ZOHO is a serious contender, despite what CRM Experts like Gartner might think

ZOHO is a serious contender, despite what CRM Experts like Gartner might think

In choosing a CRM technology, most people seek advice from independent CRM experts. But should they trust the views of industry analysts or actual customers?

But I’ve never been absolutely clear on what rationale that the highly reputed independent experts like Gartner, Forrester, Ovum (et al) apply to decide which products to place on their ‘Magic Quadrant’ and how they should be presented. Most often, it seems they focus only include vendors who have relatively big PR fronts and, in so doing, miss giving reference to many other very strong players that operate in the same.

Well, in my opinion, this seems to be the case with CRM. Generally, Salesforce is always positioned to the top right of the grid, and pretty much the rest of their ‘shortlist’ are huddled in the bottom left. Year after year, this seems generally to be the case.

I have two issues with this:

1: As much as I love and rate Salesforce as a leader in its field, I do not recognise the chasm they suggest exists between Salesforce and its key competitors. Having looked into so many products over recent years, I strongly hold the view that the relative differentiators (and gaps) between the various vendor offerings are in the detail. As they say – the devil is in the detail! Hence, being so, I would have expected a larger cluster of vendors logs around the Salesforce logo pin!

2: Shockingly, one of the world’s most popular CRM applications i.e ZOHO , does not even figure on the charts! But, in reality, it has an extremely strong value proposition (especially for SME’s) and, arguably, a broader solution set than even Salesforce can offer!

That said, if you look at online software rating and comparison websites – such as Capterra (pictured – click here for full report) – it ranks ZOHO second only to Salesforce. The fundamental difference between Capterra and the likes of Gartner is that actual ‘real-life’ users vote in Capterra. Surely, that might be a better reference before you make your CRM product decision, rather than the soundings of so-called independent CRM ‘experts’?

Anyway, maybe someone can help me understand this. It just does not make sense. All I can deduce at the moment, from what I have observed, is that ZOHO is better recognised for the quality of their software engineering – as opposed to the investment it makes in promoting itself.

What do you think?

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