Most Prominent Salesforce Competitors

By: Amanda @RainforceBlog Mcdonald

Let’s look at a different side of Salesforce today, that being Salesforce competitors. I suppose that any CRM SaaS offering that isn’t Salesforce is technically considered a competitor. But there is a clear distinction between a competitor and a company that sells a similar product.

Salesforce sets the bar high, so in order for another company to be a competitor they must be on their level; they would have to offer the same high quality services – targeting the same demographic.

As it stands, not all CRM software is intended for the same target audience. Salesforce isn’t for everyone. Salesforce was created for larger businesses who need a flexible CRM solution that can grow, evolve and be flexible; an easily programmable system that can be adapted for specialized tasks.

With these factors in mind, what are the leading Salesforce competitors?

Let’s take a look.

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#1 – Microsoft Dynamics CRM

Microsoft doesn’t get this spot just for being a big name. It’s true that Microsoft has a certain level of experience and skills working with technical systems from all corners of the world. But they had their follies (Vista and Windows 8 being the biggest examples, as well as attempts at game console design). But, that said … is their CRM system any good?

Yes, it’s pretty darn good.

Unless you run your own server, use open source such as Linux or are a mac user.. you probably have Windows. This means you probably use MS Office; a program that has been mimicked by many in the past. Microsoft CRM holds up to these high standards.

It has a similar feel and programmability to Salesforce.  The price points and billing models are designed to compete on the same level. The only real problem lies  with official browser support.

While some users have said they had decent success using this system with Firefox, Chrome and Safari, Microsoft CRM only officially supports Internet Explorer – (not the most user-friendly browser ever made). While it’s easy to think the lack of official support is not a big deal … wait until you encounter a technical problem; some feature will ask you to use some obscure ActiveX component for IE that other browsers don’t use … and then you’ll be in trouble.

#2 – Oracle CRM On Demand

Oracle CRM is on par with SalesForce. Oracle is one of the pioneers of cloud and SaaS technologies. They introduced some of the complex and intuitive lead monitoring and cultivation algorithms that Salesforce is, just now, beginning to offer. Oracle’s technology brings power, speed and efficiency to their service.

The problem comes with their browser support. Apple – iPad is the only mobile device that runs all mobile functionality with proper compatibility, yet other key functions only work in IE or Firefox .Given Chrome is becoming a standard browser for many people, they better turn their attention to this issue.

#3 – SugarCRM

SugarCRM is basically the Pepsi to Saleforce’s Coke; and if you’re trying to pick between them, it all boils down to a matter of taste. SugarCRM is an open source system, which means that it gives you much more control and freedom over developing for and around it, as well as getting it to perform new tasks you want. At the same time, though, you lose out on automation. There is also less quality control when it comes to third party apps .

Microsoft, Oracle and SugarCRM are some of the more interesting Salesforce competitors that keep Salesforce on their toes. Is Salesforce better than these competitors? Well, it all depends on what you need. In my opinion, they balance out the advantages and disadvantages of CRM software  bit better than others… but this could quickly change at any given moment.

That said, I have to say Microsoft’s support is a bit better; if you’re using IE and Windows then you really will like it. Oracle’s experience in SaaS and web solutions means that they’re very fast at innovating and taking advantage of the latest web technologies. SugarCRM is highly affordable and very malleable for the do-it-yourselfer.

So, while I think Salesforce is the best for the most part, their competitors are far from something to be bypassed.  If you’re in the market for a CRM solution and haven’t settled yet, they are absolutely worth a look. These aren’t the only CRM systems out there , but they’re the most prominent Salesforce competitors. No matter which you choose, you can’t go wrong.

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is the Lead Author & Editor of Rainforce Blog. Amanda established the Rainforce blog to create a source for news and discussion about some of the issues, challenges, news, and ideas relating to Salesforce usage.
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