The time has come for the #1 Simple-to-Use and Free CRM on the Microsoft Power Platform to go head-to-head with its enormous cousin, Dynamics 365.
An Overview of the Dynamics 365 Landscape
Dynamics 365 is a Microsoft Brand name for a family of Business Applications, including solutions for the following:
- Supply Chain
These products fall into two large buckets, either CRM or ERP.
Microsoft has attempted to move away from these acronyms, which makes sense to keep from being “shoe-boxed”, but it has complicated things for those familiar with them. We will be focusing on the core CRM Sales and Service capabilities.
Many Elephants in the Room
The main comparison everybody wants to know before digging any deeper is cost. The following is from the current release of Microsoft’s 61-page Dynamics 365 Licensing Guide.
Let’s review the Enterprise pricing first.
This is not really a comparison to RapidStart CRM, as these apps target the largest customers. If you are not a thousand-plus user organization, these apps will probably be too big for you. So, if that’s true, why do so many smaller customers have these? Dynamics 365 sellers, both internal sellers and external partners, are financially motivated to sell these higher-priced licenses. They will definitely start with these offers, regardless of who they are talking to, and if not successful, will bring up the lower-cost SMB offers below.
BTW, you have to scroll all the way down to the bottom of the pricing page to see these.
Okay, this makes more sense. Sales Professional (which is a feature-limited version of Enterprise Sales) is $65/PUPM. Customer Service Professional (which is a feature-limited version of Customer Service Enterprise) is $50/PUPM. You can combine them for an additional $20/PUPM. So, Sales AND Service costs $85/PUPM.
Since RapidStart CRM includes both Sales AND Service, we will compare it to Dynamics 365 Sales Professional with Dynamics 365 Customer Service Professional added.
The RapidStart CRM App is free, and it runs on the Microsoft Power App Per-App Plan licensing, which is $5/PUPM.
So, for the cost comparison, RapidStart CRM is the clear winner at 6% of the cost of Microsoft’s Dynamics 365 Professional offer.
You might assume that for 1600% more money, the $85 Dynamics 365 Professional Sales and Service combo path would provide much more than the $5 RapidStart CRM path. The answer is: Not really! Unless you think more complexity is “more”.
Both paths provide for managing prospective clients (called Leads in Dynamics 365 and Prospects in RapidStart CRM). They both have a guided sales process for these and a Qualify capability to convert them into customers.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM allow you to manage existing Accounts and Contacts in the same ways.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM allow you to create and track Opportunities for Accounts and Contacts. They both have a guided sales process for these and a method for marking Won or Lost.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM allow you to create and track Cases for Accounts and Contacts. They both have a guided resolution process for these and a method for marking resolved.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM include a Settings app to perform essential administrative functions without going elsewhere.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM include Dashboards for Sales and Service metrics and activities.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM have the same AI feature capacity.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM are “Power Apps” built atop Microsoft’s Dataverse.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM will work the same with these other Microsoft Power Platform products: Power Automate and its 650+ Connectors, Power BI, Power Virtual Agents, Power Apps, and the newly reintroduced Power Pages.
So, for comparison of the above features, we have it as a tie.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM utilize the same model-driven app user interface over Dataverse; however, RapidStart CRM has simplified the UI to make things much easier for users to understand.
Both Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM allow for using the Outlook App and being embedded in Microsoft Teams.
So, we’ll give ourselves the edge for comparison of the User Interface since RapidStart CRM is significantly easier to use.
RapidStart CRM is entirely open, customizable, and extendable.
The Dynamics 365 Professional apps have limited customization capabilities. To reach the same level of Customization available to RapidStart CRM, you would need the Dynamics 365 “Enterprise” licensing to unlock everything, which for Sales and Service would cost $115/PUPM.
For Dynamics 365 Professional, the following are not included: Competitor tracking, Customization or extending out-of-the-box reports, charts and dashboards, Knowledge base, Embedded AI, Forecasting, Sales Goals, Product families/hierarchies, Product relationships, Business card scanning, Sales Literature, Territories, Sales Teams, Email Engagement, Predictive Forecasting, and Relationship analytics.
Dynamics 365 Professional also has some limitations, including a maximum of 15 custom tables, 5 Business Processes, 5 custom reports or charts or dashboards, and 2 custom forms or views. RapidStart CRM does not have any of these limitations!
So, for comparison of the customizability, RapidStart CRM is again the clear winner.
RapidStart CRM includes our unique Record Hashtagging system and our Quick Steps feature.
Dynamics 365 Professional includes a Product Catalog, Quotes, Orders, and Invoices. Most RapidStart CRM customers use other systems for these items, so they are not part of RapidStart CRM. However, since RapidStart CRM is entirely customizable, these things could be created and still utilize the $5 license.
So, it looks like a wash to us for the comparison of the Unique Features.
Since both RapidStart CRM and Dynamics 365 Professional are built on Dataverse, each has many addon solutions available directly or in AppSource to extend their capabilities. Not all available addons will work for both products.
Microsoft offers “Project Operations” for Project Management. It is not clear from the documentation if this will work together with Dynamics 365 Professional. However, if it does work, the license cost for Sales Professional, Service Professional, and Project Operations combined would cost $180/PUPM.
RapidStart CRM offers the Project Management Addon for RapidStart CRM for $10/PUPM. This addon shares many features with the same goals as Dynamics 365 Project Operations.
Microsoft offers “Field Service” for Field Service Management. It is not clear from the documentation if this will work together with Dynamics 365 Professional. However, if it does work, the license cost for Sales Professional, Service Professional, and Field Service combined would cost $135/PUPM.
RapidStart CRM offers the Field Service Addon for RapidStart CRM for $10/PUPM. This addon shares many features with the same goals as Dynamics 365 Field Service.
Microsoft does not offer a specific app for Time Tracking; however, Project Operations includes some Time Tracking capabilities for Projects.
RapidStart CRM offers the Time Sheets Addon for RapidStart CRM for $5/PUPM. This addon allows users to track time across all RapidStart CRM core objects and can be extended to include any custom objects. It produces reports for both billable hours for invoicing and Time Sheets for payroll systems.
CSAT and Surveys
Microsoft Offers Customer Voice for creating CSATs and Surveys. The Enterprise licensing includes 2,000 responses a month; however, the Dynamics 365 Professional Licensing does not include any. You can purchase 2,000 responses (the minimum) for $200/Month/Tenant.
RapidStart CRM offers the CSAT Addon for RapidStart CRM for free. While not as robust as Customer Voice, it allows you to create unlimited CSAT signatures and collect unlimited responses.
Microsoft Offers Customer Voice for creating Surveys that can be embedded into a website. The Enterprise licensing includes 2,000 responses a month; however, the Dynamics 365 Professional Licensing does not include any. You can purchase 2,000 responses (the minimum) for $200/Month/Tenant.
RapidStart CRM offers the Web Contact Form Addon for RapidStart CRM for free. While not as robust as Customer Voice, it allows you to create unlimited contact forms for embedding to your website and collect unlimited responses.
Dynamics 365 Professional excludes Competitor Tracking, it is only available for Dynamics 365 Enterprise.
RapidStart CRM offers the Competitor Tracking Addon for RapidStart CRM for free.
Microsoft has created several Industry Accelerators available on GitHub. Most of these Accelerators will work the same with Dynamics 365 Professional and RapidStart CRM.
So, for comparison of Addons, it is pretty obvious that RapidStart CRM blows Dynamics 365 Professional out of the water.
We feel we have made a pretty strong case for RapidStart CRM over Dynamics 365 Professional in this showdown. Dynamics 365 Professional is obviously not better than RapidStart CRM, it just costs 1,600% more, is not as customizable, and any extra capability addons are going to dramatically increase the cost of Dynamics 365 Professional. Over 90,000 users have also agreed with this assessment!
You can take an AI-guided Test Drive of RapidStart CRM from AppSource here.
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