Nucleus Research Releases 2022 CRM Technology Value Matrix

April 12, 2022

Salesforce falls out of the leader quadrant as CRM market turns to usability and rapid ROI.

MIAMI–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Customer relationship management (CRM) has matured in recent years, with CRM vendors seeking to differentiate themselves by delivering easy to use tools to deliver personalized experiences. With increasing demand from consumers to interact with organizations across multiple channels, top vendors have made significant investments to enhance the flexibility of their product offerings while providing a more automated environment that may be used by multiple layers within the organization. As CRM vendors continue to innovate and expand the capabilities enabled by their product offerings, Nucleus Research has released its 2022 CRM Technology Value Matrix analyzing the industry’s top players.

One notable development in this year’s Value Matrix is the omission of Salesforce from the Leader’s quadrant for the first time in over a decade.

This year, the rebalancing of the matrix is driven by an industry-wide shift toward prioritizing usability over functionality, an undertaking Salesforce has yet to participate in. The gaps in functionality that once existed between vendors are shrinking, and top players are instead focusing on reducing overall complexity and providing a highly intuitive user experience. Previously revolutionary features like AI-enabled workflows or natural language processing are becoming ubiquitous, and vendors are now turning to usability to differentiate themselves from the competition.

“This year’s Value Matrix underscores the need for rapid development and ease of use as the path to achieve high value,” said Ian Campbell CEO of Nucleus Research. “Salesforce’s focus on functionality to encourage customization and lock in clients into long term contracts has pushed it out of the leader quadrant. Salesforce has fallen behind the leaders in the market who have focused on ease of use and out-of-the-box usability.”

Nucleus’s CRM Technology Value Matrix evaluated vendors based on the relative usability and functionality of their solutions, informed by customer and user conversations, vendor participation, and Nucleus’ year-round assessment of technology deployments. The analysis also offers a breakdown of CRM technology industry leaders, experts, facilitators, and core providers:

  • Leaders: Microsoft, Oracle, SugarCRM, and Zoho
  • Experts: Creatio, NexJ, Salesforce, and SAP;
  • Facilitators: Acumatica, HubSpot, Keap, and Zendesk;
  • Core Providers: Maximizer Software, Pegasystems, and X2CRM.

“We found adoption to be the most significant determining factor to the success and ROI of CRM implementation,” said Trevor White, Research Manager at Nucleus Research. “The relationship between organizations and their customers has become increasingly complex, and CRM vendors that can drive adoption, cut through the noise, and deliver low friction, out-of-the-box functionality will come out on top.”

For the full report, click

About Nucleus Research

Nucleus Research is a global provider of investigative, case-based technology research and advisory services. The company’s ROI-focused research approach provides unique insight into the actual results technology solutions deliver, allowing organizations to cut through marketing hype to understand real operational value and select or renew the best technology solution for their environment. For more information, visit


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