I don’t come to this conclusion lightly. For three years, I implemented two of the leading CRMs—Microsoft Dynamics and Salesforce—for a variety of clients. During that time, I wrote a series of blog posts comparing the two solutions. My goal was to be impartial. However, over time, I found it impossible to not lean in favor of Salesforce. This led me to abandon Dynamics and focus exclusively on Salesforce implementations. I made the right decision.
My technical experience spans 25 years—long before these CRMs existed. I have designed and developed CRM-like vertical market applications and understand the complexities of software development, configuration, adoption, and maintenance.
Your CRM is probably your most important platform. It has the highest direct impact on sales, which means it’s the closest to your revenue. All of your other platforms—like your accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), or marketing automation solutions—tie back to the work that takes place in your CRM.
Why do I prefer Salesforce? You may be surprised.
Let’s set the facts straight. Both CRMs are mature and feature-rich. Both are backed by large companies and will be around for years to come. Either platform can be a foundation for virtually any scenario a company can conceive. Dynamics licenses are less expensive. Based on this, how can I unequivocally advocate for Salesforce?
Ease of use
Salesforce is a proprietary environment with its own language for development called Apex. Everything you need is in one place. Without getting too deep in the weeds, the language is developed to handle business logic and data. I have worked with many exceptional developers, and they find Apex uninteresting—which is exactly what should interest you. It is a simple, Java-like language that does not take a highly skilled developer to learn. The reason for this is the Salesforce “no code” approach.
The goal of Salesforce from day one has been reducing the need to “write code” and placing customization in the hands of nondevelopers. This explains why hardcore developers criticize Salesforce—there is not much for them to do! In my experience, much less code is required to achieve the same solution in Salesforce than Dynamics. This translates into lower, upfront “build” costs and less drain on the budget for future enhancements.
This means Salesforce is much more straightforward and usable by both the technical and nontechnical alike.
If your CRM platform cannot grow with your company, your business processes will be held hostage to the limitations of your CRM. Both platforms offer third-party add-ons. No matter how “unique” your business may be, chances are many companies have faced the same issues, and solutions for these situations exist.
Microsoft’s marketplace is AppSource, and Salesforce’s is AppExchange. I encourage you to compare them. With Salesforce having over five times the market share of Microsoft Dynamics, you will be overwhelmed by the number of offerings for Salesforce.
It’s not just market share driving this innovation. The primary catalyst is Salesforce’s complete dedication to the community and the belief that solutions must come from outside of Salesforce as well as within. This runs counter to my experience with Microsoft. The Salesforce community is nothing short of incredible.
Salesforce is Salesforce—nothing else. Microsoft is not just Dynamics. Its CRM is only one of many products and solutions that Microsoft offers. Salesforce is an expert in one thing, and that thing is CRM. It comes down to a simple question: if you need a hip replacement, would you want a general practitioner or an orthopedic surgeon? My experience has taught me that once a CRM is implemented, inertia is the enemy. You need a platform that continues to grow, innovate, and—most importantly—encourages you to move forward and try new things.
As a consultant, I need to know the new features in each release. With Dynamics, it was easy but sparse; there was generally one major release a year with a few notable features. Contrast that with Salesforce, which has a major release every four months. Each release contains so many new features that the release notes are hundreds of pages!
Whether a consultant, a sales representative, or an administrator, Salesforce has abundant training materials. When I ran into an issue with Dynamics, however, I hoped that I might come upon a blog post somewhere that would give me some insight.
This is where Salesforce deserves tremendous credit. They understand that once the consultants leave, issues will arise. Consider yourself empowered. Simple web searches return copious results. Couple this with the most comprehensive free training system imaginable, and you and your team are set up for success. It’s called Trailhead, and, in my opinion, it is the strongest case for choosing Salesforce over any other CRM. Check it out at this link.
Making the decision
I like to look at the big picture when considering such a major decision. Salesforce is clearly ahead in almost every measurable metric, whether that’s customer satisfaction, ease of use, or functionality.
That only gets your foot in the door. Where the rubber meets the road is what your CRM will be doing for you two, five, or ten years from now. Salesforce bends over backward to help you evolve, both internally and externally, with the help of consulting partners like Simplus.
That’s why we recommend Salesforce over Microsoft Dynamics, particularly when CRM is the technological foundation of a business. For more details, take a look at our case study of Akron Brass and how we migrated them from Dynamics to Salesforce with stellar results.