Best Lead Management Software in 2024 & Features to Look For

A lead management system is a must-have for any business that sells to an online audience. Even if you already have a compelling online presence that drives sales, you need some way of tracking your leads and where they are in the buyer journey — to improve conversion rates and cut down on manual tasks. Read on to discover the top lead management tools in 2024 and the most important lead management features to look for.

What is lead management software?

Lead management software automates processes involved in gathering sales leads, tracking leads’ progress through the sales cycle, and converting them into paying customers. It includes features such as lead capture forms, lead tagging, lead scoring, and conversion analytics. Most lead management platforms are cloud-based software applications for ease of use.


Screenshot of Kartra’s lead management software feature page

Kartra is an all in one marketing and lead management platform that simplifies and streamlines all of your sales and marketing efforts — not just lead management processes. Kartra users get access to advanced functionalities that include:

  • Customizable lead tagging, scoring, and segmentation
  • Landing page and lead capture form templates
  • Native sales funnel software
  • Native email marketing automation
  • Cross-channel marketing analytics

Kartra is designed to minimize third-party integrations, with a significant number of native features so you don’t have to stitch together multiple platforms. From lead generation to membership retention, Kartra makes it simple to manage each stage of the customer lifecycle. Instead of being yet another subscription in your software stack, Kartra is built to give you all you need to grow your online business, all in one place.

Hubspot CRM

Screenshot of Hubspot’s sales software feature page

HubSpot offers customer relationship management (CRM) software at a variety of levels, from a free plan to an enterprise plan depending on what functionalities you need. With sales management features that include meeting scheduling and sales forecasting, HubSpot’s CRM is geared toward sales teams who need a system that simplifies their processes and gets everyone on the same page.

The downside of HubSpot’s CRM is the high price point and level of complexity that come with upgraded subscriptions and add-ons. Small and medium-sized businesses who need higher-tiered plans or additional HubSpot sales and marketing tools may find that upgrading or adding on those plans requires paying for many advanced features that go unused.

Lead management software vs. CRM

Lead management software enables businesses of all sizes to nurture potential customers through various stages of the sales process with lead capture, lead tracking, and contact management features.

A CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is a more complex system for automating pipeline management and maintaining relationships with existing customers.

In general, entrepreneurs and small to mid-sized online businesses get a lot of value from lead management software, while businesses with dedicated sales and customer service teams rely on CRMs to stay organized.


Screenshot of Keap homepage

Keap (formerly Infusionsoft) is a CRM software for small businesses that also includes basic marketing and sales functionalities. Users can create custom lead forms, keep track of contacts, and build automated workflows such as personalized follow-up sequences. Keap is known for its user-friendly CRM capabilities, but it’s missing the advanced marketing features and intuitive interface provided by more comprehensive platforms like Kartra.

For example, Keap’s sales funnel-building tools are not as robust as other all in one platforms. Keap is a great CRM system for small businesses, but users may find that Keap’s higher price tag doesn’t have the native capabilities they’d prefer from an all in one marketing platform.


Screenshot of Pipedrive homepage

Pipedrive is a CRM and sales automation platform for small businesses. This software helps sales team members stay organized with sales activity tracking and lead management features. Pipedrive’s automation is geared towards sales processes (as opposed to marketing automation), simplifying tasks like email follow-ups and call scheduling.

Pipedrive is not an all in one solution, requiring API integrations to connect with an email marketing platform, membership management software, a website builder, and any other marketing and sales tools needed to run an online business.


Screenshot of Salesforce CRM feature page

Salesforce is one of the most popular CRMs for large businesses, with extensive capabilities for sales pipeline management and lead management. Users can find all in one marketing, sales, and CRM features on Salesforce, and they can choose from a variety of plans tailored for small businesses all the way to enterprise sales teams.

However, Salesforce is one of the most expensive solutions on the market — especially if it’s being used as an all in one marketing and sales platform. This software ultimately performs best for enterprise companies and is not a practical option for content creators, entrepreneurs, and other types of streamlined online businesses.


Screenshot of Zendesk Sell feature page

Zendesk is a “customer service solution” for businesses of all sizes. Businesses use Zendesk Suite for customer support, and Zendesk Sell for sales management. Features of Zendesk Sell include contact and deal management, sales activity tracking, and sales engagement tools such as automated email sequences.

Zendesk is all about the customer experience, giving businesses the software they need to build customer relationships and organize behind-the-scenes sales processes. The downside of this platform is that it doesn’t offer all in one marketing or website features that many online business owners, entrepreneurs, and digital creators rely on.

Zoho CRM

Screenshot of Zoho CRM feature page

From customer relationship management to accounting, Zoho is a comprehensive software suite for all types of business processes. Zoho users can essentially build their own platform, selecting the Zoho products or plans that make the most sense for their business. Zoho CRM is highly rated for its lead management capabilities, and comes with a mobile app for on-the-go data access. Bigin by Zoho CRM is the recommended Zoho product for small businesses, offering simpler CRM features at a lower price.

While Zoho offers a wide range of customizable plans and products, some users find that integrating Zoho products with each other and with third-party applications can be a complicated and expensive process. It’s easy for subscriptions to add up as businesses upgrade their Zoho products for expanded features. Zoho isn’t as user-friendly and straightforward for smaller businesses as a true all in one platform like Kartra would be.

Comparing the Top Lead Management Platforms

See the main differences between 2024’s top lead management software in this chart so you can find the platform that best aligns with your business needs:

Each of the software options on this list comes with features for capturing new leads, tracking prospects’ progress through the buyer journey, and reporting lead conversion data. So how do you choose the best one? To get the most out of your lead management solution, we recommend choosing a platform with the following functionalities:

Custom Lead Scoring, Tagging, and Routing

The ability to tag and score leads is a standard feature of any CRM or lead management platform, but you’ll want to pay attention to the level of customization and ease of use that your software provides. Will you be able to easily assign the categories and values that you want to each prospect? Is this process simple or complicated? Can your software automatically route leads to the best sales and marketing path?

Built-In Sales Funnel Software

While it’s possible to build a sales funnel manually by combining miscellaneous digital tools like web page builders, email software, and lead management software, an all-in-one platform with native funnel-building software makes the process far more efficient and effective. It also gives you ultimate control over every touchpoint along the customer journey — from the first time someone fills out a web form to their most recent purchase.

With an integrated sequence builder, it’s easy to remove, or re-order events within automated workflows. Want to share a webinar on-demand to follow up on a white paper that a visitor downloaded? Sequence mapping makes it simple to add a trigger that automates the right sequence for that prospective customer. Lead management that integrates seamlessly with your sales funnel builder enables you to create, manage, and adjust workflows with minimal hassle.

Check out our Step-by-Step Guide on How to Build a Sales Funnel

Native Email Marketing Automation

Many CRM and lead management tools include basic email functionalities so that sales reps can send messages to leads and set up lead nurturing sequences. But these platforms often require additional subscriptions or integration with third-party apps for more complex email marketing campaigns.

An all in one lead management and marketing platform like Kartra makes it simple to set up all types of automated email campaigns that integrate with your sales funnels. Whether you’re just checking in with a lead or nurturing a sale with a complex email sequence, it’s helpful if your platform is built for both lead management and email marketing.

Comprehensive Data Analytics

Every lead management platform claims to offer data visibility and reports with key sales metrics. Consider what data matters the most to your business operations to make sure those reports include all the data points you need. You’ll also want to make sure those reports integrate well with your other analytics dashboards.

An all in one platform, for example, provides real-time data insights across multiple marketing channels with little to no third-party integrations — something a dedicated CRM wouldn’t be able to do.

Why are native features are important?

Every lead management or CRM platform has its limitations, requiring integrations to stand in the gap. Marketing solutions such as Zapier attempt to solve this problem, integrating various applications such as lead management, email, and membership platforms. But this stack of software becomes hard to manage.

Lead management software with native capabilities saves time and money, streamlining subscriptions and giving you more control over your marketing and sales efforts.

Why Kartra is the Best Lead Management Software

Kartra enables business owners to generate, manage, and convert leads in one integrated platform. With a full slate of native sales and marketing features, Kartra users don’t have to pay for multiple subscriptions or piece together multiple software programs.

Instead, you get a bird’s eye view of the whole buyer journey and the ability to set up powerful, automated sales funnels that don’t need an entire sales team to convert leads. Already tracking leads somewhere else? Rest assured you can effortlessly import your contacts into Kartra’s system from various sources — ensuring a unified database for streamlined management.