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, taxes, and the utility of a shared repository for customer contact information in terms of helping a business's sales efforts — no matter its scale, structure, or industry."

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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 contact information 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 that encompasses any kind of software that allows you to track prospect, customer, and vendor contact information and communication.

This can include information 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.

Here are some of the best free and paid options available for any business looking to invest in contact management software.

1. HubSpot CRM

HubSpot contact management software

Source: HubSpot

HubSpot's contact management tools, within the CRM, are designed to remove friction from your sales processes — streamlining your sales efforts and giving your reps more time and flexibility to close deals.

The platform automatically enriches your contact records with data from over 20 million businesses and can notify you when individual prospects open your sales emails or visit your website. It also includes other contact management staples like prospecting tracking tools, meeting scheduling, and live chat.

HubSpot CRM is free to leverage and suits businesses of any size. If your business is looking for an exceptional, free contact management solution with a host of other features to support your sales efforts, consider choosing HubSpot CRM.

2. Zoho ContactManager

Zoho contact management software

Source: Zoho

The value of Zoho ContactManager is in its simplicity. It's easy to make sense of and operate without sacrificing power or any necessary functionality. It allows you to maintain your contacts in a centralized address book and provides a comprehensive view of any communication you have with them.

Emails, tasks, and notes specific to individual contacts are all accounted for and easy to access. It also features tools that allow you to apply the information you gather in 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. But, Zoho's paid subscriptions are reasonably priced for growing businesses. If you're looking for a free contact management option with an accessible interface, definitely consider Zoho ContactManager.

3. Bitrix24

Bitrix24 contact management software

Source: Bitrix24

Bitrix24's contact management software's suite of features extends beyond what you would 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. But, its capabilities extend well beyond that.

The software allows you to automatically log and record all phone calls you make to or receive from a specific contact. 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 is definitely worth considering. As your business expands and you want more out of your contact manager, Bitrix24's paid options can accommodate your needs at reasonable price points.

4. Streak

Streak contact management software

Source: Streak

Streak's contact management tools can be entirely integrated within your Gmail inbox, working alongside all other G Suite applications. The software 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.

The platform also offers you custom views of your pipeline. With Streak, you can search, filter, group, and sort your contact data in any configuration. You can also 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 has professional and enterprise-level options for a charge. If you're a freelancer or very small business owner who uses G Suite extensively, Streak is a solid, viable, free option for your contact management needs.

1. Pipedrive

Price: Plans starting from $12.50 per user per month

Pipedrive contact management software

Source: Pipedrive

The Pipedrive CRM is decidedly sales-oriented, and its contact management resources reflect that. They’re tailored toward enabling 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.

Pipedrive’s plans start at $12.50 per user per month, and it has options to suit virtually any business in terms of scale, need, or industry. If you’re looking for a quick, intelligent way to qualify leads and streamline your sales processes, consider taking a look at Pipedrive.

2. Nimble

Price: $19 per user per month

Nimble contact management software

Source: Nimble

Nimble CRM’s contact management features allow you to access all your contacts — across any mobile, cloud-based, or desktop records you or your organization maintains — in a single relationship manager.

Nimble’s prospecting tool automatically displays all contact information and company details for prospects and customers, including any emails, social interactions, messages, notes, and calendar events you may have exchanged with them.

The platform works seamlessly with Google Apps 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.

With plans starting at $19 per month, Nimble is a solid option for businesses in the market for a contact management software that reconciles extensive utility with affordability.

3. Nextiva Customer Relationship Suite

Price: Plans starting from $10 per user per month

Nextiva contact management software

Source: Nextiva

Nextiva’s sales CRM’s robust suite of features includes contact management resources — available across all three of their pricing plans. And even the company’s most basic CRM subscription includes tools for maintaining email history, notes, and call logs.

Together, these resources can help you easily and effectively track your customers’ contact information and communication history while taking stress out of processes like follow-up and outreach.

The Nextiva CRM is available at three reasonable price points — ranging from $10 to $30 per month per user. Each plan includes access to a wide array of features across the company’s CRM, survey, live chat, and analytics infrastructures.

If you’re looking for a reasonably priced option to aid with your contact management, follow-up, and outreach efforts — with several other features to boot — consider exploring Nextiva.

4. Nutshell

Price: Plans starting from $19 per user per month

Nutshell contact management software

Source: Nutshell

Nutshell provides a central repository for all your company’s customer knowledge. It offers a single location for you and your team to store and reference any contact details, call notes, and email conversations you have with customers. Its contact management infrastructure — paired with its powerful sales automation tools — can help you streamline your sales process and easily qualify leads.

The platform is simple to implement, learn, and ultimately use on a consistent basis. The interface is relatively straightforward, so anyone on your team should be able to make sense of it quickly and leverage it long term without much trouble.

Nutshell has plans starting at $19 per user per month, integrates seamlessly with applications like Slack and G Suite, and is designed to suit the needs of businesses of every size. Still, its pricing and ease of use make it a better option for small to midsize businesses than large enterprises.

No matter how big your business is, what you sell, or how you structure your sales efforts, you're almost guaranteed 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.

Nothing in life can be said to be certain, except for death, taxes, and high-quality contact management software making life easier for salespeople.

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Originally published Feb 27, 2020 8:00:00 AM, updated February 27 2020

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