CRM Watchlist 2013: And now, the winners!

CRM Watchlist 2013: And now, the winners!

Summary: Today I'm announcing the 2013 winners of the CRM Watchlist, including the vendors, the consulting/systems integrators, and the "Ones to Watch."


This is it. We're are now running the last couple of laps. Today we are announcing the 2013 winners of the CRM Watchlist. There is a lot done differently in this announcement than in the past--and for the first time, I will do the complete list of winners, including:

  • The vendors
  • The consulting/systems integrators
  • The Ones to Watch
  • The Ready to Leap
  • The Lifetime Achievement

All of them are here--a departure from last year, when I did the list after I had started the reviews. So here's what will happen from here:

  1. I publish the list of winners here

  2. Then the review of the Lifetime Achievement winner in the next post

  3. Following that, I will reviews the vendors categorically (the categories depend on how I group them so that they are fluid). This will take several posts

  4. After the vendors are done, I'll do the consulting/SI reviews

  5. I'll then produce a yearbook in PDF form for free distribution, which will have the 2014 criteria--a sneak peak, so to speak

  6. In late February, registration for 2014's questionnaire will open--and the whole thing starts all over again.

I hope this helps those of you out there who asked about why they didn't know about the 2013 Watchlist--which was decent-sized in number. I wasn't shy about publishing details. If you want to know about 2014's CRM Watchlist, either read this blog or follow the #crmwatchlist hashtag on Twitter. I can't do much more than that.

Finally, if you want to see the criteria for 2013, and the format, please read this blog post.

Okay, enough of the preliminary chatter. Without further ado...

The winners of CRM Watchlist 2013

The Lifetime Achievement award goes to:

The IBM Institute for Business Value

There will be much more on the IBM Institute for Business Value in the initial review post next week. It is an amazing outfit, and it, like the charter lifetime achievement award winner last year, Peppers and Rogers, has a body of work from over many years that is truly extraordinary. They have managed to have an impact over a length of time that goes above and beyond. Just know they won. We'll hear from them next week, alonf with my review.

The Vendor winners for 2013 are

This was an incredibly difficult set of choices, but ultimately, the revised numbers ruled and the below are the winners. There were mitigating circumstances that affected some of the choices. For example, finalist VirtuOz was acquired by Nuance. That, and because of multiple factors--including some uncertainty on how long it will take to merge cultures; the integration into the Nuance customer base, etc.; and just the plain amount of time it takes to effect a transformation like this--took them out of the running. On the other hand, Eloqua has been a market leader for a long time in the marketing automation/revenue performance management/revenue marketing world (take your pick of names), and will stand strong even as they make the transformation, so they became a winner. Eloqua's offering will likely remain a strong viable part of Oracle's portfolio over 2013, and in their case, the time it will take to integrate works to their advantage. For 2014, however, they will be just part of Oracle, and I will treat them as such.

But, as I said, the numbers were revised and some of the choices for finalists didn't quite have the winner's mantle in their cards yet. However, that doesn't mean that they aren't great companies, just that they need something else to make them the impact champs they are likely to be. A few barely missed--thus the other two categories of awards (more on them later).

This year, Blackbaud barely (and I do mean barely) retained its number one status. Its impact in the non-profit market is even stronger than it was last year (for reasons that will be revealed in its review). To tease you all a bit more, the companies you see in italics are in the top 10 percent of the winners, after Blackbaud (in bold and italics)--and one of them came very close to unseating Blackbaud this year.

Here are the vendor winners in alphabetical order, except for Blackbaud (though I guess that's obvious, isn't it?)

  1. Blackbaud
  2. Attensity
  3. Artesian Solutions
  4. BPM Online
  5. Clarabridge
  6. Coveo
  7. Crowdtap
  8. Eloqua
  9. Get Satisfaction
  10. Gigya
  11. Hubspot
  12. Infor
  13. Infusionsoft
  14. Jive
  15. KANA
  16. Lattice Engines
  17. Lithium
  18. Marketo
  19. Microsoft
  20. Moxie
  21. Neolane
  22. NetSuite
  23. NexJ
  24. Nimble
  25. Oracle
  26. Parature
  27. Pegasystems
  29. SAP
  30. SugarCRM
  31. Teradata Aprimo
  32. Thunderhead
  33. Xactly.

The Ready to Leap companies for 2013 are

These are the companies that are about a year from becoming real players on the scene. They each were finalists, but they haven't quite yet made the winners circle. However, in 2014 —, watch out.


  1. Allegiance
  2. Demandbase UPDATE!
  3. Tracx.


The Companies to Watch for 2013 are

These are the companies that have a 2015 (most likely) arrival date as a true impact player. Let me be clear. Their products and services are purchase-worthy right now. They are exceptional companies. But they are being compared with much longer-standing companies in many cases, and what they are missing is several of the other components they need to actually impact the market and customers in the way that the winners of the Watchlist do. For the most part, it's because they are young. With some seasoning, increased revenues spent on various aspects of their strategy, and of course, a good game plan, these are poised to make a mark in 2015, even as you buy their products or services today. That's why you should be watching them now, and getting in while you still can.


  1. Next Principles
  2. Nearstream.


The Consulting/SI winners for 2013 are

The standards for the consulting/SI winners are different than for the vendors--similar categories, marginally different questions, different weights and values assigned, and different "secret things" that I'm looking for. These winners should be damned proud of themselves because it was easy to be eliminated in this category. The reviews will speak for themselves when they come out. Here, too, we had an acquisition that affected the result--Innoveer was acquired by Cloud Sherpa--which raises all the uncertainties that acquisitions have. However, the acquisition makes Cloud Sherpa a possible contender for 2014--if they register.

  1. Accenture
  2. CSC
  3. Ernst and Young Advisory
  4. Solvis Consulting
  5. The Pedowitz Group.

What next?

Now comes the good stuff. All the reviews begin with the next post, starting with the lifetime achievement winner: the IBM IBV. The fun is just starting.

Congratulations to all the winners of CRM Watchlist 2013!

Your badges will be on the way soon. And the reviews, as soon as I write them. You all did really well.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Emerging Tech, Reviews, Enterprise 2.0, Tech Industry

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  • Cannot wait for the reviews!

    Paul, thanks for continuing to publish your Watchlist and keeping the bar high for those of us working to consistently improve our offering. Being one of the contestants, we know how thoroughly you review the key and ancillary aspects of being a top CRM vendor. I'm really looking forward to the reviews!
    • RE:Cannot wait for the reviews!

      I'm in the CRM space as a developer and I am amazed at the rapid pace in the CRM enterprise space. There are some great opportunities right now for helping market/review/differentiate all of these new companies and for matching up solutions to customer problems.

      my shameless plug -> built for salespeople
      Andrew Harry
  • Any CRM recommendations for two-sided marketplaces?

    Hi Paul

    Time recommendations as always (and nice to see lots of Boston Area companies). Any recommendations on CRM for two-sided marketplaces? They have some interesting requirements in managed two different types of relationships (intensive seller and large buyer communities).

    I'd love to hear your thoughts
  • CRM Watchlist: a great asset for those choosing the right CRM solution

    Paul, thank you for sharing your deep experience and knowledge of CRM solutions. CRM Watchlist is a great asset for those choosing the right CRM suite. We truly appreciate that our company is recognized as a winner. All of us are looking forward to the reviews!

    Olga Noha
    Olga Noha
  • Proud to be amongst this list of great companies

    Thank you for recognizing Infor Epiphany's focus on improvement in 2011, 2012 and beyond. As a former "practioner" I am amazed at how hard all of these companies are working to meet the customers needs. It is also fun to see how each delivers their unique products to the market.
    Regards and Congratulations to all of the winners.
    MJ Crabbe-Barberis, Global Product Marketing Director, Infor
  • Wow that is a lot of choices.

    And this is a tangent, but the real dark horses and power houses will be and once they bolt on a CRM front end and decide to charge this very complex, fortified hill of choices. I think at the end of the day it really is about content, activities, members and relationship. The hallmarks of these two big players. CRM Features/Functions are easily obtained through the top 10 use cases and some heads down coding... I think and can handle that challenge... But that is just a tangent. Are any of these players all ready doing this and using the and backend API's and Data? Or in your ranking who in this group is the most tightly coupled to data/services from and
    • @ray_casey

      Hi Ray,

      I'm glad you have so much confidence in Facebook and LinkedIn, but the problem is your analysis of CRM. You say, "I think at the end of the day it really is about content, activities, members and relationship."

      If you're referring to the core values of successful CRM, this is false. The first and most principle value of a successful CRM is the same with any software: usability and simplicity. A feature set that looks like a CRM doesn't make a usable CRM, and an unusable CRM is just a bunch of ugly and incomprehensible 1's and 0's.

      What kills me is that the majority of the integrants on this list fall under that category: they have huge feature lists and make acquisitions all the time to bolster that list, but their interface and usability are garbage, making them utterly useless unless the user is held by the hand with intense, cumbersome, and arduous training just to get how to do the simplest of tasks.

      Nimble is a great example of the contrary. JobNimbus ( as well, which I'm shocked didn't make this list. CRM is drowning in terrible adoption rate and we keep praising the guys who are persisting it.

      I'll walk the high road towards better CRM, and leave the "big boys" behind, thank you.
  • thanks
  • Visit W3Schools

    Visit W3Schools
  • PMAM CRM - One stop solution to your sales, marketing and customer service

    I would like to see PMAM CRM in the list as well. I have been using it from a long time and I am quite satisfied. It's free and cloud based. I am quite sure many of you will think "Since it’s free…. it won’t be good", isn’t it?? In that case, I would suggest you to give it a try and post back your experience.
    John Lobo