In a letter he wrote to Jean-Baptiste Le Roy in 1789, Benjamin Franklin famously wrote, "In this world, nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes... and a shared repository for customer contact information being helpful for sales teams of all sizes, industries, and structures."
Alright, I admit I might have taken some creative liberty with the last part of that quote — but it doesn't make it any less true.
Being able to readily access and analyze customer and prospect data can make your sales efforts considerably easier and more effective. That's why contact management software is always an option worth exploring.
"Contact management software" is a catch-all term for data management software that encompasses any kind of software that allows you to track prospect, customer, and vendor contact information and communication. This can include data like addresses, individual employees, associated companies, open quotes, orders, and sales history. It's a resource that can improve your sales efforts by simplifying and streamlining processes like outreach and lead qualification.
Best Contact Management Software
Here are some of the contact management software for small businesses followed by the best free and paid options available for any business.
Best Contact Management Software for Small Business
Price: Free forever.
HubSpot's free CRM is a contact management tool plus so much more. You'll never have to manually add or update contact records — HubSpot will take care of that for you after every interaction you have with a contact. Plus, contact records are enriched automatically with data from over 20 million businesses.
The CRM and contact management system is easy to get started with, use, and navigate. In addition to contact management, other notable features include pipeline management, reporting dashboards, company insights, deal tracking, email tracking and notifications, prospect tracking, meeting scheduling, and live chat.
The CRM is entirely free forever but you can upgrade at any time to a paid plan for more features as your business scales.
Price: Plans starting at $5 per user/mo.
BIGContacts CRM simplifies contact management to help small businesses build customer relationships. The tool offers a detailed view of contact records including their phone numbers, location, emails, previous touches, transaction history, notes, and upcoming interactions. Any additional information can be stored under custom fields as well. These comprehensive contact records can be used to personalize various outreach communications and campaigns.
BIGContacts allows you to capture information from web forms automatically, eliminating manual effort and potential errors. The platform brings contacts and tasks to one place, making it easy to stay updated with upcoming activities.
The contact management CRM provides the functionality to tag and sort contacts through static and dynamic contact lists to improve segmentation. The tool integrates with several business applications such as accounting, analytics, and marketing tools so that you can manage everything related to your contacts from a single platform. BIGContacts also provides remote access, allowing you to keep tabs on your contacts from anywhere.
Price: Plans starting at $15 per user/ mo.
ActiveCampaign is a customer experience automation platform with a number of contact management features and capabilities.
ActiveCampaign pairs it's contact management capabilities with your customer lifecycle — the process begins with reaching and engaging your audience, then nurturing and educating them, followed by converting and closing them, and lastly, supporting their growth. In order to begin the process of contact management, the tool will have you create a contact list.
From there, simply add existing email contacts and then organize your contacts by list, tag, or custom field. ActiveCampaign will prompt you to build segments for your customers to allow you to target and personalize content for them. This contact management solution will help you segment based on communications like emails and forms, too — then, it'll identify and pull out behavioral actions that will teach you more about customers within those segments.
ActiveCampaign also provides case studies so you can learn about the ways that other companies similar to your own are using the software's contact management tools and how they segment their customers.
Price: Plans starting at $35 per user/ mo.
Freshworks is a CRM and contact management system that helps you manage and nurture your contacts in order to create strong and lasting relationships with them. It automates contact data entry for you and provides 360-degree views of individual customers.
Freshworks tracks sales activities, manages sales tasks and appointments, and allows you to place calls or send emails without having to leave the tool. You can integrate with Google Workspace to access Gmail, Google Docs, Google Drive, and more all from Freshworks.
Price: Plans starting at $9 per mo.
Moosend is an email marketing automation platform with advanced audience management features to keep your contacts organized. Moosend’s CRM capabilities will let you easily manage your contacts through the contacts dashboard, monitoring who is active and who bounced to optimize your strategy.
The platform’s advanced segmentation capabilities provide better in-depth customer information. You can easily tag your subscribers based on different criteria and the information you have collected to create content tailored to their needs. For example, Moosend’s custom fields personalize your subject lines and content based on your customers’ names, birthdays, locations, and more.
Moosend’s lead generation tools will also help you expand your mailing lists by converting newsletter sign-up forms and landing pages. You can automate your contact management through marketing automation by creating specific automated workflows that will keep your list clean and engaged based on user actions.
Price: Plans starting at $79 per user/ mo.
Keap is a CRM and sales and marketing platform with a client management solution for small businesses. Client activity and communications are centrally located and the tool automates follow-ups, contact record creation. and contact record updates for you. Your communications with contacts (such as forms, emails, and sales follow-ups) can all be personalized quickly as well using the contact data that's stored in Keap.
Integrate Keap with Gmail or Outlook so all of your email interactions are automatically updated within the associated contact's record. There are also a wide variety of other business tools and software you can integrate with Keap so all of your data is up-to-date and accessible from a single location.
Next, let's dive into the best free and paid contact management software for all businesses — from small to mid-size to enterprise.
Best Free and Paid Contact Management Software
- HubSpot CRM Platform
- Zoho Contact Manager
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $45 for two users/ mo.
The HubSpot CRM platform's contact management tools are designed to remove friction from your sales processes, streamlining your sales efforts and giving your reps more time and flexibility to close deals.
Similar to the free version of the CRM, the platform automatically enriches your contact records with data from over 20 million businesses. It also notifies you when prospects open your sales emails or visit your website. HubSpot includes other contact management staples like prospecting tracking tools, meeting scheduling, and live chat (which both your sales and service teams can benefit from).
We chatted above about the free-forever version of HubSpot — if you're a startup or small business, you may start with that version of the software and then scale into a paid version of the sales CRM. This allows for seamless growth with your contact management system as your business scales (along with a host of other features and tools that are ideal for your sales, marketing, and service teams).
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $15 for 15 users/ mo.
The value of Zoho ContactManager is in its simplicity — it's easy to operate without sacrificing power or functionality. It allows you to maintain your contacts in a centralized address book and provides a comprehensive view of any communication you have with those people.
Emails, tasks, and notes specific to your individual contacts are all accounted for and easy to access. It also features tools that help you apply the information gathered during those communications to your sales efforts.
The most basic version of the platform is free to use and can accommodate 500 contacts for an individual user. That plan is ideal for small businesses, startups, and freelancers. Meanwhile, Zoho's paid subscriptions offer more flexibility and features.
Bitrix24's contact management software's suite of features extends beyond what you may typically expect from this kind of platform. It contains standard contact management resources, including a centralized database for collecting and tracking prospect and customer contact information.
The tool also automatically logs and records all phone calls reps place or receive. The same goes for email communications — if you sync your email address with the platform, your entire history of email exchanges will be stored in your Bitrix24 contact manager.
If you're interested in a free solution with functionality that generally isn't available with a standard contact management software, Bitrix24 may be worth considering. As your business grows and you want more out of your contact manager, Bitrix24's paid options can accommodate your needs at reasonable price points.
Price: Free and paid plans starting at $15 per user/ mo.
Streak's contact management tools can be integrated within your Gmail inbox, working alongside all other Google Workspace applications. The software also allows you to both maintain and share a timeline of customer contacts and communications. This can include information about email records, call logs, files, notes, and tasks.
Streak offers custom views of your sales pipeline. You can search, filter, group, and sort your contact data in any configuration as well as save those results in custom views and share that data with your team.
Streak is an accessible software, designed to easily integrate with your Google applications. It's free for personal use but there are professional and enterprise-level options for a charge.
Price: Plans starting from $12.50 per user/ mo.
Pipedrive CRM is decidedly sales-oriented, and its contact management resources reflect that. The contact management features are meant to enable hard sales with data and automation. They add a new degree of insight and intelligence to a company’s sales efforts by gathering smart contact data and automatically pre-qualifying leads.
The platform includes tools that can retrieve web-data about your contacts from online sources like LinkedIn. Using this information, the platform can give you insight into the viability of pursuing the leads you gather.
Price: Plans starting at $25 per user/ mo.
Nimble CRM’s contact management features allow you to access all your contacts — across any mobile, cloud-based, or desktop records — in a single relationship manager.
Nimble’s prospecting tool automatically displays all contact information and company details for prospects and customers, including all emails, social interactions, messages, notes, and calendar events you may have exchanged with them.
The platform works seamlessly with Google Workspace and Office365 and features over 100 app integrations. It’s a powerful, versatile tool for keeping tabs on your contacts, how you reach them, and how they might fit into your overall sales efforts.
Price: Plans starting from $24.95 per user/ mo.
The Nextiva sales CRM’s robust suite of features includes contact management resources that are available across all of their plans. Even their most basic subscription includes tools for maintaining email history, notes, and call logs.
Together, these resources can help you track your customers’ contact information and communication history while taking the stress out of processes like follow-up and outreach. With Nextiva, you'll have access to a wide array of features including follow-up automation, surveys, live chat, and analytics.
Price: Plans starting at $22 per user/ mo.
Nutshell acts a central repository for all your company’s customer knowledge and data. It's a single location for you and your team to store and reference contact details, call notes, and email conversations with customers. The tool's contact management infrastructure — paired with its powerful sales automation tools — can help you streamline your sales process and easily qualify leads.
Nutshell also integrates seamlessly with applications like Slack and Google Workspace and is designed to suit the needs of businesses of every size.
Choose Your Contact Management System
No matter how big your business is, what you sell, or how your sales team is structured, you're bound to have contacts you need to track and manage. If you haven't already invested in contact management software for your business, you should strongly consider some of the options listed above.
And remember, nothing in life can be said to be certain, except for death, taxes, and high-quality contact management software making life easier for salespeople.
Editor's note: This post was originally published in February 2020 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.