Netsuite CRM Implementation: Step-by-Step Guide for Success

December 13, 2023

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If your customer data is all over the place and the lack of customer visibility cripples you to a point where your business suffers from poor marketing campaigns and decision-making, this article might be for you.

In this article, we will give you a holistic overview of the pivotal role of NetSuite’s Customer Relationship Management (CRM) in empowering your business to build strong customer relationships through data-driven decisions. With its mobile accessibility, you can be confident that your teams remain connected and productive, contributing to overall efficiency and success!

Planning Your Implementation

Planning is a crucial first step in any undertaking. This is especially true for a successful NetSuite CRM implementation. A well-thought-out NetSuite implementation checklist ensures that the implementation aligns with your goals and minimizes potential mishaps that may cost you more time and money. Here's a quick guide to planning your NetSuite CRM implementation:

Setting Clear Objectives for Implementing NetSuite

Clearly articulate the objectives and goals you aim to achieve with the NetSuite CRM system. Whether it's improving customer relationships, streamlining sales processes, or enhancing marketing efforts, a clear understanding of your goals will guide the entire implementation process.

Building an Effective Implementation Team

They say teamwork makes the dream work. When you have a cross-functional team that represents various departments, it ensures that the implementation covers the holistic needs of 

different stakeholders for a seamless integration.

Cost of NetSuite CRM Implementation

Generally, the cost to implement NetSuite as a standalone can range between $25,000 to $75,000. Pricing can vary based on several factors. For CRM implementation specifically, you can consider the following NetSuite average costs:

  • $150 – $250 per hour for professional services (consulting and customizations)
  • $4,000 for integrations
  • $2,000 – $15,000 for training and support

How Long Does it Take to Implement NetSuite CRM?

If you haven’t yet, it generally takes between 3-6 months up to a year to implement NetSuite alone. For NetSuite CRM setup specifically, the length of implementation usually depends on the complexity of the implementation and requires approximately 2 months minimum. Some variables that can affect that timeline include:

  • Degree of customization you need
  • Resources you have available
  • The NetSuite partner (if any) that you’re consulting with

Types of NetSuite CRM Implementation

Once you’re done choosing the right CRM for you, the next step is to choose the right way to implement it. Just like there are many ways to customize your NetSuite instance, there are also multiple routes to choose from when implementing NetSuite CRM. The choice, of course, depends on factors such as your existing resources and the level of customization you need. To give you an idea, here are the top routes you can go for:

In-House Implementation

If you have the resources, the first option is to take on the job yourself. After all, no one knows the business better than your own team. Internal teams have an in-depth understanding of the ins and outs of your business, allowing for tailored configurations and more efficient decision-making. Additionally, in-house implementation can save you some cash since you no longer have to shell out for external consulting fees. 

The tricky part, however, is when challenges arise from expertise and time commitment. Internal teams may lack the specialized knowledge required for a seamless implementation, potentially causing delays and inefficiencies. Moreover, dedicating internal resources to the implementation process means their attention is diverted from core business activities. Balancing the advantages of control and cost savings with these potential drawbacks is definitely something to consider.

NetSuite Direct Implementation

Another popular option is to call a friend. It’s always convenient to tap on some of your reliable friends from NetSuite for assistance. With direct NetSuite implementation, you can expect expert guidance and support from professionals who understand the intricacies of the system and can help align it with your business needs. NetSuite also provides a range of NetSuite services such as training and ongoing support to maximize the benefits of your CRM implementation.

Aside from the additional implementation cost, one thing to consider is the system downtime. When you have an external party doing the implementation for you, you may have to compromise on the availability of your system. It is important to plan for potential business impacts during this time and schedule implementations at times that minimize operational disruption.

Third-Party Partner Implementation

Last but definitely not least, you can leverage external NetSuite expertise through third-party implementation partners. Not just implementation partners at that, you would want to look for implementation partners with a proven track record of successfully implementing NetSuite CRM for businesses similar to yours. Consider their experience in your industry and the expertise of their team.

With the right conditions, carefully selecting your implementation partner almost guarantees a successful NetSuite CRM implementation. If you’re considering this option, look no further! Our team at Seller Universe demonstrates the right capabilities through multiple CRM implementations and client success stories. Learn more about these stories today.

Implementing Netsuite CRM Step by Step Process

If you’re familiar with the standard NetSuite implementation process, implementing CRM typically involves about the same steps. Each partner follows their own NetSuite implementation guide or implementation method and so these steps may vary. The core steps, however, often include the following:

Step 1: Initial Configuration

Considering you already have your NetSuite instance in place, the first step is to configure NetSuite’s CRM capabilities based on your NetSuite customization guide. This involves customizing fields, forms, and workflows to align with your existing business processes.

Step 2: Data Migration

If you haven’t yet, the next thing to work on is migrating your existing customer data to NetSuite CRM. Cleanse and validate the data to ensure accuracy. This step is crucial for maintaining data integrity during and after the transition.

Step 3: Change Management Strategy

Collaborate with your implementation partner to create a detailed change management strategy. Change can disrupt normal  business operations. To minimize the impact of these disruptions, change management strategies such as phased rollouts, pilot testing, or scheduling changes can help keep things at bay.

Step 4: Training and Onboarding

In order to ensure that your team is familiar with NetSuite CRM's functionalities, and best practices, it’s important to conduct comprehensive training programs for end-users through the help of your implementation partner.

Step 5: Going Live

Once you’ve tested the system and confirmed that everything works as expected, it’s time to officially launch NetSuite CRM! Make sure to communicate the launch to all users and provide ongoing support as needed.

Step 6: Post-Implementation Support

You’ve done all the planning and executed the implementation successfully, but when it comes to the real world, issues may still arise here and there. Consider having a support plan in place with your implementation partner to address any issues promptly, and provide additional training or guidance as necessary. 

Challenges of a NetSuite CRM Implementation

Many businesses successfully implement NetSuite CRM with strategic planning and the help of the right implementation partner. Due to the complex nature of these implementations however, it's rarely without a few challenges. Some common NetSuite implementation problems to lookout for are:

Data Migration Complexities

Migrating existing data from legacy systems to NetSuite CRM can be challenging. Data cleansing, mapping, and ensuring data accuracy during the migration process are crucial for maintaining data integrity, and errors in this process can lead to issues down the line.

Budget and Cost Overruns

NetSuite CRM is highly customizable, which is a strength, but it can pose a challenge for organizations who face complexities in customizing the system especially if they want to align it precisely with their unique processes. You already know it, the more customizations, the more likely to go over budget which is why prioritization is important.

Technical Integration Issues

First, you must choose the right NetSuite integrator because integrating NetSuite CRM with other third-party applications can be challenging. Seamless NetSuite CRM integrations are crucial for creating a smooth NetSuite process flow. Organizations, however, may face difficulties in achieving this because of having to meet the conditions of not just NetSuite but also the different NetSuite integration tools.

User Adoption and Training

Ensuring that users are adequately trained and comfortable with the new system are good metrics for a successful implementation. If not given priority, the lack of training can lead to user errors and a slower adoption rate.

Project Timeline Management

Managing the NetSuite implementation timeline and staying within budget are also challenging. Unexpected scope changes can cause delays and impact both the timeline and the overall budget of the implementation.


A smooth and successful NetSuite CRM implementation is achievable. Getting there, however, involves strategic planning and consideration of factors such as costs, duration, and the type of implementation to pursue –In-house, NetSuite direct, third-party partner. Despite having a good implementation methodology in place, challenges like data migration, user adoption, and system integration may still arise. Overall, a comprehensive understanding of these aspects is essential for organizations seeking a successful and effective NetSuite CRM implementation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Netsuite as a CRM?

Is Netsuite Easy to Implement?

Is Netsuite a ERP or CRM?

Is Netsuite Too Expensive?

What Are the Benefits of Netsuite CRM?

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