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Dynamics 365 CRM vs. Salesforce: Why Dynamics 365 CRM is the Right Choice

Author: Cate Parry | | October 16, 2018

The Customer Relationship Management (CRM) market is very competitive. However, experts typically identify Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 (CRM) and Salesforce as leading the pack of competitors. While both products have their own proponents, organizations doing a side-by-side comparison are often choosing the Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution.


Product Overviews


Salesforce is a cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco. Salesforce is also the name of their CRM product that they offer through subscriptions to a hosted platform. Subscriptions are available in four editions, ranging from an Essentials edition for up to five users, all the way to Lightning Unlimited that offers unlimited power and support.

Dynamics 365 (CRM)

Microsoft offers their Dynamics 365 (CRM) in two core deployment versions. The Dynamics 365 (CRM) is available online as a cloud version and on-premise as a private cloud application.

The platform offers full and team user licensing for applications and plans. An application is a licensed enabler for business processes. Plans are licensing for a collection of applications within the Dynamics 365 stack. The Dynamics 365 (CRM) applications are Sales, Customer Service, Field Service and Project Service Automation. The Customer Engagement plan encompasses the CRM side of Dynamics 365 and includes MS PowerApps.

In addition, Dynamics 365 goes beyond CRM to offer ERP capabilities and plans providing organizations a modernized platform.


Why Dynamics 365 (CRM) Wins the Comparison

When looking for a CRM solution, it’s important to evaluate more than one factor. Below are some of the more critical ones

The User Interface

Introducing a new technology, such as a CRM, can be a challenge for some organizations. While a CRM has many proven benefits, employee’s resistance to change can get in the way of the adoption process. Microsoft mitigates this by maintaining a consistent user interface across its products. Users new to Dynamics 365 will recognize the user interface from their experience with the MS Office suite of products.

This familiarity with Office will help facilitate the transition to a CRM solution and ensure a smoother, faster adoption process for organizations.

Integration with Other Technologies

Many people choose Dynamics 365 (CRM) because of its seamless integration with many other Microsoft products. Dynamics 365 (CRM) offers complete productivity to users, empowering them beyond D365 with tools such as SharePoint, Yammer, and the Office suite of applications. While the integration of these applications with Salesforce is possible, it is not seamless and functionality is often limited..


Cost is always an issue, especially for core applications that organizations use over the long term. Salesforce is the most expensive CRM in the market. By contrast, Dynamics 365 (CRM) offers the lowest total cost of ownership and transparent pricing to its customers. In addition, Dynamics 365 offers a balanced partnership with yearly true-down and combined support/accountability.


Organizations often have unique requirements requiring them to deploy their systems in different ways. To meet these requirements, Dynamics 365 (CRM) can be deployed in more than one way:

  • Private hosting
  • Multi-tenant hosting
  • On-premise hosting
  • Cloud platform

On the other hand, Salesforce only offers a multi-tenant hosting solution. This type of SaaS implementation will incur higher costs over time, and organizations who need to keep their CRM in-house, do not have that option.


One of the key advantages of the Dynamics 365 platform is that it can be used as a development platform enabling organizations to extend the solution beyond the out of the box capabilities. For example, a system customizer user can customize views, fields, forms, and other areas of the solution without development experience, resulting in a faster implementations and reactions to response to enhancements. Even more appealing is that CRM developers can further extend the platform using the Dynamics 365 SDK and tap into the Common Data Model/Service to create custom apps for users.

Alternatively, Salesforce uses a proprietary programming language and some organizations fear that they will not be able to change vendors easily in the future as a result.

Data Ownership

Microsoft’s philosophy is that you (the organization) are the owner of your customer data. The company provides backups on demand and API access as part of the subscription. Salesforce charges additional fees for backups and API access. This, in addition to other seemingly “hidden” costs from Salesforce, makes the Microsoft solution more popular for many companies.



Salesforce, at least for the moment, enjoys the largest share of the CRM market. However, it is becoming obvious to more organizations looking for a scalable, flexible, best-in-breed platform, that Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 (CRM) is the only solution to their CRM needs.

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