Which CRM vendors are the best? It’s a popular question, but one that’s not easily answered. The arguments over the relative merits of the different approaches of the multitude of CRM vendors are endless, which is why it’s sometimes a good idea to see what the king of CRM consulting has to say about the subject. Every year Barton Goldenberg, founder and president of ISM, announces the top CRM software vendors in two major categories: Enterprise and SMB. The ISM software lab rates each package according to 217 selection criteria including 110 business functions, 49 technical features, 36 implementation capabilities, 5 real time criteria and 17 user-support features. Goldenberg then releases the winners in alphabetical order.
This year the ISM Top 15 CRM Enterprise winners are:
This year the ISM Top 16 CRM SMB winners are:
In addition to naming the winners, Goldenberg identifies two major issues facing CRM vendors:
1. Meeting the demands of a new generation of users. Vendors are placing increased emphasis on self-service and Web-enabled CRM packages that appeal to customers who are more willing to use the Internet to interface with their suppliers. To leverage this trend, CRM vendors are moving their architecture from client/server and partial Web-enabled solutions to fully architected Web-based applications.
2. Addressing the needs of SMB users. AMR Research (a firm that tracks global IT trends) predicts the SMB market will reach $44.1 billion in CRM sales within the next nine years, and consequently, the SMB market has become increasingly attractive to CRM software vendors, according to Goldenberg. He sees vendors making changes to their technology and marketing approach in order to address the unique needs of this sector.