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7 of the best contact management software tools for sales teams

7 of the best contact management software tools for sales teams

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Keeping an accurate record of leads and customers is table stakes for top-performing sales teams. But without the best contact management software (CMS) in place, it’s not possible to maintain clean data or healthy customer relationships. How would any seller possibly know how or when to reach out to people in their book of business?

If you’re dealing with any sort of volume, it’s practically essential that you have a CMS to automate your marketing workflows.

Contact management software helps teams organize all of their contacts’ information and activities — and it provides effective tools for ongoing marketing. It’s almost like having an extra employee whose only job is to keep track of all your sales and marketing processes.

What is contact management software?

Contact management software is an online platform that allows you to market to your database of contacts. These databases often include leads, customers, partners, and investors that sales teams market to or communicate with.

Imagine a new business owner working with just five leads. A year later, imagine that same owner, but with 150 customers and 1,000 active leads managed by a growing team. That owner needs something better than messy spreadsheets and calendar reminders. That’s where a CMS comes in.

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Common contact management software features 

There are plenty of bells and whistles you should expect to see in a great contact manager system:

  • A database: Keep all of your contacts’ information organized, including name, email, phone number, and anything else your business wants to know.
  • Data organization: Add specific tags to your contacts, then create filtered lists based on these tags or other information on the contacts’ records (demographic, interests, previous actions).
  • Marketing tools: Reach out to your audience using mass, automated, or 1-to-1 emails, SMS messages, and phone calls.
  • Tracking: Get email statistics, SMS response rates, percentage of clients dropping off at each stage, and more.
  • Automation: Send communications at the perfect moment to the right person based on certain lead actions or time delays.
  • Integrations: Connect with other services to improve functionality, such as Gmail, Zapier, Google Analytics, Facebook advertising, and hundreds more.

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Contact management software vs. CRM software

While contact management software and customer relationship management (CRM) tools are often used interchangeably, they’re a bit different in reality.

A CRM tool is simply a database of organized information about your leads, while a CMS is both information and tools to connect and market to those contacts.

In all likelihood, when you’re talking about a CRM, you’re really talking about a CMS because most CRMs also allow you to automate communication.

So, let’s take a look at seven stand-out CMS platforms.

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7 best contact management software in 2024

The best contact management software for your company is the one that gives you the functionality and integrations your collective go-to-market organization needs to succeed.

We’ve put together a list of seven beloved CMSs to help you decide, in no particular order:

1. Streak

A screenshot of Streak website homepage hero section

Streak integrates directly with Gmail, making it an intuitive, easy-to-adopt contact manager. Built for SMBs, Streak allows users to fully manage their leads across teams by sharing pipeline information, task management, email templates, and more.

Key features

  • User-friendly interface built into Gmail
  • High visibility into all previous communications with each lead
  • Shareable pipelines 
  • Team collaboration
  • Easy permissioning to give or revoke access to different data and communication
  • Low price with high-end features


  • 14-day free trial
  • Complete CRM features, shared contacts and collaboration tools, automated email sequences, email tracking, and more starting at $49 per month.

Curious about Streak? Add the Chrome extension, and try it out for free. It only takes 30 seconds to set up.

2. Keap

A screenshot of Keap website homepage hero section

Keap is a popular contact management software known for its advanced workflow automation and outreach capabilities. Its robust email marketing and reporting make it a favorite among marketing teams interested in selling to a large database.

Key features

  • Advanced behaviorally-triggered email messaging, including predictive sending and A/B testing
  • Voice and text message capabilities
  • Landing page builder with lead capture forms
  • Lead scoring
  • Lead source tracking


  • For $159/month, you’ll get 2 users and 1,500 contacts. Features include email marketing, workflow automation, lead capture, and more.
  • Upgrade for more contacts, more users, e-commerce tools, and advanced reporting starting at $229/month.

3. Hubspot

A screenshot of Hubspot homepage hero section

Hubspot offers one of the most customizable CMS platforms, with the ability to choose exactly what your team needs. In one platform, you can connect teams, customers, and data in a single place. As you grow, you can add more business apps, such as the Marketing Hub, Sales Hub, CMS Hub, and more.

Key features

  • Flexibility to pay for only what you need
  • Content marketing that includes a blog builder, SEO recommendations, and video hosting
  • Sales forecasting
  • Smart send times
  • Predictive lead scoring


  • The free version provides a slimmed-down edition of their marketing, sales, service, CMS, operations, and E-commerce tools.
  • For $15/month, you can remove Hubspot branding and increase the limits set on the free version.
  • Business and Enterprise-level options start at $800/month.

4. Pipedrive

A screenshot of Pipedrive website homepage hero section

Pipedrive’s advanced pipeline software makes it a favorite tool for sales teams with complicated customer journey processes. You can automate repetitive tasks, like follow-up reminders and data entry.

However, they aren’t known for their advanced reporting and lack the same email capabilities as other CMSs on this list.

Key features

  • Drag-and-drop pipeline interface
  • Visibility into where leads are stuck and falling out of the sales funnel
  • Simpler features can help get users up-to-speed quicker, but may lack some high-end functionality certain teams need
  • Unlimited data storage


  • Try any plan on a 14-day free trial with no credit card required.
  • The essential plan provides full pipeline management for leads, deals, and contacts at $14.90/month.
  • The “most popular” plan starts at $49.90/month and includes automated lead routing and revenue forecasting.

5. ActiveCampaign

A screenshot of ActiveCampaign website homepage hero section

ActiveCampaign is known as one of the most robust email marketing platforms around for SMBs. It pairs automation and a user-friendly email builder with a CRM that’s designed for sales team productivity.

Key features

  • Landing pages and lead capture forms
  • Website and event tracking on your company’s website
  • Easy-to-use workflow builder with countless triggers
  • Customizable sales pipelines


  • At $29/month, solopreneurs can get access to email marketing and automation, forms, APIs, and reporting.
  • The larger team plans start at $49/month and tack on landing page builders, lead scoring, and countless integrations, to name just a few added features.

6. Zoho CRM

A screenshot of Zoho CRM website homepage hero section

Zoho CRM is designed with smaller businesses in mind and has corresponding low prices. However, to make this a true contact management software, you’ll need to add at least one of Zoho’s other apps — such as Zoho Campaigns or Zoho One for access to all its apps.

Combining Zoho CRM with Campaigns gives sales teams a simple, yet effective solution for automated workflows, contact management, and marketing outreach.

Key features

  • Flexible offerings
  • Integrations with services like Google Suite and QuickBooks
  • Lead segmentation
  • Predictive intelligence
  • In-depth insights
  • Easy-to-master interface


  • $37/month for every employee at the company to get access to Zoho One.
  • $90/month per user to only give select employees access to Zoho One.

7. Zendesk Sell

A screenshot of Zendesk Sell website homepage hero section

Zendesk’s core offering is a powerful and popular customer service platform — which means that its Sell CMS will have the sales communication part dialed in. 

With Zendesk Sell, you can easily track the progress of your leads, see all communications (both with sales and customer service) in one place, and deliver an overall smarter customer experience.

Key features

  • Contact and deal management
  • Activity tracking


  • For new teams with few leads, you can start at just $19/month.
  • As you grow, options to add lead scoring, automation, forecasting, analytics, and more start at $55/month.

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How to Choose the Right Contact Management Software

For choosing a CMS, two questions trump everything else: 

  1. Will this platform help me close more deals?
  2. Does this platform fit in my budget?

Of course, there’s a lot packed into those two questions. Here are some of the factors and features that you’ll want to consider as you decide how to move forward:

  • Integrations: Will this CMS integrate with the platforms your company already uses?
  • Complexity of features: Do you need a complex suite of features, or is simpler better in your case?
  • Marketing automation needs: The services mentioned above vary widely in email automation capabilities. Some companies wish to set up hundreds of behavioral triggers, while others want only simple functionality here.
  • Ease of adoption: Often the smallest cost is the actual price of the service. Training, integration with other software, and custom development can translate to investments of tens of thousands of dollars in setup costs for a more complicated CMS.
  • Cost: An obvious one, but be sure to forecast company growth and see how much costs increase as you move to new pricing tiers.

Streak: the contact management CRM in Gmail

Streak is a CRM with life-changing email tools and direct integration with Gmail to help you track contacts organize your emails for each process you’re a part of, from hiring to fundraising to sales. 

Streak’s browser extension lets you easily track link clicks, email opens, deal progression, pipelines, workflows, and more — right inside Gmail. More than 750k+ happy customers use Streak around the world to manage their VC firms, start-ups, growing businesses, and everything in between.

Think Streak might be the right fit for your business? We think so, too. Try it for free today.

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