The fight between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce has been established since Salesforce’s inception back in 1999, but which one should you choose? Well, both have become harder to tell apart a decade later but together they still stand in good stead as the two at the top of the CRM space. It’s a tricky choice, but we will shed some light on the pros and cons of each CRM and see which one trumps the other. Let’s begin with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM. The fact that it is Microsoft alone means it’s going to be pretty useful but of course this alone doesn’t mean it should be an outright winner; it has to earn its title. Having the normal integration and functionality of other Microsoft software does help its cause though. So, let’s dive right in to the strengths and weaknesses of the Microsoft Dynamics CRM: Strengths: \tIt is equipped with accessibility for Microsoft Outlook clients. \tIt is integrated with Microsoft SharePoint for collaboration and content management, with Microsoft Visual Studio for capabilities to extend customisation and with Microsoft Lync for Instant Messaging and Presence. \tPower View, an extension of Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010, has great reporting abilities especially with data visualisation and presentation. \tDynamics is generally cheaper than Salesforce. Weaknesses: \tVery reliant on solution providers to furnish a complete solution (e.g. pricing management and sales configuration). \tFor direct server-to-server integration, customers are made to use a partner solution for Microsoft Exchange Server to Microsoft Dynamics CRM server synchronisation, in order to handle tasks, contacts and calendar appointments. As you can see, the positives outweigh the negatives which represent the Microsoft Dynamics CRM as a good choice when considered on its own but there are some features of the Salesforce CRM that are better. This moves us onto the Salesforce CRM. It is a strong brand in its entirety with a proven track record, and boasts innovation. Salesforce has a user experience that possesses a sleek design and has clear consideration for its users. Strengths: \tOffers impressive reliability and has a proven infrastructure. \tEase of use is a clear strength and one of its key attributes. \tInnovation is evident when you consider the capabilities of social media technology and mobile offerings, especially for the iPad. Weaknesses: \tPurchasing the Unlimited Edition is heavy on the pocket, so worth considering a lower-end edition before making the jump. \tEasy to overbuy subscriptions and functionality that isn’t necessary for your company. \tIt relies heavily on AppExchange vendors for a complete solution (e.g. lead management and pricing), so users need to ensure they don’t rely on Salesforce.com to vet them. The Salesforce CRM has a fairly even split on its pros and cons but how do the two CRM systems fair against one another? Well, if you are very focused on budget then Microsoft Dynamics CRM will win hands down because the Salesforce CRM is the more expensive option and can often be double the price of its rival, depending on your exact set up of course. Of course, your decision is most likely to depend on the environment on which your business is structured. If you don’t already rely on a lot of software tools then you should consider what tools you may want to utilise in the future. Integration is certainly a big plus for Dynamics of course because there is a good chance that you already use some Microsoft products (such as Outlook for example). Making A Decision Ultimately the decision should be based on what you need to use your CRM for. Either option will probably require you to speak to a vendor who will be able to customise a solution for you, so it may be best to first discuss with them what your usage will be and what features you most need. This post was written by Mike Spalding. Mike works at advantage.co.uk and specializes in IT support and business management solutions for consultancy businesses and media production companies. He loves writing about business and using IT to make businesses more efficient.