What’s in a name? Four hundred years later, the exact same sentiment from that Shakespeare quote could be applied to the sales software market – how important are brand names to small businesses choosing and using these solutions?

Everything and nothing, according to data from GetApp users. They may choose the brand names the first time round, but that’s not necessarily what they are looking for or what best fits their business.

In the name of better understanding this trend, and to find out what sales and CRM software businesses are currently using compared to what they would like to use, we analyzed data from the “I Use This” and “I Want This” features on the GetApp website (screenshot below).

We broke down the usage patterns by business size and country – varying from solopreneurs to companies of 1,000 employees, and using data from the US, the UK, Canada, and Australia to find out whether there is a disconnect between the sales software currently used and the apps GetApp users would like to use.

(For a detailed methodology on the way that we collected and analyzed this data, see the methodology section at the bottom of the article.)

Key findings

  • Zoho CRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud dominate the most popular sales software by small businesses
  • Pipedrive, Insightly, and Infusionsoft are the most sought after sales software according to GetApp users
  • Companies with 51 employees or more are adopting more well-known enterprise sales software, such as Microsoft Dynamics CRM
  • Small businesses in the US, UK, and Canada broadly use the same sales solutions, however Australia favors a mix of global and local software.

Most used sales software by business size

Overall, Zoho CRM and Salesforce Sales Cloud are miles ahead of their competition in terms of most used sales software for all business sizes (1-1000 employees).

HubSpot CRM and Pipedrive also feature in the top five most popular sales software in almost all of the different company sizes.

most used sales apps small businesses

With the exception of Salesforce, these are all apps that are aimed at the small business end of the market, with lower pricing points. For example, Hubspot CRM offers a freemium solution for unlimited users, while Zoho CRM is free for up to 10 users – although the latter does scale up to enterprise-level packages.

This points to larger organizations adopting sales and CRM software that has been traditionally aimed at the small business market, possibly due to the cloud-first approach, user friendly system, and ease of implementation.

Missing from this list – even for the larger organizations – are a lot of the sales and CRM heavyweights and Gartner Magic Quadrants regulars, such as Oracle CRM, and SAP Hybris CRM, which doesn’t make the cut even after the company acquired Hybris to try to realign its sales strategy to take on Salesforce.

While these customers still have a large customer base, this data points to a preference for newer, more user-friendly entrants to the market, and an increased understanding of the importance of choosing software targeted at your business size.

Household names

As the company size increases, the gap between Zoho CRM, Salesforce Sales Cloud, and the rest of the field narrows, and we start to see the emergence of more household names.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM is one of the most popular sales software solutions for businesses with more than 51 employees, while industry heavyweight Bullhorn CRM emerges as a popular choice for businesses with more than 500 employees.

BPM for sales

The emergence of Microsoft Dynamics CRM in larger organizations also shows a trend towards adoption of solutions that merge business process management with sales and CRM software. Another example of this is Bpm’online CRM, which is popular with businesses of 500 employees.

There are some unexpected results, with open source solution Odoo CRM proving to be one of the most popular sales software solutions among companies of 201-500 employees.

The popularity of Zoho CRM, Salesforce Sales Cloud, HubSpot CRM, and Pipedrive tie in with GetApp’s ranking of the top 25 sales management apps for small businesses. This ranking is comprised of internal and external data on integrations, user reviews, security data, social media following, and mobile app availability and rating.

Most wanted sales apps by business size

Comparing the most used sales software to the most wanted sales software throws up an interesting trend: Salesforce Sales Cloud has high adoption rates, but is not necessarily the most sought after solution – especially for small businesses.

Instead newer, more small business friendly solutions such as Insightly and Pipedrive take the top spots as the most wanted software by GetApp users (apart from businesses with more than 50 employees).

most wanted sales apps small businesses

Ilona Hansen, research director, CRM-Sales at Gartner, explains: “Salesforce is basically acquired in all customer segments, except for very small organizations (1-10 employees). But, if you compare against the “what’s wanted” data, you can see that segment of 11-50 employees is listing Salesforce #4, not #1.

“This is something we are hearing quite frequently: because Salesforce is big and very intense with their go-to-market strategy, many organizations buy [it]. But after some time [they] realize that Salesforce is probably not the top #1 for them, mostly based on the considerations of ROI, which is driven mostly by the very high licensing costs of Salesforce.”

Most used sales software by country

We also took a look at the most used software by country for businesses of 1-1000 employees. In the HR market, outside of the US, countries (the UK and Canada) favored local solutions.

We didn’t find this to be the case for the sales and CRM market, with the US, UK, and Canada all choosing the same solutions. Australia, however, showed a slight preference for local solutions.

US

In line with the general overview, Salesforce Sales Cloud had more than double the amount of users as its nearest rival – Zoho CRM. Hubspot CRM and Pipedrive made up the top four. SalesforceIQ – the company’s CRM and sales solution aimed at small businesses – was the fifth most used piece of software.

UK

The UK showed almost the same preferences as the US, apart from the appearance of Insightly and Agile CRM, neither of which are UK-based.

Canada

Canada’s most popular sales software was almost identical to the US and the UK, with the exception of US-based software Infusionsoft.

Australia

While Salesforce Sales Cloud and Zoho CRM are the most used sales apps in Australia, Sydney-based sales document management solution Qwilr also appears in the top five. This is the only country-specific result from our data.

Most wanted sales software by country

The most striking result when looking at the most wanted sales software by country is that Salesforce Sales Cloud is nowhere to be seen. Instead Pipedrive dominates, Zoho CRM and Infusionsoft are also highly sought after, while Salesforce IQ – the company’s sales software aimed at small businesses consistently makes the list.

US

Small business CRMs Insightly and Pipedrive top the list in the US, but here is where we start to see the trend emerging for SalesforceIQ.

This suggests there is awareness and respect for the Salesforce name, but also recognition that Salesforce Sales Cloud is not suitable for all business sizes, and that there are better options available for them from this brand name.

UK

It’s Infusionsoft that joins Pipedrive at the top of the list in the UK, an app which doesn’t make the list of the most used software category in the UK. Again we see the presence of SalesforceIQ as a most wanted software.

Canada

The results from Canada are very similar to the US and the UK: Pipedrive, Zoho CRM, and SalesforceIQ are all popular. However, inside sales CRM close.io also featured, even though it is not a local solution.

Conclusion

From analyzing our data, we were able to conclude that there is a gap between the software that small businesses are currently using and what they would most like to use. We can hypothesize that this is down to the allure of brand name, with Salesforce Sales Cloud, for example, being a leader in the market and a well-known brand name.

However, the data would suggest that companies are becoming more aware of the other options out there that may be more suitable for their business size – this even includes the Salesforces’s CRM for small business – SalesforceIQ.

From analyzing traffic to our blog here at GetApp, we also found that our articles which suggest alternatives for small businesses to well-known products prove very popular among readers. The issue is not that these products are not well-developed and full of useful features, but they can be too expensive for small businesses, and provide more functionality than is necessary. For example,

This is why it is important to invest in sales software that is right for your business size. At GetApp, you can filter sales apps by business size, as well as software that is recommended for your particular industry (if you are signed in via LinkedIn).


For a full list of the most wanted and most popular sales software, or to reuse any of the charts above, please contact karen@getapp.com.


Methodology for determining most popular sales software

To put this report together, we analyzed data from signed in GetApp users that had selected the “I Use This” or the “I Want This” option for a particular app on the site. We counted the number of individual users that had selected these apps and segmented according to business size and country.

The sample size for each segment differed and we used absolute numbers on our graphs to represent the most used and most wanted. We then looked into the five most used and most wanted apps per country and per business size.