I love playful competition, but I’m not a big fan of rivalries. Specifically, I don’t appreciate the false representations and imbalanced criticisms that sometimes accompany them. In Los Angeles, there’s a huge college rivalry between USC and UCLA. Some of the things people from each side say about the other university can get pretty nasty. I happened to attend USC, but I think very highly of both. Years ago, when choosing which college to attend, I did so based on which met my requirements. UCLA has a strong MBA program and you can receive an undergraduate degree in economics, but they don’t have an undergrad business school. I received my Bachelor degree from USC because it has a fantastic undergraduate business school. I still think UCLA is great, but when it came to spending my money and fulfilling a need, USC fit the bill,
What does this have to do with CRM software, you ask?
Two of the top CRM programs, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Salesforce’s Sales Cloud, have quite a rivalry going on. As with USC and UCLA, the competition between the two can get pretty heated. And comparisons between them can be faulty. Similarly to selecting a college, I recommend choosing a CRM that fulfills your needs. Both may be attractive and have positive qualities, but pick the best fit for your circumstances. Figuring this out, however, can be difficult, especially when there’s some misleading or confusing information out there.
An example of this kind of situation is
- World’s #1 Cloud CRM
- Real-time collaboration
- Any mobile device
- Automatic upgrades
- Open platform
- Easy to customize
- Outlook integration
Unfortunately, Salesforce does not provide a description for each “Advantage.” In the Microsoft Dynamics CRM column there is a red X mark for each advantage, except Outlook integration which has a green checkmark. Salesforce has a green checkmark for every row. Salesforce doesn’t explain what they mean by the red X mark or green checkmark, but the implication is that Salesforce has each of these Advantages and CRM doesn’t have any except Outlook integration. As simple and concise as this chart seems, it is not a very accurate product comparison. My intention with this blog post and the ones to follow is to provide a balanced assessment of these advantages and offer more information with respect to Microsoft’s products
First of all, I’d like to note a subtle way in which the table column headings themselves may add to the confusion and faulty information. The table is comparing Dynamics CRM (a product) with Salesforce (a company with a line of products). Rather than
That being said, let’s start with “
For this row in the chart, Salesforce has a demo video on “how Chatter works with the Sales Cloud to make your sales teams more collaborative.” Similar to Facebook, in Chatter employees can update their status, share a picture, and fill out a profile. Perhaps indicating what they mean by Real-time collaboration, the demo says, “People can see his status in real time and respond immediately with helpful insights.” Sales people can “follow” each other as well as documents (like presentations and spreadsheets), and application data (like sales deals and customer accounts). According to the demo, “Anytime someone makes an update to one of these records Scott (the demo subject) will know immediately.” You would see all of these updates if you click on your Home Page and then click on Main Feed, which lists these updates much like Facebook’s News Feed.
I’m not sure what Salesforce is communicating by the red X mark for Microsoft Dynamics CRM on this topic, given that Dynamics CRM offers users the means to receive relevant and meaningful business information as soon as it’s available. One great method to provide this functionality with Dynamics CRM is using workflows. In fact, a workflow can be set up to notify someone when another user changes a record, for example when a service case has been escalated. A workflow can even notify users when a record hasn’t changed by a given time. For instance, a sales manager can be notified if phone calls are not being completed in a timely manner. Thus, workflows can help users stay aware of the most important changes that matter most to their jobs and their organization.
Besides sending notifications about record changes,
Actually, workflows may satisfy an organization’s need for real-time collaboration more effectively than Chatter. Based on Salesforce’s demo of Chatter, I’d need to go to my Home Page then go to my Main Feed in order to see what updates may have been posted rather than having an email immediately sent to me specifically about the issues that matter most. Secondly, while Chatter offers some ability to filter on what kinds of entities users can follow (i.e. Opportunities, Accounts, etc.); I believe it currently does not offer the ability to apply criteria to the filters to indicate what kind of information is pushed onto my Chatter page. So I’d receive an update on every change that occurs to anything I choose to follow, including every address correction or fixed misspelling. For some, this laundry list of constant updates may create a field of noise that users have to read through in order to sift out the relevant bits. The way this feed works seems like it could be time consuming and distracting. Also, as with Facebook, if I’m not carefully and constantly checking my feed, I might miss a valuable post that then gets buried under a litany of non-essential updates. Given that customers and prospects email me all day, and Outlook notifies me every time a new email arrives, I’m more likely to keep on top of my email and see important workflow-sent messages.
Regarding the “Collaboration” part of the “Advantage,” Microsoft Dynamics CRM itself has many capabilities that facilitate collaboration, such as team-based ownership to enable effective team selling and customer service, team queues to manage support cases, and a centralized view of service calendars and resources.
Furthermore, just as Chatter and Sales Cloud are different products that work together, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and
Plus, if a Microsoft Dynamics CRM customer really wants a Facebook-like collaboration solution besides SharePoint, there are several partner solutions available, such as Sonoma Partners’ product called
I will continue to compare Salesforce Cloud to Microsoft Dynamics CRM with my next post featuring, “Any mobile device” however you may want to do a
By Sara Corbett, Systematica Inc. a