There are several different Dynamics 365 solutions—sometimes referred to as modules or applications—that meet varying CRM business needs. Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing provide integrated tool sets that serve each department’s core responsibilities, and they have some overlapping functionality.
All three can share a single database and user interface. However, there are important differences between them. Here’s a quick comparison table.
Mass comms to contact groups
Ensuring consistent quality with sales playbooks
Outlook integration for increased adoption
Predictive alerts and reminders to salespeople
Mass automated emails to leads and contacts with branch logic
Tracking activities and initiatives to actual revenue
Full-scale event management including cost/gain analysis
Predictive knowledge base for users and customers
SLA and entitlement management
Customer satisfaction surveys and remediation
Note: Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing are three of the five different Dynamics 365 apps that serve various CRM needs. In some contexts, you may also see those products referred to as “Customer Engagement” or “CE” apps.
Key Differences Between Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing
The most obvious difference is that D365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing each focus on the needs of the department in their name. But there’s a lot more complexity than that.
- Dynamics 365 Sales centers on the efficacy and speed of the sales pipeline with elegant sales process and communication management, including AI-generated reminders, forecasting, and automations.
- Dynamics 365 Customer Service focuses on improving customer support and fulfilment, including full-scale case and queue management, predictive models, and self-service tools.
- Dynamics 365 Marketing concentrates on proving success against spend by fully integrating lead channels, tracking revenue paths, and providing both predictive and actual reporting.
Your company can use one of these solutions as a standalone, or two or more of them together. And all of them work together with the Microsoft 365 office suite.
To decide which solutions are best for you, it’s essential that you examine your company’s current line of business solutions, look carefully at your unmet business requirements, and work with an experienced Dynamics Partner like Encore.
How Do Sales, Marketing, and Customer Service Fit into Dynamics 365 as a Whole?
Dynamics 365 is a suite of ERP and CRM applications that work as components that can be integrated to provide company-wide solutions for both the SMB and enterprise business sectors.
Though there are many other D365 solutions, Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing are the three core solutions that focus on traditional aspects of Customer Relationship Management.
These three solutions all speak the same inherent language, because they are built on Microsoft’s Dataverse, which uses a standardized system of data tables and relationships. So these solutions share data seamlessly together if your business uses more than one.
For more info about Dynamics 365 in general, read “What Is Dynamics 365?”
Differences in Pricing Between Dynamics 365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing
The biggest difference in pricing between D365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing, is that Marketing is priced per tenant, whereas Sales and Customer Service are priced per user.
It’s also important to note that, for both Sales and Customer Service there are different license levels (“Professional” and “Enterprise”) that correspond to the depth of use and scope of functionality. Here’s a quick summary table:
Microsoft AI Assistant
Product relationships and hierarchies
Business card scanner
Labor management and forecasting
Case and queue management
Scheduling Assistant (schedule and dispatch)
Unified service desk
There is also substantially reduced “attach” license pricing for users accessing more than one Dynamics 365 solution.
For deeper details and advice on how to get the best license structure for your business, speak with a Dynamics CRM solutions partner.
Dynamics 365 Marketing Pricing
Unlike D365 Sales and Customer Service, Marketing is priced per tenant: starting at $1,500/tenant/month USD ($1,920 CAD).
Pricing levels for D365 Marketing largely rely on the total number of contacts that your company markets to and tracks. Note that every person you include in any email send gets counted as a marketing contact for this purpose.
The base price for a standalone D365 Marketing system includes 10,000 Contacts. Adding more contacts will result in additional monthly fees.
You can purchase “packs” of 5,000 additional contacts for $250/pack/month USD ($320/pack/month CAD). Beyond 50,000 total contacts, there are changes to the pack size and price.
Use Cases for D365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing
You might think that the difference in use cases is simple, given the names of the three solutions. However, each of the D365 apps can be used to manage a wide range of relationships and functionalities.
Sales can be used for tracking all communications and activities between individual salespeople and customers (or even donors) as well as provide gated sales process tools for operational consistency. The sales pipeline not only displays actual and anticipated revenue, but also triggers automations, notifications, and activities to ensure the forecast is met.
Customer Service is more useful for identifying operational efficiencies that improve both customer and employee satisfaction, as well as reduce overhead with comprehensive and easily managed self-serve tools. Customer Service is also often useful for managing membership organizations like co-ops or professional associations.
And, rounding out this trio, Marketing is used for strategic integrated marketing management including targeted communications, customer journeys, brand consistency, and success metrics across all channels. Advanced intelligence tools offer live KPI performance tracking, goal progression, and trend comparisons.
(If you’re interested in learning about another, lighter marketing solution that still integrates well with Dynamics 365, read Dynamics 365 Marketing vs ClickDimensions.)
Overlaps in Functionality
While all three solutions contain and rely on the same base utilities of Accounts, Contacts, and Activity management, each is highly focused on the unique business requirements of each department.
The small overlaps that exist serve two purposes:
- To allow some or all of these applications to work together as one completely cohesive system if more than one solution is needed.
- To ensure that basic necessary functionality like sending sales emails to many contacts in a trackable way or monitoring the progress of a communication process is not withheld from any solution.
All three solutions can send emails to groups of people, although the return metrics vary between the systems. They can also both track and visualize all activities and communications between your users and the outside world.
They all have powerful reporting tools that surface actuals, forecasts, and trends, and they all work with Microsoft AI, Power BI, and the rest of the Power Platform to create not only interactive visualizations, but the automations that keep overhead down and customer satisfaction high.
Differences in Functionality Between D365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing
The biggest difference in functionality between D365 Sales, Customer Service, and Marketing has to do with the additional components required based on how users and customers are engaged with.
For instance, Sales also uses Leads and Opportunities to work and manage the revenue pipeline. Customer Service, however, relies on Cases and Queues to complete service requests and handle support issues. Marketing depends on Customer Journeys, Marketing Emails, and Events to keep campaigns in motion and data quality high.
Is D365 Sales, Marketing, or Customer Service Right for My Business?
Because the entire D365 suite is so flexible and extensible, it can be hard to know which solutions are best for your business. Furthermore, many businesses benefit from having 2 or more Dynamics 365 solutions.
In general, we find that D365 Sales is the most used solution.
Customer Service is often added on alongside Sales to nurture ongoing relationships once customers are acquired. Customer Service is especially relevant if you are a membership or customer relationship-based organization, and you find that your customer service team is struggling with consistent quality.
D365 Marketing is a great solution for companies who are investing in growth via marketing, want to automate repetitive tasks to free up the marketing team for more creative and strategic work, and have a strong sense of brand identity. D365 Sales and Marketing are often combined to create a clean hand-off of valuable data about each customer.
In order to get a clearer picture of your needs and opportunities with this technology, you should talk with a Dynamics Partner like Encore. If you are ready to discuss specific advice for your company around Dynamics 365, please contact us.
- What Is Dynamics 365 Sales?
- What Is Dynamics 365 Marketing?
- What Is Dynamics 365 Customer Service?
- D365 Marketing vs ClickDimensions
- D365 Field Service vs Customer Service
* Please note that all pricing is subject to change without notice. Based on the contract commitment, the per user per month price may differ from the price listed below. Always contact Encore for the most current product pricing.
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