5 Top-Recommended Alternatives to Microsoft Dynamics 365 for CRM

by:
on August 7, 2019

Microsoft Dynamics 365, formerly known as Microsoft Dynamics CRM, is a cloud-based tool that supports customer relationship management (CRM), sales, and marketing functions. It can track customer interactions, identify and nurture leads, as well as run multichannel campaigns.

The tool offers Android and iOS apps and is suitable for primarily large businesses and enterprises. In addition to CRM, Microsoft Dynamics 365 also offers enterprise resource planning (ERP) features such as field service, operations, finance, and human resources.

If you’re a small or midsize business (SMB) considering the Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM software because it’s used by your peers and competitors, think twice. The alternatives to this software could be cheaper and far less complex to use.

We prepared this guide of the top five user-recommended Microsoft Dynamics 365 alternatives to help you find the right CRM solution. The guide focuses on customer service, sales, and marketing features, instead of a tool’s extra capabilities such as ERP.

Comparison table of the top 5 Microsoft Dynamics 365 alternatives

BizAutomation Cloud ERP

BizAutomation, like Microsoft Dynamics 365, is a cloud-based automation solution. One of its key offerings is a CRM-only module that automates sales and marketing, manages customer and partner relationships, and provides analytics on these functions.

The software is suitable only for small businesses with up to 100 employees.

Other than the core CRM features, BizAutomation also offers the following:

  • Automated follow-ups: Set automated follow-up reminders. The tool will send prescripted emails to your customers/partners on the day of the follow-up and update you if and when they respond.
  • Customizable workflows: Change the workflow based on how your team likes to do things. This is especially helpful for teams that need high flexibility in their processes.

We analyzed user reviews of BizAutomation to understand what users like and the areas where they think it needs some improvements.

What users liked:

  • Ease of use because of the solution’s user-friendly interface.
  • Ability to customize the dashboards and workflows.

What users would like to see:

  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android devices so that the contacts and calendars on their laptops can be synced with users’ phones.
  • Support for different file types when importing data. Users reported challenges in converting their data to BizAutomation’s format.
  • A detailed knowledge base, so that users can resolve small and/or frequent issues without having to contact customer support all the time.

bpm’online CRM

bpm’online is a CRM tool that offers sales, marketing, and customer service modules. Its full CRM suite offers most of the core functionalities that are in Microsoft Dynamics 365 as well. However, if your business doesn’t need the whole suite, you can buy the standalone modules for sales, marketing, and customer service.

The solution is suited for midsize and large businesses

Some of bpm’online’s key offering include the following:

  • Website behavior tracking: Track a visitor’s entire journey on your website and analyze their behavior. Use this data to create both triggered and targeted campaigns, or simply reference it in an ongoing conversation with the customer to increase the chances of conversion.
  • Corporate social network: Use your internal social network to collaborate across teams and address customer issues as well as solve tickets. Your salespeople will be able to send and receive personal messages as well.

We analyzed user reviews of bpm’online CRM to understand what users like and a few areas where they think it needs some improvements.

What users liked:

  • The “problem management” feature that ties together similar customer tickets and cases into one issue, and lets managers assign an agent to resolve it. Users said that this saves time and resources, compared with earlier when different agents had to individually resolve each customer complaint.
  • The solution’s short learning curve. Users reported that the software is easy to use and let them customize it to their specific needs and goals.

What users want to see:

  • A greater number of customization capabilities in the design features and templates to enhance the visual appeal of emails. Users reported that the current design features are limited.
  • An easier-to-use process wizard for non-technical users that lets them create custom processes and reports. Users said that building custom processes can be complicated and required hiring the third-party developers recommended by the vendor.

Commence CRM

Commence CRM is a cloud-based solution that also offers core sales, marketing, and customer service functionalities. It tracks and manages leads and sales, automates email and social media marketing, and streamlines customer support tasks. Its real-time interactive dashboard lets you manage tickets and generate detailed, multilevel reports.

Commence CRM doesn’t offer some of the advanced CRM capabilities that Microsoft Dynamics 365 does such as automated customer insights and activity control tracking. However, it can meet most CRM needs of SMBs. It also offers Android and iOS mobile apps.

Here are some of key features of Commence CRM software:

  • Self-service portal for customers: Create password-protected, self-service portals for customers that feature a knowledge base and FAQs. They can also raise new tickets on the portal and track older tickets.
  • Social media-style internal chat: Use the tool’s Twitter-like feature, called “Conversations”, to connect and collaborate with team members. You can set up groups to follow, send messages, and get instant alerts when you receive a message.

We analyzed user reviews of Commence CRM to understand what users like and the areas where they think it needs some improvements.

What users liked:

  • The ability to customize and modify the tool as it doesn’t require a lot of technical expertise. Users could configure most changes themselves or with the help of guides and training videos.
  • Unlimited custom fields for each customer and prospect that are better than predefined forms. Users could easily capture and prioritize the relevant information for each customer and lead.

What users would to see:

  • Greater flexibility in formatting when making notes in an account such as to change fonts and text sizes or make the text bold, italics, and underlined.
  • A shorter learning curve when implementing and even upgrading the tool. Users said it takes a while to get used to the tool before they are able to understand and adapt to the functionalities.

HubSpot CRM

HubSpot CRM is a cloud-based, free solution that supports the core and common needs of your sales, marketing, and service functions. It offers a real-time view of your sales funnel on a visual dashboard and helps you automatically track customer interactions on email, social media, and phone calls.

HubSpot CRM can also be used to create and manage email marketing campaigns. The solution is suitable for SMBs.

Its key features include the following:

  • Live chat: Talk to your website visitors, prospects, and customers. The tool automatically routes chat inquiries to the services team and the leads to the sales team.
  • Universal inbox: Sales, marketing, and customer service teams can view, manage, and reply to all conversations from one place. The tool also stores chats within the universal inbox and gives users a contextual understanding of ongoing conversations with customers and leads.

After analyzing user reviews of HubSpot CRM, here’s what users like about the tool and some improvements it needs.

What users liked:

  • Ease of adding users and giving them specific permissions. Users noted that setting up reminders for follow-ups was quick and effortless.
  • The extensive knowledge base that offers tips and tricks about using the solution as well as understanding its applications and best practices.

What users want to see:

  • A shorter learning curve when first adopting HubSpot CRM. Users reported that its extensive capabilities took a while to understand.
  • Ability to assign more than one owner per contact.

Nethunt CRM

Nethunt CRM is a cloud-based CRM solution that integrates with Gmail to function from within the inbox, eliminating the need to switch to and from the CRM software. It offers sales, marketing, and customer service functionalities.

The solution is suitable for SMBs.

In addition to email tracking, follow-up, a 360-degree view of interactions, permission management, and client management, Nethunt CRM offers the following features:

  • Extensive customization capabilities: Adjust every aspect of the CRM as per your need, including what appears on your dashboard, in the fields within the client profiles, and for users with restricted permissions.
  • Google Drive sync: Syncs with Google Drive, so that files uploaded in the CRM records are automatically placed in matching Google Drive folders.

We analyzed user reviews of Nethunt CRM to understand what users like and the areas where they think it needs some improvements.

What users liked:

  • The ease of switching between the desktop and mobile platforms as the software was always consistent.
  • The flexibility and customizability, which is especially helpful when supporting multiple processes in sales, marketing and/or customer service.

What users want to see:

  • Support for browsers other than Chrome—Nethunt CRM only functions on Google Chrome.
  • Upgrades to the user interface to enhance the look and feel of the tool.

Next steps

Before purchasing Microsoft Dynamics 365, we recommend that you explore the alternatives we’ve listed here. Compare the features and deployment options of each tool before choosing one for your business. You can also check out user reviews on our website to get better insights into the user experience of these solutions.

Get additional information and read user reviews for each of these solutions here:

You could also compare other CRM solutions on Software Advice.

For more resources, check out our CRM FrontRunners quadrant to see the list of top-performing CRM products in the market. If you are interested in getting personalized assistance, reach out to our CRM advisors at (844) 680-2046 for a free phone consultation.

NOTE: The content in this piece that provides opinions and points of view expressed by users. It does not represent the views of Software Advice.

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