Salesforce continues to dominate $23.2 billion CRM software market despite sale rumours

20th May 2015

Gartner has released its latest year-on-year figures for the CRM software market, stating that sales grew 13.3% in 2014 to hit $23.2 billion.

The top 10 vendors hold more than 60% of the market share in 2014, with Salesforce accounting for roughly 18% of market revenue – around $4.2bn.

SAP, Microsoft, IBM and Oracle, companies which have all been linked to a possible Salesforce takeover in recent weeks, account for around 32%.

Despite Salesforce’s dominance, Benioff’s behemoth has failed to achieve a quarterly net profit since July 2011 and has had an aggressive growth strategy that is beginning to slow, leading to the takeover rumours emerging earlier in the month.

And in terms of user preference, Salesforce’s supremacy has also been slashed in recent months. According to G2 Crowd’s latest Spring 2015 rankings, CRM providers Zoho, Nimble and Microsoft Dynamics are now all ranked alongside Salesforce in terms of software experience.    

"Large vendors leveraged their acquisitions to extend their position in new markets and to enrich the depth of their current feature sets in 2014," said Joanne Correia, research vice president at Gartner.

"We saw market consolidation continue, and price wars started quickly as large vendors fought to keep their installed base from moving to other vendors and to stop the descent of their maintenance revenue."

Much of the increase in spending is attributed to North America and Western Europe, which generated 52.3% of the overall CRM market.   

These two regions represent 78.6% of all CRM software spending, and both saw large growth in 2014 with infrastructure maturity said to be allowing for easier deployment in many businesses.

Emerging Asia/Pacific grew fastest, with growth of 18.7% in 2014, while Eurasia, greater China and Latin America also experienced good growth even though it was slower than in 2013, due to economic issues.

"Strong demand for software as a service (SaaS) continues, with SaaS accounting for almost 47% of total CRM software revenue in 2014," Correia adds.

"This is driven by organisations of all sizes seeking easier-to-deploy and faster-ROI alternatives to modernising legacy systems, implementing new applications, or providing alternative complementary functionality."

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