Welcome to the CRM Showdown: Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs. NetSuite CRM+

Welcome to the CRM Showdown:
Microsoft Dynamics CRM vs. NetSuite CRM+

I'm Larry Blitz, editor of TEC's Vendor Showdown series. Today's Showdown compares two popular mid-market CRM solutions, Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NetSuite CRM+, head-to-head. I hope you find this showdown helpful and informative. I invite your comments and questions at showdown@technologyevaluation.com.


With CRM so closely bound up with revenue generation, companies are always looking for ways to strengthen their CRM programs and initiatives. So we thought it would be a good time to take a close-up look at two popular mid-market CRM solutions from two well-known CRM vendors.

Microsoft needs no introduction. As the world's largest software vendor, the Microsoft name is familiar to just about anyone who uses a computer. NetSuite, co-founded by Oracle's Larry Ellison, is a pioneer in web-based, on-demand business software that includes CRM, ERP, and accounting.

So who came out on top when we put Microsoft Dynamics CRM and NetSuite CRM+ head-to-head in a contest based on pure CRM functionality? You can find the results below.


For this showdown, we looked at five standard CRM modules. To eliminate any chance of bias and to ensure a level playing field, all 1,363 criteria that make up the modules and submodules in our CRM Evaluation Center were given equal weight and priority. In other words, no area of functionality was treated as being more important than any other

As you can see in the chart below, straight, out-of-the-box Microsoft edged out NetSuite in overall performance by a score of 78.72 to 72.95.

Overall CRM Performance

Surprisingly, although Microsoft was the overall winner, NetSuite outscored Microsoft in three of the five main CRM modules, as the chart below indicates. Overall, however, Microsoft is a more balanced solution with solid functionality across all of the main CRM modules. (It should also be noted that Microsoft offers both on-premise and on-demand versions of Dynamics CRM, whereas NetSuite CRM+ is only available as an on-demand solution.)

Rankings by Main CRM Modules

However, as with most aspects of enterprise software, it's not that simple or clear-cut.

Rankings, either overall or by module, do not tell you everything you need to know. What they do provide is a basic, high-level view of vendors' general strengths and weaknesses right out-of-the-box. But businesses have special needs and priorities that need to be supported by any CRM solution they use.

For example, if your business requires robust e-commerce capability, NetSuite may be a better choice than Microsoft, even though Microsoft was the overall winner. The chart below shows why.

Sales Force Automation Rankings

As you can see above, NetSuite is considerably stronger than Microsoft in Internet sales. This isn't surprising since NetSuite has always been a pure on-demand vendor with strong online capability. That also largely explains why NetSuite, with its experience in creating self-service portals, outperforms Microsoft in the Customer Service and Support module as well. Also, with a history of providing solutions to professional services organizations, NetSuite is correspondingly strong in project management.


Given that out-of-the-box rankings rarely, if ever, reflect the real world needs of an organization, and that rankings can shift, depending on what area(s) of functionality you look at, how do you determine which CRM solution is best suited for your business?

The fastest, simplest way is to do what we did to produce the results you see here: use TEC's CRM Evaluation Center. (We got our results in 20 minutes, versus weeks or even months of struggling with huge Excel spreadsheets.)

TEC's CRM Evaluation Center allows you to set priorities that reflect your organization's business model and special needs at every level of functionality. At the modular and submodular levels, even down to individual criterion, you can tell the system which business processes are critical, important, or not important to your organization. The system then compares your priorities against the vendor responses to produce a shortlist of solutions. You get a custom comparison. One that ranks vendor solutions, not out-of-the-box functionality, but rather on how well that functionality matches the business requirements of your organization.

It's the best way we know of to evaluate CRM solutions, and we invite you to give it a run through. Simply click on the link below to visit our CRM Evaluation Center to conduct your fast, free custom CRM comparison. After all, there's no other organization quite like yours.

For a free custom comparison of CRM solutions, click below.

Find out which CRM solutions are best suited to your company's particular requirements and type of business.

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