Dynamics 365 for Customer Engagement: Sales Enterprise vs. Sales Professional

The Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Enterprise Sales application is a best-in-class application for managing the sales process for small to enterprise-level organizations. At $95/user/month, the Enterprise Sales app is competitively priced in comparison with other best-in-class solutions. However, $95/user/month can be a challenge for smaller organizations or organizations with limited sales CRM needs. In 2018, Microsoft introduced the Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Sales Professional license at $65/user/month with the intent of lowering the Dynamics 365 Sales barrier to entry. Let’s look at Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Sales Enterprise vs Sales Professional.

At first glance the, SP license would appear to be a compelling alternative to the Enterprise Sales license. However, in addition to 1 major technical gotcha (Sales Professional and Sales Enterprise can’t coexist in the same instance), SP is missing some of what I consider basic sales functionality. I say this based partially on my opinion and partially on customer use case.

“Excuse me, is there any new information here?”

Not really. There’s been a lot written within the partner community about the Sales Professional license. And you can download the August 2019 licensing guide here and read it yourself. The point of this blog is to focus just on the differences between the 2 license types, the delta in functionality, so a prospect can look down the list of what Sales Professional does or doesn’t do and say — “OK, I can live with that” or “Let’s go with Sales Enterprise”.

The information in the table below comes from the Dynamics 365 August 2019 Licensing Guide. 

Please Note: This table doesn’t doesn’t display everything Sales Professional does, just the areas where it differs from Sales Enterprise.

Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement Sales Enterprise vs Sales Professional

One of my roles at Dyn365Pros is helping prospective Dynamics 365 Customer Engagement users evaluate the overall platform and translating their business use case into the right combination of software and services. I’m having conversations with businesses every day about where they are today with sales/marketing/service automation and where they want to go. Reviewing the table above, I look at most of the holes in the Sales Professional app and think “eh, no biggie”. Or, “I don’t like it but I can think of a reasonable workaround”. However, there are some items that are showstoppers for me and I think most of the user base. These missing pieces are:

  • No Marketing Campaigns
  • No Marketing Lists
  • Can’t convert a Lead to a qualified Opportunity
  • Limited to 2 custom Forms and Views
  • Can’t customize System Reports, Charts, or Dashboards

I can look at the list above and think of some workarounds. For instance, I can envision a manual process that replaces the Marketing Lists function — especially if I don’t use marketing automation or marketing automation lives outside Dynamics 365. A user can create a list using Advanced Find, export to Excel, import to other solution. But I can’t say that having to do that is practical or user-friendly.

Other places, I don’t see any good workaround. If Leads are a part of my sales process, when it’s time to create an opportunity I could deactivate the Lead and manually create an Opportunity and/or Contact record. That’s duplicate data entry that no user likes. And what about Timeline Activities that I like to pass to the Opportunity or Contact records? What about Lead to Opportunity to Close reporting? Limit of 2 Custom Views? Dude, I live for my Custom Views.

The more I look at Sales Professional, the more I talk myself out of it. With the exception of organizations with super simple CRM needs, the Dynamics 365 Enterprise Sales license is best suited for the market as I know it. What’s your opinion?

By Mark Abes, Vice President Sales and Marketing, Dyn365Pros, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Partner, San Diego, Southern California