Salesforce CRM vs Microsoft Dynamics

Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics? We compare the two to see which is the best cloud-based CRM

Two of the most popular CRM applications available on the market are Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.

Both have many resemblances but also have well-defined differences as both have developed independently of each other. For example, Salesforce is cloud-based and "born in the cloud", so most of the time you will be using the service through a browser. Dynamics, on the other hand, relies a lot on integration with Office (particularly Outlook) while cloud hosting comes a very close second. 

We take a look at how they measure up against each other.

Salesforce 

Pros: Great design and product quality. Highly customisable. Lots of third-party apps.

Cons: Interface has only just had a refresh and customers need to opt-in to use it. Some lower tiers lack features.

Supported Platforms: Mac OS, Web browser (OS agnostic), iOS, Android

Salesforce is top dog when it comes to CRM in the cloud. There is a broad suite of CRM tools for organisations of all sizes that target sales and support.

There is a range of solutions for verticals, such as financial services and wealth management. Along with these, AppExchange (its partner network) presents a number of third-party solutions for specific industries. These apps are built on Salesforce’s Force.com platform. 

The desktop app also sports a couple of new features; the Pipeline Board and Sales Path. The former enables users to see their pipeline and drag and drop opportunities between various Sales Stages to instantly see the effect on forecasts. The latter guides users to keep an opportunity moving onwards with customised information for their organisation’s sales process.

There is also a new analytics engine offering better-looking charts, reports and dashboards. The reporting engine has had an overhaul thanks to components drafted in from its Wave analytics system. 

The desktop version supports Chrome and Mozilla browsers, but for Internet Explorer, only version 11 is supported. Safari has to be version 8 or greater to access the service. This could be a pain point for IT departments with strict policies on desktop software.

Salesforce solutions are only available as a SaaS deployment via the cloud, meaning applications are created, tested and deployed without the expense of buying hardware, software and support. Force.com is a platform that covers database and security as well as workflow and user interface.  This allows customer application development to created customised apps for individual organisations. 

Web and desktop apps

Salesforce recently updated its user interface and dubbed this its “Lightning Experience”. It called this its most significant update to the desktop interface in 16 years. It has been working on this since 2013 and if you have used any of its mobile apps, you would have had a taster of this already.

The old interface was rather tired looking compared with mobile. The new interface has a more flexible layout and great emphasis on displaying information in a more visual way rather than boring numbers and text.

The new interface is dynamic, compared with the old static HTML look prior to this.

Chatter is Salesforce’s social media application. This enables social networking and collaboration across the organisation.

Mobile Apps

Salesforce has apps for iPhone, iPad and Android devices. There is also a mobile website to cover any other mobile operating systems not explicitly supported.

The Salesforce mobile app includes features such as sales management, marketing automation, partner relationship management and customer services. All of which should enable organisations to better manage customers, monitor sales leads and track marketing campaigns. There is also the means to provide service and support for post sales. The mobile app also integrated the Chatter mobile communications tool.

Price: Starts at $25 per user per month

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