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 2018
|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|
|Microsoft Dynamics NAV||Larger organizations that need a scalable contact management solution.||$65 per month|
How We Evaluated Contact Management Software
The types of people who use contact management software typically deal with hundreds of contacts and need a way to store key details such as name, address, email, telephone number, and past activities. What’s more, some also need CRM capabilities as well as automated emailing. As a result, good contact management software tools should be able to add or update records, search or sort against specific filters, create contact lists, and more.
The specific criteria we, therefore, used to evaluate the best software include:
- Contact List Limits and Segmentation – Contacts can be easily sorted, identified, and added to various lists
- Email and Activity Tracking – The software performs functions such as tracking read receipts, shows phone call notes, or provides real-time alerts
- Mobile Access – Users are able to access contacts while selling in the field
- 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.
“There are a few options that are helpful when it comes to contact management. Reports/dashboards, for example, are usually included in most software packages, but the higher-end products tend to have live and dynamic dashboards. You need to pay close attention to make sure any exporting or importing needs you have (such as transfers from Excel or QuickBooks) are compatible with the system you are considering purchasing.” – Lindsey Havens, Senior Marketing Manager, PhishLabs
After researching product features and examination of customer reviews, we’ve chosen Freshsales as the best overall contact management software of 2018. We selected Freshsales because it provides the most functionality with respect to contact management for its price and is also a great CRM that can be customized to your needs. However, it has been designed primarily for B2B sales teams, and therefore does not fit the needs of all businesses.
Best Overall Contact Management Software: Freshsales
Freshsales is a full-featured CRM that offers contact management as well as multi-stage lead and opportunity tracking, and is one of the most customizable CRMs currently on the market. For example, depending on what you need, you can display your contact details, conversations, recent activities, and open deals on a single screen. It is therefore best for people who need a customizable CRM with a robust reporting dashboard from a leading CRM company.
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 and Task Scheduler|
|Basic Lead Scoring|
|Auto Lead Assignment|
|Advanced CRM Customization|
|Advanced Lead Scoring|
|Automated Data Entry|
The Sprout plan 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 contacts 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 is not designed for B2C businesses as there is no built-in integration with an ecommerce tool like Metrilo has. Additionally, while its core contact management tools are standard across all plans, Freshsales’ web analytics and email campaign features are limited by the plan you choose. As a result, it may not be the best tool for businesses that market to large bulk email lists unless you are willing to pay for the web analytics functionality.
What Users Think About Freshsales
Users of Freshsales report that the lead scoring tool is excellent and that Freshsales offers great customer support, although setting up workflows can be complicated. For more user insights, please visit our Freshsales review page.
Where to Find Freshsales
You can manage your contacts for free with Freshsales’ free forever startup plan or sign up for a 30-day free trial of any of their paid plans we reviewed above and ee which one is right for you.
Best Contact Management Software with Visual Pipeline Management: Pipedrive
Pipedrive CRM is built to help you manage your contacts within its highly customizable and easy to use visual pipeline tool. Contact details are attached to deal cards that you can drag and rearrange as leads move through your sales process, much like moving notes on a corkboard or whiteboard. For this reason, Pipedrive is best 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. Afterward, there are three tiers of paid plans that start at $12.50 per user per month and go up to $62.50 per user per month. All plans give users access to contact management as well as Pipedrive’s visual pipeline management functionality.
Pipedrive Tiered Features
|Reports and Analytics|
|Integration with Google Contacts, Calendar, and Drive|
|Visual Contact Timeline|
|Smart Contact Data|
|Built-in Meeting Scheduler|
|Real time alerts|
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 at 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 month per user, 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 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 $62.50 per month. 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 then 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 a robust lead scoring feature compared to a product like Freshsales, which can make it more difficult to identify the most promising contact or sales lead at a glance. It also lacks the automatic territory assignment or workflow automation, making it a more cumbersome tool for teams that import leads from other sources as it requires more manual processing.
What Users Think About Pipedrive
Overall, users appreciate the simplicity of Pipedrive’s user interface, though they have said the product is not a fit for businesses with more complicated sales processes or larger sales teams. For more about Pipedrive and what users are saying, read our Pipedrive review.
Where to Find Pipedrive
Pipedrive is simple to set up and requires no contract. You can also try any of their plans free for 14 days and upgrade to higher plans during your trial to test out higher-end features.
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. Higher-end plans provide even more advanced features like Zia Voice, which gives you the ability to manage your contacts with voice commands as well as best time to contact insights and 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 month per user to $35 per user per month for its enterprise-level plan. Each paid plan comes with 1 GB of storage. Additional storage in 5 GB increments can be added for $4 user per month.
Zoho Tiered Features
|Advanced CRM Customization|
|Task, events, call log, and notes|
|Web-to-Lead and Web-to-Contact Forms|
|Social Media Integration|
|Website Visitor Tracking|
|Quotes, Orders, and Invoice Management|
|Social Media Lead Capture|
|Best Time to Contact Insights|
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 the 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 bulk emails a day per user, 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, and because 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 daily bulk emails. Leads can be captured directly from social media interactions. Contacts can request service directly through web-to-case forms, and quotations 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 plan 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 contact’s 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. You can read more on our Zoho review page.
Where to Find Zoho
Zoho is a pay-as-you-go service, meaning you can change your plan type at any time. That lets you test out any of it’s great features, including lead management, document handling, and mobile apps for you and two other users as well as 24/7 priority assistance. Best of all, you can try any of Zoho’s plans free for 15 days.
Best Contact Management Software for Social Media: Nimble
Nimble has built many of its contact management features around social media, like its social prospector tool as well as its social profile matching and enrichment functionality. This includes Twitter, AngelList, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, and Instagram, among others, and gives it an edge over Zoho for social media engagement. For this reason, it 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|
Office 365 and iCloud coming soon
Office 365 and iCloud coming soon
|Email Message Syncing|
|Social Network Contact Import|
|Contact and 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 feature that sets it apart from the other contact management tools we compared is its social profile match and its smart contact app, which can automatically match your contact records with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Crunchbase and more.
At $9 per user per month, the Nimble plan does not include functionality like sales pipeline management, forecasting reports, or rep performance reports. For this reason, it is best for teams, 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 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 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. As such, it is really best for salespeople or marketers who deal with most of their contacts either through social media or by email rather than over the phone or in the field.
What Users Think About Nimble
Users 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. You can read more about this product on our Nimble review page.
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. Additional storage can be purchased in 10 GB increments for $10 per month. You can learn more about Nimble on their website.
Best Contact Management Software for Ecommerce Businesses: Metrilo
Metrilo is designed to manage contacts and contact interactions that take place on your website. In addition to automatically creating a visitor’s contact profile, all plans 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’s pricing is based on the number of visitors to your website rather than the number of salespeople using the product, and ranges from $119 per month to $699 per month. While Metrilo will charge extra for spikes in visitors, your regular monthly subscription does not increase automatically.
Their monthly subscription charge per unique visitor is broken out as:
- Small: $119/month – for businesses up to 10,000 unique visitors
- Medium: $299/month – for businesses up to 30,000 unique visitors
- Large: $499/month – for businesses up to 90,000 unique visitors
- Enterprise: $699/month – for businesses with over 90,000 unique visitors
Other than the price you pay for visitors, there is no other differentiation between features or services. The price you pay includes technical support and encrypted data storage for unlimited users. In addition to being a contact manager and email marketing tool, Metrilo provides analytics specific for ecommerce, which are not found in the other programs in this guide.
Metrilo’s key features include:
As soon as a visitor comes to your website, Metrilo treats them as a contact and begins building a customer profile. This profile includes their actions on your site, what product pages they visited, and the value of any orders they may have placed with you. You can then add tags to contacts to help with customer segmentation and searchability, set up a condition and have Metrilo add the tags automatically, or add follow-up reminders.
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 plug-in you add to your website. This makes it different from the other products we compared. While it offers many tools to help you identify your most valuable customers, you must have an ecommerce solution already in place in order to take advantage of its features. You can read more about the best ecommerce platforms for small business.
What Users Think About Metrilo
Users like its easy to use interface and how the program provides tips and tricks to improve business. However, the dashboard is not customizable and the statistics it reports are not a good fit for B2B organizations, even if they do conduct business online.
Where to Find Metrilo
In addition to the 14-day free trial, Metrilo also offers a 100 percent refund within 30 days of your initial subscription if the product proves to be not for you. It works after only a couple of clicks with Woocommerce or Magento. Start your free trial at:
Best Contact Management Software for Enterprise Companies: Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Microsoft Dynamics NAV, which is being rebranded as Dynamics 365, works with the Office suite. In addition to helping you manage customer, vendor, and other contacts and merge their details directly into programs like Word and Excel, you can add tools such as marketing, customer service, or project service automation. For this reason, it is best for larger organizations looking to consolidate processes into one robust software solution.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV’s Pricing
Microsoft Dynamics NAV for Sales starts at $65 per user per month. Additional functionality or access to other Microsoft Dynamics NAV modules can be added at any time. The full-featured Sales and Marketing combination plan costs $135 per user per month with a ten-seat minimum.
Microsoft Dynamics NAV Tiered Features
|Maximum Number of Contacts|
|Marketing Lists and Sales Campaigns|
|Contact and Organizational Tags|
|Gamification, Voice of Customer|
|Syncs with Sales Navigator|
Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional
The Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional includes contact management like contact segmentation, list building, and list export. It also includes lead and opportunity management, products and price lists, and quotes, orders, and invoices. Unlimited contacts can be added and follow-up tasks can be assigned without leaving the interface. However, it lacks the territory management functionality and social engagement features found in the higher tier plans.
Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional costs $65 per user per month. However, as it is a Microsoft product and works with the Microsoft Suite of products such as Word, PowerPoint, or Excel, it is therefore best for teams already working with other Microsoft products and is comparable to the other programs highest-end plans in terms of functionality.
Dynamics 365 for Sales Enterprise
At $95 per user per month, the Dynamics 365 for Sales Enterprise allows you to set sales goals for yourself or team members, attach potential competitors to leads for better analysis, and includes some social media engagement functionality, though it’s not as robust as Nimble or Zoho. The Voice of the Customer capability also allows you to manage surveys, giving you additional insight into your contact’s needs.
The Sales Enterprise Plans gives you the ability to manage contacts as well as manage territories. It also gives you the ability to analyze competitive threats. Therefore, it is best for teams wanting a robust CRM and those who use other Microsoft-branded products.
Customer Engagement Plan
The Customer Engagement Plan combines the contact management sales functionality of the Sales Enterprise plan with Microsoft Dynamic’s customer service, field sales, and project service automation modules. It costs $115 per user per month and also allows you to send bulk emails within the marketing module tool. However, you can also import your list to a third-party like MailChimp with a simple Excel export.
This plan lets you manage your contacts, your quotes, your service tickets, and your vendors all from one place. For this reason, the Customer Engagement Plan is best for the sales, service, and marketing teams using the Microsoft suite of business products.
Microsoft Relationship Sales
Microsoft Relationship Sales embeds LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator directly into the Microsoft Dynamics NAV application. Changes in contact details on LinkedIn are automatically synced with contact details in NAV saving you time and improving contact accuracy. Additional leads and contacts can also be saved within NAV directly from the Sales Navigator program.
Unlike the other Dynamics plans, Microsoft specifies a ten-user minimum for this capability.
As a result, this plan would not be recommended for small teams, but is beneficial for larger teams using Microsoft products who prospect on LinkedIn.
What Microsoft Dynamics NAV Is Missing
Microsoft Dynamics NAV lacks the bulk email capability that is a feature in many of the other programs we considered unless you add on the marketing module. Even then, there is a learning curve to set up and use the marketing functionality and its email marketing campaign reports are not as robust as other tools we consider.
Microsoft Dynamics is a super robust system and may offer more functionality than is needed by smaller businesses, which is why we recommend Freshsales instead. However, as it is scalable and integrates directly with other Microsoft products, it may still be a good choice for businesses with a rapid growth strategy or those already using Office 365.
What Users Think About Microsoft Dynamics NAV
Users like the fact that you can not only combine the tool with customer service, but you can also add accounting, inventory control, and HR modules too. However, they report that the software is so customizable, implementation takes weeks. Additionally, Microsoft prefers you to use one of their trusted partners to manage initial set-up, which can result in additional costs. You can find more reviews about Microsoft Dynamics on our MS Dynamics Review page.
Where to Find Microsoft Dynamics NAV
All Microsoft Dynamics Plans include Office 365 integration as well as data security and phone and web support through one of their network of partners. To learn how their other modules can improve your business productivity or to schedule a demonstration, contact Microsoft Dynamics NAV today.
The Bottom Line
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 for 2018 after a thorough exam of customer reviews and matching up common needs with product features. Freshsales provides the most functionality with regards to contact management for its price and is also a great CRM that can be customized to your needs. You can sign up for Freshsales’ free Forever plan or start your free 30-day trial to test drive of its more advanced features today.