Five Best CRM Companies
CRM Magazine’s Picks for the Best CRM Companies
Each year, the editors at CRM Magazine select and publish their list of CRM Market Leaders, honoring the best CRM companies that offer the most robust products and the highest quality customer service. 2011 marked the 10th year that CRM Magazine has published this list, and the first year that cost was included as a deciding factor.
The CRM market continues to grow, with spending expected to increase more than any other application software market worldwide. On-demand CRM solutions are particularly popular, and not just with small to midsize businesses. According to a study performed by Nucleus Research, 63% of enterprises with more than 1,000 employees have implemented on-demand CRM technology. What’s more, industry analysts Gartner predict that Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings will constitute over 32% of the total CRM market by 2014.
Although several CRM companies received honors , the CRM Magazine panelists ranked the following five solutions as some of the best CRM applications for small businesses to large enterprises.
Salesforce.com was the clear champion for 2011, excelling in four categories: Enterprise CRM, Midmarket CRM, Small-Business CRM, and Sales Force Automation. The company beat out the competition in the areas of customer service, company direction, depth of functionality, and cost. Salesforce.com was applauded for continuing to expand the scope of its solutions – investing wisely in social CRM, cloud functionality, and collaboration tools – while gaining and retaining customers through excellent customer references and an active user community.
Coming in right after Salesforce.com, Microsoft received honors in the same segments, while also being noted as a key player in the Business Intelligence market. Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM 2011 solution, which was released early in the year, was seen as a bold new release, offering solid functionality at an attractive price. The solution was praised for its ease of integration with existing Microsoft Office applications, as well as its growing partner ecosystem and ease of deployment.
NetSuite was named an industry leader in the Enterprise and Midmarket categories, as well as in Sales Force Automation. The company scored points for expanding out of the SMB market. Its all-in-one solution – covering CRM, ERP, Finance/Accounting, and eCommerce – was considered to be budget-friendly and easy to integrate. A key popular feature was the workflow management module. Industry analysts also predicted that NetSuite’s recent activity in social media and mobile developments will help the company gain a stronger foothold in the market.
Scoring high in four categories – Enterprise CRM, Midmarket CRM, Sales Force Automation, and Business Intelligence – was Oracle. The company was noted for having the most functionality and support for Sales, Marketing, and Service out of every CRM vendor. What kept it out of the top spot were the high cost and the complex implementation and training requirements. That being said, the analysts’ consensus was that you get what you pay for, and as such, Oracle is a clear market leader.
SugarCRM was relatively new on the leader board. The company received kudos in the Small Business and Midmarket categories, as well as in Open-Source CRM. It was this open source nature of the solution that made SugarCRM a key player. Analysts agreed that SugarCRM delivers exceptional value, and the company continues to add new functionality, making it a company to watch out for in coming years as well.