CRM Guide: Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce

Find out what’s next in IT procurement

CRM Guide: Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce post image

Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce are two of best CRM software solutions on the market.

Both sport features that will let you streamline day-to-day processes, improve customer relations and increase profitability. The two CRM solutions have many distinct features, all of which should be carefully considered when shopping around for a software tailored to your specific needs. Let’s take a closer look at the features of Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce.

Introduction to Microsoft Dynamics

Microsoft Dynamics Customer Relationship Management (CRM) was developed primarily to help businesses streamline tasks related to sales, marketing and customer service. The newest version, Microsoft Dynamics 365, was released in October 2018.

In general, users will have two categories to choose from when using Microsoft Dynamics, on-premise and cloud-based CRM.

The cloud-based Microsoft Dynamics, which is known as CRM Online, makes use of Microsoft’s own servers for keeping and managing backend process. In other words: Microsoft is the one managing all the databases and servers, leaving you to focus on your work. This is ideal for businesses that don’t have enough technical expertise or the equipment needed for an efficient implementation and facilitation of a CRM system.

An added bonus is that with CRM Online, the Dynamics 365 implementation will only take a couple of days, so you won’t have to wait for weeks in order to use your new system.

For businesses that want more control over their CRM setups, databases, and backups, the ideal option is Microsoft CRM on-premise solution. This means that the application is implemented and deployed on your company’s own servers. However, setting up the on-premise CRM tool can take time and it’s usually performed by someone who is technically skilled. In addition, most businesses require a system administrator to regularly install updates.

Regardless of which Dynamics CRM you choose, you’re likely to find it both convenient and highly useful. A clear benefit is that all the out-of-the-box functionalities come with the software, meaning that it doesn’t require you to do any coding in order to set it up.

Read More: Should You Choose Open Source CRM?

Introduction to Salesforce

On the other side of the ring, we find the cloud-based Salesforce CRM.

Like Microsoft Dynamics, this is an enterprise CRM solution that helps businesses establish seamless processes and connect better with their customers. Salesforce is easy to setup; you don’t need to hire an IT expert to start using it.

Salesforce is a comprehensive solution composed of several useful modules. In general, customers are focused on three of their major tools: Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Service Cloud. Additionally, it offers features such as community, analytics, commerce, and IoT.

Comparing Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce CRM

Now that you have the basics on both Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce CRM, it’s time to break down their various components and compare each.

  • Operating Systems and mobile compatibility

As you can imagine, both Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce work seamlessly on Windows, Apple OSX, and Linux operating systems. The same thing goes for mobile compatibility – both are fully compatible on iOS, Android and Windows devices. As such, both offer you and other users the comfort of managing your business on your mobile phone, while you are on-the-go.

  • How the CRM system is deployed

This is an area where Microsoft Dynamics has a clear advantage. Unlike Salesforce, Dynamics 365 can be deployed both on-premise and cloud-based. A perpetual license fee is required for each user on the on-premise solution, however. It’s also worth mentioning that Microsoft Dynamics offer private hosting.

  • Who can use the system?

Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce are both enterprise CRM solutions. While they can indeed be used for all types of business, it’s clear that many startups and small companies turn away due to the relatively high price tag. More experienced users, on the other hand, will agree that benefits of Salesforce will become more apparent in medium and large companies. Microsoft Dynamics is clearly designed for big businesses in need of more comprehensive and complex functions.

  • Customization

While customization is important for both, it can be a bit difficult to achieve for Salesforce users as it has a proprietary programming language called Apex. What this means is that all the customizations should be done using Apex, not with HTML or Java, or any other program. This can prove problematic to some users who prefer more flexibility.

Microsoft Dynamics is more flexible due to its use of HTML, Java, and .Net—the universal web standards. As a result, you and all the other users will have the freedom of customizing according to what you need. Support is also available for businesses that do not have anybody who can handle the customizations with technical ease.

The Most Important CRM Features

Naturally, both solutions offer a wide range of robust CRM features.

If we look at Dynamics 365 first, one of its most important features is the ability to integrate with the most essential Microsoft applications, such as Exchange, Outlook and Office 365. It also comes with LinkedIn integration, meaning that building relationships will be much easier.

Other unique features of Microsoft Dynamics include server-to-server authentication, activity sorter control, web API enhancement, client APIs, Cortana integration, and many others. If you have fully embraced the era of Big Data, you will also benefit from Dynamics’ Power BI tool integration.

Salesforce is also packed with plenty of powerful features, including its B2B store, AppExchange, which is one of the largest on the market. From the storefront, you can access and implement other third-party integrations – meaning that you can tailor the solution to your own requirements. Another interesting Salesforce highlight is its customer-centred environment, which is essential for efficient partner training and education.

In addition to this, Salesforce also integrates with Data Cloud, JIRA, Financial Force, Analytics Cloud, Zendesk, Zuora and LeadExec.

Salesforce vs Microsoft Dynamics: Pricing Options

If you’re looking to buy Microsoft Dynamics, you will need to choose between its two CRM pricing plans.

The first option is the Dynamics 365 Plan, which is at $210 per user per month. For any additional users, the fee is $8 per user per month. Operations devices fee is at $75 per device per month, while operations activity is set for $50 for every user per month. Modules that come with this plan include

  • Retail
  • Customer service
  • Finance and operations
  • Talent field service
  • Sales modules
  • Social engagement
  • PowerApps
  • Project service automation
  • Relationship sales

The other Dynamics 365 pricing option is the Customer Engagement Plan. Here, users pay $115 per user per month, and any additional users pay $8 per team member per month. They also offer Dynamics 365 pricing plans for modules focused on sales, customer service or retail. These prices will differ based on your requirements.

The Salesforce pricing model, on the other hand, is divided into the Sales Cloud and Service Cloud general plans.

The Sales Cloud Plan offers four options: Lightning Essentials ($25 per user per month for up to five users), Lighting Professional ($75 per user every month), Lightning Enterprise for $150 a month for every user, and Lightning Unlimited (at $300 per user per month). All three plans come with

  • Lightning app builder
  • Lead management
  • Email templates
  • Case management
  • Web-to-lead capture
  • Contact management
  • Dashboard and reports
  • Task management
  • Unlimited online training

For the Service Cloud, the plans are Lightning Professional at $75 for every user per month, Lightning Enterprise for $150 per user every month, and Lightning Unlimited for $300 a month for every user.

Are these CRM investments higher than you had in mind? For small businesses, we can recommend the solutions offered by Capsule, FunnelCRM, GreenRope or HubSpot.

In Conclusion

Both Salesforce CRM and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are strong and robust CRM solutions – and they are both popular options across a wide range of industries and markets. So, how do you go about choosing the best enterprise CRM for you?

As both come with strength and weaknesses, it’s recommended that you determine which features matters the most for your organisation. Is it the pricing, the CRM modules, the user experience or the flexibility that matters the most to you?

Alternatively, YourShortlist offers non-chargeable expert buying advice to a wide range of technology projects. Are you struggling to find the right CRM solution for your small business? Fill out the form to your right, and one of our dedicated CRM experts will be in touch with you shortly.