Customer Relationship Management Blog

Microsoft CRM vs Salesforce – Review and CRM Comparison

Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs Salesforce: Compare the differences

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.

CRM Adoption Best Practices & Implementation Keys

In my personal experience as a CRM consultant, the question of end user adoption comes down to 4 simple matters – and most of these are “management issues” rather than “system issues“. In this article we cover several CRM best practices – adoption oriented.


If your upper management isn’t using the system or doesn’t understand it, then I would say they dont’ really care about it. And this perception will be felt throughout the user base. The last thing you want is for users to feel like the CRM is simply an accountability system or only for the pawns of the company.


People need to get over the usage hump immediately. Don’t wait one or two weeks. Bottom line, this is change, and it is definitely uncomfortable. If you let down your expectations at the beginning, then forget about your success! At the beginning they have gone through training and it is somewhat fresh in their minds. If they don’t implement the knowledge immediately, then they will forget it within a few days.


This goes hand in hand with the above point. If you aren’t willing to ruffle some feathers, then kiss your investment goodbye. This is particularly challenging when it comes to employees with longevity, especially successful sales reps. They feel like they don’t need to use the system. And you are scared to make them upset. Keep in mind that if you allow those exceptions, then the other users will also find a way to use the system less than needed. I guarantee you that your CRM project will fail if you like being Mr. Nice Guy.


You can easily create some usage reports. KPIs can include the following:

  • - Who is entering the most/least activities?
  • - Who is entering the most/least new records?
  • - Who is logging the most/least histories or notes?
  • - etc…

You get the picture. Create some simple KPI’s and look at them each week. If you like, you can even automate a report that will get emailed to the users – showing them who is and is not really using the system. There is power in peer pressure.

But these KPI reports are not just useful for accountability. They, more importantly, reveal areas where the users do not feel comfortable with the system. This provides an excellent opportunity to do refresher trainings. We recommend weekly refreshers at the beginning of each CRM implementation. Keep these refreshers focused on the areas of the system that employees are not really using. Ask them if why they aren’t using these functions. You might be surprised at their answers! Then you can launch into your explanation.

Video – CRM Best Practices - Adoption Strategy

Bonus: Free Microsoft CRM Evaluation

Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2011 - Free Analysis PDFClick here to download our Free Microsoft Dynamics CRM 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 Calculator for CRM Projects

Free CRM TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) Calculator ToolClick here to access 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 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 Bonus Excel Tool to Compare CRM Systems

Free Excel CRM Comparison Tool - Comparing 10 of the Top CRM SolutionsClick here to 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 Dynamics CRM 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

ACT to SugarCRM Migration-Tools and Services






ACT to SugarCRM – Migration Tools & Services

Accent Gold has experienced professionals with dozens of years of experience in data migration. We’ve worked with ACT, Goldmine, SugarCRM, Microsoft CRM, SalesLogix and more. And we will make sure that your data is brought over properly. This allows you to focus on your business processes while we focus on getting your data imported successfully into SugarCRM. Our aim is to provide you the best possible options during your ACT to SugarCRM migration.

Our highly experienced team of consultants and developers is able to migrate just about any data imaginable from ACT to SugarCRM. We are pros at both systems. We have used both systems internally. We understand the nuances of both systems.

We CAN get your data out of ACT.

And we CAN get that data into SugarCRM.

Typical conversions don’t include converting ACT Email histories to Sugar Email histories. We CAN do it.

Typical conversions don’t include converting ACT dynamic Groups into Sugar. We CAN do it.

We are experts at both ACT data structures as well as Sugar data structures. If you need it converted, we CAN do it.

We’ve done it for many customers and can do it for you!

Complex ACT! Data Migration Tasks are Covered

Accent Gold has the tools and the know how to extract your data properly from ACT!, clean up your data and then map the fields to the proper modules in SugarCRM. Existing fields and drop-downs can be kept in place so that your CRM users can easily reference crucial information from past interactions.  ACT! Users/Record Managers will be mapped to the proper SugarCRM owner.

What to Watch out for when Migrating to SugarCRM

The database structures of ACT and Sugar are very similar, but are not 100% alike. For example, Sugar’s Meetings, Tasks and Calls are contained in 3 different modules while ACT activities are all within one individual module. So when we grab the data, we need to parse it properly.

Different versions of ACT respond in different ways

When we extract data from ACT, we use various tools and methods depending on the version. We are able to extract data from the following versions of ACT:

  • •ACT! 4
  • •ACT! 5
  • •ACT! 6
  • •ACT! 7 (ACT! 2005)
  • •ACT! 8 (ACT! 2006)
  • •ACT! 9 (ACT! 2007)
  • •ACT! 10 (ACT! 2008)
  • •ACT! 11 (ACT! 2009)
  • •ACT! 12 (ACT! 2010)
  • •ACT! 13 (ACT! 2011)
  • •ACT! 14 (ACT! 2012)
  • •ACT! 15 (ACT! 2013)
  • •ACT! 16 (ACT! 2014)

Modules that can be migrated from ACT! to SugarCRM

In the end almost any module can typically be migrated from ACT! to SugarCRM. The most popular modules are clearly covered: Accounts/Companies, Contacts, Sales Opportunties, Calls, Meetings, To-Dos/Tasks, Notes, Histories. Please call us if you have any questions — (310) 645-0006.

Considering Microsoft Dynamics CRM 2013?

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

Issues addressed:

  1. Brand new CRM 2013 User Interface – Process oriented.
  2. Pros and Cons of SaaS vs On-premise CRM
  3. Crucial User Adoption Factors
  4. Total Cost of Ownership of Microsoft CRM

Considering SugarCRM?

Sugar CRM 6 - Free CRM Assessment PDFClick here to access our Free Sugar CRM Evaluation Guide

With this, you will be able to view the major improvements inside Sugar CRM.

Topics include:

  1. SugarCRM 7 User Interface. Amazingly simple and useful.
  2. Calculated Fields
  3. Favorites and Favorites Dashlet
  4. Twitter and Social Media integration
  5. Sugar Mobile details
  6. and much more.

Considering ACT!

Sage ACT! Premium 2012 - Free Feature Review and Assessment PDFClick here to download our Free Sage ACT! Feature Review.

With this, you will be able to identify the key improvements within ACT!.

Items addressed include:

  1. User interface enhancements
  2. Social Media
  3. E-Marketing, Mail-Merge and Online Surveys
  4. Sales Opportunity redesign
  5. Advanced Outlook Sync for Contacts and Calendar
  6. Simplified Importing design
  7. Smart Tasks (Workflow)
  8. and much more.