Sales POP - Purveyors of Propserity
Microsoft Embraces Salesforce: Top Experts Weigh In on What It Means for Enterprise CRM
Blog / All About CRM / Jun 3, 2014 / Posted by Alyson Stone / 573 

Microsoft Embraces Salesforce: Top Experts Weigh In on What It Means for Enterprise CRM

Considering the long rivalry between Salesforce and Microsoft, last week’s announcement of a long-term partnership between the two companies set off ripples — especially for Microsoft Dynamics CRM users who wonder how it affect them in the long term.

The announced partnership includes a Salesforce CRM app for Microsoft Windows 8 and Windows phones, a collaboration around the Microsoft Azure cloud — plus continued integration between Salesforce, Office, and Office 365. The move would seem an acknowledgement by Microsoft that Salesforce is the enterprise CRM leader.

Let’s see what some of the best minds in business have to say about this announcement:

john golden

John Golden is a go-to-market strategist and Founder & CEO at Focused Revenue Results, Inc. He is the best selling author of “Winning the Battle for Sales” and “Social Upheaval: How to Win At Social Selling.” He writes about how every B2B salesperson can add social selling methods to their toolkits, and why it is so important that they do so without delay.

 What this means for the future, I believe, is that organizations will start to look more and more at point solutions that address the sales process in a more focused and direct way, and will place a higher value on simplicity, ease of implementation and efficacy in terms of positive impact on the sales organization.”

“It is always interesting when you see erstwhile competitors starting to collaborate and I think it is very indicative of the fact that the CRM space continues to be in flux.

CRM, particularly at the enterprise level, as represented by solutions such as Salesforce.com and Microsoft CRM, has a somewhat confused value proposition. These systems have tried to be everything to everyone and especially in the case of Salesforce have so many modules, components and add-ons that they can become complex and often-internally focused projects that sometimes seem to have little to do with bringing value to the sales process, or the salespeople.

What this means for the future, I believe, is that organizations will start to look more and more at point solutions that address the sales process in a more focused and direct way, and will place a higher value on simplicity, ease of implementation and efficacy in terms of positive impact on the sales organization.” – JG

ted coine

Ted Coine is co-founder of Switch and Shift, a multimedia leadership community that believes in building trust-based relationships. The community maintains as its focus, “The Human Side of Business.”

Give your sales pros a stipend to buy their own CRM on an individual basis. Don’t give managers access to it.”

“Microsoft is combating free-fall from monopoly into irrelevance, and this deal may stabilize them a bit. I’m not sure it’s as essential to Salesforce – we’ll have to see.

The more fundamental issue is, why is CRM adoption so universally dismal, regardless of vendor? To anyone in sales, it’s glaringly obvious: management uses CRM as an implement of control rather than what it should be, a tool to allow sales professionals to make themselves more productive.

This is as fundamental as management itself: Do leaders trust their salespeople to behave like the motivated adults they’re paying them to be? Or do those leaders distrust their own employees as sneaky and lazy?

My advice to any organization brave enough to take it?

1. Give your sales pros a stipend to buy their own CRM on an individual basis. Don’t give managers access to it.

2. Keep the sales pros who perform well, replace those who don’t.

3. Keep an “Adults only need apply” sign at the door.” – TC

gene marks

Gene Marks is President of The Marks Group. He writes for The New York Times, Forbes, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur.com, and FOX Business. He has written five books on business management.

Salesforce.com is a great application and so is Dynamics CRM.  I’d rather the differentiation be in how they’re implemented by partners like us vs. whether or not one works with Word or not.” – GM

“It’s to the world’s benefit that Microsoft makes Office, SQL, Windows and other platform products as easily accessible and integratable to all software developers, regardless of what the software does.

Salesforce.com is a great application and so is Dynamics CRM.  I’d rather the differentiation be in how they’re implemented by partners like us vs. whether or not one works with Word or not.” – GM

ramon ray

Ramon Ray is the editor of Smallbiztechnology.com. He is a journalist and evangelist who writes and speaks about the power of marketing and technology best practices for growing small businesses all over the United States and the world.

The small business CRM space has awesome companies serving small businesses, such as Infusionsoft, BatchBook, Zoho, Basecamp, Pipeliner CRM, Insightly, and Nimble. The CRM space has just been further validated by this deal.”

1. Microsoft continues to rapidly open up its platform to more companies. No longer being so closed and about “Microsoft only.”

2. Microsoft’s new direction is to ensure its core Windows and Office products can be used as widely as possible with as many partners as possible. Hence the earlier initiative to have Office for the iPad!

3. Salesforce is the leader of CRM for large businesses and Microsoft was smart to do a deal with them. It’s also a win for Salesforce – their product will continue to be used as widely as possible.

4. The small business CRM space has awesome companies serving small businesses, such as Infusionsoft, BatchBook, Zoho, Basecamp, Pipeliner CRM, Insightly, and Nimble. The CRM space has just been further validated by this deal.

5. The ONLY way CRM (or any other software company) can thrive is to ensure their core products (their platform) is able to integrate with other products, thus providing added features to the core product and grow with the business.

marshalllager

Marshall Lager is managing principal at Third Idea Consulting. He is an analyst and freelance writer in the CRM field, focusing on social aspects — teaching and informing with humor and wit.

The key part of the announcement is this quote attributed to Marc Benioff: “Today is about putting the customer first. Together with Microsoft, we are building bridges that allow customers to be more productive.”

Whatever new technology may come from this alliance, the big deal for me is the broader choices made available to enterprise software users. It’s important for businesses to have a suite of applications to serve their needs, but the components don’t all have to come from the same source anymore —use what works best for you. Partnered vendors can recommend one another’s products and still profit.

Microsoft has a great product now, though it still hasn’t recovered from its pre-3.0 growing pains in terms of market position. Greater interoperability with Salesforce.com, the leading cloud CRM vendor, can only help. Likewise, Salesforce.com gains by being more closely aligned with the maker of the leading OS, with powerful business software of its own. It will be interesting to see what this partnership does for the future of cloud computing; Azure has been as slow to develop as Dynamics in its own way, but the potential is high.” – ML

mitchlieberman

Mitch Lieberman is a thought leading practitioner in the area of customer experience, customer service and customer relationships. Mitch focuses on helping businesses understand the importance of balance among people, process, platforms, and play.

[The news] is a distraction from what Salesforce really should be focused on, an updated ux for sales users. Instead, they keep focusing on the edges, not the core.” — ML

“It seems to be a bit more sizzle than steak, a bit of free PR (two mega vendors giving the press and bloggers something to talk about). In essence, we are talking about an updated integration of productivity tools, and also highlighting a longstanding issue of the cost of storage on Salesforce. One final point, it is a distraction from what Salesforce really should be focused on, an updated ux for sales users. Instead, they keep focusing on the edges, not the core.” – ML

shep hyken

Shep Hyken is a customer service expert, speaker, and New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling business author. He works with companies who want to build loyal relationships with their customers and employees.

Partnering with Salesforce, clearly a leader in CRM, is a brilliant move. “ — SH

“Microsoft has always been a leader in many areas of technology; however it isn’t a secret that their CRM solution could use some work.  Partnering with Salesforce, clearly a leader in CRM, is a brilliant move.  I’m not sure how it will all shake out, but Microsoft fans should have something to cheer about.  Customers will have some of the best software solutions from that interface with one of the best CRM solutions.” – SH

alan berkson

Alan Berkson is Director of Community Outreach for Freshdesk. He writes and speaks about customer service, customer experience, and trends he sees in technology, marketing and social media.

Microsoft’s hegemony in IT infrastructure and workforce automation has eroded …. It’s a new world.”

“It’s interesting to watch Microsoft navigate a new world of partnership and collaboration. Just like the idea of an ‘IBM shop’ — where the entire business was run on IBM — has faded into history, so has the idea of a ‘Microsoft shop’. Microsoft’s hegemony in IT infrastructure and workforce automation has eroded and gone are the days where they can just throw money at development and acquisition to maintain their dominance. It’s a new world.”

robin carey

Robin Fray Carey is the power behind Social Media Today, a place where vibrant, thoughtful business conversations flourish with social media pros — and thinking companies get involved in those conversations.

As a Salesforce user, it makes me want to upgrade to Office365.  But I’m a small business.  I wonder what this will mean for MS Dynamics users in particular and enterprise users overall.” — RFC

About Author

A wordsmith all her life, Alyson is typing as fast as she can.

Pipeliner CRM

Pipeliner CRM

The first CRM solution designed to actually empower salespeople.

Pipeliner CRM: Instant Intelligence, Visualized