CRM Outlook integration combines email, calendar, and contact management with lead and deal management. To determine the best CRM software 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 the six best CRM for Outlook integrations.
Top 6 CRM Outlook Integrations 2019
|CRM Outlook Integrations||Best For|
|(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 CRM 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|
Which CRM Software Is Right For You?
How We Evaluated CRMs with Outlook Integration
The best Outlook integrations allow users to access the most important CRM features and functionality from within their inbox, like creating leads and associating emails with deals and contacts. The integration also should be easy to set up and provide a seamless connection between Outlook and the CRM. However, an integration is only as good as the CRM it is used with. Therefore, we also considered the overall CRM features and value for the cost of both software.
The criteria we used to evaluate the best include:
- Price/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.
- Overall CRM Feature Set – We evaluated the overall set of CRM features that include leads, sales pipelines, and deal management.
- Direct 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.
- Email Management – We considered features that impact how users manage their email overall, and how the integration helps streamline email management.
- Integration Features – 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 – We considered how easily an average user could set up the integration and get it running.
- Reliability – We considered how reliable the integration is, and how the software handled errors or issues.
We recommend HubSpot CRM as the best overall CRM for integrating with Outlook based on the fact that it makes it easy to create leads, associate emails and contacts with deals, and access customer context and history from within the user’s inbox. As a free CRM, HubSpot offers the best combination of overall value and features, making it the best choice for sales teams that use Outlook for business email.
Best Overall CRM for Outlook Integration: HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM is a free contact management tool with a browser-based Outlook plug-in that allows users to create leads and access contacts and deals from within the inbox. Its core CRM features include lead generation, sales opportunities, and sales automation tools, making the CRM with its Outlook plug-in an ideal combination for small businesses that use Outlook for business email and want affordable lead generation capabilities as well as deal management.
HubSpot CRM Pricing
HubSpot CRM is free for unlimited users, and allows them to store up to a 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, depending on the specific features added.
HubSpot CRM Features
HubSpot CRM includes common CRM features like lead capture, contact management, email tracking, templates, and sales opportunity tracking. HubSpot also features a robust Outlook integration that lives in your inbox, allowing quick access to CRM functions like contact creation and email tracking. In addition, the free plan includes innovative features normally reserved for higher-priced plans, like live chat that you can embed on your website to capture leads.
Here are a few of the best HubSpot CRM features:
Contact & Lead Creation
HubSpot CRM is designed to help you generate and manage both leads and contacts, with features like hosted and smart forms, as well as live chat on your website. The Outlook integration allows users to create leads in HubSpot directly from within their email inbox through a HubSpot sidebar. HubSpot then automatically captures information like the email address, name, and other contact information, such as address and phone number, if available.
Contact History & Context
HubSpot features powerful context tools like website activity, conversations, and past deals. It also automatically populates contacts with publicly available information about their company, as well as social media. The integration in Outlook allows you to access that information when viewing emails from contacts already in your database. This means that your sales team will always have the best information when communicating with potential customers.
HubSpot makes it easy to track emails and receive feedback when a contact opens an email or clicks on a link. In addition, it allows you to create templated emails that you can use for common responses, like to respond to a new inquiry. The Outlook integration allows you to take advantage of both of these features as well as saving the email to the contact profile in the CRM, and you can easily attach documents (like pricing sheets) stored in HubSpot.
What HubSpot CRM Is Missing
HubSpot does not have some of the more advanced project management or operational CRM features found in software like Zoho or Insightly, and lacks features like workflow management or marketing automation (unless you subscribe to either Sales Hub or Marketing Hub). Finally, HubSpot offers only limited customer support on the free plan.
What Users Think About HubSpot CRM
HubSpot CRM users especially like how easy it is to use, but mention that they wish the product offered more reports and workflow automation. Some users also complain that user workflows have been disrupted when HubSpot updates the software, which required them to relearn how to use the product. You can read more on our HubSpot CRM Review page.
Best Outlook CRM Integration for Project Management: Insightly
Insightly is a robust CRM that includes an Outlook plug-in via Microsoft’s Marketplace that adds contact and deal management to your inbox, along with advanced project management features for a competitive price. It allows you to create custom project pipelines that you can use for different types of sales processes, making Insightly a good choice for organizations looking for a software tool that manages both the sales process and customer projects.
Insightly offers a basic CRM plan with contact management and projects for free, for up two users. Paid plans range from a higher-than-industry average of $29 and $49 per user per month, but include more advanced reporting, customization, and pipeline tools, along with email tracking, lead assignment routing, and the ability to customize the sales process.
Insightly Tiered Features
|Sales Pipeline Tracking|
|Custom CRM Fields|
|Bulk Email Campaigns|
|Business Card Scanner|
|Lead Assignment Routing|
|Customized Sales Processes|
|Configurable Dashboards and Reports|
Insightly offers a free plan for up to two users, which includes basic CRM functionality like contact management, tasks, sales opportunities, and project management. Insightly also includes a browser-based plug-in for Outlook users who have an Office 365 subscription which, similar to HubSpot and Zoho, allows users to create contacts and link emails, as well as view contact history from within the inbox.
Insightly’s integration seems to be a little slower than the others, and in my testing, required more frequent visits to Insightly to fix settings or log back in. That said, the Free plan is a good option for individuals, or very small businesses such as designers or freelancers, who want to manage both their sales process as well as customer projects, but don’t need the more advanced features.
Insightly’s Plus plan is $29 per user per month, and adds additional features including customized project pipelines, email tracking, and lead assignment routing. Users can add and manage up to 100,000 records and send 2,500 bulk emails a month. They are also able to schedule emails through the integration, making it easy to manage timely client communications.
The Plus plan does not include workflow automation, which is found in several other options as well as in the Professional plan. The lead assignment features, however, combined with the Outlook integration, make it a good option for companies that distribute sales opportunities based on geography, industry, or company size, and ideal for growing teams that send frequent marketing and sales emails.
The Professional plan is $49 per user per month, and allows users to manage up to 250,000 records. This plan is more expensive than options like Zoho, but is less expensive than higher-level plans from Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics. In addition, it is targeted towards users who need advanced project management and customization options not included in other CRMs, making it a good choice for project-based businesses like construction firms.
The Professional plan features also stack up to other CRMs at this level, but it contains far stronger project management tools. It also includes a wide variety of third-party integrations that fill in the gaps in areas like social media management and marketing automation that are included in Zoho, Salesforce, and HubSpot. This plan is primarily valuable to teams that want to have their managers control and set roles and permissions for their team members.
What Insightly Is Missing
Even though it has a good integration with Outlook, only the higher-priced plans include email tracking, and these plans are more expensive than competitors like Zoho or HubSpot. Insightly also does not offer product catalogs, or the ability to issue quotes and sales orders the way that Pipedrive and Zoho do. It also does not include native social media tools or web activity tracking.
What Users Think About Insightly
Users like that Insightly offers lots of customization options, and share that the Outlook plug-in is a valuable contact management tool, making it much easier to keep your email and client communications in sync. Users don’t like that the interface is more cluttered and less intuitive than other options. You can read more on our Insightly Review page.
Best for Social Media Lead Generation: Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM is a robust contact management tool that includes an Outlook plug-in, giving users access to CRM features from within their inbox. Zoho’s competitively-priced plans include lead and contact management as well as social media lead generation, making it best for sales teams that want to use their Outlook inbox as a way of capturing and managing leads resulting from engagements with social media channels.
Zoho CRM Pricing
Zoho CRM offers a free plan that includes core contact management, sales opportunities, and social media integration for up to three users. Paid plans are also available at $12 per user per month and $20 per user per month, and offer more advanced customization, lead scoring, and workflows at prices that are comparable to other small business CRM options.
Zoho CRM Tiered Features
|Configurable Dashboards and Reports|
|Lead Assignment Routing|
|Product Price Books and Order Management|
|Action Follow-Up Rules|
The Free plan includes core CRM features for up to three users. Users are able to create and manage leads directly from Outlook and associate contacts and emails with existing records. Zoho also includes several unique features like phone call logging and social media engagement. Zoho’s Free plan is a good option for small teams that don’t need customization but want basic features and the ability to track their social media interactions.
Compared to HubSpot, Zoho’s offering is more limited, though it is comparable to Insightly, and includes only the most basic features. One advantage that Zoho offers is deep integrations with its entire library of small business productivity software, which makes it a good entry-level choice for teams that are looking for an all-in-one business management suite at an affordable price. Zoho also offers branded business email in direct competition to Office 365 and Outlook.
The Standard plan costs $12 per user per month, and allows users to customize fields, reports, and workflows. Sales reports can be run and scheduled to be delivered to users at specific times. This plan also integrates with Twitter and Facebook, which makes it ideal for users who want a CRM solution that allows them to capture social media leads and funnel those contacts into their sales process while having access to those leads and contacts from their Outlook inbox.
The Standard plan is a good choice for sales teams that want to be able to track emails and social media, and also keep track of other important communications like logging phone conversations. This makes it a good fit for catering businesses, event planners, and videographers who market their business on social media and want to be able to convert those interactions to leads and sales opportunities.
The Professional plan is $20 per user per month, keeping it in line with similar product pricing tiers. Like Pipedrive, this plan offers product management functionality, but also offers purchase order and invoice management features not found there. Zoho also includes a SalesSignals feature that can notify you about contact activities and interactions, such as when an email is opened or when a deal is moved to a new stage.
Zoho’s Professional plan is a good choice for sales teams that generate leads through social media like agencies, personal brands, and professional services firms. In addition to a flexible CRM with social media lead capture, the Outlook integration allows sales reps to keep their customer communications connected to the CRM, and quickly add new contacts to the database as leads.
What Zoho CRM Is Missing
Zoho lacks some of the sales pipeline customization that is available in software like Salesforce, Pipedrive, and Insightly. In addition, while Zoho CRM does include a kanban-style visual representation of the sales pipeline, it’s not as intuitive as Pipedrive or HubSpot.
What Users Think About Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM users like that it is user-friendly. They also like that it is easy to set up and configure the CRM to track prospects and deals. Users also like that moving data into Zoho from an existing CRM is easy. One area where users express disappointment is that support features are more limited than other CRM choices, and new features are slow to be introduced. You can read our complete collection of user reviews on our Zoho Review page.
Best CRM for Outlook Integration on Desktop: Salesforce Essentials
Salesforce Essentials is one of the most commonly-used, cloud-based CRMs. It includes an Outlook online plug-in, as well as a robust integration with the desktop version of Outlook. Salesforce Essentials includes contact management, sales opportunities, mass emails, and advanced customization of the sales process. With a deep Outlook integration, Essentials is best for users needing access to a powerful contact management tool in their desktop inbox.
Salesforce Essentials Pricing
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 is $75 per user per month, and adds lead scoring, forecasting tools, and campaigns.
Salesforce Essentials Features
|Customizable Sales Process|
|24/7 Phone Support|
|Permissions and Roles|
Sales Essentials is $25 per user per month for up to 10 users, and has a powerful integration with the desktop and browser-based versions of Outlook. This gives users full access to all of their contact and lead records, sales opportunities, and Salesforce service features like ticket creation. Essentials is built on Salesforce’s Lightning platform, which is a much more intuitive and user-friendly interface compared to the Classic version.
This plan also includes contact management, sales pipelines, deal management, and mass email features. In addition, the Essentials plan includes lead capture, a mobile app, and access to the Salesforce app ecosystem. Essentials is the best choice for businesses that want the advanced features of Salesforce in their Outlook desktop inbox, in a small business budget-friendly package.
Salesforce Professional is $75 per user per month, and is a more fully-featured CRM with lead scoring, forecasting, advanced reporting, and permission features, as well as extensive customization options. Salesforce Professional also includes more advanced integrations with the sales and productivity tools that small businesses use on a regular basis.
The Professional plan is designed for larger sales teams and individuals who need advanced features like lead scoring, campaigns, order management, product catalogs, and forecasting. Professional is a good choice for established multi-member sales teams. This plan includes more functionality than any of the other options we reviewed, but it is also the most expensive.
What Salesforce Essentials Is Missing
One of the biggest features that Salesforce Essentials is missing is the ability to add more than 10 users to your account. For larger teams, a subscription to the Professional Edition is required. In addition, compared to other options like Pipedrive and HubSpot, Salesforce can be overwhelming in its scope and complexity.
What Users Think About Salesforce Essentials
Users give Salesforce high marks for its advanced features and customization options. Many reviewers also rate it positively for its reporting and analytics. However, some users shared that it can be overwhelming to implement Salesforce without training or a dedicated onboarding expert. For more reviews, visit our complete Salesforce Review Page.
Best for Managing Outlook Email Within a Mobile CRM: Pipedrive
Pipedrive is a CRM built around a visual sales pipeline; it 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. Plans are competitively priced and include product catalogues, making it a great choice for small businesses, like contractors or landscapers, who want an intuitive, simple-to-use tool to manage all of their deals and Outlook contacts while in the field.
Pipedrive plans begin at $12.50 per user per month, which is comparable to entry-level plans on other CRMs, and includes contact management, lead scoring, and visual sales pipeline. Higher-level plans are available for $24.50 and $62.50 per user per month. These plans include additional storage as well as advanced features like email scheduling and the appointment scheduler.
Pipedrive Tiered Features
|Sales Pipeline Tracking|
|Customized Sales Processes|
|Configurable Dashboards and Reports|
|Meeting & Task Scheduler|
Pipedrive’s Silver plan is $12.50 per user per month, and offers an email inbox sync with Outlook that allows you to manage your email from the browser-based interface or mobile app. It also includes contact management tools, visual pipeline, and configurable reporting. Pipedrive is intuitive and easily customized, even at the entry level, which makes it an ideal choice for businesses focused on moving sales opportunities through their sales pipeline.
Similar to options that utilize an Outlook plug-in, users can create new contacts, link emails to existing contacts, and create new deals. The difference is that you do all of this directly from the inbox in Pipedrive. This is a great option for solo entrepreneurs who want to keep all of their business communication in one place.
The Gold Plan is $24.20 per user per month; it adds features that include the meeting scheduler, which enables users to let prospects choose a time to meet based on the sales rep’s availability. It also includes the task scheduler and products catalog, which make it a great choice for businesses that manage product sales but don’t need the operational tools found in a CRM like Zoho.
Scheduling features are available from within the email inbox, adding robust appointment management functionality to your customer communications. The Gold plan also includes analytics features, making it a good choice for businesses that sell both products and services and want insight into their sales, including margins, discounts, and splits. The analytics tools give you the information you need to better focus your sales efforts on the best opportunities.
The Platinum plan is $49.17 per user per month and adds sales forecasting and advanced reporting features as well as the ability to set specific permissions for different team member roles. These features, along with Pipedrive’s intuitive pipeline tool, scheduling, and role-based permissions, make it an ideal choice for hierarchical sales teams that want product catalog management without complicated setup.
While Pipedrive’s Outlook integration doesn’t work as a plug-in like several of the other options on this list (e.g., Salesforce, HubSpot, and Zoho), it’s a great choice for businesses that want to keep all of their customer communications within their CRM. Because Pipedrive allows you to create product catalogs and proposals, you are able to track and measure your sales efforts in terms of products sold and deals closed.
What Pipedrive Is Missing
Pipedrive does not have an Outlook plug-in like some other options on this list, syncing instead with your Outlook inbox. Pipedrive also doesn’t include project management or operational CRM functionality like invoicing, human resources, or customer support features.
What Users Think About Pipedrive
Users give Pipedrive overall positive reviews, especially for the visual pipeline and scheduling tools. Users like how intuitive Pipedrive is to set up and use. Some users shared that they wish that Pipedrive had built-in email automation. However, if you use a third-party integration like Mailchimp, you can add this functionality. You can learn more at our Pipedrive Reviews article.
Best for Businesses Using Microsoft’s Full Productivity Suite: Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is an Enterprise Resource Platform (ERP) which 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.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for sales plans range from $65 per user per month to $135 per user per month, making it the most expensive option overall that we reviewed. Additional support can be added on to any plan, which gives users faster guaranteed support and direct advice from Dynamics 365 experts.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Tiered Features
|Account and Contact Management|
|Lead and Opportunity Management|
|Customizable Sales Process|
|Real-Time Sales Reports|
|Quotes and Price Books|
|Sales Goal Management|
The Sales Professional plan is $65 per user per month, and includes robust contact and sales opportunity management (including activity tracking). It integrates with the desktop and browser-based versions of Outlook in a way that is similar to Salesforce. Users can create contacts and leads from emails, send tracked emails, schedule emails, and view contact history and information, all from within Outlook
It also includes quote and order management, sales and marketing lists, and basic reporting, which can be exported to Excel with one-click access. Overall, the Sales Professional plan is designed for small businesses and entrepreneurs who want to manage customers and opportunities, and are already using other Office 365 tools.
The Sales Enterprise plan costs $95 per user per month, and adds territory management as well as more automation and engagement tools, including social connections and automatic email logging. Because it includes territory management, it is ideal for hierarchical sales teams and multi-member account management.
The Enterprise plan allows Outlook users to access all of the important CRM features from within their email inbox, and helps streamline the communications process for sales reps who spend large parts of their day emailing leads and customers. In addition, users can easily attach proposals, pricing sheets, and other documents from Word, Excel, and PowerPoint from within the CRM and Outlook plug-in.
What Microsoft Dynamics 365 Is Missing
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a flexible and robust platform, but it can be overwhelming to implement and lacks the simple setup features of other CRM options. In addition, Dynamics 365 lacks a simple, easy-to-use mobile app. While it can be used on iOS and Android devices, it lacks mobile-specific features like calling and call recording, which are present on other mobile CRMs.
What Users Think About Microsoft Dynamics 365
Many users like how robust Dynamics 365 is and how flexible it is at accommodating a variety of sales processes. Users also like the deep integration with other Microsoft software, including Office 365. Users do mention that the software can be overwhelming, especially to set up and implement, and they wish that more free support options were available.
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 as a result of 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.