I recently received a call from someone who wanted to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and wanted helpful information that directly compares Microsoft Dynamics CRM with SugarCRM. There are useful sites like CompareCRM.com and ERPSoftwareBlog, but I understand how finding that specific information can be challenging, especially for those two types of software in particular and for a company’s unique situation. So here are some additional resources.
The recently updated Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation report by Gartner includes Dynamics CRM and SugarCRM in its evaluation. While both Dynamics CRM and SugarCRM qualify to be in the “Magic Quadrant,” Dynamics CRM is considered to be one of the four Leaders in the Magic Quadrant for SFA and SugarCRM is among the nine Niche Players. “Leaders,” as Gartner states, “demonstrate a market-defining vision of how technology can help the top sales executives achieve business objectives. Leaders have the ability to execute against that vision through products, services and demonstrated solid business results in the form of revenue and earnings. Leaders have significant successful customer deployments in North America, EMEA and Asia/Pacific in a wide variety of vertical industries with multiple proof points above 500 users.” In contrast, “Niche Players offer products for SFA functionality, but may lack some functional components, may not show the ability to consistently handle deployments of over 500 users across multiple geographies, or may lack strong business execution in the SFA market. Niche vendors may offer complete portfolios for a specific vertical, but demonstrate weaknesses in one or more important areas to support cross-industry requirements, such as complex forecasting or sales effectiveness. They may have an inconsistent implementation track record, or may lack the ability to support large-enterprise requirements.” However, organizations may feel a niche player meets their needs and/or they are willing to sacrifice functionality and accept weaknesses for a cheaper price. As Gartner recommends, “qualify the capacity of each vendor to address your unique business problems and technical concerns,” consider “the complexity and scale of your requirements,” and ask yourself, ‘Will this vendor help my sales organization sell more effectively?’”
The challenge of finding comparison details is exacerbated when both software options are not included in top solution reports. For example, while Microsoft Dynamics CRM is included in Business-Software.com’s Top 10 Sales Force Automation, Top 10 Marketing Automation, Top 10 On-Premise CRM Vendors, and Top 10 Small Business CRM Vendors reports, SugarCRM is not in any of those top 10 lists and consequently is not included in the comparisons. However, SugarCRM did make it in the Top 40 list. This illustrates how the number of reports that include both CRM options in order to compare the two can sometimes be limited.
That being said, in addition to reading what analysts say are the best CRM solutions and finding software comparisons, it’s key to select a CRM solution based on the needs and goals of the organization. Have you documented your business goals and objectives for a CRM solution? Are there specific sales issues or marketing challenges that you want your CRM software to solve? To achieve the maximum return on investment, it’s usually best for an organization to develop a CRM strategy first, and then use a solution like Microsoft Dynamics CRM to execute the specific tactics that will achieve the business goals. Whether we do this discovery and analysis with you or review the CRM strategy you have already developed, a trusted advisor like Systematica could then evaluate how Dynamics CRM accomplishes your goals, or doesn’t. I believe this focused evaluation serves companies better than generic product comparisons.