The Clash of the Titans: Microsoft Dynamics 365 vs. Salesforce


Is chocolate better than vanilla? Is spring always more beautiful than autumn? Does Microsoft Dynamics 365 outclass Salesforce, or the other way around?
You get the idea. The answer to each of those questions depends on what you need, want, or like. Whether it’s picking the flavor of your ice cream or choosing the most suitable CRM for your company, matching all the pros and cons to your requirements is the best way to go about it.
And even though each business has its unique needs, we decided to look at the most significant strengths and weaknesses of both solutions – 7 major aspects that every organization should consider when comparing Dynamics 365 and Salesforce.


What probably differentiates Dynamics 365 and Salesforce at the most first sight is the way they store your data. With Dynamics 365 you can run the system and store your data either in the cloud, on-premises, or on a hybrid deployment. Salesforce offers its services and products only as Software as a Service (SaaS), running and storing data in the cloud.
Ultimately, Dynamics offers a larger variety of options, while Salesforce’s cloud-only approach ensures that its deployment is always straightforward, and the potential multiplicity of data is avoided.


One of the biggest advantages of Dynamics 365 is its tight integration with other Microsoft products well-established on the enterprise market. Outlook, Office, and SharePoint are just some of the company’s core products that integrate almost seamlessly. Salesforce may lack the direct integration with such a broad range of in-house products, but it can rely on a robust ecosystem of third-party applications: AppExchange – the world’s largest B2B app store. Microsoft’s AppSource is growing in size, but clearly still in second place.
However, while Microsoft Dynamics 365 is developed using common programming languages like .NET, Javascript and HTML, Salesforce is built and customized primarily using Apex – its own proprietary programming language. This means that any customizations or app integrations have to be done with Apex, not .NET, Javascript, or HTML.


Looking at the core Contact, Account, Lead and Opportunity management features, Dynamics 365 and Salesforce are evenly matched. They enable you to store virtually any kind of data on your customers and partners and related sales activities. Both systems allow you to effectively manage products, associate products, quantities, prices with opportunities, and generate associated documents. And both Dynamics 365 and Salesforce boast state-of-the-art business intelligence solutions in Power BI and Einstein, respectively.
Handling customer support incidents through features like case management, escalation, channel interactions, and knowledge base should be also on a fairly similar level. However Salesforce’s capabilities (Service Cloud module) in this regard have a longer history and higher adoption. But Microsoft has recently also invested in this area with Dynamics 365 for Customer Service.
Where Dynamics 365 excels is its Field Service module, which is an essential part of the solution even on par with its sales functionality. Salesforce’s Field Service Lightning is growing, but Microsoft’s offering in this area is further and already well-established at the moment.
On the other hand, marketing is where Salesforce clearly has the lead. Microsoft is just getting started with its Dynamics 365 for Marketing, available only as a public preview at this moment. You could say that if Field Service is Dynamics 365’s biggest draw apart from Sales, Marketing Cloud holds the same position within the Salesforce ecosystem.

User interface and experience

Both solutions have gone through a design overhaul over the past few years. Salesforce’s user interface has been always viewed as very user-friendly, although slightly antiquated by 2015. But over 2 years ago, Salesforce revamped its looks under the Lightning Experience moniker. It has brought a responsive flat design and modernized, consumer-grade experience to users on desktops, tablets and phones.
Microsoft started a major re-design already with Dynamics CRM 2013. The transition to a clear-cut, flat design interface was completed in Dynamics CRM 2015. Due to the amount of options available out-of-the box, Dynamics 365 might have a bit more complex interface. In the end though, both products utilize a contemporary design and provide a similar user experience. The choice simply comes down to personal preference.


Both solutions offer mobile clients to access their systems. Yet neither for Microsoft or Salesforce is mobility a burning priority. Therefore Salesforce for iOS and Android and Dynamics 365 for phones and tablets come with certain limitations. To name just a few: the Salesforce app offers only extremely limited offline functionality. Dynamics 365’s offline mode is slightly less limited, however its local database is not encrypted. And as both apps pursue the unified-interface-across-devices approach, they don’t leverage the mobile-specific functionality to the fullest.
Fortunately, if you’re looking to work with your CRM data on the go, Resco Cloud connects smoothly with both Dynamics 365 and Salesforce. Running on all iOS, Android and Windows devices. It provides full offline functionality, enterprise-level security and incorporates features such as maps, GPS navigation, device cameras and more.


Microsoft Dynamics has an extensive customer support for Dynamics 365, and its community is very helpful too, encouraging engagement and communication. Salesforce also provides just as timely and useful support, and its Trailhead initiative offers an accessible way to master their products.


Dynamics 365 and Salesforce have more than one product module that they sell. They also offer various tiers of these modules. Plus, there are numerous bundles available. However Microsoft‘s competitive pricing, licensing and bundling delivers a better value for the money.
Based on publicly available pricing and comparing like for like modules (Dynamics 365 for Sales Enterprise Edition vs. Sales Cloud Lighting Enterprise), on average Dynamics 365 is approximately 35% less expensive than Salesforce. The same applies when comparing bundled offers. Additionally, these bundles are not the same: Dynamics 365 contains 4 modules (Sales, Customer Service, Field Service, Project Service), and Salesforce only contains 2 modules (Sales, Service). The price difference may not be of concern to large organizations, but for smaller companies it will likely tip the scales in favor of Dynamics 365.


At the end of the day, both Dynamics 365 and Salesforce have advantages and disadvantages. If you have a Microsoft-heavy process, need advanced field service functionality, and price is an important factor, Dynamics 365 will likely be the better choice. If a more robust third-party integration offering, broader marketing capabilities, and simpler interface are among your top priorities, then Salesforce is probably the more viable option.
Whichever you choose, Resco can help you mobilize your system so you can get the most out of it in the office, on the plane, or visiting directly at your client. You can try Resco Cloud for free right now.