Forrester confirmed our worst suspicions today about the dismal state of the SaaS CRM market for SMBs and mid-sized enterprises. The analyst firm surveyed 300 SMB/midmarket buyers and users of SaaS CRM worldwide (no on-premise users at all!). The report shows that 69 percent of these users plan to replace their current CRM system, with 56 percent saying they’ll do it in the next two years. (You can download the complete report here.)
To put it mildly, this is an indictment of the today’s entire CRM market. Although I have been well-acquainted with how frustrated CRM users are with their complicated and expensive systems, I was still surprised by the depth and breadth of the rebellion against what has become a very bloated software space. One of the ironies of the report is that despite a much higher regard for SaaS CRM among buyers than frontline users (54 percent of buyers and 64 percent of users say it’s not easy to us), buyers are nevertheless ready to dump and switch their current platform. That’s evidence enough that user dissatisfaction is finally being heard up the chain of decision-making.
Some of the highlights of the report are:
- Cost vs value is the #1 reason SaaS users are moving off their current platform.
- Complicated IT setup and implementation are reasons #2 and #3.
- 49 percent of buyers like their CRM, but only 34% of users do.
- 28 percent of buyers are already looking at or piloting an alternative.
- 71 percent of users find their CRM hard to learn.
The survey also reveals what CRM users really want from their SaaS CRM alternative. They want, in order:
- A system that makes them work smarter.
- Only one solution, not multiple apps.
- Easy integration with other systems.
- Easy training.
- Better automation of routine tasks.
In other words, users are desperate for a CRM that empowers them, helps them do their jobs better and more efficiently, takes the drudgery out of data entry and manual tasks, makes it easy to work with other data sources and has fast ramp-to-value by users.
We’ve built a campaign called Hit Refresh that captures the user frustration felt by millions of SaaS users and the resentment they feel against their bosses for forcing them to use “bloated CRM” and IT software. With the revelations of this survey, we may have to rewrite some of the story here and have the bosses join the front lines of the revolt against overcomplicated, overpriced and overblown CRM software.