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Grow Your Business Technology

Can Salesforce Stay on Top of CRM Providers in 2019?

image for Africa Studio / Shutterstock
Africa Studio / Shutterstock

2018 was a huge year for Salesforce. The SaaS CRM giant has been dominating tech headlines and investment forums alike thanks to its meteoric growth and rapid-fire acquisitions. In the last year, Salesforce acquired MuleSoft, CloudCraze, Rebel, Attic Labs and Datorama, but that doesn't mean the software company is impervious to competition. Other companies such as Adobe and Oracle are constantly tweaking their offerings to try and overtake Salesforce.

The customer relationship management (CRM) space is full of large and midsize companies vying for business, and while there is a lot of competition for SMB clients, only a few CRMs out there are real competition for Salesforce on a larger scale.

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These are Salesforce's top competitors for 2019. Will one of these be a better solution for your small business?

Oracle might be a little behind Salesforce in CRM market share right now, but this tech behemoth is poised to take as much business from Salesforce as it can. In fact, Oracle is a much larger company than Salesforce, with an operating income of $13.67 billion to Salesforce's $1.74 million. Oracle is no stranger to bulk acquisitions either: In 2018, the company acquired at least six major companies, with a focus on those specializing in AI, data science, security and networking.

You can inquire about an Oracle CRM Cloud demo here.

Another company that deals in billions to Salesforce's millions is SAP, a gigantic international software company that has been dealing in enterprise tech for nearly 50 years. SAP's solutions rule in the larger markets of international government and commerce. Like competitors in smaller markets, SAP offers multiple clouds, each with its own focus, including the Data Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Commerce Cloud, Sales Cloud and Service Cloud. SAP appears to be attempting some SMB solutions to gain traction in the SMB market. In fact, its Sales Cloud starts at just $25 per user per month.

Businesses interested in SAP Sales Cloud solutions can sign up for a free trial[Interested in CRM solutions? Check out our reviews of the Best CRM Software.]

Most business readers are probably already familiar with Adobe. With an operating income of over $2 billion and 36 years in the industry, Adobe became a household name with products like Acrobat, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver and Flash.

Adobe Systems also has a CRM solution. While terribly named, Adobe Marketing Cloud is a robust collection of solutions that currently serves the enterprise market primarily. Prospective users can sign up for a demo here.

While Oracle, SAP and Adobe are the three biggest competitors gunning for Salesforce, there are lots of others in the pack. Salesforce is unique in that it acquired dominant market share by targeting businesses of all sizes at the same time.

Now, Salesforce faces competition from big dogs like Oracle Customer Experience and Microsoft Dynamics that are trying to move out of the enterprise-only market and nab large and midsize companies, as well as competition that focuses exclusively on the SMB set, like many of those we reviewed in our Best CRM Software Guide. Smaller competitors like Zoho, HubSpot and SugarCRM might not be able to touch Salesforce in terms of sheer size, but they understand the SMB market and offer a more modern approach to buying SaaS. While it has successfully moved into the SMB market, Salesforce still operates more like a Microsoft or Oracle in terms of pricing and accessibility; users still have to fill out a form to get practically any information, pricing is high, implementation is complicated, and customer service leaves a lot to be desired.

Salesforce is the CRM company to beat in 2019, and no doubt it will have its own improvements to make over the course of the year. But the strength of the competitive landscape promises this year to be an interesting one.

Mona Bushnell

Mona Bushnell is a New York City-based staff writer for Business.com and Business News Daily. She has a Bachelor of Arts in writing, literature, and publishing from Emerson College and previously worked as an IT technician, copywriter, software administrator, scheduling manager, and editorial writer. Mona began freelance writing full time in 2014 and joined Business News Daily in 2017. She covers business technology and reviews CRM systems.