December 6, 2023

6 Best Sales Management Software & Tools

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At TechnologyAdvice, we assess a wide range of factors before selecting our top choices for a given category. To make our selections, we rely on our extensive research, product information, vendor websites, competitor research and first-hand experience. We then consider what makes a solution best for customer-specific needs. By defining business needs, we can determine the essential features organizations in various sectors require, and select platforms that will cover all bases. Reputable providers known for their ease of use and customer satisfaction are added to our compilation list for further analysis. We then evaluate each solution on the list based on the features they offer, considering the platform’s usability, integration capabilities, customization options, mobile access, and any other relevant functionalities. Price plans, hidden fees, customer reviews, and customer support are also assessed in the selection process. TechnologyAdvice writers will often take advantage of free trials and demos to get a first-hand user experience of available software. Finally, we curate a comprehensive list based on the previously stated factors, ensuring readers have the necessary tools to make an informed decision.

Sales managers are constantly seeking innovative solutions to enhance their team’s performance and customer engagement. This quest often leads them to the world of customer relationship management (CRM) software.

CRM software, at its core, is designed to streamline the sales process, offering a centralized platform for managing customer interactions, sales tracking, and performance analysis. The beauty of these systems lies in their ability to provide a comprehensive view of the sales pipeline, ensuring that every lead, every opportunity, and every customer interaction is meticulously tracked and leveraged for maximum impact.

For sales managers, the adoption of CRM software can transform the way sales teams operate. It’s about moving from a disjointed, often chaotic approach to a more structured, data-driven strategy.

In this article, we will explore the best sales management software available, focusing specifically on CRM systems. After evaluating more than 20 titles, we narrowed down the top six sales management software heading into 2024:

  • Pipedrive: Best for streamlined sales processes
  • Salesforce: Best for comprehensive sales management
  • HubSpot: Best for integrated marketing and sales
  • Freshworks: Best for user-friendly sales automation
  • Shape CRM: Best for customization and flexibility
  • monday Sales CRM: Best for collaborative sales teams

Pipedrive: Best for streamlined sales processes


Pros

  • Extensive third-party software integrations
  • 24/7 support across all plans
  • Efficient onboarding
  • Wealth of communication tools

Cons

  • No free plan
  • Limited features for larger companies

Activities overview: This feature allows sales teams to manage their sales process more efficiently by providing a clear overview of upcoming activities and follow-ups for each account.

Custom columns and filters: Pipedrive enables users to create custom columns for data, offering the flexibility to tailor the CRM view to fit specific sales processes and metrics.

Customizable email templates: This feature provides a variety of email templates, facilitating efficient and effective email communication with prospects.

Logging leads: Pipedrive simplifies the process of logging leads and customizing the sales process, aiding in deal closure and follow-up management.

Revenue projection: This tool allows for easy revenue projection, enabling timely strategy adjustments and pivots based on performance.

Scheduler: The scheduler feature consolidates all scheduled demos and meetings in a unified calendar, streamlining appointment setting and follow-ups.

Free trial available

Essential: $14/user/month

Advanced: $29/user/month

Professional: $49/user/month

Power: $64/user/month

Enterprise: $99/user/month

In terms of user experience, integration, and sales management efficiency, Pipedrive ranks highly, especially for small to medium-sized businesses.

Pipedrive’s strength is its visually intuitive sales pipelines and a focus on activity-based selling, which is less common in other CRM tools like Salesforce or HubSpot.

Compared to more complex systems like Salesforce, Pipedrive offers a more streamlined and user-friendly experience, though it might lack some of the advanced features found in enterprise-level CRMs.

Our ratings

Pricing: 3.5/5

General features and interface: 4.3/5

Core features: 4.6/5

Advanced features: 3.5/5

Integration and compatibility: 4.8/5

UX: 4/5

Pipedrive is best for sales managers who need a straightforward, efficient tool to manage sales activities without the complexity of larger CRMs. The platform’s design is centered around simplicity and clarity, making it easy for sales teams to adopt and use it effectively without extensive training.

Over the years, Pipedrive has enhanced its interface for better user experience and added features like AI sales assistants and more robust reporting tools, addressing the evolving needs of sales teams. However, for those requiring advanced analytics and automation, exploring other options might be beneficial.

Salesforce: Best for comprehensive sales management


Pros

  • Comprehensive CRM platform
  • Highly scalable and flexible
  • Cloud deployment
  • Offers real-time analytics
  • Extensive AppExchange

Cons

  • Imposes data storage limits
  • Mobile app could be improved

Reports and dashboards: Salesforce provides advanced reporting and customizable dashboards for real-time tracking and analysis of sales data.

Duplicate management: This feature helps maintain data integrity by identifying and managing duplicate records within the CRM system.

Approval processes: Salesforce automates and streamlines approval workflows, ensuring critical sales activities like discounts and lead handovers are efficiently managed.

Quoting and PDF generation: The platform enables sales teams to create, manage, and generate professional quotes directly within the CRM.

Sales path: This tool visually represents the stages of sales opportunities, offering customized guidance and key field information at each step.

In-app guidance: Salesforce offers contextual in-app guidance to help users navigate and utilize the CRM effectively, enhancing onboarding and ongoing usage.

Free trial available

Essentials: $25/user/month

Professional: $75/user/month

Enterprise: $150/user/month

Unlimited: $300/user/month

*All plans billed annually

Salesforce consistently ranks at the top of the pack, not just for its features but for its commitment to innovation and customer success.

For sales managers, the key factors in a CRM are often data accessibility, integration capabilities, and reporting features. Salesforce excels in these areas, offering a 360-degree view of the sales pipeline, seamless integration with other business tools, and powerful analytics to drive decision-making.

Salesforce offers deep integration capabilities and an extensive app ecosystem. Unlike many of its competitors, Salesforce seamlessly connects with a myriad of business tools and platforms, creating a unified workflow that extends beyond traditional CRM boundaries.

Salesforce’s design philosophy is also worth mentioning. It has a knack for making complex data and processes accessible and actionable. The platform’s interface is designed to reduce cognitive load, making it easier for sales teams to focus on selling.

Our ratings

Pricing: 2.7/5

General features: 4.5/5

Advanced features: 4.5/5

Integration and compatibility: 3.5/5UX: 3.5/5

Salesforce is ideal for medium to large businesses or those with complex sales processes. Its depth and breadth of features, combined with its scalability, make it an attractive choice for organizations looking to leverage CRM for strategic growth.

The major strengths of Salesforce include its comprehensive feature set, extensive customization options, and robust reporting capabilities. However, it can be overwhelming for new users due to its complexity, and the cost can be a barrier for small businesses.

The platform’s newest additions include AI-powered analytics, advanced forecasting tools, and improved mobile functionality. 

HubSpot: Best for integrated marketing and sales


Pros

  • All-in-one solution
  • Powerful marketing and sales automation
  • Integrated content management system (CMS)
  • Scalable software

Cons

  • Compulsory annual contracts
  • Limited features in free and low-tier options

Our Rating: 4.5/5

  • Automated lead scoring: HubSpot CRM prioritizes accounts and leads most likely to close, streamlining the sales process through automated lead scoring.
  • Custom objects: The CRM allows the addition of custom fields to contacts, enabling more tailored workflows and deeper data analysis.
  • Business card scanner app: This feature transforms business cards into CRM contacts quickly, reducing manual data entry.
  • Service hub integration: HubSpot CRM integrates with Service Hub, enhancing customer service capabilities and team efficiency.
  • SLA management: The CRM includes Service Level Agreement (SLA) management, helping prioritize customer requests based on importance.
  • Ticketing system: HubSpot CRM offers a ticketing system that optimizes customer service by tracking and prioritizing requests in a shared inbox.

Free trial available

Free plan available

Paid plan starting at $45/user/month

HubSpot CRM is both intuitive and powerful. Unlike many other CRMs, which can be cumbersome and complex, HubSpot has managed to create a user-friendly interface without compromising on functionality. This ease of use is crucial for sales teams who need to focus on selling rather than navigating a complicated software system.

When compared to competitors like Salesforce, HubSpot CRM distinguishes itself with its integrated approach and user-friendly design. While Salesforce is known for its extensive features and customizability, HubSpot offers a more streamlined and intuitive experience, which can be particularly beneficial for teams seeking a balance between functionality and usability.

Customization is a key strength of HubSpot CRM. The platform allows sales managers to tailor the CRM to their specific needs. This includes custom objects in the enterprise edition, which offers flexibility in data management and reporting. Additionally, HubSpot CRM integrates seamlessly with over 1,500 third-party apps, enhancing its functionality and ensuring it fits into any sales tech stack.

It also excels in providing sales analytics and reporting tools. These features offer sales managers full visibility into their sales processes, enabling them to forecast effectively and deliver exceptional results. The conversation intelligence tool is particularly noteworthy. It brings the voice of the customer directly into the CRM, providing valuable insights for competitive trends, process enhancements, and coaching opportunities. 

However, compared to some of its competitors, HubSpot could still enhance its advanced reporting capabilities, especially for large enterprises that require more intricate data analysis. Additionally, while the platform is scalable, the cost can escalate quickly as you move to higher-tier plans, which might be a consideration for smaller businesses or startups.

Our ratings

Pricing: 4.8/5

General features and interface: 4.4/5

Core features: 4.5/5

Advanced features: 3.8/5

Integration and compatibility: 4.8/5

UX: 4.8/5

At the heart of HubSpot CRM’s offerings for sales managers is its robust set of productivity tools. The platform provides a streamlined interface for managing deals, tracking sales activities, and maintaining customer relationships. One of the standout features is the ability to create and manage deal pipelines. This functionality allows sales managers to easily add deals, assign tasks, and track the most lucrative prospects, ensuring a continuous flow in the deal pipeline.

Another significant aspect is the document tracking capability. Sales managers can build a library of sales content for their team to share, and importantly, track which documents are most effective in closing deals. This feature is invaluable for refining sales strategies and ensuring that the team is equipped with the most impactful resources.

Freshsales: Best for user-friendly sales automation


Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Highly customizable
  • Integrates well with other platforms
  • Effective in organizing, capturing, and integrating leads

Cons

  • Contract management and proposal generation could be improved
  • Limited customization in email templates

Integrated workflow: Freshsales offers a seamless integration of various CRM functionalities, allowing users to navigate and manage customer relationships without the need to juggle between multiple tabs.

Multiple pipeline management: This feature enables sales teams to manage multiple product offerings or services simultaneously, providing a comprehensive view of different customer interests and campaign performances.

Contact and account management: Freshsales excels in dynamically managing customer contact information, offering a detailed timeline-based activity management for each contact, including engagement and communication history.

Automated contact profile enrichment: The CRM automatically updates customer profiles by scanning and capturing publicly available information, ensuring that businesses have access to the most current customer data.

Customization scope: Freshsales allows businesses to customize CRM fields to meet specific business requirements.

Workflow automation: This feature provides advanced sales management solutions, enabling businesses to automate their sales funnel stages and customize workflows according to their unique customer relationship management plans.

Free: Available for up to 3 users

Growth: $9/user/month billed annually or $11/user/month billed monthly

Pro: $39/user/month billed annually or $47/user/month billed monthly

Enterprise: $59/user/month billed annually or $71/user/month billed monthly

In terms of overall performance, Freshsales ranks highly in user-friendliness, customization, and value for money. While it may not top the charts in advanced features, its focus on core sales management functionalities makes it a strong player in the CRM market.

The user experience of Freshsales is designed with the end user in mind. Navigation is straightforward, and the learning curve is relatively gentle, making it accessible even to those who are not tech-savvy. This focus on UX design significantly enhances user adoption rates, beating out more comprehensive systems like HubSpot, Zoho, and Salesforce in that arena.

The dashboard is sleek and informative, providing sales managers with a quick overview of sales activities and performance metrics. The ease of setting up and customizing workflows is particularly impressive, enabling sales teams to adapt the software to their specific processes.

Our ratings

Pricing: 4.2/5

General features and interface: 3.6/5

Core features: 4.5/5

Advanced features: 2.7/5

Integration and compatibility: 3.8/5

UX: 4/5

Usability, customization, and adaptability are key factors for sales managers. Freshsales excels in these areas, offering a balanced mix of functionality and user experience. Its ability to provide a clear view of sales pipelines and customer interactions is particularly noteworthy.

A major advantage of Freshsales is its affordability and scalability. It’s well-suited for businesses looking to grow without the hefty price tag of more complex systems. However, it lacks some advanced features offered by larger CRMs, which might be a limitation for enterprise-level organizations.

The platform has evolved to become more user-centric, focusing on ease of use without compromising on functionality. Recent updates have enhanced its analytics and reporting capabilities, making it easier for sales managers to derive actionable insights from their data.

Shape CRM: Best for customization and flexibility


Pros

  • Comprehensive feature set
  • Industry-specific solutions
  • High user ratings
  • Integrated dialer
  • Automation capabilities

Cons

  • Limited customization in deal section
  • No free plan

Activity dashboard: Shape CRM offers an activity dashboard that provides a comprehensive view of customer interactions and activities.

Learning management: The platform includes a learning management system to facilitate training and development within the organization.

Progress tracking: Users can track the progress of various tasks and projects, ensuring timely completion and accountability.

Progress reports: Shape CRM generates detailed progress reports, offering insights into performance metrics and operational efficiency.

Blended learning: The CRM supports blended learning approaches, integrating various methods of instruction and training.

Content library: It features a content library for storing and managing educational and training materials, making them easily accessible to users.

$99/month when billed annually

Shape CRM gets high marks for its reliability and ease of use. Users have highlighted the contact management and pipeline tools for making prospecting more manageable, which is a critical component for any sales manager.

The platform excels in marketing automation and lead capture from online sources. This feature is particularly beneficial for sales managers looking to streamline their lead generation and nurturing processes. The ease of use in setting up and managing marketing automation campaigns is a significant advantage, as noted in user reviews.

Another key aspect of Shape CRM is its emphasis on collaboration. The platform facilitates the sharing of project information within and across departments, which is crucial for maintaining team synergy and ensuring everyone is on the same page. The centralized repository for storing prospects, accounts, contacts, documents, and more, further adds to its efficiency as a sales management tool. 

Finally, its VoIP capabilities are among the top in the space, offering a dedicated dialer with extensive options.

Shape CRM emerges as a cloud-based solution adept at handling various aspects of sales management. It’s designed to cater to a range of industries, including legal, real estate, mortgage, insurance, education, HVAC, and construction. This versatility speaks to its adaptability across different business needs.

Its strengths in customization, collaboration, marketing automation, and lead management make it a strong contender in the CRM space. While it does have areas for improvement, particularly in pricing and customer support, its overall performance and user satisfaction scores suggest it is a reliable choice for businesses across various industries.

monday Sales CRM: Best for collaborative sales teams


Pros

  • Project milestone setting
  • Comprehensive collaboration tools
  • Helpful customer support at all price tiers
  • Efficient mobile app

Cons

  • Workflow integration issues reported
  • Difficulties with cross-referencing between boards and projects within the CRM reported

Email sync and tracking: Integrates with Gmail/Outlook for sending, receiving, and automatically logging emails, and notifies when a lead opens or replies.

AI-assisted email composition: Offers advanced HTML editing and customizable templates to simplify and speed up email writing.

Performance dashboards: Customizable dashboards provide insights into deal progress, sales figures, and team performance.

Sales forecasting: Enables setting deal values and close probabilities, with detailed reports for tracking forecast versus actual sales.

Data import and duplication management: Facilitates importing existing leads and contacts, and alerts for potential duplicates to maintain data integrity.

No-code automations: Allows the creation and use of automations to streamline repetitive tasks within the sales process.

Free trial available

Basic: $12/month

Standard: $14/month

Pro: $24/month

Enterprise: Custom

Monday Sales CRM stands out in the crowded CRM market primarily due to its seamless integration with the broader Monday.com ecosystem. This integration allows for a high degree of flexibility and customization, which is crucial for sales managers who need to adapt their tools to ever-changing sales processes and team structures. Unlike some of its competitors, Monday Sales CRM doesn’t force a one-size-fits-all approach but instead offers a platform that can be tailored to the unique needs of each sales team.

The software has made significant strides in user experience and design. The interface is intuitive and user-friendly, making it easy for sales teams to adopt and use the software effectively. This focus on user experience is evident in the thoughtful layout and the way features are organized, ensuring that sales managers can quickly find what they need without unnecessary complexity.

Monday Sales CRM, unlike its project management counterpart, is equipped with sales-specific features like deal stages, funnel charts, and leaderboards. These features are not just add-ons but are deeply integrated into the system, providing sales managers with the tools they need to track and manage sales processes effectively. The CRM’s ability to handle everything from lead tracking to post-sales activities in one place is a significant advantage over its previous iteration. 

monday Sales CRM is a robust and flexible tool that stands out for its integration with the broader Monday.com platform, user-friendly design, and commitment to continuous improvement. 

When compared to other CRMs, monday Sales CRM’s unique selling point is its integration with the broader Monday.com work management platform. This integration allows for a more holistic approach to managing sales alongside other business processes, a feature that many competitors lack.

However, no product is without its flaws. One area where monday Sales CRM could improve is in advanced analytics and reporting. While it offers a good range of reporting tools, it falls slightly behind some competitors who offer more in-depth analytical features. Enhancing these capabilities would make it an even more powerful tool for sales managers who rely heavily on data-driven decision-making.

Key components of sales management software

At its core, sales management software integrates various functionalities to manage, track, and analyze sales activities. Here are some key components that are typically found in sales management software, each playing a crucial role in the sales cycle.

This is the backbone of any sales management software. It involves tracking potential customers (leads) and managing existing customer information (contacts). Effective lead and contact management helps in organizing customer data, tracking interactions, and nurturing leads through the sales pipeline.

Sales management software often includes tools to visualize the sales pipeline. This feature allows sales teams to see where prospects are in the sales process, identify bottlenecks, and forecast future sales. It’s crucial for planning and prioritizing sales activities.

Keeping track of daily sales activities and tasks is essential for any sales team. This component of sales management software enables the scheduling, tracking, and analyzing of various sales-related activities, ensuring that nothing falls through the cracks.

Integration with email platforms and other communication tools is a key feature. It allows sales teams to communicate with prospects and customers directly from the software, track the history of interactions, and automate communication processes.

Data-driven insights are vital for making informed sales decisions. Sales management software typically includes reporting and analytics tools that provide a comprehensive view of sales activities, performance metrics, and trends. This data is crucial for strategic planning and performance improvement.

In today’s fast-paced business environment, having access to sales data on the go is a necessity. Mobile accessibility ensures that sales teams can access the software from anywhere, providing flexibility and improving responsiveness.

Automation is a game-changer in sales management. It involves automating repetitive tasks like data entry, lead nurturing, and follow-ups. This not only saves time but also ensures consistency and efficiency in the sales process.

Every business has unique sales processes and requirements. Sales management software that offers customization and integration capabilities can be tailored to fit specific business needs, making it a more effective tool.

Benefits of using sales management software

Utilizing sales management software significantly streamlines the sales process, offering a more organized and efficient approach to managing customer interactions and opportunities. This enhanced organization is key in ensuring no potential deals slip through the cracks. The software’s automation capabilities are a major boon, saving considerable time by handling routine tasks like data entry and follow-up scheduling. This allows sales teams to focus more on strategic activities such as customer engagement and closing deals.

The analytics and reporting functionality of sales management software is invaluable. It provides real-time insights and data-driven analysis, enabling sales managers to make informed decisions and tailor their strategies effectively. Integration with other business tools is another notable advantage, creating a cohesive and streamlined workflow across various business functions.

Scalability is a critical feature of sales management software, especially for growing businesses. As the volume of customers and transactions increases, the software scales to accommodate these changes, supporting business growth without compromising efficiency. Additionally, the mobility offered by modern sales management software empowers sales teams to access important data and perform essential tasks from anywhere, an essential feature in today’s dynamic business landscape. 

Also read: 6 Sales Commission Software Tools for Big Payouts

Finding the right sales management software for your business

Throughout this article, we’ve explored various facets of sales management software, from the organizational prowess of HubSpot CRM to the intuitive interface of Freshsales, and the versatility of Monday Sales CRM. Each platform offers unique features and benefits, yet they all converge on a common goal: to streamline the sales process and empower sales teams.

The key takeaway is that sales management software is an invaluable ally in the quest for sales excellence. It brings a level of organization and efficiency that manual processes simply cannot match. By automating routine tasks, providing insightful analytics, and offering scalable solutions, this software allows sales teams to focus on selling rather than organizing.

For more information on sales software, check out our Sales CRM Software Guide

Featured partners: CRM

1 monday CRM

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monday CRM is the customizable, no-code CRM that allows you to control your entire sales funnel and close more deals, while simplifying communication and collaboration. Automate manual work, capture and import leads, and centralize deal and contact info, all in one place.

Learn more about monday CRM

2 Pipedrive

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Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. It visualizes your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. It also sports built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and an API for those who like to “roll their own” software solutions.

Learn more about Pipedrive

3 HubSpot CRM

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HubSpot is an intuitive CRM that makes managing your sales pipeline a breeze. Everything you need to track important metrics, set up time-saving flows and automations, manage clients seamlessly, and grow your business is available in one tidy dashboard. Plans are available for businesses at every stage of growth, starting at 100% free. Start taking the guesswork out of business management today with HubSpot CRM.

Learn more about HubSpot CRM

FAQs

The best sales management software should offer robust analytics, customizable dashboards, integration capabilities, and efficient lead and contact management features.

Sales management software enhances team productivity by automating routine tasks, providing real-time data for informed decision-making, and facilitating better communication and collaboration among team members.

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