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Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation

The sales force automation market grew 15.7% to $6.2 billion in 2017, and embedded predictive analytics is now a common capability from the leading SFA vendors. Our evaluation of 15 vendors will help application leaders choose the solution that best meets their sales execution requirements.

Strategic Planning Assumption
By 2021, 15% of all sales technology spending will be applied to sales enablement technology, up from 8.7% in 2016.

Market Definition/Description
This document was revised on 5 November 2018. The document you are viewing is the corrected version. For more information, see the Corrections ( page on

Gartner defines sales force automation (SFA) as systems that support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for organizations’ sales professionals. Gartner considers SFA to be foundational technology, implemented to automate an organization’s core sales processes.

The core functionalities of the SFA market include:

Account, contact and opportunity management.

Sales activity management.

Sales forecasting.

Mobile applications.


Partner relationship management (PRM).*

Platform capabilities.*

*Gartner has added the last two capabilities to its market definition this year.

There are additional sales technologies and capabilities that are necessary for improving the sales effectiveness of salespeople. These include but are not limited to:

– Sales enablement.
– Relationship intelligence.
– Lead management.
– Guided selling.
– Sales content management.
– CPQ tools

While they are important, Gartner does not deem these extensions to be core to its market definition.

Source: Gartner (July 2018)

Vendor Strengths and Cautions.


Aptean remains in the Niche Players quadrant. Its performance in sales execution, marketing execution and customer experience relative to the leading vendors contributed to its downward movement within the quadrant. The Pivotal Sales Force Automation product runs on Microsoft Azure and is suitable for midsize and larger companies with complex processes. It offers deployment choices of on-premises, single-tenant cloud and multitenant cloud, but there are gaps between the on-premises and SaaS versions. Aptean offers a wider range of vertical-specific capabilities relative to the other vendors in this Magic Quadrant, including solutions for financial services, manufacturing, real estate/construction, insurance and regulatory associations. In

January 2018, Aptean completed integration to Microsoft Office 365, UX enhancements and a mobile application with online/offline capabilities.


Platform capabilities: Aptean reference customers in the Magic Quadrant survey gave Pivotal Sales Force Automation high scores for quality and ease of integration with external systems.

Market responsiveness: Reference customers noted that Aptean’s customer advisory board and executive team are really listening to them and making improvements to the product as a result.

Sales execution: Aptean is a global company with a product line that extends beyond SFA. The majority of its revenue comes from clients in North America, and most newly acquired customers come from Europe and APAC.


Sales and marketing execution: Aptean has acquired very few new customers since last year compared to other vendors in this Magic Quadrant. It also has a comparatively lower number of qualified implementation partners.

Customer experience: Some Aptean reference customers cited support and professional services turnover as an issue.

Analytics innovation: Aptean has yet to develop predictive analytics capabilities to increase sales execution effectiveness. It is late to the market compared with the leaders in this Magic Quadrant, which have made several advancements.


Base is again a Visionary, based on its strong market understanding and product vision for improving sales execution. Base’s SFA product features a UI that simplifies manual data entry and automatically pushes sales activity insights to users. It is aimed at small and midsize businesses seeking a comparatively easy-to-use application that can be deployed quickly. All implementations and customer onboarding are performed by Base’s postsales resources. The vendor’s strongest competitive differentiator is a prescriptive analytics product named Apollo. In the past year, Base has added event-driven workflow functionality and a new marketplace for integration connectors.


Roadmap and product innovation: Base continues to maintain a strong product roadmap and deliver new capabilities years before the larger SFA vendors provide them. It has one of the largest investments in SFA research and development of all the vendors surveyed by Gartner, with future planned features including an autoprospecting function. Product roadmap and deliver new capabilities years before the larger SFA vendors provide them. It has one of the largest investments in SFA research and development of all the vendors surveyed by Gartner, with future planned features including an autoprospecting function.

Ease of use: Base has one of the most attractive and easy-to-learn UIs in the market. Reference customers also gave it the second-highest assessment for ease of use of all the vendors in this Magic Quadrant.

Sales process automation: The product features functions that reduce or simplify manual data entry, such as automatically capturing sales activity from email messages, or providing one-tap voicemail delivery functions. Base Apollo features prescriptive next-best-action recommendations.


Customization: Reference customers for Base cited missing functionality that is common to other vendor products in this Magic Quadrant, such as the ability to customize the UI, build custom reports or extend the product into nonsales use cases.

Implementation partners: Compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, Base has a significantly lower number of system integrators. All implementations are managed by Base’s postsales team — a consideration for midsize companies looking to implement complex sales processes.

Product vision and scope: Compared to the leading SFA vendors, Base has a modest roster of native product capabilities and third-party add-on tools.


Bpm’online remains in the Challengers quadrant but with improved positioning, due to its customer experience scores from reference customers and improved execution. Bpm’online sales is a comprehensive SFA product that is underpinned by business process management functionality, enabling it to manage complex sales processes with ease. SFA is part of a bigger suite from bpm’online also offering integrated marketing and service functionality. The vendor can handle long and short sales cycles in both B2B and B2C sales processes. Bpm’online recently released an online marketplace of applications that already has hundreds of apps, some with one- click integration. Recent releases include new functionality in customer profile enrichment and case management tools, as well as mobile dashboards and Kanban boards for opportunities.


Sales process modelling: Bpm’online’s core SFA capabilities are extended with a deep business process management capability, which means that multiple different customer journeys and sales processes can easily be modeled in the system.

Market responsiveness: Reviewers on Gartner Peer Insights have noted that bpm’online is very responsive to customer enhancement requests.

Customer experience: Reference customers gave bpm’online the highest overall customer satisfaction and experience ratings in this Magic Quadrant.


Regionalfootprint: Bpm’online’s customer footprint in the APAC and North America regions is not as large as those of the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant.

New customer growth: The vendor’s marketing has had limited impact beyond EMEA, so awareness of bpm’online across the wider CRM market is limited. It is targeting larger enterprises and winning deals, but the number is modest compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant.

Implementation partners: Compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, bpm’online has fewer global system integration partners and certified implementation resources.


CRMNEXT’s position as a Visionary is driven by its market understanding and market strategy. It offers vertical-specific products, mainly for the financial services, insurance, retail and pharmaceutical industries. It can do very large implementations, especially in banking, and is primarily implemented in B2C financial services companies. CRMNEXT is a holistic product suite with multiple modules built on a unified platform and code base. The SFA offering is part of an integrated CRM product suite including marketing, lead management, customer service, loan origination, digital acquisition and digital services. CRMNEXT offers end-to-end processes such as the loan origination process, covering steps from lead qualification through opportunity underwriting to disbursal and collection.


Technology: CRMNEXT has a proprietary Catalyst sales performance modeler that uses multiple parameters, such as historical KPI performance, current revenue run rate and campaign effectiveness. Admins can use the models to create revenue and sales activity targets for sales reps, and to monitor performance against sales execution metrics.

Relationship intelligence: Reference customers rated CRMNEXT comparatively higher on relationship intelligence compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant. The vendor provides insightful views of contacts and accounts, such as engagement health factor and “who knows who” connections, allowing for relationship activity plans.

Roadmap: CRMNEXT’S roadmap for new functionalities includes a chatbot engine that manages interactions with customers and prospects, and that performs actions on behalf of agents, such as qualifying leads or completing underwriting approvals.


Application marketplace: CRMNEXT doesn’t provide a third-party marketplace, which is a common offering from the leading SFA vendors. Prospects outside of CRMNEXT’s core industries that are interested in extended sales technologies will not find additional applications developed by authorized ISVs or other CRMNEXT partners.

Forecasting: Reference customers gave CRMNEXT comparatively low scores for forecasting and for account and contact capabilities, relative to all the Magic Quadrant vendors. B2B prospects in particular should carefully evaluate these functionalities, as both are core elements for B2B sales teams.

Geographic presence: Seventy-five percent of CRMNEXT’s revenue comes from APAC. The vendor lacks the same level of sales and support resources in North America that the leading Magic Quadrant vendors exhibit.


Infor improved its position this year within the Niche Players quadrant, based on its marketing strategy and product developments over the last 12 months. It targets enterprises in the manufacturing, distribution, retail, hospitality, public sector, healthcare and financial services industries. Infor’s SFA product is available on-premises or as SaaS. Further CRM-related technologies offered by the vendor include CPQ, contract life cycle management (CLM), a commerce module (Rhythm), marketing resource management (MRM), campaign management (Marketo/OCM) and interaction advisor (IA). Acquired by Infor in 2017, Birst allows customers to leverage analytical capabilities such as predictive analytics.


Opportunity management: Infor CRM for sales provides good functions for tracking the sales cycle, gauging the likelihood of closing sales and reviewing win/loss data, in order to take corrective actions early on. These capabilities also allow for strategic decisions such as territory realignment.

Implementation support: Infor offers packaged implementations to help customers with time to market. It offers, for example, a quick-start program including basic activities such as user, contact and account importing; mobile app deployment; and user access rights configuration.

Relationship intelligence: Reference customers rated relationship intelligence highly for Infor compared to other vendors in this Magic Quadrant. Infor provides better understanding of customer interactions and activities, and allows for higher visibility into the customer life cycle.


Geographic presence: Infor derives the majority of its SFA revenue from North America, and has limited presence in EMEA and Latin America. Prospects outside the U.S. should determine their requirements for implementation services and ensure availability in their region. Reference customers claimed it is hard to find implementation partners all over the world to support a global rollout.

Reporting: Reference customers rated Infor’s reporting capabilities comparatively lower than the average score for all the vendors in this Magic Quadrant.

Forecasting management: Infor’s forecasting capabilities lag those of the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, according to reference customers.


Insightly makes its inaugural appearance in this Magic Quadrant, entering as a Niche Player. Insightly CRM is a SaaS-only product for small-to-midsize sales organizations. The product offers several core SFA capabilities, including opportunity management and pipeline management.
Insightly CRM features an embedded, native project management module, which is not common among other SFA offerings. The product also features relationship intelligence functions to help determine the strength of relationships with decision makers.
In the past year, Insightly has improved the product with a Kanban board view for pipeline management, improved Outlook integration, new data visualization dashboards and improved metadata architecture. Insightly has a Salesforce migration tool that moves physical data and metadata from Salesforce into Insightly.


Sales execution: In 2017, Insightly had one of the highest customer acquisition rates of the vendors evaluated by Gartner in this Magic Quadrant. The company has over 25,000 corporate clients, covering 1.5 million end users worldwide.

Application platform: Insightly’s reference customers cited the quality of the product’s platform for extensibility, reporting, workflow automation and integration with Google.

Product innovation: The relationship intelligence functions are embedded into the SFA product. Insightly’s business relationship graph parses emails from Outlook 365 or Gmail for quantity of interactions with employees, to identify the relative strength of relationships with customers.


Product vision: Insightly lacks the same depth of capabilities common to the leading SFA vendors, particularly in forecast management, partnership relationship management, guided selling, predictive analytics for opportunities and quota management.

Customer experience: Reference customers gave Insightly comparatively low scores for overall experience and willingness to recommend the product, relative to all the Magic Quadrant vendors. Customers specifically indicated concerns with timely responses to product questions and ability to understand their needs.

Functional depth: Reference customers gave Insightly comparatively low scores for ease of use, mobile functionality, enforcing record editing permissions and forecasting.


Microsoft is in the Leaders quadrant, based on the quality of its product vision, integration with other products and sales execution. Having established a larger field sales organization to sell to enterprises, Microsoft continues to demonstrate that it is selling to larger sales organizations than it has in the past. Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales is available as SaaS or on-premises, and there is a native mobile application that works in offline mode on both mobile phones and tablets. In the past year, Microsoft has addressed customer concerns by updating the usability of the web browser UI, and released a new sales solution, Microsoft Relationship Sales, that combines Dynamics 365, Office 365 and LinkedIn Sales Navigator into a single SFA offering. After a recent update, it now features a rebuilt lead management module and a function for real-time updates on tracked accounts.


Marketing and sales execution: Based on conversations with Gartner clients, Microsoft is in larger, more-complex SFA implementations than it has been in the past. The company is drawing interest from prospects in retail banking and retail — verticals that have complex business processes and significant data integration requirements.

Product vision for sales transformation: Microsoft has a notably strong vision for defining how its sales technology relates to companies’ B2C customer experience and digital transformation initiatives. Reference customers positively noted its meaningful vision for supporting better sales execution initiatives.

Product scope: Microsoft offers a significant number of native SFA product capabilities, including newer capabilities such as predictive analytics for lead scoring, customer churn indicators and relationship health.


Application performance: Gartner continues to field comments from some of our clients and Magic Quadrant references about the speed and performance of Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales in SaaS deployments. Microsoft attributes the issue to poor implementation design. Clients and prospects with complex process automation and large datasets should consult with Microsoft’s product experts before planning deployment.

Contracting and licensing: Reference customers gave Microsoft comparatively low scores for ability to understand buyer needs, pricing flexibility and overall satisfaction with the contracting process, relative to all the Magic Quadrant vendors.

Postsales technical and customer success support: Compared to other vendors in this Magic Quadrant, reference customers gave Microsoft low scores for quality of technical support, quality of support from customer success resources, and product documentation.


Oracle strengthened its position in the Leaders quadrant with a significant increase in its Ability to Execute, reflecting its own rapid growth and the maturity of its CRM cloud suite offering. Oracle Sales Cloud is part of the Oracle CX Cloud Suite, a SaaS-based solution that offers comprehensive breadth of CRM functions. While Oracle CX Cloud Suite is primarily installed in midsize corporations, the Sales Cloud product is relevant for enterprises with large user bases and complex requirements. In the past year, Oracle has improved its mobile application, adding automated data capture functions, and released its first virtual digital sales assistant function. It has improved its Adaptive Intelligence applications with prescriptive next-best actions and account insights. Oracle has also expanded its number of vertical-specific applications, adding an automotive dealer management application.


Cloud revenue growth: Annual revenue growth for Oracle CX Cloud Suite has exceeded 45% in each of the last two years (Gartner estimate), reflecting the strength of Oracle’s improved sales and marketing execution.

Vertical solutions: Oracle is building solutions out in at least eight industries so far, making it attractive for prospects in those supported. Further, Oracle has a roadmap for additional industries to address each one’s unique challenges.

Scope of predictive analytics: Although to date there are only a small number of delivered use cases in sales and marketing, the platform is now in place to rapidly roll out additional use cases of AI across CRM/CX and other applications. Unlike other vendors in this Magic Quadrant, Oracle enables admins to control the relative influence of certain fields and attributes in the predictive models.


Functionality: Reference customers rated Oracle comparatively lower for lead and opportunity management, relative to all the Magic Quadrant vendors.

Dated web UI: Oracle’s web/desktop-only client UI is outdated compared to those of best-in- class offerings.

Sales execution: Some reference customers noted that Oracle sales teams did not clearly communicate the limits of existing GA functionality as opposed to planned functionality on the vendor’s product roadmap.


Pegasystems moved into the Visionaries quadrant this year on the strength of improved vision for its technical architecture and for its relevance to customer experience initiatives. It is one of the few vendors providing a common data model and single platform code base, with on-premises, cloud and hybrid deployment options, making it attractive to verticals where on-premises deployments are required. The Pegasystems SFA product is aimed at B2C enterprise deployments, particularly those with complex workflow and business processes, using its native intelligent business process management system (iBPMS). AI provided in the underlying platform has been well-implemented by the vendor to provide insights and guidance in multiple use cases throughout the SFA product. In particular, a new forecasting widget provides insights into forecast accuracy.


Product quality: Reference customers cited the overall quality of the Pegasystems SFA product, noting that the vendor adds a deep set of SFA capabilities each product release.

Integrated predictive analytics: Pegasystems integrates its Decision Hub predictive analytics platform with the SFA application, providing insights and prescriptive next-step guidance.

Business process modeling and automation: The underlying iBPMS functionality works well to support complex sales processes — for instance, in mortgage and loan origination. This capability makes Pegasystems suitable for larger, complex enterprise deployments.


B2B sales execution: Compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, Pegasystems has very few B2B deployments.

Partners and certified consultants: Compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, Pegasystems has had relatively modest success with recruiting small and midsize implementation partners for SFA implementations. Its number of certified implementation resources trails the levels of the leading SFA vendors.

Relationships with customers: Reference customers rated satisfaction with Pegasystems’s overall customer experience and with contract negotiations lower than the all-vendor averages in this Magic Quadrant.


PipelineDeals maintains a solid position as a Niche Vendor, having strongly improved its Ability to Execute. PipelineDeals is a competitively priced offering aimed at small business users in companies with revenue below $100 million. It offers an attractive but simple SFA application on web and mobile. It does not offer marketing or service capabilities. Recent enhancements include postsale customer management features such as key milestones and deliverables, customer health and happiness indicator tracking, and a “team” capability to allow management of complex accounts. The company has also clarified its go-to-market strategy, using a self-service channel for the smallest deals, focusing its inside sales team on the larger deals, and developing a partner channel.


Ease of deployment: Reference customers gave PipelineDeals notably high ratings for ease of deployment and deployment timelines.

Customer service: Free telephone technical support and customer service processes were rated very highly by PipelineDeals’s reference customers, who cited the speed of the vendor’s response and resolution times.

Ease of use: Reference customers rated the PipelineDeals product highly for core capabilities such as account, contact and activity management, and for other capabilities such as lead management and advanced analytics.


Revenue growth: PipelineDeals reported 2017 revenue of less than $6 million, representing only modest growth of approximately 10% year over year, lower than the overall SFA market growth of 16%.

SFA functionality: The PipelineDeals product lacks functionality outside of SFA, such as CPQ, and relies on a limited set of integrations and extensions for functionality such as customer service and marketing.

Implementation and ISV partners: PipelineDeals lacks an ecosystem of implementers or product add-ons.


Salesforce stays in the Leaders quadrant for the 12th year in a row, reflecting the vendor’s continued strength of product vision and revenue growth. With over 4 million users, Salesforce Sales Cloud provides a wide span of native functionality in all SFA critical capabilities, boasts market-leading platform functionality, and offers extensions for partner relationship management and CPQ. In the past year, Salesforce has boosted Sales Cloud Einstein AI investments, adding predictive lead and opportunity scoring functions. It has also updated Trailhead for learning, adding functionality that permits users to create custom training classes integrated directly with their Salesforce org.


Market strategy: Among the leading vendors surveyed by Gartner, Salesforce has a notably strong market strategy. It offers products for different customer segments, from SMB to global enterprise. It develops marketing messages and content for all decision-making roles. It has one of the largest implementation partner ecosystems, supporting deployments in all geographies.

Postsales support: Salesforce has the most extensive postsales support organization of any vendor in this Magic Quadrant. It offers a wide scope of tools and product documentation for self-directed education on product best practices. For larger clients, it offers dedicated, on- demand assistance from customer success resources.

Innovation and product releases: Salesforce continues to maintain a strong record for product releases, adding a significant number of new SFA functions in each release and maintaining a comparatively good record for innovative functionality.


Contract negotiation and sales tactics: Gartner clients, Salesforce reference customers and Gartner Peer Insights reviewers all give Salesforce comparatively low satisfaction scores, on average, for contract negotiation, sales tactics and pricing flexibility.

Value from product: Some Salesforce clients and reference customers continue to have difficulty attaining value from their investment in Salesforce, citing issues with low user adoption, unrealized business results and the overall product cost.

Functionality satisfaction: Reference customers gave Salesforce comparatively low scores, on average, for ease of use, activity management, sales content management, master data management and pipeline inspection functions.


SAP returns as a Visionary, based upon the scope of its SaaS-based SFA product. SAP Hybris Sales Cloud provides broad and deep vertical capabilities as well as industry-specific process flows, data models and attributes for the following industries: consumer products, industrial machinery and components, automotive, professional services, utilities, high-tech, the public sector, travel, wholesale, and chemicals. The product is mostly acquired by large enterprises with complex, strategic B2B sales across large teams, with long sales cycles and comprehensive product offerings. SAP has grown its SFA revenue considerably, with its year-over-year growth rate the third-highest among the vendors evaluated.
SAP has had difficulty articulating a vision for SAP Hybris to customers and prospects in recent years. It reacted to this in early June (after the research period for this Magic Quadrant closed) by launching its CRM portfolio as the SAP Customer Experience suite, branded SAP C/4HANA. Additionally, SAP upgraded its data center hardware infrastructure and doubled the number of data centers to improve availability and performance recently. Furthermore, SAP will release a new data workbench on SAP Cloud Platform and is investing in consulting enablement and best- practice documentation.

Note: In early 2018, SAP acquired CallidusCloud, a CPQ and sales performance management software vendor. Related integration plans and product roadmap were not available prior to the research cut-off for this Magic Quadrant.


Sales functional breadth: SAP Hybris Sales Cloud offers functionalities that extend beyond basic SFA, such as relationship intelligence, sales training and coaching, sales acceleration for outbound lead management, advanced analytics, and social collaboration. The relationship intelligence capabilities are appreciated by the reference customers.

Industry functional depth: SAP Hybris Sales Cloud supports front-office functional breath by providing vertical products to customers. Customers from different industries will find that it supports their market-specific needs in workflow and process design.

Front-to-back-office process integration: SAP plays to its strengths in ERP, with tight process- level integration of end-to-end processes that run through the front and back offices, such as order-to-cash, returns and claims management.


Customer service: Reference customers shared their dissatisfaction about SAP Hybris Sales Cloud customer support, including upgrades, uptime and performance issues. They also claimed that the consulting teams have not been meeting their needs well enough.

Migration support: Gartner has collected concerns from SAP Hybris Sales Cloud customers about the lack of data migration tools and data migration support provided by SAP. Prospects should verify if the data migration project is feasible for their organization, and if so, start their data migration process as early as possible.

Sales and marketing strategy: Based on interactions with customers and prospects, Gartner finds that SAP lags behind the leading vendors in its ability to reach sales leaders, who find it difficult to see the business value of SAP Hybris Sales Cloud.


SugarCRM reaffirmed its position in the Visionaries quadrant this year. Its vision is supported by a solid marketing strategy, reflected in its broad go-to-market approach. SugarCRM sells to businesses of all sizes, but primarily is acquired by companies with 200 to 5,000 employees. Its SFA revenue distribution is very balanced, with 42% in North America, 35% in EMEA, 13% in APAC and 9% in Latin America. SugarCRM has moved to a cloud-first release model, which includes four releases per year for partners and customers. Since 2017, it has an additional product line, Hint, to complement its relationship management functionalities with relationship intelligence capabilities. Its near-term product roadmap includes the release of 100 out-of-the-box reports and corresponding dashlets.


Relationship intelligence: SugarCRM Hint delivers public social account profiles and uncovers the insights about a business relationship. It can be extended through the relationship analytics for SugarCRM.

Implementation: SugarCRM received comparatively high reference customer ratings for its smooth implementation and easy maintenance, relative to all the Magic Quadrant vendors.

Deployment options: The SugarCRM cloud hosting provider is Amazon Web Services, which offers deployment support across North America, EMEA and Australia.


Reporting and dashlets: Reference customers mentioned dissatisfaction with the reporting and dashlet functionalities provided by SugarCRM. The engagement of programmers is needed to create new dashlets that complement those delivered out of the box.

Product functionality: SugarCRM received comparatively low reference customer ratings for its capabilities in account and contact management, for its lead management functionalities, and for its mobile application — core elements for managing complex B2B sales processes. Prospects assessing SugarCRM for long-cycle B2B solution sales should assess carefully.

Implementation services: Reference customers cited concerns with the quality of services provided by SugarCRM’s own professional services group, and with the availability of third-party implementers.


Xiaoshouyi continues as a Niche Player as it sells only to customers in China. The SFA product is well-suited for small to midsize businesses that have B2B and B2C sales processes. It supports Chinese companies with global operations, and has plans to move upmarket. Xiaoshouyi has had success with acquiring customers in the high-tech/software, manufacturing and professional services industries. It offers a free version and free trial versions, as well as Professional and Enterprise editions. Capabilities include core SFA functionality such as lead, territory, opportunity and account management as well as some near-core capabilities such as order management. It has native integration with Tencent’s QQ mail service.
Xiaoshouyi has a strong mobile application for iOS and Android, and communication with WeChat is natively embedded. It opened a North American product development office in 2017.


Service and support: Xiaoshouyi received high satisfaction scores for service and support from reference customers, who also stated that it is very customer-focused in service delivery.

Product enhancements: Xiaoshouyi has a mobile-first design that also features a developer platform and APIs. Reference customers stated that product enhancements come quickly, but often lack deep functionality in their first iterations.

Innovation: Xiaoshouyi’s graphical approach to relationship intelligence is not yet seen from other SFA vendors. This provides customers the ability to see via mobile and the web “who knows who”-type functions and notifications, enabling sales reps to be more effective.


Geographic presence: Xiaoshouyi focuses on the sale and support of its product for China- based organizations, although is supporting global operations at this time.

Functional depth: Some reference customers noted that some product capabilities lack depth. Gartner notes a lack of native integration with Microsoft Exchange and weaker analytics capabilities than the leaders in this Magic Quadrant have. Some admin functions are displayed in Chinese and utilize Google for translation.

Partners: Xiaoshouyi has not exhibited a global focus for marketing, social media or thought leadership. It has a lack of depth of SI and certified partner resources, which prospects should consider when discussing deployment and any follow-on services that might be required.


Zoho continues to be positioned as a Niche Player. Gartner has seen significant improvement on its Ability to Execute its product strategy and the strengthening of its corporate viability. With strong input from an active user community, Zoho has over 150 integrations and 55 apps in its marketplace. The vendor provides a relatively low-cost deployment that is suitable for the SMB market, and has acquired customers globally. Its products are built for 10 segments, including automotive, retail, insurance and real estate. In early 2018, Zoho released new predictive analytics functions and AI capabilities, including customer sentiment analysis, opportunity predictive analytics and a conversational AI UI.


Pricing: The product has relatively lower pricing than leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, making this product attractive for SMB buyers. Zoho maintains a regular cadence of releases, with capability improvements such as lead scoring, market apps and validation rules.

Partners: Zoho has increased its use of implementation partners, and reference customers expressed satisfaction with using them.

User community: Zoho has a strong user community and internal support structure, including 24/7 chat. Reference customers stated that they required little help from the vendor’s resources as the product doesn’t require coding skills.


Customer support: While scores for customer service and support were positive overall, Zoho reference customers from larger organizations cited that support and documentation were insufficient. Prospects with hundreds of payees should consider the internal resources required to support the application.

Sales execution and strategy: Compared to the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant, Zoho has lower sales execution ratings. Reference customers cited issues with contracting and pricing processes, as well as with getting timely answers to product questions. Zoho also has a comparatively smaller investment in sales resources than the leading vendors in this Magic Quadrant have.

Market understanding: Zoho messaging does not differentiate between the needs of SMB and enterprise organizations. It will need to express that differentiation in both messaging and sales strategy, reflected in product enhancements, to support enterprise organizations successfully.

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