Did you know that over 90% of customers report that customer service is integral to their buying decisions? And the proof is in the pudding. Those organizations with a customer-focused mindset generally enjoy revenue that’s 4-8% higher than others in their industry. If you want to join the ranks of these high earners, customer management software is critical to your mission.
Customer management software goes far beyond simple contact tracking — it helps you build relationships and trust. As you track, analyze, and audit the entire customer relationship lifecycle, you can provide better support that encourages repeat purchases. Learn more about what CRM software can do for you here.
Best Customer Management Software Shortlist
Here’s the shortlist of the best tools that I’ll cover in this article.
- Salesforce CRM - Best for real-time reactions when milliseconds matter
- Pipedrive - Best for capturing more leads with a lead generation tool set
- Zendesk - Best for empowering customers to help themselves
- Keap - Best for growing small businesses through sales and marketing automation
- HubSpot CRM - Best free CRM software with something for everyone
- Zoho CRM - Best for global businesses that need to build lasting customer relationships
- Quickbase - Best for simplifying complex projects and big ideas
- Sage CRM - Best for higher-quality customer support through interactive customer profiles
- Insightly - Best for working from anywhere through a powerful mobile app
- SugarCRM - Best for two-way sync between CRM and campaign execution
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What Is Customer Management Software?
Modern customer relationship management is all about improving your organization’s contact with customers and potential customers in order to grow your business. While small businesses can work with low-tech tools because their client list may be small, as your business grows, you’ll need something to help you keep better track of customer needs.
CRM software is the ideal technology for managing all your company relationships in one centralized hub. In addition to connecting with customers, CRM platforms can help you streamline support, integrate other business operations, and improve profits.
So which customer management software is the ideal choice for your business needs? I’ve put together a comprehensive overview of the 10 best CRM software options. Take a look at what they have to offer to determine which one has the capabilities and features to ensure your organization thrives.
How I Selected the Best Customer Management Software
When it comes to choosing the best CRM system, I put a multitude of options to the test through a rigorous exploration of their features, functionality, and integrations. I evaluated each one before narrowing down the list even more to include only those with positive user ratings.
After developing a preliminary list of my top choices, I honed it even further with my own selection criteria to see how these CRM solutions compared. I also used my years of revenue operations experience to identify those features that would add the most value.
These detailed summaries are the result of my research, allowing you a brief exploration of what each of these top software options does and how they may best serve your organization. If you have any general questions about customer software management or what to look for when choosing CRM tools, skip down to the FAQ at the bottom to learn more.
If you’re looking for a breakdown of my selection criteria for choosing these CRM solutions, here’s a short summary of the main evaluation criteria I used.
The whole point of CRM software is to help you improve the customer experience. If you can’t figure out how to use the software or it has too steep of a learning curve to onboard your customer service team, then it’s not the right fit for this list. I tried to find software that balanced usability with a wide range of CRM features.
Like I said before, the available CRM features helped determine whether or not a software made this list. From cloud-based contact management and email tracking to real-time messaging and lead management, there are many essential features every CRM must deliver. Only the software with all those features made this list.
Managing a business in this day and age means using high-tech tools to ensure intelligent decision-making. Integrations throughout your essential tools ensures you don’t have to toggle back and forth between platforms and aggregates all the data you need in one place. CRM tools with open API and a lot of integrations were high on my list.
You want to get the best possible value for your money so CRM pricing was a big consideration when consolidating this list. You’ll find CRM tools that range in price, including free options for fledgling businesses, as well as custom pricing for massive organizations and enterprise-level business needs.
Overviews Of The 10 Best Customer Management Software
Check out these simple overviews of the top 10 tools on my list to learn more about why this tool stands out from other CRM solutions.
1. Salesforce - Best for real-time reactions when milliseconds matter
Salesforce has a real-time CRM that helps connect all your teams for the benefit of your customers. From sales and marketing to commerce and IT, this customer data platform offers fast, intelligent automation that streamlines your workflow.
This platform maximizes your success through a tool called Genie. The Genie Data Cloud powers Salesforce CRM tools to connect your customer data from every app and device, automatically harmonizing information into one customer graph. You can use this chart to empower every department with unified customer profiles that ensure they can adapt their activities to customer needs in real-time.
The Salesforce platform has targeted CRM solutions for a number of industries and businesses of all sizes. If you need to provide better customer support in the automotive industry, retail, education, manufacturing, healthcare, or anything else, Salesforce has a specialized integration for you.
Salesforce Standout Features and Integrations
Features include case management, automation, self-service, field service, queue management, digital engagement, digital contact center, a mobile app, AI tools, call list management, appointment management, lead distribution, and routing/transfers.
Integrations include Slack, Trello, TeamViewer, Mailchimp, HubSpot, Freshdesk, Smartsheet, Talkdesk, Scoro, and Quickbase.
Price: Plans start at $25/user/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial available
- Easy startup time
- Integrates customer support, sales, and operations
- Targeted solutions for a variety of industries
- A little more expensive than other CRMs
- No out-of-the-box customization
2. Pipedrive - Best for capturing more leads with a lead generation tool set
As a sales pipeline management tool for small and medium-sized sales teams, Pipedrive was built by salespeople for salespeople. With intuitive lead organization and sales overviews, you can focus on what really matters — closing more deals. Get your entire team on the same page with automated progress trackers and analytics.
One of the other reasons Pipedrive is on this list is due to their lead generation add-on. This specialized tool includes chatbot, live chat, prospector, and web forms that engage potential customers and funnel them toward a purchase. The lead generator also includes scheduling management, a leads inbox, and spreadsheet imports.
Pipedrive works for startups, SMEs, and enterprise-level organizations due to its scalability and customizable solutions. With a little information about your industry, Pipedrive can ensure you create a customer relationship management tool with the right characteristics for your needs.
Pipedrive Standout Features and Integrations
Features include visual sales pipeline, customizable pipeline, team collaboration, activity reminders, lead segmentation, contact history, web forms, reporting and dashboards, revenue forecasting, web visitor tracking, and lead generation.
Integrations include Zapier, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, Slack, Zoom Meetings, WhatsApp, Pipechat, PandaDoc, LinkPort, and DocuSign.
Price: Plans start at $14.90/user/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial available
- Good CRM for blending sales and customer management
- Automated functions provide reminders
- Clear and easy to navigate
- Has an email list maximum
- Software updates sometimes cause glitches
3. Zendesk - Best for empowering customers to help themselves
Zendesk is a CRM platform that wants to make things easy for your customer service team but also focuses on helping customers help themselves. With Zendesk, you can meet customers where they are by providing omnichannel support from anywhere and keep track of their data and requests through automated information input and intelligent insights.
One of the cool things Zendesk offers is a customer support platform that encourages your customers to resolve their own issues. With their help center, you can utilize a custom-built AI support bot that provides instant answers to reduce resolution times for agents, minimize repetitive work, and close tickets faster.
Zendesk solutions are segmented by business size and industry. This CRM platform is a versatile, scalable solution that works for everyone. Discover how they can help a variety of industries, including media, government, ecommerce, education, telecommunication, transportation, and financial services.
Zendesk Standout Features and Integrations
Features include messaging, live chat, help center, community forum, AI and bots, agent workspace, built-in routing, reporting and analytics, ticketing system, knowledge base, training, webinars, and voice calling.
Integrations include Jira, Tables, Shopify, Haptik, Slack, Ada for Sell, Faye, Sparkly, Zapier, and Metorik.
Price: Plans start at $19/user/month
Free Trial: Free trial available
- User-friendly interface
- Integrates with all the big social media platforms
- Customize everything from the ground up
- Can be costly for small businesses
4. Keap - Best for growing small businesses through sales and marketing automation
This customer management software was originally known as Infusionsoft but has recently pivoted to a small business focus with three incredibly customizable plans. They blend CRM software with advanced sales and marketing solutions to create responsive campaigns that help service-based businesses thrive.
One feature that’s essential for both sales and customer relationship management is the free phone number for businesses. You can download an app that allows you to use your personal phone with the business numbers to organize your business and personal needs all in one place. With a local number, separate snooze settings, business voicemail, and auto reply, you can work from anywhere.
Keap offers several plans for SMBs, including Grow This for startups, Keap Pro for medium-sized businesses, and Infusionsoft by Keap for established organizations that need a bit more automation and customizability for their campaigns.
Keap Standout Features and Integrations
Features include automation, email marketing, B2B capabilities, invoices, appointments, mobile app, business line, reminders and reports, internal forms, text marketing, landing pages, sales pipeline, A/B testing, lead scoring, and analytics.
Integrations include Google Drive and Gmail, Slack, Trello, DropBox Business, Zoom, WordPress, Mailchimp, Salesforce, Shopify, and Eventbrite.
Price: Plans start at $149/month
Free Trial: 14-day free trial available
- All-in-one platform for sales, marketing, and customer service
- Cleaner interface after the rebrand
- Advanced action-based segmentation
- Can lose unsaved info when timing out
5. HubSpot CRM - Best free CRM software with something for everyone
Are you ready to eliminate manual work and data entry for your customer service team and sales reps? It’s time to get a running start with a CRM that takes care of all the little details like call recording, data management, and logging emails. With this automation, you can get a real-time view of the entire sales funnel on a clean, sleek dashboard that enhances everyday business processes, marketing campaigns, and project management.
WIth HubSpot CRM, you can bolster all your sales activities by ensuring your support teams can sort their dashboards by any metric, including deals lost and won, when contracts were sent, quote versus performance tracking, customer name or stage, as well as custom filters for better intel faster. This platform also automatically tracks all customer interactions through email, calls, and social media.
Whether you’re a solo operator or an enterprise-level organization, HubSpot CRM has a solution to meet your needs. You can integrate all their services into one with marketing, sales, service, and operations — or pick and choose just what you need to build a custom platform for your team.
HubSpot CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include live chat, meeting scheduler, service and support analysis, automated customer service, IT ticket tracking, customer portal, SLA management, mobile inbox service hub, knowledge base software, customer feedback software, memberships, and activity logs.
Integrations include Microsoft Excel, Slack, WhatsApp, Trello, Google Workspace, Zoom Meetings, Canva, Microsoft 365, WordPress, and SurveyMonkey.
Price: Paid plans start at $20/month
Free Trial: Free forever plan available
- Comprehensive data management
- Easy to deploy
- Intuitive tools and interface
- Limit of 1,000 custom fields
- No industry-specific trackers
6. Zoho CRM - Best for global businesses that need to build lasting customer relationships
As an omnichannel, cloud-based relationship management platform, Zoho CRM focuses on helping organizations build better connections with their customers through an AI-powered sales assistant, automated customer information input, and real-time metrics and notifications.
One of the coolest features from Zoho is Zia, their AI sales assistant that’s designed for individual reps and sales teams alike. Zia can detect anomalies in the sales process, study and track sales patterns, and recommend the best times to contact leads and prospects. With this type of guided support, each sales rep can maximize their results through personalized recommendations.
As one arm of the Zoho platform, their CRM offers customized packages to suit businesses of all shapes and sizes. Its integration with over 40 Zoho products and countless third-party extensions means more versatility and flexibility for all.
Zoho Standout Features and Integrations
Features include lead management, deal management, workflow automation, journey orchestration, sales process builder, reporting and analytics, partner portals, quotes and finance, lead and deal prediction, and an AI sales assistant.
Integrations include Google WorkSpace, Slack, Mailchimp, Shopify, PandaDoc, Twilio, Knowlarity, RingCentral, BurstSMS, and Xero.
Price: Plans start at $14/user/month
Free Trial: 15-day free trial available
- Easy to use collaborative tools
- Made for customizability
- User-friendly interface
- Certain features are only available in North America
- Limitations on dashboards
7. Quickbase - Best for simplifying complex projects and big ideas
Quickbase wants to help your business control complex projects and operations through faster decision-making, surfacing hidden insights, and helping you respond faster to emerging trends. With a no-code software platform that businesses can customize to fit their needs, Quickbase provides more agility and visibility to all types of operational workflows.
If you need end-to-end visibility, the Quickbase platform has the customizable dashboards you need to see it all. With simple, drag-and-drop organization, your dashboard can show you the whole picture so you gain better insight into the entire operation. Discover how the system can help you anticipate roadblocks, minimize risk, reduce waste, and keep high-stakes initiatives on the right track.
Quickbase is a platform that grows with your organization. It can scale to accommodate new team members and integrate with all the other software you use to ensure your business thrives. They offer solutions for small, medium, and enterprise-level businesses across industries like construction, healthcare, real estate, manufacturing, and education.
Quickbase Standout Features and Integrations
Features include no-code development, routing, automated workflows, sales forecasting, continuous deployment, audit logs, IP filtering and SSO, 3PL management, backup and recovery, pre-built templates, reporting and statistics, and workflow configuration.
Integrations include Asana, CSV Handler, DropBox, G Suite, Jira, Mailchimp, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and Shipstation.
Price: Plans start at $30/user/month
Free Trial: 30-day free trial available
- Very easy and intuitive to understand
- Outstanding customer support
- Flexible, cost-effective solution
- Could use more chart types and widgets
- Must configure notifications and reminders manually
8. Sage CRM - Best for higher-quality customer support through interactive customer profiles
Sage CRM focuses on helping you gather better customer demographics so you can make the most of up-selling and cross-selling opportunities. In addition to financial profiling, purchase histories, order information, and special interests, Sage CRM also offers integrated sales reports, contacts, calendars, and pipelines.
One of the best features to utilize from Sage CRM is the Sage 300 cloud, which can centralize data for easy access, automate finances to reconcile your books, and simplify inventory management. Eliminate guesswork with highly targeted campaigns that evolve in real-time as you get more data.
Currently, Sage CRM is best equipped to handle freelancer and small business needs with streamlined services for customer support, sales, and marketing. They also offer several additional features for simplified HR, accounting, and payroll.
Sage CRM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include reporting and statistics, campaign management, configurable workflows, real-time reporting, collaboration tools, performance metrics, real-time data, and Sage 300 cloud.
Integrations include Mailchimp, Procore, Microsoft Outlook, Infraspeak, Cloud Workflow, FileHold, WorkPal, Praxedo, Esker, and Sugar Market.
Price: Plans start at $45/user/month
Free Trial: Free trial available
- Simple to manage and update
- Organizes sales contacts better than Excel
- A little more expensive
- Can’t export notes data
9. Insightly - Best for working from anywhere through a powerful mobile app
As a modern customer management software, Insightly isn’t held back by the common pain points of legacy options. Designed to be easy to use and simple to customize, this platform is all about building and converting the sales pipeline to improve employee performance and ensure lasting customer relationships.
The powerful mobile app is available for both iPhone and Android, helping you and your team work from anywhere. With tools to automate and streamline updates and data input, you can scan business cards, update projects in real time, and modify client information on the spot to move opportunities along.
Insightly is a powerful option in any vertical with integrated CRM, sales, service, and marketing solutions for businesses of all sizes. Insightly supports organizations that work in manufacturing, consulting, solar, insurance, ecommerce, and finance.
Insightly Standout Features and Integrations
Features include lead routing, sales forecasting, visual analytics, commenting/notes, lead nurturing, multi-currency, workflow automation, configurable workflow, task progress tracking, email list management, calendar sync, file sharing, and reporting and statistics.
Integrations include ADP Workforce Now, Drift, Netsuite, Asana, Gong, Okta, Bamboo HR, Jira, Quickbooks Online, and Magento 2.
Price: Plans start at $29/user/month
Free Trial: A free trial is available
- Has all the key features you need
- Intuitive and easy to use
- Versatile plan options and pricing
- Could use better social media integration
- Needs more developer-centric features
10. SugarCRM - Best for two-way sync between CRM and campaign execution
SugarCRM offers a full marketing and sales automation platform that also hosts on-site and fully digital CRM solutions. With their all-in-one marketing platform and next-generation sales automation, SugarCRM helps better sync marketing and sales data throughout the customer buying journey for more streamlined customer support.
As the only marketing automation platform that is built on top of a traditional CRM database, SugarCRM offers an exact match between all systems — from lead and contact to account, opportunity, and campaign levels. With this type of overlap, you have everything you need for quick and easy two-way sync through the CRM, list segmentation, and campaign execution.
SugarCRM is ideal for small and medium-sized businesses across a variety of verticals. They can support SMBs for marketing, selling, and serving, as well as on-premise support for enterprise-level organizations. Each service package is a separate tier to ensure you can customize the support they offer to your needs.
SugarCRM Standout Features and Integrations
Features include channel and contact management, a self-service portal, lead capture and management, website visitor tracking, data import and export, lead engagement, email campaign management, workflow management, segmentation, and performance metrics.
Integrations include Salesforce Sales Cloud, Bullhorn ATS & CRM, Oktopost, Leads Bridge, ProNavigator, RingCentral, Slack, Gondola, Aircall, and Tribilio.
Price: Plans start at $80/user/month with a minimum of three users
Free Trial: Free demo available
- Great customer support team
- Easy to connect and sync integrations
- Efficient administration with custom dashboards
- Custom reporting can be difficult to set up
- Software updates come with occasional glitches
Here are a few more options that didn’t make the best customer management software list:
- Oracle NetSuite CRM - Best for seamless information flow through the entire customer lifecycle
- monday Sales CRM - Best for post-sales management through no-code automation
- BoomTown - Best for the real estate industry
- Shape - Best for cloud-based automation
- Rolldog - Best for all-in-one customer relationship management
- Thryv - Best for end-to-end management for small businesses
- Less Annoying CRM - Best for a simple, streamlined experience for small businesses
- FreeAgent CRM - Best for a blended CRM and work management solution
- FunnelMaker - Best for an integrated CRM and marketing automation solution
- Clio - Best for a cloud-based CRM for legal practices
What are the three main types of customer management software?
What are the key features of customer management software?
What other customer management software should I use?
This list should have informed you a bit about the types of CRM solutions out there and given you a few insights about what might work best for your needs. Help your team refocus on company goals with the tools they need to succeed.
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