Customer relationship management (CRM) and Outlook integration combines email, calendar, and contacts with lead and deal management. To determine the best CRM for Outlook integration, we compared dozens of options based on cost, functionality, and benefits (like the ability to create contacts and deals from within your inbox) to arrive at six great solutions and an overall best.
Top 6 CRM Outlook Integrations 2020
CRM Outlook Integrations
(Best overall) Businesses wanting a free and simple CRM with Outlook integration
Account managers who want to manage both sales and projects from within Outlook inboxes
Marketers who want to capture and manage social media leads from Outlook email
Teams wanting access to robust features while using the desktop version of Outlook
Businesses who want to manage Outlook email within a mobile CRM app
Businesses using the full Microsoft ecosystem of productivity and office software
Last updated on 04/22/20
How We Evaluated CRMs With Outlook Integration
The best Outlook CRM integrations allow users to seamlessly access the most important CRM functionality from within their inbox, like creating leads and associating emails with deals and contacts. However, an integration is only as good as the CRM it is used with, so we also considered the overall CRM features and value for the cost of both software. To learn more, take a look at our detailed list of evaluation criteria.
HubSpot: Best Overall CRM for Outlook Integration
What it costs: HubSpot CRM is free for unlimited users, and supports storage for up to 1 million contacts. Additional sales and marketing functionality can be added through the HubSpot Sales Hub and Marketing Hub. These additional services range from $50 per month to $800 per month.
What it does: Allows you to create leads, access contacts from Outlook, and develop automated lead generation and sales processes.
Free plan allows for unlimited users and storage up to one million contacts
Missing advanced project management and operational CRM features
Includes lead generation tools like smart forms and chat
Lacks workflow and marketing automation unless you pay to upgrade
Easy Outlook integration and supports email templates
Limited customer support on the free plan
HubSpot CRM helps you generate and manage both leads and contacts with features like smart forms and live chat on your website. It also offers robust Outlook integration that gives you quick access to CRM functions like contact creation and email tracking. You can also design templated emails that you can use for common responses.
Insightly: Best Outlook Integration for Project Management
What it costs: Insightly CRM is free for two users. Additional plans cost between $29 and $49 per user, per month.
What it does: Lets you create custom project pipelines you can use for different types of sales processes.
Allows you to create custom project pipelines
Only offers email tracking on upper-level subscription plans
Browser-based plugin for Outlook allows users to create contacts, link emails, and view contact history from within the inbox
Does not offer product catalogs or the ability to issue quotes and sales orders
Professional plan features strong project management tools and a wide variety of third-party integrations
Does not include native social media tools or web activity tracking
Insightly is a robust CRM that includes a browser-based Outlook plugin so users can create contacts and link emails as well as view contact history from within the inbox. You can also schedule emails through the integration, making it easy to manage timely client communications. Customizable project pipelines and lead assignment routing tools round out this project management CRM solution.
Zoho CRM: Best Outlook Integration for Social Media Lead Generation
What it costs: Zoho CRM’s free plan includes core contact management, sales opportunities, and social media integration for up to three users. Paid plans for small business are $12 and $20 per user, per month, and offer more advanced customization, lead scoring, and workflows.
What it does: Uses phone call logging and social media monitoring to allow you to track and manage leads resulting from social media engagements.
Free plan includes contact management and sales opportunities for up to 3 users
Lacks sales pipeline customization options
Paid plans integrate with Twitter and Facebook
User interface is not as intuitive as Pipedrive or HubSpot
SalesSignals tool notifies you when emails are opened
Customer support features are limited compared to other CRMs
Zoho CRM is a contact management tool with an Outlook plugin that gives users access to CRM features from within their inbox. Plans include lead and contact management as well as integration tools for social media channels like Twitter and Facebook. Zoho also includes a SalesSignals feature that notifies you about contact activities such as when an email is opened or when a deal is moved to a new stage.
Salesforce Essentials: Best for Outlook Integration on Desktop
What it costs: Salesforce is available in two editions that are designed for small businesses. The Essentials plan is moderately priced at $25 per user, per month, and includes the CRM and Service software for up to 10 users. The Professional edition adds lead scoring, forecasting tools, and campaigns for $75 per user, per month.
What it does: Offers powerful integration with the desktop and browser-based versions of Outlook, allowing you to access many of the CRM’s best features without leaving the email client.
Gives users access to all contact records and sales opportunities
Does not offer a free plan
Provides most robust integration with Outlook’s desktop client
Missing the ability to add more than 10 users to your account
Salesforce Professional offers lead scoring, forecasting, advanced reporting, and extensive customization options
Features can be overwhelming
Salesforce Essentials is a cloud-based CRM with an Outlook plugin, via the Salesforce Inbox email client, that gives you access to many of the CRM’s best features without switching applications. Features like a powerful contact management tool in your desktop inbox, as well as a robust integration with the desktop version of Outlook. The CRM includes contact management, sales opportunities, mass emails, and advanced customization of the sales process. Click here for a free demo to learn more about Salesforce Inbox.
Pipedrive: Best for Managing Outlook Email Within a Mobile CRM
What it costs: Pipedrive plans begin at $12.50 per user, per month and include contact management, lead scoring, and visual sales pipeline. Higher-level plans are available for $24.90 and up. These plans include additional storage as well as advanced features like email scheduling and the appointment scheduler.
What it does: Offers a visual sales pipeline to track leads and deals through the sales process that is easily accessible in browsers or on mobile devices.
Allows you to manage Outlook email from the browser-based interface or mobile app
Does not offer a free plan
Includes contact management tools, visual pipeline, and configurable reporting
Does not offer an Outlook desktop plugin
Allows you to create product catalogs and proposals so you can track and measure your products sold
Doesn’t include project management or operational functionality
Pipedrive is a CRM built around a visual sales pipeline and includes a built-in email inbox that allows you to fully manage your two-way synced Outlook email from within your browser or the powerful mobile CRM app. Pipedrive service plans offer product catalogues, configurable reporting, and meeting scheduler to let prospects choose a time to meet based on the sales rep’s availability.
Microsoft Dynamics 365: Best for Businesses Using Microsoft’s Full Productivity Suite
What it costs: Service plans for Microsoft Dynamics 365 range from $65 per user, per month for contact and sales opportunity management (including activity tracking) to $95 per user, per month to add territory management as well as more automation and engagement tools. Additional support can be added on to any plan, which gives users faster guaranteed support and direct advice from Dynamics 365 experts.
What it does: Seamlessly blends all Microsoft products to track and manage your contacts.
Microsoft Dynamics Strengths
Microsoft Dynamics Weaknesses
Integrates with the desktop and browser-based versions of Outlook, similar to Salesforce
No free plan; paid plans are the most expensive overall option
Users can create contacts and leads from emails, send tracked emails, schedule emails, and view contact history from within Outlook
Can be overwhelming to implement and lacks simple setup features
Sales Enterprise plan adds territory management as well as social connections and automatic email logging
Lacks mobile-specific features like calling and call recording
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an enterprise resource platform (ERP) that contains a variety of applications, including a CRM for large teams with sales and general operations management functionality. As a Microsoft product, it features extensive interoperability with Outlook and other Office 365 software, including Word and Excel, making it the best choice for businesses already using the full ecosystem of Microsoft productivity apps.
How We Selected the Best CRM for Outlook Integration
There are several things to consider when choosing the best CRM to integrate with your Outlook email and contact management account. Here’s a detailed look at our evaluation criteria.
- Price and affordability: We weighed the cost for small businesses to use the CRM and whether a higher-priced plan was required to take advantage of the Outlook integration.
- Direct Outlook integration: There are many options for connecting Outlook to various software through third-party automation tools, but for this comparison, we only looked at CRMs that directly integrate with Outlook, either through Office 365 online or the desktop.
- Overall CRM feature set: We evaluated the overall set of CRM features and functionality, including leads, sales pipelines, and deal management.
- Email management: We considered features that impact how users manage their email overall, and how the integration helps streamline email management.
- Integration features: We looked at how the integration handles CRM features directly from their Outlook inbox, including email tracking, contact and lead creation, deals, and contact context.
- Ease of use: How easily an average user could set up the integration and get it running was evaluated.
- Reliability: We considered how reliable the integration is, and how the software handled errors or issues.
Salespeople spend a majority of their time in their email inbox, and having a CRM integration helps streamline and simplify customer communications and keep everything in sync. The integrations we reviewed allow users to create contacts and leads, create deals, and access contact information, all from within the email inbox.
We choose HubSpot as the best CRM with an Outlook integration for its contact and deal management features in a free plan. HubSpot allows users to send and track emails, create new contacts, track sales opportunities, and win more business. HubSpot CRM is free forever, with additional sales and marketing features available in paid plans. Visit the HubSpot website to sign up for your free account today.