Gartner's MarketScope for CRM Lead Management - An Observation on Analysts' Ratings and the Factors that Drive them

“MarketScope for "CRM Lead Management" http://bit.ly/gISNVP Wonder which Positive ones are Gartner customers. And which Caution ones aren't.” -          Tweet from @KurtMW, aka Kurt Weisenberger, Sr. Marketing Manager at Planview

I saw this tweet from one of our customers earlier this week and thought to myself, “Hmmm, I had the exact same question”. Of course, I think the answer is pretty obvious. Anyone who has played the analyst evaluation game understands the score – in order to be rated favorably, it really helps to also be a client. I’m not suggesting it is the only criteria, but I’m certain there is a very strong correlation in this report between a having a Positive rating and being a Gartner client and having a Caution rating and not.

Perhaps I’m just being overly defensive, but it isn’t clear to me (nor most of the readers I’ve talked to) exactly why we’ve been given a Caution rating. They could be concerned about our relative size, but regardless of size we have grown consistently over the past three years and 2011 is off to our best start in that time.  The report indicates that we only provide support in the US, yet we’ve got many international customers and partners, including Yamaha (Japan and Germany), HighDeal (France, recently purchased by SAP), AXA (Australia, through our distribution partner PRM), and Naseba (Bangalore and Dubai ), to name a few. We also serve customers who have complex lead management requirements, including Dell, Aetna, Jefferson Wells (a division of Manpower) and UPS, so the implication that we are only for those with “simple lead management requirements” is insulting to both us and the customers who count on us for their marketing automation and lead management needs.

Some of our prospects have said that our competitors who are Gartner clients are using this report against us.  Fortunately, most marketers have played the game and understand the caveats that go along with such reports.  I’d encourage all who are using this report as part of their decision process to dig behind the data.  Make sure that you talk to existing users of your considered vendors to get the full story.  You might find that caution is required where you wouldn’t expect it.