CRM rating, tops, reviews - do they all lie?

    Hello, Habr! Today we will talk about ratings, tops, reviews and various kinds of reviews that our customers are guided by when choosing software. It would not have occurred to me in my life to start this mini-investigation about CRM ratings if it were not for a tough discussion with a gennayo user , where we discussed ways to choose CRM and generally find it on the Internet initially. In fact, this applies not only to CRM, but also to any product and service, but my shirt is closer to my body :-) So, I gathered some tops for popular search queries and divided them into groups. Well, dive into the twilight?

    There were different thoughts about the organization of this top, but in the end I decided to start with "normal" sources and gradually slide into the abyss of a review lawlessness. Therefore, if you want scandals and intrigues, read the article from the end, if objectivity - from the beginning.

    Disclaimer. I am responsible for marketing in RegionSoft and the opinion in the article may or may not coincide with the position of the company.

    Net industry CRM ratings and tops

    If we talk about the CRM and ERP market, then the palm of purity and honesty belongs to independent analytical agencies, in particular, Gartner and Forrester (Forrester Wave). Gartner annually publishes the sophisticated Magic Quadrant for CRM Lead Management report, which evaluates CRM by potential, identifies niche players, visionaries, leaders, and challengers. The same quadrants are made according to versions of other agencies, for example, Nuclear Research. As a rule, the backbone of vendors converges in different quadrants, but there are also differences.

    However, none of these agencies can be called truly independent. Firstly, it’s just not possible to get into the Gartner quadrant - manufacturing companies pay for research in order to have a chance to get into the quadrant. They need such a position for an obvious competitive and marketing advantage in the market, and sometimes an investment in research pays off well. And secondly, Gartner several times got into bad stories with technology assessments , and in 2006 the experts of this company considered that the most promising thing for Apple was to abandon hardware development (of course, maybe they looked into a very distant future, but 13 years, and Apple hardware lives and almost does not cough).

    An example of a “matrix” Nuclear Research

    There is one more nuance - to become a contender for a quadrant of one of the agencies, you need to meet many formal and user-unnecessary requirements, from technological to linguistic. Relatively speaking, we are developing RegionSoft CRMand we think that we could reach for the “niche player”, because Strongly pumped as a universal CRM, including for integrated enterprise management with a warehouse, production, business processes and so on. And, let's say, we turn up the idea and begin to move forward, order a study, translate the interface into English, file the IFRS system, invoice, etc. It costs a lot of money, we will need to recapture them. How will any sane developer beat them? Correctly, will shift these payments to the cost of licenses. The question is - have we been working for 17 years for Russian small and medium-sized businesses to do newsletters, that we are in the quadrant? No, we just help small and medium-sized businesses solve automation problems.

    You understood correctly, all quadrant participants are very expensive software - due to ambition, global presence, marketing costs, etc.

    This also includes ratings and studies conducted by Russian companies and research institutes (for example, the Institute for Entrepreneurship Problems, J'son & Partners, private laboratories, etc.). It’s the difference that they don’t have that much weight in the world (they don’t have any, actually), and they’re called to solve local problems, that is, private tasks of vendors or system integrators, so each report, each study has the mark “By order of the company XXX ". It costs from 500 thousand rubles. up to 2 million, and gives certain advertising benefits.

    I touched on the life of research institutes and I can say that to make such a report is not just to come up with a paid bill and take first place - the research is really based on real data. Taking a report and even looking at the source of the study, you do not dig. But, as you probably know, data sources and methods for processing them are different. So the same money is paid for a competent audience sample and methodology, if you understand what I mean.

    Verdict.Information from such reports and quadrants is leaked out to the media in a dosed manner, the studies themselves are either not available or cost up to $ 4-5 thousand. Therefore, you are unlikely to read them in its entirety. But any information from there is a good squeeze on the market, it is required to study and understand. However, blindly believing and taking a CRM loan from a quadrant is hardly worth it.

    Thematic sites and portals

    The foreign market is rich in websites about CRM systems - there are really a lot of them, inside there are a lot of articles, notes, experts and restrained discussions. There is also a lot of advertising, without it in any way. In Russia, there are also many CRM sites, good ones - on the fingers of one hand to count (including Habr). In search results among expert sites in the first positions, you can catch three more or less adequate sites (except for Habr - we will not consider it, it is difficult to compete with it).

    CRMonline- alas, it is already an almost inanimate site that once was the site of fierce battles of CRM-schiki on the forum. Valuable information and catalog of CRM-systems. There are no tops or ratings bought - you just delve into the list of CRM solutions. However, much of it is outdated: for example, the catalog contains RegionSoft CRM 5.0, and it has been almost a year as RegionSoft CRM 7.0 (despite the fact that these are major releases, that is, at least 4 years have passed).

    CRM practice - the site is supported, articles are updated, although not as often as we would like. There is a lead generation system (for the sake of which everything was intended, probably). Previously, it aroused suspicion among vendors, because the publisher was a dealer company Terrasoft in the Czech Republic.

    Proofs with TAdviser

    But now the site of that company is parked, and the portal itself includes just a huge storehouse of information and cases about CRM ( for example, our contribution to this piggy bank ) and allows you to select and compare solutions (without filters, according to the established list of criteria). We also like graphs for evaluating CRM systems, of course, they are very averaged, but on the whole they reflect the real situation. We don’t know how the chart is formed (this is not a script on the page), it seems that there is also a fraction of subjectivity here - but we know for sure that we didn’t pay a dime for publications, posting, etc.

    RegionSoft CRM through the eyes of the portal Practice CRM

    TAdviserworth mentioning first, but it's a long story, so here. This is a real mastodon in the field of corporate software - a huge analytical portal that contains a large knowledge base, there are ratings and opinions, advertising and author's content. He is still alive of all living things. But we will see what's with CRM rating.
    The last one is from 2017. There he is:

    First question: seriously, where are amoCRM and Bitrix24? And the question is not the only one. So, we begin to dig. As always, with an asterisk - "according to the TAdviser database." We know what kind of base it is, because I started RegionSoft with my own hands and all our products on the portal back in 2013 and ... scored this business for a number of good reasons (surprisingly, it's not about laziness). Here is what the plate looked like:

    And here the most interesting part begins: the vendor company itself introduces the project and must necessarily add a customer card - that is, add all these companies from the first column to the directory (if they are not there). It’s clear that not all customers like this - you need to get permission to disclose the project, etc. In general, we stopped making projects, but the idea is still sometimes buzzing - and if we made all 6000+ of our implementations, we would have “done” MS Dynamics and 1C: CRM. But what is the price of the rating, which includes only those who contributed information about the projects?

    But in general, we will repeat ourselves as a source of information about companies and products of the IT sphere TAdviser is excellent.

    Now about another rating that has attracted our attention, including for reasons that you will see near the end. It's about Startpack's cloud-based search service . It is quite easy to get there if you are a cloud solution, and there is a rating of CRM-systems with reviews, features, etc. Reviews from real people (by feelings), but you need to be critical - because someone has a rating of 5 stars and 3 ratings, someone has 3 stars and 100 ratings, and this is a big difference for the user experience. Well, besides, the staff of any IT company will create 5-20 “five” reviews for you, while the geolocation, IP and styles will be different - you can’t find fault. But how the Startpack infobase looks very good, informative, convenient to use. It’s a pity that we can’t bring RegionSoft CRM there, because we are a desktop, not a cloud, solution.  

    But we can get, for example, into the AllCRM directory , which is positioned as an assistant in choosing a CRM system. Also a pleasant and informative rating. True, in the correspondence by e-mail it turned out that there is a price list for services, but they promised to send the updated price list later (which I strongly doubt for a number of reasons). And if there is no paper, there is no evidence, so we just remember that even the chickens do not rush out of kindness of soul, and such aggregators earn either advertising or lead generation (they sell applications to vendors), or affiliate programs with CRM systems, or all at once. There is nothing wrong with that, you just need to remember that the rating can be configured in the right way.

    For example, how do you like the orange button? Why don't others have it? Just click on the link and the URL to understand that this is a referral.


    You can find several more similar sites, request a price list and find out how to grow in the ranking. I don’t really want them to get traffic from Habr, so I won’t mention them, but I’ll say, for example, that on the site of one “type of independent blogger” out of 15 CRMs mentioned in an article disguised as analytic reasoning, 9 have referral links . Moreover, two CRMs have not been heard even in our company, although we are closely monitoring the market. Here you have the whole rating from an independent expert :-)

    Speaking of maskers

    This is a separate caste of sites that have the goal of selling a single CRM. For example, on the site, which presents itself as a “CRM selection service for your business”, for formality, you will click on the pictures with the parameters you need, leave your data and contacts, and you will be offered one single CRM system: 1C : CRM. However, it is easy to predict from the name of the site. I do not know about you, I did not have even the slightest illusion.

    And there are a lot of such sites - fortunately, in addition to the aforementioned, the top was no longer found. But a lot of disguise - usually under honest reviews, posts, blogging notes, an objective analysis and even criticism.

    And how are they?

    In Europe and the USA, such otzovik ratings are very developed, you can look at the example of Top Ten Reviews . Some of them are extremely strict on the participants and adhere to the policy of independence. You can buy a banner from them or get on the first line thanks to payment or GiveAway (free software for everyone for a day, for example), but this line will be marked in a special way - as a giveaway or as an advertising activity. Among the serious tops, finding a sales / referral rating is not so simple.
    Verdict. We all do business - someone develops and sells software, someone leads companies in terms of PR and marketing, someone sells virtual servers, and someone makes money on affiliate programs. Such a business will not die out for a long time, because the level of automation is low, and IT literacy outside IT companies requires endless educational program, and the software vendors themselves are happy with everything - the extra promotion channel didn’t bother anyone.

    And now for the real failure

    Some time ago, I found our RegionSoft CRM in the rating . It has already managed to be indexed quite well (hello, search engines and algorithms!). And nothing would bother me if it weren’t for two frankly bad reviews (there were others), in one of which the user wrote about us ... as about cloud CRM. But we are not cloudy and do not even have a WEB interface, we are a good, reliable, functional desktop! This is mistake. We struck the “respondents” by name and surname in our database, did not find among the clients, we realized that they didn’t get into the situation either. In short, this is not about us. I spent several hours searching for the owner of all this disgrace to ask for help to understand, because no one answered the contacts on the site, they only collected my data.

    When I found the owner, he was surprised, but I already knew that every single review on the site was fake, that it was a very, very bad copy of the aforementioned Startpack (in terms of interface, logic and functions) and that I had the only goal - to delete my company from this "false rating" once and for all.

    A strange question from the owner of the aggregator. I

    must say, the conversation turned out to be unpleasant, we were removed from the CRM rating for two days, and the owner of the "index" sent me this goodbye (one, two, out):

    Beige blues - I, blue - my opponent.

    In order not to be unfounded and not look like a young PR woman who has “got-and-got-something negative”, I did a little investigation and made a fact check specifically for this post. Here are the facts.

    Fact 1. One person leaves several reviews on different products of the same class (for example, on the screen there are 8 reviews from Stepan, and he is not the only one). All reviews are deep, but it is clear that no one will use so many services at once, and even write about them in detail.

    Fact 2. A very strange top ranking CRM-systems. We don’t like to mention competitors, but, damn it, these are definitely not the most top-end CRM systems in Russia - neither in terms of functionality nor popularity. Even the second one on this list does not attract victory :-) Well, the rest are all the more so.

    Fact 3. All reviews written by VKontakte users were created by users who have been inactive for several months (sometimes from the date of recall). They do not respond to messages, did not leave notes, the dates of the last visit are old. Here is who I found among people who wrote reviews on CRM systems in this CRM rating (all information is taken from open sources):

    • For example, Maxim Tigrov was born in 1994, in the subscriptions “Sexy People”, “Single Moms”, “Acquaintances / Rich and Mature”. I was not looking for an investor to purchase a CRM system, not otherwise.
    • A productive author with 7 reviews Dima Lu and overpowering everyone Nikolay Onyushkin is an expert of genius, whom I could not find to ask questions personally. 31 reviews!


    Fact 4. Many, many referral links (which is not surprising, to CRM from the top).

    I don’t know how other vendors relate to posting on such a site, but it’s unpleasant to be among the false and empty reviews from the mass of VK accounts. Therefore, they asked to delete.

    For whom are all these ratings and why do they work?

    Choosing CRM, a project management system, an accounting system and even software for personal use, users consult their main consultant - the Internet. They drive in a search query and expect that someone will help them, but in the end they come across such different ratings and expert reviews. There are several reasons for “confusion”.

    • Low computer and technical literacy of managers and decision makers. They can understand their business as geniuses, but they are not required to understand IT. However, they often have to choose automation systems.
    • Distrust to vendors - some entrepreneurs and their employees believe that the vendor has a goal to cut money and throw, and there, though, the grass does not grow. Yes, this happens, but only with irresponsible partners. If you complain to the vendor, the issue will be resolved, as a rule, honestly and professionally - no one is interested in a fall in reputation.
    • Often, negative reviews are misleading, written by people who refused to study, fully implemented, did not understand, demanded something illegal, and are now unhappy that the vendor has not fulfilled their wishes. Shoot this directly from the keyboard, write a bunch of negative reviews so that life does not seem like a paradise! The vendor doesn't care, he’s ready to answer on the merits, but users looking for CRM are scared.
    • Trust in “independent” experts and bloggers as heralds of truth. Alas, this is not the case for a long time. Everything was bought: tech bloggers, reviewers, amateur bloggers, famous people, etc. It's just that the price is different. Rarely, rarely (and mainly on Habré, Hacker, etc. - that is, classic UGCs) there are enthusiasts who are ready to tell the world about the bumps stuffed in the process of choosing a particular technology.
    • Finally, for many people choosing CRM, there is no other Internet than social networks and searching with CRM ratings - wherever you got it, there really is. This is a smaller segment, but it is.

    Alas, this alignment can often lead to tangible problems in implementing corporate software, because the basis for a serious and rational investment in the development of the company is selected on the basis of someone's subjective opinion, without understanding the factors that influenced this very opinion.


    You will say that no one is looking for ratings, all are oriented to requirements. No, they’re looking, only in one Yandex:

    • CRM rating - 1076 queries per month
    • top CRM - 508
    • choose CRM - 486
    • the best CRM - 1052

    The issuance of these requests for the most part is sad (the one that is not advertising in Yandex.Direct - here at least everything is honest).

    There is the only right way to choose a CRM system for your business: collect requirements and correlate them with the capabilities of different vendors, test demos, and communicate. Listen only to your business processes and hear your needs.

    Where to choose a CRM pool for tests? A very difficult question - but certainly not in such tops. You can dig through the portals that we mentioned, read Habr, Forbes,, cossa, etc. - Serious vendors write about themselves quite a lot and well, because they are not ashamed to go one on one with the audience, talk about the product, get feedback, work out the negative. In general, it is important to consider several sources and form your opinion, because for your business you are the only adequate expert. Choose your track :-)

    Well, we are on the way. If you are looking for a CRM system, then RegionSoft CRM has discounts of 15% until March 31 . We are often asked: compare your system with such-and-such and such-and-such ... And we always reply that we have no practice comparing our decisions with strangers, if only for the reason that such a comparison will be subjective. If you need CRM or ERP, carefully study our products and compare their capabilities with your goals and objectives. There will be questions and difficulties - write, call, we will arrange for you an individual presentation online - without ratings and puzomerki.
    Our channel in Telegram , in which without advertising we write not quite formal things about CRM and business.

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