Analyst powerhouse Gartner Inc. recently released its Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management for 2020. Gartner herein describes lead management as a cross-teams process of capturing leads, tracking their activities and behaviour, qualifying and nurturing them to make them sales-ready, and then passing them to the sales team. The lead management suite comprises capabilities such as B2B and sales departments and can be acquired as an individual or as part of a larger CRM (Customer Relationship Management) suite.
In the past twelve months, the common perception of CRM suite has changed thanks to the ever-evolving technology and general market trends. It includes new CRM suites with lead management functionality, more embedded AI/analytics for lead scoring, increased account-based marketing requirements, increased personalized B2B experience via web-based data, and increased interest in scalable data storage.
In its Magic Quadrant, Gartner has assessed 15 CRM suite providers’ strengths and weaknesses that it considers most significant in the marketplace and rendered a graph of vendors based on their ability to execute and their completeness of vision. The graph is divided into four quadrants: challengers, leaders, niche players, and visionaries.
Here are the top 5 vendors from the list:
Market Leader (Adobe)
Adobe is once more at the top of Leaders Quadrant. Adobe’s customers vary across various marketing use cases such as B2B, B2B2C, and a combination of B2B and B2C scenarios. For 2021, Adobe plans a close integration between Marketo Engage and the larger Adobe Experience Cloud Portfolio.
- Adobe’s robust platform offers a comprehensive lead management solution with varied functionality for every campaign stage.
- It provides an overall positive experience. The platform’s flexibility and its customization abilities as per requirements are a massive plus. Further, its third-party integration availability is quite long, and this augments Marketo Engage’s native capabilities.
- Customers also benefit from Adobe’s global footprint and direct sales capabilities.
- Clients noted rising costs for Marketo Engage and transparency challenges with Marketo Engage contracts, which can complicate the sales process.
- The user needs to have high-level marketing skills to leverage the platform’s full capabilities.
- The consumers described Marketo Engage’s UI as outdated, compounding some of the challenges faced around the solution’s complexity.
Hubspot is the sole challenger in this year’s magic quadrant and retains its spot from last year. More than three-quarters of its customers employ its platform to satisfy B2B use cases, with high tech/telecom and professional services/consulting. As far as the future is concerned, Hubspot plans to improve the end-to-end process, including more granular deal flow management and reporting.
- Ease of use remains a difference-maker for the Hubspot platform and makes it the right choice for smaller marketing teams.
- The vendor displays a clear understanding of the market with its strong marketing execution and a clear roadmap that align with its users.
- Moreover, Hubspot’s freemium pricing model is also a huge plus.
- The vendor’s sales strategy focuses on attracting business decision-makers in SMBs. Large enterprises may not find this alluring.
- Last year, Hubspot added ABM (Account-Based Marketing) functionality, but it remains one of the platform’s less robust set of capabilities.
- As per Gartner’s peers, reporting and analytics are still one of the weaker aspects of Hubspot’s capabilities.
This time, Acoustic falls into the visionary category, whereas the last time it was almost bordering on Leader. After parting ways with IBM in 2019, the vendor spent its last year developing internal resources and structure to transform the business. Acoustic’s future roadmap includes an AI-driven omnipresent assistant that will provide insights and assets in context while responding to direct requests from the user.
- Acoustic workflow creation includes standard unlimited out-of-the-box triggers. This allows tracking real-time behavior and leads to the next best action.
- The vendor supports local data privacy laws, including compliance such as GDPR, LGPD (the Brazilian version of GDPR), and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA).
- It also supports integration with more than 200 partner organizations, with all data coming into the Acoustic Campaign.
- Only 15% of Acoustic Campaign customers employ it for B2B marketing support. Gartner is not sure about Acoustic’s ability to provide support to B2B marketers and their specific needs.
- The vendor lacks brand awareness around the company’s name and offerings.
- It does not provide a specific ABM module and is not actively engaged in a partnership with ABM providers.
Niche Players (Microsoft)
Microsoft is the latest entry here and is categorized as a Niche Player. It sits closest to the edge of the Challengers quadrant. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Marketing product offers marketing automation and support for lead management. Regarding the future roadmap, Microsoft mentioned its goal to connect inbound and outbound customer journeys to select customers, and leverage AI to assist marketers in targeting the right segments.
Moreover, Dynamics 365 is built for Microsoft Azure. Since Azure infrastructure is perfect for deploying, managing, and developing applications, its integration with Dynamics 365 gives a flawless experience to users. Using Dynamics 365 with Azure provides a stable and cutting-edge technology that utilizes ERP and CRM’s full potential — the power of Dynamics 365 and the reliability of Azure. The integration with Azure makes Dynamics 365 more efficient with on-premise databases, as well as with CRM and ERP on cloud. On the other hand, when Dynamics 365 is hosted on Azure, the benefits that users get range from security and encryption to machine learning and artificial intelligence.
- Microsoft sees Dynamics 365 Marketing as a lynchpin. Their approach of connecting data and providing a consolidated view to customers align with the core objectives of B2B marketers.
- The installed base of Dynamics 365 sales gives Microsoft the experience to serve IT customers. Users also benefit from Microsoft’s extensive SI partner and reseller relationships across multiple business segments.
- Gartner rates Microsoft high for their overall experience working with the vendor.
- Market awareness of Dynamics 365 remains low among Gartner clients, specifically among those in marketing organizations.
- Vendor’s Dynamics 365 marketing has a more complicated interface than its competing tools in this research.
- Microsoft’s product vision for Dynamics 365 isn’t always matched by uniform execution. Features like ABM and reporting are less mature than those supporting lead aggregation and lead scoring.
Gartner modifies its evaluation and inclusion criteria for Magic Quadrant as the market transforms. This is the reason why Freshworks, Microsoft, and Resulticks have been included in this year’s report. On the contrary, Acquia (Mautic), Impartner, and X2Engine have been dropped.