Choosing the right CRM, Dynamics 365 or Salesforce?

By Félix Robitaille, President

When a company starts to increase the number of sales it makes, the implementation of a CRM quickly becomes a priority.  When sales start growing in substantial volume and growth, your management team will often face the following dilemma: What is the better choice between Salesforce or Dynamics 365?

Why focus only on these two choices when there are hundreds of CRM software options to choose from? The simple answer is that they are the most complete and robust solutions on the market. These CRM solutions have proven, to have reached a level of maturity required to meet business needs for a great number of companies of different sizes. How do you make an informed choice? Here are a few things to consider when comparing Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.

The integration with your other business solutions

It is important to ensure that the chosen CRM will connect to the business solutions that are already used by your company. Having to change all your systems to adapt them to your CRM is an extremely daunting task. From this point of view, Salesforce and Dynamics 365 both offer a great capacity for integration.  Both solutions offer a variety of applications that can be installed at the same time as the CRM via the Salesforce AppExchange or via the Microsoft AppSource. If you cannot find the software you are looking for, you will have the possibility of creating a connection by using third party applications such as Scribe, Kingsway Soft, Zapier or Mulesoft. You could also create your own connector using the available API. Since a great number of companies use Salesforce, which according to Gardner holds about 20% of the market, software providers are more likely to favor the integration to this CRM. An undeniable advantage of Dynamics 365 however, is the instant integration it has to Office suite 365 and the rest of the 365 Microsoft Dynamics.  The quality of this integration is key to the fluidity of your process and to the productivity of your team. If you are one of the many companies currently using these tools, do not underestimate this characteristic which will save a great amount of time and money!

Data management

While it is true that both these CRM’s can manage a great number of data, they have a very different way of presenting it. At this point, it is often a question of the user’s personal preferences and needs. It is however important to note that both software allow you to create customized dashboards giving each user instant access to the most important information.  These two solutions offer an equal amount of great flexibility.

Automation of your sales and marketing workflows

Automating different sales and marketing workflows, is a CRM’s main function. This CRM has the great capacity of ensuring that your business opportunities are managed and constantly evolving. The automated follow up activities and the sending of targeted emails are the CRM’s most popular functions. Once again, the integration of Dynamics 365 to you Microsoft solutions such as outlook offer the big advantage of having the created workflows integrate themselves directly into your productivity tools. The marketing automation tools such as Click Dimensions also allow your numerical marketing strategies to become more fluid, resulting in a performance that is considerably efficient. Salesforce also makes it possible to take your marketing automation workflows to the next level by integrating itself to systems such as Pardot and ExactTarget. You must however, consider the elevated costs of these solutions in comparison to the various applications available through Microsoft’s AppSource.

A question of cost

When it comes to the per user standard licence, Dynamics 365 is 35% less expensive than Salesforce. Furthermore, Dynamics offers a greater number of possibilities by including the integration to other Microsoft 365 solutions in their price. ClickDimension, which is Microsoft’s automated marketing solution, costs nearly 50% more than it’s equivalent Salesforce. If you are looking for a complete CRM solution including the possibility of automating your sales and marketing workflows, then Dynamics 365 is a great financial benefit especially for the numerous teams needing more than one licence.

The expertise of your partner

While this next characteristic is not linked directly to the CRM, it is important to consider the expertise of your implementation partner as well as their ability to understand your business reality. With the great flexibility that is offered by these two CRM’s, it is easy to lose sight of the best methods and to develop a solution that is not adapted to your needs. Be certain that, your partner takes the time to understand your obstacles and offers you more than one implementation solution to surpass these obstacles. More importantly, make sure they do not give you the hand me downs used by another one of their clients that will not suit your needs. Beyond the chosen software, it is this partner that will turn your implementation project into a success. Make sure that they hold your success to heart and that they have experience working on projects similar to yours.  If your answer to these questions is yes and there is a strong probability that you are in good hands. Still hesitating between which CRM is better adapted to your needs? Take the time to discuss this question with a CRM specialist and let them support you in this important decision.