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Salesforce can be a really affordable enterprise system – Read On!

Salesforce02 – Blog

If you are reading this then I am sure you are surprised that how can Salesforce be really affordable as against the belief that it is very expensive.

Salesforce.com or SFDC is based on subscription model where the company has to pay for per user license/month. World is fast moving towards Cloud Computing and that can be possibly the best reason to use Salesforce CRM / force.com applications for your CRM and related needs. Before moving to Salesforce, every organization wants to analyze the costing of implementation as well as number of licenses for which they need to pay every month/year. There are some wrong assumptions about Salesforce licensing cost in the market but here we will analyze how an organization can reduce the cost of license and use Salesforce effectively by acquiring the right licenses for specific needs.

In most organizations, not everyone needs access to full-blown CRM functionality. There might be users who never touch Leads or Opportunities, just needs read-only access to Accounts and Contacts, or maybe need access to custom apps alone. One Lightning Enterprise license costs USD 1800/per year at current pricing which is a lot of money and sometimes not affordable for SMEs. Having the right understanding of your Salesforce users and their core work areas will help you save a lot of money by choosing the right licenses.

Salesforce Lightning Enterprise license users can access any standard or custom app as required, free of any restrictions but they may actually never use all the functionality available and end up paying for it.

Let’s take a look at the some of the cost effective Salesforce licenses.

Salesforce Employee Apps and Community 

Organizations with a strong in-house development team may be better off developing their own apps and taking this Salesforce Platform license. Users with this license can access custom apps developed by themselves or uploaded into the Force.com AppExchange, but they cannot access standard CRM functionality except access to some of the standard objects like Accounts and Contacts.

In contrast platform licenses costs just $300 per license per user per year. Organizations thus save $1200 per license every year.

The Force.com Enterprise user can access up to 10 custom objects with the same functionality available in Salesforce Enterprise Edition. Upgrading to Apps Plus license gives users access to 200 custom objects for $900 per license per year, which is still a saving of $900 per license per year when compared to Lightning enterprise license.

Customer Community and Partner Community

Implementing Salesforce Communities is a huge step for any organization. Community Cloud connects customers, partners, and employees directly to the information, apps, and experts they need to take action.

Customer community enables customer self-service, extend business processes, and build deeper customer relationships. This license is good for B2C communities having large number of external users. Partner community increase sales through resellers, distributors, agencies, and brokers. This license is similar to a Gold Partner license and is well-suited for B2B communities.

Community license price is based on volume of usage and is an affordable system with the kind of features and capabilities it offers.

Look for more options in terms of Salesforce editions 

Any company implementing Salesforce for the first time or getting migrated to Salesforce CRM should choose the type of Salesforce edition based on their type of business. A set of Salesforce features wrapped together is what we call Editions.

Salesforce provides 8 types of editions namely Contact Manager, Group, Professional, Enterprise, Performance, Unlimited, Developer and Personal.

Professional Edition is designed for businesses who need full-featured standard CRM functionality whereas Enterprise Edition is designed to meet the needs of large and complex businesses.

Professional edition can be a great choice if you want visibility and transparency across your sales team’s activities. This edition is priced at USD 65 per user per month.

Performance Edition is designed for customers that need to drive amazing growth, achieve new levels of customer satisfaction, and maximize sales and service success in the social and mobile world. 

Desk.com can really benefit if you are a SME

Desk.com serves thousands of small business owners. The customer support software was built with the mission to give small and mid-size companies access to the same quality of customer support tools as their larger competitors.

Desk.com’s customer support solution involves encouraging customers to resolve their own issues using the software’s self-service online center. This virtual center can be customized to meet your needs and integrated into your existing websites.

Desk.com is priced with small, growing companies in mind. The Standard Plan is priced at $20 per month per agent and includes 6 months reporting and serves 3 languages.

Focus on features needed for a profile and role

The type of license notwithstanding, Salesforce.com adopts a modular approach, offering add-on functionality at an additional cost to the basic offering.

For instance, mobile functionality, knowledge base module, offline access, visual workflow, partner and community portals and more, each costs extra as top-up to the basic license fee. Research major Gartner estimates that achieving the desired industry-specific process functionality in the Service Cloud offering could result to an additional 25% or more in costs to the basic subscription.

Manage data storage effectively and wisely

In Saleforce.com you have two types of storage – File and Data. A record in Salesforce.com uses about 2K of storage. So, 250K records = ~ .5GB of storage (for context, Enterprise Edition comes with 1GB of data storage). 

When you need more storage, increase your storage limit or reduce your storage usage.

  • Purchase additional storage space, or add user licenses in Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, and Performance Editions. This option is very expensive due to the costs charged by Salesforce.
  • Archive outdated records to external storage and purge records from Salesforce. This is a very cost effective mechanism in case you have the desired technical support for this available.

Periodic purging of irrelevant data will definitely help you to contain your data storage costs.

Additional storage space can be purchased from Salesforce.com and is available in blocks of 50 or 500MB, with a price of $125/month for 500MB of additional data storage. File Storage can be purchased for $5/month for 1GB.

Manage users proactively and opt for license reductions on renewal

Regardless of the type of license taken, one license allows only one user to log-in, and it is not possible to share login credentials for one user with other users.

It makes sense to log a case with “License Reduction” in the subject field and follow it up as soon as a user is de-activated and the license is not required to be re-assigned to someone else.

Salesforce terms and conditions do not allow reduction in the number of users’ subscriptions during the subscription term, and as such the reductions would apply only during the license renewal time. This makes it worthwhile to go in with the minimal number of license required and add to it, as required.

At Sailfin, We can help you achieve the best ROI for your Salesforce investment. Please contact us to know more.

Subhash Panchani

Subhash is a Sr. Software developer with Sailfin and has around 4.5 years of experience in various technologies like Java/J2EE, Salesforce and other web development technologies.

He is very enthusiastic about Salesforce.com as a platform and related cloud technologies.

This Post Has 4 Comments

    1. Hi Julie,

      It totally depends on your specific needs, number of users, their job function and customization needs.

      Let me know if you would like to analyse more on this in a joint discussion.

  1. i want to use Salesforce for my sales team, my requirement is :

    I want to give access to 25 Sales representatives and 1 Admin should there for sales reps manager,

    I want to have access to workflows and some customization (i am planning to build custom apps which might have integration etc).

    i know basic view of salesforce but not sure about cost.

    My questions are:

    for 25 sales reps and 1 manager which salesforce edition should i purchase?

    for developing custom application which salesforce edition should i purchase?

    I am looking for any consulting firm also for building our solutions.

    1. Hi Linda,

      Thanks for reaching out to us.

      Apologies for not reviewing your message earlier as it went into the spam folder with our security settings.

      I understand that you are keen to implement Salesforce for your company and want to understand the costing aspects.

      May I suggest to have a call to understand your needs and how we can help you answer and implement them.

      Please let me know a suitable time (along with timezone) to discuss this further.

      Looking forward to hear from you.

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