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The 10 Best Customer Database Software Solutions of 2024

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When you’re a growing business, you’ve got to effectively manage and update your leads in a way that’s organized and efficient. You can do just that with a customer database and intuitive customer relationship management (CRM) software.

Read on to learn more about the basics of a customer database, the benefits of customer database management, and how you can use a CRM like Nutshell to manage your customer data.

What is a customer database?

A customer database is a detailed, organized collection of customer information and contact details, such as names, email addresses, and demographics, all stored in a single place. Such a database is critical for organizing data and can be used by companies to optimize their marketing and sales efforts.

Customer database software – also known as customer relationship management (CRM) software – stores and organizes your customer database for ease of reference and use between customer-facing teams.

What can you store in a customer database?

Customer databases house general customer information like:

  • First and last names
  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Basic demographic information like age and/or gender identity

Every business’ customer database will look a bit different, though. The customer data a business collects from its audience for its customer database depends on the goals of the company, the leads you have, and how you want to use your customer information.

For example, some companies’ databases may include more behavioral data than others, like what devices a customer primarily uses to browse your site or what social media platforms they’re most active on.

What types of customer data should you collect?

Below are three common types of customer data businesses can collect to better understand their audience:

  • First-party customer data: First-party data is collected directly from your audience.  This data includes client information like names, email addresses, and basic demographic information. You can collect first-party customer data through online form submissions like surveys and contact requests.
  • Second-party customer data: Second-party data consists of the same information as first-party data but comes from a trusted business partner or second party who collected the information straight from their audience. This data is collected through methods like sweepstakes and giveaways where more than one company is involved.
  • Third-party customer data: Third-party data is collected by an outside entity that’s separate from your own. Some third-party customer data is publicly available, like census records or labor statistics. Third-party data includes information like social media handles, demographic data, user interests and behavior, and basic job information.

With customer database software like a CRM, it’s easy to collect and manage all of this information.

Benefits of a customer database

These are just a few of the many benefits of a customer database that you can enjoy when you begin to organize your customer and lead information.

1. Organized customer profiles

One of the most obvious perks of managing a customer database is the organization it provides. Whether you want to organize your customer information by name, priority level, or another metric of your choice, you can organize it in whichever way works best for you and your sales team. 

This increased organization is also going to save you a lot of time. Gone are the days of flipping through endless pages or sticky notes of customer contact information. With a customer database, you can easily input information and look it up again later in seconds.

2. Better customer service

Having all of your customer information organized in one place allows you to provide better service to your customers. With customer data easily accessible for your sales team, they can better understand the individuals they’re talking to and ensure they’re providing customers with the services they need every time.

In turn, better customer service is going to help you build more brand loyalty within your customer base and foster long-lasting customer relationships. Word of these positive customer experiences will travel to the ears of other prospective customers and potentially push them toward working with you too. It’s a win-win for everyone!

3. Targeted campaigns

When you maintain a customer database, you can gain a better understanding of who your customers are, from demographic and geographic location to user behaviors and interests. This information can help you to create more targeted marketing campaigns.

Targeted marketing strategies can yield better results for your business and give you a better return on investment (ROI) for your campaigns because they appeal to your audiences in a way that encourages them to act.

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Our top 10 picks for customer database software

Knowing about the ins and outs of a customer database is one thing, but creating one and putting it into action is another. We’ve gathered 10 of our favorite customer database software options—for various budgets and purposes—to help you start collecting or organizing customer data like a pro.

1. Nutshell CRM

Nutshell’s all-in-one CRM helps you collect customer information and take it a step further, turning leads into wins for your brand. With contact management features, you can find the customer information you’re looking for fast and get back to doing what you do best: making your customers happy.

When you add a new contact to your customer database, Nutshell automatically scours the Internet for any additional information on your customer to help you learn as much as possible about them, so you can create a more informed marketing campaign.

Key Features

  • Centralized customer data: Every team has access to customer updates and information as they happen – which means that your marketing and sales teams can coordinate their actions regarding a lead.
  • Intuitive sales automation: Reduce time-wasting tasks by automating your sales process and put your email outreach on autopilot. 
  • Multi-team collaboration: One customer database with customized pipelines and tasks for your teams to collaborate on converting your leads.
  • Insightful reports: Measure your performance and pinpoint areas for improvement with easy to customize reports.
  • Personalized email automation: Nutshell comes with pre-built email templates you can use to automate your email sequences.

Pricing

  • 14 Day Free Trial available
  • Foundation: Starts at $16 per user/month (annual pricing)
  • Pro: Starts at $42 per user/month
  • PowerAI: Starts at $52 per user/month
  • Enterprise: Starts at $67 per user/month
  • Learn more about Nutshell’s pricing options here.

G2 review rating

4.2 out of 5 stars

See Nutshell in action by attending a live product demo or starting a free trial today.

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2. Zoho CRM

The Zoho CRM is another great customer database management tool. This CRM helps you track leads in real time and organize customer information with maximum efficiency. Import customer data with ease, and even enrich your data with Zoho’s built-in artificial intelligence (AI) software that assists you in improving the quality of your data.

Zoho’s dashboards help you maintain an organized customer database that’s easy to navigate and makes reorganization a breeze (because, let’s be honest, sometimes a change is needed when your business is always moving forward).

Key Features

  • Track leads in real time: track every lead or opportunity in the pipeline down to the last detail with comprehensive reports.
  • Artificial intelligence software: Improve the quality of your data with AI
  • Easy-to-navigate interface

Pricing

  • Free version available
  • Standard: $14 per user/month
  • Professional: $23 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $40 per user/month
  • Ultimate: $52 per user/month

G2 review rating

4.1 out of 5 stars

3. HubSpot CRM

With HubSpot, you can import customer information with just a few clicks and easily keep your customer database up to date as your client list grows.

With easy-to-browse customer profiles, you can manage customer relationships, manage your sales pipeline, and start new conversations with customers in no time. 

Key Features

  • Convenient call tracking: Make, record, and log calls automatically for maximum efficiency when interacting with contacts. 
  • Document tracking: Build a library of sales content for your team to share, and track which documents close deals.
  • Built-in artificial intelligence (AI) software: HubSpot’s AI-powered deal management tools help you to streamline your sales process.

Pricing

  • Free plan available
  • Starter: $50 per month for 2 users
  • Professional: $500 per month for 5 users
  • Enterprise: $1,200 per month for 10 users

G2 review rating

4.4 out of 5 stars

4. Salesforce

salesforce customer database

Salesforce lets users manage their leads, contacts, sales records, and more. Data can be organized based on different criteria, which makes searching for the right information easy. 

Salesforce also offers advanced data segmentation features like dynamic segmentation that automatically updates segments when customer data changes.

Key Features

  • Customizability: Organize your data on your unique company terms
  • Dynamic segmentation: Automate segmentation based on customer actions
  • Sales forecasting with AI: Sales Cloud’s generative artificial intelligence supercharges sales projection, forecast management, and sales enablement.

Pricing

  • 30 Day free trial available
  • Starter: $25 per user/month
  • Professional: $80 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $165 per user/month
  • Unlimited: $330 per user/month
  • Unlimited Plus: $500 per user/month

G2 review rating

4.3 out of 5 stars

5. Pipedrive

pipedrive customer database homepage

Another useful customer database is Pipedrive, a well-known CRM that supports sales teams as they work to close deals with leads.

Pipedrive makes contact and purchase history tracking easy. Lead segmentation allows users to personalize their email communication with contacts. Pipedrive also uses data enrichment to bring in new insights about your contacts from around the Internet. 

Key Features

  • App integration: Integrate with more than 400 business applications
  • Customizable sales pipeline: You can use custom fields to create your own sales pipelines and deals to fit your business processes.
  • Advanced sales reporting

Pricing

  • 14 Day Free Trial available
  • Essential: $12.50 per user/month
  • Advanced: $24.90 per user/month
  • Professional: $49.90 per user/month
  • Power: $59.90 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $74.90 per user/month

G2 review rating

4.2 out of 5 stars

6. Zendesk

zendesk customer database

Zendesk is built to give companies a complete view of their customers and relationships. By having a single customer database, you can connect your sales and service teams and keep everyone on the same page.

Zendesk’s data analysis tools help you make the most of your prospect and customer data and keep contacts from slipping through the cracks.

Key Features

  • Contact data analysis and segmentation: You can integrate Zendesk Sell and Support to exchange essential customer data between sales, marketing and support teams.
  • Lead management: With Zendesk’s pipeline analysis tools, you can analyze lead and deal progression to identify and avoid bottlenecks across each stage of your pipeline.
  • Prospecting tools: Email sequences, bulk outreach and sales trigger-based actions.

Pricing

  • 14 Day Free Trial available
  • Team: $19 per user/month
  • Growth: $55 per user/month
  • Professional: $115 per user/month

G2 review rating

4.2 out of 5 stars

7. Freshsales

Screenshot of Freshsales software website

Freshsales CRM is a cloud-based customer database software that caters especially to startups and medium-sized companies. 

Its easy-to-use, clean interface enhances focus and allows teams to fully their sales process with built-in email, phone, chat, and telephony. 

Key Features

  • Segmented sales campaigns with AI: Use Freshsales Freddy AI as an assistant for running campaigns to generate more leads, capture, qualify, route, and track them.
  • Advanced deal management: Waste no time and have your team members know exactly what they need to do for the day with simple kanban views.
  • Automate manual tasks: Increase productivity and adoption by automating mundane repetitive tasks.

Pricing

  • Free version available
  • Growth: $15 per user/month
  • Pro: $39 per user/month
  • Enterprise: $69 per user/month

G2 review rating

4.5 out of 5 stars

8. Apptivo

Screenshot of Apptivo software website

Apptivo CRM comes with a suite of business applications that help you manage your projects, contacts, and communications. 

Its streamlined contact manager is simple to use and is the main draw for businesses that need to track their customer interactions.

Key Features

  • Contact and lead list management: Qualify and nurture your leads through a tailored journey with round-robin task assignments, a lead qualification cycle, and lead score monitoring.
  • Deal management: Streamline multiple sales cycles to take advantage of every opportunity with workflow automation, an intelligent sales dashboard and custom reports and views.

Pricing (Annual)

  • 30 day free trial available
  • Lite: $15 per user/month
  • Premium: $25 per user/month
  • Ultimate: $40 per user/month
  • Enterprise: Price upon request

G2 review rating

4.4 out of 5 stars

9. Keap

Screenshot of Keap software website

Keap – formerly known as Infusionsoft – empowers sales and marketing teams for small businesses by helping them to automate their customer processes. 

The CRM incorporates tools such as e-commerce, payments, and client management to help companies develop smoother workflows across teams.

Key Features

  • Consistent, repeatable lead generation: Automated processes help you to scale without putting in more hours
  • Personalized small business automation: Customize your pipeline to suit your business
  • Access work calls and texts on your smartphone: Keep updated on new leads and customer activity while on the go

Pricing (Annual)

  • 14 Day Free Trial available
  • Pro: $159 per month for 2 users
  • Max: $229 per month for 3 users
  • Ultimate: $229 per month for 3 users

G2 review rating

4.2 out of 5 stars

10. Microsoft Excel

While there is a range of great software tools available for customer database management, not every organization has the resources of time or funds to invest in CRM software. 

When you need to bootstrap your customer database management in the early stages of your business, Microsoft Excel is a competent spreadsheet software that can be used as a minimalist CRM tool.

Key Features

  • Data entry and importing: Add customer data manually in personalized fields or import data from CSV files
  • Sorting and filtering: Find the exact customer information you need with advanced filtering and sorting capabilities
  • Conditional formatting: Use built-in formulas to track changes in customer data and monitor potential sales and other opportunities

Pricing

  • Excel only: $159.99 for use on 1 PC or Mac
  • Microsoft 365 Suite: From $6.99 per month on 1 PC or Mac

G2 review rating

4.7 out of 5 stars

What you should look for in a customer database

While your organization’s needs are unique, there are a few features you should definitely look for in a customer database that will make using it much easier:

 1. Usability 

Whether everyone on your team has used a customer database before or not, usability is an important trait to look for. A platform that’s easy to learn and use will set your team up for quick implementation. 

2. Integrations 

Your company likely already uses multiple tools to gather its customer data. Look for a customer database that offers lots of integrations with other applications and tools so you can reduce manual data entry and easily keep your records updated.  

3. Pricing

Pricing is a vital consideration for businesses of all sizes. Find the plans that are as comparable as possible across tools and compare their prices. Also, consider whether the features a customer database offers align with your company’s budget.

4. Automation

Managing tasks should be as easy as possible for your team. Whether you need to add or update contact information or create marketing lists from your contacts, automation features can streamline your workflows and put more time back into your day. 

5. Unified customer data

The information stored in your customer database should also be totally synced. When different users and teams are accessing the same customer records, this improves efficiency and streamlines workflows across your company. 

Make customer database management easy with Nutshell

Customer database management doesn’t have to be hard when you’ve got Nutshell by your side. Our contact management and marketing features help you keep track of who your leads are, where they’re coming from, and how close you are to turning them into loyal customers.

Learn more about what Nutshell’s CRM can do to help you with your customer database management efforts by starting a two-week free trial or attending a live demo today.

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