Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation
IT leaders supporting sales will find expanded options in the sales force automation market with new vendor entrants and one less option with the removal of former industry leader Oracle Siebel CRM.
This document was revised on 21 October 2015. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections page on gartner.com.
Sales force automation (SFA) applications support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for B2B organizations' sales professionals. Core functionalities include account, contact and opportunity management. Additional add-on capabilities focus on improving the sales effectiveness of salespeople. Among those capabilities are sales configuration, guided selling, proposal generation and content management, and sales performance management support, including incentive compensation, quota, sales coaching and territory management.
Source: Gartner (July 2015)
Aptean's Pivotal CRM has stabilized since Aptean bought it from CDC Software. Aptean is again a Niche Player in the Magic Quadrant and has stabilized since being bought from CDC Software. Aptean's financial resources have helped improve the Pivotal CRM mobile app for the 6.5 release in April 2015. Pivotal 6.5 also features a cloud delivery option through Amazon Web Services. Companies leveraging Aptean's ERP portfolio should consider Pivotal CRM for potential integration opportunities. Throughout the years, Pivotal has gained intellectual property in key industry verticals, such as financial services, insurance, healthcare, manufacturing and hospitality. ERP products (Ross ERP, Made2Manage ERP and Axis ERP) could benefit from prebuilt integrations among those solutions.
- Configuration and extensibility: The Pivotal application development platform is based on Microsoft technology and leverages C#. Customer references for this Magic Quadrant gave Pivotal above-average ratings in this area.
- Customer loyalty: Many customers have been using Pivotal products for more than 15 years, well beyond the normal replenishment cycle of most software applications. The average time that customers of Pivotal have been using its product was in the upper range compared with other vendors evaluated in this Magic Quadrant.
- Microsoft centricity: Customers that are more Microsoft-centric will find Pivotal CRM's use of the Microsoft technical stack, and the integration with other Microsoft-related applications (such as SharePoint and Outlook), attractive.
- Cloud validation: In a market in which SaaS dominates most new business opportunities, Aptean needs to accelerate its cloud business. Gartner has not spoken to a Pivotal CRM customer using the new cloud delivery approach.
- New business: Aptean's Pivotal needs to be part of more discussions for shortlists. This will improve once the cloud delivery option becomes more generally accepted and used by customers.
- Reinventing brand: With Pivotal CRM, Aptean has as much breadth as most CRM vendors today. The problem is its brand does not put it "top of mind" of customers considering CRM applications. Pivotal is considered an on-premises application from the early crop of vendors in the CRM market, and Aptean's challenge is to reinvent the brand so as to be seen as more of a mobile/cloud vendor and current-generation player. Some vendors from this era have achieved this, while others have not.
Base is a new entrant to the Magic Quadrant this year, entering on the strength of its production vision and mobile capabilities. Founded in 2009, Base is backed by $23 million in venture capital and has acquired more than 6,000 customers to date. Base provides a SaaS-only SFA offering appropriate for small or midsize businesses (SMBs), particularly those with fewer than 300 sales users. Base bundles a full range of SFA capabilities, including account, lead, opportunity and forecasting management into its basic product. Base offers two additional product variations: The top-end enterprise edition adds a document repository, advanced reporting and additional permissions above the basic offering; and with the opportunity scoring functions, Base is one of the only SFA vendors to put native predictive analytics in its solution.
- Vision: Base has an innovative take on SFA functions. Rather than organizing users' work around objects, Base users can work from a notification feed, allowing them to easily execute sales functions from the feed with precompleted activities and templates.
- Mobile: Base has strong mobile capabilities, due to the advantage of being an early
mover in creating a mobile-first SFA solution.
- Sales execution: References rate Base higher than similar SFA vendors for being easy-to-do business with. In the preceding year, Base acquired approximately 1,000 new customers and grew its revenue by 177%.
- Implementation maturity: Gartner's survey of references indicates that the average Base implementation is only 70 users, which is the second-lowest average of all vendors evaluated. The average implementation has been live for a comparatively low 1.75 years. This means that Base may be hard-pressed to demonstrate that its solution meets the needs of midsize and large organizations, particularly those with complex processes.
- Implementation delivery and support: Be prepared to self-implement the system. Base touts a four-week average implementation time, but Gartner notes that this is only relevant to companies with well-rationalized processes, clean data and no integration requirements. Base has a very small professional services organization and has not secured any significant integration partners to its network.
- Functional capabilities: Some references note some gaps that will matter to companies with complex processes. Base's functions for account/contact duplicate management and for integration with commercial data services ranks much lower than those of similar companies. Some references give it comparatively low scores for forecasting capabilities. Base has a document repository, but it does not offer contextual document recommendations.
Bullhorn makes its first appearance in the Magic Quadrant this year, based on the quality of its API-driven application architecture, its applicability for relationship selling and its customer analytics. Bullhorn provides a mobile-first, SaaS-only solution built on open APIs, which means clients can customize the solution and integrate it with other SaaS systems. Bullhorn provides almost all of the important SFA functions, but it also has relationship management functions, such as engagement analysis and surveys, which are not common to other SFA systems. Bullhorn is a Niche Player because 75% of its revenue comes from the staffing industry; however, Gartner notes that Bullhorn's product also applies to other verticals — particularly SMBs that are driven by relationship-selling, such as financial services.
- Usability and functionality: Respondents in the Magic Quadrant survey give Bullhorn high marks for usability. Gartner notes that the mobile application is built around user actions, not objects, which means that users have less searching and manual data entry to perform. The system also features strong email integration.
- Platform: Bullhorn is one of the few SaaS SFA companies to have built an API-centric user interface. This means that clients can customize the application by drawing from a library of prebuilt actions, saving time that would otherwise be spent in coding business-logic functionality. To date, clients and partners have built more than 1,500 applications on the Bullhorn platform, including 63 solutions built specifically by Bullhorn's partners.
- Sales process analytics: The Bullhorn system offers unique customer intelligence functions, such as sentiment analysis and engagement index scores. Sales performance analytics are embedded into every UI page, which makes it easier for managers to monitor team performance and for representatives to view real-time analytics.
- Implementation scope and complexity: Bullhorn implementations average only 11 users per customer, with its largest customer holding 2,000 seats. Bullhorn has not yet built a large presence outside of the staffing industry.
- Functionality: Bullhorn's forecasting and territory management capabilities lack the functional depth common to its competitors in the SMB market.
- Partner network: Bullhorn does not have a network of system integrators (SIs) or value-added resellers (VARs), which means that prospects must hire Bullhorn Professional Services for complex implementations.
Although CRMnext remains a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant, it has improved its positioning due to improved client satisfaction scores. CRMnext has core sales functionality — such as opportunity management, pipeline management and analytics — that applies to multiple industries; however, CRMnext's main focus is on the financial services industries — such as banking, securities, insurance and asset management. Based in India, CRMnext has a presence in the Asia/Pacific region and in the Middle East. CRMnext continues to win large customers, of more than 5,000 users, primarily in the Indian market. CRMnext supports SaaS and on-premises with the same product, and both versions are priced in the lower range for SFA solutions. CRMnext has direct sales channels in India, Southeast Asia and the Middle East, but it relies on partners outside of those regions.
- Southeast Asian and Indian presence: CRMnext is very strong in the Indian and Southeast Asian markets, having secured some very large customers in the regions.
- Proven scale: CRMnext has several large customers that support an average of more than 2,500 active users on its implementations, and its application can be implemented on-premises or hosted.
- Attractive price point: CRMnext is relatively competitive on its price point compared with most of the alternative vendors in the SFA marketplace.
- Ability to deliver on 2015 roadmap for sales capabilities: CRMnext has a notably aggressive roadmap planned in 2015, spanning both sales and nonsales capabilities. The plans include capabilities that will be important to IT leaders supporting sales, including an improved mobile app, better UI experience, expanded analytics and gamification. Given the scope of these plans, which exceed the scope of similar-sized SFA vendors, Gartner cautions prospects and current customers to monitor the vendor's ability to deliver SFA capabilities this year.
- Limited geographical reach: CRMnext has very limited sales or support coverage in North America or Western Europe. Its presence is limited to core markets in India, Southeast Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
- Lack of robust independent software vendor (ISV) ecosystem: CRMnext does not have an extensive ecosystem of third-party software providers to fill functionality "white space" within its product offering.
Following its acquisition by Infor, Saleslogix is again in the Niche Players category of the Magic Quadrant; however, it did not maintain the same position that it achieved last year. Infor acquired Saleslogix from Swiftpage during September 2014, making this the second time that Saleslogix has been acquired in less than three years. The acquisition gives Infor an established "CRM for sales" product for its roster of enterprise software. Since the acquisition, Infor has taken preliminary steps to revitalize Saleslogix: It has doubled the Saleslogix R&D staff and spending and updated the user interface, aligning the sales application with other Infor offerings. Consistent with its focus on building enterprise software for specific verticals, Infor will aim its CRM solution at industries (particularly manufacturing and healthcare) that align well with the needs of its existing Infor customer base. These efforts are notable, but they were not enough to keep Saleslogix in the same position it earned in last year's Magic Quadrant.
- Platform roadmap: Infor has committed to moving Saleslogix onto its ION messaging bus this year, which will benefit Infor ERP customers and be attractive to prospects looking for a comprehensive opportunity-to-cash solution.
- User experience: Infor has a better focus on application ease of use than its larger competitors. The Web browser version of the system contains several design best practices. Infor can be embedded in Microsoft Outlook using the Microsoft Outlook Xbar. Infor has also inherited a compelling vision for mobile capabilities from Swiftpage.
- Global scope and sales execution: Infor employs resources in 40 countries, and Infor CRM is sold by 130 global partners. Gartner notes that, with the acquisition, Infor added a direct sales team that will improve its sales execution in the long term.
- New business and sales execution: Infor claims that it did not lose sales momentum during the acquisition; to date, however, it is not appearing on many buyer shortlists evaluated by Gartner.
- Cloud platform: In a market in which SaaS dominates most new business opportunities, 90% of Saleslogix's customers use the on-premises product, and most of the remaining customers use single-tenant SaaS. Infor plans to build a multitenant SaaS solution, but the status quo remains until that solution is completed.
- CRM functionality: Some references give Infor comparatively low scores for core SFA capabilities that will be important to B2B companies, including account, opportunity, lead, collaboration and content management functions.
Microsoft (Dynamics CRM)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the on-premises companion to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, returns in the Leaders quadrant. Microsoft Dynamics on-premises offers a full set of SFA capabilities for B2B and business-to-consumer (B2C) processes. Organizations consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises primarily to capitalize on existing investments in the on-premises Microsoft technology stack, such as SharePoint and SQL Server, and to maintain control over data security considerations. Microsoft keeps the capabilities of Dynamics CRM on-premises on a par with Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online. However, the online version moved ahead of the on-premises version on this year's Magic Quadrant, because it garnered much stronger results in the Magic Quadrant survey than did the on-premises version.
- Partner networks: Microsoft continues to maintain a large community of VARs and ISVs for selling, implementing and maintaining on-premises SFA implementations.
- Microsoft platform: Dynamics CRM continues to be selected because of its interoperability with Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, SharePoint and Lync. Business analysts can configure and IT departments can customize the system using the xRM platform, which leverages Microsoft Visual Studio and SQL Server.
- Functionality: Microsoft added new capabilities during the past year, including guided selling, mobile dashboards, product families, sales hierarchies and social listening.
- User satisfaction compared with online version: Users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises express lower satisfaction with the system's account, opportunity, lead, quotes, forecasting and content management capabilities than did users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.
- Release timing and customer satisfaction with upgrades: Microsoft will only do annual releases for the on-premises version, which amplifies the fact that the release date of on-premises functionality has commonly lagged behind the online release dates. Some references report low levels of satisfaction with the release upgrade process compared with Dynamics CRM Online.
- Upgrades from early releases: Customers that are on Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 or earlier have some upgrade challenges in the areas of custom workflows, reports and dashboards.
Microsoft (Dynamics CRM Online)
Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online remains a Leader in this year's Magic Quadrant, on strength of product capabilities, interoperability with Microsoft Office 365 and end-user satisfaction. Microsoft appears on many buyers' shortlists because it aggressively markets the product to IT organizations. Dynamics CRM Online has a wide scope of capabilities that are relevant to all sales organizations. Microsoft released its first iOS-supported product during 2014 and its first Android mobile application during 2015. As is the case with the Dynamics on-premises product, Microsoft relies on its partner network to sell, implement and customize the SaaS product.
- Functionality: Microsoft offers predictive analytics for sales behavior analytics and trend analysis. Surveyed users indicate improved satisfaction with ability to build custom reports and dashboards, which addresses a gap that Gartner noted in last year's Magic Quadrant.
- Pricing: At a list price of $65 per user per month, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online continues to be priced very aggressively relative to the other leading SFA solutions.
- Platform extensibility: References give Microsoft good marks for its ability to customize or configure the SFA system to meet business process needs.
- Platform rationalization: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online integrates with various Microsoft Azure services, but the product itself is built on a different platform, called xRM. This is because Microsoft Dynamics Online was launched in 2010, before Microsoft Azure was introduced. Third-party ISVs or internal developers in an information technology department who want to build SaaS applications based on leveraging Microsoft cloud technology will build their applications on Azure, not xRM. Azure-built applications can integrate through a services layer with Microsoft Dynamics CRM online. Microsoft has not publicly announced specific plans with dates to rationalize the overlapping platforms; specifically, moving Dynamics CRM Online from xRM onto the Azure platform.
- Integration with non-Microsoft systems: Users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online express lower levels of satisfaction (compared with the survey results of other SFA vendors) in terms of the ability to integrate the system to their back-end systems, including incentive compensation, email marketing, and configure, price and quote (CPQ) systems.
- Mobile capabilities: Surveyed users reported the lowest level of satisfaction with mobile capabilities on smartphones, and a midtier level of satisfaction with the mobile experience on tablets, when compared with the survey results of other SFA vendors.
NetSuite remains a Challenger in this year's Magic Quadrant. NetSuite continued to show strong business growth during 2014, with a revenue increase from $415.5 million in fiscal 2014 to $556.2 million in fiscal 2015. NetSuite's primary business is financial accounting and ERP functionality. NetSuite's "sweet spot" for SFA continues to be for companies that want core SFA functionality, such as opportunity management and capabilities for billing, order management and incentive compensation. This is an attractive option for SMBs or divisions of larger companies that want to minimize integration complexity caused by using multiple application offerings from different vendors. However, Gartner has still not seen NetSuite win significant business in which an IT leader supporting sales is looking for SFA only.
- Lead-to-order process: NetSuite has the functional coverage to support the lead-to-order process if an organization chooses to adopt NetSuite as a complete business application suite.
- Vendor viability: Overall, strong business performance and growth continue to improve NetSuite's long-term business viability.
- Customer data visibility: Companies implementing NetSuite's entire suite provide good visibility into a customer's transactional history, such as e-commerce transactions, orders and accounts receivable. This will enable customers to use NetSuite's reporting capability, equipping sales representatives with knowledge to enhance sales engagements with the customer.
- Sales-only implementations: NetSuite has many of the pieces for an SFA system, and its solution could certainly be implemented without having to implement its ERP offerings. However, NetSuite has not made the IT leader supporting sales its primary focus compared with other SFA vendors.
- Large-scale sales deployments: Although NetSuite has a few customers that would be considered large from a business perspective (at least 1,000 salespeople), it has not shown the ability to consistently implement large-scale global deployments for SFA. The vendor's use for SFA in large companies tends to be focused on a division or geography.
- CRM ISV ecosystem: Having a suite approach has its advantages, especially when considering integration and working with a single provider. On the other hand, it has the effect of not attracting best-of-breed sales application providers as partners. NetSuite does have a partner application marketplace, but it has limited CRM or drill-down niche sales applications.
Oracle Sales Cloud gains Oracle Visionaries status again in this year's Magic Quadrant. Oracle will no longer sell Siebel Sales to new customers. This move has caused Oracle Siebel CRM to drop from the SFA Magic Quadrant and is a net positive for Oracle Sales Cloud. Gartner has also reviewed proposals in which Oracle Marketing Cloud, Oracle Sales Cloud and Oracle Service Cloud are combined into a single proposal. This is a notable step because it enables Oracle Sales Cloud to complete in more global CRM deals, despite that the products are still on separate architectures. The Oracle Sales Cloud provides basic configuration with the Fusion platform and the Groovy scripting language, and complex design with direct access to the Oracle Cloud Platform as a Service (PaaS). In Release 10, Oracle has added predictive analytics and a mobile app designer, and it has augmented its industry-specific solutions in financial services, telecommunications, high technology, industrial manufacturing and consumer goods.
- Analytics and business intelligence (BI): Oracle Sales Cloud leverages Oracle Business Intelligence Enterprise Edition (OBIEE) as its analytics engine, with no incremental charge to the customer. This enables Oracle to produce dashboard reports from the current state of data, as well as conduct historical trend analyses beyond CRM data. Release 10 also added predictive analytics capabilities.
- Price value: Oracle is aggressively priced, with most clients being able to get attractive discounts and leverage promotional programs. Oracle is proactive in moving Siebel Sales customers to Oracle Sales Cloud, often offering low-cost or free migration programs to entice customers to move to Oracle Sales Cloud rather than a competitor.
- Integration with Oracle Marketing Cloud: In the reference survey, Oracle customers expressed high satisfaction with the integration of Oracle Sales Cloud with email marketing solutions from Oracle Marketing Cloud.
- Sales execution needs to improve: Oracle is clearly more competitive now (appearing on more shortlists) and has won more deals that were at least 1,000 users in 2014 than in 2013. However, based on the size of Oracle's sales force, it needs to accelerate new business. Furthermore, these new deals still have to become referenceable customers for Oracle to prove that it has gained mind share with IT leadership and that it is able to encourage global Siebel Sales customers to move to Oracle Sales Cloud.
- Ecosystem made progress but still needs improvement: Oracle has made progress in expanding its ecosystem for implementation partners and ISVs (Oracle Cloud Marketplace). Oracle needs to improve mind share for both high-end external service providers (ESPs) and niche third-party ISVs. Gartner validates mind share by asking ESPs and ISVs to name their top priorities for partnerships.
- Integration across multiple CRM cloud platforms: Oracle continues to improve direct integration across its acquired CRM products in its CX Cloud suite, but Oracle's strategy is to not replatform the cloud applications it acquires onto the Oracle Public Cloud. This means currently that acquired products are on different platforms, with different environments to configure or customize versus the Oracle Sales Cloud. Oracle states it is moving toward a single administration and configuration tool to simplify administration and a unified user experience for all of its CX Cloud products.
Sage is a Niche Player again in this year's Magic Quadrant, due to the company's limited market visibility and sales execution. However, Sage CRM has strong SFA functionality for SMBs, an intuitive user interface and affordable pricing. Sage CRM's use of Visual Studio and C# enables customers to tap into a wide pool of Microsoft developers worldwide. In May 2015, Sage revealed a new "strategic partnership" with Salesforce and a new mobile product, Sage Life. The product puts Sage's ERP processes onto the Salesforce1 Platform and is designed to improve interactions across colleagues, customers, partners and suppliers in digital channels.
- Global presence: Sage is a large organization with offices in 23 countries and has a worldwide roster of 17,000 companies.
- ERP integration: Sage's strongest value proposition is the prebuilt integrations between Sage CRM and the vendor's ERP products.
- Economical solution: Due to its lower price point, Sage's offering is a good economical solution for SMBs seeking an alternative to better-known SFA vendors.
- Sales execution: Sage needs to improve its sales execution for new business. This analysis is based on published 2014 Gartner CRM market share, as well as Gartner continuing to receive few inquiries that include Sage CRM on shortlists.
- Salesforce partnership: Sage Life, which is a new Sage accounting product aimed primarily at new customers, will be built native on Salesforce's Force.com and sold by Sage to new customers. Gartner believes the partnership will benefit both Salesforce and Sage from a corporate perspective, but it will have an adverse impact on Sage CRM sales opportunities for customers that purchase Sage Life. Sage will still lead with Sage CRM for its more than a dozen current Sage accounting and ERP solutions.
- Functionality: Some references report comparatively low satisfaction with Sage's mobile and content management capabilities. Social collaboration is available only via integration with Yammer. In Sage CRM 7.3, released in January 2015, Sage included additional mobile features (such as an improved UI for our connected mobile solutions), additional features to the Sage CRM in-market iPhone app (including customization capabilities), and a new Android app.
Salesforce's Sales Cloud makes it a Leader again in this year's Magic Quadrant. During the past year, Salesforce has released Salesforce Wave — a SaaS-only BI visualization tool for analyzing unstructured and semistructured data that resides both inside and outside of Salesforce. Salesforce has also improved the Sales Cloud for mobile, introducing new sales-specific mobile applications. Salesforce has improved system reliability, notably by reducing the number and severity of brownouts and outages that occurred in previous years. Competitors have continued to close the gap on Salesforce's leadership in Sales Cloud functionality. For example, Salesforce has not yet released a native predictive analytics solution for lead or opportunity scoring.
- Salesforce1 Platform and Salesforce1 Mobile App: Salesforce has improved the Salesforce1 Platform, adding an application designing capability (named "Lightning") that is useful for building HTML5 apps that will run on any mobile device. Salesforce improved the native mobile capabilities, adding apps that make it easier for users to interact with their sales data. For example, the Today app makes it easier for users to look up records, and monitor and update sales activities.
- Vision for Sales Cloud: In response to acknowledged gaps in relevance to sales users' needs, Salesforce's recent and planned releases (Wave, Salesforce1 Mobile and Work.com) focus on sales effectiveness and data-driven insights.
- Sales process functionality and usability: References express strong satisfaction with account, lead, opportunity, product, collaboration and pipeline management capabilities.
- User interface: Despite improvements to the mobile experience via Salesforce1, the Salesforce browser-based Aloha interface is more than seven years old and still follows the tab/object/record design paradigm that has existed since the first version. Salesforce plans to release a new UI in late 2015. This means that clients that heavily customized the UI to match the process-oriented way that sales users work, must evaluate how the new UI changes their processes.
- Outlook integration: Salesforce has been investing heavily in Outlook and Office integration. Salesforce released a beta version of Salesforce App for Outlook, designed for customers of Microsoft Outlook 2013 and Office 365. Salesforce for Outlook, the company's Outlook integration application for previous versions of Outlook and Office, will continue to be supported. References cite some levels of dissatisfaction with email and calendar integration with older Outlook version 1 plug-ins.
- Premium price: Salesforce's Sales Cloud is the highest-priced cloud SFA service. With list prices of $300 per user per month for Performance Edition (which provides more than SFA), $250 per user per month for Unlimited Edition and $125 for Enterprise Edition, these are considered the highest-priced services in the market. Customers find value in these editions, but significant discounts are granted in highly competitive situations and volume deals.
SAP (Cloud for Sales)
SAP Cloud for Sales not only retains its place in the Visionaries quadrant in 2015, but also improves on its position due to improvements in SAP's mobile applications and sales execution. SAP has continued to gain validation of its Cloud for Sales SaaS offering in the market through an increase in new customers during the past 12 months. SAP now has many customers with more than 1,000 users, and Gartner estimates that approximately 200,000 users are under contract. SAP's salespeople are leading with the SAP Cloud for Sales SaaS offering for new business and are going back to their installed on-premises customers to move to the SaaS offering. SAP Cloud for Sales mobile now supports offline functionality and also integrates with SAP Hana PaaS customizations. As part of its core strategy, SAP continues to invest in cloud industry verticals and supports specialized capabilities across 16 industries, including consumer products, retail, high tech, insurance, utilities, professional services and automotive.
- Integration with other SAP applications: SAP Cloud for Sales integrates with SAP products, including SAP ERP Central Component (ECC), SAP Business Warehouse (BW), SAP BusinessObjects and SAP CRM on-premises offering, as well as third-party solutions through Hana Cloud Integration (HCI) services, an integration PaaS (iPaaS) offering.
- Usability and offline mobility: SAP has improved its user interface by leveraging Fiori responsive design principles for salespeople and sales managers for Web browsers and multiple mobile devices. It is also one of the few vendors that supports offline mobile data.
- Leverage of Hana Cloud Platform (HCP): SAP's porting of the SAP Cloud for Sales onto the HCP now provides customers with multilevel data security, as well as services that can be used to configure, extend and integrate the SAP Cloud for Customer in global deployments.
- User experience customizations beyond configurability require IT resources: Complex customizations beyond configuration need software development kit (SDK) skills: SAP Cloud for Sales has improved its configuration capabilities, enabling administrators to configure UI screens and business workflow rules compared with its SAP CRM on-premises offering. Configuration changes are automatically applied to mobile apps across all devices. However, customizations, such as coding custom business logic, requires IT resources with SDK skills.
- Limited ISV ecosystem: SAP has yet to establish an extensive ISV ecosystem of niche sales providers to fill in potential white spaces in its portfolio. This means that, when compared with other SFA vendors, clients of SAP do not have the same ability to rapidly deploy new SaaS applications into Cloud for Sales.
- Large customer live implementations: SAP has sold to multiple large customers (more than 2,000 users). Most of them are in the initial stages of implementation. Large customers considering SAP Cloud for Sales should therefore seek references that match their scale and scope.
SAP CRM is again in the Challengers quadrant, on the strength of its sales execution within the SAP installed base. SAP CRM is not rated as highly on the Completeness of Vision axis as SAP Cloud for Sales, because SAP is increasingly focusing its go-to-market efforts on SAP Cloud for Sales. Although SAP Cloud for Sales integrates with SAP ERP, the on-premises product will continue to be the choice of many customers requiring real-time integration — to avoid potential latency issues that are sometimes associated with any cloud-based service. Gartner does not expect SAP to abandon the SAP CRM on-premises offering anytime soon, especially because there is a significant installed base for the product. It is also important to emphasize that the SAP CRM on-premises solution is a different product from SAP Cloud for Sales.
- Broad footprint: The SFA footprint of SAP CRM offers a wide range of CRM functionality, including sales opportunity management; order management; configure, price and quote; and sales performance management.
- Integration with SAP applications: SAP CRM integrates with SAP ECC, SAP BW, SAP BusinessObjects and other SAP CRM functionality, such as marketing and customer service.
- SAP implementation leverage: Customers that have dedicated SAP project teams can leverage these resources for SAP CRM Sales, assuming they are not fully loaded with other SAP projects.
- Future focus will be SAP Cloud for Sales: SAP Cloud for Sales is clearly more of a strategic focus for SAP going forward. The vendor needs to ensure that SAP Cloud for Customer is a success to reinforce its long-term viability in the CRM market. This means that SAP will prioritize development and go-to-market efforts toward SAP Cloud for Sales. SAP will continue to invest in SAP CRM in the near term, adding Fiori and Hana advanced predictive analytics.
- Enterprise application complexity: Managing the cost and complexity of enterprise applications and the dependencies of other SAP middleware is a challenge. SAP offers rapid deployment solutions (RDS) to reduce implementation time.
- Ceasing support for legacy SAP Mobile Sales Manager (formerly a Sybase product): Gartner has learned through client inquiries that SAP will not support its legacy SAP CRM Mobile product. This means customers will have to either build their own mobile application or buy the new mobile sales product that is only available through adding subscriptions for SAP Cloud for Sales.
SugarCRM remains a Visionary in the SFA Magic Quadrant, on the strength of its product usability, strategic vision and platform flexibility. The company has continued to demonstrate it is a viable alternative in highly competitive shortlists against larger vendor alternatives. SugarCRM has enhanced its ecosystem marketplace by adding ISV partners and enabling better ways for customers to navigate potential solutions. SugarCRM still offers multiple delivery models (SaaS, on-premises and hosted), and its solution is based on an open-source technology stack.
- User interface: SugarCRM revamped its user experience as part of its Sugar 7 release, and customers have responded favorably. Even those customers that did not select SugarCRM still felt the user interface was compelling.
- Price value: SugarCRM is competitively priced in customer deal situations, often coming in lower than most leading competitors. The vendor offers competitive functionality with a good back-end environment for configuring and extending the core SFA application.
- Customer responsiveness/professional services: This vendor's customers often use the primary reseller as their first-line support; however, the conclusion of most customers is that SugarCRM is responsive to resolving issues in a reasonable time frame. During the reference checks, SugarCRM also gained high scores for its professional services organization.
- Lack of large enterprise wins: SugarCRM continues to make more shortlists for large enterprises, but it needs to win more to demonstrate its viability for large-enterprise business. Most of SugarCRM's growth has come from initial customer wins in the range of 500 to 1,000 users, or fewer. SugarCRM does have at least two active implementations of more than 15,000 users.
- Proof points from global ESP partnerships: SugarCRM has a strong implementation network, with boutique or geographically based ESPs. SugarCRM has a good relationship with IBM Global Business Services, and it has added T-Systems, Infosys and Wipro (during 2014) to support global implementations. More proof points are needed by these partners implementing customers of SugarCRM to demonstrate large global rollouts.
- Reference ratings related to upgrades: Compared with other vendors in the reference survey, SugarCRM scored lower for satisfaction with the version upgrade process. Gartner notes that SugarCRM did provide a mix of on-premises, mixed and SaaS references. In many cases, on-premises customers that have chosen to skip releases could have contributed to this lower rating.
Tour de Force
Tour de Force remains in the Niche Players quadrant again this year. It is a 14-year-old company that targets manufacturing-distribution-based companies and has good knowledge of the business needs of companies in this space. Tour de Force focuses on wholesale distributors, as well as small to midsize manufacturing companies that distribute products through wholesale distributors. Tour de Force provides an on-premises software product, and it does not yet offer a dedicated mobile application for SFA functions.
- SFA capabilities: Respondents in the Magic Quadrant survey noted comparatively high levels of satisfaction with Tour de Force's opportunity management, account management and collaboration capabilities. References also give Tour de Force high marks for ease of integration with external systems.
- ERP integration: Tour de Force has built a CRM framework for integrating with ERP systems, including midmarket ERP systems not typically targeted by the larger CRM sales vendors. Due to its manufacturing distribution focus, Tour de Force integrates ERP data beyond customer master data in areas such as pricing, order transactions and accounting.
- Delivery and support: Although a small company, Tour de Force has a very dedicated installed base, with some customers of more than 14 years' standing.
- Revenue growth: Gartner estimates Tour de Force's CRM solution produces less than $10 million in revenue. A vendor that has been in business for 14 years should have reached a higher growth rate than Tour de Force currently exhibits. It needs to scale its selling and delivery channels to move to the next level. To this end, Tour de Force had no equity funding until May 2014; since that time, Tour de Force claims it has begun to see its growth rates increase due to investment in its selling organization.
- Limited partner ecosystem: Implementations are delivered by Tour de Force, rather than by ESPs. While these internal resources are likely to understand manufacturing distribution requirements, if the vendor hits a growth spurt, the availability of resources could become an issue. Tour de Force started an implementation partner program in February 2015.
- Mobility and SaaS: Tour de Force is in the process of providing an application-responsive user interface through HTML5, and it states it will have a SaaS offering during the next two years. Non-HTML5 browser-only approaches do not optimize the native experience for a mobile device, and nonsupport for SaaS will hinder Tour de Force in some customer situations.
Zoho is once more a Niche Player in the SFA Magic Quadrant, improving its position from last year due to the strength of its customer satisfaction results. Zoho is a SaaS-only SFA offering, appropriate for SMBs with eight to 20 sales users and companies with limited budgets. Gartner estimates that Zoho grew to about $63 million in revenue in 2014, with about $39.7 million of that in CRM revenue. Zoho provides core opportunity and pipeline management, and baseline functionality for price books, quotes, vendor management, sales orders, purchase orders and invoices. Respondents in the Magic Quadrant survey registered comparatively high levels of satisfaction with Zoho's quote and order processes, as well as its lead and account management.
- Low subscription costs: Zoho's "freemium" low-cost paid pricing model is attractive for companies with limited budgets and provides a cost-competitive alternative for CRM sales.
- Functionality: References rate Zoho well for core account, opportunity and reporting functionality, particularly for forecasting by territories.
- Global installed base: Zoho has a relatively large installed base of more than 300,000 end users (inclusive of free and paid users) and supports 15 languages. Zoho has implementation relationships with global SIs, including Fuji Xerox in China and Tata Communications in India.
- Business model: While Zoho's freemium pricing model is attractive for small companies, it also limits the vendor's ability to actively sell its product or develop its partner channels to large enterprises. Zoho relies mostly on inbound selling, and its small sales and channel teams limit its ability to expand in the market. The largest Zoho implementation is about 500 users.
- Implementation delivery and support: Zoho has limited service and support capabilities compared with other SFA vendors. Zoho does not offer professional services for implementation. Zoho offers no-cost support, including email-based technical support, during the initial implementation period for freemium users. All paid customers get 24/5 telephone support. Zoho states it has 1,000 channels partners that do implementation, local support and services.
- Limited sales process complexity: Most references in the Magic Quadrant noted that they use Zoho solely for account, contact, opportunity and sales activity management. Zoho is not rated highly for its ability to meet complex sales process requirements.
We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants and MarketScopes as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant or MarketScope may change over time. A vendor's appearance in a Magic Quadrant or MarketScope one year and not the next does not necessarily indicate that we have changed our opinion of that vendor. It may be a reflection of a change in the market and, therefore, changed evaluation criteria, or of a change of focus by that vendor.
Oracle Siebel CRM has been dropped from the 2015 SFA Magic Quadrant because Oracle is not selling it to new "greenfield" customers. Oracle will continue to sell more Siebel Sales seats to customers that have already deployed Siebel Sales.
To be included in this Magic Quadrant, a vendor must demonstrate that it has:
- Shown proven ability to deliver account, contact, opportunity and activity management, as well as pipeline reporting and forecasting in three industries.
- Made multiple releases with significant functional improvements during the past 18 months; a new or acquired offering from an established vendor in this market will also be considered if it can be validated with customers.
- At least five new, named customers that have actively deployed SFA functionality during the past 12 months.
- Demonstrated corporate business viability through business performance, new customer adoption and strategic partnerships over multiple years.
SFA applications include capabilities for opportunity management, including contact management, account management, and sales pipeline and forecasting; sales-effectiveness applications, including guided selling, sales configuration, quotation management and content management; and territory management. SFA applications increasingly include native social collaboration capabilities or integrate with commercial social collaboration systems.
Different sales organizations require different levels of depth and complexity of capabilities. Vendors that support a wide range of complexity have greater market potential and are rated accordingly. This is a cross-industry Magic Quadrant; therefore, the evaluation of a provider's offering is focused on the ability to serve several distinct industry sectors, not to provide industry-specific solutions.
In many cases, an SFA application will combine several functional components, some of which require third-party vendors. A key evaluation criterion is how well the SFA vendor's application integrates with third-party products and customer data sources. This is measured primarily by the number and complexity of data and application integrations, as demonstrated by live customer deployments. Vendors that have fostered an ecosystem of value-added application suppliers and partners will rate well for this subcategory.
Extra weight will also be applied to vendor support for tablets and smartphones. This includes the ability to provide access to relevant SFA functionality leveraging targeted device value-added benefits.
Product or Service: The overall vendor product/service functionality rating is developed by evaluating specific SFA functionality, mobile access and architecture (for example, openness, flexibility, usability and workflow), and sales reporting and analytics.
Opportunity management capabilities are weighted more heavily than other SFA application building blocks. This reflects market demand for SFA functionality by sales organizations. The vendor must have a stable product development team for each product module it sells. Increased emphasis will also be placed on the value that SFA applications provide directly to salespeople.
Overall Viability: Key aspects of this criterion are the vendor's ability to ensure continued vitality of a product, including support of current and future releases, as well as a clear roadmap for the next three years. The vendor must have the cash on hand and consistent revenue growth during four quarters to fund employee burn rates and to generate profits. The vendor is also rated on its commitment and ability to generate revenue and profits specifically in the SFA market.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor must provide global sales and distribution coverage that aligns with its marketing messages. The provider must have specific experience and success selling SFA applications to sales buying centers (i.e., the VP of sales or sales operations).
Market Responsiveness and Track Record: We evaluate the vendor's ability to respond, change direction and be flexible to evolving customer needs and market dynamics. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: This refers to the clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the vendor's message to influence the market, promote its brand and business, increase awareness of its products, and establish a positive identification of the product, brand or vendor with buyers. This mind share can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotions, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Feedback from active customers on generally available releases during the past 12 to 18 months is an important consideration. Sources of feedback include vendor-supplied references, Gartner client inquiries and other customer-facing interactions, such as Gartner conferences. Customers' experiences are evaluated based on the vendor's ability to help customers achieve positive business value, as well as sustained user adoption, quality implementation and ongoing support.
Operations: This criterion evaluates the vendor's ability to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure — skills, experience, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the provider to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis. For SaaS offerings, operations also will include the vendor's ability to manage operational infrastructure requirements to meet client demand.
Source: Gartner (July 2015)
Marketing Understanding: The vendor has shown the ability to understand the business issues facing the vice president of sales, and has shown the ability to demonstrate and explain how SFA applications can be applied to improve the overall sales effectiveness and performance of a prospect's sales organization.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated marketing strategy has a set of messages that appeals to selling organizations and is consistently communicated throughout the organization, and externalized through the website, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling SFA software uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communications affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base. Key elements of the strategy include a sales and distribution plan, internal investment priority and timing, and partner alliances.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor should demonstrate a vision for new application functionality across the breadth and depth of product capabilities; this is critical for meeting the needs of a maturing market. Subcriteria include the vendor's vision for opportunity management; sales effectiveness capabilities, such as guided selling, sales configuration, quote management and content management; territory management; access and architecture (such as openness, flexibility, extensibility and usability); and sales reporting and analytics. The product strategy can be a combination of organic development, acquisitions and/or ecosystems. However, for ecosystems, close attention is paid to the quality and support of third-party partners.
Business Model: Vendors need to have clear business plans for how they will be successful in the SFA market. These business plans should include appropriate levels of investment to achieve profitability and healthy revenue growth during a three- to five-year period. Sales channel and partnership strategies are important components.
Innovation: Vendors must show a marshaling of resources, expertise or capital for competitive advantage or investments in new areas, such as social collaboration, cloud computing and SaaS; or new devices, such as the tablets and smartphones; or new technology directions, such as the Gartner Nexus of Forces.
Geographic Strategy: We examine the vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of regions outside the corporate headquarters' location, directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries, as appropriate for that geography and market.
Source: Gartner (July 2015)
Leaders have the ability to execute against their vision through products, services and demonstrated, solid business results in the form of revenue and earnings. Leaders have significant successful customer deployments in North America, EMEA and the Asia/Pacific region in a wide variety of vertical industries, with multiple proof points above 500 users. Leaders are often the ones against which other providers in the market measure themselves.
The vendors in the Challengers quadrant are often larger than most (but not all) vendors in the Niche Players quadrant, and demonstrate a higher volume of new business for SFA. These vendors have the size to compete worldwide; however, in some cases, they may not be able to execute equally well in all geographies. They understand the evolving needs of a sales organization, yet may not lead customers into new functional areas with their strong functional vision. Challengers tend to have a good technology vision for architecture and other IT organizational considerations, but have not won over the top sales executives.
Visionaries are ahead of most potential competitors in delivering innovative products and/or delivery models. They anticipate emerging/changing sales needs, and move the market ahead into areas where it hasn't yet been. They have a strong potential to influence the direction of the SFA market, but are limited in execution and/or demonstrated track record.
Niche Players offer products for SFA functionality, but may lack some functional components, may not show the ability to consistently handle deployments of more than 500 users across multiple geographies or may lack strong business execution in the SFA market. These vendors may offer complete portfolios for a specific vertical, but face challenges in one or more important areas to support cross-industry requirements, such as complex forecasting or sales effectiveness. They may have an inconsistent implementation track record, or may lack the ability to support large-enterprise requirements. Despite the issues described, in many cases, Niche Players can offer the best solutions to meet the needs of particular sales organizations, considering the price/value ratio for the solution.
All vendors included in the 2015 Magic Quadrant for SFA have customers that are successfully using their products and services; however, this is not an exhaustive list. Some regional and/or vertical industry SFA specialists did not meet our inclusion criteria. This Magic Quadrant encompasses a wide cross section of vendors, including those that offer different delivery models (such as on-premises, hosted and SaaS), and differing levels of functional breadth and sophistication. Regardless of the provider you're considering, ask: "Will this vendor help my sales organization sell more effectively?" In many cases, a sales organization must evaluate not just a vendor's suite of product offerings, but also the ecosystem of providers that can fill in functional white space for capabilities the considered vendor in the Magic Quadrant may not offer.
Use this Magic Quadrant as a reference for evaluations, but explore the market further to qualify the capacity of each vendor to address your unique business problems and technical concerns. Depending on the complexity and scale of your requirements, your shortlist will be unique. The Magic Quadrant for SFA is not designed to be the sole tool for creating a vendor shortlist. Use it as part of your due diligence, and in conjunction with discussions with Gartner analysts.
Magic Quadrants are snapshots in time. To be fair and complete in the analysis, we need to stop data collection efforts at a consistent time. For this research, the cutoff date was June 2015.
This Magic Quadrant applies primarily to B2B sales organizations that need to manage direct and indirect sales activities. It was not produced with an eye for B2B-to-consumer (B2B2C) sales, commonly seen in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) and pharmaceutical industries. For more information on SFA systems for these industries, see "Market Guide for Retail Execution and Monitoring Solutions for the Consumer Goods Industry" and "Market Guide for CRM in Pharma and Biotech."
SFA deployments continue to focus on core functional capabilities for accounts, contacts, opportunities, selling processes and sales operations. SFA requirements are unique for each B2B sales organization, based on the maturity and culture of the organization in its use of technology, sophistication of sales practices and anticipated ROI. Gartner sees an increased focus on sales performance management capabilities that augment core SFA initiatives.
Just as each sales organization is different, not all SFA systems are created equal. Furthermore, factors such as selling style, organizational size, sales processes, integration demands, diversity of roles, number of users and organizational structures are unique to each company.
SFA has distinct implications for each company:
- Product-driven transactional sales organizations will find value in basic lead and opportunity management capabilities to reduce sales cycles and improve sales management visibility.
- Large, complex sales organizations that support multitier, matrixed sales teams require role-specific functionality for inside field and strategic account salespeople, as well as scalability and performance attributes to manage large volumes of data. Many vendors in the Niche Players quadrant have better price/value alternatives for less-complex uses.
- Consultative solution selling will require rich-content process support to tie together proposals, bids, configurations and quotes with authorizations and order-capture systems.
A successful vendor selection strategy will assess providers that support data requirements, access modes and functionality for each sales role. The sales processes will dictate the functional components that best satisfy organizational and individual sales requirements.
Implementation methods vary, ranging from self-implementation to global SI-led efforts for comprehensive global, multibusiness unit implementations. Companies that have low to moderate sales process complexity and that do not need to integrate to back-end systems can self-implement some of the systems reviewed here. Companies with complex processes that span multiple departments and that require data integration commonly employ third-party SIs. In cases with exceptional process complexity, it is common to hire the vendor's professional services group for the implementation. As a general rule of thumb, regardless of your sales process complexity, Gartner recommends that you employ an SI if you are new to the vendor's technology.
As part of the Magic Quadrant analysis process, Gartner collected input from more than 160 companies that are using the SFA solutions reviewed here. Among the data that Gartner collected:
- The top three reasons for selecting the SFA solution: functionality (59% of respondents), followed by integration with enterprise systems (55%) and usability (49%).
- The mean implementation age (total time that the system has been live) is 4.00 years.
- The mean deployment time, measured from the date of contract signing to the date of the Phase 1 deployment, is 6.44 months.
- Fifty-nine percent of buyers are "very satisfied" or "completely satisfied" with vendors' buying and procurement processes.
For more insights from the Magic Quadrant survey, please contact Gartner.
SaaS continues to accelerate as the predominant delivery model for SFA. Gartner has spoken with many clients that are replacing their on-premises systems with SaaS-based SFA systems. Mobile SFA functions, used on both smartphones and tablets, are fast becoming the data-entry method of choice among Gartner clients. By 2017, Gartner predicts that 65% of sales organizations will use smartphones to drive user adoption and improve data quality for SFA systems. Gartner's recent survey of SFA references indicates that 68% of companies use tablets for both account management and sales activity tracking, and 58% of companies use tablets for opportunity management.
Gartner also favorably notes that SFA vendors are increasingly creating industry-specific solutions, but it is too soon to assess the results and benefits realized by software buyers. Because this trend appears to be accelerating, and because Gartner believes that SFA solutions must return rapid time to value, Gartner will give this topic more attention in the next year.
Ability to Execute
Product/Service: Core goods and services offered by the vendor for the defined market. This includes current product/service capabilities, quality, feature sets, skills and so on, whether offered natively or through OEM agreements/partnerships as defined in the market definition and detailed in the subcriteria.
Overall Viability: Viability includes an assessment of the overall organization's financial health, the financial and practical success of the business unit, and the likelihood that the individual business unit will continue investing in the product, will continue offering the product and will advance the state of the art within the organization's portfolio of products.
Sales Execution/Pricing: The vendor's capabilities in all presales activities and the structure that supports them. This includes deal management, pricing and negotiation, presales support, and the overall effectiveness of the sales channel.
Market Responsiveness/Record: Ability to respond, change direction, be flexible and achieve competitive success as opportunities develop, competitors act, customer needs evolve and market dynamics change. This criterion also considers the vendor's history of responsiveness.
Marketing Execution: The clarity, quality, creativity and efficacy of programs designed to deliver the organization's message to influence the market, promote the brand and business, increase awareness of the products, and establish a positive identification with the product/brand and organization in the minds of buyers. This "mind share" can be driven by a combination of publicity, promotional initiatives, thought leadership, word of mouth and sales activities.
Customer Experience: Relationships, products and services/programs that enable clients to be successful with the products evaluated. Specifically, this includes the ways customers receive technical support or account support. This can also include ancillary tools, customer support programs (and the quality thereof), availability of user groups, service-level agreements and so on.
Operations: The ability of the organization to meet its goals and commitments. Factors include the quality of the organizational structure, including skills, experiences, programs, systems and other vehicles that enable the organization to operate effectively and efficiently on an ongoing basis.
Completeness of Vision
Market Understanding: Ability of the vendor to understand buyers' wants and needs and to translate those into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen to and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those with their added vision.
Marketing Strategy: A clear, differentiated set of messages consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.
Sales Strategy: The strategy for selling products that uses the appropriate network of direct and indirect sales, marketing, service, and communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base.
Offering (Product) Strategy: The vendor's approach to product development and delivery that emphasizes differentiation, functionality, methodology and feature sets as they map to current and future requirements.
Business Model: The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition.
Vertical/Industry Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical markets.
Innovation: Direct, related, complementary and synergistic layouts of resources, expertise or capital for investment, consolidation, defensive or pre-emptive purposes.
Geographic Strategy: The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographies outside the "home" or native geography, either directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries as appropriate for that geography and market.