Microsoft Dynamics vs. Salesforce – Which One is Right for You?

The age-old battle of CRMs, Microsoft Dynamics vs. Salesforce. Even though Salesforce has built a reputable name and holds seniority in the field, Microsoft’s Dynamics CRM has proven it can hold its own in the industry. Though these customer relationship management solutions share some similarities in functionalities, there are also some major differences unique to each solution.  

The goal for today is to compare these two CRM giants in a variety of categories and figure out the real disparities. By doing so, I can hopefully help you determine the CRM that best meets your business needs.  

 

Price 

The price of Salesforce largely depends on the size of your company. It has plans for as low as $25/user/month for up to 10 users. This plan includes the basic selling functionalities like customer management, email integration, and access to its mobile app. For more complex features, such as workflows, businesses need to upgrade to the Enterprise plan, which is priced at $150/user/month.  

By comparison, Microsoft’s pricing structure does start at a higher price point at $65/user/month. However, this base plan does not limit the number of users whereas Salesforce’s unlimited user plan begins at $75/user/month. Also, with this package, an array of sales execution tools, Office 365 integration, reporting and analysis capabilities are included.  

 

Third-Party Application Integration  

Salesforce’s AppExchange provides its customers with thousands of apps. Since Salesforce has been around longer, they do offer a more extensive list of apps to extend its CRM capabilities than Microsoft. It offers both free and paid apps for finance, analytics, integrations, human resources, ERP, etc.  

One of the largest factors that have set Dynamics 365 apart is its seamless and native integration with other Microsoft products like SharePoint, Outlook, OneDrive, OneNote, Flow, Power PI, and more. Beyond these Microsoft tools, customers can also turn to AppSource to find additional apps for most of their business challenges.   

 

Configuration and Customization 

The proprietary programming language for Salesforce is Apex with Java-like syntax. Since Apex is a proprietary programming language, Apex developers are not as prevalent and will cost more to hire. As for customization, Salesforce has a Lightning Component framework, which is a UI development framework similar to that of AngularJS or React. However, it does seem a new lighting low code solution is currently under development from Salesforce.  

Microsoft, on the other hand, uses universal web standards, such as JavaScript, HTML, and .NET; making it easier and cheaper to find developers for configuration and customization work due to the higher volume of JavaScript and .NET developers available. Microsoft also already offers a new low code solutions call PowerApps.  

 

AI  

Salesforce has heavily invested in artificial intelligence and even released Salesforce Einstein to its customers in 2016. According to the press release, Einstein’s goal is to deliver the “world’s smartest CRM” by utilizing artificial intelligence to provide a predictable and personalized customer experience. Though more and more companies are investing in AI, Salesforce is recognized as one of the first to make AI more accessible to the public.  

Although Microsoft was a bit later to the AI game than Salesforce, it did introduce machine learning applications on its Dynamics 365 solution last year. Microsoft launched Dynamics 365 AI for Sales, Customer Service, and Market Insight to stay inform and in front of emerging trends. To learn more about each of these AI applications, read this comprehensive blog by Synoptek.  

 

Deployment  

Salesforce deployments are strictly cloud based while Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 has multiple options in deployment. In addition to cloud deployment, Dynamics 365 offers alternatives like on-premise and partner-hosted deployments too. In Dynamics 365, customers have more flexibility if they are not ready to fully migrate to the cloud yet. 

 

Education  

For those seeking Salesforce advice or interested in gaining additional Salesforce knowledge, the Salesforce Trailhead is a website aimed to make Salesforce learning fun. The online community has a large forum that offers skill learning, credential training, and career advice. Like Salesforce, Microsoft also offers a community, Microsoft Learn, where people can learn and advance in their careers with a wide range of learning modules and learning paths.  Both online communities are great resources for their users. 

 

Both CRM solutions are well respected, finding the right one for your business depends on several factors. When shopping for a new CRM solution, not only do you have to find a solution that fulfills your current business needs, but a solution that can grow with your business in your future endeavors too. By reviewing all of these different factors, one of these CRMs should differentiate itself as the better-suited solution for your business.   

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