When comparing Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce, we found both to be robust, but expensive, CRM software with functionality benefiting larger organizations. Microsoft costs between $65 – $135 and can manage sales as well as general operations like accounting and inventory. Salesforce costs $25 – $300 and offers an extensive AppExchange network with functionality that’s great for sales teams.
When to Use Salesforce
Salesforce is a CRM software designed specifically for mid- to large-sized sales organizations. While the tool offers things like contract and order management, its differentiating features include its cross-sell knowledge base or the extensive number of sales automation tools offered for free through its AppExchange. Salesforce is therefore focused more on managing sales and sales-related activities than general operations management.
When to Use Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 is a CRM for large teams with sales and general operations management functionality. It’s a Microsoft product and works very well with Word and Excel, and you can also purchase modules like accounting and inventory management. However, it does not integrate well with third-party tools like MailChimp or QuickBooks. For this reason, it is best for organizations wanting to manage all business operations in one place using Office tools.
When to Use an Alternative Option
Both Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce are suited for larger teams and come with a hefty price tag. Smaller businesses and teams are better off considering an alternative like Freshsales, which offers functionality like contact and task management, sales pipeline stage visibility, and activity tracking at a fraction of the price. Try them out for free for 30 days.
Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce at a Glance
for 1 to 20 users
5GB for each additional
20 users up to 5TB
11GB shared storage
|Technical Support Included|
|Entry-Level Plan Designed for Small Teams|
|Contact and Task Management|
|Lead, Opportunity, and Case Management|
|Quotes Management and Order Processing|
|Sales Process Automation|
|Ease of Use|
How We Evaluated Microsoft Dynamics 365 & Salesforce
Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce are CRM tools typically used by large teams. Both products offer similar core functionality, but Salesforce is more of a pure sales CRM while Microsoft Dynamics is a CRM better known for operations management. However, depending on your business, you might be better served with a more inexpensive CRM option.
We compared Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce against the following criteria:
- Price – We compared the per-user cost for each product, whether there were any minimum license requirements, and if there were any additional fees
- Features – We checked to see how each product handled core CRM functionality like contact management, deal and activity tracking, process automation, customization capability, and system integrations
- Ease of Use – We reviewed how easy either tool is able to be set up, compared the look, feel, and function of user interfaces as well as the availability of training resources, requirements, and whether the tool included mobile access
- Customer Service – We compared each tool’s customer service and technical support policies
- User Reviews – We read a mix of positive and negative reviews from real users of both products
Following our review, we have determined Salesforce to be the best CRM for large sales teams wanting a tool that can manage sales teams and integrate with third-party sales apps. Microsoft 365, on the other hand, is the better option for teams comprised of sales and operations.
While Salesforce offers an entry-level price point, the price is on the high side and the features are heavily watered down. For smaller teams, we recommend Freshsales over Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365, as it includes many popular features like email tracking, rules-based scoring, and web-to-lead capture, and is more flexible as well as more affordable. Sign-up for your free trial to see how Freshsales can work for you.
Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce: Pricing & Features
Salesforce offers a plan with entry-level features while Microsoft Dynamics 365 doesn’t. Therefore, Salesforce is the clear choice between the two for small teams requiring basic contact and deal management based on price. However, Salesforce’s next tiered plan is $10 more per user per month than the similarly featured Dynamics plan.
While Salesforce does offer a free trial, pricing for its paid service plans starts at $25 per user per month. Salesforce has two high-end plans with similar functionality that cost between $150 and $300 per month. The difference between these plans is access to additional customer and technical support, including configuration support at no added charge.
Salesforce Tiered Features
|Account and Contact Management|
|Lead and Opportunity Management|
|Customizable Sales Process|
|Rules Based Scoring|
|Quotes and Price Books|
Salesforce’s Lightning Essentials plan includes basic contact, task, and opportunity management functionality and costs $25 per user per month. It does not, however, include sales forecasting or quotation management tools found in the higher end plans, nor does it integrate with Google Apps or allow for configurable profiles based on roles and responsibilities.
This plan is limited to five users. For this reason, it is best for smaller sales teams of five wanting a tool to help them manage their contacts as well as stay on top of their follow-up tasks, but do not require sales forecasting analytics.
That being said, a team of this size may be better off using Freshsales, which offers features similar to the Professional plan but at a lower cost.
Salesforce’s Professional plan costs $75 per user per month and includes additional lead management tools like lead routing and rules-based scoring not offered in the Essentials plan. There is a knowledge base feature to help salespeople with cross-selling efforts and collaborative forecasting. Additionally, the Professional plan includes email marketing campaigns, quotations, dashboard reports, and case management as well as Google and Outlook integrations.
Unlike the Essentials plan, there is no limit on the size of the team. However, this plan does not include team or territory management. There is also no workflow automation. Therefore, this plan is best for highly independent sales teams that want a centralized system for managing quotes, customer relations, and marketing campaigns and do not need a tool to automate the process.
The Lightning Enterprise plan includes all the same contact management features as the Essentials plan with the additional marketing and lead scoring tools found in the Professional plan. It also includes team and territory management and shared calendars. It costs $150 per user per month without unlimited customer support or $300 per user per month with unlimited support.
For this reason, the Enterprise plan is best for large team-based sales groups. The Enterprise plan also supports Salesforce’s Lightning Platform or third-party app integration tool and offers unlimited uses of the process builder, making this plan also the better fit for organizations wanting to integrate Salesforce CRM with other applications.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Pricing
Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Sales tiered pricing plans range from $65 per user per month to $135 per user per month. Additional support can be added on to any plan as a monthly subscription from $5 per user per month to $9, which gives users faster guaranteed support and direct advice from Dynamics 365 experts.
Microsoft Dynamics Tiered Features
|Account and Contact Management|
|Lead and Opportunity Management|
|Customizable Sales Process|
|Real-Time Sales Reports|
|Quotes and Price Books|
|Sales Goal Management|
|Embedded LinkedIn Sales Navigator|
|Activity Sync from Sales Navigator|
Dynamics 365 for Sales Professional
The Sales Professional plan costs $65 per user per month and provides robust contact management (including activity tracking). It also includes quote and order management as well as sales and marketing lists and opportunity management. The Professional plan includes some canned reports, but you can also export data to Excel with the click of a button or review analytics with a Power BI license.
The Professional Plan does not include features like mobile offline sync, unlimited customizations, territory management, or social engagement as is found in the Enterprise plan. For this reason, it is best for independent sales groups that want a centralized tool for managing customer relations, opportunities, and quotations and those who are more comfortable managing reports and analytics through another tool.
Dynamics 365 for Sales Enterprise
The Sales Enterprise plan adds territory management to the Sales Professional features and costs $95 per user per month. This plan also provides more automation and engagement tools like social connections, automatic email logging, customer surveys, and sales team gamification. Custom fields can be added to any form, which provides you with additional insights, lead scoring, and customer segmentation, all viewed in dashboard-styled reports.
The Enterprise plan is built with hierarchical sales teams in mind as it includes sales goal and territory management. However, the plan is also good for groups that want to conduct regular in-depth SWOT analysis, as it also provides tools to help you track your performance against specific competitors on an opportunity-by-opportunity basis.
Microsoft Relationship Sales
The Microsoft Relationship Sales plan mirrors the features of the Enterprise plan but also includes additional integration with LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator Enterprise tool. This gives sales teams an embedded version of Sales Navigator directly in the Dynamics application. Activities can then be synced and accounts, leads, and contacts saved to Sales Navigator.
The Microsoft Relationship Sales plan costs $135 per user per month with a ten-user minimum. Therefore, it is best for larger teams that utilize LinkedIn for the majority of their prospecting work. Teams with less than ten users needing a CRM that works with social media and LinkedIn Sales Navigator may find the functionality they are looking for at a fraction of the cost using Zoho CRM, which also works with LinkedIn Sales Navigator.
Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce: Ease of Use
Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics 365 both have web-based user interfaces that group information such as accounts and related follow-up activities on a single page. Depending on the pricing plan, additional fields and customized dashboards can be added by users with administrative privileges. Both tools are loaded with functionality that can overwhelm the average user, and training is therefore recommended for either tool.
Salesforce Ease of Use
Salesforce is a cloud-based tool rather than a desktop app, which means the tool is accessible wherever you have access to the internet. The user interface itself is a web page that you navigate by clicking on links that are grouped by headings such as accounts, leads, campaigns, and forecasts and reports are displayed in a dashboard format.
Salesforce hosts an app exchange marketplace where you can locate various third-party applications that can improve Salesforce’s core functionality. Added features may increase your monthly cost.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Ease of Use
Microsoft Dynamics is offered hosted on the cloud, as an on-premise solution, or a combination of both. This means that you have the ability to control your own data rather than rely on Salesforce servers. Like Salesforce, the Microsoft Dynamics’ user interface is browser-based, though navigation options appear more like buttons than links.
Microsoft Dynamics has a search bar to help you jump from screen to screen if you are unsure where to find the specific screen you are looking for. This gives Microsoft Dynamics a slight edge over Salesforce in terms of functional design.
Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce: Customer Service
Salesforce does not require an additional monthly subscription for access to technical support and customer training, and you can work directly with a Salesforce agent rather than being forced to go through a third party. Dynamics 365 doesn’t do this. Therefore, it is the clear winner between the two products in the customer service category.
Salesforce Customer Service
Salesforce provides access to success communities, where you can interact with other Salesforce customers, get guided online training, access a self-service portal, and have guaranteed response within two business days as part of any Salesforce license. Additional support, like 24-hour assistance, can be added on for an additional fee-based on the needs of your business.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Service
Microsoft Dynamics offers additional small business support plans at an added monthly cost ranging from $5 per user per month to $9 per user per month. These add-on service plans provide users with access to community forums and self-help portals, service dashboards, unlimited online training, and phone support during local business hours.
Microsoft Dynamics vs Salesforce: Customer Reviews
Customer reviews of Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics are similarly mixed, with neither tool standing out as a clear crowd favorite. Salesforce scored better in terms of task management, while Dynamics was easier to customize. Reviewers of both products recommend that anyone considering either tool take the time to think through and define their sales process before implementing either product.
Salesforce Customer Reviews
Salesforce users like the amount of customization offered by the tool prior to implementation and the available integrations with other third-party products. However, they report there is a steep learning curve. There are also complaints that the product is not as turnkey as advertised and implementation can be disappointing if you have not taken the time to define your business processes.
Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Reviews
Microsoft Dynamics users report the tool could be easier to use. Tasks, like creating a quote, require a number of steps and it can take a while to get to where you want to be. Users like the ability to hide and customize tabs and fields and how you can keep track of all communication within the tool. However, they wish there was more automated capability.
“A CRM is a critical tool for modern day sales professionals and serves as a prospecting database. You have to plan to prospect. Most new sales occur after more than six times reaching out, and the timing has to be reasonable. My CRM lets me keep all notes from conversations and marketing activities, and schedule follow-up tasks in one place so that I can see the history and plan the future easily.” – Marybeth Whelan, National Sales Representative, Tapecon, Inc.
We recommend Salesforce for growing sales teams based on its core functionality, design with sales teams in mind, integration with third-party apps, and entry-level pricing point. However, the tool does require additional training in order to get the most out of your monthly license costs, and its user interface can be improved. However, there are Salesforce alternatives out there that might be better for you.
Small business owners and sales managers who want to spend less time reading software manuals or watching training videos may be better served with a more user-friendly CRM like Freshsales. Freshsales is a budget-friendly alternative to both Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics, with the features small business teams need and at a fraction of the cost. Best of all you can try it for free for 14 days.