Have NetSuite? Use the CRM…It’s included.

One of the most understated NetSuite features is Customer Relationship Management. This article is not intended to be a comparison of NetSuite vs Salesforce or other CRM products in the marketplace as there are numerous articles and blog posts on this subject. Generally, we find people to be very passionate about which CRM system is better. What is lost in the conversation is how does one best manage a business so that there is only one version of customer truth.

NetSuite CRM is included in almost every NetSuite instance but in our experience, almost no one ever buys NetSuite for only CRM (although it can be licensed). The power of NetSuite CRM is that it is built into every aspect of managing your business. Table stakes is a 360-degree view of your customer, but the real power is providing advanced visibility into real-time inventory levels, customer service issues, customer returns, vendor/product issues, upsell opportunities, etc. Every record in NetSuite can be included in some communication, task, or event activity. Your lead to cash process can be tracked entirely within NetSuite.

In this article, we present how CRM capabilities can leverage your NetSuite investment. NetSuite serves as your Single Source of Truth (SSOT) for all of your business metrics. Using NetSuite allows you to avoid integration with other CRM platforms and eliminates the hassle of different sources of customer, marketing, and sales data.

In this article, we will discuss the key attributes of NetSuite CRM:

  • Marketing Automation
  • Salesforce Automation with integrated commission calculations
  • Relationship Management with customers, vendors, and partners
  • Integration to all business processes
  • Technologies to enhance your NetSuite CRM
  • How to get started using CRM if you run NetSuite

NetSuite Marketing Automation

NetSuite enables multi-channel marketing campaigns to drive leads and additional revenue to your business. Key components of this automation include:

  • Lead Capture
  • Marketing Email Templates
  • Marketing Campaigns
  • Upsell Manager

NetSuite Lead Capture

NetSuite can capture leads in several ways. You can develop an online customer form that will automatically generate a new lead, prospect, or customer record upon submission depending on how you want to treat that form. ScaleNorth for example has 4 distinct contact forms embedded throughout our website and our landing pages.

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Once a user fills out this form on our site, our sales team is instantly alerted via email and a dashboard alert. Each lead form is assigned a lead source that indicates which campaign generated the lead. You should maintain this lead source information to tie revenue to campaigns. Accurate lead source information provides analysis into which campaigns produce the most leads.

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Other methods of capturing leads in NetSuite are importing lead lists via CSV, XML, or integration with other third-party sources.

NetSuite Marketing Campaigns

You can create marketing campaigns in the form of email, direct mail, telephone marketing, print ads, or pretty much any channel you need or want to use. Since NetSuite is your ERP system, you can easily and accurately track the return on investment for your marketing activities.

NetSuite Upsell Manager

NetSuite’s Upsell Manager feature uses analytics to determine which items present a good upsell opportunity and which customers you should target. Upsell Manager searches your customer transaction histories to recommend possible upsell items and categories of items. It chooses these upsell items and item categories based on their correlation. Upsell manager also looks at an item’s correlation and its purchase rate (lift). Upsell Manager has a built-in NetSuite wizard to guide you through the setup process.

You can find additional details on NetSuite Marketing Automation here:

Salesforce Automation (SFA) with Integrated Commission Calculations

NetSuite provides integrated sales features to provide you the control, flexibility, and accuracy to manage your sales team. NetSuite has integrated sales, commissions, forecast reporting, and pipeline management in a single uniform platform. Key features in NetSuite SFA includes:

  • Lead Management
  • Setting and Measuring Quotas
  • Managing Deals
  • Pipeline Analysis
  • Contact Tracking
  • Sales commission calculation and tracking
  • Integrated sales order workflows

NetSuite’s key differentiator is that it provides your sales team visibility into every aspect of your customer including sales, support cases, contacts, inventory availability, order status, shipping status, payment and credit status, etc. to help you better serve your customer.

You can find additional details on NetSuite Salesforce Automation here:

NetSuite Relationship Management with Customers, Vendors and Partners

NetSuite not only provides a 360-degree view of your customers but applies the same capabilities to managing vendors and partners. This is where NetSuite really differentiates itself from other CRM packages.

For every entity in NetSuite (Customer, Vendor, Partner, Employee), you track all the related activities for that entity.


  • Request for Quotes
  • Pricing
  • Communications
  • Time Tracking (contractors)
  • Contacts
  • Email
  • Events
  • Notes
  • Financial information, payment history
  • And much more

Since everything is tracked in NetSuite, there is only source of truth for every entity type. You can empower your organization to serve your customers better than your competition since you understand everything related to that customer down to vendors that go into serving your customer.

Lastly, NetSuite has a really cool feature called Sticky Notes. StickyNotes lets you attach notes to entity records (and other record types) and keep track of your notes as well as others’ replies. You can communicate effectively with others by adding recipients to ensure that only specific people have access to your notes. Recipients are notified through email when you tagged them in a note, or when replies are added to the note. The note can be placed anywhere on the page just like a sticky note.

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Integration to all Business Processes

Now this where NetSuite CRM gets even more compelling. Every record in NetSuite has CRM functionality…really. Almost every record type – entities and transactions has a Communication tab to track all related communication, activities, notes, files, and support cases related to that record. Each transaction record relates to an entity record so any CRM activity on the transaction is also shown on the entity record.

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The power is when a user views a customer or vendor, the user can see all the communication activity, follow-ups, support cases, tasks, and sticky notes to get the true picture of not only what is happening with that entity but any issues with related entities. Only NetSuite allows this from a CRM perspective because every transaction must be entered and trackedsales, purchases, support cases, etc.

Technologies to enhance your NetSuite CRM

There are several additional technologies that can be licensed and integrated to augment NetSuite’s CRM capabilities. One such technology that we use is Celigo’s CloudExtend Outlook for NetSuite and CloudExtend G Suite for NetSuite. Both products allow you to integrate your email with NetSuite and view customer and transaction data directly in either Gmail or Outlook.

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  • Attach emails with one click to NetSuite records directly from Outlook

  • Attach Calendar events to NetSuite records

  • View your NetSuite customer and transaction data directly within Outlook

  • Create and edit NetSuite records directly in Outlook

  • Upload file attachments

  • Users have access to all their NetSuite roles. CloudExtend uses these same permissions
g suite and netsuite
  • Attach emails and file attachments to NetSuite records directly from Gmail

  • CloudExtend pre-populates suggested NetSuite records in real-time when you view an email

  • Search your NetSuite Records just like you use global search within the NetSuite interface
  • Synchronize Google and NetSuite calendars automatically

  • Attach emails and file attachments to NetSuite records directly from Gmail

  • Certified Built For NetSuite (BFN)

How to get started using CRM if you run NetSuite

If you currently are running NetSuite, my advice would be to review the documentation links provided above and leverage a Sandbox account to explore the CRM capabilities. It took me a bit of trial and error to figure out some of the nuances, particularly with Marketing Campaigns, Emails, and Newsletters.

Some of the other CRM packages on the market may be perceived to be more user-friendly but if you have NetSuite or are considering upgrading your ERP to NetSuite, our advice is to use NetSuite CRM. We have integrated NetSuite with other leading CRM packages with a great deal of success but having all your business contact information in one place greatly simplifies and facilitates visibility to your operations to provide that Single Source of Truth.

Please let us know if we can help in any way.

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