Will the Next Major CRM Player Please Stand Up

by David Cummings

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) has been around for decades. Over the past 10 years, Salesforce.com has risen to prominence as both the largest Software as a Service (SaaS) company in the world and the largest CRM company in the world. Salesforce.com has an incredibly powerful product that is now geared towards the enterprise and over time has moved away from the small and even low mid market segments. Also, at a price point of $65 – $125/user/month (retail), the pricing is more inline with what larger organizations can afford to spend. The product is the most robust and most well integrated with other applications.

Market wise, there exists an opportunity for a lighter weight, more end-user friendly CRM that’s in the $5 – $15/user/month for the small to mid-sized business segment of the market. It doesn’t need to be as comprehensive as Salesforce.com, but it does need to be fairly customizable, and just as important, integrate with a large number of third-party apps (one of the most challenging things). SugarCRM, NetSuite, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM have strong products, but all target the enterprise with products that are north of $30/user/month.

Here are some of the current contenders in the SMB market:

  • Zoho CRM
  • Nutshell
  • Nimble
  • Capsule CRM
  • Highrise (more of a contant manager than CRM)
    $49/month for 15 users
  • Batchbook
    $50/month/10,000 contacts (no per user fees)

So, the SMB market is clearly healthy with a number of competitors, but talking to other entrepreneurs, no system dominates. I believe over the next 2-3 years another CRM player will emerge as the leading SMB provider, and it’s only a matter of time before the winner becomes apparent.

What else? Do you use any of these products and who do you think will be the next major CRM player?





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