Which CRM System is Right for You?
So you’ve read about all the benefits of implementing CRM and decided to implement a customer relationship manager (CRM) for your organization. But which platform is the best fit for your business? Microsoft’s Dynamics or Salesforce?
Dynamics or Salesforce?
This is probably the most commonly asked question by decision-makers seeking to implement their own CRM system. Partly, this is because the two systems make up much of the CRM market. Both Dynamics and Salesforce are icons of the CRM industry and both have large and loyal customer bases. But also it’s because the two systems are so similar.
How Are They Similar?
Dynamics and Salesforce are both high-end providers of CRM services. For most businesses and organizations, either of the two will address their CRM needs. Whether you need analytics or reporting, lead management, sales forecasting, or case management, either Salesforce or Dynamics will work. In any side-by-side comparison of the two providers, it is clear that there are much more similarities than differences.
If Salesforce and Dynamics are both so Similar then, does it Make any Difference for my Business?
Well, yes. Although the two providers have many similarities, there are still some key differences. One is pricing.
While both Salesforce and Dynamics provide many different service options that come at different prices, the general trend is that Salesforce is more expensive.
Although Salesforce does have a starter option that sells for only $25 a month per user, their other options run more expensive. The general range can vary from $75 per month per user to $300 a month per user for their Lightning Unlimited option.
Microsoft meanwhile starts at $70 per month per user, but only goes up to $210 per month per user on the high end.
In both cases, users have the option of paying for individual services or bundling them together in a package. Pricing for bundles is more variable and depends largely on how a user chooses to assemble their package. An important detail is that because Salesforce has more apps and plug-ins to add, their bundles can run more expensive than Dynamics. The Salesforce AppExchange also offers a wide variety of bolt-on applications for specific verticals or horizontals, many of which have associated licensing costs as well.
Another key difference between the two lies in their setup. As a cloud computing company, Salesforce is operated entirely from the cloud. Dynamics CRM has recently rebranded their online platform as Dynamics 365 which is also strictly a cloud platform. While this can be seen as a great convenience for most businesses, it might cause reservations among others. For example, if your business or organization has data that cannot be stored in the cloud, Salesforce or Dynamics 365 are likely not the best option.
For businesses or organizations that would like to establish their CRM systems to run on-premises, Dynamics CRM is still available on-prem and provides a solid platform for this.
Integration & Customization
Integration is an area in which differences emerge between the two. Between the two, Salesforce is generally reviewed as an easier platform to integrate 3rd party applications with. For users looking to optimize CRM to fit their industry, Salesforce can provide more than 2,600 apps with pre-built integrations. While Dynamics does have options for further integration and customization, they can’t compete with Salesforce’s sheer volume of applications in the AppExchange marketplace.
On other hand, if your business already makes heavy use of the Microsoft product suite, Dynamics CRM and specifically Dynamics 365 have built an incredible set of integration points to platforms like SharePoint and the Office suite of applications. Although Salesforce does have its own Microsoft plug-ins and apps, the experience is not quite as seamless as Microsoft’s connected platform.
Which is Right for my Business?
Neither Salesforce nor Dynamics can claim to be definitively better than the other. Both are highly developed and capable CRM systems. And for most businesses and organizations, either software will fulfill their CRM needs.
But as we’ve seen, some businesses will need one over the other. In either case, each business must decide for itself which CRM provider they would like to purchase from. One great way for a business to assess its own needs is through the use of CRM consultants.
CRM consultants are specially trained to provide your business an accurate assessment and help you decide which platform is right for you. Consultants can provide tremendous value throughout requirements gathering, strategic planning, solution design, and implementation. Consultants can help you implement the right system for your organization, translating into the best return on investment and experience for your employees and customers.