Gartner CRM lead management report predicts an improving business landscape, rates top companies

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By 2015, 30% of the top 2000 public companies that focus on improving lead management processes will increase revenue 5% to 10%, according to Gartner's MarketScope for CRM Lead Management.

The report also predicts market consolidation will continue throughout 2011, referencing the acquisitions of Aprimo by Teradata, and Unica by IBM, and of the intellectual property (IP) of Market2Lead by Oracle, as examples of an ongoing trend.

Gartner's outlook for the lead management industry is promising overall. The research firm notes that the demand for lead management capabilities continues to grow faster than the overall technology market. Also, there is strong innovation in lead management technology product capabilities and the business environment continues to keep senior management focused on customer retention and customer acquisition.

The report is designed to provide guidance to organizations planning to invest in new lead management applications, services or projects. Fifteen lead management companies are reviewed and rated in the report; the vendors are rated according to the following scale: "strong negative," "caution," "promising," "positive" and "strong positive."

The following vendors are included in the MarketScope (vendors are listed according to rating and in alphabetical order):

Positive: Aprimo, Eloqua, Marketo, Neolane, Oracle (Siebel Marketing) and Unica. 

Promising: LoopFuse, Microsoft (Microsoft Dynamics CRM), SAP (SAP CRM), Silverpop and TreeHouse Interactive.

Caution: Leads360, Manticore Technology, Marketbright and Pardot.

Vendors are rated according to the following criteria: overall visibility, customer experience, geographic strategy, product and service, sales execution and pricing, and sales strategy.

Lead360 is given a "caution" rating because its “strength lies in its experience in the financial services and insurance industries, from which a majority of its revenue comes, and in its functionality designed for those companies, such as the ability to work with acquired lead lists from third-party providers,” wrote Chris Fletcher, Gartner analyst and author of the report. Fletcher could not be reached for comment.

Manticore Technology is also given a low rating because, according to the report, it has not yet announced specific support of social networking channels. The report also says the ability to generate key performance indicators and analytics from within the company appears to be limited.

Marketbright's recent senior management restructuring and its financial stability are major reasons the company is given a "caution" rating, writes Fletcher.

Pardot's value proposition approach may not be appropriate for midsize and large enterprise companies that require more scalability, or for companies with more global support resources and relationships, writes Fletcher.

Vendors rated "Positive" demonstrate strength in specific areas, but execution in one or more areas may still be developing or inconsistent with other areas of performance, according to the report.  

Vendors with a "promising" rating show potential in specific areas, but, as Fletcher writes, their “execution is inconsistent.”

No companies were given "strong negative" or "strong positive" ratings.

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