When looking at purchasing a life sciences CRM, it is important to evaluate all the technical and non-technical factors that might make one tool more suitable for your field team’s use in order to deliver a superior customer experience. In this summary, we have evaluated the pros and cons of Microsoft Dynamics 365 versus Salesforce to help you with your choice.
With its AI-driven Einstein Cloud, Salesforce offers a deeper view of customers for more sales opportunities. Predictive analytics attempts to transform how Sales manages opportunities, pipelines, and forecasts.2
Dynamics 365 also provides AI assistance in highlighting strong leads and opportunities. It also goes on to make cross-selling recommendations based on customer purchase behavior.2
Both CRMs are driving the trend toward making better use of customer data for sales. However, Microsoft is said to be investing much more in developing AI capabilities as part of its overall push toward AI as an organization, and this helps if an organization is already using the Microsoft business suite.2
Salesforce was created as a cloud application that works with a variety of infrastructure technology vendors and partners across its own data centers, as well as new public cloud-based data centers. Salesforce does not have a published Service Level Agreement (SLA).1
Dynamics 365 can operate both in public and private cloud environments as Microsoft has its own regional data centers across North America, South America, APAC, UK, Europe, India, Japan, and Australia. This gives customers more flexibility to manage their data which ever way they feel most comfortable with. The SLA is available here and is 99.9%.1
Microsoft’s continued investment in automation features and AI has improved how Sales understand and engage with customers across channels such as email and social. With LinkedIn baked in, Dynamics 365 has upped the ante into social selling.1
Salesforce meanwhile continues to trump Dynamics 365 with sales performance management, partner management, and data governance. However, Salesforce is also heavily dependent on third-party apps.1
Microsoft’s annual R&D budget is $12 bn (at least $4 bn of this is AI).
In contrast, Salesforce’s turnover is just $10 bn. Microsoft is pumping the benefits of this research into Dynamics 365 at a tremendous rate and has made it a key focus in future development.
Source: Why our customers chose Dynamics 365 over Salesforce.com.
“90% of Fortune 500 Companies use Dynamics or Power Platforms"
- Satya Nadella
Microsoft 2019 Build Conference
With access to LinkedIn Sales Navigator, Dynamics customers have access to sales opportunities across 433 million users worldwide. Sales can network with prospects using connections of colleagues.2
Salesforce’s Social CRM module works for various business functions such as sales, marketing, and customer service. It can be used to tailor advertising using unified customer data sourced from different functions.2
Microsoft offers an Enterprise CRM Suite that includes case management, basic marketing, and customer service as well as sales force automation (SFA).3
Salesforce offers only SFA. Any add-ons are more expensive and less inclusive.3
Customization & Extensibility
Dynamics 365 uses non-proprietary programming languages such as java script and HTML which helps customers customize and implement the CRM platform as per their needs.3
Salesforce, however, uses its own Apex development language, which limits the extent to which it could be customized by customers and can hinder innovation as well as limits how easily customers could move to another CRM system with all their data.3
“Microsoft has made it possible for sales reps to be more productive on the go.”
Not having to switch between apps has a “massive impact on revenue.”
Marketing and sales execution:
Microsoft is in larger, more-complex SFA implementations than it has been in the past – verticals that have complex business processes and significant data integration requirements
Product vision for sales & digital transformation:
Microsoft has a notably strong vision for defining how its sales technology relates to companies' B2C customer experience and
digital transformation initiatives
Significant number of native capabilities:
including newer capabilities such as predictive analytics for scoring, customer churn indicators, and relationship health
Leader Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for
Analytics and Business Intelligence
Selecting Dynamics 365 has the obvious benefit of natively integrated (and user familiarity) with other Microsoft business apps such as SharePoint, Power BI, Outlook, Azure, and Office. Microsoft also has its AppSource, a third-party app marketplace, which according to Microsoft is growing at a greater rate than Salesforce.1
Salesforce integration, as expected, is more limited in scope and ease of usage, especially with the Microsoft suite of business apps. Salesforce’s AppExchange, however, has over 2600 applications that can be integrated. There is also a strong partner program and connected platforms for developing more applications.1
Analytics And Business Intelligence
Both CRM platforms aim to show a 360-degree view of the business and customers. Salesforce recently acquired Tableau, a popular analytics and business intelligence platform, to help customers see and understand their data better and strengthened its enterprise CRM and analytics offerings.10 Tableau’s analytics platform will be augmented with Salesforce’s Einstein AI capabilities. Tableau is known for its user-friendly interface, popularity across global developer communities, availability across desktop and mobile, and industry-ready templates.
Dynamics 365 meanwhile integrates with Power BI to give access to detailed business analytics, and this will allow your team to uncover deep customer insights. The combination of the two delivers a complex view of data sets that pharma companies often need. Microsoft also recently announced the launch of new AI capabilities for Power BI for the detection of objects in images, natural language processing with text and handwriting recognition, and new machine learning models.11
Ease of Use
Since many of us are already familiar with Microsoft tools, Dynamics is a breeze. If customizations are needed, there is no deep knowledge of IT needed to get them done. Some have mentioned that it’s quite a steep learning curve for Salesforce customizations, and a few have been challenged by technical problems. An interesting comment is that Dynamics is so customizable that it can almost be seen as a burden.3
Salesforce is generally more expensive, especially with its add-ons. Dynamics 365 bakes in a lot more functionality, flexibility, and integration at a lower licensing fee.1
Microsoft and Salesforce offer new releases twice and thrice a year, respectively, without any extra charges.1
GARTNER MAGIC QUADRANT FOR SFA
Gartner has positioned Microsoft in the Leaders Quadrant in the 2018 Magic Quadrant for sales force automation based on its completeness of vision and ability to execute in the Customer Engagement Center market. Gartner “continues to see product innovation from SFA vendors in relation to opportunity predictive analytics, business process modeling functionality, and vertical-specific functionality. These are not yet core SFA functionalities, but they are likely to be central to SFA products in the next two to five years.”
Source: See what industry analysts are saying about Dynamics 365.
Published: Q2 2018
Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Effectiveness
Forrester positions Microsoft as a Leader in their new Forrester Wave: Sales Force Automation Solutions. This 35-criteria evaluation of SFA providers identifies the 10 most significant ones: bpm’online, CRMNEXT, Infor, Microsoft, NetSuite, Oracle, Pegasystems, Salesforce, SAP, and SugarCRM. This report shows how each provider measures up and helps application development and delivery (AD&D) professionals make the right choice.
Source: Over 2 Million North American Doctors and Nurses are on LinkedIn [INFOGRAPHIC].
The Forrester Wave™: Sales Force Automation Solutions, Q2 2017
Leader Forrester Wave for CRM
Suites for Enterprise Organizations
Leader Forrester Wave for CRM
Suites for Midsize Organizations
Leader Forrester Wave for
Customer Service Solutions for Enterprise Organizations
Leader Forrester Wave for
Customer Service Solutions for Small and Mid-Sized Teams
Both Salesforce and Dynamics 365 are comprehensive choices in the CRM space, and choosing one over the other depends on the specific needs of a customer. Each has sufficient feature set, add-ons, and forward-looking technology. While Salesforce is the market leader, Dynamics 365 is winning accolades across analysts’ reports with its extensibility via the Microsoft suite. Making a decision depends on your current IT iinfrastructure, hosting needs, the flexibility and business application integration you require, and budget.
Forrester concludes: “Microsoft is a best fit for companies looking to capitalize on the productivity gains of their other Microsoft cloud investments” – which is fairly obvious – but interestingly, they go on to say: “…and those companies that are …looking to disrupt their peers with AI and machine learning.”
1. Steve Chipman. Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365: The Ultimate Objective Comparison. CRMSwitch.
https://www.crmswitch.com/buying-crm/salesforce-microsoft-dynamics-365-compared/. Published May 27, 2018. Accessed May 2, 2019.
2. Aleks Peterson. Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. Salesforce. Technology Advice
https://technologyadvice.com/blog/information-technology/dynamics-crm-vs-salesforce/. Published May 2, 2019. Accessed May 2, 2019.
3. Salesforce vs. Dynamics 365: Who has the Best CRM? Sherweb.
https://www.sherweb.com/blog/dynamics-365-blog/salesforce-vs-microsoft-dynamics-365-comparing-leaders/ Accessed May 7, 2019.
4. Peter Lee. Microsoft for Healthcare: technology and collaboration for better experiences, insights and care. Microsoft.
eriences-insights-and-care/. Published Feb 7, 2019. Accessed May 5, 2019.
5. Rob Humphrey. Over 2 Million North American Doctors and Nurses are on LinkedIn [INFOGRAPHIC]. LinkedIn.
linkedin-infographic. Published July 31, 2014. Accessed May 13, 2019.
6. Vamsi. Seven Reasons Why Dynamics 365 is Better than Salesforce. Winwire Technologies.
https://www.winwire.com/crm-comparison-dynamics-365-vs-salesforce/. Published April 27, 2018. Accessed May 10, 2019.
7. Microsoft Overtakes Salesforce.com. The CRM Team.
https://thecrmteam.com/microsoft-overtakes-salesforce-com-forrester/. Accessed May 7, 2019.
8. See what industry analysts are saying about Dynamics 365. Microsoft Dynamics 365.
https://dynamics.microsoft.com/en-ca/analyst-awards/. Accessed May 7, 2019.
9. Wynand Roos. Why our customers chose Dynamics 365 over Salesforce.com. The CRM Team.
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/why-our-customers-chose-dynamics-365-over-wynand-roos/. Published September 13, 2017. Accessed May 10, 2019.
10. Larry Dignan. Salesforce's $15.7 billion Tableau acquisition: Everything you need to know. ZDNET. . Published June 10, 2019.
11. James Phillips. Announcing new features, growing demand for Dynamics 365 and Power Platform. Microsoft. . Published June 10, 2019