About This Constellation ShortList™

This Constellation ShortList focuses on solutions that extend beyond the core SFA competencies (e.g., lead, contact, account, opportunity tracking) to extensibility, scalability, product vision and solutions that help with organizational usage and adoption. 

SFA software enables companies to track, manage, and engage customers’ and prospects’ interactions. Already a mature market, the SFA vendors are upping the ante by incorporating new, richer functionality, such as advanced analytics, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data enrichment and new productivity tools, making this an exciting inflection point in the space.

One of the key challenges of SFA solutions has nothing to do with system functionality but in ensuring system usage and adoption. The trend in obtaining greater insight and analytics into opportunities and customer behavior is useless without accurate data logged and captured. Vendors providing convenient, automated, mobile-enabled solutions to reduce manual data entry will be welcomed by sellers. 

This update considered the growing prominence of AI for automated insights into customer interaction and engagement, opportunity progression and sales productivity. New to this update is Infor CRM. Customers rated Infor highly on post-sales service and the integration of ERP data to facilitate sales activity. The Infor CloudSuite experience mobile application is both well-designed for both usability and functionality. Also noteworthy is Salesforce Einstein Forecasting, which utilizes AI to review deal attributes and proactively notifies sales leadership of anomalies for better deal projections.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these offerings:

  • Ease of use, user interface
  • Ability to track prospects and customers through sales cycle
  • Marketing integration for full prospect engagement visibility
  • Customer support visibility and management post sale
  • Extensibility through ecosystem of third-party integration apps
  • Productivity tools and extensions to increase usage and adoption
  • Focus on mobility and collaboration 
  • Advanced analytics and role-based reporting
  • Product roadmap and vision
  • Pricing packages
  • Post-sale support and community

The Constellation ShortList

Constellation evaluates over 70 solutions categorized in this particular market. This Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share, and internal research. Constellation also considered client company size and marketing resources to recommend solutions suitable for enterprises and small-to-medium businesses (SMB).

Enterprise Solutions

The enterprise category is defined as companies with a broad geographical reach, multiple lines of business, and/or over 5000 employees. These are the best-of-breed vendors that provide application and services without bundling into another platform:

  • Infor CRM
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Oracle Sales Cloud
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud

SMB Solutions

SMBs have limited resources and budget, which is factored into the selection criteria. As SMBs grow, the solution needs to have the ability to scale accordingly. These are the best-of-breed vendors that provide applications and services without bundling into 
another platform:

  • Bpm’online
  • Freshsales
  • SugarCRM
  • Zoho CRM Plus

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList evaluation will be updated every 180 days as needed.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion of this ShortList. Constellation can also provide guidance in vendor selection and contract negotiation.

Connect with a Constellation analyst or learn more. Click here. 

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