Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce: Comparison of Top CRMs On The Market
Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce are two of the top CRM systems currently available in the market. Many businesses spend a lot of time deciding which of these two solutions will provide them the highest overall value.
Since its day one, Salesforce was created as a web-based application. Thus, there are various design features optimized for a browser experience rather than for a desktop program experience. A minor example would be the Save button on Salesforce’s edit screens.
Microsoft, on the other hand, originally made the plan to have Windows-style drop down menus within its CRM tool. This gives customers a common user experience across different Windows products and its web-based CRM tool.
Which solution is better? Here is a detailed analysis of both solutions including their advantages and disadvantages, features, price and a look on which works better for different types of businesses.
Advantages and Disadvantages
To be fair, both systems do have all the essential CRM functionalities that one would expect from the leaders in the market: case management, activity logging, sales process management, among others. However, compared with Microsoft Dynamics, Salesforce offers richer features. These include Salesforce’s social communication, online marketing, and customer support features.
As far as ease of implementation goes, Salesforce is a relatively more polished and thus offers easier implementation than Microsoft Dynamics, which has to be customized and adapted to the needs of your business. Implementing Dynamics is harder and thus more expensive. You would also have to spend some time and budget for staff training with Microsoft Dynamics.
Both tools are relatively expensive so choosing which solution is cheaper may be an important step for companies especially those that have a large number of customer service agents. In terms of cost, Microsoft Dynamics is the cheaper option. On the surface, Microsoft Dynamics may seem more expensive (basic plan at $65 per user per month) than Salesforce ($25 per user per month billed annually), but it is not as simple as that. Salesforce may charge you for add-ons or mobile apps, making it harder for you to determine the exact cost of ownership. Microsoft is relatively more straightforward in its subscription plan. With Microsoft Dynamics, businesses are generally clear about the tool’s price and there are no hidden surprises.
Microsoft also wins when it comes to sales approach, which is different for the two companies. Salesforce sells its services directly, but introduces partners along the way, while Microsoft Dynamics sells straight through a partner all the way from the start.
Both tools make claims about their upcoming features, but Microsoft has a clearer roadmap compared with Salesforce. Salesforce seems to be quite comfortable with their current position in the market. They will make innovations in the future, but it is almost certain that these new functionalities would be additional cost for your business. Microsoft, on the other hand, knows they have a lot of catching up to do with Salesforce and the other big market players. To be fair, the company is working hard to achieve this, especially with regards to working across different browsers and devices and integrating the tool with the rest of its platform.
Both tools offer amazing out-of-the-box functionalities that can handle basic customer relationship management needs, such as:
- Sales pipeline management
- Logging customer activities such as meetings, email, calls, etc.
- Customer service issue tracking and resolution
Customizing and extending your tool can be quickly done on both platforms. However, Salesforce has been in the market longer which allowed them to develop a more robust marketplace for various third-party apps with the AppExchange.
There are different independent software vendor companies that work with Dynamics CRM. You can also find skilled business consultants who can customize your Dynamics CRM tool according to your specific needs. Overall though, Dynamics CRM, compared with Salesforce, has fewer prepackaged third-party choices and functionalities available.
With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, businesses will have a wide range of deployment options: SaaS, on-premise hosted, on-premise, or hybrid. The tool’s code is essentially the same no matter the deployment type you choose, so migration from one to another is quite easy. Not locking in their clients gives Microsoft Dynamics a unique advantage here.
Microsoft Dynamics has likewise been designed to enable customers and partners to quickly customize workflows, data types, role-based views using standard Web services and solution capabilities.
Here are some things you should consider when you use Microsoft Dynamics CRM:
- Simple licensing model, with most features included already
- Better Office and Outlook integration, thus providing you with better user experience and for admins, less configuration
- Good tool when you need an on-premise CRM solution
- Offers a newer user interface
- Small, but growing marketplace
You should consider using Microsoft Dynamics CRM when:
- Your business has a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement
- Seamless integration with your Outlook is needed
- You’re a Microsoft shop or heavy Office 365 customer
- You prefer an on-premise systems integration
- You’re a Dynamics AX user
- Your budget is limited and you prefer additional features
Salesforce is an easy-to-use solution that boasts of strong functionalities when it comes to partner relationship management. It also provides sound quality support for customer service. The tool is weaker, however, in some aspects related to field service, marketing, customer analytics, and eCommerce—at least compared with Microsoft Dynamics.
Salesforce is built on top of a robust and modern architecture, enabling you with effective scalability, availability, reliability, as well as openness to connect to other tools via web services.
When it comes to financial services segment Salesforce does not have enough industry-specific vertical solutions, probably with the exception of Wealth Management. The vendor will have to rely on its partner ecosystem (which is AppExchange) to complement the tool’s shortcomings in this aspect.
Salesforce is a CRM solution best suited for companies that are in need for a rapidly deployable, user-friendly sales management and customer service solution. The tool is best for companies that are really committed to the SaaS as deployment type.
Here are some considerations when you use Salesforce:
- Very huge established customer base
- On-demand only so on-premise CRM capability is absent
- No vertical functionality
- Little vertical add-ons available for target users
- Limited integration capabilities that offer existing productivity software as well as line-of-business (LOB) applications
- The pricing package is about twice that of Dynamics CRM’s Online package
- Complex pricing model – on some licenses, there is “a la carte” pricing as well as monthly fees when you want to use some APIs
- Market leader when it comes to adoption
- Tool’s user interface has not drastically changed in years
- Strong marketplace for your add-ons
Consider using Salesforce when:
- You need a sophisticated marketing automation tool
- You do not run a Microsoft shop
- Salesforce AppExchange can give you a vertical solution that matches your needs
Head to Head Matchup
$65 per user/month
$25/user/month (billed annually)
|Works Best For|
Medium to enterprise
Medium to enterprise
|Enterprise Social Networking|
|Sales Performance Management|
|Customer Self-Service Portal|
|Native Mobile Apps|
Web Services API
Half of that of Salesforce
Twice that of Dynamics CRM
|Number Of User-Subscriptions Purchased|
A fixed number must be purchased
No additional charges for Mobile Express app
Mobile Lite has free limited features. All key functionalitiesis in premium
|Custom Entities Offline|
View standard and custom entities offline without additional costs
Monthly charge for offline access to custom entities
Both tools are equally outstanding in their capacity to extend and integrate. However, both of their customer support portals can be problematic in some aspects.
The two solutions cater mostly to medium and enterprise companies. If you are in a business startup or an owner of a small business company, you may want to look for other choices to suit your needs and budget better.
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Overall, both tools can be effective in increasing your sales and improving your customer relationships and interactions. Make sure you analyze the importance of each major factor such as customization, user adoption, cost, and integration to your company will before you decide which tool is right for you.
In terms of true cost and functionality, Microsoft Dynamics should be the go-to CRM software for medium and enterprise businesses. It provides essential CRM functionalities at no additional or hidden cost. Salesforce, to be fair, offers good value to businesses, but its pricing (including its hidden costs) can be a concern to companies with less flexible budgets.