Customer database software

Tracking and managing customers effectively is important for a business to grow and succeed. Customer database software helps with customer relationships and ultimately helps drive sales.

A guide to the best customer database software

Last updated July 12, 2023

For any business, client data is worth its weight in gold—but only when you can organize and use it to its full potential. That’s where customer database software comes in.

Whether you want to let your customers know about a new product promotion or to surpass your monthly sales goals, it all starts with an organized system. In this article, we’ll tell you exactly what to look for in a customer information database and introduce the top-rated solutions of 2023.

In this article, we will cover:

What is customer database software?

Customer database software is a tool that captures and automates customer and prospect communication and engagement across sales, support, and other departments.

Customer database software capabilities are often built into customer relationship software, or a CRM. A customer database platform generally functions by collecting customer information, and then a CRM organizes it along with customer engagement data.

Customer database software allows:

  • Teams to view and manage all their leads, contacts, and account information in one centralized location
  • Sales and support teams to keep track of customer analytics like client history and activities

While you could use spreadsheets to manually document information about each of your clients, no one wants to do that. It may not even be feasible to do so because spreadsheets:

  • May require a lot of time and labor to stay up to date
  • Have data and storage limitations
  • Can cause devices with insufficient RAM to slow to a halt
  • Don’t include built-in security features to protect confidential customer data
  • Show too much data at once and have fewer sorting capabilities
  • Are less efficient at populating accurate results using a quick search or filters
  • Don’t include data validation for more accurate client records

Client database software takes in everything you want to record about a customer and syncs that to a profile in the system. Any time you correspond with that customer, the interaction gets recorded.

Comparison chart of the 10 best customer database software

Here’s how our top 10 picks stack up against one another at a glance:

Software

Starting price

Free trial

Key features

Zendesk
$19 per user/month
14 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app
Zoho
$14 per user/month
15 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app
HubSpot Sales Hub
Free
14 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app
Freshsales
Free
21 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
Salesforce Sales Cloud
$25 per user/month
30 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app
Bitrix24
Free
30 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Mobile app
Pipedrive
$14.90 per month
14 days
  • Sales engagement tools
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app
Apptivo
$10 per user/month
20 days
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app
Keap
$149 per month
14 days
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Mobile app
Monday.com
Free
14 days
  • Sales triggers
  • Advanced sales reporting, analytics, and forecasting
  • Support integration
  • Mobile app

The 10 best customer database software

  1. Zendesk Sell
  2. Zoho
  3. HubSpot
  4. Freshworks
  5. Salesforce
  6. Bitrix24
  7. Pipedrive
  8. Apptivo
  9. Keap
  10. Monday.com

You can find several customer information database programs on the market today. Some are better for small businesses and startups, while others work best for large companies and enterprises.

Here are our top 10 customer database software solutions.

1. Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell offers a complete CRM and customer database solution for businesses of all sizes.

Zendesk Sell is specifically designed to:

  • Reduce friction between teams and increase efficiency
  • Provide a complete view of prospect and customer interactions
  • Deliver better customer experiences by eliminating information silos across sales and service
  • Offer agents context about where customers are in the buying journey

Gone are the days of wading through pages of outdated spreadsheets. With Zendesk Sell, you can eliminate spreadsheets and:

  • Analyze prospect and customer sales data
  • Ensure no lead or prospect falls through the cracks with sales pipeline management
  • Eliminate repetitive tasks to focus on the customer with workflow automations
  • Leverage integrated communication channels to meet customers where they are

This helps your business deliver better customer experiences that ultimately close more deals.

If switching to customer data management software has you worried about an IT nightmare, there’s no need—Zendesk Sell works right out of the box. You won’t need to deal with major interruptions or to call in IT to upgrade your system. Our software integrations work seamlessly with your other tools and expand to accommodate your business sales.

Zendesk Sell is a full-service CRM. You can use it to build leads, automate outreach, boost your productivity, and close more deals. Features include advanced sales analytics, integrated communication channels like email, text, and voice, smart lists, and more. You can also boost engagement even more with built-in sales engagement tools. The best part is the CRM integrates with the rest of Zendesk, so you can bring key sales and service data together to create a fuller customer profile.

The Zendesk customer database software handles 4.6 million interactions between companies and their clients every day. And with our free library of customer experience resources, you can learn best practices from over 50,000 organizations—including businesses in your field.

Features:

Pricing:

  • Team: $19 per user/month
  • Growth: $55 per user/month
  • Professional: $115 per user/month
  • Enterprise: Contact sales

Free trial: 14 days

Learn more about Zendesk Sell.

2. Zoho

Zoho

Zoho offers a host of SaaS products, and its CRM was its original offering back in 2005. If you already use other apps in the Zoho ecosystem, you can sign up for CRM Plus, a nine-product bundle, for an easy transition. Zoho offers a full-service CRM solution that caters to businesses of all sizes while offering plenty of customization options for setting up workflows.

SMBs can use Zoho CRM to:

  • Manage leads
  • Forecast sales
  • Automate workflows
  • Manage lead documentation

The dashboard is simple and helps sales staff focus on their tasks. The free version limits the customer database to 100,000 records, while higher tiers allow unlimited records. One neat feature is Zoho’s AI assistant, Zia, who can help sales staff search through CRM data.

Features:

  • Omnichannel solution
  • Sales pipeline automation
  • Sales process builder
  • Native + API integrations
  • Gamification
  • Lead and contact management

Pricing:

  • Standard: $14 per user/month
  • Professional: $23 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $40 per user/month
  • Ultimate: $52 per user/month

Free trial: 15 days

Learn more about the Zendesk app for Zoho.

3. HubSpot

HubSpot

Since its founding in 2004, HubSpot has grown to become a popular marketing and sales platform for many businesses. The platform helps separate departments work together with a single set of tools for:

  • Marketing
  • Customer service
  • Sales
  • Content management

HubSpot Sales Hub is geared toward small and midsize businesses and has enough features for these types of organizations.

With HubSpot, you can organize your sales process and contact leads right in the client database software. HubSpot Sales CRM is a free option, but it’s limited to 15 calling minutes, 200 notifications, five email templates, and five documents per user per month. Higher plans boost limits and add features like sales analytics, call transcriptions, and sales playbooks.

Features:

  • Deal pipeline
  • Sales automation
  • Analytics and reporting
  • Sales content management and tracking
  • AI-powered conversation insights
  • Call tracking
  • Contact management

Pricing:

HubSpot CRM offers a free plan and paid pricing tiers:

  • HubSpot Sales CRM: Free with limited features
  • Starter: Starting at $18 per month
  • Starter CRM Suite: Starting at $29.97 per month
  • Professional: Starting at $500 per month
  • Enterprise: Starting at $1,200 per month

Free trial: 14-days

Learn more about the Zendesk app for HubSpot.

4. Freshworks

Freshworks

Freshworks’ CRM, Freshsales, attracts small businesses for its easy-to-use interface.

Freshsales focuses on SMBs that want to keep things simple. It might not have as many customization options as some of its competitors, but customers appreciate that Freshsales is ready to go right out of the box. The clean interface promotes focus, and the program has plenty of features for tracking leads, engaging prospects, and managing sales pipelines.

One nice feature is that Freshsales will automatically populate a lead’s file with their social media account information when available. This can give you insight into what the lead is interested in. Freshsales also offers an AI assistant named Freddy that can highlight at-risk contacts and analyze sales data.

Features:

  • Behavioral segmentation
  • Contact scoring
  • AI chatbots
  • Visitor information capture
  • Track and document visitor intent
  • Cross-channel contact management and communication
  • Customer conversation tracking

Pricing:

  • Growth: $15 per user/month
  • Pro: $39 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $69 per user/month

Free trial: 21 days

Learn more about how Zendesk integrates with Freshworks.

5. Salesforce

Salesforce

Salesforce created its first CRM product in 1999—back when you couldn’t use the phone and the internet simultaneously. Today, Salesforce provides top-of-the-line customer database software with a host of back-office apps for business. The CRM product is called Salesforce Sales Cloud, and it offers everything you’d expect from an enterprise-level sales platform.

From contact management and marketing tools to sales reporting and customized workflows, businesses can get a lot of use out of Salesforce. In fact, almost everything is customizable, including the home screen. Some users may find it takes a lot of work to get up and running, which is why there are many online courses for using Salesforce.

Features:

  • Lead, contact, and data management
  • Reports and dashboards
  • Mobile app
  • Email integration
  • Sales forecasting
  • Custom workflows
  • Sales process automation

Pricing:

  • Essentials: $25 per user/month
  • Professional: $75 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $150 per user/month
  • Unlimited: $300 per user/month

Free trial: 30 days

Learn more about the Salesforce app integration with Zendesk.

6. Bitrix24

Bitrix24

Bitrix24 is a customer database solution for smaller sales teams. Bitrix24 has been around since 2012 and offers a full business communication platform that includes:

  • CRM
  • File sharing
  • Scheduling
  • Project management

The CRM is fairly extensive and offers a range of useful features. The free version still has other limits associated with storage, tasks, and communications.

Features include outreach automation, unlimited leads, a Kanban board view, and custom pipelines. Bitrix24 also offers a self-hosted option if you want to install its open-source software on your own hardware—that is, if you’re comfortable with handling upgrades, updates, and server maintenance yourself.

Features:

  • Online storage (cloud or self-hosted)
  • Live chat software
  • API and native integrations
  • Reports and analytics
  • Call tracking and email integration
  • Unlimited customer records
  • Free mobile CRM

Pricing:

  • Free: $0 per month for limited features for unlimited users
  • Basic: $61 per month for unlimited users
  • Standard: $124 per month for unlimited users
  • Professional: $249 per month for unlimited users
  • Enterprise: $499 per month for 250 users

The monthly cost of Bitrix24’s customer management software may go down if you pay for a year upfront.

Free trial: 30 days

Learn more about the Zendesk integration with Bitrix24.

7. Pipedrive

Pipedrive

Pipedrive began in 2010 with a CRM system designed to make it easy for sales professionals to do their work. Since Pipedrive focuses solely on CRM, it’s simple to set up and integrates natively with a number of other apps to expand functionality. Pipedrive offers four main plans, plus two add-ons for lead generation and web analytics.

The customer data software includes:

  • Deal management
  • Product catalog
  • Customizable pipeline
  • Email integration

As with most CRM tools, you can automate various tasks to make the sales process more efficient. Overall, Pipedrive can be a useful tool for SMBs looking for a standalone CRM option.

Features:

  • Custom chatbot and web forms
  • Purchase and contact history tracking
  • Reporting and insights
  • Mobile app
  • Activity reminders
  • Visual sales pipeline
  • Contact management

Pricing:

  • Essential: $14.90 per user/month
  • Advanced: $24.90 per user/month
  • Professional: $49.90 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $99 per user/month

Please note that Pipedrive bills users annually.

Free trial: 14 days

Learn about the Zendesk app for Pipedrive.

8. Apptivo

Apptivo

Founded in 2009, Apptivo has grown to provide a suite of apps centered around contact management, project management, invoicing, and communication. One thing that makes Apptivo different is that it offers a basic contact manager without a pipeline or invoicing. This option is a simple solution for small businesses that just need to track customer interactions.

Beyond that, Apptivo’s customer service database can accommodate larger businesses and enterprise companies with:

  • Customized workflows
  • Multiple pipelines
  • Email automation
  • Data management

The system can generate leads through a web form, a direct email, a CSV import, and manual entry. Apptivo also offers an array of customer relationship management apps to boost functionality.

Features:

  • Custom chatbot and web forms
  • Contact history tracking
  • Custom reports and insights
  • Mobile app
  • Data management
  • Sales task automation
  • Activity tracking and reminders

Pricing:

  • Lite: $10 per user/month
  • Premium: $15 per user/month
  • Ultimate: $25 per user/month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing based on needs

Free trial: 30 days

9. Keap

Keap

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a suite of tools centered around CRM and marketing. The company’s philosophy is that sales and marketing departments can perform well when they work closely together.

Using one platform for both can increase efficiency. A Keap customer database software subscription includes access to CRM, marketing automation, payment processing, email marketing, and sales pipeline management. Keap features an attractive interface and an easy drag-and-drop system for building workflows and pipelines, too.

Keap’s entry-level plan is specifically geared toward solopreneurs and new businesses. What used to be Infusionsoft is now known as Keap Max Classic, and it’s an enterprise-level offering.

Features:

  • Visual sales pipeline
  • CRM and marketing automation
  • Payment processing
  • Mobile app
  • SMS messages and phone calls
  • Reporting and analytics
  • Appointment scheduling

Pricing:

  • Classic: $149 per month
  • Max: $199 per month
  • Max Classic: Custom pricing based on needs

Keap’s doesn’t price per user, however, each plan comes with a predetermined number of seats.

Free trial: 14 days

10. monday.com

monday.com

If you just want basic client database functionality in an easy-to-use platform instead of opting for an entire CDP, monday.com could do the trick. The company is more well-known for its teamwork features, but the CRM system can be enough for SMBs to manage leads and customer information.

Monday.com provides customized forms for capturing leads on your website and landing pages, and you can use automation to save time on repetitive tasks. One nice thing is that the designs for the sales pipeline, contact management, and deals boards are similar to the scheduling layout design. So if you’re familiar with using monday.com for task management, you’ll be able to find your way around its customer data platform easily.

Features:

  • Sales pipeline
  • Contact management
  • Lead capturing
  • Customer projects
  • Marketing activities
  • Order management
  • Customer support

Price:

  • Individual: $0 for up to two seats
  • Basic: $8 per seat/month
  • Standard: $10 per seat/month
  • Pro: $16 per seat/month
  • Enterprise: Custom pricing based on needs

Free trial: 14 days

Learn about the Zendesk app for monday.com.

Features of client database software

You can find a wide range of features in CRM software. But some of the top customer database software features you should look for include:

  • Sales engagement tools: Easily build lists of qualified prospects and automate outreach for seamless touchpoints. Engagement tools allow your salespeople to orchestrate top-of-the-line customer experiences and close deals faster by reducing the need for manual labor.
  • Sales triggers: Automate sales workflows with unique triggers for your representatives. Once a trigger condition is met, the CRM will elicit an action, whether that’s notifying your team about a client update or scheduling a demo to ensure accuracy and boost productivity.
  • Reporting and analytics: Good customer data platform (CDP) solutions will allow you to view and export a variety of reports, analyze analytics, track metrics, and create sales forecasts. This means your team has the information they need to make smart decisions, consult with customers, and more.
  • Unified customer view: Client database software can provide any number of native integrations along with API access for you to build your own sales and support integrations. The ability to streamline sales and support ensures each team has access to customer data and can provide high-level customer service at any time.
  • Mobile app: Outfit field sales reps with important customer data by implementing a mobile app into your technology arsenal. Mobile CRM apps allow representatives to update client data on the go, so their team always has the most current information.

Benefits of customer information software

The difference between managing customer information in spreadsheets and using a CRM is like the difference between walking and driving a sports car. Think of customer service software as adding a set of wheels to your sales operation.

You can go much farther in the same amount of time when you have a customer data system on your side. Here are a few main benefits of customer database software:

  • Boost sales productivity: Help your reps close deals quickly by limiting unnecessary tasks with automated workflows.
  • Improve the customer experience: Use customer data to create a better buyer journey and customize conversations.
  • Accelerate revenue: Use client data to capitalize on opportunities and resolve pain points early, increasing customer retention and profits.
  • Increase pipeline visibility: Create accurate sales forecasts and monitor your pipeline to win more deals.

What to look for in CRM database software

Here’s what to look for in a customer database software solution.

  • Total cost of ownership (TCO): Strive to keep setup and maintenance costs of your new database low to maximize ROI. Be sure any new software you’re considering fits within your budget and makes sense for your business by assessing the cost to purchase, deploy, use, and stop use.
  • Unified data: Use a customer service database to help your sales and support teams improve efficiency when building customer relationships and closing deals. Your client database software should facilitate the automatic and easy transfer of information within the platform and between integrated apps.
  • Modern and easy to use: Select a customer database program with a user-friendly interface, simple triggers and workflow automation, and informational resources so your team is equipped to hit the ground running.

Frequently asked questions

Here are the answers to the most common questions about customer database software.

1. How do you create a customer service database?

To create a database, you need to systematically collect information about each customer and house it all in a central location. There are a few ways to build a client information database:

  • Collect information on existing customers and new leads through web forms
  • Pipe information from a company email address to the database
  • Gather information through web chat
  • Call leads directly and record customer data on the admin side or through transcripts

Many small businesses start with a basic spreadsheet of all their customers. The good news is that you can import your CSV files directly into modern CRM software systems. Once you set it up, you can begin to add new leads and more information on existing customers.

2. Is CRM a customer database?

A CRM is considered a customer relationship management database. Customer database software functions similarly but with some key differences.

  • CRM: documents and organizes the interactions between your team and customers.
  • Customer database software: collects customer data, contextual information, and behavioral data related to your product or service offerings.

3. What are some customer database software use cases?

You can do a lot with client database software, and most businesses can determine what use cases make the most sense for their organization. However, here are some popular use cases:

  • Unified customer view: Centralize customer data from sales interactions and support tickets so key information is easily and readily available.
  • Pipeline management: Keep tabs on customer interactions and sales activities at each stage of the sales funnel to ensure deals continue progressing, so you can maximize revenue.
  • Personalize customer experiences: Use your customer data to personalize touchpoints with customers.
  • Omnichannel sales: Streamline sales-related conversations across channels to ensure your team has access to the most recent contextual information.

UpStack

UpStack boosts sales and doubles revenue with Zendesk Sell

“We’ve had a massive number of upsells as a result of using Sell. The success team is now part of the sales team instead being an afterthought. Our success team absolutely loves Sell.”

Yossi Mlynsky

Founder

Read customer story

Sign up for a free customer database software trial

The right CRM platform can mean the difference between barely reaching your sales goals or blasting them out of the water. With client database software, you can keep track of new customers and improve the overall customer experience.
So, say goodbye to aimless spreadsheets and hello to a well-organized customer database with Zendesk client database software. Your business will increase its speed and efficiency, and you’ll have access to our free library of best practices from over 50,000 organizations. Get ready to manage your customers better. Start your free trial of Zendesk today.

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