salesforce.com (NYSE:CRM) and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) are two juggernauts of the enterprise software market. Salesforce is the market leader in customer relationship management (CRM) software, and it also provides cloud-based e-commerce, marketing, and analytics services. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s Windows is the world’s top operating system for PCs, and it’s transformed its desktop-based productivity software — including Office and Dynamics CRM — into cloud-based services over the past few years. It also owns Azure, the world’s second-largest cloud infrastructure platform.
Over the past five years, Microsoft’s stock more than quadrupled as Salesforce’s stock tripled. But can Microsoft continue outperforming the CRM king this year?
The differences between Salesforce and Microsoft
Salesforce hosts all its services in the cloud. In the first nine months of fiscal 2021 (which started last February), it generated 27% of its revenue from its service cloud, 26% from its sales cloud, and 16% from its marketing and commerce cloud.
The remaining 31% came from its “platform and other” segment, which includes its Einstein AI platform, Tableau’s data visualization service, and its application network builder Mulesoft. Like many other cloud companies, Salesforce uses a “land and expand” strategy, in which it locks customers in with its industry-leading CRM platform to cross-sell additional services.
Salesforce’s tools help companies streamline their operations, automate repetitive tasks, break down data silos, and generally reduce their dependence on human employees. Its upcoming takeover of