Dynamics 365 V/S Salesforce – Who wins when the CRM Titans meet?

By Rakesh Anand Posted on September 16, 2019

The market for CRM has increased dramatically over the last years. Microsoft Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are the 2 leading business applications today. This has been a long lasting rivalry and both the companies are putting in effort and investments to improve in every aspect. Business applications are designed to meet the overall goals of customer relationship management and gain insights on business scenarios. An organization would look for the best results it could get from its investments. However, with the availability of numerous options in the market choosing the right product and making the right decision becomes a cumbersome task. A comparison between two leading software highlighting the merits and demerits of both the products would give clarity upon which should be bought and how it can contribute towards the growth of an organization.

Comparison on the basis of functionality

Comparison Factors Microsoft Dynamics 365Salesforce
DeploymentOffers 2 versions of its product
• Dynamics 365 On – premise or private cloud
• Dynamics 365 on cloud
Only offers the product as a hosted, subscription model. It does not offer an on-premises version
Development & FlexibilityThis is a major advantage for Dynamics 365. It is extremely customizable in terms of development adding several conveniences to the users. For development, they imply common universal web standards such as JS, .NET and HTML. Thereby businesses can make their own customization based on their explicit needs without having to rely on a single programming language.Salesforce has limitations when it comes to development and flexibility which leads to lower speeds for business processes. As Salesforce is a multi-client cloud environment, resources are shared across different organizations.
Third party ecosystemAllows external third – party applications to operate on their platforms.Allows external third – party applications to operate on their platforms.
ExtendibilityDynamics 365 can also act as a development platform. The business needs can be met appropriately as customization and extensions can be implemented in Dynamics 365 to meet specific needs in the course of their growth.Salesforce also allows its users to customize and add features. But compared to Dynamics 365 the extendibility is much lesser
Hidden costsNo hidden costsAdd-on Pricing, High Storage Costs etc are some of the hidden costs involved
Integration with Outlook and other Microsoft technologiesThe integration of Dynamics 365 with Outlook and other Microsoft technologies is easily possible. Several businesses already work with such Microsoft technologies like outlook, exchange etc. Dynamics 365 makes it possible for quicker integration.With Salesforce the integration is to be more tedious and limiting in terms of functionality
Mobile device supportMicrosoft offers both iOS and Android apps. The mobile app can be configured to display specific forms, fields and entities, including custom entities.Through Salesforce Mobile App Salesforce builds app for both iOS and android. The mobile platform can be used to build and customize apps and then deploy.
Enterprise social networkingEach app in Dynamics 365 has post capabilities and its own post area. Users can create posts, reply also like existing posts. Dynamics 365 can be connected to enterprise social networking site Yammer.Each app in Dynamics 365 has post capabilities and its own post area. Users can create posts, reply also like existing posts. Each Salesforce org also comes with 5,000 Chatter Free users (for internal users) and 50 Chatter External users.
Data Centro OwnershipHas its own data centers in several regions.The data centers in which the Salesforce customer data is stored isn’t owned by Salesforce but by third party infrastructure technology vendors and partners.
FeasibilityUsers can use desired language for customization with Dynamics 365. Due to the same reason there are numerous developers and partners available for Dynamics 365In Salesforce users use the language called Apex. All the customization and integrations are done with apex. Apex is a Salesforce owned proprietary language.Users will have to use the Salesforce owned proprietary language Apex for customization.
Email IntegrationMicrosoft provides an add-in called Microsoft Dynamics 365 for Outlook. With this add-in, the full capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 are available inside Outlook. The free plugin from Salesforce called Lightning for Outlook makes possible the integrations. Salesforce Lightning for Gmail is offered in the Chrome store. Lightning Sync, for synchronizing Contacts and Events, is available for both Microsoft Exchange and G Suite.
Workflow & ProcessesMicrosoft Dynamics 365 has four types of processes: actions, business process flows, dialogs and workflows.
Each aspects enables users to make desired changes and process automatons.
Salesforce offers Workflow Rules, Flows and Process Builder.
Reporting & DashboardsReport wizard enables creation of a new report. Reports can be filtered accordingly for desired views. Microsoft Dynamics 365’s dashboards are real time and each module has a default dashboard.
Further reporting with business analytics/intelligence is available through PowerBI .
There are standard and custom report types in Salesforce. Custom report types allows an administrator to define which objects to display to users when they create reports and to also define relationships among these displayed objects for cross-object reporting.

Comparison on the basis of data ownership

Ownership aspectsMicrosoft Dynamics 365Salesforce
Data Archive & Restore• Regular data backup is provided by Microsoft for Online deployment.
•In case of on – premise deployment business has to take care of backups
• Microsoft will take care of restoring of database.
• Regular Salesforce does not provide enterprise – class data archiving, restoration, and compliance capabilities with the core application.
• Customers can manually monitor their data storage limits and run basic data archiving processes to automate and comply with corporate data retention policies.
API AccessYesYes
On demand backup reqestYesNo
Web services supportREST and SOAPREST and API
Data center limitations.NoData centers are leased from a third-party. Salesforce does not own a data centre.
Configuration and codeEasy packaging of configurations using solutions in Dynamics 365With Salesforce backup and restore configurations, customization, or APEX code without a sandbox
Sandbox refreshesThe sandbox can be refreshed in Dynamics 365 whenever we want to
The sandbox will be refreshed only in 29 days

Pricing comparison

Dynamics 365

Dynamics 365 editionsCost
Team members$8
Dynamics 365 Sales$95
Customer engagement plan$115
Dynamics 365 plan$210
Microsoft relationship sales(Minimum of 10 users)$130


Salesforce editionsCost
Salesforce Essentials$25
Lightning professional$75
Lightning enterprise
Lightning Unlimited$300

Dynamics 365 has been conveniently priced, and the products are offered in a bundle. The customer engagement plan in Microsoft dynamics comes as a bundle of four products. The products are sales, customer service, field service, project service. The price of the plan is $115/user/month.
Salesforce is also priced in such a manner as Dynamics 365 has been. Salesforce also comes as a bundle of two products. The sales and service products are involved in this plan which costs $150/user/month
Comparing both the plans Dynamics 365 is 35% cheaper than Salesforce and also it provides more products than Salesforce does.

Benefits and shortfalls of the business applications

Dynamics 365


It is not a stand-alone system. It is a hybrid system with both ERP and CRM with possibilities of integration with each other.
There is a lack in expertise for businesses looking for an implementation partner that will take care of both business processes alignment and improve technology. However to its credit, Microsoft has increased the focus on new certifications and partner training to solve this problem.
Basic and effectively adjustable interface makes it an incredible choice for the individuals who need quick setup and adaptability. Dynamics needs more partners for improved templates for specific industries. compared to Salesforce Dynamics 365 doesn’t have a lot of existing templates.
The level of consistent and easy integration with other Microsoft business products is staggering, and an incredible option for existing Microsoft power users. Integration with Outlook and other Microsoft technologies is possible. Several businesses already work with such Microsoft technologies like outlook, exchange, etc. Dynamics 365 makes it possible for quicker integration.
Dynamics uses common, universal web standards such as .NET when it comes to development which makes it possible for the organizations developing their own customizations based on their explicit needs without having to depend on a single or specific type of programming language
the users can access Dynamics 365 anywhere, at any time, on any device as it is cloud-based. Employees and the on-site team can see and update data from anywhere.
The product is modular giving the users the advantage of choosing which applications they wish to benefit from and pay for them separately
Microsoft is committed to on-premise solutions as well as cloud, so businesses need not feel compelled to select cloud implementation. Businesses established in parts of the world where network coverage isn’t that good are benefitted from this. Also businesses who are concerned about sensitive data being kept in cloud can store their data in their premises itself.


Salesforce profits by an immense number of product integrations, with a large number of services across the web lining up to avail their application on Salesforce AppExchange. Salesforce tends to depend immensely on integrations to share data with other systems. This is because it is a standalone CRM platform.
Salesforce also comes up as a strategic advisor in addition to a CRM provider. Over the years Salesforce has associated with several organizations in different verticals which has given the strong ties that the companies. Therefore solutions and guidance they can offer can be astounding.Organizations looking to implement full package Salesforce can find it to be highly priced even though they have reasonably priced the individual modules. The cost keeps on adding up according to the number of users of the system increases.
Salesforce handles customer orientation by themselves unlike Microsoft. Delegation of work is thereby less which at times leads to compendious results. Even though the scope for customization is wider, it can still take too much time to migrate to or implement Salesforce.
Service Cloud has proved overwhelmingly successful as statistics show that a good amount of revenue was genarated by this means. It is priced comparatively high and much lesser features and conveniences are made available compared to Dynamics 365
Experienced users can simply outgrow the very simple user interface in Salesforce.
Too much of screen refreshes and scrolling up and down; the transition between multiple screens to process transactions can lead to a very tedious experience.
The Marketing management functionality is extremely limited in Salesforce which involves additional costs and vendor management.
Customization toolkits can be cumbersome to use, even to well versed administrators.
Dashboards requires serious administration effort for reflecting the application security for specific users.
A Service Level Agreement is not provided by Salesforce in a standard contract.
As Salesforce relies on third party vendors for data centers, the credibility and reliability of data centers have been questioned and several major interruptions in service have been widely publicized.


Dynamics 365 has an upper hand over Salesforce

• Dynamics 365 has been highly advised due to its highly customizable nature. As discussed earlier it uses common standards in terms of development.
• Its seamless integration with other Microsoft products is staggering and gives many organizations flexibility who are existing Microsoft clients.
• The overall cost incurred for Dynamics 365 is much lesser compared to Salesforce.
• Dynamics offers both on-premise and cloud-based modes of deployment
• Microsoft’s cloud is used by more than 95% of the Fortune 500

Author: Rakesh Anand


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