Sales Force Automation Tools Ranked in Gartner Magic Quadrant

Market research firm Gartner Inc. has released its Magic Quadrant report for Sales Force Automation (SFA). The list includes some new market entrants as well as some tried-and-true behemoths.

First, letEUs look at GartnerEUs definition of companies in the SFA space. These are companies that provide the tools to support automation of sales activities, sales processes, and administrative responsibilities for salespeople, primarily in business-to-business (B2B) organizations. Core functionalities considered by Gartner include account management, contact management, and opportunity management.

Gartner also highlights add-on capabilities that focus on improving sales effectiveness, such as tools for sales configuration, guided selling, proposal generation, and content management. Additional capabilities for sales performance management are also considered, including tools for incentive compensation, quota management, sales coaching, and territory management. With those definitions out of the way, letEUs look at the list.

The Leaders

Gartner cites Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online, and Microsoft Dynamics CRM (the on-premises version) as the clear leaders in the sales force automation space.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM remains a leader based on its product strength, capabilities, and interoperability with Microsoft Office 365, as well as overall end-user satisfaction. Gartner cites additional strengths of Dynamics CRM being its predictive analytics, competitive pricing, and platform extensibility. The company released its first iOS-supported CRM product last year, and its first Android mobile app this year. Gartner also noted Dynamics' improved capabilities for building custom reports and dashboards, addressing a gap noted in last year's Magic Quadrant report. On the cautioning side for Dynamics CRM, Gartner talks about certain complexities of Microsoft's SaaS platform, the need for better integration with non-Microsoft systems and more mobile capabilities.

Salesforce.com also retained its high position in the Leaders quadrant of this year's rankings. Gartner notes that the Salesforce Sales Cloud (pictured above) has shown improved system reliability over the past year...

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