The Forrester Wave: Sales Force Automation 2017 takes a look at leading CRM Sales Force Automation Solutions.
Sales force automation (SFA) through the use of a customer relationship management system (CRM) is critical to the success and quality of experience provided by sales teams. With a wide range of options to choose from in SFA providers, how do you choose? Which ones stand out above the rest? Data from a 2017 Forrester report clearly indicates that based on current offering, strategy and market presence, Microsoft, Oracle and Salesforce lead the pack.
Traditional SFA options focused solely on operational management are becoming outdated and obsolete. As customers now have access to more information than ever before, modern sellers need immediate access to data and insights that will help them guide the customer journey. As with all technology solutions, the programs that are head and shoulders above the rest are ones that have adapted and are putting the focus on sellers needs, empowering them to better engage with their customers, wherever they may be in the buying cycle.
Today’s modernized Sales Force Automation solutions focus on:
- Providing relevant contextual experiences for various sales roles to better meet the needs of traditional and non traditional sales roles
- Enhancing productivity and allowing sellers the ability to access data from any location, on their desktop or mobile device
- Cultivating a thriving ecosystem of sales applications thereby boosting seller effectiveness
- Using AI and machine learning to guide selling behavior and deepen the engagement with prospects and customers
Forrester assessed the effectiveness of 10 SFA vendors in their study: bpm’online, CRMNEXT, Infor, Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle, Pegasus, Salesforce, SAP and SugarCRM.
Three data sources were used to assess strengths and weaknesses: product demonstrations, vendor surveys and customer reference calls. Each of these vendors offers a complex enterprise organization solution, has a general release product used by its customers, targets multiple industries and appears regularly in Forrester customer inquiries.
Key takeaways of the three SFA leaders include:
- Microsoft leads the way in delivering intelligent seller productivity. Dynamics 365 CRM focuses on seller productivity and delivers strong analytics capabilities, including machine learning and AI offerings. Microsoft is rated highly by customers for pace of innovation. Customers looking to capitalize on the productivity of their Microsoft cloud investments will want to choose them for their SFA as well for its ability to integrate with other Microsoft technologies such as Office 365.
- Oracle’s broad portfolio of common platform selling apps makes them an attractive choice. Oracle has wisely balanced solution breadth, horizontal innovation and industry specialization. Their single, common platform leverages extensibility, user interface and allows for a shorter time-to-value experience.
- Salesforce has focused on seller personas with specific regard to inside sales using Lightning Sales console and Einstein High Velocity Sales Cloud. Salesforce continues to be innovative, but will face challenges in ensuring seamless migrations from its classic experience to its Lightning experience.