The famous “Magic Quadrant” from Gartner is out evaluating the Leaders, Challengers, Visionaries and Niche Players for Sales Force Automation solutions.

According to Gartner, the sales force automation market grew 9.8% to almost $6 billion (wow!) and by 2018 they anticipate that manual data entry by salespeople for sales force automation systems will be reduced by 50% due to adoption of mobile sales productivity tools.

At Ledgeview Partners we are a Gold Microsoft Dynamics CRM partner and a Silver Consulting Partner with Salesforce and once again are pleased to announce that the only two CRM solutions in the “Leaders” quadrant are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

Note that Microsoft Dynamics CRM has two listings in that quadrant. One for their online (cloud) product and also one for on-premises.

Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation

Gartner Magic Quadrant SFA 2016

Below I want to provide you with the direct product feedback from Gartner including product overview, the strengths, and what to be cautious with when considering both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

If you wish to discuss any of the features, strengths or cautions listed below please contact us at Ledgeview Partners and we would be happy to address any questions you have.

Salesforce

Salesforce maintains its position in the Leaders quadrant, based on the strength of Salesforce Sales Cloud’s functionality, plus product improvements, the size of its customer installed base, and marketing execution. Salesforce is a SaaS-only SFA solution that provides a wide set of sales automation capabilities, ranging from mobile sales productivity apps to advanced analytics, which are relevant to all types of sales organizations.

STRENGTHS

Product vision: With recent improvements in mobile sales productivity and Lightning, combined with promised capabilities on the Sales Cloud roadmap, Salesforce continues to maintain a strong product vision for sales efficiency and effectiveness.

Application marketplace: Salesforce has the deepest application marketplace of any SFA vendor, featuring more than 1,000 third-party applications for sales. This is an important consideration for companies that want to deploy new sales capabilities without extensive custom development.

Platform: Salesforce continues to have the strongest SaaS platform offering in the SFA market. Customer references cite the strength of the Force.com platform for customizing, extending and scaling their sales processes. Salesforce also rates well for the ability to create custom mobile apps.

CAUTIONS

Perception of value and sales execution: Customer references gave Salesforce the lowest score of all providers for perception of product value. They also gave Salesforce comparatively low scores for contract negotiations and pricing flexibility.

Lighting: Salesforce has not yet migrated several important Sales Cloud functions onto Lightning — notably, forecasts, person accounts, several activity functions, and certain opportunity product functions.

SFA capabilities: Reference customers cited concerns about Salesforce’s relatively low capability in content management. They also noted concerns about the quality of its Outlook integration, with gaps in advanced analytic capabilities and a lack of mobile offline capabilities on iOS devices.

Microsoft (Dynamics CRM Online)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online remains a Leader in this year’s Magic Quadrant on the strength of its SFA product capabilities, SFA product vision, marketing execution and end-user satisfaction. Dynamics CRM Online appears on many buyers’ shortlists, because of its attractive price and its relevance to other Microsoft offerings, but Microsoft has also improved its ability to sell to sales leaders. Dynamics CRM Online has a wide range of SFA capabilities that are relevant to sales organizations, both midsize and large.

STRENGTHS

SFA product vision: Among the leading SFA vendors, Microsoft has a notable vision for how advanced analytics in SFA applications apply to sales execution. Microsoft Power BI advanced analytics and Azure predictive analytics are already embedded into Dynamics CRM Online. In the future, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online will unite these capabilities with big data analytic capabilities to produce data-driven sales execution benchmarks and to identify sales process best practices.

Platform: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online offers a highly configurable solution, based on Microsoft’s proprietary technology. Customer references give Microsoft high scores for the ability to use the platform to build custom sales processes.

Customer experience: Microsoft’s reference customers gave it high scores for post-sales customer support and customer success processes.

CAUTIONS

Platform architecture: Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online is supported by two different technology architectures, the product configuration architecture and the Azure cloud platform for advanced capabilities such as predictive analytics and offline mobile functionality. Clients and prospects with significant customizations should be aware that Microsoft plans to migrate all Dynamics CRM Online services onto Azure, but has not yet publicly committed to a cut-over roadmap with firm migration dates.

Sales strategy: Microsoft needs to improve how it sells to enterprises; it currently relies on an extensive partner network to source, sell and implement Dynamics CRM Online. Some Dynamics CRM Online customers have told Gartner that they had expected better input from Microsoft regarding product implementation and product best practices.

Application marketplace: Compared with other leading SFA vendors, Microsoft offers relatively few sales-specific applications in the CRM App Store, which is a consideration for clients wanting to quickly extend their SFA implementation with additional processes without building extensive customizations.

Microsoft (Dynamics CRM – On-Premises)

Microsoft Dynamics CRM (the on-premises companion to Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online), returns in the Leaders quadrant again this year. Sharing the same codebase as the online Dynamics product, Microsoft Dynamics on-premises offers a full set of SFA capabilities for B2B and B2C processes. Microsoft maintains a single annual product release for Dynamics CRM, updating the product with functionality already released in the preceding two releases of Online. Organizations consider Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises primarily in order to capitalize on their existing investments in the on-premises Microsoft technology stack (such as SharePoint and SQL Server), and to maintain control over data security considerations. It also gives them control over when product enhancements are released and applied, which is not an option with many other SaaS SFA offerings.

STRENGTHS

Partner networks: Microsoft continues to maintain a large community of value-added resellers and independent software vendors for selling, implementing and maintaining on-premises SFA implementations.

Microsoft integration: Customer references gave Dynamics CRM high scores for its interoperability with Microsoft Outlook, Office 365, SharePoint and Skype for Business.

Configurability: Customer references scored Dynamics CRM highly for its deep application configuration capabilities and its ability to customize processes with Azure and xRM administrative functions.

CAUTIONS

Product release schedule: Microsoft’s single annual release will not be frequent enough for companies that want to rapidly transform their sales processes, an issue also cited by its customer references.

Mobile: Microsoft scored comparatively low levels of satisfaction with its mobile offering. References cited issues with limited functionality and a lack of customization.

Outlook integration: Clients of Dynamics CRM cited several issues with Outlook integration, including the Outlook login and the ability to synchronize calendar events.

>> Access the complete report from Gartner

If you want to discuss more of the capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce give us a call. If you want to see deeper how each compares, check our on-demand webinar presentation of Salesforce vs Microsoft Dynamics CRM.

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Director of Marketing at Ledgeview Partners