New research from Gartner has delineated the impressive growth levels seen by the global CRM market over the course of 2013 as firms attempt to improve their relationships with buyers and utilise the analytics possibilities offered by the software.

“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 vice president at the firm.

“CRM will be at the heart of digital initiatives in coming years. This is one technology area that will get funding because digital business is critical for companies to remain competitive.”

One of the major factors in this development is increased demand for software as a service (SaaS), which is developing across a host of sectors as firms attempt to move on from outdated legacy services or provide complementary additions to their workers.

Another possible reason for the increased popularity of CRM is that major vendors such as Oracle and Microsoft Dynamics have upped their efforts to compete for market penetration.

As these software providers vie to offer the best service and develop the subtlety and techniques of their CRM offering, firms will have more choices when it comes to bringing in new technology.

Microsoft enjoyed the second-biggest growth levels over the course of 2013, expanding by 22.8 per cent. Salesforce was the best performer, with a 30.8 per cent increase.

On a regional basis, Western European firms appeared to be the keenest to develop their CRM processes, perhaps suggesting that the American market (an early adopter) is beginning to show signs of maturity.

The former enjoyed growth of 15.2 per cent over the course of the year, while the bulk of revenue share (52.9 per cent) was recorded in the latter.

On a sector-by-sector basis communications, media and IT services vertical industries are the largest spenders on CRM because they tend to link up with large numbers of customers via call centres and other direct marketing techniques.