Comparing Dynamics 365 Business Central CRM and Dynamics 365 Sales

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Comparing Dynamics 365 Business Central CRM and Dynamics 365 Sales

With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Sales both offering customer relationship management capabilities, you may be wondering which is the best fit for your business.

This article provides a high-level overview of each module to help you make an informed decision.

Dynamics 365 Business Central CRM Capabilities

Business Central is Microsoft’s finance and Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) solution for small and medium-sized organisations.

While financial management and supply chain management are at its core, Business Central also includes basic CRM capabilities. As detailed in the Microsoft licensing guide, these include:

  • Business Inbox for Outlook
  • Contact Classification
  • Email Logging
  • Relationship Management
  • Campaign Management and Pricing
  • Contact Management
  • Interaction/Document Management
  • Task Management
  • Opportunity Management

With Business Central’s out-of-the-box integration between these CRM capabilities and its core ERP functionality, it offers a fully connected lead-to-cash journey within a single application.

When to Choose Dynamics 365 Sales Over Business Central CRM

Whereas Business Central is, first and foremost, an ERP system that includes basic CRM features, Dynamics 365 Sales is a purpose-built CRM module. As a result, it offers a broader set of sales CRM capabilities.

The main differences include:

Lead Management

  • Business Central: standard lead tracking, notes and lead qualification.
  • Choose Dynamics 365 Sales for customisable lead scoring, conversion processes, lead routing, guided lead qualification workflows and LinkedIn Sales Navigator integration.

Opportunity Management

  • Business Central: track essential opportunity details, including stages, expected close dates, statuses and notes.
  • Dynamics 365 Sales adds automated opportunity scoring, tracking sales interactions by type and customisable dashboards.

Sales Reporting and Forecasting

  • Business Central includes a standard set of sales reports that allow basic customisation.
  • Dynamics 365 Sales offers fully customisable reports and dashboards, including advanced forecasting and territorial analysis.

Sales Productivity

  • Business Central enables email/task sync between Outlook and Dynamics and basic functionality to store and access customer documents.
  • With Dynamics 365 Sales, sellers can access CRM functionality and data directly from Outlook using a dedicated app. Other differences include using sales sequences to manage work queues and overcome seller inconsistencies during lead journeys. As part of its integration with Microsoft 365, D365 Sales also works with Microsoft Teams to increase collaboration with anyone in your organisation. Additional integration options include SharePoint for document management, which enables version control and real-time collaboration. Finally, Dynamics 365 Sales also includes Copilot assistance to help sellers be more productive. Examples include summarising leads/opportunities, catching up on recent changes to records and using conversational Copilot chat to find information.


  • Business Central combines out-of-the-box ERP and CRM integration, offering a pre-built connection for Dynamics 365 Sales.
  • Dynamics 365 Sales is built on the Power Platform and offers native integration across other Dynamics 365 mobiles, including Customer Service, Field Service, Customer Insights, and Power Apps.

Marketing Capabilities

  • Business Central features marketing functionality enabling teams to track campaigns through each stage using status codes. Segment rules can then be used to select a group of contacts that meet specific criteria. Within each campaign, discounts can be set on individual items. Business Central doesn’t include functionality to send marketing emails to contacts in bulk.
  • Dynamics 365 Sales works directly with Customer Insights (formerly D365 Marketing) to connect processes that increase alignment between sales and marketing teams. D365 Sales can also be easily connected or natively integrated with third-party marketing automation services, including ClickDimensions, Mailchimp, and dotDigital. In-built marketing features for Dynamics 365 Sales include marketing lists and the ability to run quick campaigns, including email marketing.

Business Central and D365 Sales: Selecting the right product

Choosing between using Dynamics 365 Business Central for CRM and Dynamics 365 Sales will hinge on your business goals, operations scale, and specific needs.

Dynamics 365 Business Central CRM is a compelling solution if you are a small or medium-sized organisation  that wants to unify CRM, financial, and operational capabilities within a single platform.

However, if improving the efficiency of your sales operations is a priority, then the Dynamics 365 Sales App offers an advantage through its workflow management and Power Platform automation capabilities. Another distinct advantage is its built-in marketing features and flexibility to connect with marketing automation services. D365 Sales also gives sellers an added edge in saving time and increasing productivity thanks to tight integration with Outlook and other Microsoft 365 tools and its connection with Copilot for additional sales insights.

In some instances, a combination of Dynamics 365 Business Central and Dynamics 365 Sales will provide the best fit, with the Microsoft connector to keep data in sync.

Discuss your requirements

In this post, we hope you’ve gained a good overview of what Dynamics 365 Business Central CRM and Dynamics 365 Sales offer. Please contact us if you need further information so we can help you decide the best product.

Related: Comparing Dynamics 365 Sales Licences


July 8, 2024

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Warren Butler

Warren Butler

Warren is the director of marketing at ServerSys. He brings over 20 years of experience covering business transformation, CRM and Microsoft Dynamics to help organisations grow by embracing technology.

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