NetSuite vs Salesforce: Key Differentiators

NetSuite vs Salesforce: Key Differentiators

MeredithSchultenover2By  Meredith Schultenover, Managing Director, Kraft Enterprise Systems

Recently, a friend contacted me to ask my opinion about (SFDC) as an option for a new CRM system.  This friend has also asked me in the past about ERP systems.  He owns a distribution company where they are running their sales process on spreadsheets and their ERP systems are aging and in need of either a major overhaul or a new system all together.

I asked my friend what, if any, decision was made on the ERP front.  He let me know that they are still plugging along with their old system and trying to ‘make it work’.  He mentioned that sales is now a priority and they just need a CRM system at the moment.  He asked me how SFDC compares to NetSuite CRM.

Since he mentioned his company will likely, in the near future, be in need of a new ERP system, comparing NetSuite CRM to SFDC may not be the right question.  I suggested that instead, he should look at the bigger picture and compare the full NetSuite ERP Suite (including NetSuite CRM) to combined with their existing legacy ERP system. These two scenarios would be the true comparison of how their entire business would be managed from a software standpoint.

At Kraft, we have helped many fast growing companies implement NetSuite as a fully integrated solution to run their entire business.  Companies that no longer wish to manage multiple 3rd party products with multiple integration points and multiple licensing contracts are moving towards NetSuite.  These companies have found that the NetSuite ERP solution can fully integrate not only CRM and their back office accounting, but also their resource, inventory, distribution, manufacturing, and E-commerce platforms.  NetSuite is truly the product for the future, which is one of the many reasons why Oracle just purchased the company for $9.3 billion.


I suggested that my friend consider the bigger picture – the entire company – not just the sales department and review the key differentiators outlined below as well as the suggested questions to ask their SFDC representative.  Don’t get me wrong, is a great tool for managing the sales process and a great eco-system of add-on applications has been developed by using the SFDC platform.   This is evidenced by the great success of SFDC.  However, sales is just part of an organization and taking a more comprehensive view can sometimes help clear things up.  I hope these tips will help make a more informed decision to determine the best move for his company and for yours.


NetSuite versus Salesforce – Battle for the Cloud


Top 10 NetSuite Differentiators

  1. NetSuite provides a complete and accurate view of the customer. NetSuite allows sales executives to see purchase history, invoices, order status, package tracking, fulfillment, etc.
  2. NetSuite better supports companies that sell products. Unlike, NetSuite provides reps with inventory visibility, discount management, order status, tracking, etc.
  3. NetSuite better supports firms that sell services. NetSuite supports projects assignment, project status updates, time tracking, issue management, staffing, and billing management.
  4. Customization is easier and more flexible in NetSuite. NetSuite goes beyond simple field additions and layout changes to support full customization of the Web-native on-demand product.
  5. NetSuite means fewer risky integration points. integrations require multiple systems to synchronize together with no overall owner of the data flow.
  6. NetSuite provides a real-time, integrated view of clients, projects, and finances. and its partner apps often require scheduled data syncs for integrated visibility.
  7. Advanced analytics span all business segments. NetSuite includes packaged reports and dashboards that combine sales, service, financial, and inventory / project data.
  8. NetSuite customers can upgrade from CRM+ to full suite with a single click. customers have to license 3rd party solutions, map data, and continually sync the data.
  9. Industry-specific capabilities speed time-to-value. NetSuite supports the unique requirements of various vertical industries with packaged features, content, and templates.
  10. NetSuite offers a true Service Level Agreement (SLA). NetSuite guarantees uptime at 99.5% or your money back. offers no SLA, only committing to “commercially reasonable efforts”

 Key Questions To Ask

  1. Where is the “single version of the truth” for the customer data of their clients? Is it in or is it in the ERP system?  Is this data integrated, real-time?  Who handles and supports the integration? If record updates are made in each system, which system trumps the other?  How are these determinations made? Does provide assistance if a version upgrade breaks an integration in the future?
  2. Will I be able to easily execute the end-to-end quote-to-invoice and procure-to-pay processes with AppExchange or partner add-ons? What is the risk of order management errors in Salesforce compared to using NetSuite?
  3. What percentage of current customers have completely integrated the On Demand CRM system with their financial management system? Why is it such a small percentage?
  4. Why isn’t core sales performance management functionality like incentive compensation and upsell/cross management included?
  5. What kind of pre-configured KPI’s, graphical report snapshots, and trend graphs does your solution include? Will users have to create these themselves?
  6. How long does it take to import and map product and financial information from 3rd party platform into the system of record? Can data be mapped in the opposite direction?
  7. Is there a single vendor that supports the integration between the CRM, inventory, and financial systems? Who takes responsibility for data synchronization errors?
  8. How will I manage the renewals process in – how will the sales team know to follow up on customers whose contracts are expiring in the finance system?
  9. How much will it cost to purchase all of the additional functionality separately with salesforce that I get out of the box with NetSuite?

Functional Gaps that Matter:

Differentiator Competitor Software Gaps
Integrated ERP – No AppExchange partner can match the deep ERP management capabilities of NetSuite. Only NetSuite integrates inventory, manufacturing and demand management with CRM.
eCommerce Support – does not provide Website or Web store functionality. Only NetSuite links web activities directly to the customer record for sales follow-up out of the box
Demand Management – cannot link demand management with the sales pipeline. Only NetSuite can source opportunity data and build out a fulfillment plan based on projected sales.
Integrated Professional Service Automation – Neither nor its AppExchange partners can match the deep service resource planning capabilities offered by NetSuite.
Built-in Sales Performance Management – only handles the SFA basics. NetSuite provides advanced sales performance capabilities like incentive comp and upsell/cross-sell that are expensive extras with
Robust customer and partner self-service portals – does not offer comprehensive portals for customers and partners that extend from managing service, to enabling them to view details such as billing history, place orders online, or pay for goods or services online.
Renewals Management – NetSuite’s renewals management links sales renewal activity closely to the contract renewal date of the actual contract stored in the accounting system, improving renewal rate and sales productivity.

For more information on NetSuite and our implementation services, please visit our website ( or give us shout (