Posted on February 10, 2020

How can you determine your CRM of choice?

CRM software is critical to your prospecting. It helps your sales team plan their day, keep notes on important information on sales activities, marketing campaigns, conversations, follow-ups, and meeting minutes, all in one place. This enables you to see the historical data and plan to win the deal strategically. This is particularly important because sales take time to close and the various touchpoints need to be handcrafted and planned to make an impactful and timely value add for the prospect.

Difference between Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics

Gartner defines Salesforce Automation (SFA) as systems that support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for organizations’ sales professionals. Gartner considers SFA to be a foundational technology, implemented to automate an organization’s core sales processes. The core capabilities of SFA include account, contact and opportunity management; sales activity management; sales forecasting; mobile applications; reporting; partner relationship management (PRM); and platform capabilities. Based on the above capability criteria, both Salesforce and CRM score well. Both have cloud-based modules that cater to the core of the businesses around Sales, Marketing and Customer Service.

Salesforce Product Microsoft CRM Product Key Objectives
Salesforce Sales Cloud Dynamics 365 for Sales
  • Close more deals and identify more leads while accelerating sales processes and generating insights to manage productivity
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Dynamics 365 for Marketing
  • Personalize the customer journey, identify which campaigns work best, and generate more qualified leads
Salesforce Service Cloud Dynamics 365 for Customer Service
  • Improve the service experience, empower your service agents, and deploy intelligent self-service tools
Salesforce Commerce Cloud Dynamics 365 for Commerce
  • Deploy omnichannel retail and eCommerce solutions for a personalized customer experience that drives revenue

While both software platforms share modules that perform similar tasks there are also differences in terms of deployment options, integration options, extensions in the form of apps that can be added to the core platform, industry specialization, AI, programming language and price.

  • Deployment options:
    A major difference between them is deployment options. Salesforce was built for the cloud while Microsoft Dynamics allows the user the flexibility to choose the best option for their organizational needs whether it is on-premise, in the cloud or a partner-hosted environment.
  • Integrations:
    Microsoft Dynamics 365 gives users the advantage of being able to integrate well with all Microsoft Applications such as Outlook, OneDrive, Excel, SharePoint, Power Point etc all of which are essential tools used by every sales professional. Salesforce also integrates with several Microsoft Apps, but the connections provided by Dynamics 365 offer greater advantages and ease of use.
  • Extensions:
    Salesforce, however, offers a wider variety of Apps in their Salesforce AppExchange which can be customized for specific needs. Microsoft’s AppSource also provides this option, but the variety of apps offered is not as wide or deep as Salesforce. At the same time, Microsoft does offer a few superior apps. For example, LinkedIn Sales Navigator Integration helps nurture new relationships, PowerApps allows you to easily extend functionality, and Power BI is best in class for data visualization. Salesforce recently acquired Tableau and is expected to make strides against Power BI.
  • Industry Vertical Specialization:
    In general, Salesforce has more industry vertical specialization and can provide important insights that are relevant and valuable. For example, Salesforce Health Cloud and Salesforce Financial Services Cloud are leaders in their industry, providing insights on public health and Wealth Management respectively. Microsoft is busy working on a Common Data Model that will address these needs, but at this point, Salesforce is more mature.

  • Artificial Intelligence:
    Salesforce Einstein AI is also better integrated, though Microsoft is making gains with their capabilities as well. Dynamics 365 AI insights also offer a variety of insights to the users, whether it be Sales, Customer Service or Insights about the Customers themselves. It also helps e-commerce businesses protect themselves from Fraud through its Dynamics 365 Fraud Protection. Microsoft has also tailored their artificial intelligence solutions to cater to the needs of industries such as Finance, Healthcare, Government, Manufacturing and retail but it still has a way to go.
  • Programming Languages:
    One other major difference between the two software is the programming languages. Salesforce uses its own proprietary programming language Apex, all customizations and integrations need to be done using this language, unlike with Microsoft which uses more universal languages, which gives it more flexibility when it comes to customizations and integrations.
  • Pricing:
    Lastly, pricing remains a difference. Salesforce can a little more expensive than Microsoft, especially when it comes to the Marketing Cloud. Otherwise, the prices are closer with Microsoft usually being a little expensive per user.

In summary, While Salesforce is a bit easier to customize and has more features out of the box, Microsoft offers superior Office integration, LinkedIn integration, PowerApps, and PowerBI. Salesforce is also known for its industry vertical specialization and can provide important insights that are relevant and valuable. Their recent acquisition of Tableau is also expected to match PowerBI’s capabilities. Both platforms offer AI capabilities as well.

Both are leaders in SFA and CRM solutions, but what’s appropriate for a business depends on your unique needs. In that regard, neither is necessarily better than the other and which one you choose should be based on the specific features you are looking for, your price range, and whether it can be easily adopted for the use of your company.

KORCOMPTENZ is a Gold Certified Microsoft Partner and a Salesforce Registered Consulting Partner headquartered in New Jersey with extensive experience improving business outcomes for our customers, by leveraging end-to-end solutions involving the ongoing convergence of ERP, Azure Cloud, Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and IoT. We’re here to help you make the best decision for your business. Contact us today for a free consultation.

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