Most of the buzz in the CRM industry the last couple of years has revolved around giant, megabuck projects at Fortune 1000 companies. No surprise there: CRM vendors would naturally rather brag about a million-dollar deal with a household-name corporation than a mere six-figure project at an obscure company. And, of course, the big deals get more coverage in the press, including here in SFFA.
Lately, though, the focus seems to be turning to the midmarket-SFA projects involving a few hundred seats rather than thousands. It would be easy to come to the conclusion that there's a sea change happening in the CRM business-perhaps the Fortune 1000 market has become saturated, or the smaller companies are finally waking up to the virtues of technology after years of hiding their heads in the sand.
Nothing could be further from the truth. While big deals have gotten most of the fanfare, small to midsize firms have been quietly implementing SFA solutions all along. Just ask CRM software companies like SalesLogix, Pivotal, MultiActive, GoldMine...or others too numerous to list here. They've been quietly building successful systems at midsize companies, and midsize divisions of the big corporations, for years. In many cases, precisely because of their more modest scale, those projects have proved more successful and garnered greater rewards than the giant automation initiatives that you've heard so much about.
Nor is the high-end market anywhere near saturated. The folks at Siebel and other high-end vendors assure us that they're still finding plenty of potential customers at all levels.
That said, we are seeing new vitality in the midmarket and tremendous potential for future growth-after all, small and midsize companies are the backbone of our economy, vastly outnumbering large corporations. And a large percentage of midsize companies are still in the early stages of using sales technology.
We'll continue to watch this vibrant and growing market closely in the future.