SMB, Specialty CRM Vendors Rated Most Customer-Centric in Study


Share on LinkedIn

BURLINGAME, Calif.; Oct. 25, 2005—Customer Relationship Management customers and partners rate highest those vendors that serve the small to medium-size business (SMB) or that deliver specialized solutions. That’s just one of the major findings in a new report released today by

The report, CRMGuru Solutions Guide 2005, is an analysis of the results of a year-long survey of CRM solutions providers conducted by the CRM portal.

Onyx and Sage CRM are setting the pace in the SMB space with highly-rated multi-function solutions. However, CRMGuru analysis found that large enterprise-focused solutions, such as offered by Oracle, SAP and Siebel Systems, are not as well received by mid-market customers.

The report also concluded that marketing-focused vendors, such as SAS, SPSS and Unica, are performing better than average, giving them an edge over multi-function suites for large enterprises. RightNow’s customer service solution, and sales automation solutions from and SalesLogix, also outperformed multi-vendor suites.

For large enterprises, PeopleSoft CRM edged out other solutions from Oracle, SAP and Siebel Systems for the top score in the multi-function category.

“The voice of customers and partners is rarely heard in analyst reports on the CRM software industry,” said Bob Thompson, CRMGuru founder and author of the report. “Our goal was to identify the most customer-centric vendors based on attributes that customers and partners value, taking into account not only what vendors provide but also how they deliver that solution to their customers and the business results that customers achieve.”

Another key finding is that only 60 percent of respondents said their vendor had “shown a sincere interest” in their CRM success. However, four highly rated solutions also scored 80 percent or higher in this “sincerity index.”

Approximately 2,500 qualifying surveys were collected by CRMGuru from June 2004 to May 2005. Twenty solutions that received sufficient survey responses for statistical validity were selected for detailed analysis.

Preliminary findings from the survey were released in June 2005, when CRMGuru honored seven solution providers with CRMGuru Summit Awards for CRM Solution Excellence. The recognized solutions were Oracle’s PeopleSoft CRM, Onyx,, RightNow, SPSS, Sage CRM and Maximizer. All received highest rating in the CustomerThink Relationship Quality Index (CRQI) in specific categories.

The CRQI is a composite score from zero to 100. Forty percent of the index is derived from the CRM solution ratings, and 60 percent is calculated from questions about customer satisfaction; loyalty; and project success and return on investment. Solution ratings included seven factors weighted by their loyalty impact: functionality; ease of use; ease of implementation; service and technical support; technology platform; total cost of ownership; and vendor resources and stability. One special category for partner relationships was determined by analyzing responses from consultants, integrators and resellers.

CRMGuru Solutions Guide 2005 contains separate analyses of each category, with breakdowns illustrated in charts and graphs; summaries of write-in comments for each of the 20 vendors; essays on best practices and on CRM success and failure from loyalty expert Thompson; and a vendor selection guide by Paul Greenberg, author of CRM at the Speed of Light: Essential Customer Strategies for the 21st Century, third edition.

The guide is available for purchase by visiting at

About is the world’s largest industry portal for business leaders to learn about the art and science of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRMGuru’s mission is to help marketing, sales and service executives succeed with CRM through high-quality and unbiased articles, discussions and newsletters; interactions with CRMGuru panelists; insightful industry benchmark reports; and an annual CRM thought-leader event. The portal serves more than 300,000 newsletter subscribers and site visitors each month from all regions of the world, with support from a global panel of CRM experts. For more information, please visit

Media Contact:
Bob Thompson
(650) 343-8529
[email protected]

News Editor
CustomerThink offers a free news posting service for press releases relevant to our community. To submit your press release to our news editor, send an email to [email protected] with the press release headline and main content in the email subject line and body, respectively. That's it! Approved press releases will appear in our news category within one business day of submission.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here