Your business will rise or fall based on the relationship with your clients–both current and prospective ones. This is why you need client management software no matter what size your business is.
If you build good relations with your clients, they’ll likely make more purchases and recommend your company to others. That’s why finding ways to manage your client relations is a must for any serious-minded business.
Thankfully, client management doesn’t have to be manual: there are several client management software options that can help your business build and manage relations with your existing and prospective customers.
Also known as customer relationship management (CRM) software, client management tools also help you collect and analyze clients’ data to help your decision-making.
The ever-increasing benefits of client management software haven’t gone unnoticed by the business world. In fact, according to Grand View Research, the revenue generated by CMSs increases yearly. It is anticipated to get to about $80 billion by 2025.
With so many client management software options on the market, you might find it challenging to know which one is best for your business.
In this article, we’ll do the heavy lifting and take an in-depth look at our top 8 choices in client management software, making things easier for you when deciding on which CMS to purchase. Below are our recommendations, we’ll examine client management in a bit more detail to ensure you make the right choice.
The 8 Best Client Management Software
Below, we’ll look at seven of the best client management software. We’ll look at their key features, pros and cons, and pricing to help you decide which might be the best software for your freelance business.
When you work for yourself, client relationships may feel like emotional roller-coasters at times. They’re how you grow your business, perfect your offerings and they most importantly will take you onward to financial stability. Hectic’s full-spectrum customer management approach helps you keep every single customer detail straight so that you can be the professional and person that both you and your customers want you to be. Read our full Hectic review here.
- Easily calculate lifetime earnings, check past notes, reference your contracts, time tracked, and more.
- Sends instant notifications about important updates between you and your client.
- Organizes your project deadlines and deliverables to proposals and invoices — all of which can be viewed in one snapshot.
- Hectic provides resources (podcast, blog posts, academy, etc) to train users on how to use their systems best. In fact, their CEO, Darryl Kelly, is currently hosting a live tour of Hectic. You can book a slot here.
- Hectic sends instant notifications for whatever’s important between you and your client.
- Customer service is excellent and chat support teams are super-responsive.
- Hectic keeps you afloat with visual bandwidth planning that brings clarity to your commitments.
- Essentials Plan (Free Forever)
- Pro Plan: $11.99/mo
- Teams Plan: $19.99/mo
HoneyBook is a cloud-based client management software designed for small businesses. The platform enables users to perform various functions such as sending invoices and payments, booking clients, signing contracts online, managing projects, and communicating status updates with clients.
The platform is particularly effective for entrepreneurs who tend to handle one project and freelancers who work in teams. From inquiry to invoicing, HoneyBook gives you different models that will make working with clients a breeze.
- Task management enables users to view and track various stages of a project.
- Users can save invoices, contracts, and other documents in one database.
- Users can reply to clients with automated appointment requests and follow-ups using customized templates and notifications.
- Automated payment reminders can be sent, and task reminders can be created per the project.
- HoneyBook provides resources to train users on how to use their systems best. Their training sessions are informative and insightful.
- Honeybook sends automatic email reminders to you when clients open, sign, and pay for proposals. They send automated email reminders to you even when clients haven’t opened your bids as well.
- HoneyBook sends sales proposals and contracts with custom payment schedules.
- The online scheduling tool does function with different time zones.
- The transaction fees for instant deposits are costly.
- Some features are not entirely functional.
- Starter Plan: $9 per month
- Unlimited Plan: $39 per month, or billed annually at $390 (a $78/year savings!)
Plutio is a client management platform built to assist small businesses in managing projects, creating proposals, and processing invoices on an integrated platform. In addition, Plutio has a time tracking module that enables employees to manually or automatically log work hours in timesheets and share them with supervisors via email.
The application has a project management system, enabling stakeholders to upload files in various formats, track project statuses and create personalized fields to include additional information.
Additionally, Plutio comes with an application programming interface (API), which supports integrating several third-party applications, such as Google Calendar, Facebook, Google Drive, and more.
- Electronic signatures add the official touch to all your messages or requests and create professional agreements.
- Customizable templates tailored to match all your specifications while using the software.
- Email reminders whenever a client accepts your proposal to follow up accordingly.
- Permission management to monitor every activity on the platform.
- User-friendly interface that makes it easier for you to navigate through their features without difficulty.
- Excellent support team to assist you whenever you encounter a problem while using the platform.
- Multiple foundational business tools all in one database to give you options to run your business effectively.
- Lack of built-in password management tool.
Plutio’s pricing starts at just $15/month.
Dubsado is an excellent client management software for business owners and freelancers. Dubsado facilitates project management and enables you to manage various automated email campaigns and create appointments using their built-in call scheduler.
- Dubsado has a client portal feature where your clients can log in and view their activities with you at a glance.
- Invoices and expenses are at the same place, making it easier for you to keep track of your transactions.
- Built-in call scheduler to book appointments when you are available and receive payment upfront.
- Customizable forms to quickly get your campaigns started.
- Support personnel can address all your questions.
- Automated email reminders to keep you up to speed with your projects.
- Access to accounting and analytics to check how well your campaigns are doing.
- Workflow is not stable in some instances.
- Inadequate tutorials on how to use the platform.
Dubsado costs $35 per month or $350 per year. You can give the platform a try with their unlimited trial plan. However, you’ll be restricted to adding only three contacts unless you upgrade to the paid plan.
FunctionFox’s goal is to help you stay organized, stay on budget, and stick to your deadlines—all while staying creative. They’ve built a really beautiful interface for to help improve project management for freelancers and the coolest feature has to be the customizable dashboard. It’s the best project management software for freelancers who are picky about their reports… like me. 🙂
Here are the key features that FunctionFox offers its users:
- Timer or manual time entry methods
- Daily, weekly, or monthly timesheet views
- Billable and non-billable task tracking
- Project status overviews
- Graphical dashboard views
- Detailed standard reports
- Interactive charts and graphs
- Simple quotes and invoicing
- Offers special pricing discounts to non-profits and academic institutions
- It’s a minimalist software in some way. Some could see that as an advantage but some other don’t like it.
Pricing: It starts at $5/month/user. You can try the FunctionFox app free for 14 days and test out the project management dashboard for yourself! And if you want to step it up a notch, do check out FunctionFox lite which is specifically made for freelancers and solo business owners.
Monday is a well-known client management software that helps teams plan collaboratively and efficiently work on various projects to finish the job on time. Monday has excellent team management and task management tools that are easy to use and flexible to allow all users to manage different projects simultaneously.
Monday offers various packages that enable you to select a template subject to your business needs and specifications. For instance, Monday provides you with three different templates to assist your sales team: sales CRM, partner management, and sales assets.
- Automation: With Monday, you can add custom automation to make your customer management as effective as possible. Monday has saved over 386 million human actions making sure you are not short on options.
- Collaborate with your team: With Monday as your client management software, you’ll be able to collaborate with your team quickly. You can pass on information to your team by adding comments on tasks, giving feedback, and giving everyone access to the details of the project.
- Dashboards: With Monday, you’ll be able to select the widgets you want to see and set up your custom dashboard.
- Suitable for any business: Whether you are a small or large corporation, Monday has all the features to meet your needs.
- User-friendly interface: Monday has a colorful and clean interface that makes it fun to use. You can use GIFs and emojis in your conversations or updates and color code messages. Also, they have helpful tutorials to assist you in functioning correctly.
- Review options: You’ll be able to review a task from start to finish to ensure that the job is being done correctly.
- Monday is slightly expensive, especially if you are starting with a small team.
- Monday has numerous features that first-timers would find difficult without watching the tutorials.
Monday provides a free forever plan for up to 2 seats, after which pricing increases depending on the number of seats, as well as the features required. Paid plans start at $10/seat/month, are billed monthly for the basic plan, and include a minimum of 3 seats.
Keap, formerly known as Infusionsoft, is a cloud-based client management software that helps small businesses effectively manage their sales and customer relations.
- Users can segment contacts: With Keap, you can segment your contacts to email them directly. Prospective and past customers are not left out; with Keap, communication with your clients couldn’t be more straightforward.
- Campaigns: You can run campaigns with customized communication triggers depending on emails opened, clicks, and more.
- You will perform inventory management functions from payments and purchase fulfillment to setting up online shopping carts.
- Keap provides analytics tools that would enable you to run analyses on parameters such as emails, campaign performance, and ROI data.
- Usage of Keap can be complex for first-time users.
Pricing starts at $79 for 500 contacts and unlimited emails.
HubSpot is a cloud-based client relationship management platform that assists companies of all sizes to track and grow leads and analyze business metrics. As an inbound marketing agency, HubSpot has a huge reputation in the marketing world, and their CRM has benefited from that reputation. The great thing about HubSpot’s tool is that it’s free of charge yet has innovative tools for growing your business.
- Customer relations management: This feature enables you to monitor your communication with your clients.
- Tracking customer interactions: HubSpot enables you to also follow the interactions of your clients through email, social media, live chat, or phone calls automatically.
- HubSpot’s platform is easily accessible and easy to use.
- HubSpot CRM marketing tool provides lead generation and email marketing automation features to assist you in setting up and controlling email templates and monitoring how well those emails are performing.
- HubSpot CRM sales tools help sales managers monitor contacts, track deals, manage their distribution channel, and more.
- The platform integrates with other HubSpot tools such as HubSpot Marketing Hub and HubSpot Sales Hub, along with third-party platforms including HubSpot integration with Google Sheets, Zoho CRM, Salesforce, SugarCRM to give you more options.
- While the HubSpot client management software starts as free, the cost increases when you include other HubSpot features.
HubSpot CRM is available free of charge. You can add up to 1,000,000 contacts and unlimited users. Free access to the CRM has no time limit.
Pipedrive is a web-based Sales CRM and distribution channel management platform that enables businesses to strategize their sales activities and monitor deals.
- AI tools: AI-driven sales assist tool is one of the most peculiar features of Pipedrive. With Sales Assist, your representatives will get custom tips and automation suggestions.
- Pipedrive also provides personalized sales reporting tools to observe individual and team level targets, analyze sales data and generate reports.
- Integrations: Pipedrive’s mailing system easily integrates with various email service providers such as Outlook, Gmail, and Yahoo. You will be able to send and receive emails from different accounts using your Pipedrive account.
- Easily Accessible: Pipedrive can be used anywhere using any web browser or dedicated mobile apps.
- Some basic features are not present in their lowest plan.
- Automation features are limited with unstable triggers.
- Pricing starts at $12.50 per user per month subscription.
What is Client Management?
Client management entails forming relationships between a business and its customers. It covers everything from customer lifecycle planning, setting predictions, building trust, to setting boundaries and measuring customer satisfaction.
For proper client management, you need to do the following:
- Understand the pain points of clients
- Provide easily accessible lines of communication
- Address client queries and concerns promptly
To understand the needs of your clients, you may have to run surveys. In addition, you should use CRM software to aggregate data on customer behavior. That can help you know the client’s needs even before the client knows them.
Of course, client management has several benefits. First of all, your clients are likely to stay with you longer if you implement client management. Seeing that it’s easier and less expensive to retain a client than to find a new one, client management is a must. Besides, existing customers are more likely to tell others about your business.
Client management also helps you to onboard and nurture new customers, giving them a memorable experience.
What is Client Management Software?
Client management software is any tool that helps you manage client relations. Typically, such software is cloud-based and SaaS tools that you can subscribe to monthly. In many cases, you can choose pricing based on the features you choose.
Overall, client management software enables you to automate your communications with clients. However, some tools are tailored to specific functions.
For instance, you’ll find client management tools that are big on optimizing your marketing processes and increasing sales. Others may major in project management and client deliverables.
Ultimately, your choice of client management depends on your industry and your needs. For instance, if you run an ecommerce website, you’d want a CRM that helps you gather, store, and manage customer purchasing data.
Why You Should Be Using Client Management Software
You are probably wondering why client management is needed in the running of a business.
Well, the ultimate objective of client management software is to give your clients quality services for the sake of maximizing sales. You can categorize this into two segments: customer acquisition and customer retention.
Efficient client management enables you to give customized, focused service to your prospective customers. Due to this, you’ll have a more significant opportunity of changing these prospective customers into actual shoppers.
With helpful client management software, you can effortlessly oversee existing leads, control client communication, and plan personalized client communications. This is much easier as compared to manually trying to track all your information.
Customer retention is an essential part of enjoying success in your business. In a recent report by Bain and Company, it was revealed that a 5% increase in customer retention could lead to a 25% rise in profit. The report also highlighted that 93% of customers are highly prone to buying from organizations with an excellent customer care system.
Effective client management is an excellent way to establish loyalty with existing clients and provide them with top-notch service. In doing so, you’re raising your chances of them buying from you in the future.
That’s where client management software comes in; with a CRM system, you’ll be able to store information about your existing customers and send planned follow-through messages to persuade customers to patronize your products and services some more.
Without a CRM system to compile all your client information in one database, you might miss out on the chance to retain some of your existing customers. With CRM, you can also keep track of all your existing and prospective clients to maximize your sales.
How to Get the Best Out of Your CMS
Across the board, CRMs have mostly similar features and tools, but no two CMS are the same. For instance, each CMS has a unique interface that would likely take some getting used to.
That’s why you should take advantage of the tutorials and how-to guides that CMS offer. That way, you shorten your learning curve and get the best out of the software.
CRMs often have dedicated personnel to help you with setup and on-boarding. We recommend that you build a team that would take over the software management and analytics.
Client management software is beneficial to businesses of any size. Still, it is essential to choose a platform that is tailored for your desired needs. While deciding on the right CRM platform for you can be cumbersome, it’s necessary to find the distinct features of each one, so you can find the one that will best fit your business.
Be on the lookout for the features expounded in this article before you purchase a client management software; you are halfway there to choosing the right platform for you.
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