Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM Beats Salesforce.com For Outlook to CRM integration – Reason # 6, Application Integration In Outlook

In the first installment we discussed why it is so important for your CRM system not only to be integrated with Outlook but to be WELL integrated with Outlook.  We also learned that I use both the Microsoft Dynamics CRM client and the Salesforce.com client on a daily basis which puts me in a fairly unique position to be able to compare the effectiveness of each.  Which brings us to…

Reason # 6 – Application Integration in Outlook

When thinking about deploying a CRM system, it is important to consider the user interface that will be used to interact with the application.  An unfamiliar or poor user interface can mean increased user training time, increased user process execution time, and user frustration (and I am speaking from experience here) all of which can result in low user adoption and a poor or failed CRM deployment.

Both Dynamics CRM and Salesforce.com offer add-ins that provide access to their respective CRM records from Microsoft Office Outlook.  In both cases, this results in an additional set of folders in the Outlook Mail area that can be used to access the various types of records.  This is where the similarities end.

For the Salesforce.com add-in, I had to find and then check the ‘Add Salesforce.com folders in Outlook’ option in the Salesforce.com Options screen in order to enable the additional set of ‘salesforce.com’ folders in the Mail tab in Outlook.  Having done so, when I click on one of these folders in Outlook (Accounts for example) the Salesforce.com website opens in a separate web browser with the Accounts tab selected.  While this is useful, it ultimately amounts to a shortcut from Outlook to a totally separate application with a totally different interface.

Contrast this to Microsoft Dynamics CRM.  When the Dynamics CRM for Outlook client is installed, I immediately get access to all of the CRM functionality and records from within the familiar Outlook application and user interface.  For example, when I navigate to my CRM Accounts in Outlook (using the Outlook menu, Outlook buttons, Outlook Mail folders, or CRM Icons in Outlook), I am presented with the Accounts list and all Accounts functionality in the same Outlook pane where I view my email, calendar, contacts, or tasks.  From there I can do all of my CRM tasks like create new records, do an Advanced Find query, mail merge to Word, export to Excel, run reports, etc. all without ever leaving Outlook or opening up a different application or learning an unfamiliar user interface.

While Salesforce.com provides a useful shortcut from Outlook to their CRM application, Microsoft Dynamics CRM is designed from the ground up to take full advantage of and extend the robust and familiar user interface of Microsoft Office Outlook for CRM functionality.  This translates to reduced user training time, reduced user process execution time, increased user satisfaction, and increased user adoption resulting in a more successful CRM deployment.  Consider this when evaluating Microsoft Dynamics CRM against Salesforce.com for your CRM deployment.

By NexusTek – Colorado Microsoft Dynamics CRM Partner

6 thoughts on “Why Microsoft Dynamics CRM Beats Salesforce.com For Outlook to CRM integration – Reason # 6, Application Integration In Outlook”

  1. I will completely agree with you on how Microsoft better fits with application integration with outlook crm software. I know several people who have used it for quite some time now and they've never had issues with their work. So thank you for posting this so that more people can learn about it.

  2. Hi

    We use MS CRM Dynamics (MSCRMD) having moved from another CRM system because of its poor mail merge integration and it's looking like we made a big mistake.
    MSCRMD is poorly designed, doesn't seem to provide even the most obviously required functionality and its lack of performance over (UK) broadband AND LAN makes it simply unusable.
    It is impossible to do anything quickly and simply in MSCRMD; my conclusion is that it was designed as a transaction based data processing system by IT people who had never worked in a sales environment. As anyone who has worked in sales will tell you, salespeople need an on-line environment that supports our CRM needs. MSCRMD is a system that might have been designed in the 70s when all there was was IBM CICS.
    Unless we are doing something very basically wrong with the application I can only advise that you look elsewhere.
    We have deliberately stayed away from salesforce.com because of its high cost and its lack of Outlook integration (which seems a little pervese...). But it's looking more and more likely we will have to switch again.

  3. Nice post. I'm perpetually searching for refreshing and entertaining Customer Relationship Management and Microsoft Dynamics information. I can only wish I would have discovered your web site earlier - and will check back again for new articles.

  4. Although I would agree with John, I'm not even sure I'd give the ring to MS on the Outlook integration.

    In working with clients to set up CRM-centric demand gen and lead gen programs and marketing automation, we've worked with SFDC, MSDCRM, NetSuite and SugarCRM. I would say MSDCRM and NetSuite are neck-and-neck for the most unintuitive interface and workflow sequence. We've found SFDC and SugarCRM to be clearly be the most flexible and when combined with the proper email integration solution, like Riva, the Outlook synchronization can be even better.

  5. Microsoft Dynamics can beat salesforce.com only in the integration with outlook. Salesforce.com is superior to Microsoft dynamics in all other areas. I've worked with both dynamics and salesforce.com, salesforce.com is so powerful.

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