The world is full of famous rivalries that divide conversations and communities. In the end, a lot of them probably don’t impact everyday life. But, the software you choose for your business, on the other hand, can determine how efficiently your team of users work, the level of service your customers receive, and ultimately whether or not your business grows.
One of the long-standing rivalries in business IT is Microsoft Dynamics 365 versus Salesforce, two leading customer relationship management (CRM) vendors whose solutions are strikingly hard to differentiate. There are certainly other megavendors that account for large portions of the CRM market, but because these two are so comparable in price, target business type, user interface, and experience as well as their ability to provide seamless deployment options and other comparable features, they constantly end up pitted against each other.
While many companies already use Microsoft Teams and would lean toward other Microsoft software vendors based on familiarity, others will make their decision based on which CRM tool has the right features.
Top CRM Software
In the quest to see who wins in the battle between Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce, the best place to start is at the beginning. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (commonly mistakenly labeled Microsoft Dynamic) and Salesforce are both huge names in the CRM space, but they won’t be the right fit for every user and every company. To make your search for CRM software easier, here’s a short list of some of the top CRM platforms, with a focus on CRM functionality.
NetSuite is the most trusted cloud-based enterprise resource planning (ERP) software in the world, integrating all key business processes into a single system—financials, inventory, sales, customer relationship management (CRM), e-commerce, and marketing.
Kintone’s no-code platform lets sales teams easily build a custom CRM to track prospect data, task handoffs, and pipeline insights in one central place. Create database apps outfitted with the unique information you need to know about your prospects, and then connect those apps with customizable workflows that let you assign and track those future customers from lead capture to close. Over 23,000 companies trust Kintone to achieve their business goals.
HoneyBook helps creative entrepreneurs and freelancers book more clients, manage projects, and get paid all in one place. With our business management software, you can automate your busy work and stay on top of all your tasks, saving time and money, so you can grow your business; it’s like your own personal assistant. In addition, small business owners and freelancers have used HoneyBook to increase their bookings and save time.
Really Simple Systems CRM
Really Simple Systems CRM helps you work smarter by managing and tracking your sales leads and customers, letting you get on with growing your business. Designed for growing teams B2B (business to business), Really Simple Systems CRM is super-easy to set up and simple to use—with exceptional customer service. There’s a customizable Sales CRM, plus options for marketing and service tools and external app integrations, so everything is in one place, enabling great team collaboration and customer relationships that drive sales growth.
Maximizer is a CRM designed for sales teams to manage opportunities, automate tasks, and close more business. Try its platform free for 30 days.
Fully-customizable Zoho CRM provides unified solutions for businesses of all types and sizes. Users can use the Dashboard view to conduct sales and marketing analytics and gain insights, automate daily routines to improve workflows, and customize the Canvas feature based on their industry needs. In addition, omnichannel communication allows for streamlined communication between teams and customers, and users are able to handle customer support from within the program to improve customer relationships.
Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. It visualizes your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. It also sports built-in forecasting; integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp, and Zapier; and an API for those that like to “roll their own” software solutions. Full functionality for just $15 per month.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s automated features and AI help sales teams better understand their customers, know the best time to send an email, and monitor social channels better than ever before. MS Dynamics also includes a direct connection to the business social platform LinkedIn. Their core CRM package—Dynamics 365 Sales—is focused on Salesforce automation and helping teams find and close opportunities, and it comes as a single tool or can be bundled with other business operations tools.
RAYNET offers a user-friendly CRM that highly emphasizes clear and concise sales management. Your contacts, deals, calendar, and sales pipeline analysis can all be found in one place. As a result, you’ll benefit from perfectly organized data that simplifies your work and gives you a thorough overview of your business.
Moreover, RAYNET CRM helps your salespeople and your managers; it gives sales reps the tools to score and the managers the tools to monitor the business and its future perspective.
Nimble combines the strength of a traditional CRM with contact management, social media, sales intelligence, and marketing automation to deliver relationship insights to help professionals build better work relationships in a multichannel world. The software integrates productivity apps to gather user contacts, communications, calendar, and collaborations in one platform and draws data from popular social media channels including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter.
Apptivo is a powerful sales and marketing tool that includes lead management, an opportunity pipeline with intuitive dashboards, campaign management, and flexible workflow tools like marketing automation. Apptivo starts with a simple contact management system with slick integrations such as automated email conversation tracking or automated call logging. It also offers a complete set of sales tools for lead management, activity tracking, pipeline visualization, and automated workflow.
Founded on the principles of simplicity, affordability, and outstanding customer service, Less Annoying CRM (LACRM) is a CRM built from the ground up for small businesses. It was designed to be intuitive, allowing even users who aren’t tech-savvy to manage contacts, leads, notes, calendar, tasks, and more all from one simple web application. And all of the tools and information are easy to find from any page in the CRM.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. Salesforce Comparison Chart
We’ve taken an in-depth look at these two CRM systems, and this side-by-side product comparison gives an overview of the major features and capabilities.
In the quest to see who wins in the battle between Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce, the best place to start is at the beginning. Microsoft Dynamics 365 (commonly mistakenly labeled Microsoft Dynamic) and Salesforce are both huge names in the CRM space, but they won’t be the right fit for every user and every company. To make your search for CRM software easier, here’s a short list of some of the top CRM platforms, with a focus on CRM functionality to support your business.
Freshsales is a full-fledged sales force automation solution for sales teams. It provides everything a salesperson needs to- attract quality leads, engage in contextual conversations, drive deals with AI-powered insights, and nurture customer relationships. With built-in email, phone, chat, and telephony, Freshsales empowers sales teams with more time for selling by automating the sales process and increases efficiency and productivity in their daily activities.
Zendesk Sell is sales CRM software that helps you close more deals. This sales platform tracks all your customer interactions in one unified interface. It's quick to implement and easy to use: 70% of companies are able to get Sell up and running in 7 days or less. Your teams will be able to focus on selling not admin work and can spend less time on data entry. 80% of customers agree that Zendesk has made their teams more efficient.
Kintone’s no-code platform lets sales teams easily build a custom CRM to track prospect data, task handoffs, and pipeline insights in one central place. Create database apps outfitted with the unique information you need to know about your prospects–and then connect those apps with customizable workflows that let you assign and track those future customers from lead capture to close. Over 23,000 companies trust Kintone to achieve their business goals.
We're a Salesforce Implementation Partner and a global leader in knowledge, experience, and quality sales deals. Take your business to the next level with Salesforce — a cloud-based, cutting-edge CRM that streamlines your analytics and data consolidation by automating all your data entry, lead generation efforts, sales processes, and even human resources department. It is an all-in-one solution designed to increase efficiency and help your business grow.
Insightly is a unified customer relationship management (CRM) platform for growing businesses across all industries, including manufacturing, professional services, health & wellness, media, education, retail, construction, and others. With more than 1.5 million users worldwide, Insightly is the world’s most popular CRM software for Google and Office 365 users.
Really Simple Systems CRM helps you work smarter by managing and tracking your sales leads and customers, letting you get on with growing your business. Designed for growing teams B2B, our CRM is super-easy to set up and simple to use - with exceptional customer service. There’s a customizable Sales CRM, plus options for Marketing and Service tools and external app integrations - so everything is in one place, enabling great team collaboration and customer relationships that drive sales growth.
HubSpot is an intuitive CRM that makes managing your sales pipeline a breeze. Everything you need to track important metrics, set up time-saving flows and automations, manage clients seamlessly, and grow your business is available in one tidy dashboard. Plans are available for businesses at every stage of growth, starting at 100% free. Start taking the guesswork out of business management today with HubSpot CRM.
Pipedrive is a sales-focused customer relationship management tool that teams of all sizes love using. It visualizes your sales pipeline and helps to make sure important activities and conversations won’t get dropped. It also sports built-in forecasting, integrations with other software such as Google Apps, MailChimp and Zapier and an API for those that like to “roll their own” software solutions. Full functionality for just $15 per month.
Businesses can automate rewards and enhance customer experience while engaging and encouraging customers to make repeat purchases from your brand.
Xoxoday Plum is a Rewards, Incentives, Benefits & Payouts Infrastructure for Businesses. Xoxoday’s technology enables companies to reward employees, customers, and sales & channel partners.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. Salesforce comparison chart
We’ve taken an in-depth look at these two CRM systems, and this side-by-side product comparison gives an overview of the major features and capabilities.
|Microsoft Dynamics 365||Salesforce|
|Average user rating||3.25/5||4.1/5|
|Pricing||Mid to high-end||High-end|
|Works best for||Medium to enterprise||Medium to enterprise|
|CORE CRM FEATURES|
|Marketing automation||Requires add-on||Requires add-on|
|Enterprise social networking||Yes||Yes|
|Sales performance management||No||Yes|
|Customer self-service portal||Yes||Yes|
|STUFF IT NEEDS TO KNOW|
|Native mobile app(s)||Yes||Yes|
|API||Web services API||SOAP API|
Click here to download this table as an image.
Use our video comparing Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics CRM to easily share an overview of the two products with your decision team.
Systems and Pricing
With both vendors, there are a number of ways to assemble the right system.
The nucleus of Salesforce’s CRM system is the Salesforce Sales Cloud, a web-based application that helps companies leverage multichannel relationships for business growth. In addition to Sales Cloud, Salesforce also offers Service Cloud for customer service and case management and machine learning and automation through their Marketing Cloud applications.
Businesses have the option of choosing any of these individual modules or bundling them together and paying a lump sum per month for the full platform. Marketing Cloud or the B2B marketing automation software Pardot is cost-intensive as an add-on, but Salesforce does offer a Sales Cloud and Service Cloud bundle at a more comparable industry price.
The packaging for Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a bit different. Microsoft has expanded their business process and business operations options significantly over the past several years to allow companies to scale the products from a simple CRM up to ERP capabilities. Their core CRM package—Dynamics 365 Sales—focuses on Salesforce automation and helping teams find and close opportunities, and it comes as a single tool or can be bundled with other business operations tools.
The Customer Engagement plan included in Dynamics 365 bundles sales, service, field service, project automation, marketing, and social engagement tools. And the Unified Operations Plan brings together finance and operations, talent management, and retail features. The full CRM tool platform combines all of the separate features into the Dynamics 365 tool.
Similarities Between Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce
The core feature sets for both MS Dynamics CRM and Salesforce sales and service systems are extremely similar. Both products can easily handle contact and account management, social customer service, field service, territory management, and sales forecasting. This similarity can probably be attributed to the fact that these vendors know each other’s products very well and have an “anything you can do, I can do better” relationship.
Both systems also offer their own app marketplaces, where you can choose from thousands of additional business tools that extend your CRM platform’s usability or better align it with your industry. Since they’re primarily licensed in software-as-a-service versions, Salesforce and MS Dynamics can scale in both directions depending on your functionality needs and business size; although, they’re more commonly used by large or rapidly-growing companies.
Differences Between Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce
Salesforce was built from the ground up to operate as a cloud CRM application. That’s great if you’re interested in storing your data on a remote server and using browser-based and mobile-ready software, but not so great if you’d rather own the license outright and host the software on your own servers.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a little more flexible when it comes to customization and implementation. They offer Sales and Service in a fully cloud-based edition, while other options in the 365 universe like Finance and Operations come with optional on-premises versions. The move to mostly cloud-hosted versions of the product came about in the last few years as more companies rely on public and private cloud hosting and fewer demand on-premises server boxes.
Integrations and elasticity
Usually, the general consensus is that Salesforce has the upper hand when it comes to a solution that addresses integration, building your CRM out, speeding up CRM implementation, or optimizing the platform for use in specific industries. There are over 2,600 apps available in the Salesforce AppExchange including integration with the Salesforce marketing cloud. Salesforce also has its own partner program and connected platforms, which helps businesses and in-house developers build custom solutions on the Salesforce platform.
The Microsoft AppSource has invested heavily in app connections and is gaining on Salesforce’s selection. The larger Microsoft CRM platform also offers connections to Microsoft Power BI and PowerApps, software that lets teams use this native integration to turn their data and current connections into custom apps. Your company’s current investment in Microsoft software solutions really might win the fight for you in terms of integrations and flexibility, especially if your team already has custom Microsoft apps running the business.
Salesforce does connect to several Microsoft apps, but the native integration and connections you would get from Dynamics 365 have their advantages. However, if your team is looking for connections with lots of different apps and software, Salesforce can integrate well with most third-party apps.
The 2015 update of Microsoft Dynamics CRM raised the bar in several feature areas, and Microsoft’s investment in automation since then has improved the Engagement Plan tools for Sales and Service. Automated features and AI help sales teams better understand their customers, improve customer experience as well as relations, know the best time to send an email, and monitor social channels better than ever before. And now that Microsoft owns LinkedIn, they’ve stepped up social selling features to include a direct connection to the business social platform.
However, there are still a few things Salesforce can do that Dynamics can’t, such as sales performance management, partner management, and data governance tools. Depending on your company’s size, data needs, and global reach, the lack of these features in Dynamics may or may not be deal-breakers for you:
- Data governance tools help you cleanse and de-duplicate your contact records and sales entries, which can be an important asset if you have more than a few data entry points (web forms, contact centers, onsite/retail locations, e-commerce). Governance is available through a Microsoft Azure database, but this implementation may be too complicated for some organizations.
- Partner management is for larger organizations with outsourced contact centers or regional product resellers. It helps management track operations remotely and gives third-party agents access to system content, customer databases, and product information.
- Performance management helps coaches and managers incentivize sales achievement through KPI monitoring, rewards and recognition tools, and built-in feedback loops.
Artificial and automated intelligence
Some of the features that really set Microsoft Dynamics Engagement and Salesforce apart from the rest of the CRM pack are those related to artificial intelligence (AI) and automated intelligence. Both Salesforce and Microsoft have the enterprise-level resources available to build or acquire AI tools that help make their sales and service tools smarter.
Microsoft AI tools are integrated with the Dynamics 365 product in both the Sales and Service modules, providing natural language parsing and intelligent sales predictions. As these tools increase the speed of business applications for many companies, you’ll see AI rolled out to more Microsoft tools.
Salesforce Einstein AI uses artificial intelligence learning algorithms to understand each company’s particular selling habits and suggests improvements. When implemented on the service and marketing campaigns and tools, Einstein can suggest answers to customer questions or guide marketers to the most effective strategies. The tool can run seamlessly with Salesforce, but it is currently an add-on cost.
Choosing Between Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce
Neither of these two CRMs is objectively better than the other—and most user decisions will come down to the unique business needs. Both tools offer industry-leading features and a scalable platform with a solid user interface as well as the ability to custom-build a unique solution with optional modules and add-ons from their online stores.
Dynamics 365 is a little more expensive to implement on a basic level, but if you plan to scale up, the cost of using both eventually increases to comparable levels depending on how you customize. While its customization abilities and user-friendly UI aren’t quite at Salesforce’s level, Dynamics 365 is better at reporting. And if you want or need an on-premises deployment, a Microsoft Dynamics 365 plan is the only way to go, as Salesforce is cloud-based.
Your decision should be based on what business systems you already have in place, what features your team of users require to excel, and how much you’re willing to spend.
If you’d like to learn more about Dynamics, Salesforce, or any other CRM systems, we’re here to help. Use the product selection tool for customer relationship management software on our site to find a list of the best vendors for your business, or call one of our product experts for a free consultation.