Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management

Published: 22 August 2017 ID: G00316283



The market for CRM lead management applications grew by 21.4% during 2016, with most interest from B2B companies and those selling B2C goods and services requiring complex buying decisions. We evaluate 15 vendors to help application leaders find the right choice for their marketing and sales teams.

Market Definition/Description

Customer relationship management (CRM) lead management applications facilitate marketing and sales operations through a variety of steps. Initially, lead management applications manage the process of acquiring unqualified contacts and opportunities from a variety of sources, including: web session data, web registration pages, direct mail campaigns, email marketing campaigns, multichannel campaigns, database marketing and third-party lists, social media, and offline interactions such as tradeshows.

Lead management applications then deduplicate and augment inbound lead information, often with third-party data, to form a more complete lead profile. The applications score the leads, send them through a nurturing workflow, and ultimately qualify and prioritize the selling opportunities delivered to sales channels such a sales team or an outbound contact center team. The fundamental goal of lead management applications is to deliver higher-value qualified opportunities to the sales team at exactly the right time.

Companies use lead management applications primarily to support the sale of "considered purchases" — any product or service that represents a significant investment for the customer and typically involves complexity that requires in-depth research. These sales are made primarily by companies selling in a business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-business-to-consumer (B2B2C) capacity, but we're seeing increased usage of lead management applications in business-to-consumer (B2C) environments where individual products or services require careful customer consideration (for example, automobiles, insurance policies, investment accounts).

A CRM lead management application can be delivered as a stand-alone technology offering, a set of lead management functions that form part of a broader CRM offering, part of a sales force automation (SFA) offering, or part of a marketing suite. Applications can be provided as multitenant SaaS, single-tenant SaaS or on-premises solutions.

Magic Quadrant

Figure 1. Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management
Research image courtesy of Gartner, Inc.

Source: Gartner (August 2017)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions


Act-On is a Visionary in this Magic Quadrant, based on its stand-alone lead management application, client and revenue growth, industry vision and value-based pricing. Act-On has approximately 5,200 customers broadly distributed across several verticals, with a heavier concentration in business or consumer services, financial services, high-tech and IT, and manufacturing. Act-On is based in Portland, Oregon, U.S.

  • Competitive pricing: Act-On uses a pricing model not commonly seen in this market, whereby it charges based on "active contacts" (those contacts currently part of a campaign) instead of the size of the entire lead database. Further, Act-On includes several native, bidirectional integrations with leading CRM systems (such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics) at no additional cost (for those with the Enterprise Edition). Reference customers gave Act-On high scores for the sales and contract negotiation process.

  • Comprehensive functionality: Act-On offers a complete lead management suite including several integration options for lead augmentation, content management, virtual meeting solutions and business intelligence (BI), in addition to integration with social sites and CRM systems. Additionally, Act-On offers functionality to support account-based marketing and has added elements of artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize email send times, with more AI-based features on the roadmap for 2017.

  • Customer support: Reference customers gave Act-On high scores for initial and ongoing support, including responsiveness to product questions from customers. Although some customers reported an initial learning curve, Act-On launched Act-On University in 2017 — an online training system to foster success for its clients.

  • Shifting go-to-market focus: Despite a historical focus on the small or midsize business (SMB) space, Act-On seeks to attain larger customers — as reflected in the growth of its average deal size during 2016. Smaller companies should evaluate Act-On's plans for enterprise functionality relative to their roadmaps, to ensure their SMB-specific needs continue to be met.

  • Size: At an estimated annual revenue of $61 million, Act-On is a smaller company than several of its direct competitors. Enterprise companies should evaluate Act-On's size and growth to ensure they are comfortable with a software solution provided by a smaller vendor.

  • Price increases: Despite lower pricing and a model that is often viewed as more favorable than those of many of its competitors (being based on active contacts instead of the total lead database, as described above), Act-On did increase its pricing in early 2017. Existing customers with renewals pending should monitor future price increases to ensure Act-On continues to fit within their budgets.


A Challenger in this Magic Quadrant, bpm' online is based in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S. Bpm'online has moved from the Niche Players quadrant to the Challengers quadrant this year, based on its lead management vision and product roadmap. Bpm'online combines business process management (BPM) technologies and CRM. This combination provides flexibility to marketing, sales, customer service and operations in designing, executing and changing business processes. Bpm'online provides multichannel lead acquisition capabilities with landing pages, lead augmentation (including deduplication, identification and matching algorithms for data), lead scoring and qualification, lead process management, and lead nurturing, among other features. Bpm'online sells to midsize and larger organizations, and offers two delivery models — on-premises and cloud-based — on a yearly billing cycle. Bpm'online has expanded its customer base by nearly 6% during the past year.

  • Platform: Bpm'online's platform provides a solid foundation for adapting to changing customer behavior patterns during the nurturing phase through its combined platform of BPM and dynamic case management (DCM) elements.

  • Usability: Bpm'online provides an intuitive navigation that is supported by well-structured screens and views, and delivered through its dynamic application framework. Reference customers gave bpm'online high scores for its ease of use.

  • Functionality: Reference customers gave bpm'online high scores for its overall product features and functionalities, and for the reporting and analytics generated by the application.

  • Account-based marketing: Customer references stated the account-based marketing (ABM) capabilities in the bpm'online platform are not as strong as other features.

  • CRM integration: Bpm'online's marketing and lead management platform doesn't offer native integration to other CRM systems and platforms. Large global enterprises evaluating bpm'online should assess the ease of integration into their existing CRM systems.

  • Geographic strategy: Bpm'online has expanded its reach into North America, but its core business is in EMEA. Organizations evaluating bpm'online should assess the need for implementation partner support in the relevant region of deployment.


CallidusCloud is a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant, based on the fact that its primary product is a sales performance management (SPM) solution. Most customers choose CallidusCloud lead management as an extension of the SPM product. CallidusCloud offers lead management capabilities through its LeadRocket product as part of its customer engagement module, one of the five modules in its Lead to Money suite. The solution is designed to provide marketing teams with campaign automation and lead management capabilities while giving sales teams insight into lead performance. CallidusCloud has customers across different industries globally, including high-tech and IT, insurance, media, and pharmaceutical. More than 80% of CallidusCloud's revenue is generated through B2B customers based in the U.S. CallidusCloud is based in Dublin, California, U.S.

  • Product suite: CallidusCloud offers not only a lead management solution, but also modules for SPM, sales enablement, sales execution and analytics to organizations of any size. This makes CallidusCloud a compelling choice for organizations seeking one platform to support their marketing and sales teams.

  • Salesforce integration: Reference customers gave CallidusCloud high scores for its integration with Salesforce, especially for augmenting contact and account data with information from the CRM system.

  • Deployment: CallidusCloud received high scores for ease of deployment and the number of internal resources required to operate the solution. CallidusCloud also received high scores for support and service.

  • Functionality and vision: CallidusCloud maintains a core focus on aligning marketing and sales execution and performance, rather than exclusively on lead management. Reference customers gave CallidusCloud below-average scores for lead workflow functionality, lead management vision and product roadmap.

  • Analytics: CallidusCloud's predictive scoring capabilities reside in its Thunderbridge Analytics module, which is a separate component from the lead management module. CallidusCloud received below-average reference scores for its lead management reporting and analytics.

  • Integrations: CallidusCloud does not provide native integration with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Oracle Sales Cloud, NetSuite, SugarCRM or SAP Hybris/SAP CRM in the lead management module, and has on its roadmap the development of bidirectional integration for these CRM vendors. Integration can be achieved with the Connect Enterprise module, which is an integration bus for the CallidusCloud suite.


CRMNEXT is a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant. CRMNEXT's lead management capabilities are offered as part of its core CRM product, which can be deployed on-premises or in a private cloud environment. CRMNEXT caters primarily to customers in the financial services and insurance industries. CRMNEXT is a division of Acidaes Solutions and is based in Noida, India.

  • Enterprise scalability: CRMNEXT provides the ability to scale for very large customers. It currently supports some extremely large customers with lead databases exceeding 20 million leads. The average seat count for users of the CRMNEXT product is more than 1,500 users.

  • Large global solution integrator network: CRMNEXT has extensive partnerships for implementation and consulting with large and globally recognized companies such as IBM, Tata Consultancy Services, Accenture, Tech Mahindra and Wipro.

  • Geo-based sales functionality: CRMNEXT offers robust functionality for geographically dispersed sales teams — including the ability to geolocate sales people on the move, understand calendars, assign leads and provide integrated route planning. Sales reps can also see nearby leads on a map. Reference customers provided above-average scores for CRMNEXT's ability to integrate with sales channels.

  • Geographic focus: CRMNEXT primarily draws revenue from Asia/Pacific and some parts of EMEA. Companies based outside those areas should evaluate CRMNEXT's local presence and support before purchase. CRMNEXT opened a U.S. office and established a North American CEO during 2016.

  • Vertical focus: CRMNEXT has a relatively narrow vertical focus compared with other vendors in this Magic Quadrant. As a result, typical lead management processes such as lead augmentation and lead scoring have both functionality and integrations specific to financial services and insurance.

  • Language support: The CRMNEXT solution is available in English, regional Indian languages, Arabic, Spanish and some Southeast Asian languages. Companies requiring other languages for their user interface should evaluate the ability to customize the user interface to accommodate these (either by CRMNEXT or a third party).


Based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., HubSpot has moved from the Challengers quadrant into the Niche Players quadrant this year — based on client feedback and Gartner's assessment of its general lead management vision and roadmap, which have not shown significant enhancement during the past 12 months. HubSpot targets mainly small and midsize B2B organizations. HubSpot offers capabilities such as executing, tracking and measuring online marketing activities, which include blogging, email marketing and social media marketing. HubSpot can be used to create landing pages and calls to action, and to improve search engine optimization. HubSpot invests in education by offering a very comprehensive blog for learning about online marketing.

Note: HubSpot did not provide supplemental information for this Magic Quadrant. Gartner's analysis is therefore based on other credible sources, including publicly available information and insight gained from client inquiries.

  • Functionality: HubSpot is a ready-to-use tool for managing a marketing funnel, allowing users to design their workflows, prepare, format and publish content, and integrate contact profiles and information. The platform enables segmentation, nurturing and evaluation of leads in a personalized way. HubSpot also offers a free SFA product.

  • Content management: HubSpot can act as a content management system, enabling the updating of website content, optimized content for website search, and adjustments for mobile traffic. Furthermore, the Smart Content tool can be used to personalize websites for each visitor.

  • Integrations: HubSpot currently has 34 native integrations, including one with Zapier that enables organizations to connect to approximately 300 applications for workflow automation. HubSpot integrates natively with CRM systems such as NetSuite, Zoho CRM, Base CRM, Pipedrive, SugarCRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.

  • Customer segmentation: HubSpot's user base is mostly SMBs. Large companies should evaluate HubSpot's product offering in depth to determine if enterprise requirements can be met.

  • Language support: The HubSpot solution is available in English, French (in beta), German, Japanese, Portuguese (in beta) and Spanish. Companies requiring other languages for their user interface should evaluate the ability to customize the user interface to accommodate these (either by HubSpot or a third party).

  • Reporting: Client references indicate that HubSpot's reports and dashboards lack flexibility, because customizations are limited. This could lead to limitations in the insight generated by the application.


IBM is recognized as a Leader in this year's Magic Quadrant based on its extensive and deep product offering, and its servicing some of the largest organizations globally. IBM offers a comprehensive lead management product, Watson Marketing, including Watson Campaign Automation, Watson Marketing Insights, Watson Real-Time Personalization and Watson Customer Experience Analytics. IBM has shifted its product offering more to SaaS delivery, which is designed to meet the ever-growing technology demands of enterprise marketing teams by providing a cognitive solution to guide marketers in creating a customer experience across marketing applications and channels. IBM is based in Armonk, New York, U.S. and has locations in more than 170 countries worldwide.

  • Business model: IBM has a deeper reach into B2C lead management customers (approximately 70% of its customers) than B2B. This is a higher percentage of B2C than the other evaluated lead management vendors for this Magic Quadrant.

  • Features and functionalities: Reference customers gave IBM above-average scores for overall product features and functionalities. References valued the platform's email functionality (templates and design), but also the lead scoring functionality — which includes the ability to change scoring algorithms.

  • Analytics: IBM provides a cognitive solution designed to guide marketers to deliver a better customer experience across marketing applications and channels. Included in this comprehensive offering are Watson Real-Time Personalization and Watson Marketing Insights, which are both based on comprehensive analytical technology. This is used, for example, for automatic recommendations on more accurate targeting rules for single pieces of content.

  • Portfolio complexity: IBM's marketing offering is both deep and wide, which causes confusion with its customers. IBM has a complex product structure that requires prospective customers to perform in-depth evaluation of the product offering in order to determine which of IBM's on-premises or cloud-based products deliver the required features.

  • Advanced functionality: IBM lacks some advanced functionality that is present in other leading applications, such as the ability to export scoring models and to integrate with Microsoft Outlook. Reference customers gave IBM below-average scores for integration with other applications and for its account-based marketing capabilities.

  • User adoption: IBM received below-average scores from its reference customers for ease of deployment.


Impartner is recognized as a Niche Player in this year's Magic Quadrant. It provides simple lead management functionalities as part of its sales partner management suite, servicing the indirect sales channel. Impartner was founded in 1997 and was acquired by Kennet Partners in March 2015. Customers value Impartner's comprehensive offering for sales partner management through partner life cycle modules, partner sales execution, channel partner marketing systems and partner service workflows. Impartner is based in Salt Lake, Utah, U.S.

  • Growth: Impartner continues to grow, achieving 88% growth in customers and a 77% increase in new bookings in the first quarter of 2017. Impartner primarily services the high-tech and IT industry, because these organizations generally begin with the lead management offering before adding other modules.

  • Product development: Impartner has improved its lead management capabilities with lead dashboards to analyze open, new and nurtured leads, complemented by a reminder functionality with links to all leads that have not been updated.

  • Usability: During the past 12 months, Impartner has enhanced its UI and provided more depth to the application's reporting functionality.

  • Functionality: Impartner's primary purpose is to satisfy the indirect sales channel market, which normally has simpler marketing demands. Impartner's lead management functionality provides a solid basis for channel partners, but is not as sophisticated as those of some other vendors in this Magic Quadrant.

  • Geographical reach: Impartner's core customer base and primary sales target is in the U.S., despite increasing interest from European customers attracted by Impartner's lead management offering.

  • Functionality: Impartner's current release does not support ABM and predictive lead scoring. Customers seeking support in providing a solid set of lead management functionality to their sales partners should consider Impartner, but should also bear in mind that its offering is not made to conduct comprehensive and challenging marketing campaigns.


Marketo is a Leader in this Magic Quadrant based on its continued product vision and enhancements and its strong presence with B2B (approximately 63%) companies. Marketo develops marketing automation software that provides inbound marketing, lead management, ABM, social marketing, event management, marketing ROI reporting and analytics. Marketo acquired ToutApp, a sales engagement software provider, in 2016. Although Marketo is historically strong in B2B business models, it is increasingly purchased by B2C organizations. Currently, about 20% of the Marketo customer base uses the platform for both B2B and B2C processes. Marketo also offers consumer marketing capabilities. Marketo has a strong presence in several industries including high-tech and IT, financial services, insurance, and business or consumer services. In November 2016, Vista Equity Partners acquired Marketo. Marketo is based in San Mateo, California, U.S.

  • Product strategy: Marketo provides an Engagement Platform that includes an Engagement Hub for data storage and processing at scale and 12 marketing applications. The applications include email, web, mobile, social, marketing automation, account-based marketing and predictive content. Marketo suggests bundled applications based on customer use cases, but customers can extend the functionalities by acquiring more applications over time. This makes Marketo a good fit for midsize organizations, but also for larger and more mature marketing organizations.

  • Market responsiveness: Marketo demonstrates timely reaction to market and customer demands by offering robust marketing automation capabilities and ABM functionality. Marketo also created the Alliance for ABM Success, a consortium of ABM leaders that aims to help companies adopt, implement and succeed with ABM. Reference customers gave Marketo above-average scores for its lead management vision and product roadmap.

  • Robust functionality and integrations: Marketo offers robust capabilities for creating advanced lead workflows, including an advanced set of triggers not seen among many competitors. Correspondingly, reference customers gave Marketo high scores for lead workflow functionality. Marketo also offers an extensive set of native integrations for augmenting native functionality.

  • Training required: Customer references indicated that it takes time to learn the platform, both prior to and after the implementation. Marketo offers the Marketo University Learning Passport for an additional fee, but also offers free Marketo University training to cover the fundamentals of using Marketo.

  • Usability: Reference customers gave Marketo below-average scores for ease of use and integration with sales channels.

  • Reporting: Reference customers gave Marketo below-average scores for reporting and analytics generated by the application. Companies seeking deep insights from their lead management application should assess Marketo's reporting capabilities against their requirements. Marketo has launched a number of new analytics tools in 2017.


Oracle is a Leader, based on Oracle Eloqua's robust feature set, extensive third-party integration options and connections to other components of the Oracle Marketing Cloud. Eloqua serves many verticals, with stronger concentrations in business and consumer services, high-tech and IT, manufacturing, financial services, and media. Oracle is based in Redwood Shores, California, U.S.

  • Functionality depth and user interface: Eloqua has an excellent user interface and deep functionality in areas such as workflow triggers, email creation and lead importing — including an integration with WeChat for creating leads directly from the popular messaging platform. Eloqua is able to scale its solution for very large lead databases and companies with complex needs. Reference customers gave Eloqua above-average scores for lead management vision and product roadmap as well as overall product features and functionality.

  • Integration and ecosystem partners: Eloqua has a broad ecosystem of partners in addition to the Oracle Marketing AppCloud, which is not only a marketplace for partners but also a development framework for partners to extend the application. The Oracle Marketing AppCloud for Eloqua has more than 500 preintegrated solutions, with approximately 140 added in the past year. Reference customers gave Eloqua above-average scores for its integration with other applications.

  • Cross-channel emphasis: Oracle has a renewed emphasis (including native functionality) for identifying leads and customers across channels and across devices, using the Oracle ID Graph. This functionality proves useful for those Eloqua customers with large numbers of unknown or anonymous customers, or for identifying customers that use many channels.

  • Product complexity: Because of Eloqua's robust functionality, new customers can find it difficult to use. Reference customers gave Eloqua below-average scores for ease of use and the number of internal resources required to operate lead management activity.

  • Implementation times: Eloqua is often deployed in complex environments with a strong need for customization. Reference customers reported implementation challenges and offered scores for ease of deployment that were lower than for most direct competitors.

  • CRM integrations: Integrations to Salesforce, Oracle Sales Cloud, Oracle CRM On Demand and Microsoft Dynamics are native and bidirectional, but integrations to NetSuite, SugarCRM, SAP CRM or Infor require using a partner or the Oracle Integration Cloud Service. This could lead to increased cost and implementation project complexity.


Pegasystems, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, U.S., has moved its position within the Niche Players quadrant this year because of its improved geographical reach and improved product offering. Pegasystems provides CRM software for customer engagement through its adaptive, cloud-architected applications built on its Pega platform — a business and customer process automation platform combined with CRM technologies. Pega Marketing leverages analytics and business rules in real time to dynamically recommend the most relevant action, offer, content and timing, and fulfillment channel. Pega Marketing allows for designing, deploying, executing, measuring and revising omnichannel customer strategies. Pegasystems has a strong B2C and B2B2C market understanding.

  • Delivery model: Pegasystems provides lead management application delivery via the cloud or on-premises. Most of its current customers operate an on-premises platform, but an increasing number of customers are deploying Pega in a cloud-based model.

  • Direct and indirect business models: Pegasystems provides many capabilities to support the B2C and B2B2C business models. Customers seeking to provide comprehensive lead capabilities on a single platform, including those with an indirect sales business model, should consider Pegasystems. Approximately 25% of Pegasystems' customers have deployed the lead management module across both their B2B and B2C marketing teams.

  • Analytics and AI: Pegasystems provides solid analytical functionality. Lead scoring allows for prioritization on prospects, but also supports the automation of parts of the lead management process. Pegasystems provides AI technology for lead nurturing and lead engagement via its Customer Decision Hub.

  • Industry diversity: Pegasystems' customers are mainly from the telecommunications, financial services, insurance and manufacturing industries. Customers outside of these industries should assess Pegasystems' expertise and understanding of their needs.

  • Learning curve: Reference customers stated that Pegasystems' product offering requires user training. Its business process modeling capabilities require IT resources to start training early and continue throughout the deployment phase. Additionally, Pegasystems skills and resources are less popular and not easily identified in the market.

  • Integrations: Integrations with digital commerce platforms, virtual meeting platforms, virtual event platforms and LinkedIn are not provided today. In order to use Pegasystems' lead management functionality, companies need to also implement the core sales and services module from Pega. Companies with other CRM platforms in place should evaluate other vendors.


Salesforce is a Challenger in this Magic Quadrant, based on its lead management functionality, offered primarily through its Pardot product and augmented through functionality from other Salesforce products — such as Chatter, Lightning Sales Console,, Advertising Studio and Salesforce Engage — all of which are now natively integrated with Salesforce Sales Cloud. Salesforce also demonstrates consistent client and revenue growth. Pardot has customers broadly distributed across several verticals, with a heavier concentration in high-tech and IT, financial services, healthcare and life sciences, and manufacturing. Salesforce is based in San Francisco, California, U.S.

  • Native CRM integration and growth: Pardot has native bidrectional integration with Salesforce Sales Cloud. As Salesforce's core CRM products continue to grow, and the Salesforce installed base of existing customers looks to consolidate vendors, Pardot is ideally positioned to continue its year-over-year growth.

  • AI investment and capabilities: Salesforce continues to invest in AI with Einstein, and the Pardot product has generally available AI functionality in the form of Einstein Lead Scoring (using lead firmographic data to augment scoring), Einstein Opportunity Insights (to predict deal closing times), Einstein Account Insights (predicting business opportunities) and Einstein Recommendations (predicting next actions for sales reps).

  • Integration with Advertising Studio: Pardot's integration with Salesforce Advertising Studio provides useful functionality for ad spend optimization and ad purchases that is not available from many competitors.

  • Third-party CRM integration: Pardot supports integration only to Salesforce CRM products, so users of other CRM solutions should evaluate other vendors. Further, Pardot often guides customers toward native Salesforce products instead of developing third-party integrations — for example, is the primary solution for lead augmentation. Reference customers gave Salesforce below-average scores for integration with other applications.

  • Combination of products: Full lead management is often executed through a combination of Salesforce solutions in addition to Pardot, such as: Chatter, Lightning Sales Console,, Advertising Studio, Salesforce Engage, Email Studio and Einstein B2B Marketing Analytics. Reference customers cite confusion about which combination of products they need to satisfy their requirements. Companies should develop clarity about exactly which Salesforce products will be delivered as part of a complete solution.

  • Missing advanced functionality: Some advanced functionality that is readily available from direct competitors is missing from Salesforce's Pardot — such as complex lead workflow triggers and the ability to export scoring models, and to duplicate models and then edit them. (Note: Default scoring models can be edited.)


Salesfusion is a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant, based on its SaaS-based product that serves primarily companies in high-tech and IT, business or consumer services, sports and entertainment, manufacturing, and financial services. Salesfusion's customers are primarily in the U.S. and EMEA. Salesfusion is based in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.

  • Support model: Salesfusion offers an additional level of support for lead management activities that most vendors do not, including a fully outsourced Marketing Concierge service whereby customers provide the content and Salesfusion executes campaigns. Salesfusion also offers unlimited phone support to all its customers.

  • Inclusive pricing: Salesfusion offers simple pricing with one all-inclusive price that scales up based on the number of contacts in the database, but includes all functionality and all integrations to CRM systems. Native integrations include Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics, Infor, SugarCRM, NetSuite, Sage and Bullhorn CRM. Salesfusion's reference customers placed a higher priority on total cost of ownership than other vendors' reference customers.

  • Email management: Salesfusion offers a redesigned email management tool that is easy to use and manages end-to-end email creation and sending.

  • Limited advanced functionality: Advanced functionality offered by the leading lead management vendors is missing in the Salesfusion platform — such as lead augmentation capabilities, the ability to manipulate data cleansing rules, predictive lead scoring capabilities, native integrations with third-party predictive lead scoring applications, and integration capabilities for using a third-party content management system. Reference customers gave Salesfusion below-average scores for overall product features and functionality, lead scoring functionality and lead workflow functionality.

  • Company size: Salesfusion is one of the smaller vendors in this Magic Quadrant, with 2016 revenue of approximately $6 million and approximately $15 million in venture-based funding. Salesfusion customers are typically smaller, with 78% of customers having fewer than 100,000 leads in their lead database.

  • Limited mobile functionality: The Salesfusion UI is intended to be used on a desktop web browser. The platform provides limited abilities for mobile devices, which could be used by either a marketer or a sales person to check lead activity.


SAP is a Niche Player and new to the Magic Quadrant this year. It offers the SAP Hybris Lead Management module, which is part of the SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud, but also leverages components of the SAP Hybris Sales Cloud. SAP Hybris Sales Cloud and SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud run on the SAP Cloud Platform (SCP), an open platform as a service that provides in-memory database and application services. SAP was last included in the CRM lead management Magic Quadrant in 2013 (it did not meet the inclusion criteria from 2014 to 2016). The SAP Hybris Lead Management module is relatively new as a product, with renewed investment and features delivered primarily since the beginning of 2016. SAP is based in Walldorf, Germany.

  • SAP integrations: The Lead Management module offers a native, bidirectional integration to SAP S/4HANA, SAP Hybris Commerce Cloud, SAP Hybris Sales Cloud and other components of the SAP Hybris Marketing Cloud, which will result in time and cost savings for organizations that have centered themselves on SAP products.

  • Global partners: As a recognized global brand, SAP offers an extensive list of consulting and integration partners including Accenture, BearingPoint, Capgemini, Deloitte, Infosys and Tata Consulting Services.

  • Mobile functionality: All lead management functionality in the Lead Management module is built with a mobile-first approach, so all functionality is natively available on mobile devices.

  • Enterprise readiness: Although SAP has some customers with large lead databases, the majority have smaller lead databases. Companies with large lead databases should evaluate SAP's roadmap for supporting larger marketing organizations and complex use cases. Companies should also evaluate SAP's roadmap for future lead management functionality. Reference customers gave SAP below-average scores for lead management vision and its product roadmap.

  • CRM integrations: The Lead Management module has a native integration to SAP CRM and SAP Hybris Cloud for Customer, but lacks native integrations to other CRM systems, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

  • Application integrations: SAP does not offer native integrations to many third-party applications, such as those with predictive lead scoring solutions, LinkedIn, virtual event solutions and virtual meeting applications. Integration with these applications is on the roadmap for SAP. Reference customers for SAP reported below-average scores for integration with sales channels and with other applications.


SugarCRM is a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant, based on the lead management functionality included in its core CRM offering. SugarCRM offers a sales, marketing and support suite at a single price per user. SugarCRM offers its lead management functionality as a stand-alone system, but the module is primarily used by its installed base of CRM customers or in conjunction with an email service provider. More than 60% of SugarCRM customers utilize a component of the lead management functionality. The company is based in Cupertino, California, U.S.

  • Value: SugarCRM offers a competitive price with a simple per-user, per-month model. SugarCRM is an attractive option for teams with limited budgets.

  • International capabilities: Companywide, SugarCRM draws less than 50% of its revenue from North America, with sizable portions coming from EMEA and Asia/Pacific. SugarCRM is available in 38 languages.

  • Call center integrations: SugarCRM offers native integrations with several call center systems including Callinize, 3CLogic, Avaya, Cisco and Genesys, which makes it a good solution for companies that will route leads to outbound call-center-based sales teams.

  • Limited lead scoring: SugarCRM often relies on other solutions for lead scoring. The native functionality is limited in terms of gathering data to be used in scores and in calculation functionality. Predictive scoring and the use of AI in lead scoring are on the roadmap.

  • Account-based marketing functionality: Viewing and nurturing leads at the account level require customization. Companies with robust ABM requirements should evaluate SugarCRM's capabilities against other vendors.

  • Non-SugarCRM integrations: SugarCRM lacks native integration with several CRM solutions, such as Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, because they are considered to be competitive with the company's core CRM solution.


Zoho is a Niche Player in this Magic Quadrant, providing lead management functionality primarily to midsize B2B organizations. Zoho's CRM capabilities are valued by industries such as financial services, media, telecommunications, education, healthcare and government. Zoho lead management is one of the company's 35 CRM applications, supporting a modular purchase option for its customers. During the past 12 months, Zoho has introduced individual and combined lead scoring options, which can be used with integrations such as Eventbrite, SMS Magic and SurveyMonkey. Zoho is based in Pleasanton, California, U.S.

  • Product enhancements and analytics: Zoho has introduced Blueprint, a process management tool for mapping the lead management process with the sales process. Zia, an AI-powered sales assistant, suggests the best time to interact with leads and prospects. Further, Zia suggests workflow rules based on actions the marketer has repeated over time. Zoho provides analytical assessments for leads and customers, such as trend analysis, prospects engagement, email tracking (only available under the professional pricing model) and website traffic analytics.

  • Usability: Reference customers gave Zoho high scores for ease of use and ease of deployment.

  • Pricing: Zoho provides a flexible pricing plan. Customers can pay monthly or annually, which provides flexibility to fit their needs. Zoho offers a freemium product as well as a free trial for up to 10 users. Customers can upgrade to a paid monthly plan or simply continue using the free trial (for up to 10 users).

  • Customization: Zoho's possibilities for UI customization received below-average scores from its reference customers, with some stating that it is very difficult to remove unneeded features. The interface is perceived by references as outdated and requires an update. Zoho requires deeper customization to make it functional for midsize or large companies.

  • Integration: Zoho received below-average reference customer scores for its ability to integrate with other applications. Some references stated the integration was harder than they had experienced with other CRM products.

  • Marketplace: Zoho has a limited marketplace for third-party integrations, leaving little to no choice for extended features such as appending missing contact and account data.

Vendors Added and Dropped

We review and adjust our inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrants as markets change. As a result of these adjustments, the mix of vendors in any Magic Quadrant may change over time. A vendor's appearance in a Magic Quadrant 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.


  • SAP


  • Adobe

  • MMIT

  • Microsoft

Inclusion and Exclusion Criteria


To be included in this Magic Quadrant, each vendor had to demonstrate that it had:

  • Proven ability to deliver CRM lead management application functionality, as defined in the Technology section below.

  • A minimum of 12 customers that had deployed its CRM lead management application in a production implementation during the previous 12 months.

  • A sales and customer support presence in at least two of the following three regions: Asia/Pacific, EMEA and North America/Latin America.

  • Proven business viability relative to other Magic Quadrant participants. For example, through several years of revenue growth; outside funding, such as venture capital, private equity or other sources of investment; or a reference list of successful customer implementations.

  • An ecosystem of partners that could provide services or technology extensions such as system integration services, third-party applications, digital agency services, and consulting and implementation services.


To be included in this Magic Quadrant, each vendor also had to fulfill the following criteria with a standard part of its application — it could not depend on applications or functionality provided by partners, or on custom development or services (such as custom application development provided by the vendor's professional services organization or a system integrator):

  • Multichannel lead management — The ability to:

    • Provide lead management functionality for both inbound and outbound marketing initiatives. This includes, at minimum, lead collection, analytics, augmentation, scoring, process management and nurturing across at least three lead generation and lead management channels within a single campaign.

    • Support digital and nondigital lead management channels within the same campaign:

      • Digital lead generation channels include websites, web landing pages and microsites; e-commerce sites; email marketing; online webinar and conference services; video and interactive applications; and social sites.

      • Traditional or nondigital lead management channels include presales or marketing qualification applications (such as inside sales channels and call/contact centers); print-on-demand services; direct mail marketing; tradeshows, seminars and other in-person events; and third-party databases/lists.

  • Lead aggregation/lead database — The ability to:

    • Collect, store, execute on, import/export, analyze and report on leads.

      • Lead input capabilities must support both online real-time/near-real-time processes and offline, batch input of data.

      • The vendor does not need to provide a database, but a data model and an ability to collect/source data that will be stored in a database are required.

      • This criterion includes the ability to collect, store, analyze and segment unqualified leads from campaign management applications, digital marketing applications, web and e-commerce sites, and database and data management applications, and to feed those leads into the lead management application.

    • Collect and build demographic and behavioral history in a lead management database for individual unqualified leads as they mature through the lead management application.

  • Analytics, key performance indicators and BI — The ability to:

    • Use integration tools (such as APIs and XML tools) to transfer data between applications, including both source applications (such as those of third-party data providers, referral systems and websites) and execution applications (such as SFA, contact center and email applications) for use in closed-loop marketing analysis.

    • Generate operational and strategic key performance indicators (KPIs) sufficient to monitor and guide revenue generation, including the ability to provide revenue guidance and insight based on current lead volumes and quality.

    • Provide preconfigured reports, management and sales dashboards, metrics and KPIs as a standard part of the application (rather than, for example, as a customization).

    • Monitor, access and report on data stored in the lead management application or in CRM/SFA applications to enable closed-loop marketing analytics.

    • Provide real-time graphical representations of data and metrics appropriate for marketing, sales and executive users.

    • Support or integrate with mobile devices used by customer-facing sales teams.

    • Provide, either by itself or through a partner, professional services and consulting that guide user organizations in the use of analytics, KPIs and BI to support continuous marketing improvement and lead management maturity.

  • Lead process management — The ability to:

    • Create lead management workflows or BPM rules using a graphical workflow or business process tool or a nongraphical scripting tool, in order to create a lead management application that dynamically routes leads through lead-scoring, qualification, augmentation and distribution processes based on execution criteria (such as geography, estimated value and the status of prior process steps).

    • Pass leads dynamically to a sales execution system — such as an SFA, partner relationship management (PRM), call/contact center or digital commerce system — on the basis of user-defined routing, scoring or qualification rules.

    • Execute multiple lead management processes and workflows simultaneously within a single instance of the product.

  • Lead nurturing — The ability to:

    • Manage and control the lead life cycle from collection to conversion, including, at minimum, maintenance (building relationships with a view to longer-term selling), execution (selling to clients at appropriate times) and removal of inactive leads from the database.

    • Integrate with web content management (WCM) systems used to develop, store and maintain content in the context of lead-nurturing activities. Integration with WCM systems can be provided as an integral feature of the lead management product or via a third-party vendor or partner.

  • Integration with sales applications — The ability to:

    • Support bidirectional integration with CRM/SFA applications (such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM/Dynamics CRM Online, Oracle Sales Cloud, SAP CRM, and offerings from Salesforce and SugarCRM).

    • Pass qualified leads to a channel sales organization (such as a value-added reseller, distributor, agent, broker or reseller) as an automatic function of the lead management process, and to track the status of those leads automatically through integration with a CRM, SFA or PRM application.

    • Integrate with a digital commerce or e-commerce application to dynamically pass qualified prospects on to an e-commerce site (in lieu of a direct or indirect salesperson) for closure.

    • Support integration with a minimum of two CRM, PRM or digital commerce applications as a standard, documented and supported capability.

  • Lead augmentation — The ability to:

    • Append missing or additional information (such as missing email fields) to leads from external third-party sources, and to integrate with, and store this information in, a lead management database and associate it with the appropriate lead or customer information.

    • Provide integrated data-cleansing capabilities to eliminate incomplete, redundant or duplicate lead information, based on criteria set by the end-user organization.

    • Augment or nurture leads with additional collateral or value-added content, such as documents, spreadsheets, videos and web-based content, to increase the lead score and the probability of closure. This ability can be provided as a native feature of the product or through integration with a third-party tool or service provider's product.

  • Lead scoring/qualification — The ability to:

    • Create multiple lead qualification and scoring processes, based on criteria such as campaign, product type, customer segment, estimated customer value and opportunity value, to execute multiple lead qualification and scoring processes simultaneously.

    • Dynamically route leads that meet the qualification or scoring criteria to the next appropriate part of the lead management process.

  • Integration, APIs and templates — The ability to:

    • Integrate with third-party applications (for example, SFA, PRM, call/contact center applications and legacy applications) using published and supported APIs or integration interfaces.

    • Integrate with social sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, as well as with major CRM, SFA, e-commerce, customer support, social, virtual-event, marketing data, and customer management applications and services.

    • Make packaged lead management templates available for line-of-business applications or for automation of cross-industry (horizontal) lead management functionality.

Evaluation Criteria

Ability to Execute

The evaluation criteria for Ability to Execute (vertical axis) that are specific to CRM lead management are explained in the list below. Broader explanations for all Gartner Magic Quadrants are in the Evaluation Criteria Definitions section.

  • Product/Service. The licensed or SaaS applications offered by the vendor that provide lead management functionality and integration with adjacent applications, data or services. This includes current product capabilities, feature sets, technology base, and architecture and integration capabilities.

  • Overall Viability. The viability of the organization's overall financial strength, the financial and practical success of the business unit or company, and the likelihood of the business unit or company to continue selling, supporting and investing in the product, and to advance the state of the art in the company's product portfolio.

  • Sales Execution/Pricing. The vendor's sales and pricing, including all presales and sales activities. Responsiveness to customer or prospect requests for information, RFI/RFP activities, and presales technical support. The ability of the vendor to marshal and coordinate required third-party resources, such as system integration or technology partnerships during presales and sales activities; the vendor's execution during contract negotiation, RFP or quote responses, pricing and negotiation activities; and the overall effectiveness of the direct and indirect sales and sales management organization. Also, cost and pricing competitiveness as they relate to competitors with comparable capabilities, including the published list price of the vendor's product (licensed or SaaS); any optional modules needed to meet the minimum product requirements defined above; annual maintenance fees, if any; and any required services, training, implementation fees, customization or related services.

  • Market Responsiveness and Track Record. The 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, and strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of geographic regions outside the headquarters' region, directly or through partners, channels and subsidiaries, as appropriate for that geography and market.

  • Marketing Execution. The vendor's market awareness, market momentum and market perception of leadership and innovation in lead management. The vendor's ability to execute its own tactical and strategic marketing campaigns that support a growing customer base, and to create and extend its own brand as a lead management vendor and visionary.

  • Customer Experience. The availability and viability of internal customer service and support capabilities, including support resources, systems, policy and global scope; external resources, including partnerships with global system integrators, consulting organizations and technology partnerships; and related internal or external resources such as third-party tools or consulting methodologies, customer-led social networking initiatives, and the availability of user groups and SLAs.

  • 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.

Table 1.   Ability to Execute Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria


Product or Service


Overall Viability


Sales Execution/Pricing


Market Responsiveness/Record


Marketing Execution


Customer Experience




Source: Gartner (August 2017)

Completeness of Vision

The evaluation criteria for Completeness of Vision (horizontal axis) specific to CRM lead management are explained in the list below. Broader explanations for all Gartner Magic Quadrants are in the Evaluation Criteria Definitions section.

  • Market Understanding. The ability of the vendor to understand buyers' needs and translate these needs into products and services. Vendors that show the highest degree of vision listen and understand buyers' wants and needs, and can shape or enhance those wants with their added vision.

  • Marketing Strategy. The ability of the vendor to develop and deliver a clear, differentiated set of messages that is consistently communicated throughout the organization and externalized through the website, advertising, customer programs and positioning statements.

  • Sales Strategy. The ability of the vendor to articulate and demonstrate the development of a selling strategy that leverages direct and/or indirect sales, marketing, customer support and service, or communication affiliates that extend the scope and depth of its market reach, skills, expertise, technologies, services and the customer base. System integration, technology, application, strategy consulting and distribution partnerships are integral parts of the sales strategy.

  • Offering (Product) Strategy. A vendor's strategy for product development and delivery that emphasizes market differentiation, functionality, methodology, time to market, competitive activity, and technology and industry advances, as well as other relevant criteria that impact the customer experience and map to current and future requirements. Product strategy will also include the company's business model, such as the soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition; its vertical or industry strategy that will direct resources, skills and investment to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, users or vertical industry groups; and its global strategy that will impact the ability of the company to meet the needs of a global customer base.

  • Business Model. The soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business model. Product strategy will need to support the company's business model, such as the soundness and logic of the vendor's underlying business proposition. The product license model (such as SaaS versus one-time license fee) should support the target market and use models that the vendor is targeting with its go-to-market strategy.

  • Vertical/Industry Strategy. The vendor's strategy to direct resources, skills and offerings to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, including vertical- or industry-specific markets for its products. The vertical industry strategy will direct resources, skills and investment to meet the specific needs of individual market segments, users or vertical industry groups; its global strategy will impact the ability of the company to meet the needs of a global customer base.

  • Innovation. Investment of financial resources, management technology resources, expertise or capital in areas such as product development, sales and support infrastructure, third-party and partner relationships, or mergers and acquisitions. Such actions are intended to expand the scope, capabilities or global presence of the company and its products for its customers.

  • 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.

Table 2.   Completeness of Vision Evaluation Criteria

Evaluation Criteria


Market Understanding


Marketing Strategy


Sales Strategy


Offering (Product) Strategy


Business Model


Vertical/Industry Strategy




Geographic Strategy


Source: Gartner (August 2017)

Quadrant Descriptions


Leaders provide market-leading functionality that supports B2B, B2B2C and B2C lead management processes across multiple channels. These vendors demonstrate market awareness and agility in their ability to develop and deploy support for new market and user requirements, either natively in their platforms or through preintegrated partner solutions. Leaders have developed an ecosystem of technology partners and provide deep integration, including formal and documented technical support and customer support with key applications. Examples include robust integration options for commonly integrated systems such as CRM, SFA or other marketing systems, and for third-party applications that enhance the lead management processes of marketing and sales organizations. These third-party applications could include lead augmentation sources, predictive lead scoring and analytics solutions, BI tools, social channels, online meeting and event solutions, WCM applications, in-person trade event systems, print-on-demand capabilities, and third-party customer or list data.

Leaders can provide in-depth professional services and consulting through their own services organization and partnerships with leading solution providers, management service providers or consulting organizations. They have demonstrated an ability to sell and support enterprise-scale customers and deployments on a global basis, and show their viability through revenue growth, organizational growth, financial stability and either profitability or the ability to attract outside investment.

Leaders sell successfully into more than one industry and their customers report high levels of satisfaction and success with their implementations.


Challengers offer breadth of functionality, but lack the depth of functionality of Leaders. They often provide CRM lead management functionality that is dependent on, or integrated with, another product from the same vendor, so that the lead management functionality cannot be realized without implementing a broader set of application functionalities.

Challengers' lead management capabilities are not "best of breed," but these vendors have a highly visible market presence and provide adjacent applications or integration with some, but not all, of the applications and solutions mentioned in the Leaders section. They are often slower to react to changes in the market than Leaders are, and lag behind them. Challengers often depend on sales to their existing customers.


Visionaries have a strong vision for a set of technologies that includes CRM lead management, but they either do not yet provide best-of-breed lead management that is both broad and functionally deep, or do not yet have significant reference customers using their technology. They may look to capitalize on the market's momentum by emphasizing their role in the ecosystem as they invest in research and development or in acquisitions to increase their market presence and potentially become Challengers or Leaders.

Visionaries are thought leaders and innovators that have yet to achieve broad market penetration and adoption. They often have a strong presence in a small number of industries or a limited geographic region. Visionaries may come from an adjacent market sector and be looking to expand their total addressable market by moving into CRM lead management. They may have a strong vision and roadmap for technology, but they lack the Ability to Execute that is demonstrated by Leaders.

Niche Players

Niche Players provide a basic set of CRM lead management features to a narrow segment of the market. Their target markets are often defined by their industry expertise or the dependency of their lead management capability on their core product; for example, a CRM suite with an integrated lead management capability that cannot be accessed without implementing that suite.

Niche Players may attempt to extend their functionality and win customers through extensive professional service engagements. They may be limited in their geographic reach, partner relationships and the scalability of their solution.

Niche Players appeal to customers with limited budgets or constrained technology resources, or those that do not require the depth of functionality provided by Leaders or Challengers.


The market for CRM lead management continues to grow, with increased interest from Gartner clients year over year. In 2016, we conducted 55% more inquiries related to lead management than we did in 2015. In the first half of 2017, we had 25% more inquiries that we did in the first half of 2016. This can probably be attributed to a few factors:

  • SaaS-based software has made vendor applications much easier to adopt and integrate than the largely on-premises-based applications of four or five years ago. As a result, we've seen increased interest from midmarket companies with smaller sales and marketing teams that may have opted for more manual processes in the past.

  • As the use of web-based data to personalize customer experiences becomes more common in the B2C consumer shopping market, the technology and, more importantly, the concepts influence the B2B market. Consumers are becoming more accustomed to seeing their browsing data used by vendors to create a customized online sales experience. As a result, the concept of tailoring sales experiences has become more commonplace in companies that sell in a B2B capacity.

  • Account-based marketing and sales acceleration tools — which fill in the lead acquisition gaps that lead management vendors have not traditionally covered — are increasingly desired by B2B marketers. Marketers now require more-advanced tools, beyond just email blasts.

Several trends we noticed during the past two to three years have continued into the past 12 months:

  • Continued investment in CRM lead management applications.

  • The slowing pace of merger and acquisition activity.

  • Client inquiries and user research suggest that companies are experiencing longer evaluation cycles for lead management applications, including increased due diligence on the part of the buyer. This can be attributed, at least in part, to the growing portfolio of products used in lead management processes, especially from larger vendors, which results in additional products to be evaluated.

  • Continued industry specialization, primarily by niche vendors.

  • A strong focus on integration capabilities, especially integration to marketing, SFA and CRM systems.

  • A continued focus on ease of use and redesigned UIs.

  • Emphasis on increasing collaboration between marketing and sales departments, fostered by functionality within CRM lead management products.

  • Continued maturing of predictive lead scoring solutions, often from third-party vendors that have formed partnerships with the vendors evaluated in this Magic Quadrant.

Trends we've seen evolve during the past 12 months:

  • A significant shift toward lead management functionality being part of a larger CRM or marketing solution. Fewer vendors offer stand-alone lead management applications that are sold separately.

  • Both vendor investment and client interest in AI technologies to facilitate lead management processes. While broadly used, AI in lead management is still several years away and granular use cases that leverage AI are becoming available in many applications. Clients should evaluate their internal lead management processes to find areas where the synthesis of large amounts of data would be valuable in making decisions, such as in lead scoring, lead nurturing and workflow steps, and in content suggestions. These are potential areas for future AI influences; however, companies should think about AI influence at a granular rather than a broad level in the near term, and evaluate vendor capabilities in those areas.

  • Vendors have a renewed emphasis on scalable architecture and the data ingestion and storage capabilities that allow them to consume the massive amount of data generated during lead management processes. This is commonly web session data, which is being considered more frequently in the lead management process, but these capabilities are also important for the use of data from the IoT — sensors embedded in products, for example.

  • Both clients and vendors are placing more emphasis on ABM, which involves evaluating leads (making scoring and workflow decisions, for example) at an account level instead of an individual level. This is often a critical component of lead management within B2B environments, but not as compelling for considered purchases in a B2C environment. It is an important development, because it represents a new method of lead acquisition and lead segmentation — using firmographic and technographic datasets — not previously available from lead management vendors.

  • Increased interest in sales acceleration solutions — tools for outbound marketing to prospects by sales development representatives (SDRs). Sales acceleration tools improve the productivity of SDRs by automating the engagement across channels (email, voice and social channels). They also provide marketing scripts and email templates to ensure that SDRs are saying the right things, in the right order (or cadence). Although these tools are not yet available from lead management vendors, Gartner expects that they will offer these functions in the near future.

Market Overview

The market for CRM lead management continues to grow. In many cases, marketing departments are growing and becoming more complex, so more-robust solutions are needed to deliver the optimal leads to sales teams. In other cases, vendors are expanding into "greenfield" opportunities and replacing the manual processes used by marketing and sales teams.

As in previous years, lead management applications are used in a variety of industries — with a higher concentration in high tech, business services and manufacturing — and by companies with B2B2C sales models, such as those in the insurance, wealth management and investment sectors. The primary goal of lead management applications is to convert contacts into scored, nurtured leads that can be closed by sales teams. Unlike B2C and campaign management applications, which manage large volumes of relatively low-value contacts, lead management often targets more lucrative B2B purchases or the more highly considered consumer purchases.

The relative size of a CRM lead management application deployment can be evaluated based on the number of leads in the database. In past years, databases containing 10,000 to 250,000 contacts were commonplace, but we're now seeing larger implementations in the market, especially for leading vendors, with lead databases commonly surpassing 1 million contacts. The size of the lead database is often the determining factor for the cost of vendor solutions, but additional functions — such as sales-facing applications that integrate with the lead management platform — also contribute toward the total cost.

One noticeable aspect of this year's market is the absence of two large vendors that were included in previous Magic Quadrants for CRM lead management: Adobe and Microsoft.

  • While Adobe continues to sell Adobe Campaign to both B2B and B2C marketers for cross-channel campaign management and email marketing, it has not been actively selling the separate lead management module in the application, and delisted the SKU in March 2017. Adobe is evaluating a potential rewrite for its lead management module; it will continue to support existing customers who purchased, and are using, the lead management module of Adobe Campaign.

  • Microsoft offered lead management through its Dynamics Marketing offering, which has been retired. The upcoming Dynamics 365 for Marketing application will offer some lead management functionality, with additional functionality provided through an enterprise marketing solution in partnership with Adobe.

As part of the Magic Quadrant research process, we surveyed 94 reference customers. Key findings about the market revealed by their responses include the following:

  • Lead management databases are growing. Twenty-six percent of respondents reported having 1 million leads or more in their database; 10% had 500,000 to 1 million; 18% had 100,000 to 500,000; 16% had 50,000 to 100,000; 14% had 20,000 to 50,000; and 10% had 5,000 to 20,000.

  • Eighty-five percent of respondents listed product functionality and performance as a key factor that drove their vendor decision; 61% reported overall cost, 39% reported product roadmap and future vision, and 33% reported breadth of services (multiple responses were allowed).

  • Sixty-five percent of respondents reported using at least some predictive capabilities from their chosen vendor.

  • When asked which channels their lead management application integrates with for multichannel marketing, 78% said email marketing, followed by web, web content or digital commerce sites (62%); campaign management (56%); social sites (49%); and third-party customer data or rented lists (40%).

Acronym Key and Glossary Terms

ABM activity-based management
AI artificial intelligence
BI business intelligence
BPM business process management
CRM customer relationship management
KPI key performance indicator
PRM partner relationship management
SFA sales force automation
SMB small or midsize business
WCM web content management


This Magic Quadrant draws on several sources of information, including primary research conducted by Gartner:

  • We conducted a survey of 94 reference companies during May 2017.

  • We used data drawn from the Gartner Peer Insights portal (a service for technology buyers that gives them access to moderated reviews on technology products that come directly from their peers), which includes reviews of several vendors mentioned in this Magic Quadrant.

  • We drew on information gathered during the past six years from users of Gartner's client inquiry service who were evaluating, implementing or using CRM lead management technologies.

  • We used publicly available sources of information.

Note 1
Definition of Marketing Automation

A segment of CRM, marketing automation, as defined by Gartner, is a general term for several types of marketing functionality: analytics for CRM, CRM lead management, multichannel campaign management and marketing resource management.

Evaluation Criteria Definitions

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.