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Oracle NetSuite CRM Review

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
  • The right CRM technology helps ensure companies can extract the maximum value from each client interaction at every touch point through automation, data analysis, reporting and trend identification.
  • Selecting the best CRM tool for your business means finding a system that aligns with your key business priorities and integrates with other applications, such as HR software or accounting programs.
  • We examined the leading CRM providers and selected Oracle NetSuite as the best CRM software for e-commerce.
  • This review is for business owners searching for cloud-based CRM software to centralize customer data and increase efficiency across all consumer-touching roles.

Oracle's customer relationship management (CRM) software stores, organizes, automates, and synchronizes every one of your customer's interactions across marketing, sales, customer service, and technical support. In layman's terms, this software can help your employees operate at their highest level of efficiency with a personal touch that only comes from seeing a complete picture of the customer's journey. When used properly, any employee from any size business in any department should be able to jump right into a conversation with a customer as if they've been the main point of contact since the customer's very first interaction with your company.

Oracle NetSuite CRM

Oracle NetSuite CRM

The Verdict

NetSuite CRM gives each employee at your company the tools they need to provide the ultimate customer experience through insights across every interaction or "touchpoint" during the buying journey.

Pricing

As with most of the larger, enterprise-level software providers, pricing for Oracle NetSuite CRM is only "available upon request." In our experience, most NetSuite CRM customers bundle other Oracle services, including Financials and ERP, Human Resources, Professional Services Automation, and Commerce, to achieve a lower cost per user. If you see a price quote online, understand that your subscription plan could be very different. However, most small and medium-sized companies should expect to pay a few thousand dollars per month for their NetSuite services. Regardless, Oracle offers many software solutions designed for businesses of all sizes, which means it's very much worth your time to reach out to its sales team to see how much a custom software package will cost your company.

TipTip: Ask Oracle about its 10% discount offer for a first-year license fee, which is available by referral.

Usability

NetSuite's ability to provide your team with a live, 360-degree view of your customers is accomplished through their easy-to-navigate CRM dashboards that vary by department or role. To give you a better idea of what can be accomplished by different departments at your company, we'll share a few preconfigured dashboards for sales, marketing and customer service teams.

The sales agent's dashboard begins with "Reminders" in the upper left widget to help your team stay on task with nurturing leads, prospects and other customer sales activity over the last week. It also shows your sales agents the number of tasks they need to complete and directs them to their best opportunities to close sales.

The middle of the dashboard is populated with the key performance indicators that matter most, such as sales, quota attainment, new opportunities, leads, and more helpful comparisons to keep your agents and teams on track to meet their goals. You can also drill down into any of these metrics to see the data.

The "Navigation" module, located below your KPIs, provides a wealth of helpful lists, transactions, tools and reports. The calendar section on the left-hand side ensures that your sales agents can accomplish everything from a single screen. The "recent records" icon situated on the upper-left corner saves even more time by providing a list of the customer records you use most often, along with other information your agents have recently accessed.

Pictured above is the sales agent's home dashboard.

 

The marketing director's dashboard shows important details, including key performance indicators, active campaigns, campaign responses and new leads based on the selected time frame. You can drill down into each of these areas to see detailed reports of what drives all of the data. The helpful "Lead Source" widget located at the bottom left of the dashboard provides you with information on the total sales per marketing campaign to help you understand which of your efforts has been the most effective. On the right-hand side, your marketers are given monthly data on new business and customer trends. The dashboard puts everything you need in terms of tracking performance in an easy-to-view screen for an objective view of what's working well and where you might want to adjust your efforts and spend.

Here is a view of the marketing director's home dashboard.

The customer service dashboard sends your support staff "reminders" for cases that require responses, returns and other high-priority issues that require immediate attention – all of which can lead to far better customer experiences. The KPIs here include open cases, new cases, cases escalated and cases closed.

Cases are created within the system in one of three ways:

  • When a customer reaches out via email
  • Through online forums typically located on the merchant's website
  • By manual entry completed by a customer support agent within the home dashboard from the "Create New" dropdown menu located to the right of the search function.

Any support rep can use these tools to jump into an existing conversation or case-related issues and communicate directly with the customer from NetSuite.

Here's a view of the home dashboard for a customer service agent.

Features

Marketing automation Streamline marketing campaigns across email, web, events and social media.
Forecasting Reliably predict the future and set attainable goals that drive revenue.
Mobility Easily access and upload important data outside the office with mobile apps.
Native shipping integrations Get live shipping rates and label printing with USPS, UPS and FedEx.

 

Marketing Automation

You can build and run effective multichannel campaigns to drive leads or align campaigns with other marketing and sales goals, including automated lead capture from events, direct mail, search engines, and websites. Once captured, you can segment leads to enable rapid responses that maximize the value of each interaction with enticing promotions and upsells. NetSuite provides a framework and workflows that let your marketing team target, build, execute, and measure the success of campaigns across every channel you use to reach customers and increase conversions.

Forecasting

The ability to accurately predict the future based on past and real-time data is central to the success of many sales and marketing teams. NetSuite's probability-based forecasting provides companies with weighted measurements of potential sales opportunities, quotes, and orders – all with the ability to quickly make adjustments as external factors or internal goals change throughout the month, quarter, year, or sales cycle.

Mobility

Mobile apps for iPhone and Android can ensure collaboration and productivity for any mobile workforce, with the ability to access and upload critical data. You can also support your employees working in areas such as field service, sales and warehousing with custom mobile applications to meet the unique needs of your business through the SuiteCloud development platform.

Both mobile apps provide comprehensive and individualized access to NetSuite's full suite of integrated business management solutions, including on-the-go dashboard synchronization of KPI metrics.

Native Shipping Integrations

The dropdowns and form fills make it easy for sales and customer support agents to find the best rates and delivery times based on their customer's location. You can print labels from the dashboard to handle replacements or make sure your best customers get the right products delivered to their doors with the best delivery time and price available. With all sales actions performed on the same platform, information like estimated gross profit for each sale is automatically calculated.

TipTip: NetSuite makes it easy to process orders for customers with live shipping data integrations with USPS, UPS and FedEx.

Setup

Implementation for any CRM is very technical and not something most companies can easily handle on their own, which is especially true for NetSuite. It's also incredibly important to make sure your team is trained on how to use the software properly to avoid headaches or costly mistakes. We recommend designating a project manager to oversee the implementation and serve as the main point of contact between your company and Oracle's success team. Medium-sized businesses can opt for one of the third-party NetSuite Solution Providers that work closely with you to configure and implement your ideal software solution.

Customer Service

NetSuite offers support to its customers online and via telephone and email. They also have a vast library of self-help topics through their support portal or any one of their on-demand webinars that dive into topics like basic fundamentals to learning how to turn opportunities into sales with automation. While NetSuite may be difficult to use, Oracle provides you with the educational resources you need to get the most of your new CRM tools.

Drawbacks

Oracle Netsuite is an incredibly powerful tool that's going to be complex to use well without proper training and support from your staff. The highly automated system has a steep learning curve, and it's completely reliant on the information you're able to provide, such as up-to-date inventory information for each one of your SKUs. For some companies, the move to NetSuite may be arduous. Small businesses with simpler needs should consider an easy-to-use solution, such as Keap.

The cost of service can be another prohibitive factor, especially for smaller companies. Although some organizations may pay a few hundred dollars a month for the basic CRM service, most midsize and enterprise-level customers will spend thousands of dollars to implement and run NetSuite CRM.

Summary

We recommend Oracle NetSuite for:

  • Midsize and enterprise-level companies that rely on repeat business from their customers
  • Any business that wants to provide the best customer experience possible across the entire customer's purchasing journey

We DON'T recommend Oracle NetSuite for:

  • Smaller companies without a strong focus on e-commerce
  • Small and medium-sized companies without a lot of tech-savvy employees on staff
  • Relationship-dependent businesses, where knowing the customer's needs may not be as important as the sales representative's personal rapport with their clients

Image Credit: shironosov / Getty Images
Oracle NetSuite CRM

Oracle NetSuite CRM

The Verdict

NetSuite CRM gives each employee at your company the tools they need to provide the ultimate customer experience through insights across every interaction or "touchpoint" during the buying journey.

Jeff Hale
Jeff Hale
Business News Daily Contributing Writer
Jeff Hale is a writer and editor based in San Diego with a background in business development and marketing. He has identified new market opportunities for Fortune 500 companies and developed communications strategies and digital branding for tech startups and small businesses. Jeff covers emerging technologies and business solutions with a focus on efficiency and growth. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Irvine, and an MBA from Chapman University.