Deciding which CRM solution to implement for your business is a daunting task. As a serious option for organizing customer information, CRM offers a full picture of your customers’ journey with your company, delivering actionable insights to improve marketing processes more effective. However, the bigger challenge is which CRM solution to implement as market is flooded with range of products, claiming to streamline and automate your sales and marketing process.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are two of the leading Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software solutions, offering comprehensive capabilities across sales, marketing, and customer service departments. However, to understand which one can serve your business better, you need to understand few things like what each package offers out-of-the-box, alongside add-ons, customizations, and integrations to existing systems and processes for future scalability.

With hundreds of CRM solutions delivering capabilities like managing customer information, tracking sales, offering customer service, and analyzing data, Microsoft and Salesforce are considered as the most prominent CRM vendors as they offer depth and extent in their capabilities. Both Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce have developed broad functionality to offer much more than the core functions you’d expect from a CRM solution.

Understanding Microsoft Dynamics 365 as CRM offering

Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a cloud-based business management solution with unified CRM and ERP capabilities. Built by Microsoft to deliver maximum flexibility and extensibility, Dynamics 365 is a bundle of applications that work seamlessly together across sales, customer service, field service, operations, financials, marketing, and project service automation. These apps can be used together or can also be purchased as stand-alone application which can be extended as your business grows. Dynamics 365 offers three CRM focused applications which can be used as use-case basis.

Dynamics 365 for Sales – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales enables businesses to manage opportunities more efficiently while gaining clear insights to drive productivity. Actionable insights will help your sales team to close deals quickly while having a better understanding of customers. Useful customer insights lead to heightened customer experience and personal attention that fosters lasting relationships and strengthens pipeline development. By delivering a 360-degree view of critical business development processes, Dynamics 365 for Sales maximizes revenue opportunities, and more effectively collaborate across pursuit teams. Predictive analytics and automated lead scoring provide the data which is necessary to grow business and increase pipeline growth. By integrating both the Sales app and Office 365, your team is equipped with all the tools they need for each step in the sales cycle. Real-time access to customer information enables sales team to deliver personalized experiences.

Dynamics 365 for Customer Service – By delivering a complete 360-degree view of the customer, including full history of interactions, user preferences, and other relevant information, Dynamics 365 for Customer Service enables agents to engage with the consistency and personalization that customers expect. With real-time access to correct information, your agents will provide consistent answers to customers’ queries. A self-service portal with a searchable knowledge base and online community space will deliver cater to customers who want to find answers on their own. With a single view into important information like scripting, entitlements, or recommendations, your agents can provide high-caliber service in an instant. Dynamics 365 for Customer Service enables you to pull insights from various sources, including social to identify trends and anticipate opportunities.

Dynamics 365 for Field Service – Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Field Service delivers core capabilities across service locations, service agreements, customer assets, predictive maintenance, preventative maintenance, work order management, resource management, product inventory, scheduling and dispatch, mobility, collaboration, customer billing, and analytics. You can efficiently organize field service teams and equipment with flexible scheduling options to accommodate both customer service representative and dispatcher workflows. With D365 for Field Service, you get visibility into contract information to drive faster, more accurate billing, enabling field service teams to identify new sales opportunities. With D365 for Field Service, you can manage inventory updates and stock history across locations, including warehouses, depots, and trucks. Dynamics 365 for Field Service provides native mobile applications with real-time and offline data, enabling field technicians to have access to customer information and guidance they need.

Dynamics 365 for Sales Capabilities
Time Entry & Approvals
Project Analytics
Client Billing
Expense Entry & Approvals
Project Budgets
Resource Scheduling
Dynamics 365 for Customer Service Omni-Channel Capabilities
Self-Service & Communities
Case & Interaction Management
Incident Routing & Queuing
Knowledge-Base Management
Service Intelligences
Integrated Communications
Mobile Access
Dynamics 365 for Field Service Service Agreements
Asset Management
Inventory Management
Campaign Reports
Work Orders
Scheduling & Dispatch
Resource Schedule
Preventive Maintenance
Customer Billing
Mobile Access
Integrated Communications
Service Intelligence

Exploring Salesforce CRM

Salesforce is an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) solution that brings companies and customers together. Salesforce delivers all your departments – including marketing, sales, commerce, and service – a single, shared view of every customer. Salesforce CRM service consists of many individual modules, or Clouds. Businesses can pick and choose which of these Clouds to implement in their business, depending on what they’re hoping to achieve. These modules cover all the basics of CRM functionality, including sales, data management, and marketing, and can be completed by adding smaller specialist modules to introduce capabilities such as marketing automation and field services.

Sales Cloud – It is a CRM platform that enables you to manage your organization’s sales, marketing and customer support facets. If your company is engaged in business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-customer (B2C), then sales cloud is the service your sales team needs.

Marketing Cloud – It provides you with one of the world’s most powerful digital marketing platforms. The marketers in your organization can use it to manage customer journey, email, mobile, social media, web personalization, content creation, content management and data analytics.

Service Cloud – It is a service platform for your organization’s customer service and support team. It provides features like case tracking and social networking plug-in for conversation and analytics. This not only helps your agents to solve customer problems faster, but also gives your customers access to answers. Using these answers your customers can solve problems on their own.

Other components include

  • Community
  • Commerce
  • Analytics Cloud
Sales Cloud Contact Management
Opportunity Management
Lead Management
Reports and Dashboards
Salesforce Mobile
Email Integration
Sales Forecasting
Workflow and Approvals
Files Sync and Share
Data Management
Service Cloud Lightning Service Console
Case Management
Workflow and Approvals
Omni-Channel Routing
Telephony Integration
Social Customer Service
Automation with Macros
Account and Contact
Custom Reports and Dashboards
Asset and Order Management
Marketing Cloud B2C Journey Management
B2B Marketing Automation
Email Marketing
Data Management Platform
Data Sharing Platform
Social Media Marketing
Digital Advertising
Mobile Messaging

Dynamics 365 Vs – Head to head

Parameters Dynamics 365 Salesforce
Deployment OptionSaaS, Azure cloud, on-premise, and partner-hosted deployment options available.Software as a Service (SaaS)
IntegrationDeep integration with Microsoft applications like Outlook, Office and Exchange.Integration with Outlook, Office and Exchange is difficult and limited in terms of functionality.
CustomizationAmple (Common data model) Limited
DevelopmentMore Scope (Universal web standards such as Java, .Net and HTML supported)Limited Scope (proprietary programming language – Apex)

The Bottom Line

Thus, we can infer from the above text that Dynamics 365 and Salesforce both are market leaders. However, there are few differences when it comes to flexibility, development & deployment. And, it is clearly visible that Microsoft Dynamics 365 has an edge over Salesforce.

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