Microsoft Dynamics 365

Business Central vs MS Dynamics 365 Sales

Jessica Compton,

February 6th, 2022

6 min read

We frequently get questions from prospects about options for CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solutions. The Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications can be confusing and deciphering which one is the best fit for your business can be a tricky task. One area which causes confusion, in particular, is the difference between the Sales capabilities of Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and MS Dynamics 365 for Sales, and which one a business might need.

In this blog, we will start with an overview of both products, a comparison of the two, and when a business might use one as opposed to the other. Business Central vs Sales Application

What is Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and MS Dynamics 365 Sales?

Business Central is Microsoft’s cloud-based ERP offering, suitable for small and mid-size organisations who are looking to upgrade their entry-level accounting software or legacy ERP system to one single, comprehensive solution. Dynamics 365 Business Central is designed to help businesses manage their financials, manufacturing, projects, inventory management, shipping and more. Within Business Central, there is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) functionality to help support sales teams, however, this is basic and limited in comparison with specific CRM systems.

The Dynamics 365 Sales Application is a cloud-based CRM solution, purposely designed and built to support sales teams, and sits on the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Platform. The solution allows businesses to qualify leads, manage sales opportunities, build relationships, structure and automate elements of the sales process and more. Both Business Central and MS Dynamics 365 Sales are two separate products and must be purchased and licensed individually, although they can be integrated using a standard connector. However, there are similar CRM capabilities in both, which has caused some confusion around what solution is the most suitable for a business.  

Should I use Business Central or D365 Sales Application as a CRM Solution?

The CRM capabilities within Dynamics 365 Business Central are fairly limited in comparison to MS Dynamics 365 Sales. Whilst this option may be enough for some companies’ contact and opportunity management needs, those looking for an end-to-end, purpose-built CRM solution, may not be satisfied with this. The basic sales management features within Business Central include:

  • Contact Management
  • Opportunity Management
  • Account Management
  • Quote & Order Management
  • Campaigns & Segments

If we compare this to Dynamics 365 Sales, which is built as a CRM solution, the capabilities are much more extensive and are a better choice for companies who are looking for the above features and more.

Below are some reasons why the Dynamics 365 Sales Application makes a better choice for CRM: 

Flexibility to customise the platform

MS Dynamics 365 Sales is built on the Dynamics 365 platform and therefore makes it easy to customise to support a diverse range of needs and processes. Should your business want to build, extend current process or create new ones, the solution can be easily configured to fit around you. Business central is not as simple to customise as D365 Sales and therefore the development costs may be higher if customisation is required. 

Marketing automation functionality

Marketing Automation tools such as ClickDimensions, Dot Mailer, MailChimp, to name but a few, are either integrated or work natively with Dynamics 365 Sales. Having all your customer data in one place eases the segmentation of data and therefore results in more powerful, targeted marketing. Another benefit of working within one platform is it is easy to link up your website and track customer journeys, providing you with more insights into how your prospects consume information, and making your marketing efforts more effective. 

Ability to leverage other Dynamics 365 applications such as Customer Service, Field Service, etc

Companies who adopt MS Dynamics 365 Sales and have other areas of the business related to Customer Service, Field Service (Technicians) and project management can easily adopt the other apps in the Dynamics range whilst using the same platform and having all the data in one place. 

Account Management capabilities such as tracking activities

The Dynamics 365 Sales Application can easily track activities such as emails, tasks, phone calls, and appointments which gives a holistic view of customers and contacts making account management and business development easier. 

Telephony integration

There are many telephony solutions that work with MS Dynamics 365 Sales (8×8, Gamma Horizon etc). These solutions provide excellent functionality such as auto-tracking activities, screen pop-up call-ins and call recordings, enabling businesses to get a single truth of the customer and track all correspondence. 

Microsoft 365 integration, Outlook, SharePoint, Microsoft Teams

MS Dynamics 365 Sales has a strong integration to many products in the Microsoft 365 suite (previously Office 365); SharePoint for document management, Teams for collaboration and modern ways of communication between departments, Outlook for productivity and organisation such as tasks, emails and appointments, Word and Excel for templates, etc. Find out more here: Microsoft 365 + Dynamics 365: The Perfect Pairing [Blog Post]

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Microsoft have invested heavily in Sales AI to help Sales teams become more efficient and effective. Tools like Relationship Assistant are designed for D365 Sales and are supporting teams to build better relationships and in turn sell more. 

To learn more about Dynamics 365 Sales, take a look at our webpage which provides further details around the benefits and features of the application.

Any Questions?

Within this blog we have only covered a brief overview of the features available within both solutions. However, hopefully, we have provided enough details to help you work out the solution which is the best fit for your business.   If you have any questions about Business Central or MS Dynamics 365 Sales or are unsure which would work best for you, please get in touch and we can answer any queries.  You can fill out the contact form and a member of our team will be in touch shortly, or if you’d prefer, call us on 01908 038110. 

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