Contact management software organizes and manages contacts as well as manages sales pipelines and sends automated emails. We looked at the top software programs and narrowed it down to the six best for small businesses. We compared those six on contact searchability, activity tracking, overall accessibility, analytics, and added features to find the best overall.
Top 6 Contact Management Software 2019
|Contact Management Software||Best For||Starting Price|
|Freshsales||(Best Overall) Basic contact management plus a robust and customizable CRM.||Free|
|Pipedrive||Managing contacts through a visual sales pipeline or sales funnel.||$12.50 per month|
|Zoho CRM||Businesses that want contact management insights like best times to contact prospects.||Free|
|Nimble||Marketing strategies designed around social media engagement with contacts.||$9 per month|
|Metrilo||Ecommerce-based companies looking for analytics based on contact’s website behavior.||$119 per month|
|HubSpot CRM||Teams wanting a free but full-featured contact management tool for unlimited users.||Free|
Quiz: Which Contact Management Software Is Best for You?
How We Evaluated Contact Management Software
Contact management software is designed to help users organize dozens or hundreds of contacts. It includes the ability to store key details such as name, address, email, telephone number, and past activities. In addition, users look for options that include customer relationship management (CRM) software capabilities like lead and deal management, as well as automated emailing. The best options should provide a range of tools for adding, maintaining, segmenting, and finding contacts.
The specific criteria we used to evaluate the best contact management software include:
- Contact lists and segmentation: Keeping your contacts organized is the most important function of a contact manager, and we looked at how easy it is to create contact lists, segment records by various criteria, and quickly find the ones you need.
- Email tracking and templates: Being able to quickly reach out to your contacts via email using templates can save time and increase efficiency. In addition, email tracking tools help users know when their message is read and what action the recipient takes.
- Mobile access: We looked at whether a mobile app is available and what contact management features are available, including inbox sync, adding new contacts, and in-app dialing for reaching out by phone.
- Reporting and analytics: Sales managers or individual users have access to insights related to contact behavior.
- Added features: Many contact management tools provide additional features such as lead and opportunity management. We compared the additional ways in which each tool might benefit a small business in addition to recording contact details.
- Pricing: Because managing contacts falls into a wide range of use cases, we considered the pricing tiers and features available for each option on this list to find the ones with the best overall value for users.
Based on these criteria and our research, we’ve chosen Freshsales as the best overall contact management software of 2019. Freshsales received our recommendation because it provides the best combination of functionality with regard to contact management and pricing options. It also includes powerful business-to-business (B2B) sales and relationship management tools that make it a good option for sales teams in addition to basic contact management.
Best Overall Contact Management Software: Freshsales
Freshsales is a full-featured CRM that offers contact management as well as multistage lead and opportunity tracking, and it is one of the most customizable CRMs currently on the market. Freshsales offers a free-forever plan, with paid plans starting at $12 per user, per month. The flexible interface means you can display your contact details, recent activities, and open deals on a single screen, making it best for people who need an affordable and customizable CRM.
Freshsales’ basic contact management features are available for free with their free-forever Sprout Plan. Paid plans then start at $12 per user, per month and go up to $79 per user, per month. The five paid plans include lead scoring, deal management features, and additional integrations.
Freshsales Tiered Features
|Automated Email Campaigns|
|Visual Sales Pipeline|
|Reports and Analytics|
|Enriched Customer Profile|
|Contact Search and Filtering|
|Integrates with Phone and Email|
|Appointment & Task Scheduler|
|Basic Lead Scoring|
|Auto Lead Assignment|
|Advanced CRM Customization|
|Advanced Lead Scoring|
|Automated Data Entry|
The Sprout plan is free and gives unlimited users the ability to add contacts, notes, manage tasks, and track calls. This makes it a budget-friendly choice for businesses that are looking for a contact database. However, unlike the paid plans, users are not able to attach documents to records. Unlike what is found in the paid plans, there are no email features like templates, bulk email campaigns, or automatic logging.
Therefore, the Sprout plan is best for teams that only require a basic contact management system that provides contact details as well as recent activities at a glance. Teams wanting to utilize email marketing or would like more automated activity logging are better served by a paid plan.
The Blossom plan provides many of Freshsales CRM’s benefits for contact and pipeline management, such as lead scoring and a means to add notes, and includes a built-in phone dialer and email integration at a cost of $12 per user, per month. However, it does not include the territory or lead assignment capability or many of the automation tools offered at the higher-end plans.
The Blossom plan is best for salespeople wanting a tool to help them manage their contacts and monitor active deals while providing a means of basic lead scoring and follow-up task scheduling. As the Blossom plan does not include automatic lead assignment, it is best for individuals or highly independent sales teams.
The Garden plan provides the same basic features as the Blossom plan. However, it also includes lead and territory assignments, management of multiple pipelines, and advanced reporting features for $25 per user, per month. Also like the Blossom plan, the Garden plan is missing automated contact profile enrichment, dashboards, and event-based tracking such as recording a contact’s activities on a website.
The Garden plan is, therefore, best for mid- to larger-sized sales teams with account managers who conduct lead development primarily over the phone or by email. Businesses that utilize their website as a major component of their lead development strategy might be better served by the Estate plan.
At $49 per user, per month, the Estate plan enhances the tool’s lead scoring capability by also taking into consideration information such as pages a lead might have visited on the business’ site. It also gives sales managers a dashboard to help them better understand their teams for real-time analytics.
Social media connections and publicly listed contact details are automatically updated within contact profiles. This reduces the time required for data entry or record maintenance. The Estate plan is, therefore, best for sales groups that use their website as a lead generating tool, have account-based representatives, or need to see real-time performance analytics as part of a management strategy.
The Forest plan is Freshsales’ enterprise-level plan and is only available with an annual commitment of $79 per user, per month. However, it offers 25 sales campaigns per user and 2,000 bulk emails per user, per day, which is twice as many as the Estate Plan and comes with dedicated technical support.
Therefore, the Forest plan is best for teams with account managers who rely on heavy email marketing in addition to utilizing their website as a lead generation tool. As it is designed as an enterprise solution, it is also best for teams that want to integrate their CRM with other products and services such as automation tools and accounting solutions.
What Freshsales Is Missing
Freshsales doesn’t include some of the advance order management and invoicing tools found in other options. In addition, it does not include pricing books, which are available in Pipedrive, Salesforce, and Zoho. Freshsales is also missing inventory management tools as well as advanced features found in other CRMs. However, it does integrate with other tools like Freshdesk and Freshservice, which provide many of these additional functions.
What Users Think About Freshsales
Freshsales users give it high marks for how intuitive and easy the software is to learn and use. They really like how Freshsales displays the sales process, and how easy it is to manage your sales pipeline. Users do mention that they wish there were more robust reporting features and additional customization to workflows and pipelines. You can read more in-depth reviews on our Freshsales reviews page.
Where to Find Freshsales
Freshsales is the best overall contact management software, especially for business-to-business (B2B) sales teams thanks to its intuitive interface and the ability to manage your relationships with very little setup time. Even better, Freshsales offers a free-forever plan, and you can try out any of the plans by signing up for a 30-day free trial on their website.
Best Contact Manager With Visual Pipeline Management: Pipedrive
Pipedrive CRM is a simple-to-use CRM with a highly intuitive pipeline management tool that helps you quickly visualize deals in your sales process; it has plans starting at $12.50 per user, per month. Pipedrive is primarily focused on moving deals through your sales pipeline, making it an ideal solution for businesses that want to manage their prospects through a visual, intuitive, and highly flexible sales pipeline model.
Pipedrive offers users the ability to test out their software with a free 14-day trial. Paid plans start at $12.50 per user, per month and go up to $49.17 per user, per month when paid annually. All plans give users access to contact management as well as Pipedrive’s visual pipeline management functionality.
Pipedrive Tiered Features
|Sales Pipeline Tracking|
|Customized Sales Processes|
|Configurable Dashboards and Reports|
|Meeting & Task Scheduler|
Pipedrive’s Silver plan costs $12.50 per user, per month and lets users add and search for contacts, view tasks, and review contact history on a desktop or on its easy-to-use mobile app. Contact lists can be imported and exported with the touch of a button. However, it does not integrate with Outlook. Emails sent outside of Pipedrive in Gmail aren’t automatically logged either as they are in the more expensive plans, nor is there a built-in scheduler function.
While Freshsales also includes a visual pipeline tool, the ease with which lead and contact cards can be moved through the sales process and pipeline setup give Pipedrive’s tool an edge. Therefore, Pipedrive is best for business wanting to manage their contacts by associating them with leads within a visual pipeline.
For $24.50 per user, per month, the Gold plan includes smart contact data, which means Pipedrive automatically updates contact records with information it finds on sources like LinkedIn and social media. This frees up users from manual data entry and is not available in the Silver plan. It also includes a built-in meeting scheduler, further streamlining the sales process. Users can also send and read emails without leaving Pipedrive.
Therefore, the Gold plan is best for sales teams that appreciate an easy to view the sales pipeline and those who would like their contact management system to automatically update a contact’s social media profiles. It is also a good plan for sales teams that would like more real-time alerts.
The Platinum plan gives you all the benefits of the Gold plan, plus live phone support and a dedicated private environment for your sales data for $49.17 per user, per month with an annual commitment. It is designed for people who have truly unique requirements for sales management or are concerned about the security of their sales data. It is also the only plan offered by Pipedrive that allows for multiple customized dashboards.
The Platinum plan is best for teams that sell into a sensitive market where customer contact information must be protected at the highest levels. It is also a good plan for sales managers who need to utilize multiple dashboards in reporting their business analytics.
What Pipedrive Is Missing
Pipedrive lacks some of the more robust CRM features found in other contact managers we reviewed, like lead assignment and order management. In addition, as a standalone app, Pipedrive does not offer other customer or productivity software like help desk, chat, or bookkeeping. Finally, it does not offer mass email marketing features that some of the other options offer.
What Users Think About Pipedrive
Pipedrive users give it good reviews for the visual pipeline and intuitive interface. They also like that Pipedrive requires little onboarding support, is easy to set up, and integrates with other third-party software like marketing automation and email marketing tools. Users do wish it had more advanced search and filtering capabilities. Learn more about what users are saying on our Pipedrive reviews page.
Where to Find Pipedrive
Pipedrive simplifies the sales process while giving you a means of managing your contact relationships. While other tools require several clicks to navigate deals and locate specific customer activities, Pipedrive organizes information in easy-to-digest visual homepages. Try out Pipedrive’s visual pipeline risk-free by taking advantage of their 14-day free trial.
Best Contact Management Software With Advanced Data Analytics: Zoho
Zoho CRM allows you to manage your email and phone contacts as well as your social media connections with a free plan for up to three users. Paid plans start at $12.00 per user, per month, and provide even more advanced features like Zia Voice, which gives you the ability to manage your contacts with voice commands as well as insights about sales forecasting. Therefore, Zoho is best for teams requiring advanced data analytics for their contacts.
Zoho includes offers a free plan for up to three users. Its paid plans start at $12 per user, per month and go up to $35 per user, per month for its enterprise-level plan. Each paid plan comes with 1GB of storage. Additional storage in 5GB increments can be added for $4 per user, per month.
Zoho Tiered Features
|Configurable Dashboards and Reports|
|Lead Assignment Routing|
|Product Price Books and Order Management|
Zoho’s Free version is designed for three or fewer users. The Free plan gives users web-to-lead forms that can be integrated into their website and social media integration, which sets it apart from Freshsales’ Free plan and provides a means to sort and manage contacts as well as track leads, tasks, and appointments. It also allows for minor customizations as well as standard reports and automation rules for a single workflow.
The Free version, however, does not offer the invoicing or product management features available with the paid plans. As a result, it is best for solopreneurs who are comfortable using other tools for those aspects of their business or those who don’t need those features at all.
At $12 per user, per month, the Standard plan gives you the same contact management tools as found in the Free plan, as well as more custom field options. It also gives you access to sales and marketing tools, more email templates, and up to 250 bulk emails per user, per day, and website visitor tracking. However, it lacks the built-in quotation and case management tools found in the Professional plan.
The Standard plan is best for sales organizations with more than three members that have another means of managing their quotes or service calls. It is also a good option for those that utilize social media as a part of their marketing strategy. Since it includes multiple performance dashboards, it is also a good plan for sales managers who want to manage their team members’ performance as well as their contacts.
At $20 per user, per month, the Professional plan gives you the ability to add contacts and track activities, and offers even more custom fields, email templates, and 500 daily bulk emails. Leads can be captured directly from social media interactions. Contacts can request service directly through web forms, and quotes can be issued directly through the program. The Professional plan also gives you the ability to set alerts for follow-up based on events you specify.
The Professional tier provides contact management, case management, advanced social media integration, and email marketing automation. For this reason, it is a good solution for companies with multidisciplinary teams such as sales, service, and marketing that all need access to the same contact database.
The Enterprise plan is like adding a full-time sales assistant and analyst to your team, and costs $35 per user, per month. Its Zia Voice feature gives you the ability to add and manage your contacts using voice commands. It adds additional analytics like the best time to call insights and anomaly detectors that can help you connect with your contacts more often or alert you to potential issues with your contacts before they happen.
The Enterprise plan is a good solution for teams that want additional insights into their contacts’ behavior, which can help improve connection rates. The plan is also good for teams that want to be able to manage their contacts, deals, or service cases using voice commands.
What Zoho Is Missing
Zoho lacks two-way integration and BCC email integrations in its lower-tiered plans. Zoho CRM also does not include a built-in dialer, though it can be integrated with other Zoho platforms like PhoneBridge for Call Centers. Therefore, calls and any emails sent outside of Zoho would need to be manually attached to a contact, lead, or opportunity, which puts it at a disadvantage compared to other tools we reviewed for businesses that don’t require advanced functionality.
What Users Think About Zoho
Users of Zoho report that they like the integrations Zoho offers with other business applications as well as its ability to streamline processes such as billing. However, the tool is not without complaints. In particular, reviewers expressed frustration with Zoho’s customer service response times. Be sure to check out our Zoho reviews page for more customer reviews.
Where to Find Zoho
Zoho CRM is a comprehensive contact management software tool that includes integrations with other Zoho software like campaigns, word processing, email, and accounting. It’s a great choice for businesses wanting a CRM with email marketing as well as an all-in-one productivity suite, with plans starting at $12 per user, per month. Visit Zoho to sign up for a 15-day free trial.
Best Contact Manager for Social Media: Nimble
Nimble has built many of its contact management features around social media, like a social prospector tool and social profile matching and enrichment. This includes Twitter, AngelList, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, and Instagram, among others, and gives it an edge over Zoho for social media engagement. Nimble plans start at $9 per user, per month, and is best for companies that value social media in their sales processes.
Nimble’s pricing ranges from $9 per user, per month to $19 per user, per month, and includes access to its prospector tool. While there is a cap on the number of contacts you can manage with Nimble within each of its two plans, users can increase that number by paying an upgrade fee.
Nimble Tiered Features
|Maximum Number of Contacts|
|2-Way Calendar Syncing|
|Email Message Syncing|
|Social Network Contact Import|
|Contact & Activity Management|
|Mobile Business Card Scanner|
|Email Signature Capture|
|Saved Search Segments|
|Smart Contact App|
|Social Profile Match|
|Social Media Signals|
|Sales Forecast Reports|
Nimble Contact allows you to organize your contacts by tags, segments, last contacted, and send targeted outreach. It also includes activity and task management and two-way sync with your Google Calendar. However, the features that set it apart from the other contact management tools we compared are its social profile match and its smart contact app, which can automatically match your contact records with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
At $9 per user, per month, this Nimble plan does not include functionality like sales pipeline management, forecasting reports, or rep performance reports. For this reason, it is best for teams of up to five users that want to manage their social media connections and do not need sales process management.
The Nimble Business plan includes the same social media contact management functionality as offered by the Contact plan, but provides additional storage per user and unlimited email message syncing rather than the 30-day rolling storage. Additionally, Nimble Business includes Social Media Signals, which allows you to schedule tweets or updates to your Facebook page as well as add recent social media followers, retweets, or direct messages as a contact activity.
At $19 per user, per month, there is no maximum number of users for the Nimble Business plan, and it includes pipeline management and sales forecasting. This makes it the better option for growing teams that want to incorporate their social media interactions into their contact management but want to track deals in their pipeline too.
What Nimble Is Missing
Nimble does not offer the ability to send mass automated email campaigns or drip email marketing, which is available in HubSpot and Freshsales. It focuses on allowing users to send group emails to a selected list. Nimble also lacks the advanced reporting features found in contact managers like Zoho or Freshsales. Finally, Nimble lacks a built-in phone dialer as part of its user interface and while it does offer a mobile app, the tool is not as robust as others.
What Users Think About Nimble
Customers say Nimble’s user interface is easy to understand and are complimentary about its customer support, though stated the mobile app could be improved. Users also report the setup widget can be buggy when handling contacts of the same name, and would like the ability to see multiple user deals all at once or be better able to customize their deal view. Visit our Nimble reviews page for more customer reviews.
Where to Find Nimble
Nimble offers a free 14-day trial for up to five licenses without a credit card, and billing is based on a recurring monthly subscription charge. Nimble starts at $9 per user, per month for lead, customer, and deal management as well as social media listing and profile enhancement, and a free trial is available to see if it’s a good fit. Visit Nimble for more information.
Best Contact Management Software for Ecommerce Businesses: Metrilo
Metrilo is designed to manage contacts and contact interactions that take place on your website. Plans start at $119 per month, and in addition to automatically creating a visitor’s contact profile, include robust visitor behavior analytics, including time on site as well as average spend. These contact profiles can be used to create lists that are based on customer behavior, making it the best solution for ecommerce businesses and companies that track behavior on their website.
Metrilo pricing begins at $119 per month for unlimited users and unlimited contacts. All of the pricing plans include contact profiles, customer management, ecommerce analytics, and email marketing. Metrilo’s base subscription includes 10,000 unique visitors per month, with plans increasing to $299 and $499 per month (30,000 and 90,000 unique visitors, respectively).
Metrilo includes the complete feature set in each pricing tier. The only difference is the number of unique visitors to your ecommerce website, with each plan including core CRM and analytics functionality, making its visitor-centric focus very different than other types of CRM. Metrilo also allows unlimited contacts and users, and allows users to send an unlimited number of email sends each month.
Some of the most important features include:
Metrilo provides you with enhanced contact profiles for all of your customers, including their contact information, order history, interaction on the site, and total revenue. You can also add notes and tags to help you both segment contacts for marketing purposes and keep track of customer service issues and previous conversations. While other CRMs include customer profiles, none of them is as deeply integrated with Shopify or sync in real-time like Metrilo.
While several of the other contact management tools we compared allow you to set up mass email campaigns based on contacts you select, there are limits on the number of templates you can use and the number of emails you can send per day. Metrilo offers unlimited emails and sends many automatically based on over 20 different customer action triggers, such as welcome or abandoned shopping cart. It also includes email performance tracking.
The difference between Metrilo and other programs we compared is very apparent in what analytics are reported in the project dashboard. Metrilo provides statistics such as one-time buyers versus returning customers, cart abandonment rates, average order value, and conversion rates by device.
What Metrilo Is Missing
Metrilo is a plugin you add to your website, and therefore lacks some of the lead generation features in other CRMs on this list. For example, it has no built-in lead collection forms like HubSpot or nurturing campaigns since it is focused only on customer management for your ecommerce store. In addition, there is no dedicated mobile app, though it is one of the best ecommerce platforms for small businesses.
What Users Think About Metrilo
Users rate Metrilo high for how much control it gives them to manage the overall customer relationship. They also especially like the reporting and abandoned cart features. Some users comment that Metrilo is expensive if you aren’t already generating at least a moderate level of sales. Check out our Metrilo reviews page for more information.
Where to Find Metrilo
Metrilo is a powerful CRM designed specifically for ecommerce. It includes customer profiles, ecommerce analytics, and email marketing in a robust software tool that gives users advanced control over their Shopify customer information. Pricing begins at $119 per month for unlimited users, and offers a free trial of any plan. Visit Metrilo online to start your 14-day free trial today.
Best Free SaaS CRM With Lead Generation Tools: HubSpot
HubSpot CRM is a free contact management application with advanced functionality like smart-form lead capture, a chat widget, and customer support ticketing, as well as email tracking and deal management. It can also be integrated with the Sales and Marketing Hubs for additional automation features. Overall, HubSpot is a powerful contact management software for businesses and individuals who want a free, yet full-featured contact tool.
HubSpot CRM is free and includes many common contact management features like lead and customer records, sales opportunities, and email marketing. HubSpot also offers additional sales and marketing functionality through the Sales Hub and Marketing Hub, which range from $50 per month to $800 per month depending on the specific features added.
HubSpot CRM includes features like lead capture, contact management, email templates, and tracking. It includes innovative features like a live chat widget on your website to capture leads. HubSpot also uses a tracking code on your website to track visitor activity as well as identify the networks of prospects who visit your site (even if they don’t fill out a form), providing you with a list of organizations your sales team can contact.
HubSpot’s key features include:
Form-based Lead Capture
HubSpot CRM includes the ability to embed forms on your website or capture data entered into existing website forms using a tracking code. While this feature can be found in other contact managers, most do not offer them in their free versions. Contacts captured as leads can then be entered into automated marketing campaigns, making HubSpot an economical option for businesses that use landing pages to generate leads.
HubSpot CRM includes contact organization by company and provides insights such as a newly added contact’s recent activity on your website. HubSpot is also able to auto-enrich your contact profiles based on the information it pulls from social profiles and information it knows about companies. HubSpot also scores leads based on both profile information and website activity, which is something other free options offer only in a limited manner.
Lead & Task Management
HubSpot CRM gives you the ability to schedule tasks for later follow-up and allows you to create workflows to handle regular marketing tasks. Compared to other free plans available from options on this list, these tools are more intuitive in moving leads through the sales process. HubSpot also includes free embeddable chat tool that allows you to use conversational bots to prequalify leads that engage on your website, similar to Freshsales’ FreshChat feature.
What HubSpot Is Missing
HubSpot does not include some of the more robust sales management features found in the paid plans for CRMs on this list. Features like workflow management or marketing automation are missing unless you also subscribe to either Sales Hub or Marketing Hub. In addition, HubSpot also offers only limited customer support on the free plan.
What Users Think About HubSpot
HubSpot CRM users especially like how easy it is to use, and like the extent of the features available to free users. HubSpot CRM users also like the extensive library of sales and marketing educational tools available to customers. Some users do mention that they wish the product offered more reports and customization. You can read more on our HubSpot CRM reviews page.
Where to Find HubSpot
HubSpot CRM is a great free contact management tool for individuals or businesses of any size. For small businesses that need to manage contacts and deals, and want an intuitive software tool that is both easy to learn and use, HubSpot is an ideal choice. Visit HubSpot’s website to sign up for your free CRM account today.
There are an endless number of contact management software options available for your small business. Therefore, it’s best to plan ahead for how you expect to leverage your contact list—for customer relationship management, email marketing, integration with other business productivity applications, or other reporting purposes. Once your plan is in place, you can narrow your search to find the contact management software that best fits your needs.
We selected Freshsales as the best overall contact management software after a thorough examination of customer reviews and evaluating the overall set of features. Freshsales provides the most functionality with regard to contact management for its price and is also a great CRM that can be customized to your needs. Visit Freshsales to start your free 30-day trial.