While CRM leaders like Salesforce command much of the market share, smaller vendors provide more specialized options.
Sage plays in Tier 1 and Tier 2 CRM. Sage CRM is designed to help small and medium sized businesses manage sales processes, customer service, targeted marketing campaigns and workflow automation. It is said to be easy to deploy, install, manage, learn and maintain. The on-premise version can integrate with Sage business management solutions such as Sage 100 and Sage 300. This adds end-to-end visibility and a single view of the customer. There is also a cloud version which stresses the simplicity aspect even more.
"For those seeking a powerful yet affordable CRM solution without ERP integration, Sage CRM Cloud edition enables you to get up and running quickly and simply minimize your need for IT support," said Diane Haines, VP of Product Marketing, Sage. "Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices allow your remote sales people access to the same customer view and invoice information as your staff in the office."
Infor is one of those companies like Sage that straddles both Tier 1 and 2 in CRM. The Infor Marketing and CRM suite is comprised of numerous applications including Infor Marketing Resource Management (MRM) and Infor CRM (formerly Saleslogix). Infor CRM tends to include deep industry-specific capabilities and customizations for industries such as aerospace, defense, fashion and hospitality. Infor also stresses an omni-channel approach so you can be where the customer is.
"Having an omni-channel strategy helps marketers reach all potential customer touch points in a targeted way," said Larry Korak, Industrial Manufacturing Industry Strategy Director at Infor. "Whether this means boosting your brand’s social media presence or email marketing efforts, producing high quality content will only yield results when it is seen by your customers."
NetSuite CRM+ is the company’s CRM product. As would be expected, it tightly integrates with the NetSuite ERP suite. Gartner analyst Robert Desisto said it is best in opportunity management, billing, order management and incentive compensation. For those seeking to use multiple products within the NetSuite portfolio, the adoption of this CRM platform will minimize integration complexity. The one possible drawback, said Desisto, was limited CRM or drill-down niche sales applications.
SugarCRM is another vendor on the rise that is graded well by Gartner. It delivers CRM as SaaS, on-premises or hosted, uses open-source technology and has a revamped user interface as part of the recent Sugar 7 release. It lacks significant uptake in large organizations, however, so it is probably a better candidate for small and mid-sized organizations. That said, Gartner indicated that it is making the short lists of large enterprises in the selection process, but is too often the bridesmaid and not the bride in these deals.
Zoho scored well in Software Advice surveys and is a SaaS-only SFA offering, appropriate for SMBs with eight to 20 salespeople and companies with limited budgets. Zoho provides core opportunity and pipeline management, and baseline functionality for price books, quotes, vendor management, sales orders, purchase orders and invoices. Gartner drew attention to Zoho's "freemium" low-cost pricing model.
Some newer vendors are doing well playing off the success of Salesforce.com. ToutApp is one example, attacking the tedium of constantly having to update Salesforce, as well as labeling that tool as mainly for managers, not closers.
Venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz just pumped $15 million of Series B money into ToutApp. Its templates are accessible within Gmail or Outlook and analyze which communications perform the best. It integrates into whichever CRM is being used, focusing on how a salesperson emails, calls and manages day-to-day selling workflow. Through templates, tracking, analytics and collaboration, it helps to get more deals done.
Aptean acquired Pivotal CRM from CDC Software. It released the Pivotal CRM mobile app as part of version 6.5 earlier this year. This also features cloud delivery via Amazon Web Services. It is built on Microsoft .NET and is aimed squarely at Microsoft-centric businesses, offering tight integration with SharePoint, Outlook and Office.
Based in India, CRMnext is far stronger in the Asia/Pacific and Middle East, but look for it to gain ground in the Western Hemisphere. It includes core sales functionality, opportunity management, pipeline management and analytics. Overall, it tends to play best with financial services companies.
But regardless of which product a company ultimately selects, the advice from Capterra is to choose slowly. Its surveys indicate that a quarter of buyers go with the first CRM they look at, while another 43 percent only consider two options. That’s a mistake, said Katie Hollar Capterra’s director of Marketing.
"Don't go with the first CRM you look at; demo at least three or four others," she said.