Netsuite is a complex whole-operations package from Oracle. It includes customer relationship management (CRM) software combined with powerful related enterprise resource planning (ERP) tools. However, it is expensive and more feature-rich than what many small businesses need, therefore, we’ve compiled a list of the top six Netsuite’s competitors, and their benefits, to consider as alternatives.
Top 4 Competitors to Netsuite
|(Best Overall) Businesses that want an affordable, customizable Netsuite CRM alternative with integrations|
Companies that want a low-cost, customizable option that’s easier to use than Netsuite
Businesses with larger budgets that need an easier-to-use dashboard than Netsuite’s, plus integrations
|Larger businesses that want customizable CRM with more business management features than Netsuite|
How We Evaluated Netsuite Competitors
The beauty of the cloud-based Netsuite CRM is its customization, so you can make the program work the way you do, rather than having to adapt too much. However, Netsuite’s CRM solution can be pricey once you get all the modules you want or need to be added on, and customization may cost you as well. The user interface/user experience (UI/UX) leaves something to be desired, and it can be difficult for new users to adjust to it. Small businesses may find the cost hard to justify as well.
To find the best Netsuite alternatives, we considered these criteria:
- Price: We considered the per-user and per-month fee for each CRM, along with any modules that would need to be added on to offer full capability
- Customization: We considered how every CRM lets you customize the program to suit your business’ needs, such as through custom content fields, charts or workflows
- Marketing automation: Marketing and sales work side-by-side, so we considered how each CRM handles lead generation and nurturing, multi-event campaigns, landing page lead forms and return on investment (ROI) reporting
- Sales automation: We looked at how each program handles opportunity management, pipeline management, sales forecasting and quotes
- Commission management: Although tracking the sales team’s commissions isn’t a core feature of most CRM, it’s present in Netsuite, which is why we considered how the alternatives handle this necessary feature for businesses that are growing their teams
- Customer support: To be clear, this is not a look at the CRM’s support team, but rather we considered how each program helps your support team resolve customer issues, and whether it has a knowledge base that is easily accessible and omnichannel routing
- Ease of use: We also considered how easy it is to implement each CRM, and how easy it is for the end user to start working with the programs
- Customer satisfaction: It’s important to consider how others feel about each CRM as well, whether they’re with sales, marketing or management, or they’re the admins making the back-end changes
After taking all the criteria into consideration, we determined that Zoho CRM is the best overall alternative to Netsuite CRM for small businesses. It’s easy to use, affordable and includes many integration options.
Best Overall Netsuite CRM Alternative: Zoho CRM
Zoho CRM offers a full-featured CRM solution that is, even at its top tier, more affordable than Netsuite CRM, and it includes functionality that seems ahead of the curve. If the future is artificial intelligence, then Zoho CRM is already there with Zia, its sales assistant that’s powered by artificial intelligence. Think of it like Amazon’s Alexa for your CRM.
Zia’s also making it easier to use CRM for lead tracking and scoring, reports and more. The flexibility, integrations and customizability of this program pit it against giants in the CRM industry. Zoho CRM’s accessibility to small businesses makes this a terrific Netsuite alternative.
Zoho CRM’s Pricing
Zoho CRM has a free edition, but it’s only available for up to three users. To get more functionality, bump up your subscription to Standard for $12 per user, per month — even that low amount gets you access to custom fields, scoring rules and sales forecasting, which is far more affordable than Netsuite CRM. The Professional level costs $20 per user, per month and gives you additional features to help with sales automation, marketing and social CRM tools. To get access to Zia, you’ll have to look at the top tiers, which cost $35 and $100, respectively, per user, per month.
Zoho CRM’s Tiered Features
|Pricing (Billed Annually)|
|Contact & Lead Management|
|Tasks, Call Logs & Events|
|Social Media Integration|
|Custom Fields & Reports|
|Capture Leads Social|
|Zia: AI Assistant|
The Free edition of Zoho CRM allows up to three users on the same plan to use a variety of features. You get contact and lead management, basic customer support, call logs, notes and opportunities to use. Plus, you can rename tabs in the program for better organization, and you can customize pages. The workflow management and analytics are severely limited as is the marketing automation. Of course, the free version is going to be limited, but it packs a surprising amount of functionality for a microbusiness that isn’t quite ready to go with a full-fledged CRM.
The Standard plan of Zoho CRM gives a small business basic features you’d expect of a CRM. In addition to the features that you get with the free version, you also get upgraded customer support, sales forecasting and email insights. This is the plan where you start getting features, such as scoring rules, custom fields, a small amount of AI functionality for automation and 100 custom reports. Reporting is still limited, but you’ll have access to custom dashboards and key performance indicator (KPI) reporting. The marketing automation is fleshed out a bit more for this plan too, including mass emails and marketing campaigns. For a small business that’s adjusted to using a CRM, this is a good upgrade to dip toes into the more advanced features that can help your sales and marketing teams do what they do best.
The Professional version of Zoho CRM offers quite a bit more program at an affordable $20 per user, per month. You’ll now have the option of adding on premium customer support, but you’ll have to pay extra for it. Access to macros and custom links are available at this level too. Workflow management opens up a little more with assignment rules, which is a big timesaver. It’s at this level of plan that you’re also going to get access to process management, so you can create the sales processes that work for your business to help keep everyone on the team on the same page. This plan includes a lot more, and it’s a good fit for a small business that’s rapidly expanding its sales staff and marketing efforts.
There’s a good reason the Enterprise level for Zoho CRM is the most popular choice, according to the company. The amount of features and level of customization you get with this plan is so much more than the other plans. In fact, you’re getting most of what Zoho CRM offers, with only a few limitations. You’ll still have to pay extra for premium customer support, but you’re getting every feature that’s listed with this plan. From development tools and integration with Zoho Creator to data encryption and territory management, this is a plan that’s best suited for a large business or even a mid-sized business that’s on the verge of spilling over into enterprise level.
One more plan exists for Zoho CRM, and this level — Ultimate — includes everything all the other plans offer but mostly without limitations. Premium customer support, which is available to you 24/7 and provides an answer to you within an hour, is available at no added cost. You’ll also get automation suggestions, a dedicated database cluster and data enrichment with the help of Zia, your personal AI assistant, which comes at no additional charge. At $100 per user, per month for the Zoho CRM Ultimate plan, it’s still more affordable than most of this CRM’s competitors.
What Zoho CRM Is Missing
Zoho CRM’s customer support options for new teams are a bit lacking. We think if Zoho offered more personal training for even the lower plans, it would help the user immensely. This is a highly customizable CRM, and if that’s what you’re looking for, then it’s great. However, it can be overwhelming if you have a small business new to CRM, and you don’t even know what you don’t know. For more support from your CRM provider, consider Freshsales.
What Users Think About Zoho CRM
From reading user reviews, one of the biggest complaints about Zoho CRM is the poor quality of customer support. Reporting bugs seemingly go unnoticed or unchecked, some said. There’s a bit of a wait for someone to get back to you from the support team. Because Zoho CRM is changing constantly, adding new features and technology, it can be difficult to find current documentation to help you navigate the new waters.
Who Is Zoho CRM for?
As far as Netsuite competitors go, Zoho CRM takes the top spot for small businesses. Even at its lowest-tier plan, Zoho CRM can help you manage your customer relationships effectively. As your business grows, there’s a new plan that’s full of features and customization options that make sense for you. Try the free option, if that’s all you need for now. However, Zoho CRM also offers a free trial of its full program, so you can decide for yourself what you need to level up your business.
Best Netsuite CRM Alternative for Affordability: Freshsales
Freshsales is relatively new compared to some of the founding CRMs out there, so that could be why it’s one of the more affordable options available. It manages to fit plenty of features into its five plans, however. At the higher tiers, it offers enough customization and advanced features to make it a good Netsuite CRM competitor. It’s also easy to adopt, even if you’ve never used a CRM system. Plus, even at the top tier of the paid plans, Freshsales still doesn’t break the bank at less than $100 per user, per month.
Freshsales gives you the choice of using a free plan called Sprout that offers the bare minimum of CRM features with a bonus phone dialer and lead scoring, but there are no email options. Bump up a level to the Blossom plan for $12 per month per user, and you’ll get access to standard reporting, all the built-in phone features and email options, but there are still limits. Unlock more features and allowances with the upper levels, which range in price from $25 to $70 per user, per month, which is still more affordable than the starting prices from Netsuite CRM.
Freshsales Tiered Features
|Contact & Lead Management|
|Call Logs & Recording|
|Group & Field Customization|
|All Available Integrations|
|Customer Behavior Tracking|
|All Lead Scoring Rules|
|Dedicated Account Manager|
The Sprout plan is a good introduction to how Freshsales works, and it’s a free yet limited CRM solution. You can manage contacts, leads, accounts and deals with this version. It also includes a search function and web-to-lead capture. Compared to other free plans, it seems like you’re getting bonuses with Freshsales, such as the built-in phone dialer that allows you to track phone calls within the program. If all your small business needs right now is contact and lead management, the Sprout plan could be a good choice, but you’ll be missing out on many of other options your business could likely use.
Upgrading to the Blossom plan will cost $12 per user, per month, and it opens up several more features in Freshsales. You’ll be able to create up to 100 custom fields, two workflows and file storage is available to you. Marketing automation becomes possible at this level with all the email features from Freshsales, and you can send up to 250 bulk emails per day. You are limited to two sales campaigns, however. Reporting is a bit restricted at this level, with access only to standard reports, which might not be sufficient for your business. A small business that’s just starting to explore CRM for their sales and marketing teams might find this plan is a good fit.
The Garden plan comes in at $25 per user, per month and offers all the features as the previous plans, plus some helpful options for teams that have grown and need a bit more organization. Nearly every available salesforce automation feature is present, including lead assignment rules and multiple sales pipelines. Your mass emails are increased to 500 per day, and campaigns are bumped up to a max of five. Territory management is made available at this level, and if you need this feature, you’ve likely grown from small to medium-sized at least. The Garden plan is that middle-of-the-road option for small- to mid-sized businesses that want flexibility and control of the CRM but are just short of needing advanced security and support.
At $49 per user, per month, the Estate plan is one of the most affordable options for almost any size business. You’re going to get Freshsales as a complete CRM with all the features it offers, including custom sales activities, an increase to 300 custom fields, 25 workflows, up to 1,000 mass emails per day allowance and all the lead scoring options, including by web and app activity. Some of the most helpful features you’ll get at this level are behavior tracking analytics, so you can see what your customers do and click on your website. Plus, it’s at this level that you get all the integrations Freshsales offers. It almost seems as though the Estate plan was designed for small businesses that are acting as enterprises, and it could work well for your teams if that sounds familiar to you.
The Forest plan is Freshsales highest tier offering at $79 per user, per month, and it includes everything that’s in all the previous plans, plus a few more features that could be helpful. The workflow allowance is increased to 50, and you can send up to 2,000 bulk emails per day. You’ll get 25 sales campaigns to use, and you’ll have the option of more security by way of internet protocol whitelisting, and you’ll get an end-user computing (EUC) data center, which should help mitigate any sluggish response as you use the CRM. Perhaps one of the best reasons to upgrade to the Forest plan is the dedicated account manager you’ll get with your subscription. This plan is a good choice for your business whether you have a small, medium or large business that needs all the features of Freshsales, along with customization, extra security and personalized support.
What Freshsales Is Missing
Freshsales gets great marks all around as one of the best Netsuite alternatives, but it could stand to self-edit the interface — or allow users to edit the interface at lower-tiered plans. If you don’t use some fields, they remain, which adds clutter to the UI. The mobile app is serviceable, but it could benefit from being as customizable as the desktop client. Also, the dialer is an excellent feature, but you cannot send texts from the platform. If you want one of the best UI available for CRM, take a look at Salesforce.
What Users Think of Freshsales
Overall, from submitted user reviews, it seems as though those who are using Freshsales as their CRM of choice are happy with the pick. It’s easy to learn and use, even for CRM newbies. Although extensive training and support aren’t needed, when users have had to contact customer service, the responses are generally swift and helpful. The biggest issue Freshsales customers seem to have is the slow processing of the program at times.
Who Is Freshsales for?
Freshsales throws its hat into the ring as a great Netsuite competitor with customization, flexibility, responsive customer support and a platform that’s easy to use without much training needed. The free plan might be enough for you if you’re starting out with your business but, once you need more features, you’ll have four other affordable paid plans from which to choose. You can try out any of the plans free for 30 days, so you can make an informed decision.
Best Netsuite CRM Alternative for Integrations: Salesforce
Salesforce is CRM that offers a complete out-of-the-box solution for small- to enterprise-level businesses. It has an easy-to-use dashboard, so teams that use Salesforce should be able to use it without much trouble, but training may be necessary. Salesforce manages and tracks leads well with its contact management system, and it has the ability to integrate with thousands of third-party apps made specifically for the Salesforce engine. Its customizability is on par with that of Netsuite’s CRM, but it comes in at a slightly more affordable cost that’s easier for small businesses to handle.
Salesforce offers four distinct plans for businesses with varying needs and at different sizes. The most affordable plan, Lightning Essentials, bundles lead management, lead capture, email templates, reporting and case management, among other features for $25 per user, per month. The other more feature-filled plans range from $75 to $300 per user, per month. While Salesforce can be pricey, its plans are on par with or slightly more affordable than Netsuite CRM.
Salesforce’s Tiered Features
|Contact, Lead Management|
|Customizable Sales Path|
|Forecasting Mobile App|
|Google Apps Integration|
|Advanced Reporting Features|
|AI-powered Lead Scoring|
The Lightning Essentials plan gives small businesses a great starting point for CRM at only $25 per user, per month. It includes what you need to help capture and nurture leads, drive sales and support your customers. Salesforce’s lowest-tiered plan lets you customize forms for landing pages to nab leads’ information, and you have access to email templates for personalized campaigns. You can use this plan to help track tasks and opportunities. The case management feature keeps everyone across your teams on the same page and helping the common denominator: your customers.
What this bare-essentials plan doesn’t offer, however, is campaign management, mass email ability or billing features. This is still a good CRM starter for a microbusiness that’s just starting out or a small company that isn’t quite ready to reach out with bigger marketing campaigns.
When you need a little more functionality out of your CRM, there’s Salesforce’s Lightning Professional plan, which comes in at $75 per user, per month. It makes it a little easier for a small team to work together with lead assignment, lead scoring based on rules, campaign management, Google Apps integration and mass emails. Billing features are included, so you can send quotes, contracts and track and manage orders.
If you’re looking for territory management or AI-powered lead scoring and other insights, this isn’t enough CRM for you. As long as your business hasn’t quite reached the enterprise level and your sales and marketing team are satisfied with the third-party apps to help with some automation, then this could be the plan for you.
At $150 per user, per month, the Lightning Enterprise plan for Salesforce is one of the most popular plans for larger businesses. You’ll get all the features you’d expect of a robust CRM, including customer opportunity fields in forecasting, territory management and the choice of adding on AI-powered insights and lead scoring. You also get access to the Lightning Platform, which allows you to customize Salesforce further, and you can do it easily or hire someone who can code.
You’ll have to move up a plan to access to more customizing and coding features, full support without paying for each option, and access to premier resources for apps and accelerators, which are meant to help you solve specific issues within Salesforce. The Lightning Enterprise plan should be enough for almost any size business that wants to do a fair amount of customization of its CRM.
You’ll pay twice as much as the Enterprise edition for the Lightning Unlimited plan — it costs $300 per user, per month, but you’ll get every feature offered by the other plans, plus a handful of extras. For example, you’ll get access to a full sandbox and a developer pro sandbox, which allows you to develop and test outside of your Salesforce deployment, so nothing changes until you’re ready for it to change. You also get access to all the support Salesforce offers without any added costs.
There are still some add-on features that will cost you extra if you need them, such as any of the AI-powered insights, a sales analytics app, and the Lightning dialer, which allows you to click to call anyone from the CRM — it’s available as an add-on for any plan. Businesses that have large teams that need to work seamlessly together and require a customized CRM will want to consider this plan.
What Salesforce Is Missing
Although Salesforce goes head to head with Netsuite CRM when it comes to customization, you’ll have to opt for the higher-priced plans to make use of the sandboxes to ensure a change won’t break the system. Also, it’s a good idea to hire a consultant or developer who is intimately familiar with Salesforce to make it work seamlessly for your company. Salesforce could benefit from having a user-friendly click-based developing app to make it easy for anyone to customize the product. Zoho CRM offers a customizable product that’s easier to adapt for your business, so you may want to consider it.
What Users Think About Salesforce
In user reviews, it’s clear Salesforce zealots are all about the newer interface, which is far more user-friendly than it was in recent years. The options of third-party apps might be overwhelming, but it simply means you have many choices because Salesforce occupies so much of the market share that it seems everyone develops for the platform. The flexibility of this CRM is often touted as one of its best features, so you can customize the program to work to your business’ specifications.
Who Is Salesforce for?
An apples-to-apples comparison of Salesforce to Netsuite CRM might be fair if you pick the higher-tier plans of Salesforce. The Salesforce CRM is, on the surface, more affordable, but if you plan to integrate customizations with the help of a professional, your costs may stack up. Take the Salesforce CRM for a test spin with a free trial before you make your decision.
Best Netsuite CRM Alternative for Advanced Customization: Microsoft Dynamics 365
Microsoft Dynamics 365 could be considered one of the most obvious Netsuite alternatives, but it’s geared toward larger businesses, which is why we didn’t choose it as the best overall alternative. Part of the reason it is a good comparison is how similar in structure the two CRMs are, but also because of the level of customization you get. Microsoft’s answer to CRM is robust in its offerings, even at the lowest-level plan. Also, it comes close to Netsuite’s costs, but slightly lower, when you consider all the added fees. You can make it work for small to mid-sized businesses, as you can adapt the CRM to the way you work, but it’ll cost quite a bit.
Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Pricing
Microsoft Dynamics 365 CRM comes in two packaged plans, and then you can add on features a la carte as you need them, which means even the pricing plans are customizable, unlike Netsuite CRM. The Customer Engagement plan costs $146.50 per user, per month, which sounds pricey, but it gives you the sales, service, field service, marketing, and social engagement platforms, which is more functionality than you’ll find in most entry-level plans of other CRMs. The Dynamics 365 plan costs $267.47 per user, per month and includes enterprise resource planning software (ERP) features.
Microsoft Dynamics 365’s Tiered Features
|Microsoft Social Engagement|
|Finance & Operations|
The Customer Engagement plan bundles some of the most popular Microsoft Dynamics 365 applications, such as sales, customer service and marketing, all of which would be vital for any small business on its way up. The sales app includes features, such as tracking customer behavior with emails, tapping into the social sentiment of customers, and it gives you the ability to send relevant content to leads.
You’re also going to get sales processes, pipelines, and a solid mobile app. The customer service and marketing apps help keep everyone in your various teams on the same page with aligned goals. Field service includes options for scheduling and inventory management. A business that has a lot of different needs could get a lot out of this plan from Microsoft Dynamics 365.
It’s a good idea to choose this higher-tier plan if you need to cover every aspect of your manufacturing, retail, field service, or other business, as the Dynamics 365 plan includes enterprise resource planning (ERP) functionality too. If you need more features, you can purchase those separately or as add-ons, such as adding team members for an additional $10.20 per user, but they’ll have limited access to the CRM.
What Microsoft Dynamics 365 Is Missing
Microsoft Dynamics 365 gets updated on a regular basis, which could be considered a plus, but it can expose bugs or even break customization, so having better quality assurance would be welcome. The mobile app needs to be optimized as it’s a bit slow right now. It would also be helpful if Microsoft added an easy-to-use tool for customization by admins, rather than needing a professional to do the work. Freshsales is an easy-to-customize CRM comparatively.
What Users Think About Microsoft Dynamics 365
When it comes to integration, users who reviewed the CRM said Microsoft Dynamics 365 does a fantastic job of working well with the Microsoft family of software as it should. The customization is often mentioned by users who like this CRM. However, users also note that this is not an intuitive program, and it takes quite a bit of training to get up to speed. The reporting and marketing options leave much to be desired as well.
Who Is Microsoft Dynamics 365 for?
Microsoft Dynamics 365 can be used, depending on which plan you choose by every department in your small to enterprise-level business. If you opt for the Customer Engagement plan, you’ll be getting a mostly complete CRM to help with sales, marketing and customer service. The customization makes this a useful program as long as you have the talent that can make it all work for your business. To try Microsoft Dynamics 365 free, you can sign up for a trial, but only if you’re already using Office 365.
The Bottom Line
Netsuite CRM can be tweaked and formed into the customer relationship tool you want it to be with the help of a professional who can handle all the back-end programming. Having more than simple administration may be too costly for small businesses, which is why we recommend Zoho CRM. It’s a highly customizable CRM without requiring too much behind-the-scenes heavy lifting — use a handful of the many integrations available, and you’ll get similar functionality. Not only is it easy to use but it also has a user-friendly price point too.