Finding software can be overwhelming. We've helped many businesses choose the right lead management software so they can automate lead tracking and streamline the lead lifecycle.

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Keap

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a cloud-based sales and marketing solution that offers customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, and e-commerce functionalities in one suite. Keap helps small businesses across v... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Act-On

Established in 2008, Act-On is a comprehensive marketing automation tool designed to offer a complete suite of applications, including email marketing, website visitor tracking, lead management, social media management, reporting ... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 5 recommendations

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SharpSpring

SharpSpring is a fully integrated cloud-based marketing tool that offers customer relationship management, marketing automation, mobile and social marketing, sales team automation, customer service and more, all within one solutio... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 4 recommendations

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Creatio CRM

Creatio is a unique synergy of unified CRM and intelligent BPM platform for marketing, sales and service automation. The solution allows midsize and large companies to manage the customer lifecycle from lead to sales and to ongoin... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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Net-Results

Net-Results is a cloud-based marketing automation solution for small, midsize and large businesses. Primary features include lead management, lead scoring, marketing list management, email builder, social media management, insight... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 1 recommendations

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PipedriveFrontRunners 2021

Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and pipeline management solution that enables businesses to plan their sales activities and monitor deals. Built using activity-based selling methodology, Pipedrive streamlines every action invol... Read more

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monday.com

monday.com, an award-winning collaboration and project management platform, helps teams plan together efficiently and execute complex projects to deliver results on time. monday.com team management and task management tool allows ... Read more

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Nimble

Nimble offers browser widget and mobile-based sales force automation and social CRM solution for small and midsize businesses. The solution automatically populates customer profiles and interaction histories from contact lists, em... Read more

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Marketing 360

Marketing 360 is a cloud-based marketing platform suited for entrepreneurs as well as small and midsize businesses. This solution allows organizations to run social media advertising campaigns, conduct search engine optimization (... Read more

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Marketo Engage

Marketo Engage, part of Adobe Experience Cloud, offers a cloud-based email marketing platform for companies of all sizes to manage and monitor engaging customer relationships. This solution features integrated applications that de... Read more

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Pardot

Pardot, a Salesforce company, is designed for organizations that primarily focus on business-to-business (B2B) sales and marketing automation. This email marketing system offers automated support for the longer timespan and multi-... Read more

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Freshworks CRM

Freshworks CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution that helps businesses across different industry verticals to manage their interactions with existing and potential customers. Key features includ... Read more

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Integrate

Integrate is cloud-based marketing software that helps marketers reduce customer acquisition costs and automate the conversion of leads into opportunities. Its Demand Marketing Orchestration tool allows users to collect actionable... Read more

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Thryv

Thryv is an all-in-one business management solution designed to help small businesses with essential business functions. With Thryv, business owners can expand their online presence, improve any customer relationship, and streamli... Read more

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Vtiger CRM

Vtiger CRM offers a single, unified CRM for sales, customer support and marketing teams. Vtiger CRM can be used across the entire customer lifecycle, and it allows marketing teams to capture and nurture leads, sales teams to score... Read more

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Really Simple Systems CRM

Really Simple Systems CRM is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) system designed for small and midsize organizations. The solution comes in both free and paid editions. The free edition offers only sales force aut... Read more

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Salesforce Marketing Cloud

Audience Studio is a data management platform (DMP) designed to help businesses deliver personalized marketing experiences by capturing and storing data signals from multiple sources. Advertisers can utilize machine learning techn... Read more

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BigContacts

BigContacts provides a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and marketing system designed especially for small businesses to establish and nurture leads through the sales process. Information is stored in the cloud a... Read more

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noCRM.io

nocrm.io is a cloud-based sales management system designed for small and midsize businesses which offers prospecting, lead tracking and pipeline management within a suite The solution allows users to upload contacts either fr... Read more

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Lusha

Lusha is a lead generation platform, which helps sales representatives, recruitment managers and marketers in businesses of all sizes find contact details of prospects to reach out and generate leads. The software allows managers ... Read more

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: April 19, 2021

While many customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation (SFA) vendors provide the ability to manage leads within their software, some offer solutions specifically designed for this function. Lead management software provides companies with an automated way to track leads and nurture them until they become buyers.

There are numerous types of lead tracking software available in the market that provide lead management CRM capabilities. To help buyers narrow down their choices, we’ve created this guide outlining the typical features found within these systems, the types of buyers that generally evaluate this type of software and other important considerations to weigh before making a decision.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Lead Management CRM Software?
Common Features
Expected Benefits
What Type of Buyer Are You?
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Lead Management CRM Software?

CRM systems help companies gather and store information on prospective and existing clients to better organize and manage relationships. Lead management software, however, helps organizations automate the movement and tracking of leads through the lifecycle from acquisition to conversion, helping increase efficiency and qualification and conversion rates. While features vary from one vendor to the next, the following are common to most lead management systems:

According to Gartner, CRM lead management involves processes that integrate unqualified contacts and opportunities from a variety of sources. The outputs of these processes are qualified, sorted, scored, nurtured, augmented and prioritized selling opportunities. These are then distributed to direct, indirect or digital commerce sales channels for further action.

Common Features

While features vary from one vendor to the next, the following are common to most lead management systems:

Lead capture: Lead capture helps to generate more data from people who are interested in the products and services you offer. Leads are generally captured using lead forms placed at prominent positions on your website. The captured leads are nurtured and scored to enable faster sales.

Lead storage and distribution: Lead tracking software allows companies to manage the flow of leads captured through various channels (e.g., email and web forms). These leads are stored within a database, where they can be evaluated and distributed to the right employee within the organization based on certain criteria.

Lead nurturing: Companies can use nurturing tools to check the status of leads and automate the process of following up with and delivering relevant content to these leads. This helps maintain and strengthen the relationship until the lead is ready to make a purchase.

Lead scoring: Lead scoring is the process of grading leads using certain attributes to identify those most likely to result in a sale. Lead management software facilitates this process by filtering leads according to job title, demographic, online behavior and other variables companies deem most desirable.

Lead segmentation: Lead segmentation is the process of sorting leads into various categories based on criteria, such as geography, professional qualification, job role or industry. This practice targets potential leads more effectively as the right message, service or product is sent to the right set of potential buyers.

Lead analytics and reporting Creating and analyzing lead reports provides companies with an overview of marketing and sales results to help understand which leads are converting at the highest rates and which campaigns are most successful.

Pipeline management: Pipeline management allows you to track the status of potential customers or leads. It helps you understand the sales process as well as manage and assess all sales opportunities throughout the sales cycle.

Expected Benefits

Streamlined lead lifecycle. A lead management system automates the lifecycle of leads once they’ve been captured, preventing them from being overlooked and ensuring they’re promptly followed up on to increase the chance of conversion.

Improved lead prioritization. By using software to evaluate and score leads, sales and/or marketing teams can increase the speed and efficiency of conversions by highlighting those leads most likely to result in a sale.

Customer data capture: Having a lead management system in place helps businesses capture a prospect’s complete history of interactions with the company. You’ll have a database of customer information that can help in further marketing or cross sales. You can analyze this data to understand how a prospect was converted to a customer. The software also helps to keep all data uniform, making it easier for sales representatives to know what information is available.

What Type of Buyer Are You?

B2B buyer. These buyers work for firms that sell their products or services directly to other businesses, as opposed to consumers. Because the lifecycles of these sales interactions are typically longer, B2B buyers need robust lead nurturing and scoring features to successfully maintain and grow the relationship with prospective customers.

B2C buyer. Professionals who market directly to consumers often need lead tracking software to help organize and prioritize the large amount of data associated with individual consumers. They also usually require analytics features found in these solutions to identify and break down consumer segments to improve their marketing strategies.

Market Trends to Understand

Cloud-based vs. on-premise: A 2014 Software Advice research indicates that in 2008, 88 percent of prospective buyers across all markets wanted on-premise software. This number has changed now, with 87 percent preferring cloud-based solutions. This figure is even higher for CRM buyers: according to our 2013 CRM BuyerView Report, 96 percent of prospective buyers prefer cloud-based software.

Social media integration: Social media is used by nearly one in four people worldwide and companies have realized that monitoring these channels is critical to engage and build relationships with prospective buyers. Many vendors have followed suit and now offer advanced mobile apps to help professionals manage leads via a smartphone or tablet, no matter where they are.

Use of analytics: Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management (2016) states that CRM lead management software vendors are investing in predictive analytics, dashboards and KPIs. This is reflective of the need for better data analysis and intelligence for sales and marketing teams. The increasing collaboration between sales and marketing departments reflect the need for better analytics tools for decision making.

Growing investment in CRM lead management systems: The abovementioned Gartner report also says that companies continue to invest in lead management applications. It also states that smaller companies that previously didn’t use lead management software due to implementation or complexity issues are increasing their adoption of this feature. Vendors are also offering lead management applications that are easy to use, integrate with other applications and have re-designed UIs.

FrontRunners

Your Guide to Top Lead Management Software, January 2021

Software Advice uses reviews from real software users to highlight the top-rated Lead Management Software products in North America.

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Software Advice
“Usability” includes user ratings for Functionality and Ease of Use.“Customer Satisfaction” includes user ratings for Customer Support, Likelihood to Recommend and Value for Money.Reviews analysis period: The reviews analysis period spans two years and ends on the 15th of the month prior to publication.