CRM Industry Analyst Quadrants, Matrices, Grids and Quarter Circles

CRM Industry Analyst VisualizationWhile there are hundreds of industry analyst firms worldwide, a handful are well known for their CRM industry analysis and visualizations.

Each CRM industry analyst company takes a different approach to visually representing the CRM market leaders, laggards and tweeners.

Industry analysts’ high level visualizations, along with an accompanying narrative and report, can help a given company determine which CRM vendors should be on their shortlist.

The various analyst reports have some common rankings among CRM vendors. For example, Salesforce generally leads the CRM pack. Bpm’online has been gaining ground across the visualizations of multiple industry analysts.

Despite some common elements, CRM industry analysts generally have divergent visualizations as to what the leading and lagging CRM systems are. We don’t have permission to embed any of the visualizations, but links to pages containing the various visualizations are below. In some cases, you’ll need to zoom in on the images.

In general, the further to the top right a vendor is an industry analyst’s visualization, the better. The closer to the lower left, the worse.


Gartner, Inc. is a leading research and advisory company that is based in Stamford, Connecticut. The company helps business leaders across all major functions in every industry and enterprise size with the objective insights they need to make the right decisions.

Gartner has over 13,000 associates serving clients in 11,000 enterprises in 100 countries.

Gartner segments their research and analysis of the CRM marketplace into a number of areas, including:

  • Lead Management
  • Sales Force Automation
  • CRM Customer Engagement Center
  • Field Service Management

For each of these areas, Gartner releases an annual Magic Quadrant, which includes an explanation for each CRM vendor’s position within the quadrant.

Direct links to Gartner’s 2016 Magic Quadrants cannot be directly provided by us, but below are links to assorted vendor landing pages on which the visualization can be seen and from which the full report can be downloaded via a form submission.

Here is a link to a visualization and request form for Gartner’s August 2016 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation. There are two vendors in the Leader quadrant, Salesforce and Microsoft.

Here is a link to a visualization and request form for Gartner’s August 2016 Magic Quadrant for Customer Engagement Center.

As more CRM companies acquire marketing automation vendors or incorporate marketing automation functionality into their systems, the Magic Quadrant for Lead Management increasingly straddles CRM and marketing automation.

Nucleus Research

Nucleus Research provides investigative information technology research and advisory services. Since 2000 our analysts have delivered insight and guidance to help our clients make the best decisions. Advising both vendors of technology and the organizations that use technology, we continue to uncover information that no one else can provide.

Nucleus’s clients include, “many of the Fortune 1000, numerous mid-sized organizations, state, federal, and international government organizations, and almost every leading technology vendor”.

Nucleus’s visualization is their CRM Value Matrix. The matrix’s x-axis is Functionality and the y-axis is Usability. Click on the thumbnail in the linked page to view the full size image.

Nucleus Research provides entry-level “all you can download” report access for three days for $40.

In the description of the 1-year access User Techadvisor account, Nucleus positions their research as “often complementing existing services from Gartner with value focused research.”


Forrester is an influential research and advisory firm.

Each year, Forrester surveys more than 500,000 consumers and business leaders worldwide. They also obtain data from, “rigorous and objective methodologies, and the shared wisdom of [their] most innovative clients.”

Rather than using quadrants, Forrester publishes The Forrester Wave™, for which the visualization is a three band quarter circle. Forrester segments their visualizations by two sizes of company:

1. CRM Suites For Enterprise Organizations – The visualization and a report request form are on this vendor landing page.

2. CRM Suites For Midsize Organizations – We could not find a vendor landing page, but we did find a Google-indexed PDF, which like us, you can find through search.

G2 Crowd

G2 Crowd can be viewed as the anti-“industry analyst”. Their Crowd Grid℠ for CRM is based on independent and authenticated user reviews.

Crowd Grid for CRM is arguably based on more of an end user perspective than on a management perspective. The grid also covers a wider range of company size, compared to the visualizations of industry analysts, which tend to up-market. Crowd Grid for CRM can be filtered by Small Business, Mid Market and Enterprise size companies.

Compared to the periodic industry analyst visualization upgrades, the Crowd Grid for CRM is continually updated from collected data. Because G2 Crowd does not need to hire a team of researchers, their grid is inclusive of more CRM vendors than the industry analyst visualizations.

Deciding on a Vendor Shortlist

A combination of gathering requirements and reviewing some of the industry analyst visualizations and reports can help organizations to determine what their CRM shortlist vendors should be.

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