The global customer relationship management (CRM) software market grew by almost 14% last year, according to Gartner Research. Revenue reached $20.4 billion in 2013, up from $18 billion in 2012.
The report, titled Market Share Analysis: Customer Relationship Management Software, Worldwide, 2013, found that there was strong demand for software as a service (SaaS) CRM solutions from firms looking to replace legacy systems with alternatives that are easier to deploy and manage.
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The report also found that competition had intensified amongst the major players in the market, with the top five providers accounting for 49.8% of revenue, in comparison to 48.1% the year before.
Salesforce strengthened its position as market leader, with an increase in revenue of 30.3% year-on-year. The other providers completing the top five were, in order, SAP, Oracle, Micrsoft and IBM.
At the heart of digital
Joanne Correia, research vice president at Gartner, explained that investment in digital marketing and customer experience initiatives were the main drivers of the market.
"CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years," said Correia. "This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive."
In addition to looking at the make-up of the market, Gartner also noted that the communications, media and IT services industries are the largest spenders, "because they focus on large groups using call center technologies," and due to the strong use of analytics within the industries to improve customer experiences.