Back in June I thought it would be kind of interesting to compare a few of the on-demand CRM vendors in a non-traditional way. So I thought I'd look at how much traffic they are getting to their sites, figuring that the higher up on the rankings they are must signify a few things. More customers logging in and using the systems should drive traffic. More net new customers should also drive traffic numbers. Also more marketing and brand building activities like roadshows, community forums and the like should also lead to higher traffic rankings. But the one thing I know this kind of ranking wouldn't do is talk about the typical (and more important) criteria for comparing services - features, functionality, price, service, etc.
So as I look back at rankings from my first post in June and compare it to the December rankings from last week, I have to first state the same disclaimer I've used for every post - "Not that this is any official way of ranking the on-demand CRM providers but I was sort of curious to see the Alexa rankings of some of the players."
|Vendor||Dec-06||26-Jun||6 Mnth Chg||% Change|
As hot as the on demand CRM space is, it's surprising to see that all of the above vendors are down in their traffic rankings. It does look a bit alarming on the surface, but remember that I've only included the heavyweights with a few other vendors. There is a growing number of on-demand providers out there flying under the radar that are unaccounted for here. These providers are concentrating on the low end by providing basic functionality at way lower prices, which has to be appealing to the small business segments that originally put on-demand CRM on the map. A few of which have higher traffic rankings than many i have listed. So I would say there needs to be some additions to the list in order to really question the overall picture. I will be adding a number of vendors for the January rankings.
Salesforce has truly distinguished itself as the bonafied, undisputed Alexa champion in the on-demand CRM space. SFDC knows how to generate and perpetuate interest in its services by embracing Web 2.0 concepts like blogging, forums and social media optimization to build its community of users and prospects. In a copycat world it still surprises me why many of their top competitors have not followed suit in any meaningful manner as of yet. Give them their due for capturing and keeping their mojo.
Salesforce.com's slippage isn't too bad, but all the other vendors have lost substantial levels of traffic in the six month period. But when it comes to losses, nothing even comes close to Oracle/Siebel, dropping over 121,000 spots to its current ranking of 186,717. Now many do not know what to make out of Alexa data and how to use it. But just consider this. Our new radio show, "Technology for Business Sake", has a website that has only been up and running since late November. The site is actually built using technology from a company called HubSpot, which creates optimized pages for the site to increase web exposure. With that all said, our site, barely five weeks old, has an Alexa ranking as of today of 188,075.....yes, that's right.....less than 2,000 spots behind Oracle OnDemand. And it probably won't be too long before we pass them if things keep going as-is.
Quite frankly that's unbelievable. And it should be a huge concern to them that they've fallen so far behind everyone. Web traffic is basically made up of new visitors, repeat visitors, and customers/users (new and repeating). Throw in traffic from partners and others working with you. So this type of traffic should lead to a certain level of business. So what does it say about Oracle OnDemand's competitiveness with this huge loss in traffic rankings? You've still got to wonder how big of an impact the churn of companies who were originally Siebel OnDemand customers is as they roll off and move to other providers.
Another big name in software is Sage, and they've faired just slightly better than Oracle with SageCRM.com. You have to assume at some point some ACT! users will swim upstream and check out SageCRM.com. But when will that happen in meaningful numbers? Plus I still feel there are many folks who are still trying to figure out Sage's CRM product mix and where they are going with SageCRM.com which may be affecting their rankings. One thing they do have going for them is some positive momentum gained in their December Alexa ranking, which moved up more than 14,000 spots over their November ranking. It will be interesting to see if that was the beginning of a positive trend, or just an aberration.
Salesboom crashed "The Big Three" party for a while jumping ahead of RightNow Technologies for a few months, but they really fell off in December. We'll see if they can get back in the mix in the upcoming months, but I'd be curious to know if there were any identifiable reasons for the slide.
So there you have it for 2006. Thanks to all of you who've encouraged me to keep doing this. I'll be adding a few wrinkles in 2007 So stay tuned...and have a Happy New Year!