Customer Relationship Management Blog

Sales Software Buyer Trends for 2014


In this article, we will be showcasing the highlights of Software Advice’s research findings on sales software buyer trends for 2014. 


Key findings:

  • A little over half of sales force automation (SFA) software buyers were evaluating SFA software for the first time, about 67 percent.
  • Biggest reasons for buyers to seek SFA software was to improve efficiency and organization
  • Among other features, contact and lead management were the most requested features, right ahead of email integration and sales reporting.
  • An overwhelming majority prefer cloud-based systems as opposed to on-premise solutions.
  • A good majority of potential buyers were small businesses, with 78 percent having 20 or less employees.


SFA Software First Timers

  • About 67 percent of the buyers were using non-specialized methods (pen and paper, spreadsheets, email clients, etc) to manage themselves.
  • Of the buyers already using existing software, 17 percent used customer relationship management (CRM), 8 percent used industry-specific software and 3 percent used CRM or SFA software developed in-house (proprietary).

Current Methods of Managing Sales Activities


 Contact and Lead Management: Top Requested Features of SFA

  • Overwhelming majority of buyers expected some form of contact management (93 percent), 65 percent requested some form of note-taking features in order to document interactions with contacts.
  • 53 percent expressed the need for lead management to help track opportunities.

Most Requested SFA Features


Cloud based SFA Software > On-Premise SFA

  • 96 percent of buyers requested for a cloud based SFA software while only a mere 4 percent asked to evaluate an on-premise solution.
    • This is consistent to that fact that most SFA buyers are small businesses; Web-based software is much more convenient, is cheaper and does not require expensive hardware installation.

Deployment Model Preference


Most SFA Buyers are Small or Midsize Businesses

  • About 78 percent of the buyers had 20 or fewer employees.
  • In terms of annual revenue, 59 percent of businesses made less than $1 million while only 7 percent generated over $25 million.

Number of Employees of Buyer’s Companies



Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce – Review and CRM Comparison

In this article, we compare and contrast the key differences between Microsoft Dynamics CRM and

With the latest revision of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, the race between Microsoft CRM and Salesforce has grown even tighter. If you are considering the investment into Salesforce CRM and you haven’t looked at Microsoft CRM, first consider the information below.

If you are a business that utilizes Microsoft Office applications, including Microsoft Outlook, choosing Microsoft Dynamics CRM over is a probably the way to go.

Here are the key differentiators that make Microsoft Dynamics CRM the better investment:

1) Value Matters CRM 5.0 TCO Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011

  • Microsoft CRM Online – $65/user/mo. – one version, includes everything
  • Salesforce Professional – $65/user/mo. (Very LIMITED functionality)
  • Salesforce Enterprise – $125/user/mo. (Salesforce most popular, and the only version that Compares to MS CRM 2013)
  • Salesforce Unlimited – $250/user/mo.

2) Hidden Costs – aka, the Salesforce Tax

  • MS CRM Online – $54/user/mo. – one version, includes everything
  • Salesforce – Data Storage (5GB) – $1,000/year
  • Salesforce – Mobile $50/user/mo.
  • Salesforce– Knowledge Base – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – Customer Portal – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – Partner Portal – extra $/user/mo.
  • Salesforce – They have no SLA available. Microsoft CRM has a 99.9% uptime, financially backed SLA.

3) Office Experience

  • MS Dynamics CRM Online is a true Microsoft Outlook application, not just a plugin
  • Salesforce is repealing Outlook features; for example, users can’t manage opportunities and leads anymore
  • Salesforce doesn’t have a concept of a fluid user interface for Leads –> Contacts –> Opportunities

4) Dashboards

  • Microsoft CRM inherits security and data privileges…Salesforce does not.
  • Microsoft CRM allows charts, lists, iFrames to be displayed…Salesforce only reports
  • Microsoft CRM dashboard data is real time…Salesforce has a lag of 30-60 minutes

Microsoft CRM allows for unlimited data refreshes. Salesforce limits refreshes.

Microsoft Dynamics CRM Dashboard

5) Inline Analytics

  • Microsoft CRM offers Inline Analytics…Salesforce does not have a parallel offering
  • Salesforce users must leave their task or process…open reports or dashboards..and hope that they don’t get distracted

6) One-Click Drill Down

  • Microsoft CRM Online reports offer One-Click drill down…Salesfoce does not have a parallel offering
  • Salesforce users can click on a static image of a chart to pull up the full report. From the full report they can drill down…7-15 clicks vs. 4 clicks with Microsoft CRM

7) User Interface Customizations

  • Microsoft CRM offers a new drag and drop capability for end users that is easy to user
  • Salesforce offers User Interface personalization…but users can’t revert changes
  • Salesforce personalization features are for power users and administrators only

Need to decrease the number of users? Salesforce does not allow the number of user subscriptions purchased to be decreased during the subscription term.

Now this does not mean that Salesforce is not a good solution but consider the above we do believe that Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013 is a much better investment, at a much lower cost for pretty much the same functionality.

Free On Demand Webinar: Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce

Join us for our free On-Demand Webinar (replay) as we explore the points outlined below – and hope to provide you valuable insight about this top-rated CRM solution. We hope that our comparison with will help you on in your CRM evaluation.

What Mobile Express Does and Doesn’t Do

Admin Tips for MS Dynamics CRM Mobile Express


This document provides information about the installation, configuration, and management of Mobile Express.

This document has been written for IT professionals who are responsible for deploying server-side components into their Microsoft Dynamics CRM environments and who need to know the procedures to follow in order to successfully implement Mobile Express. This document also provides additional information for system administrators who need to know how to customize their users’ Mobile Express views.

This article focuses on the deployment of Mobile Express and assumes that you either already have a functioning Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment or will be installing Mobile Express at the same time as a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM system.

To install Mobile Express, you must have administrator permissions on your Microsoft Dynamics CRM server. To configure Mobile Express, you must have the System Administrator or System Customizer security role.

The ability for Mobile Express to access information through the Internet depends on your Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment being configured as an Internet-facing deployment (IFD). If your current system is not exposed to the Internet, users will be limited to accessing Mobile Express from within your corporate network.



What Mobile Express DOES do:

Mobile Express is a new feature in Microsoft Dynamics CRM that lets your users access CRM data and capabilities from a mobile device. Mobile Express runs in a mobile Web browser, such as Internet Explorer Mobile or Safari, on a Web-enabled mobile device. Because Mobile Express lets users stay connected remotely, they can access and use Microsoft Dynamics CRM when they are in the office, travelling, or at a customer location.

Mobile Express works well for:

  • Occasional access to your organization’s Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment.
  • Always-connected environments.
  • High-speed networks.
  • Completing a broad range of common CRM tasks.

What Mobile Express does NOT do:

A few things to note that Mobile Express does not do:

  • Mobile Express is not a smart client and does not store data locally; it is mobile Web browser-based and users must have an Internet or intranet connection to access customer information. There is no locally stored data option for offline use.
  • Mobile Express does not synchronize. Changes you make to your Microsoft Dynamics CRM environment through Mobile Express are immediately stored in the CRM database.

Dynamics CRM 2011 Evaluation

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 - Free Analysis PDFClick here to access and download our Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Analysis.

Topics addressed include:

  1. vs Microsoft CRM
  2. Pros and Cons of SaaS vs On-premise CRM
  3. Crucial User Adoption Factors
  4. Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft CRM

Free TCO Price Calculator for CRM Projects

Free CRM TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Calculator ToolClick here to access and download our Free CRM TCO Calculator Tool.

With this tool, you will be able to identify the key TCO line items that are relevant for any CRM implementation. We have also included data for comparing CRM software systems such as Microsoft CRM,, SugarCRM, Sage CRM, Sage SalesLogix and more. You will be able to view the 3 Year and 5 Year Total Cost of Ownership for both SaaS (Online/On-Demand) and Licensed (On-premise) pricing models.

TCO line items include:

  1. Annual License/User price
  2. Support
  3. Hardware (incl. Server and Users)
  4. Implementation
  5. Staff
  6. Network
  7. Mobile
  8. and much more.

Free CRM Tool to Compare Software Systems

Free Excel CRM Comparison Tool - Comparing 10 of the Top CRM SolutionsClick here to access and download our Free Excel CRM Comparison Tool.

With this tool, you will be able to identify the key similarilites and differences between 9 of the top CRM systems, including Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Sage SalesLogix, GoldMine, Sage ACT!, Pivotal and more.

Comparison Topics include:

  1. Key CRM Features
  2. Pricing (Licensing, etc..)
  3. Available Modules (e.g. SFA, Marketing, Service, etc)
  4. Feature Details (Sync, Call Center, Quoting, E-commerce, Lead Management, Security, Workflow, and much more.
  5. Hardware and Network support (Microsoft, Linux, etc…)
  6. Industry/NAICS

Microsoft CRM 2011 Review Webinars

Join us for our webinar series as we explore the points outlined below – and hope to provide you valuable insight about this top-rated CRM solution. We hope that our comparison with will help you on in your CRM evaluation.

Recorded Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 Webinars registration


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