G2 Grid for CRM – Overview and Observations

G2 Grid for CRMG2 Crowd is a Chicago-based startup that is looking to disrupt the traditional analyst approach to rating software and software vendors.

G2 Crowd’s G2 Grid for CRM can be viewed as a crowdsourced alternative to the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation. Reviewers authenticate into G2 Crowd’s site using their LinkedIn credentials so that their identity and company affiliation can be validated.

G2 Crowd has also been accumulating data for other software sectors such as marketing, accounting and business intelligence.

The CRM grid positions below are mainly determined by user and admin ratings and reviews, but are also influenced by web traffic and social media sites.

Note that since the G2 Grid for CRM is embedded in this post (as opposed to being a static image), the relative product positions displayed will be ever changing. Our observations below the grid are based on product positions at the time of publication of this post. Update: there have been some significant shifts in positions since publication of this post.


G2 Grid for CRM Observations

What does this crowdsourced data say about the various CRM vendors? Below are some observations, put partially into the context of the results of our recent 2013 U.S. CRM Market Share Survey.

The CRM Big Four

The big four in terms of the grid’s Vendor Scale – salesforce.com, Microsoft, SAP and Oracle – correlate fairly closely to the top four vendors in our CRM market share survey results. This is a logical correlation, since large companies have deep pockets for sales and marketing, both key components of market share.

No matter which way one looks at salesforce.com – G2 Crowd reviewer sentiment, G2 Grid for CRM vendor strength, survey-based market share results, or even analyst global revenue figures – salesforce.com is the clear leader in the CRM marketplace.

SwiftPage’s Acquisitions

ACT! and SalesLogix, which were tied for #5 and #6 overall in our U.S. market share survey, scored fairly low on the G2 CRM grid Vendor Scale, since Sage sold them to the much smaller SwiftPage. ACT! and SalesLogix, at the time of this writing, were the two lowest applications in terms of Product Strength. The general reviewer sentiment is that these veteran applications are outdated in terms of look and feel.

GoldMine, a long time competitor to ACT! in the contact management category is near both ACT! and SalesLogix in the Caution quadrant.

ERP Vendors’ CRM Offerings

Interestingly, the ERP vendors’ CRM apps – Oracle, SAP, Sage CRM and NetSuite – are all clustered in the Incumbent quadrant. This suggests that when CRM is a secondary product offering, even from a larger vendor, it does not perform as well in terms of Product Strength compared to CRM products that represent the primary offering from a vendor.

SugarCRM’s Position in the Marketplace

Sugar, somewhat reflective of recent comments by Chuck Shaeffer related to his CRM Buyer Mindshare Index, and of Sugar’s low ranking in our market share survey, seems to be “stuck” in the center position of the G2 Grid for CRM.

Zoho’s “Economy” CRM

Zoho CRM is in the Leaders quadrant of the G2 Grid for CRM. The general sentiment among reviewers is that Zoho is a great deal financially (ranging from free to inexpensive) and is easy to use. However, several reviewers noted that its customer support is a weak link.

Nimble’s Social CRM

Nimble’s high Product Strength seems to belie the very low market share that our survey revealed. Based on inspection of reviewer comments, Nimble seems to have gained much of its positive reviewer sentiment based on its ability to help users engage on social media sites.

It is worth noting that CRM users who are enthusiastic about social media are also probably more apt to post a review on a socially-oriented site such as G2 Crowd. This could positively skew the sheer quantity of reviews for Nimble relative to the size of its user base. Nonetheless, Nimble may have strong potential upside for social-centric salespeople and sales organizations.


Vancouver-based Maximizer has traditionally enjoyed a lot of success in Canada. G2 Crowd reviewers like the fact that Maximizer is available via both Windows and web, but there is also mention of it being “older technology”. This product nets out to being middle of the road in terms of Product Strength and Vendor Scale.

WorkBooks and Base CRM

Two other highly rated applications in terms of Product Strength are Workbooks and Base CRM. Both are in the Innovators quadrant. WorkBooks is from a U.K.-based company. Several U.K.-based reviewers included positive comments about the fact their data is hosted in the U.K. rather than in the U.S. as it was with Salesforce.

Base CRM, a Chicago-based startup, has only a handful of reviews, but they are all highly positive.

Highrise Simple CRM

Although Highrise is a more contemporary product than the likes of ACT!, GoldMine and Maximizer, it is currently in the caution quadrant — likely because it’s too basic for many organizations. It’s somewhat surprising that the vendor scale of 37signals is as low as it is, given the runaway success of Basecamp.

G2 Grid for CRM Potential

It’s still early in the game for G2 Crowd, so a lot more collection of crowdsourced data can be expected. As the number of reviewers grows, there will likely be drift of certain products within the grid’s quadrants.

Also, changes in corporate structure and/or acquisitions could quickly change the vertical position of an app. Any dramatic product changes – positive or negative – will, of course affect the horizontal position of a given application.

Overall, the G2 CRM Grid as well as detailed CRM reviews and comments represent high quality data points that should be taken into consideration as part of a CRM selection process.

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