CRM software market grew 14% in 2013

The global customer relationship management (CRM) software market totaled $20.4 billion in 2013, up 13.7% from $18 billion in 2012, according to Gartner.

"High levels of end-user investment in digital marketing and customer experience initiatives were the primary growth drivers of the market in 2013," said Joanne Correia, research VP at Gartner.

"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."

Strong demand for software as a service (SaaS), which represented more than 41% of CRM total software revenue in 2013, was driven from organizations seeking easier-to-deploy alternatives to replace legacy systems. 

From a regional perspective, Western Europe had strong growth of 15.2% in 2013, and North America continued to drive the bulk of the revenue share (52.9%) for the overall CRM market.

The emerging Asia Pacific and Greater China regions experienced less-aggressive growth, but they still reached double-digit growth rates. Gartner said these regions are far from maturing, but are impacted by a slowing macroeconomy, and influenced by notable depreciation of some local currencies such as the Indian rupee and the Indonesian rupiah.

Further, the communications, media and IT services vertical industries are the largest spenders on CRM because they focus on large groups using call center technologies. They also invest more to improve analytics-related areas and improve/provide more consistent customer experiences.

Manufacturing (including consumer packaged goods) is in second place, with these companies using CRM for product and channel management.

Third-ranked is banking and securities, in which customer service and upselling to other financial products are core to growth.

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