Sales Force Automation a Top Priority? Microsoft Dynamics Should be on Your CRM Short List

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Last week, analyst group Gartner released its “2013 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation” and this year like many previous ones, it has named Microsoft Dynamics CRM a leader in the category.  In case you’re wondering, Gartner defines Sales Force Automation (SFA) as “applications [that] support the automation of sales activities, processes and administrative responsibilities for B2B organizations' sales professionals.”

Here’s what the 2013 Magic Quadrant looks like:Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant showing how the analyst group ranks the Sales Force Automation capabilities of various CRM solutions

Notice that this year’s report lists Microsoft Dynamics CRM (on premises) and Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online (the cloud based version of the software) separately, yet both options were chosen as leaders.  If you’re trying to decide between the different versions of Dynamics CRM, it may be helpful to note that unless you have complex reporting needs, the functions of both systems are pretty much the same.  The choice really comes down to your organization’s comfort level with moving your data to the cloud.  Gartner sees the solutions’ strengths as follows:


Microsoft Dynamics CRM On Premises:

  • Integration with the other popular Microsoft products, including Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Lync, Microsoft Visual Studio and Microsoft Outlook.
  • An improved user experience thanks to a redesigned user experience.
  • A broad partner delivery network provides the breadth of application add-ons, industry vertical expertise and implementation capabilities.
  • Available interoperability between the Microsoft Dynamics on-premises and SaaS versions.


One of the few caution notes the report’s writers give on Microsoft Dynamics CRM On Premises is its currently limited mobile capabilities.  However, Microsoft is working on this, and mobile functionality is slated to be included in the next release, due out later this year. Click here to learn more about Dynamics CRM 2013.


Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online:

  • An improved user experience thanks to a redesigned user experience.
  • Increased R&D investment is applied to other Microsoft products, such as SharePoint, Lync, Yammer and Skype.
  • A common data model with the Microsoft Dynamics CRM on-premises offering.
  • The Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online per-user, per-month price remains at the mid to lower end of pricing for Sales Force Automation (SFA) Software as a Service (SaaS) offerings.


Again, there were only a few caution notes, including less flexible reporting options and the previously mentioned limited mobile capabilities.  If your organization needs to create complex reports, the on premise version which includes SQL Server Reporting Services is a better fit than Dynamics CRM Online.

If you’d like to learn more about Microsoft Dynamics CRM and how it can make your sales team more productive, please visit our website or contact us.

To see the full Gartner 2013 Magic Quadrant for Sales Force Automation report, click here.

By: Laura Heinbockel, Intelligent Technologies, Inc., A NC Dynamics CRM Partner


1 thought on “Sales Force Automation a Top Priority? Microsoft Dynamics Should be on Your CRM Short List”

  1. For successful CRM/SFA implementation it is important to select the CRM software that will not only support your current needs but also for future business objectives and needs.
    Some of the the large generic CRM solutions like and Microsoft Dynamics have lots of features, lots of capabilities. But a large portion of those features may not be exactly what Pharma industry could make use of. For unique business models, building own CRM is better. Many companies build their own CRM from scratch because they had very specific needs that couldn’t be met with Salesforce, Microsoft or any other Industry specific CRM.
    Thanks for sharing useful information.

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