Your Guide to Software Selection

Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce Sales Cloud

If your customers aren’t happy, nobody’s happy. That’s one reason customer relationship management (CRM) software is a crucial component to your company’s success. Nowadays, there are dozens of high-quality CRM software solutions that make the CRM aspect of your business a breeze.

But which one should you choose? The number of options can induce choice paralysis. Here at SelectHub, we want to make the process as easy for you as possible, so we’ve compiled a comprehensive chart for choosing a CRM system. Here’s our comparison of Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce Sales Cloud.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Microsoft Dynamics offers users a robust line of integrated, adaptable business management solutions that enable users to make important business decisions with greater confidence. Microsoft Dynamics works like and with familiar Microsoft software, easing adoption and reducing the risks inherent with implementing a new solution. These solutions automate and streamline financial, customer relationship, and supply chain processes in a way that can help you drive business success.

Salesforce Sales Cloud puts everything you need at your fingertips. The sheer number of features, third-party integrations and add-on options makes this CRM ideal for large businesses with diverse and evolving needs. Once implementation is complete, Salesforce offers users a beautifully designed product that’s speedy, powerful and highly customizable.

Customer Targeting

Microsoft Dynamics CRM’s organized contact management interface helps filter and target customers.

By recording data of customers’ spending patterns and demographic information, this feature enables users to build a detailed picture of customers’ tastes, needs and buying habits.

Dynamics 365 for Marketing uses segments to target customer journeys. Most customer journeys start with a segment tile, which establishes the collection of contacts who will experience that journey. Users can combine multiple segments here and define  various target groups by setting up segments and lists. Each list or segment represents a collection of contacts that you can use to target a customer journey.

Users can also use marketing lists in the subscription center to enable contacts to manually opt-in or opt-out of various types of newsletters and other marketing communications. Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM allows users to record the replies they get from potential customers in response to a specific marketing campaign to make sure your team can act on the responses.

Salesforce Sales Cloud also allows the sales team to create and execute campaigns based on marketing strategies for a targeted customer base. This allows the user to perform sophisticated lead scoring. This marketing automation platform delivers segmented data to inform more active, targeted campaigns — the ads that show up on each customer’s browser, the emails they receive announcing new products, etc.

Rather than sending out one massive, impersonal email to all of your customers, you can send out targeted messages to appeal to each segment. An effective customer segmentation approach is to try to make each communication you send relevant to the customer, and Salesforce excels in this area.

Salesforce has the advantage here as it provides more detailed breakdowns of potential leads. This helps improve churn and develop customer engagement that can become a long-lasting relationship.

Salesforce rates better than Microsoft Dynamics for Customer Targeting in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools.

Campaign Analysis

With campaign analysis, users can analyze the cost of a marketing campaign relative to the profit it generated.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows users to define and track campaign budgets, tasks, activities and collateral with holistic campaign management capabilities. Marketers can request summaries of campaign activity by campaign date, parent campaign details and definition status. These reports can run on single campaigns or be used to compare multiple campaigns to determine campaign success, cost effectiveness and other patterns.

Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows you to create campaign records that help you organize your efforts for marketing projects over a period of time. Campaigns are also designed to provide insight into your return on investment for each campaign. They allow you to track campaign spend and response so you know exactly how effective your marketing efforts are. The campaign record gives you a place to keep track of any activities involved in a campaign, such as emails, phone calls, and other activities that are distributed. You can also add planning activities to a campaign.

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The Campaigns tab helps marketers manage and track campaigns across multiple channels and make decisions about where to invest more effort. Similar to the main dashboard, each campaign overview displays real-time numbers related to the campaign’s progress, such as total responses and converted leads. Users can also drill down to individual leads to see which campaign they came from and any associated tasks.

Salesforce Sales Cloud can organize campaigns into hierarchies for easy analysis of related marketing tactics by filling in required fields to track later. Campaign analytics include stats for total responses, total leads, converted leads, total contact, won opportunities and value opportunities.

The features Salesforce offers are less comprehensive than Microsoft’s and require more training to implement. There is no feature to compare multiple campaigns directly. The interface is consistently described as hard to navigate, so Dynamics CRM takes this category.

Microsoft Dynamics rates better than Salesforce for Campaign Analysis in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools.

Lead Generation

Salesforce offers a user-friendly contact management module for generating and managing lead information.

Marketers can explore potential leads by building customer relationships through a guided pathway with lead generation functionality.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM allows users to seamlessly track lead details across the organization, zero in on high probability leads and instantly route them to the most appropriate resource. This CRM helps companies harness sales with configurable process guidance, and providing the means to keep mobile sales reps connected on the road. Microsoft Dynamics can assist in planning, creating, executing, and managing marketing campaigns so marketing execs can focus on innovation instead of routine tasks.

With Salesforce, users can track clicks, create campaigns, and automate the whole process to generate quality leads and cut the sales cycle. The lead management, marketing automation, sales data, and partner management apps allow you to create a systematic pipeline from lead to conversion. Salesforce allows users to track the right information about leads. Users can see what marketing campaign a lead came from, the most up-to-date contact information and all relevant activities to help convert more leads.

Microsoft wins over Salesforce as it offers more automation and integration of the lead generation process.

Microsoft Dynamics rates better than Salesforce for Lead Generation in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools.

Online Case Management

With online case management, users can view existing cases, manage confidential information, add comments, close cases and reopen cases online.

With Microsoft Dynamics CRM, users can keep track of customer requests and issues by creating support cases. These tickets provide incident-based tracking for issues that may arise from your customers, whether they are external or internal.  It is designed to track the process from the initial intake of an incident, tracking the details throughout the remediation process, and through final resolution.

Then users can assign cases to CRM users or teams.  For more powerful automation and collaboration, cases can also be added to queues. Utilizing queues can result in more efficient case distribution and resolution. When a customer contacts support with a question or problem, users can quickly check if there is an existing case, open a new one and start tracking the issue.

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Salesforce’s case management feature allows users to view and edit service cases from anywhere. Users can easily escalate cases to subject matter experts so they can deliver accurate answers to the customer. In the contacts tab, you begin with an overview of recent contacts, standard reports, and various back-end tools.

From here, users can enter specific contacts and view a comprehensive profile that includes social media information, activity and campaign history, along with connections to specific accounts or companies. The account associated with each contact has its own page that lists basic information about the company, contacts within the company, open activities, and opportunities. You can navigate to any of these sections with one click.

Microsoft wins for this category with a more streamlined and centralized customer service and management solution.

Microsoft Dynamics rates better than Salesforce for Marketing Campaigns in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools.

Email Utilities

This feature includes options for advanced spellchecking, corporate email templates and attachment management.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM provides a utility called Dynamics CRM Custom Email, which provides options various email features. With this extension, users can create custom email templates, attachment reuse on bulk emails or different templates, formatted dynamic fields, and customizable lookup fields.

Salesforce allows users to easily track customer emails from any email app with a simple BCC. Users can automatically capture every customer interaction within Salesforce, and associate it with the appropriate contact, opportunity or account.

Unfortunately, the templates from Microsoft Dynamics cannot be used with Microsoft Word mail merges. They are also only available with the CRM Custom Email utility, which is an additional add-on. Microsoft’s more basic functionality gives Salesforce’s robust capabilities the edge in this category.

Salesforce rates better than Microsoft Dynamics for Email Utilities in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools.

Social Media Integration

By tracking customer and client information via social media, marketers can be aware of how their brand is talked about and interacted with on the web.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM has the ability to support social media communities to track customer/client information. Microsoft Social Engagement helps users harness the power of the web by analyzing what people are saying on social media and in the news. Microsoft supports 19 languages and covers a broad range of sources — Twitter, Facebook, videos, blogs and news syndication.

Salesforce Sales Cloud integrates with social media community tools such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. It also offers a specialized monitoring tool called Social Studio to keep tabs on conversations happening about your brand across the web by crawling keyword lists and collecting data about them. This is an additional software package and comes with its own price tag.

Microsoft’s diverse options and comprehensive social media marketing in the base software pulls ahead of Salesforce’s paid add-on.

Microsoft Dynamics rates better than Salesforce for Customizable Qualifiers in SelectHub's research & analysis of the two tools.

Who Won?

While both Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce are powerful solutions, our analysts found Salesforce lacking in features where Microsoft excels. Hopefully, now you have a better understanding of what each of these CRM systems does best, and can move on to making the perfect choice of CRM for your business.

What CRM does your organization use? Do you love it, hate it, something in between? Leave your questions and comments below and tell us why!

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