About This Constellation ShortList™

Sales force automation (SFA) solutions focus on documenting and addressing the entirety of the sales process, automating, and recording the specific stages, actions and outcomes of the process as a means to improve productivity of the sales force. Modern SFA tools are extending core SFA competencies like lead, contact, account, and opportunity tracking to also include tools that impact usability and adoption including data enrichment and platform extensibility.

One major challenge with SFA solutions has been ensuring that the system is adopted and used appropriately by sales teams, making mobile access, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) powered digital assistants and copilots, automated workflows and processes for data capture, entry, augmentation, cleansing and analysis have become must-have features. Users from sellers to supervisors expect more robust account analytics and insights that directly benefit salespeople and tools that reduce manual data entry and surface actionable insights for optimized performance.

Teams are actively seeking solutions that are highly intuitive and usable. SFA vendors have answered this call with customizable canvases that fit specific work styles, smart assistants to remove repetitive, mundane tasks that pull attention away from the act of selling and automated data flows that address inconsistencies in data collected across various internal systems. Offerings have been “right-sized” to meet the specific needs of larger, often more complex enterprise needs versus the streamlined and simple approach SMBs look for in SFA tools.

Threshold Criteria

Constellation considers the following criteria for these offerings:

  • Ease of use, user interface
  • Ability to track leads, prospects and customers through sales cycle
  • Marketing integration for full prospect engagement visibility
  • Customer support integration and visibility to effectively manage post-sale engagement
  • 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
  • AI/ML powered virtual assistants
  • Product vision and roadmap
  • Pricing packages
  • Post-sale support and community

The Constellation ShortList™

Constellation evaluates more than 70 solutions categorized in this 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-midsize businesses (SMBs).

Enterprise Solutions

The enterprise category is defined as companies with a broad geographical reach, multiple lines of business and/or over 5,000 employees. These are the best-of-breed vendors that provide application and services without bundling into another platform:

  • Microsoft Dynamics 365
  • Oracle Fusion Sales
  • Salesforce Sales Cloud
  • SAP Sales Cloud

SMB Solutions

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

  • Creatio
  • Copper
  • Freshsales by Freshworks
  • Hubspot Sales Hub
  • Insightly
  • Monday Sales CRM
  • Sugar Sell
  • Vtiger
  • Zendesk Sell
  • Zoho CRM Plus

Frequency of Evaluation

Each Constellation ShortList is updated at least once per year. Updates may occur after six months if deemed necessary.

Evaluation Services

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


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