Contact management software
Automating contact management is the key to building strong customer relationships at scale.
A guide to the best contact management software out there
Last updated January 22, 2024
Customers are the lifeblood of any business, so it’s important to keep their information organized and easily accessible. Modern contact management software decreases input errors, saves time, and helps your team procure and organize up-to-date customer information.
In this guide, we’ll review some of the basic features of this useful sales technology, as well as explore some of the latest innovations and how they help.
What is contact management software?
A contact management platform is a digitized address book where businesses can store and organize contact information. Simple, yes, but important.
Disorganized or incomplete contact information causes massive headaches, delays, and missed opportunities. Well-organized and accessible customer data, on the other hand, is easy to search, up-to-date, and most importantly, scales sales performance.
What is it used for?
Organizations of all sizes use contact management software to keep their contact lists organized, current, and remotely accessible by all departments.
It’s a pretty simple function. Which is why many contact management systems are already integrated with other useful business software. Customer relationships management (CRM) and project management, for example.
Is CRM the same thing as contact management software?
Short answer? A CRM (customer relationship management) platform does what contact management tools do, but with more bells and whistles.
CRMs can analyze your customer data to improve coordination between your sales, marketing, and customer service teams. CRMs also include powerful features like pipeline management, email automation, and even a sales power dialer.
Basically, all CRMs include contact management features, but not every contact management app includes CRM features.
Benefits of contact database software
Using the right contact database software and customizing it for your sales process can lead to:
Better insight into customer behavior
Contact management tools let you store more information about your customers than an address book or spreadsheet. With it, you can view a contact’s entire history, keep in-depth notes about their interactions with you, and easily identify purchasing patterns. All this data means better insights into your current and future customers.
Improved data organization and accessibility
Maintaining organized, mobile, and up-to-date contact information means everyone in your company can be sure they’re looking at the same data. Teams can work cross-departmentally with confidence, knowing that they’re never wasting time looking at last month’s information.
Improved sales and marketing outcomes
Never allow a lead to fall through the cracks because of mishandled, lost, or incorrect information. Keeping contact data current and organized means more customers can move through the sales pipeline and make meaningful purchases.
Plus, developing an organized sales process based on actual customer information and trends is guaranteed to translate into more sales.
Features of a contact manager
Here are the best contact management tools you can expect to be included with your CMS.
Contact database: Store all of your contact details, including name, email, phone number, website, social media handles, addresses, and more.
Data analysis: Tag contacts based on specific demographics, such as age, location, interests, and industry, which allows you to target specific segments of your customer population.
Lead management software: Capture, track, and score leads as soon as they enter your pipeline, minimizing the chance of dropping leads.
Prospecting tools: Automate repetitive tasks associated with prospecting, such as qualifying prospects, booking meetings, and finding contact details.
Integrations: Connect your CMS to the business and sales app you’re already using, like G Suite, Outlook 365, Zapier, social media channels, others.
Contact management software trends
Our current landscape of technology is a never-ending conveyor belt of innovation, and contact managers are no different. The following trends are shaping the future of online contact management software.
As AI gets more advanced, automation is here to give precious time back to your sales reps. Automating tasks like customer profile generation and data analysis lets your team focus exclusively on the to-dos that require a human touch.
Customer experience & personalization
Providing a great customer experience is crucial—86% of customers will pay more for a better customer experience, and businesses that focus on improving CX see a stunning 80% increase in revenue.
This is why contact functionality integrated with a larger CRM platform is so valuable. CRM is contact management on steroids, allowing you to improve customer interactions with data-driven precision.
The recent explosion of e-commerce means that businesses have an unprecedented opportunity to sell—and flourish—outside their local markets. Companies are also trending towards employing more remote workers to make this happen.
Having a cloud-based system that is compatible with all devices and browsers means you and your reps can access customer data no matter where you are without sacrificing speed or security.
Utilizing social media for lead management and prospecting is a great strategy for automatically populating your sales funnel. Nowadays, everyone is on social media, so it only makes sense to meet customers where they are. The best contact list software should be able to navigate and draw data from those channels as your customers engage with your marketing efforts.
Enhanced digital experiences
Content is the name of the game, and customers are naturally attracted to the latest and greatest. By keeping an eye on innovations like virtual reality and voice-activated hardware such as Google Home or Amazon’s Alexa, contact systems can stay open to accumulating customer data wherever customers go next.
Top 10 contact management software solutions
1. Zendesk Sell
Zendesk Sell is a sales CRM software solution that offers some of the most useful contact management tools today. With mobile access and a customizable and intuitive user interface, Sell is easily integrated into daily workflow no matter where your team is or what their IT capabilities are.
Zendesk Sell boosts salesforce efficiency by letting your team convert more leads with conversational and consultative selling. That frames your reps as advisors as opposed to salespeople. They’ll also save time by automating repetitive daily tasks.
Sales pipeline management
Customer service analytics
Referral and sales tracking software
Performance metrics and KPI sales dashboard
HubSpot is a customer relationship management platform that includes a dedicated contact hub, which offers a drag-and-drop editor, SEO recommendations, and website themes. This sales contact program can integrate with Gmail and Outlook, as well as schedule and track emails and contact activity.
HubSpot’s CRM software is a free CRM platform that integrates with the larger HubSpot ecosystem. Along with contact functions, Hubspot offers other business apps like Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, and Service Hub. While it is well-reviewed by customers, it does not support languages other than English.
Standard SSL certificate
Content delivery network (CDN)
3. Contact Boss
Contact Boss is a business contact software offering a “Quick Create” function that allows agents to input new contacts quickly and fill in further details later. It also has features for organizing and searching contacts, as well as eliminating accidental duplicates. Its Legacy Data Support function allows users to upload existing contact databases to reduce manual entry.
Contact boss provides contact reports, auditing functions, and security tools to keep confidential information secured. It integrates with Gmail, Outlook, Apple Mail, as well as common marketing applications such as MailChimp, iContact, and Constant Contact.
Streak is a lightweight CRM for small to mid-sized businesses, and is fully integrated with G Suite applications. It includes features such as social media integration, task management, and email marketing. Live and shareable pipeline information and tasks allow for instant collaboration across teams. Visual reports can track pipeline and individual contributor data.
A tool called “Snippets” can insert commonly repeated text into emails in order to save time. Streak works through G Suite, and is advertised as a useful tool for any number of business needs, including: sales, project management, fundraising, support, hiring, real estate, and business development.
Mobile for Android & iOS
Pipedrive is a CRM software for sales teams that focuses on lead generation and contact management. It allows reps to customize the naming of their pipeline stages to fit within a preexisting sales process, and it uses simple drag-and-drop features to track business contacts and lead progress.
Automation tools include one-click contact data collection, webhooks, open API, and an AI-powered sales assistant. It provides tools to help with goal setting, activity tracking, lead qualification, and smart communications. Pipedrive features numerous integrations with other contact software apps, including Zapier, Pandadoc, and Leadfeeder.
ActiveCampaign is a CRM platform that allows users to personalize messaging, segment customer populations, and automate workflow. This sales CRM software can automate lead prioritization, task creation, lead nurturing, and contact management. ActiveCampaign can close deals automatically and build branching automations to track the customer journey through various customizable pipelines.
The centralized platform migrates old data for free, and automatically updates contact details. Its email and marketing automation tools include a full email template library and integration with over 300 other commonly used sales tools.
Landing pages/web forms
Freshworks’ customer contact management system markets itself as an intuitive customer engagement platform with a straightforward user interface. From a centralized contact management database, sales reps can view prospect details, social profiles, contact info, and all recent activity.
Freshworks’ has an AI-powered assistant named Freddy. This tool can provide predictive contact scoring, analyze historical data for sales insights, and recommend next steps. It offers salesforce automation, marketing automation tools, and segmentation, as well as automated personalized email campaigns. Unfortunately, free 24-hours support is available only on weekdays.
Internal chat integration
Nimble is a “relationship-focused” CRM featuring Office 365 and G Suite integration, as well as social media connections with popular channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Nimble’s tools can pull contact information from over 160+ apps and has integrations with Zendesk’s Customer Service software.
The various features allow users to segment prospects, send group messages, and set follow-up tasks. With Nimble, users can build out detailed customer profiles as well as track team tasks, events, and calls. Automated email marketing campaigns let users pull from templates to send personalized group emails with tracking, analytics, and reporting capabilities.
Sales pipeline management
Nextiva is a contact manager serving both small business and enterprise clients. It is known for its business phone functions which include voicemail-to-email capability, call queuing, and a mobile app. This customer contact database includes customer tracking sales and service tools, as well as built-in automations that can send emails, surveys, and auto-responses.
Sales tools include a customizable visual pipeline management tool that allows users to map out and track customers through every stage of their sales journey. Nextiva integrates with Outlook, Salesforce, and G Suite, among others.
Keap is a CRM for sales and marketing teams with workflow automation that offers features like pre-build reminders, automated emails, and predictive email sending. Keap provides customizable processes and automations, reporting and analytics, as well as a mobile app.
Keap utilizes a central contact database to organize leads. It can qualify leads, tag them, and create customizable segmentation and activity triggers. It has over 230 native integrations, including Zapier, PayPal, Outlook, JotForm, and Instapage.
How to select the best contact management software for your business?
Here are some of the things to consider when you’re shopping around for the right solution.
Contact database tools are included in many more robust CRM software packages, so prices can vary wildly. Take a good look at your budget and needs to determine exactly what tools will help you achieve your business goals.
As your business grows, so will the length of your contact list and the complexity of your sales strategy. Pick a contact manager that can grow with you to avoid messy switches down the road.
Life is mobile nowadays. The best cloud contact manager will include an app for quick and easy access to customer data, no matter where you are.
Contact management software FAQs
You’re ready to start looking for the best contact management app for your business, but it’s likely you still have a few questions. Here are the answers to common FAQs concerning CMS software.
Give contact management software a whirl
Using contact management software is a great way to organize and track your customer base. Which is why so many businesses are already using it.
Zendesk Sell offers free CRM usage with its 14-day trial, so you can experience all the benefits of contact management tools with no risk.
Sell is the Zendesk CRM that's top-rated as a CRM for small businesses and large businesses. That means it’s ready to scale with your company as you grow and attract new customers. To see what a smart, organized customer management system can do for your business, start your 14-day free trial today.
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