If you’re thinking about investing in a CRM system, undoubtedly there are quantifiable and tangible benefits for any organisation wanting to sell products or services to customers. The good news is that there are some great, well-functioning options on the market that are now really mature, available for businesses to choose from.
Two of the leading contenders, Microsoft’s Dynamics and Salesforce, offer a range of similar and powerful features. Both packages play well in the Cloud, offering an affordable, access-anywhere option for consumers. Both integrate with leading collaboration platforms: Dynamics with Teams and I note that Salesforce have an agreement in place to purchase Slack. Both have a broad community of users and developers with a range of add-ons and customisable options to suit most consumers.
However, there are some critical differences to be aware of before you commit to one of these options:
Do you need a CRM system, or would you prefer a CRM/ERP option? Salesforce has its roots in a system that specialises in supporting salespeople to manage customers through the sales process so that organisations can maximise their potential, and it does this well. The Dynamics product is broader than this and includes the ability to deploy Sales, Marketing, Customer Service, Finance, Operations, Commerce and HR solutions. If you are looking for a purely sales CRM then both packages are a good option, but Microsoft has the edge when it comes to deploying additional systems to run your business that collaborate well within its Dynamics product.
Integration with Office
The vast majority of people reading this article will no doubt be using a Microsoft Office package on their home or office computer. It’s no surprise that Dynamics plays well with other Microsoft products such as Word, Outlook, Teams, and Excel. With the latest releases of Dynamics, you can seamlessly move from one Microsoft environment to another and also use certain environments embedded within others, for instance. This makes for a more frictionless user experience and Microsoft has adopted the paradigm of doing something once and then letting the overall Office and Dynamics packages do the heavy lifting. Because you are no doubt familiar with how Microsoft Office works, using Dynamics will be a more familiar experience for you.
AI-driven Sales, Marketing and Customer Service insights with Dynamics help you to identify trends and recommend the next actions. Salesforce’s Einstein AI uses advanced learning algorithms to offer actionable insights into sales data. While the Einstein tool is considered slightly more powerful, it comes at an extra cost, whereas the Insights modules within Dynamics are already built into the enterprise licences for Dynamics. Furthermore, Dynamics offers close integration with Microsoft Power BI and PowerApps, which allows you to turn your data and current connections into custom apps.
If you are interested in finding out more about Dynamics, purchasing a new CRM system, upgrading your existing system, or perhaps you want to get more out of your existing implementation, then please do get in touch.