Microsoft, Oracle, Dominate Sales Force Automation: Gartner

Vangie Beal

Updated · Aug 18, 2011

Smartphones and iPads are preferred devices for mobile sales forces, and software-as-a-service (SaaS) continues to play a dominant role in sales force automation (SFA), according to the Gartner 2011 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation.

Gartner has seen a 50 percent increase in vendor evaluations year over year compared to 2010. The focus of sales force automation deployments continues to be on core functional capabilities for accounts, contacts, opportunities, selling processes and sales operations.

According to the report, the primary objective for most sales organizations remains opportunity management, but a greater emphasis is being placed on sales effectiveness and sales performance-related applications. Mobility also continues to grow in importance for users with smartphones and iPads, the preferred devices for the mobile salesperson.

Making waves in the 2011 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation are two vendors appearing for the first time – Microsoft and Zoho.

Sales Force Automation: The Niche Players

In the 2011 Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant, Gartner evaluates vendors and grades them on whether they're market leaders, challengers, niche players or visionaries.

By Gartner definition, the niche players are the vendors that offer products for sales force automation functionality, but still lack some functional components or strong business execution in the SFA market.

New vendors on the Magic Quadrant list this year include Zoho, with its low-cost solution that Gartner says is attractive to SMB customers looking for value. Other Niche Players include NetSuite, Sage ACT, CDC Software, SageCRM and SugarCRM.

While SugarCRM has a limited number of professional services personnel, Gartner said the SugarCRM Community Edition (free download) continues to be a viable alternative as a way to get basic functionality for less capital expenditure.

Sales Force Automation Leaders

On the 2011 Sales Force Automation Magic Quadrant leader board are Microsoft, Oracle Siebel CRM, Oracle CRM On-Demand and

Microsoft has entered the Salesforce Automation Magic Quadrant for the first time with Microsoft Dynamics CRM. Boasting more than 1.7 million users and a broad partner delivery network, Microsoft Dynamics is positioned as a Leader alongside its major competitors – Oracle and

In the report, Gartner said continues to innovate by increasing the breadth and capabilities available for social media technology, Chatter and mobile offerings.

Oracle CRM on Demand has a competitive price point for the enterprise that provides an attractive cost/value proposition, Gartner said, and also offers solid integration with other Oracle applications, including the Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Siebel CRM.

SAP and Sage SalesLogix were listed as Challengers.


  • CRM
  • Research
  • Vangie Beal
    Vangie Beal

    Vangie is a freelance technology writer who covers Internet technologies, online business, and other topics for over 15 years. SEO Content Writer with high-quality organic search results. Professional freelance technology writer with over 15 years experience. - Understands the technology trends in SMB and Enterprise markets. - Proficient in email marketing and social media campaigns. - Trusted and respected voice in small business marketing via e-commerce. - Knowledgeable in how to incorporate sales initiatives and assets into articles or Web content. Experienced social media marketer. Specialties: SEO. Electronic commerce, small businesses, Internet. Computers, servers, networking. Computer science. Terms, terminology. Social media, email marketing. Mobile apps. Operating systems. Software and hardware. Interviews, tips, advice, guides and feature articles. Marketing, slideshows, how-to guides. Search engine tools.

    Read next