Finding software can be overwhelming. Software Advice has helped hundreds of companies choose the right software to manage their sales accounts, improve efficiency and deliver a better sales experience.

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Zendesk Sell

Zendesk Sell (formerly Base) is the web and mobile-based customer relationship management application that allows B2B and B2C sales professionals to manage sales, track leads and engage proactively with customers from anywhere. The... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 108 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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NetSuite CRM

NetSuite CRM+ is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution for small and midsize organizations. NetSuite caters to thousands of customers across a wide range of industries including wholesale distribution, manufacturing,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 79 recommendations

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HubSpot Sales Hub

HubSpot Sales is a cloud-based sales automation software designed to build, automate and accelerate the sales process. The solution allows sales personnel to connect with promising leads and convert them into successful deals. HubSpot... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 74 recommendations

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FreeAgent CRM

FreeAgent CRM delivers a next-gen work experience on a customizable cloud-based platform help teams unlock productivity and grow sales effortlessly.  Stay in the zone, with AI-guided selling. See only what you need when you need... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 50 recommendations

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Zoho

Zoho CRM is a cloud-based business management platform that caters to businesses of all sizes. It offers sales and marketing automation tools with helpdesk, analytics and customer support functions. Zoho CRM helps users respond to... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 47 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Salesforce Sales Cloud

The Salesforce Sales Cloud is an on-demand CRM platform offering applications for small, midsize, and enterprise organizations, with a focus on sales and customer relationships. This Salesforce platform has CRM capabilities that include... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 38 recommendations

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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 streamline... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 32 recommendations

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Top Producer Systems

Top Producer is a web-based CRM system suited for agents or brokerages in the Real Estate industry. The system helps agents personalize follow up and manage clients from initial contact, to long-term repeat and referrals. Build your... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 29 recommendations

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SalesNOW

SalesNOW by Interchange Solutions Inc. is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) and sales force automation solution that allows sales teams, management and executives to manage aspects of sales cycle including contact,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 24 recommendations

Platforms: MacWinLinux
Deployments: CloudOn premise
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Claritysoft

Claritysoft is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for midsize and large enterprise businesses. It offers sales automation, customer service and support, marketing automation and social CRM within... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 21 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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LeadMaster

LeadMaster is a SaaS-based all-in-one lead management solution that offers capabilities to capture, track and follow up with leads. The solution comprises of integrated modules for sales force automation, customer relationship management,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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Shape

Shape's cloud-based solution offers tools designed to manage online marketing and promotions, capture leads from online sources, organize sales pipelines, connect with customers and automate everyday tasks. Shape is suitable for businesses... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 17 recommendations

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Deployments: Cloud
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iHomefinder

iHomefinder is a CRM and marketing solution designed for real estate agents, teams, and brokerages. With marketing automation tools, this solution enables real estate agents to save time while generating business leads. iHomefinder... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 16 recommendations

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BenchmarkONE

BenchmarkONE (formerly Hatchbuck) is a sales and marketing solution designed for small to midsize businesses. The integrated solution offers combined sales automation, marketing automation and email marketing features. BenchmarkONE... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 15 recommendations

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Maximizer CRM

Maximizer CRM is an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solution suitable for organizations of all sizes across various industries. This solution can be deployed on both on-premise and in the cloud. Maximizer CRM features... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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Deployments: CloudOn premise
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vCita

vCita LiveSite is a customer relationship management (CRM) solution designed for small businesses that offers interaction tracking, lead routing, lead management and mobile CRM within a suite. vCita LiveSite combines different streams... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 14 recommendations

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Nutshell

Nutshell is a sneaky powerful cloud-based CRM and sales automation tool for small businesses. The Nutshell platform offers sales process and collaboration tools, email sync with Gmail and Outlook, fully customizable reporting, and... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 11 recommendations

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BNTouch Mortgage CRM

Grow your mortgage business, free up time, automate your marketing and put together a digital mortgage experience for your borrowers, all from one central hub. With BNTouch Mortgage CRM you can build a website, utilize a digital 1003,... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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OpPlan

OpPlan is a SaaS solution that enables businesses of all sizes to streamline processes related to sales, benchmarking, forecasting, team collaboration, customer relationship management and more. Salespersons can utilize the platform... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 10 recommendations

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kvCORE

KvCORE is a cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) platform designed for modern brokerage companies in the real estate industry. Upcoming and leading independent brokerage firms can utilize KvCore's platform to close the... Read more

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Recent recommendations: 8 recommendations

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Buyers guide


Last Updated: July 8, 2020

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is a core information management platform for both B2B and B2C businesses. Unfortunately, many options serve a general purpose, which means some companies find basic CRM software to be too generic for their needs. Thankfully, there's no shortage of purpose-built applications to take its place or just fill the gaps.

Account management software is one such purpose-built type of CRM software. It's designed from the ground up to be the best possible CRM solution for managing sales accounts, from the simple to complex. It's best and most often used in B2B contexts and can be a must-have application for companies engaged in cyclical and enterprise sales.

Since CRM plays such an important role in your organization, it's essential to find an account management software that supports both your sales team's workflows and your company's strategic goals.

Poorly aligned account management software can hinder operations just as much as well-matched software improves them. This account management software Buyer's Guide will help you make the right choice.

Here's what we'll cover:

What Is Account Management Software?
Common Features of Account Management Software
Market Trends to Understand

What Is Account Management Software?

Account management software excels when individual accounts become complicated. For example, you might choose to create separate accounts for:

  • Individual employees within the same department,
  • Individual departments within the same large company,
  • Separate branches of the same company, or
  • Any combination of the above.

Keeping tabs on these numerous definitions of “an account" is one of the main functions of account management software. It ensures your sales staff stays on the same page with regards to each account's status and expectations. Your team can interact more efficiently, preventing crosstalk and avoiding missed opportunities.

Account opportunity dashboard in bpm'online showing overview of an individual account's status

From a management perspective, account management software helps monitor progress. It can be used to set individual account milestones, helping verify that tasks are completed and completed on time. It can also be used to set triggers, flagging accounts when deadlines are missed or when special attention may be needed.

Lastly, it helps improve the customer experience. It does this by a combination of the above improvements and also by improving communication. Account management software can be configured to automatically:

  • Send follow-up communications to clients,
  • Request client feedback at predetermined touchpoints, and
  • Send marketing and customer service materials as needed.

Common Features of Account Management Software

The following table lists features common to account management software platforms, but understand that many overlap with features common to general CRM software and sales enablement tools. You should begin your search with a list of existing business challenges and goals and identifying the gaps in your current software toolset.

Account management Allows for more granular groupings of separate sales accounts, each with its own customer information files and settings.
Parent, nested accounts Provides more control for the separation and management of individual accounts, breaking them down by individual, team, department, branch office, account status or other variable.
Milestones and goals Helps predetermine points of progress for sales processes and sales cycles, ensuring nothing is overlooked and providing oversight to team leads and management.
Platform and app integrations Allows account management software to work in tandem with other platforms, like CRM and sales enablement tools. App integration requirements should always be considered and demonstrated prior to purchase.
Account scoring Provides a single numerical value to gauge the health of an account, calculated from a selection of variables, including current deals, purchase history, expected lifetime value and open invoices.
Life cycle management Setup and manage step-by-step procedures for individual account management, leading each from sales prospect to active lead to new customer onboarding and post sales follow-up.
Renewal cycle management Helps manage (often larger) enterprise accounts and accounts that have cyclical sales and renewal processes. These tools are increasingly used for subscription-based products, like cloud-deployed software (SaaS).
Customer portal Adds an online portal to your company's website, letting customers securely log in and check their account status, including pending and past purchases, add-on products and support materials.
Intelligent call routing Connects with your business phone system and helps automatically route calls to the correct sales staff (or department) depending on their status as a sales prospect or customer.
Insights and analytics Helps management and executives oversee operations by identifying trends, common pain points and areas for improvement. They're often presented in dashboard form, with options for tracking a variety of metrics and KPIs.

Market Trends to Understand

The overarching trend in account management software, and with CRM in general, is improved user experience (UX) and improved customer experience (CX). The two are closely intertwined and are best understood in relation to one another.

Improved UX: Essentially, this means the software makes it easier for sales staff to do their jobs. Improving the employee's UX is largely a matter of streamlining workflows by reducing the number of manual tasks needed to accomplish any given task.

Make sure that a new sales tool won't actually increase the number of steps for a given workflow. This pitfall is commonly encountered when a standalone application is added on top of an existing sales platform, forcing staff to check the same boxes twice. IT purchases should be considered strategically and holistically; piecemeal solutions should only be considered as a last resort.

Improved CX: In a sales context, a better customer experience equates to simpler interactions and interactions that have already anticipated (and prepared for) the customer's expectations and needs. Account management tools have many applications that help improve CX, including customer portals and intelligent call routing.

But the best way to improve CX is to start by improving UX. When staff has the right selection of tools and intelligently designed workflows, they're more able to focus their attention on customer needs.