Salesforce implementation: starting costs and ways to save
Every organization recognizes the value of managing customer relationships through a CRM system, but many have trouble finding ways to save on the cost of implementation services (usually paid once) and the cost of licenses (usually paid yearly).
Suppose you consider Salesforce your go-to CRM solution. Salesforce’s strong market leadership, cult following, and robust platform allow the vendor to defend firm (and reasonably consistent) pricing during negotiations. In that case, you should expect the many elements of transforming operations through customer data — add-ons, user training, technical support — to make up a costly list. But implementation alone? Not necessarily.
Having spent over 10 years outfitting clients with Salesforce, iTechArt’s consultants are here to break down the hidden costs, help you avoid them, and share actionable tips for selling smarter, growing your business, and providing unrivaled customer service.
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Salesforce pricing 101
During Salesforce implementation, keep in mind that the price comprises two components: licenses and the implementation itself.
The license is the annual subscription fee you pay every year that you use the system. It’s relatively stable and doesn’t change over time, and includes recurring costs. The whole process is similar to buying a car: in addition to the car price, you also pay for insurance, registration, repairs, routine maintenance, and more. The same applies to a CRM; it requires licenses, technical support, ongoing maintenance, enhancements, and programmatic costs.
At first glance, this pricing seems quite transparent and depends on factors like desired features, the company’s size, and the number of employees that are going to use it. For instance, the Sales Cloud solution includes four packages: Essential, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited.
Essential is the cheapest — only $25 for a user per month — and has basic CRM functionality (like lead, account, contact, opportunity, and sales tasks management) with a limited number of users. It’s a perfect solution when you are a startup of between three and six people and have the opportunity to implement the system with an in-house expert and without any outside help. (Remember: you can always upscale the solution as soon as your business grows.)
The Professional package is for mid-sized businesses and teams of any size — $75 for a user per month. For larger organizations, the most popular Sales Cloud solution is Enterprise, as it’s deeply customizable for the cost of $150.
Finally, if you want 24/7 support and configuration services along with rich functionality, you’ll find unlimited power and support in an Unlimited package for $300 per month.
But it’s not THAT simple
The Salesforce pricing model is pretty transparent, but there are a couple of pitfalls to watch for.
First: certain features are available for an extra price. These features, called add-ons, enhance your custom Salesforce efficiency. In some cases, you just can’t make the most of the out-of-the-box solution without paying a little extra. Even the Unlimited edition comes bundled with several paid add-ons, not to say anything about the other packages. Just have a look at the complete list — pretty impressive!
Second: you’ll want to be sure that the solution you’ve selected is the best-suited option for your business, considering every vital stage from consulting to user training. Understanding precisely how you plan to use Salesforce platform will contribute greatly to the cost-effectiveness of its implementation.