much most businesses.
Contact filter options could be more specific. The software learning curve is moderate, although this is lessened by access to video tutorials, support resources, and community forums.
- HubSpot CRM is free, and the number of users is unlimited
- Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub add-on packages are $50 each per user/per month, billed monthly
- HubSpot CMS starts at $300 per month, billed monthly
- All-inclusive Starter Growth Suite starts at $113 per user/per month, billed monthly
3. Zoho ContactManager
Zoho, the maker of the popular Zoho CRM and Zoho Sprints platforms, also offers a dedicated contact management product, Zoho ContactManager. The app provides a unified address book for customer contacts, with email and social media engagement tools to manage all your cross-channel customer relationships.
It allows you to track deals and categorize task types with Tags feature, as well as create and assign roles to team members and set privacy permissions for information-sensitive projects. Smart task and email templates speed up routine inquiries and interactions with customers and help ensure best practice interactions every time.
Custom fields are listed alphabetically and cannot be custom-arranged amongst standard fields. The pricing model is inflexible (jumps from single-user plan to 25 users fixed price plan), so some companies might end up paying for unnecessary capacity in users, contacts, and deals.
- Free plan is available (limited to single user, 500 contacts, 10 deals)
- Smart plan for up to 25 users (limited to 10,000 contacts and 1,000 deals) is $12.50 per month billed annually, and $15 billed monthly
- Ultra plan for up to 25 users (unlimited contacts, unlimited deals) is $20.83 per month billed annually, and $25 per month billed monthly
Billed as a ‘relationship intelligence platform,’ Affinity is targeted at contact management for venture capital, fundraising, sales, and real estate applications.
The app’s collective intelligence builds a contact list from companies and people you’ve interacted with and provides real-time updates on their activity. Machine-learning and natural language processing analyze sentiment and scores the strength of your relationships. AI also eliminates duplicate contacts and companies in your record.
The “Alliances” feature, meanwhile, identifies networking opportunities. indicating which of your contacts might be able to provide a warm introduction to another party you’d like to in touch with, such as a key decision-maker at another company.
Pipeline visualization tools aren’t so clear, and data visualization tools are limited. The mobile version is pretty clunky.
Pricing is flexible, dependent on contract length and size of the organization; please contact the vendor for details.
Copper is built for G Suite and features deep integration with Gmail, which is super attractive if you’re already more-or-less running your business out of your Google inbox.
Contacts can be accessed via email, voice, and text in-app. In-app voice transcription lets you take notes on the fly, so you can further build up a contact record. Copper offers a one-click contact add, and automatically ports Gmail contact info into your CRM, which allows you to quickly populate your contact list, with easy access to full email history, pipeline details, and other info.
Once you have your contacts list up-and-running, a highly visual, well-designed sales pipeline lets you manage your leads throughout the qualification process. Weekly pipeline progression reports suggest improvements in team communication and workflow, while custom filters and alerts keep you on top of the most important deals.
Copper’s tutorials are not always sufficient for troubleshooting problems. Also, there’s definitely a learning curve, which can come as a surprise given how user-friendly the product is made out to be.
- Basic plan is $19 per user/per month, billed annually
- Professional plan is $49 per user/per month, billed annually
- Business plan is $119 per user/per month, billed annually
Copper offers a 14-day free trial for all plans.
Pipedrive is a sales pipeline-focused CRM with contact management and lead tracking, sales activity monitoring, and information sync across channels.
Smart contact data finds web data through Google+, LinkedIn, and more, saving you time and preventing you from missing out on key details. With just an email address, you can do one-click pre-qualification of leads; Pipedrive will trawl the Internet to obtain the most in-depth contact information possible, and find out if they’re likely to buy.
Gmail integration (appearing as a sidebar app) makes it easy to add contacts from email, make notes, and schedule sales tasks. Full email sync allows you to check messages in-app from whichever email provider you use.
Pipedrive lacks an internal emailing platform; you’ll have to use Mailchimp integration for that, which adds an extra step for a fairly basic feature. One other drawback many users cite is the platform’s cost.
Pipedrive is available at four feature levels.
- The Essential plan is $12.50 per user/per month billed annually, and $15 billed monthly
- The Advanced plan is $24.90 per user/per month billed annually, and $29 billed monthly
- The Professional plan is $49.90 per user/per month billed annually, and $59 billed monthly
- The Enterprise plan is $99 per user/per month, billed annually
A 14-day free trial is available for the Essential, Advanced, and Professional plans.
7. Bitrix 24
A well-rounded comprehensive CRM that does everything you’d expect this kind of software to do: contact, project, and sales management, marketing campaigns, and team collaboration via the social intranet. The contact center allows you to pull information on individuals and organizations from social networks, mobile messenger apps, and landing pages, building up a comprehensive contact list.
The CRM can be toggled between two modes: Simple CRM (deals and contacts, but no leads) and Classic CRM (with leads). This ‘difficulty level’ feature is unique, and definitely offers a lot of help with full-team adoption by letting you start with the easy stuff.
Bitrix24 is de facto the most popular free CRMs in the world. They provide a cloud CRM solution that’s free for up to 12 users, with a cap on data storage of 5 GB. It provides largely the same range of features as paid plans, albeit in scaled-down form.
There’s a lot of features, which can be overwhelming at first (hence the choice to toggle to the Simple CRM option). The notifications feature can be clunky, sometimes displaying the same notifications over and over when you log in. Customizability options are not that great.
- Free starter business tool suite for up to 12 users
- Start+ plan for up to 2 users is $19 per month billed annually, and $24 per month billed monthly
- CRM+ plan for up to 6 users is $55.20 per month billed annually, and $69 per month billed monthly
- Project+ plan for up to 24 users is $55.20 per month billed annually, and $69 per month billed monthly
- Standard plan for up to 50 users is $79.20 per month billed annually, and $99 per month billed monthly
- Professional plan for unlimited users is $159.20 per month billed annually, and $199 per month billed monthly
The prices above are for the cloud-based version. On-premise solutions are also available.
Nimble is a simple CRM tailored for social media, with smart social search and powerful tools for market segmentation. Nimble’s contact record has the ability to combine cross-channel contact and lead information into a single unified profile.
The whole platform is based around Contact Page View (CPV). It’s within this interface that you can see all relevant info for a contact—emails sent or received, social interactions on all social networks, activities you’re working on or have completed in relation to the contact, notes, and deals you’ve completed or have in the pipeline.
Since the CRM integrates with Office 365 and G Suite, you can quickly import and organize contacts from the platform you’re already using.
Nimble aggregates user posts in one place so you’ll have instant, real-time visibility on how people are interacting with your brand. Apart from being a great way to add new contacts, this is very useful for simplifying your operations across social media channels like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Data organization, sales pipeline, and reporting features keep your operations on the right track.
A lot of users have mentioned that Nimble’s Android app isn’t up to par with the iOS one. Another thing to note: Keeping track of closed deals can be a bit of a pain, as can deleting messages (which you have to do one page at a time).
- Contact edition is $12 per user/per month, billed monthly
- Business edition is $25 per user/per month, billed monthly
You can try a 14-day free trial without a credit card. There are discounts for annual rates.
Full-fledged CRM tool, dedicated to providing personalized customer engagement that works with your business model. It allows you to build and manage a complex contact database with call logging, automatic email tracking, document attachments, and robust search and filter tools.
The platform emphasizes the importance of data integrity and has sophisticated tools to clean ‘dirty data’ so that your sales forecasting and reports are accurate. Data cleansing deletes duplicate entries and ensures contact information is tidy and accessible, while date range purge features (old logs are exportable via Excel for safe-keeping) make sure up-to-date information is being used. A shared address book and audit log (tracks changes to contact fields, notes, and documents) ensure full-team visibility on your customer-facing interactions.
Use notifications and follow-ups to ensure time-sensitive issues are dealt with. Run your workday with a mobile-friendly calendar, schedule appointments, and check your prioritized to-do list. Consult other team members’ calendars and re-assign tasks to other users with ease.
There are many features, which can be overwhelming at first. It’s also relatively pricey (with a simple, yet inflexible price model), which might put off small businesses on limited budgets.
- CRM Live Cloud SaaS plan is $65 per user/per month, billed annually (2 user minimum)
- On-Premise CRM self-hosted plan is $40 per user/per month, billed annually (5 user minimum)
- CRM for Financial Advisors plan is $70 per user/per month, billed annually (2 user minimum)
A full-featured 30-day free trial is available.
Nutshell is a total CRM solution with robust contact management tools. Build and access customer profiles, including complete conversation histories. Use lead form integration to turn website visitors into contacts with names, email addresses, and other contact info. Segment leads and customers in sophisticated ways (including industry, lifetime value, and location).
Nutshell’s Gmail Chrome extension seamlessly connects your Google and Nutshell contacts and emails, and syncs and automatically updates Google events with Nutshell activities. It also allows you to save emails to Nutshell, sync Google Calendar activities, create tasks, track communication timelines, write notes, and view which emails have been shared with teammates in-app.
Importing data can produce duplicate leads, so data can become messy if you don’t spot duplicates right away. Users note a lack of automated integrations and customizability capabilities (although there are third-party integrations through Zapier).
- Starter plan is $19 per user/per month billed annually, and $22 per user/per month billed monthly
- Pro plan is $35 per user/per month, billed annually. and $39 per user/per month billed monthly
Nutshell offers a 14-day free trial for both its Starter and Pro plans.
Freshsales, the CRM system in the Freshworks 360 customer engagement suite, provides comprehensive contact management. It offers a contact record with full visibility, including notes, recent conversations, recent activities, time zone, related accounts, and more.
Lead capture automatically grabs leads from emails. You can develop your own lead scoring criteria to find your best leads, and set custom organizational parameters, i.e. ‘sort’ categories. Overall, the platform is built to help you boost your customer base, scale your business, monitor deals, eliminate mundane tasks, run sales email campaigns, and create efficiencies through data centralization.
For small operations and those on the fence about committing financially to a contact management tool, there’s also a free version of Freshsales (it’s limited to 10 users and 10,000 records, aka leads, contacts, accounts, and deals). This “free forever startup plan” is a bit hidden, however. To get it, you have to sign up for a 21-day free trial, which gives you the full-stack version of the software; at the end of the period, you’ll be prompted to pony up for one of the four paid plans or continue with the free, no-frills version.
The act of filtering tasks, so you can focus on your key contacts, is probably more difficult than it needs to be. Customer support can sometimes be slow at resolving issues.
Freshsales is available at 4 feature levels.
- Blossom plan for small teams is $12 per user/per month, billed annually
- Garden plan for growing teams is $25 per user/per month, billed annually
- Estate plan for large teams is $49 per user/per month, billed annually
- Forest plan for enterprises is $79 per user/per month, billed annually
A 21-day free trial is available for all Freshsales plans.
Insightly CRM is designed to facilitate interactions with customers, improve collaboration within organizations, and increase businesses’ productivity. It integrates with Google, giving users in-app access to tools like Google Calendar, Gmail and Google Docs, as well as third-party apps like MailChimp, Evernote, Xero, and Dropbox.
Insightly tracks contacts, communications, projects, sales and documents in a single interface. It provides the usual fields to represent and store contact data, such as name, email address, phone number, and so on, but users can also create their own specialized fields to add unique information, such as customer type, subscription type, contract renewal dates, and billing ID numbers.
Drag-and-drop custom layouts and custom fields allow for more personalized, appropriate record-keeping. By quickly generating screens that fit your workflow, your business can hone its focus on the right customers and opportunities.
Insightly’s search function for contacts is not as robust as it could be. The platform has a moderate learning curve. Some users have noted it has a habit of crashing every once in a while.
- Plus is $29 per user/per month, billed annually
- Professional is $49 per user/per month, billed annually
- Enterprise is $99 per user/per month, billed annually
A 14-day free trial is available for the Plus and Professional plans; no credit card required.
Contacts+ takes on the tasks of updating and organizing all your contacts, leaving you with more time to build stronger relationships. It syncs from Google and Gmail accounts, Apple Mail and iCloud accounts, plus Microsoft Outlook, Exchange and Office 365 accounts.
On the desktop, it’s available in two forms: as a web browser extension from the Chrome Webstore for Gmail, and as a downloadable program for Mac and Windows.
Sync sometimes fails to detect duplicate contacts. Some users complain about slow customer support.
- Basic plan is free (sync with 1 Google, iCloud, or Microsoft Exchange/365 account and store up to 1,000 contacts)
- Premium plan (sync with 5 Google, iCloud, or Microsoft Exchange/365 accounts and store up to 25,000 contacts) is $8.33 per user/per month billed annually, and $9.99 per user/per month billed monthly
- Teams & Small Business plan starts at $12.99 per user/per month billed annually, and $14.99 per user/per month billed monthly
A 14-day free trial is available for the Teams & Small Business plan.
14. Centra Hub CRM
Centra Hub CRM provides a detailed contact recording, including contact source, address, phone number, and other vital information. This contact management system acts as the foundation for the rest of the app, a centralized database of people from which you build out your business processes and workflow.
Schedule tasks and appointments, track contact activity, and import and export contacts. Track customer sentiment via communication history, social media profiles, and more.
The platform is highly customizable, and its contact management integrates seamlessly with sales, marketing, service, and help desk functions.
Could benefit from more full-fledged integrations with other apps. Reporting tools could benefit from more sophisticated automation.
- Start Up plan is $10 per user/per month billed annually, and $12 per user/per month billed monthly
- Professional plan is $17 per user/per month billed annually, and $20 per user/per month billed monthly
- Enterprise plan is $28 per user/per month billed annually, and $33 per user/per month billed monthly
- Ultimate plan is $50 per user/per month billed annually, and $59 per user/per month billed monthly
A free trial is available.
Sales CRM with contact management tools that help you nurture relationships, find out which conversations to prioritize, and optimize your sales.
Manage all of your contacts on one page, and monitor contact status with a graphical timeline that clearly and completely shows activity and emails over time. The bulk activity feature allows you to message multiple contacts with personalized greetings to save valuable time.
Zapier integration allows you to sync contact data with third-party applications, and access all your cross-platform prospect information from directly within Salesmate.
UI is sometimes not the most intuitive, and navigating through some key features can be confusing at first. The platform also lacks a lead scoring feature.
- Starter plan is $12 per user/per month billed annually, and $15 per user/per month billed monthly
- Growth plan is $24 per user/per month billed annually, and $30 per user/per month billed monthly
A full-featured 15-day full trial is available; no credit card required.
16. EngageBay CRM & Sales Bay
EngageBay bills itself as a HubSpot alternative, and sells three business process-orientated suites: Marketing Automation, Live Chat & Helpdesk, and CRM & Sales Bay. The last of these, CRM & Sales Bay, provides contact management tools designed for simplicity and company growth.
The platform provides multi-channel listening, aggregating contact info from across all your customer touchpoints. Track contact activity, web activity, email response, open and click rates, and more.
Integrates with Gmail, Office 365 or any other IMAP service, with two-way sync capabilities. Zapier, SendGrid, Mailgun, Xero, and Mandrill integrations allow you to connect your CRM with your other business processes and further streamline your operations.
Could use more native integrations with third-party apps. Email template options are limited in number and simplistic in style.
- A free plan is available, limited to 1,000 contacts and 1,000 branded emails
- Basic plan is $10.39 per user/per month billed annually, and $12.99 per user/per month billed monthly
- Growth plan is $19.99 per user/per month billed annually, and $24.99 per user/per month billed monthly
- Pro plan is $39.99 per user/per month billed annually, and $49.99 per user/per month billed monthly
Billed as a “personal assistant for your professional relationships,” Cloze is an AI-enabled app for managing relationships, inboxes, and contacts. It pulls contact information from emails (including email signature), phone calls, meetings, documents, Evernote, LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter.
Algorithms determine which contacts are most important, and remind you to keep in touch. For email, there’s reminders, trackers, schedulers and reusable templates. It’s all designed to keep your work on the right track, and keep all your information current.
AI is what makes Cloze special. As contact lists grow and engagements stretch back into the past, it’s great to have an intelligent app to help keep track of who’s who and when you should drop someone a line. The automated info-collecting also cuts manual data-entry time.
Could use more app integrations for pulling in more data from third-party sources. Many users note that Cloze’s customer support and help desk is not as responsive as it could be. The UI feels a little bit dated as well.
- Pro plan is $17 per user/per month, billed annually
- Silver plan is $21 per user/per month, billed annually
- Gold plan is $29 per user/per month, billed annually
- Platinum plan is $42 per user/per month, billed annually
Radar is a visual contact relationship management platform, built for encouraging collaboration and putting together flexible project teams with freelancers. Organizing contacts and encouraging a network to grow is the ultimate goal of the software’s features, rather than yet another sales/pipeline/automation machine.
The platform is thus set up to handle the ‘people’ layer of your business. After all, freelancers aren’t really your customers; they’re your vendors/suppliers. It’s a new model for mobilizing talent networks that is nonlinear—not driving sales in any direct sense—but making your relationships better and your business stronger.
Radar transforms your contact list into a board of visual profile cards, which you can search, filter, sort, and organize by custom tags. The UI is reminiscent of Instagram, making it instantly familiar and intuitive to most.
Moving outwards from individual profiles, you can sort people into Segments and Sectors. Segments can be divisions of talent, freelancers, staff, and any other group via a customizable list.
Well-designed, but quite niche in its applications; creative agencies will love having a product that’s finally tailored to them, but many other businesses won’t be able to find value.
A free trial is available. Pricing is flexible, dependent on contract length and size of the organization; please contact the vendor for details.
Scoro offers an all-in-one business suite solution along the lines of Salesforce, HubSpot, and other major CRM providers. Their CRM and quoting software offers comprehensive contact management, with robust search, filter, and sort capabilities (including categories, location, latest activity, and more).
The contact view feature integrates a visual overview of a customer’s place in your sales funnel, with closing probability rates. Taking an end-to-end approach, from first greeting to deal won, you can easily compile quotes and send them as .PDFs to your contacts. Communication history, projects quotes, orders, and invoices are all viewable from within the contact record.
Scoro has a bit of a learning curve. Pricing might be too high for some small businesses, and the contact management component of the software suite can’t be purchased separately.
- Essential plan is $26 per user/per month, billed annually
- Work Hub plan is $37 per user/per month, billed annually
- Sales Hub plan is $37 per user/per month, billed annually
- Business Hub plan is $61 per user/per month, billed annually
A full-featured 14-day free trial is available.
20. Pobuca Connect
Import all your contact data from your smartphone’s address book, Gmail, Outlook, and business cards, and organize it with Contact Organizer, powered by AI (aka Pobuca Bot) to merge duplicate entries, get new information auto-added, and junk information deleted.
Gives sales reps, administrative personnel, and marketing managers the information they need to do their jobs effectively. Advanced segmentation features can help you target marketing campaigns and hone strategy.
Features Zapier integration to connect it with your other work tools and ensure contact information from other platforms is captured in Pobuca Connect.
Sometimes the contact duplication detection fails, and you end up having to manually delete erroneous entries anyway. The app can lag from time to time.
- A free plan with basic features is available
- Pro plan is $2 per user/per month billed annually
- Enterprise plan is $8 per user/per month billed annually
A 15-day free trial is available for both paid plans.
Small businesses and sales teams of all sizes can benefit from a contact management system.
From building a sales pipeline to setting up email campaigns and running customer support, this type of platform provides holistic benefits for developing and refining your business processes. After all, in an era of relationship-driven commerce, customer information is king.
The quickest, most risk-free way to get started is to try a free CRM with a contact manager, or a free trial for a dedicated contact management system.
After some comparison shopping, you’ll be well on the road to finding the best contact management software—or the best CRM for contact management—for your business niche.