Salesforce v Dynamics 365: Pros and Cons

There was a time just two years ago when Microsoft and Salesforce announced they would bury the hatchet and come together, thus melding the two market leaders in the world of CRM. However, obviously that didn’t happen with both sides now showing their claws, Microsoft by buying LinkedIn and Salesforce by going to the press to rant about the other. We take a look at Salesforce v Dynamics 365 and give you the pros and cons.

So, what does the breakdown of this relationship that was never meant to be mean for customers looking at acquiring CRM software? First off, Salesforce is the largest player on the market and the following notable name is now Microsoft Dynamics. While in the past, Salesforce was the only prominent name in the industry, Microsoft has now climbed up to firmly take second place, mainly because of the integration with all their other technology offerings.

Even so, there’s no denying that Salesforce is still king of the CRM market. According to a Gartner report from 2016, Salesforce grew from 18.2% market share in 2014 to 19.7% in 2015. Microsoft Dynamics was the only other CRM vendor to grow (4.1% in 2014, to 4.3% in 2015). All the other vendors saw a drop, including SAP which fell to 10.2% from 13%.

But why are Salesforce and Microsoft the only two CRM vendors to grow? The reasons are very different for each of them, but they’re very indicative of why customers choose them above other CRM providers.


First off, Salesforce is a highly innovative provider that keeps building many exciting add-ons around their core functionality. Their focus is now artificial-intelligence, which when coupled with a well-rounded environment of 3rd party integrated apps makes Salesforce highly attractive to companies. Companies can truly make the solution their own if they have great Salesforce employees, particularly admins.

Dynamics 365 however, has seen a rise in market share due to its intense integration with Microsoft core products (Office 365, Outlook, SharePoint). This fact makes it highly attractive for Microsoft-heavy workflows. When you also take into account all the other BI capabilities, the LinkedIn integration and licensing options, it’s not hard to see why the debate is now Salesforce against MS Dynamics rather than “Salesforce v Others”.

Besides central sales force automation, there are of course both pros and cons. Both of the CRM vendors have strived to differentiate their product. Usually this is by delving into AI functionalities or building partnerships with other tech giants such as Adobe.

For example, Salesforce has a better marketing automation functionality (Marketing Cloud), while Microsoft is better within the BI space (PowerBI).

In terms of partnering with other companies, Microsoft has forged a relationship with Adobe to enhance their marketing automation offering for enterprise customers. Salesforce is partnered with IBM, namely IBM’s Watson to pair with its Einstein capability. This helps customers understand unstructured data.

The two offerings that makes Salesforce probably more attractive than Dynamics 365 is their AppExchange and Trailhead training program. No company will find a salesforce automation product that is one hundred percent perfect for their needs, that’s why 3rd party tools will always come into play. Salesforce has the widest range of best-in-breed solutions out there.

And while AppExchange helps companies find better 3rd party tools for their processes, Trailhead certified professionals can help implement Salesforce into the company’s workflow. Training is very important and a lot of companies looking to go on a digital transformation will take into account how well the CRM can support their IT requirements as well as give them and their customers a level of self-sufficiency.


While Salesforce may be more attractive product-wise than its counterpart, Dynamics 365 scores big points on pricing. A 2017 Gartner report found that when it comes to Salesforce there’s a more aggressive sales practice and inflexibility with contracts and everything with Salesforce is quite separate.

Cost may not be the deciding factor for a multibillion-pound company but for a SMB that might be the absolute deciding factor. In the end it all boils down to business needs. Salesforce and Dynamics 365 both have negative and positive aspects. If you’ve got a Microsoft focused workflow then Dynamics is your answer. If you need a more complex offering, then Salesforce is key.

What are your thoughts on Salesforce v Dynamics 365? Let us know in the comments!

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