CRM clients and technology partners alike rate most highly those vendors that serve the small- to medium-size business (SMB) market, or that deliver specialised solutions, according to a report by experts at CRMGuru.com.
The report, entitled 'CRMGuru Solutions Guide 2005', is an analysis of the results of a year-long survey of CRM solution providers, conducted by the respected CRM portal, CRMGuru.com.
According to the report, vendors Onyx and Sage are setting the pace in the SMB space with highly-rated multi-function solutions. In contrast, CRMGuru's analysis found that large enterprise-focused solutions are not as well-received by mid-market customers.
The report also suggests that marketing-focused vendors, such as SAS, SPSS and Unica, are performing better than average, giving them an edge over multi-function suites for large enterprises. RightNow's customer service solution, and sales automation solutions from salesforce.com and SalesLogix, also outperformed multi-vendor suites.
For large enterprises, PeopleSoft CRM edged out the other major-scale solutions for the top score in the multi-function category.
"The voice of customers and partners is rarely heard in analyst reports on the CRM software industry," said Bob Thompson, CRMGuru founder and author of the report. "Our goal was to identify the most customer-centric vendors based on attributes that customers and partners value, taking into account not only what vendors provide but also how they deliver that solution to their customers and the business results that customers achieve."
Another key finding is that only 60% of respondents said their vendor had "shown a sincere interest" in their CRM success. However, four highly rated solutions scored 80% or higher in this "sincerity index."
Vendors were ranked based on a composite "relationship quality" index from 0 to 100. While 40% of the index is derived from the CRM solution ratings, the remaining 60% is calculated from questions about customer satisfaction, loyalty, project success, and ROI. Solutions were rated on seven factors, including functionality, ease of use, ease of implementation, service and technical support, technology platform, total cost of ownership, and vendor stability.
The report contains analyses for each category, with breakdowns illustrated by appropriate charts and graphs, summaries of write-in comments on strengths and weakness for each of the 20 vendors examined, essays on CRM best practices (from Bob Thompson), and a vendor selection guide by industry expert Paul Greenberg. More details about the report are available from the CRMGuru web site.