In today’s reviews-driven marketplace, the starting point for many is to look for a CRM review site.
The proliferation of business technology vendors has spawned a cottage industry of business software review websites. According to one of the sites covered below, enterprise technology is on track to exceed $2 trillion annually.
Some software review sites have hundreds of categories. Categories range from bakery software to heat map software to live chat software.
There are certain categories of business software that lend themselves to relatively quick buying decisions. SEO Software is an example. The options are generally inexpensive. Subscriptions are month to month. Switching from one vendor to another is easy.
On the other hand, for mid-size and enterprise companies, CRM is usually a relatively high long term investment. CRM involves a longer decision making process than, say, heatmap software.
CRM Review Sites & Software Selection
Different CRM review sites include different vendors in their Top 10 or Top 20 vendor listings. For this reason, it’s a good idea to cross reference review sites.
For organizations with more complex business process automation needs, factoring the organization’s CRM requirements is an important part of not only establishing a CRM software short list, but also of making a final vendor decision.
Of course, a comprehensive CRM review site is not sustainable without a revenue model. For most review sites, that model is to pass a visitor’s contact information along to one or more CRM vendors. Which vendors get a visitor’s contact information is either determined by visitor-selected products or from the gathering of a visitor’s high level requirements.
Capterra is owned by Gartner. The acquisition was announced in September 2015.
Capterra lists over 100 products in its CRM category.
To distill this large list down to a manageable number, Capterra ranks the 20 most popular CRM software vendors using Market Score, which is based 40% on the number of customers, 40% on the number of users and 20% on a social score that includes both Capterra reviews and the number of social media followers.
Zoho is the runaway leader in number of users with 20 million. This may be in part due to the company’s freemium model. Most of the other top vendors do not have a free level of service.
Capterra is transparent about their revenue model. CRM vendors pay Capterra when they receive web traffic and sales opportunities. According to Capterra, they list all vendors – not just those that pay them – so that visitors can make the best-informed purchase decision possible.
Like Capterra, Software Advice is a Gartner acquisition. The acquisition was announced in March 2014.
Visitors to the site can request a quote or a demo. Software Advice also provides the option for visitors to submit reviews.
SelectHub opened for business in March 2013. According to the company, “We’re working hard to dramatically improve technology evaluations and onboarding for both buyers and vendors. With SelectHub, your work is easier — no matter which side of the deal you’re on.”
SelectHub lists over 200 CRM vendors in its Customer Relationship Management category. For each listed vendor, a price quote can be requested or a demo can be scheduled.
SelectHub shows a partial Leaderboard on the same page. Requesting the full Leaderboard will trigger a call from SelectHub.
SelectHub’s model is to refer visitors who submit a form to several best-fit CRM vendors based on the results of a high level requirements gathering call. The call is free to the visitor. As with many CRM selection websites, SelectHub makes their money through referrals.
G2 Crowd was founded to take the subjectivity out of software selection. CRM systems are rated by end users.
When both Satistfaction and Market Presence are factored in, G2 Crowd perennially shows Salesforce as the runaway leader in the G2 Crowd Grid® for CRM.
For listed CRM vendors, depending on the company’s business relationship with a vendor, G2 Grid variously displays calls to action to Contact Now, Learn More or Try for Free.
Not surprisingly, PC Magazine takes the most journalistic approach to covering CRM software options.
In addition to showing a comparative table listing as to what the reviewers consider to be the top 10 vendors, PC Magazine includes an extensive narrative on how to evaluate CRM options and what to look for as a CRM buyer.
PC Magazine’s list of the ten best CRM software vendors does not include Microsoft Dynamics 365, which SoftwareAdvice shows as the fourth most popular CRM software.
To add personalization to to the CRM review article, the Senior Editor at PC Magazine makes a video appearance.
PC Magazine’s revenue model is to provide a tracked link to a vendor site when the “See It” call to action button is clicked.
TechnologyAdvice’s CRM category covers over 150 CRM vendors.
For visitors who are in the market for CRM software, the page presents a number of questions. Vendor recommendations are sent based on the answers to those questions.
SoftwareSuggest has an extensive CRM category. Each listed vendor items has call to action buttons which can include Visit Website, Get Quote or Free Demo.
Like PC Magazine, FinancesOnline takes a journalist approach to CRM reviews. For each of the 12 Most Popular CRM systems listed on the site, there is an extensive narrative review.