The 2014 CRM Market Awards Categories
Enterprise Suite CRM
As opposed to piece-part sales force or contact management offerings, enterprise suite CRM, whether delivered on premises or via software-as-a-service, provides full-scale CRM to enterprises generating more than $1 billion in revenue.
Midmarket Suite CRM
Companies with revenue between $100 million and $1 billion might not have the same technology resources as their enterprise counterparts, but they want the same level of functionality and value. In a push to cater to the midmarket's limited technology budgets, many vendors are offering on-demand and software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions encompassing sales, marketing, and customer service to mimize the complexity of administering and managing complicated systems.
Small-Business Suite CRM
Businesses at the small end of the revenue scale—$100 million and less, sometimes much less—have different needs and goals than larger companies do, and might not be well-served by a CRM system that tries to be all things to all people. The category of small-business suite CRM is intended to showcase the vendors who cater to the entrepreneurial spirit by providing critical functionality at a reasonable price.
Sales Force Automation
Arguably the technology that started CRM, sales force automation (SFA) is a mature category that nonetheless continues to evolve. What was once little more than a phone book today includes elements of content management, business intelligence, and more, while still providing salespeople with the basics they need to perform their roles better.
Incentive management goes by many names, including sales compensation management, but by any name, it's full of pure-play vendors that pack a punch. Thanks to regulatory pressures and the inability of spreadsheet-based incentive strategies to drive revenue, companies look to incentive management to cure compensation hang-ups in sales and service.
Marketing automation software automates various marketing processes, including demand generation, lead generation, customer segmentation, campaign management, channel, management, and marketing analytics. Many vendors offer marketing solutions, and yet the market only sees penetration of between 20 percent and 25 percent. User interfaces have improved, but usability continues to be a challenge. Marketers prefer simplicity, and that often means having a single solution to handle everything. As they are pushed to be more accountable and metric-driven, the vendor that can deliver such a solution will come out on top.
Business intelligence (BI) has evolved from reporting, analytics, and dashboards into a wealth of complexity, with the convergence of structured and unstructured data and the incorporation of BI into other business functions. Though it's climbing to the top of company to-do lists, BI remains an immature market. New players (both on-demand and on-premises) are rapidly entering the market, with a focus on improving the business impact of business intelligence, as opposed to the technology.
Data Quality combines data analysis, cleansing, matching, reporting, and monitoring capabilities. In other words, data quality management software can help verify data is correct, consistent, and complete. Enterprise-class data quality vendors offer both real-time data quality tools and more traditional batch analysis. Whether offered from a CRM or larger platform provider, data quality tools must integrate with various enterprise applications.
Open-source software is built around programming code that is open to the public, as opposed to vendors' proprietary code. This has the potential to provide companies with a new sense of CRM independence while at the same time enabling users to modify products as business priorities change.
CRM initiatives and consulting services have been deeply intertwined since the earliest days of the technology. However, as the face of CRM shifts—with a rapidly growing focus on mobile, analytics, and software-as-a-service (SaaS)—consultancies must learn to adapt. In the last few years, the search for a CRM service provider has morphed from a beauty pageant to a comprehensive evaluation. The new dichotomy is between long-term strategic engagements and short-term tactical ones.