The Best Enterprise CRM Software and Solutions: The 2022 CRM Industry Leader Awards

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The Market

Grand View Research earlier this year valued the global CRM software market at $52.4 billion in 2021 and expects it to expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.3 percent through 2030.

Precedence Research, meanwhile, values it at $61.6 billion this year and projects it to surpass $170 billion by 2030.

Both firms cite rising demand for automated engagement with customers and improving digital operations, along with emerging technologies, such as cloud computing and artificial intelligence, as key drivers of that growth.

According to industry estimates, more than 91 percent of organizations with more than 10 employees use CRM systems to manage at least some aspects of their sales, marketing, and customer service functions.

According to Grand View, the customer service segment dominates the CRM market and accounts for a revenue share of more than 20 percent. However, the CRM analytics segment should witness a significant CAGR as businesses struggle to manage structured and unstructured data through digital channels.

The Top Five

Ray Wang, founder and chairman of Constellation Research, calls Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 “one of the best values for the money,” owing to Microsoft’s integration of Dynamics with so many other products. Wang is not alone in his enthusiasm. “Microsoft continues to provide strong capabilities across the board in sales, marketing, and service and continues to bring the capabilities of Teams and LinkedIn to enhance its CRM suite,” says Rebecca Wettemann, founder and CEO of Valoir. For Kate Leggett, a vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, it’s more than that, citing the company’s “strong vision, the breadth of its suite, and its partner ecosystem.”

Oracle’s strength has always rested in its data capabilities, and that’s reflected in its CRM products. “Oracle will always have a place in enterprise CRM because so many of its applications are just that good,” says Marshall Lager, an independent CRM analyst. “Businesses that rely on heavy lifting of data on a regular basis tend to look at Oracle first.” Oracle also continues to build out vertical solutions that leverage its back-office strengths, Wettemann adds. Leggett calls its marketing and sales products in particular “best in class, supporting complex revenue operations.”

If Salesforce’s CRM portfolio has had one sore spot, it was cost, but the company is tackling that issue and winning fans. The company, Wettemann says, “continued to invest in industry solutions that accelerate time to value for customers and reduce ongoing costs by reducing the reliance on custom objects and configurations.” For Wang, Salesforce’s solutions are “a perennial favorite.” Lager agrees, noting that with its continued expansion in all three pillars of CRM and its “unmatched ability to deliver its message to the market, it’s no surprise that Salesforce winds up [among CRM’s Leaders] every year.” Jim Dickie, a research fellow at Sales Mastery, has another explanation: “Salesforce continues to lead the market in enhancing their platform with sales engagement, analytics, and AI capabilities.” And what it can’t do, surely someone in the AppExchange can.

SAP is especially strong among larger companies where back-office functions, such as logistics, manufacturing, and finance, are just as important as front-office, customer-facing applications. Tying both front- and back-office capabilities together is what has long set SAP apart. Its strength, says Dickie, “is leveraging [CRM] as an add-on to other SAP offerings.” But those CRM offerings also stand up well against the competition on their own. “Each application in the CRM suite is solid and enterprise-grade,” Leggett says.

SugarCRM this year is being hailed as a good alternative to much larger competitors. But that’s not how the company markets its products, nor should it. “Flexibility and adaptability are how Sugar fought its way into the large enterprise game, and it still possesses these qualities,” Lager says. “Sugar has arguably operationalized its [AI] technology better than any other major vendor and really does let the platform do the work.” Wettemann agrees, citing SugarCRM for allowing customers to tailor capabilities and build new functionality to meet specific business needs.

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