Salesforce vs. NetSuite CRM: How Do They Compare?
Our cloud software specialists are here to help you determine which CRM software is better: NetSuite or Salesforce?
Choosing the right customer relationship management (CRM) software for your business is a big deal! Your CRM is responsible for keeping track of all of your team's interactions with leads, existing customers, and the data associated with them.
It's a decision that shouldn't be taken lightly, and there isn't a one-size-fits-all approach.
The right CRM for you and your business depends on many things, including:
- Your sales cycle
- The size of your business
- Product depth
- Exactly what you're looking for in software
- Whether you need functionalities outside of a CRM
There isn't going to be an article capable of telling you exactly which CRM is right for your business without knowing any details about the company. However, we still want you to be an informed consumer, even if you aren't a technology expert.
Our team of cloud software experts has worked with these programs for years and we're here to give you a solid comparison. Here's how NetSuite CRM and Salesforce compare.
NetSuite, created by Evan Goldberg in 1998 and later acquired by Oracle in 2016, is a pioneer in cloud-based business software. With over 24,000 customers in more than 200 countries, NetSuite offers a fully integrated platform that handles various aspects of business operations, including finances, CRM, supply chain management, and eCommerce.
While NetSuite does have CRM functionality, it goes beyond being just CRM software.
Is NetSuite a CRM?
While NetSuite includes CRM features, it’s not just a CRM solution. The CRM module is just a part of the overall platform. Along with CRM, NetSuite offers features for eCommerce, Professional Services Automation (PSA), and Enterprise Resource Planning Planning (ERP).
NetSuite CRM Features
NetSuite’s CRM module helps businesses handle the entire customer life cycle by providing features to streamline sales, marketing, and customer service processes. Here are some key features:
Sales Force Automation
Sales Forecasting and Quota Management
Upsell, Quote, and Order Management
Customer Service and Support
Partner Relationship Management
Salesforce, founded in 1999, is considered the top CRM tool globally. With 150,000+ customers and over 20% market share in CRM applications worldwide, it’s a major player in the industry. Salesforce has consistently been recognized as a leader in the CRM sector, holding top rankings in Gartner’s CRM Customer Engagement Center Magic Quadrant for the past 13 years.
Unlike NetSuite, which provides a complete set of business tools, Salesforce is mainly focused on CRM. It offers various cloud-based services, known as “clouds,” that can be used independently or as part of a unified CRM solution called Customer 360. Some of the most popular Salesforce Clouds included in Customer 360 are:
CRM Software: NetSuite vs. Salesforce
NetSuite is ideal for businesses wanting to consolidate all operations in one platform for easy access to cloud data. It’s not just a standalone CRM but suits various business aspects. Salesforce may be better for sales-focused companies.
Your choice depends on integration needs, cross-departmental collaboration, and external vendor interactions. Now, let’s get into the specifics!
Customization: Salesforce AppExhancge vs. NetSuite’s SuiteApp
Choosing the right CRM is crucial, and customization is a key factor. You want a CRM that can handle lead flow, sales funnel, marketing campaigns, and customer lifestyle and is compatible with your reporting tools.
NetSuite and Salesforce have pretty notable differences in customization and integrations, so it’s important to consider these aspects when making your choice.
Salesforce offers the AppExchange, a platform with thousands of ready-to-install integration solutions. Whether you need agile project management tools or lightning data and flows, it has a comprehensive collection of add-ons to choose from. AppExchange also includes a community platform for advice or hiring consultants if needed.
NetSuite’s SuiteApp integrations have fewer options compared to Salesforce. The Suiteapp market has hundreds, not thousands, of solutions, along with learning resources like videos and case studies.
While NetSuite’s integrations aren’t as extensive as Salesforce’s, you can fully customize NetSuite to suit your business needs. Instead of relying on apps, you can use experienced NetSuite consultants for customization. Salesforce is customizable too, but it often needs third-party integrations, whereas NetSuite can be customized more smoothly with the help of developers.
Cost: NetSuite vs. Salesforce
Another major difference between NetSuite and Salesforce is in pricing. Salesforce is clear about costs, while NetSuite requires you to get a complete quote to know the price.
Salesforce is transparent about its pricing, available on its pricing page. They list prices for each cloud and offer bundles and Customer 360. For the Sales Cloud alone, there are four editions:
- Start Suite: $25/user/month
- Professional: $80/user/month
- Enterprise: $165/user/month
- Unlimited: $330/user/month
- Unlimited+: $500/user/month
The Starter Suite package is a good starting point, though it lacks some advanced features. For full access, including support and configuration, the Unlimited package is recommended.
NetSuite doesn’t publicly list prices due to variations based on setup, customization, employee training, and other factors. Determining the cost involves considering factors like the service tier, how the license is obtained, its duration, integration needs, implementation, and ongoing support. Your choice of provider also influences the price; licensed providers may offer discounts.
Consider working with a licensed NetSuite provider like SCS Cloud for an upfront consultation, custom integrations, and ongoing support for a successful NetSuite integration.
NetSuite vs. Salesforce: Pros and Cons
1. One Source of Truth
NetSuite acts as a “one source of truth” by organizing all company data. While Salesforce focuses only on CRM, NetSuite consolidates all business data — sales, marketing, financial, and customer information — in one central location.
NetSuite user Sonny Spencer left a review on TrustRadius, stating how he appreciates the system’s user-friendliness and customization.
"I am a huge advocate for NetSuite because the system is user-friendly (after a little training) and because it is so customizable … NetSuite allows great transparency across an organization and adopts a "one source of trust" methodology. If you have Finance, Accounting, Marketing, Sales, Operations, etc., all working in the same platform and working with the same data, there is less room for data discrepancies, and more reliance can be placed upon the system outputs."
2. User-Friendly (After a Bit of Training)
Training is needed to fully onboard employees to NetSuite, but it’s user-friendly once you grasp it. Start by learning the basics, then explore shortcuts that will help you do your job more efficiently.
3. NetSuite is More Than a CRM
Probably the most obvious pro for NetSuite is that it’s a lot more than a CRM; it manages ERP, PSA, HR, and almost every other aspect of your business.
Take it from Luke, whose NetSuite CRM review on g2 labels it as "Intuitive, Flexible and Good Customer Support:"
"NetSuite CRM allows our company to have visibility into and quickly manage leads, revenue forecasts, time tracking information, and much more. The most valuable features for our company are NetSuite's abilities to automate otherwise manual processes, such as creating a project when a lead has been qualified and we have received a commitment from a stakeholder, as well as be integrated with additional systems, such as Tableau or PowerBI, which has helped our company visualize the information within NetSuite."
1. Requires Some Training
NetSuite becomes easy to use once you’re familiar, but it does require training. Depending on your setup, it may not be straightforward to find every piece of data or report right away.
2. Ongoing Support Is Needed (And It Isn’t Free)
Ongoing support is necessary for extra integrations, customizations, and updates. That’s why it’s often better to buy NetSuite through a licensed service provider rather than directly from NetSuite. A third-party provider gives you access to a team of NetSuite consultants ready for any needed changes and support.
3. Netsuite Isn’t Always the Most Affordable Option
NetSuite doesn’t make its pricing very clear, and onboarding involves more than just monthly license and user fees. You’ll also have to cover costs for integration, development, and any ongoing training and support needed.
Salesforce Is the Most Popular CRM Software by a Landslide
As mentioned earlier, Salesforce is an incredible CRM software. It’s widely used and popular, holding the highest market share for CRM software.
Salesforce user Abhinav's review on g2 says it all:
"The user interface is really well designed. And it ultimately makes the business operations a lot easier. Salesforce gives us a view of every facet of our customer interactions. It’s the key to continuing to grow and nurture all of our relationships and deliver on our movement and mission."
It’s Better for Smaller Budgets
For small businesses with limited budgets, Salesforce pricing begins at $25 per user per month, making it more affordable than NetSuite’s starting price.
It Has Thousands of Third-Party Integrations
While NetSuite has hundreds of solutions, Salesforce’s AppExchange offers thousands, making it simpler to connect third-party tools and optimize business workflows.
It Can Be Costly to Integrate Additional Data
Unlike NetSuite, Salesforce is solely a CRM. It doesn’t inherently function as an ERP or PSA or integrate other company data like finances and internal operations. If you want to integrate additional data, like ERP information, you’d have to pay for extra connections, potentially making Salesforce more costly to use.
Reviewers Say the Customer Service Isn’t Great
Some Salesforce users express dissatisfaction with Salesforce’s customer service. For better assistance, you might need to turn to an external third-party Salesforce provider.
As shared by a user on g2:
"The greatest challenge is the lack of support … if you want help, you buy it (or spend hours and hours and hours researching)."
Customization Gets Pricey
Depending on your company’s goals with Salesforce, the setup can be complex, leading to additional expenses for help. If you picked Salesforce for budget reasons, you may end up paying for assistance with third-party connectors, staff training, and customizations to fit your business needs.
NetSuite vs. Salesforce Bottom Line
There’s no way to tell you exactly which CRM platform will work best for your business without knowing exactly what you’re looking for.
However, the bottom line is that Salesforce is a global leader in CRM – it’s a powerful CRM program, and it’s what they do best. But if you need more than just a CRM, NetSuite might be the better choice.
Can NetSuite Replace Salesforce?
Yes, NetSuite can replace Salesforce. NetSuite’s CRM is only a portion of its entire functionality, meaning it’s an effective CRM while still acting as the main hub for all company data.
If you’re only looking to use a CRM without additional software such as an ERP, financial management, or PSA, NetSuite might exceed your business needs. In that instance, Salesforce could be the perfect solution.
Can NetSuite Integrate With Salesforce?
You can connect NetSuite with Salesforce in one of two ways:
- Hire a NetSuite developer to write the code to connect the two software, as NetSuite’s API allows integration with Salesforce.
- Use a cloud-based integration platform (iPaaS) like SuperSync’s Salesforce and NetSuite integration app.
Integrating NetSuite with Salesforce can be costly due to development or additional annual licensing fees for iPaaS. NetSuite integrations are best left to the professionals. However, combining Salesforce data with NetSuite can offer significant reporting benefits.
Need Help Choosing Between NetSuite and Salesforce?
SCS Cloud is here to help! Schedule a free consultation with our cloud software specialists so we can determine which software is best for your business needs.