If your business is looking for a new CRM, it's likely that your choice has come down to two of the major contenders: Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce. Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce are both powerful, popular platforms that are heavily used throughout many industries. When comparing Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce, it's important to first identify your needs as a business. Often, the decision the two will come down to the company's priorities and whether or not the platform has the features that they require for their day-to-day operations. In general, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the more robust of the two platforms, while Salesforce may be considered a simpler, more entry-level solution.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM
Microsoft Dynamics CRM will be familiar to anyone who has used a Microsoft product in the past. Built to be flexible and intuitive, it integrates seamlessly with the rest of the Microsoft ecosystem -- both reducing the time necessary for training and improving upon employee productivity. Users of Microsoft Dynamics CRM are able to tap into Microsoft's solid customer care services while also saving money. Compared to Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is extremely affordable and has additional tiered options for businesses that want to remain frugal. This also makes it easier for businesses to grow with Microsoft Dynamics CRM, as they can simply increase their licensing and monthly subscription fees as they grow. And, of course, Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the full weight of one of the largest companies in the world behind it, giving it superior support and potentially superior features.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM has proven to be extremely committed about growing and developing its product feature set. Every new iteration of this software suite comes with new, cutting-edge technologies, which ensures that a business will always have competitive technology to its rivals. Recently, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn, the premiere social networking site for employees and businesses. This sets the stage for direct integration between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and LinkedIn, which can use this information for everything from lead scoring to customer retention. LinkedIn holds large volumes of information regarding employees, their employers, their salaries, and much more. Through Microsoft Dynamics CRM, individuals may soon be able to identify the most important decision makers and those who are most likely to commit to buy.
Salesforce is a cloud-deployed customer relationship management suite that has fairly in-depth sales features. It is popular and has been integrated into many third-party services. Since Salesforce is a commonly used CRM, companies may find employees who are already experienced with using this platform. In terms of usability, Salesforce is a traditional browser-based cloud-based interface. This can lead to some potential complications, as the suite is clearly made for a browser rather than a desktop machine. Web browsers tend to require slightly more convoluted designs. Salesforce is also not as easily customized as Microsoft Dynamics CRM due to its API, kit, and requirements.
Salesforce is targeted to the same audience as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, but there's a notable difference in features and cost. In general, Salesforce tends to be far more expensive than Microsoft Dynamics CRM, with fewer options for companies with lean budgets. Salesforce also doesn't offer some critical features such as sales performance management. Salesforce is a cloud-based only system, so it cannot be deployed on-premise. In general, it's often considered to be a little simpler and less feature complete than other CRM solutions.
Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce
With all of the above in mind, it can be difficult to make a final choice between these two platforms. Both of them are very similar in their goals -- it's the implementation that may make a difference. Further, both of these platforms are currently growing and adapting to modern needs, which can make it more difficult to compare their features reliably. Here are a few principle things that a business may need to be concerned about.
- Environment. Microsoft Dynamics can be used on-premise and in the cloud. Salesforce cannot. If you're interested in maintaining your security and productivity through the use of a private or hybrid server, Microsoft Dynamics will be the only viable solution for you.
- Support. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a superb support package and there are many companies that specialize in the installation, modification, and maintenance of the Microsoft Dynamics platform. Salesforce doesn't quite have the support available that Microsoft can afford.
- Cost. Microsoft Dynamics CRM will almost always be far less expensive than Salesforce. For companies that are looking to reduce their IT costs, Microsoft Dynamics CRM may simply make more sense.
- Accessibility. Microsoft Dynamics CRM supports both Internet Explorer and Safari. Salesforce is more likely to have cross-browser compatibility, giving it an advantage in this area. Though both platforms are likely to function correctly on any platform, a non-supported platform can potentially hinder operations.
- Community. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has a strong emphasis on community, with the belief that stronger customer relationships will eventually lead to increased engagement and better commitment. Microsoft Dynamics CRM has introduced new features that are designed to improve upon community engagement, though both MS Dynamics CRM and Salesforce have social media marketing features available.
- Business intelligence. Microsoft has been hard at work developing new adaptive algorithms and automated processes, all specifically designed to comb through the information within the CRM and produce clear, actionable results for employees. Salesforce also has lead scoring and sale information, but has not gotten nearly as in-depth as Microsoft Dynamics CRM.
- Ease-of-use. Most employees are very familiar with Microsoft's offerings. Microsoft has gone out of their way to ensure that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is very similar to their existing cloud-based products such as Office 365. Salesforce is a browser-based platform that, while easy to use, may not be quite as familiar to employees that are just getting started with it.
- Upgrades. Salesforce has a tendency to rollout new upgrades and updates continuously and with no input from the user. This can be either a positive or a negative depending on how much control you want over your environment. Microsoft Dynamics CRM tends to do larger, more significant patches and modifications -- and generally asks first.
- Data. Microsoft Dynamics CRM stores its data in SQL. SQL can easily be ported into Microsoft Dynamics and out of it, making transitions and integration far easier. Salesforce, on the other hand, uses the Oracle database which is far less popular.
- Customization. Programmers interested in customizing Microsoft Dynamics CRM will find that their kit makes it easy to do so. While Salesforce has its own customization kit, it is intentionally designed to be highly specific -- which means that it may not be as versatile or as easy to customize.
- Integration. As noted, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is well-integrated into the Microsoft suite of software. Though Salesforce has many third-party applications that can be integrated with it, the average employee will be more familiar with and more likely to work with Microsoft products such as Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel.
In addition to differences, there are also some similarities between the two solutions. Both CRM platforms include native mobile apps, social networking features, app marketplaces, lead management, and sales forecasting -- all of the very critical features that most businesses are going to need or want. This makes them suitable to most applications. Both Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce will be able to automate marketing, manage cases, and provide basic auditing and data governance.
Most businesses will find that Microsoft Dynamics CRM is the more flexible and affordable solution. Not only is it easy to use and well-integrated with other Microsoft suite applications, but it can be deployed either on the cloud or on-premise for better security and support. Many businesses will find it easier to transition to Microsoft Dynamics CRM and to grow with the product suite. Salesforce is still an extremely viable contender and it can do most of what Microsoft Dynamics CRM can do. It only suffers in that it has a somewhat dated interface, lacks Microsoft integration, and is more expensive.
For most businesses, either Microsoft Dynamics CRM or Salesforce will work suitably well as a customer relationship management suite. Microsoft Dynamics CRM, however, will have superior ease-of-use and a better cost value. For more information about Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Salesforce, and choosing between the two, contact the experts at IES today.