Purpose ‐ The purpose of this paper is to present and test a model that seeks to answer Robey et al.'s challenge that "ERP's critical success factors offer few insights beyond conventional wisdom." The model proposes that many so-called critical success factors (CSFs) affect organizational benefits from enterprise systems use (OBESU) through their impact on three outcomes of an enterprise systems (ES) implementation process, namely functional fit, overcoming organizational inertia, and delivering a working system. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The model is tested using content analysis of 133 customer presentations at SAP's April 2007 Sapphire USA Conference. Findings ‐ The benefit-driver approach appears to provide at least one good answer to Robey et al.'s challenge. Research limitations/implications ‐ It seems likely that the model is valid for most large Western organizations implementing ES. Practical implications ‐ The model provides new insights into how and why the CSFs affect benefits from ES. Originality/value ‐ No prior study to the best of one's knowledge has sought to explain in such depth how ES project CSFs affect OBESU.