Salesforce Pricing Guide: How to Optimize Your Investment

Salesforce Pricing

  • Pricing Factors: Industry, Annual Contract Value (ACV), and Customer’s Annual Revenue.
  • Value-Based Model: Prices are set based on perceived value to the customer.
  • Common Pricing: Per user/per month or digital capability/per month, billed annually.
  • Negotiation: Possible to achieve 15-75% savings with proper negotiation.
  • Additional Fees: Custom objects, developer support, integrations, and additional features.

Understanding Salesforce Pricing

The Basics of Salesforce Pricing

Salesforce does not have a one-size-fits-all pricing model. Instead, the company uses a value-based pricing strategy where prices are determined based on the perceived value of the solution to the customer. Key factors influencing Salesforce pricing include:

  • Industry: Different industries have varying profit margins, which can affect pricing. For instance, manufacturing and consumer goods industries might have lower costs than tech or finance.
  • Annual Contract Value (ACV): The total amount a customer pays to Salesforce each year. Higher ACVs can lead to more favorable pricing.
  • Customer’s Annual Revenue: Larger companies with higher revenues might receive different pricing than smaller businesses.

Salesforce products are generally priced per user/per month or per digital capability/per month, billed annually. Additional features and capabilities can lead to variable pricing.

Factors Affecting Salesforce Pricing

Custom Objects and Permissions

The number of custom objects, permissions, and profiles you require can influence the cost. Complex needs in customizations and permissions will typically increase your overall expenditure.

Developer Support and Integrations

Integrations with other tools like Outlook or Gmail and the level of developer support needed can also add to the costs. Advanced integrations and robust support services come at a premium.

Additional Features

Features such as dashboard creation, customizable reports, external apps, and lead scoring can add significant value to your Salesforce implementation and increase costs.

Derived Pricing

Products like Sandboxes, Shield, and Platform Encryption are priced based on a percentage of the cost of core Salesforce products like Sales or Service Cloud licenses. This derived pricing is negotiable and provides a high commission incentive for Salesforce sales teams.

Salesforce Product Pricing Examples

Here’s an overview of some of Salesforce’s list pricing:

Work.com

  • Workplace Command Center: $5/user/month
  • Emergency Response Management for Public Sector: $300/user/month
  • Emergency Response Management for Public Health: $450/user/month
  • Contact Tracing: $200/user/month

Small Business Solutions

  • Essentials: $25/user/month
  • Sales/Service Professional: $75/user/month
  • Pardot Growth: $1,250/org/month

Sales Cloud Pricing

  • Salesforce Essentials: $25/user/month billed annually
  • Lightning Professional Edition: $75/user/month
  • Lightning Enterprise: $150/user/month
  • Lightning Unlimited: $300/user/month

Service Cloud Pricing

  • Essentials Edition: $25/user/month billed annually
  • Professional: $75/user/month
  • Enterprise: $150/user/month
  • Unlimited: $300/user/month

Marketing Cloud

  • Customer 360 Audiences (Corporate): $12,500/org/month
  • Customer 360 Audiences (Enterprise): $50,000/org/month
  • Customer 360 Audiences (Enterprise Plus): $65,000/org/month
  • Loyalty Management (B2B): $30,000/org/month
  • Loyalty Management (B2C): $35,000/org/month
  • Loyalty Management (B2C Loyalty Plus): $45,000/org/month

Pardot (up to 10,000 contacts)

  • Growth: $1,250/org/month
  • Plus: $2,500/org/month
  • Advanced: $4,000/org/month
  • Premium: $15,000/org/month

Negotiating Your Salesforce Contract

Preparing for Negotiation

  1. Understand Your Needs: Before entering negotiations, clearly identify what you need from Salesforce, including the number of users, required features, and expected usage.
  2. Research: Know the market rates and how much similar companies are paying. This can give you leverage in negotiations.
  3. Set Clear Objectives: Define your goals for the negotiation, such as desired discounts, specific contract terms, or additional features.

Engaging with Salesforce

  1. Initial Contact: Start discussions with your Salesforce account representative, but remember they may have limited decision-making power. You aim to communicate your needs to the business desk.
  2. Present Your Case: Use data and research to justify your requests. Highlight how the proposed terms will benefit both parties.
  3. Leverage Timing: While Salesforce doesn’t have seasonal pricing, end-of-quarter or end-of-year timings can sometimes be advantageous for negotiations.

Key Negotiation Points

  1. Volume Discounts: Higher volume purchases can lead to better pricing. Bundle different Salesforce products to increase your leverage.
  2. Long-Term Commitments: Agreeing to a longer contract term might result in better rates.
  3. Flexible Payment Terms: Negotiate payment schedules that align with your fiscal year to ease budgeting.

Common Pitfalls to Avoid

  1. Lack of Preparation: Not understanding your needs or Salesforce’s pricing structure can lead to unfavorable terms.
  2. Ignoring Fine Print: Ensure your legal team documents and reviews all terms.
  3. Not Engaging Early Enough: Start negotiations before your contract ends to avoid last-minute pressure.

Optimizing Your Salesforce Investment

Regular Usage Reviews

Regularly review your Salesforce usage to ensure you’re fully utilizing your licenses and features. This can help identify underutilized resources and potential savings.

Training and Support

Invest in training for your team to ensure they are maximizing Salesforce’s capabilities. Proper use of the platform can increase efficiency and justify the investment.

Customization and Automation

Utilize Salesforce’s customization and automation features to streamline processes and improve productivity. This enhances the ROI and ensures that you are leveraging the platform’s full potential.

Expert Assistance

Engaging with experts can provide significant benefits in optimizing your Salesforce investment. Services like Reveal Compliance offer comprehensive reviews of your Salesforce contracts and usage, helping identify cost-saving opportunities and ensuring compliance.

Case Study: Successful Salesforce Negotiation

Background: A mid-sized manufacturing company faced high costs with its existing Salesforce contract. They needed more users and features but were concerned about the increased costs.

Approach:

  1. Internal Review: Conducted a thorough review of current usage and identified underutilized licenses.
  2. Objective Setting: Defined clear goals for the negotiation, including a 25% cost reduction and additional features.
  3. Engagement: Worked closely with their Salesforce account rep to communicate needs and justify requests.
  4. Leverage Timing: Initiated negotiations towards the end of Salesforce’s fiscal year for better leverage.

Outcome:

  • Cost Reduction: Achieved a 30% reduction in overall costs.
  • Added Features: Secured additional features at no extra cost.
  • Optimized Usage: Implemented better usage practices, increasing overall efficiency.

Conclusion

Understanding Salesforce’s pricing model and negotiating your contract can lead to significant cost savings and better platform utilization. By preparing thoroughly, engaging strategically, and optimizing your usage, you can maximize the value of your Salesforce investment.

Consider partnering with a service like Reveal Compliance for personalized support and expert guidance. Their team of experienced professionals can help you navigate the complexities of Salesforce pricing, negotiate better terms, and optimize your usage to ensure you get the most out of your investment.

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  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson is an Oracle licensing expert with over 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. He spent 10 years working for Oracle corporation and then 10 years at a consultant leading engagements on Oracle license assessments, audits, ULAs. He is a public speaker and author

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