June 1, 2023

MS Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce – pros and cons, and how to unravel the CRM challenge?

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce - see the pros and cons of the most popular CRM platforms. Which one is better for the needs of your organization?

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Looking for a CRM for your company? Or you are already using a CRM solution, but you need different features? Maybe you are using Salesforce and your partners are using Dynamics 365 or vice versa?

With this article we want to help you unravel the CRM challenge and make a solid decision between Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce, based on your specific needs.

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce  the two giants in CRM platforms often stand competing with each other. Both of them are leaders in the industry and we can even say that what we know about CRM today was actually pioneered by them. The two platforms can scale for different business sizes and have similar features. Lets take a closer look at the specific pros and cons of each, so you can decide which one fits your needs better.

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About Salesforce

Salesforce is one of the most complex and at the same time polished CRM platforms available today. It helps businesses keep track of customer journeys and manage leads and opportunities. The platform easily organizes sales data, contacts, and marketing campaigns.

Salesforce was started in a one-bedroom apartment by three co-founders, and soon became a Silicon Valley success. Now it is used worldwide by all types of businesses  from startups to huge enterprises. It provides customer-related teams with a complete overview of the client activities and communication across multiple channels.

Main features of Salesforce:

  • Account and Contact Management  customers activity history, key contacts, communications, internal account discussions, and more.
  • Opportunity Management  overview on stage, products, competition, quotes, and more.
  • Lead Management  track leads from click to close, while continually optimizing campaigns across different channels.
  • Sales Data  connect with key decision makers and increase sales and marketing productivity.
  • Workflows and Approvals  visual workflows to design and automate any business process with drag-and-drop, flexible approval processes for deal discounts, expenses, and more.
  • Reports and Dashboards  real-time picture of the whole business at a glance, detailed reports that anyone can create and access from anywhere.
  • Sales Forecasting  real-time view into forecasts, in-line editing, override visibility, multi-currency support, and more.
  • Files Sync and Share  share files, discuss them, publish the best, and track content in real time.
  • Mobile Management  log calls, respond to leads, work opportunities, check dashboards, and more, directly from a mobile phone.

With Salesforce you can track your entire sales, customer support, and marketing processes, and also optimize them to generate leads and serve your customers in the best possible way. If you are already using Salesforce together with other applications, you can review our Salesforce integrations and how you can benefit from them here.

About MS Dynamics 365

MS Dynamics 365 is a collection of business applications that help organizations improve their efficiency and boost customer experiences. It allows businesses to simplify and automate important operations and become more agile.

Dynamics 365 was created when Microsoft united its ERP and CRM platforms, and this was one of the first solutions that natively combined these functions. It contains apps for any business scenario that can be used together or separately. These are apps for operations such as Sales, Customer service, Marketing, Field Service, Project management, and more.

Main features of Dynamics 365:

  • Sales  automate sales processes, shorten the sales cycle, boost productivity, and reduce costs.
  • Predictive, AI-driven forecasts  prioritize leads and opportunities, using AI to determine those most likely to convert.
  • Improved connection building  rate relationships, use Microsoft Exchange data to suggest related, relevant contacts.
  • Customer voice  real-time customer feedback responses, multi-channel support, automatic triggers, based on predefined criteria.
  • Customer service  improve customer satisfaction, provide personalized interactions through various channels, get insights into emerging issues, deliver fast and effective service.
  • Marketing  create, automate, and orchestrate campaigns, identify and segment key target audiences.
  • Project operations  accelerate project delivery, submit, approve, process, and reconcile time and expense reports from anywhere.
  • AI-driven business insights  visibility across teams, data, and processes for better, quicker business decisions.
  • Field service  contract management, scheduling optimization, inventory management, detecting, troubleshooting, and resolving issues remotely.
  • Mobile assistant  meeting briefs, business card capture, and straightforward note capture.

Dynamics 365 is a complete suite for businesses of all sizes. It contains everything an organization needs to manage sales, customer support, marketing, and billing operations. The apps can be used together or separately, according to the needs of the company. If you are using Dynamics 365 together with other software tools, you can benefit a lot from integrating them. See our Dynamics 365 integrations and how they can help your organization here.

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce - similarities  

It is not an accident that Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are the biggest competitors in the CRM field. They are both built thoughtfully, have sleek designs and multiple functionalities.

Both CRMs have some learning curves, especially if your teams have not used them before.

Dynamics 365 and Salesforce have similar features  tracking sales, lead management, marketing automation, reporting, sales forecasting, custom workflows, and more. The two platforms are quite similar also in pricing, target users, business sizes, and overall experience.

Both  Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are used primarily by large and rapidly growing companies. However, they can be used by startups and smaller companies, as well, since they are quite flexible in packaging and pricing.

The two platforms have integrated AI tools. Dynamics 365 utilizes Microsoft AI functionalities in its sales and service modules for intelligent sales predictions and natural language parsing. These speed up business applications and simplify repetitive tasks. Salesforce includes Einstein AI that has algorithms for understanding companies habits and suggesting improvements. For example, it can suggest answers to customer questions or the most effective marketing strategies.

With all their thorough and extensive features, we can easily see why Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are the most popular CRM platforms on the market. Lets dive into the differences between the two and find out the nuances that can help us choose which one would fit our needs better.

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce  differences

Despite all the similarities, there are also a few differences that might help you make your decision easier if you are considering Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce.

Salesforce has a modern UI and sleek design, that is easy and straight forward, especially for the most common features. Dynamics 365 bets on the classic and known designs of Microsoft, that many people are already used to.

Another major point to consider is that Microsoft Dynamics 365 has the option for on-premise deployment. There are still many organizations that need to have their applications on their own servers due to firewalls and other requirements. Salesforce does not offer the on-premise version and is completely cloud-based.

In terms of pricing the two tools are quite similar, but Salesforce can be cheaper for companies that are just starting. Once the needs start to scale, though, the pricing becomes comparable, and it can even get higher than Dynamics 365. On the other hand Dynamics 365 might be pricier in the beginning, but there are packages and discounts when you add more apps and services.

Dynamics 365 naturally integrates with the rest of the Microsoft products, and specifically Microsoft office. If your teams are already using Outlook, Excel and more tools from the MS Office suite, this might make a difference. Salesforce, on the other hand, has a marketplace with more than 3000 apps that add to its functionalities.

Dynamics 365 seems to be a bit more flexible for customizations and easier for implementations. Generating and adjusting reports is considered to be easier with the Microsoft tool. It also has some ERP functionalities that Salesforce lacks, like supply chain management, manufacturing control, etc.

On the other hand, there are several things that Salesforce can do, and Dynamics 365 cannot. For example, Salesforce offers data governance tools that can help you cleanse and de-duplicate your contact records and sales entries. It also has performance management that uses KPI monitoring and helps team leaders incentivize sales and team achievements. Salesforce also provides a partner management functionality that allows larger organizations to easily govern partner activities.

Each of the two platforms  Dynamics 365 and Salesforce  has some unique benefits. Organizations need to consider the specific functionalities they need to be able to choose the best platform to adopt.

Lets see some quick pros and cons of each platform.

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce  Pros and Cons

Though Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are very similar in functionalities, target users and pricing, they both have some pros and cons. Here is a quick list that can help you make a distinction.

Salesforce ProsSalesforce ConsCustomizable UICompletely cloud based (no on-premise option)Simple sleek designCumbersome technical supportActivity management supportReporting is complexData governance toolsTakes time (and expertise) to setupPartner managementAdd-ons are paidPerformance managementNo control over system updates and scheduled downtimesDynamics 365 ProsDynamics 365 ConsCost flexibleSteep learning curveHigh securityAdditional cost for data storageBusiness intelligence featuresInconsistent documentation for somemodulesFlexible for customizationsMigrating from other platforms can cause issuesUser-friendly adjustable reportingSome customizations can be costlyERP functionalitiesNew users find the UI difficult

Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce  comparison chart

Here is a side-by-side comparison of the most common functionalities of the two CRMs. See how Dynamics 365 vs Salesforce perform related to your specific requirements.

Dynmaics 365SalesforceDeploymentOn-premise, Cloud, HybridCloudFile storage10 GB shared storage1 GB per userTechnical supportGreatGreat, but sometimes cumbersomeEase of useTraining neededTraining neededFeature setExcellentExcellentSecurityEnterprise levelHigh levelUI and designGoodExcellentPerformanceGreatGoodCustomizationGreatExcellentImplementationExcellentGoodReporting and AnalyticsGreatGoodBI featuresYesNoData governance toolsNoYesERP functionalitiesYesNoPartner managementNoYesMarketing automationExcellentGreatCRM project managementGreatGoodFree trialYesYesValue for priceGreatGreat

As we saw, even though Salesforce and Dynamics 365 are quite similar, there are some differences and nuances that can help us distinguish them and choose between the two. However, sometimes it is not easy to avoid using both of them. Lets see what happens when you need to use both platforms  Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.

If you are using both  Salesforce and Dynamics 365 working together

In large enterprises, often different teams use different platforms, tailored to their specific requirements. Also partners and clients might be using different tools. If you are using Dynamics 365, for example, and your partners are using Salesforce, it would be too costly to switch between the two platforms. Not to mention there might be some technical difficulties.

If you decide to keep using both  Salesforce and Dynamics 365, but they are not connected to each other and work separately, team members need to manually transfer data from one to the other. This leads to delays and silos, inadvertent errors, and incomplete or faulty data.

To avoid these problems you can do a Salesforce Dynamics 365 integration. This way you can filter and transfer the desired data from one of the platforms to the other and vice versa automatically in real time, without switching tools.

With an advanced integration platform like ZigiOps you can easily set filters and transfer the exact data you need. Performing a Salesforce Dynamics 365 integration with ZigiOps is easy and takes less than 10 minutes, because of the ready-to-use integration templates that the platform provides. ZigiOps is completely no-code and requires no coding or API knowledge. Even team members with no technical background can tweak and adjust the Salesforce Dynamics 365 integration whenever necessary. The setup is fully customizable and scalable  you can make changes and updates to your integration at any time.

Having a Salesforce Dynamics 365 integration allows your teams to get all necessary data immediately available to them, without the need to leave the tools they are familiar with. This improves cross-team collaboration and operational efficiency, helps for faster issue resolutions and boosts customer satisfaction. As a result the overall business processes are significantly improved.

Book a demo and see how easy it is to setup your Salesforce Dynamics 365 integration with ZigiOps.

Summary

Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are both excellent CRM platforms that provide all the functionalities a company needs to manage sales, marketing, and customer service processes, as well as track opportunities and automate lots of workflows. We cannot objectively say that any of them is better than the other. This is why in order to decide which one to use, organizations need to consider their specific requirements and business needs.

However, it is not always necessary to choose just one of them. If one of your teams is using Dynamics 365, and another team is using Salesforce, or your clients or partners are using one tool and your team is using the other, you do not need to switch between platforms and risk losing time and money. You can simply do a Salesforce Dynamics 365 integration. With ZigiOps this is easy and takes almost no time. Even if you have complex data dependencies and a non-standard use case, ZigiOps can solve the challenge for you.

Book a demo and see how it works.

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