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Key Differences Between Lead Management Software and CRM

Many people confuse CRM software with lead management software. looks at the differences between the two and which one is best for the sales process.

Last update on April 12

There comes a time when companies need to invest in a software solution for their sales. It's in those moments that many explore going down the CRM route. You might find that a CEO has recommended one because they heard it’s the best sales CRM solution.

Perhaps you spent some time researching online and found the CRM acronym kept popping up. The status quo leads us to believe that customer-relationship management is the answer to progressing sales. It’s not the only option, however.

Lead management software is designed to get the best out of salespeople. CRM software doesn’t. Let’s look at the key differences between the two, so you can make an informed decision about which one is best for your company.

Where is the Focus?

At their most proficient, CRM systems allow users to manage large amounts of data. The data is then harnessed to predict customer habits. Ultimately, a CRM helps to improve a customer’s lifetime value. The keyword for CRM software is customers.

The best lead management software focuses on leads. The names of both software are a giveaway here, right? CRM manages customers; lead management software helps you attain them.

Lead management software focuses on leads

Salespeople often struggle with a CRM because their tasks see them trying to convert business -- not manage it. They need to enter copious amounts of data on prospects before moving them through the pipeline. The software becomes time-consuming.

Putting Salespeople First

As far as a salesperson's concerns go, a CRM is over-engineered when it comes to lead conversion. They see them as reporting tools for management and a complicated software focused on data collection.

Sometimes salespeople find themselves entering a prospects’ full name and company details. We’ve even seen some go as far as asking for eye color. This type of information is unnecessary at such an early stage in the sales process.

Once you have completed the post-sales process and a lead becomes a customer, CRM software starts to show its worth. They are potent tools to manage customers, keep details up to date, segment clients and build upsell/cross-sale proposals.

Lead Management Software Strengths

If your focus is on turning leads into customers, you will find that lead management software is better for your needs. It streamlines the process and removes the noise by always focusing on the next actionable step.

This leaves reps under no illusion for what they need to do for the day. There’s no forgetting the next step, or actionable tasks getting lost in a quarry of information.Both management and reps have clear visibility.

Reps won't forget next step with lead management software.

Reps see every sales opportunity, can track each lead with minimal fuss and look at previous interactions with a prospect -- including emails sent, calls made and proposals submitted. The pipeline is customized to the way that you sell your product or service.

The Pre-CRM

Think of lead management software as a pre-CRM. It’s a segway into the world of customer relationship management. Without lead management software to convert leads, the need for a CRM reduces. Once you have turned leads into clients, CRM has its time to shine.

When they are still at the leads stage, however, CRM software complicates the process. Reps tend to update them minutes before important sales meeting and see them as a barrier to their primary goal of converting deals.

Get the Process Right

At, we have developed a tool that puts the power back in the hands of salespeople, while making sure managers have complete visibility. Those two components combined are essential to the process of selling. Salespeople get a tool built for them, and management has access at every stage of the pipeline.

If you’re still looking for the best way to differentiate the two: CRM covers all basis including support, service, marketing and sales. Lead management software is action-oriented and always provides the next step. Reps know exactly where their leads are in the pipeline.

A CRM is best suited to a company process, one that features many different departments. Lead management software works for the sales process. It arms salespeople with the best tools to convert leads into clients.

lead management software crm
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