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Five Top 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. 2013 marked the 12th 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. According to numbers posted by Gartner, global spending on CRM reached $18 billion in 2012, a $2B increase from the numbers posted for 2011. While on-premise deployments still maintain a healthy presence, SaaS CRM has increased market share at a faster pace than many industry analysts predicted. SaaS deployments now constitute 40 percent of the CRM market according to numbers cited by CRM Magazine.

Here are the five top vendors CRM Magazine chose for 2013. Additionally, we’ve put together our own list of three of the best CRM companies that are smaller and/or gearing their product towards smaller organizations.

Download Top 40 CRM Report to Compare More Leading CRM Solutions

Five Top CRM Companies for Enterprise
salesforceRemarkably, has maintained its prominence in high-end CRM, rounding out CRM Magazine‘s list for 2013. The list of extended functionality being added to the core Salesforce offering continues to get longer and longer, much of it driven by the company’s aggressive growth strategy, which in 2012 and 2013 included several key acquisitions in social media management, social advertising and marketing automation.

The company finished off 2013 with the $2.5 billion purchase of ExactTarget. The acquisition signified Salesforce’s intent to make serious inroads into marketing automation, and it remains to be seen how the company will take advantage of the new technology in 2014.

Microsoft crmMicrosoft continues to be a presence on CRM Magazine‘s Top Five. Dynamics CRM has proven itself as a versatile solution for enterprises as well as smaller organizations.

Ample third-party support and add-ons, competitive pricing and the recent addition of intelligence features have all contributed to Dynamics CRM’s continued relevance in this space. All of this has boosted interest in Dynamics as an enteprise-grade CRM solution.

netsuite crmNetSuite’s investments in social media and mobile tech in recent years have paid off. “Tight-knit” connections to ecommerce and cloud ERP were cited as factors contributing to NetSuite’s prominence in enterprise CRM. Additionally the company nabbed high scores in CRM Magazine‘s evaluations of customer satisfaction and company direction.

sap best crmSAP has returned to the top five after several years’ absence. CRM Magazine cited strong positive reactions from CRM analysts on account of multiple improvements in mobile compatibility as well as UI.

This is very good news for SAP, a company whose software solutions have sometimes been synonymous with user-unfriendly interfaces. If the venerable German firm can continue on the trends it established in 2013 then 2014 looks to be a promising year indeed.

sugarcrm top crm companiesSugarCRM received kudos in the Small Business and Midmarket categories, as well as in Open-Source CRM. It’s open source nature of the solution that continues to make SugarCRM a player in this space.

In 2012 the company acquired $33 million in financing from Silicon Valley Bank and Gold Hill Capital along with several other investors. This round of investment was specifically targeted towards accelerating expansion into the enterprise CRM market.

Three Best CRM Companies for Small Business: Our Picks

Zoho CRM
zoho crm best crm companiesPound for pound Zoho CRM simply has the best value prop for smaller organizations when it comes to overall ratio of cost to features provided. To boot, Zoho’s remarkably diverse collection of other applications makes it very easy to expand on a pay-as-you-go basis.

contactuallyOf our three featured products Contactually has the best-looking, most intuitive UI. Additionally, you get visually vivid reports on user and lead analytics as well as novel gamification elements that few other CRM competitors have tried.

highrise crmHighrise is technically the most affordable of our three choices. In contrast to most competitors in this price range, Highrise doesn’t charge per user but has three tiers based on range of registered users: 1-7<, 6-15 and 15-40. Combine that with 5GBs and 5,000 contacts on the most basic plan and you have a pretty impressive offering.


Ready to compare a comprehensive list of top CRM vendors?

40 Top CRM Vendors
Now that you better understand the differences between David and Goliath in the CRM space, it’s time to pick the best customer relationship management software for your business. Download our Top 40 CRM Software report to compare the industry’s top solutions by pricing, deployment models and key features. Not ready to make a purchase? Find more free resources at the CRM Software Research Center, where we’ve compiled product reviews, blog posts and exclusive interviews with emerging CRM vendors.

  • Paul Lin

    I think Zoho CRM is a great choice for small businesses or any company that needs a relatively simple CRM system. We use it in our company with 3 sales people and 4 marketing folks. It’s not flashy but gets the job done. 

    • dkuypers

      Paul, Zoho is a relatively new company, but they do show a lot of promise in this area. A lot of companies seem to like the intuitive integration into email and VoIPs – any email you send or receive is automatically linked to the customer record, for instance.

  • Nathan Rowan

    I’m glad not to see Pivotal’s Relationship tool on this list. It’s buggy, low on features, and impossible to figure out. SugarCRM is a nice surprise on this list. Does anyone here have any experience with them?

  • Jason_rushforth

    I really think Pivotal should have been on the list, it’s a rock solid application coupled with some really innovative solutions like it’s iPad application and Social CRM.

    • Paul Lin

       I don’t have any personal experience with the Pivotal product but CDC software is in a big mess. The parent company that owns CDC Software (who acquired Pivotal) had gone bankrupt and I think they just sold the company to private equity firm Vista Equity Partners. I think this was pretty much a fire sale so the jury is out on what’s going to happen moving forward. 

    • Nathan Rowan

      I used Pivotal for about 5 years and let me tell you it looks outdated, it’s difficult, it doesn’t do half of what it says it does and they have no customer support to speak of. I mean, 5 years of daily use and I still didn’t know what I was doing!

    • George Moyano

      Come on Jason, top 5? Where are the sales? UI now gives Pivotal CRM a chance but time is ticking.

  • Paul Lin

    Since we are on the topic of bad crm systems, I had to use Siebel’s CRM system years and years ago. I could never figure out why my old company invested millions of dollars in the Siebel system and it took literally years to implement.  The ironic thing is after we started using it we actually dumped it cuz it was just so slow and hard to use. 

  • Venkata Ramesh

    I am surprised to see here that SAP CRM is not on the list at least not in the comments. Apart from cost concern, I believe it is the best. Any comments…?

    • dkuypers

      Venkata, SAP CRM received average scores in the CRM Magazine report. I haven’t personally used SAP CRM, but opinions are mixed on its functionality and its ease of use. CEO Marc Benioff famously claimed that SAP doesn’t even use it themselves, and that many of the big SAP ERP accounts also don’t use SAP’s CRM. But is a competitor of course. From a pricing perspective, there definitely are better alternatives out there, but that being said, SAP has been making many improvements to their CRM system while also enabling it to run on the cloud, so in future reports we might see them ranked higher.

  • Revelant bascially larger corporations. Devise there own specialized database. Still prominent cartels of CRM. Hold back upon allow clients. Independence of
    systems reason they. Have profits since Cloud base. CRM is in question Larry going. Allow existence of CRM only. Business upon EU and UK clients. Endorse
    Open source which has extensive. Capabilities which limited consultancy former. CRM Oracle attempted dominate. Nordic regions lost still fraction. SAP and Bluegoon software. Largest market CRM USA,Canada,Japan and China. Whom seeks independent CRM from international. Cartels time going tell whom survive.

  • Monisha

    SunSmart’s CRM Software is a unique software has maintained its stability with the updated technologies that addresses the needs of sales & marketing, customer service, Business Intelligence, call center, Product Management, Business Process Management and other IT departments.