Salesforce pricing is confusing for any sales team looking for the perfect CRM.
There’s no way around it.
Doesn’t help that they’ve got like, what, 932 products?! (Actually, it’s 1,700. But who’s counting?)
How Much Does Salesforce Actually Cost in 2018?
Their Salesforce pricing page is loaded with countless features, complex plans, and, oh yeah — ‘hidden’ costs that you don’t always catch initially, too.
However, there’s good news for any sales team looking to build team success.
Instead of having to deal directly with a Salesforce rep right now (and then be bombarded by countless emails and phone calls for the rest of your life), we took the bullet for you.
You’re welcome, sales team! You’re one step closer to attaining team success!
What is Salesforce and what does it do?
For those who’ve been living under a rock for the last decade, Salesforce markets itself as a leading “business command centre in the form of a customer relationship platform.”
In other words, Salesforce makes it easier for a sales team to achieve team success because it manages your sales, marketing and customer service under one centralized location.
Salesforce is universally lauded for its customization.
And that’s important. Because we need to be honest with each other for a second:
It’s not pretty to look at. There are more beautiful CRMs out there.
But Salesforce has become the industry standard (used by leading sales team and sales people across the globe) because it’s like a chameleon; adapting and evolving to each individual company’s needs.
It’s endlessly customizable. As part of a sales team, you can take the reigns yourself, creating new tabs and fields and filters and even formula-driven events. If you’re tech-savvy, you can even create custom applications that integrate with Salesforce. The process of creating reports in Salesforce isn’t as difficult as it looks (or sometimes sounds when you read the support docs). But if you don’t want to bother with this, you can always export your data from Salesforce without coding to Google Sheets, and create your report in a spreadsheet.
You can chat with other sales team members or sales people on the appropriately named Chatter. And then integrate your sales team with their 1,700 other applications that span almost every other business department imaginable (from HR to IT to Finance).
And all of this works seamlessly on mobile devices. So you can log a call after hanging up, punch in a few follow up notes, delegate the next action steps, and then pull up directions to your next sales team meeting.
Sounds great for sales people looking to achieve team success, right?
But that endless customization of many, many features is a major reason why Salesforce pricing is slightly confusing.
Why Salesforce Pricing is Opaque?
$5 bucks per user per month is cheap for any sales people.
It seems cheap, anyway. On the surface.
But like most enterprise software, there are additional costs. For lots of things.
There’s different versions. So access to ‘advanced’ functionality or extra features is your first hurdle.
The second is integration with the rest of their cloud services. They’ve got tons and tons and tons of additional apps on their AppExchange. So getting a few of them to work together is no small feat, either.
Starting with customization and implementation. Basically just getting up-and-running. So you’ll often need specialized help for your sales team in order to customize the Salesforce setup for your own business.
When considering Salesforce pricing, you’ll have to tack on Salesforce implementation costs, then. (Yes, that’s a thing.)
These specialists will charge. (And yes, you will need them.)
“Salesforce implementation can require anywhere from $5,000 to well over $80,000,” according to Ranger Louis on Quora, an honest-to-goodness Salesforce Special Ops himself.
This price gets pushed up for a number of reasons, but one primary one: complexity.
- How big is your org chart?
- How many potential users will you have?
- How many different products and services do you sell?
- Are there any up-sells, cross-sells?
- Do you take payments online or off?
- How long is the typical sales process for your sales team?
- Are there any regulation hoops to jump through?
- Or self-imposed ones from your legal department?
- Does Salesforce need to integrate with other apps?
- Or other business processes?
And on and on and on.
Whereas a tiny sales team might be fine with an off-the-shelf Salesforce solution, most sales team looking to achieve team success, will not be. And that’s where the added costs with Salesforce pricing can come in.
BUT, that’s also one of the primary reasons people choose Salesforce over the competition in the first place. Despite the Salesforce pricing.
So… what does Salesforce actually cost?
That’s not an easy answer. Let’s start with the basics.
Let’s consider the cost of Salesforce Per User
The basic, Salesforce Contact Manager starts at $5 per user per month.
That gives you basic contact management features, along with task and event tracking, Outlook or Gmail integration, mobile app access, a content library, reporting, and Chatter (their internal chat tool).
There is a barebones starter package available for up to five users that’s transparently priced on their Salesforce pricing page on the website.
Keep in mind though, that all Salesforce pricing per seat is annual.
So really, we’re talkin’ $60 bucks a pop thus far.
From there, the costs rise considerably for group plans to $25/user/month (or $300 each).
This group plan for a sales team includes opportunity tracking, lead scoring and routing, along with time-saving email template features that can help you track and save the best performing messages.
If you need more than five users with these advanced features, Salesforce Lightning Professional is going to start at $75 per user per month (or $900 each now).
This is a ‘complete’ CRM that includes mass emailing features, concrete campaigns, and customizable dashboards to track your primary KPIs.
The Big Daddy CRM is their Lightning Enterprise plan at $150/user/month ($1800 a year).
THIS is the fully customizable one. You get workflow and approval automation. The ability to integrate custom apps through their API. And a few helpful additional features like a private AppExchange, along with custom profile or page layouts.
But wait, because we’re not done yet.
The Lightning Unlimited plan tops the list at $300 per user per month (or $3,600 annual). This one includes their Service Cloud, live agent web chat, Data.com prospector, unlimited custom app development and multiple sandboxes to go along with it.
So you can see how things quickly escalate.
All amazing features, don’t get us wrong. They’re well worth it for many sales team striving to achieve team success in many cases.
However, you can now see how one minute you’re looking at ~$60-ish a year to a few hundred or even thousand in the blink of an eye.
But wait, because we’re not done yet.
This is just for access to their app. You’re still going to need some help with training to make sure sales people on your sales team start using it once you fork over all that dough.
So here’s how their ‘success plan’ (for any sales team looking to achieve team success) pricing starts.
Salesforce Premier Success Plan Cost
Salesforce Premier Success is their range of training options for all of the team members you’re going to need to onboard on their platform.
Some are largely self-guided, while others offer a more hands-on, immersive experience.
As you can see, the upper-echelon plans require a little more assistance to determine pricing. So we reached out to their team in order to find out.
The cost of these sales team success plans are based on your original license cost. So basically, it’s a function of the original cost of your CRM choice.
For example, we selected the Lightning Professional option (the $75/user/month plan).
So far that comes out to $900/year for the CRM. Friendly support rep, Natalie, then pulled back the curtain to reveal that success plan pricing is based on a percentage (along with the number of license or users of course).
In this case, the Premier Success would be 20% and the Premier Success+ would be 30% of the net licensing cost. Or between ~$180 – $270 per user.
Salesforce License Costs UK
So far we’ve been primarily focused on North American pricing.
Salesforce license costs in the UK differ a tiny bit.
The plan features are more or less the same. The plans, themselves, are also pretty similar.
In this case, it’s mostly the price that changes. Here’s a quick breakdown (pricing per user per month first, annual second):
- Salesforce Starter: £20 | £240
- Lightning Professional: £60 | £720
- Lightning Enterprise: £120 | £1440
- Lightning Unlimited: £240 | £2880
How Salesforce Pricing Compares To The Industry
Salesforce almost single-handedly invented the SaaS pricing model of billing for an always-on cloud app.
So most of their competition seems to benchmark pricing right around the same levels for similar features. For example, here are a few of the enterprise and SMB alternatives that come in right around the same mark.
First up is Microsoft’s own Dynamics CRM. It’s the most direct enterprise competitor as it offers many of the same applications above-and-beyond just sales automation.
Its pricing scheme is similar, too, on a per user per month (paid annual) breakdown starting at $5/user/month and on up to hundreds per user per month.
Next up is the Oracle Marketing Cloud. It’s a combination of recently acquired apps, including Eloqua’s marketing automation. It, too, is aimed at larger organizations with a monthly pricing (based on the number of contacts).
Zoho’s CRM moves down the food chain a little bit, better suited for both small and medium-sized business who still want sales automation features.
The additional benefit with Zoho is a native integration with their other business-process driven applications. These include everything from email to HR and even finance.
Their pricing is also per user per month. It starts at $12 bucks for annual billing or $15 for a true month-to-month option. Otherwise, it goes up to $100 per user per month (billed annually) for the most advanced plan.
Insightly is one of the newer kids on the block that combines many of the same sales automation features with project management. (So you can focus on the ‘full funnel’ of customer success from beginning through implementation.)
Insightly’s budget-friendly pricing (even featuring a free, limited plan) is perfect for SMB customers who still use other apps like Quickbooks or Xero to handle billing.
Salesforce has been the market leader for cloud-based sales automation since… well, they invented the market way back in ‘99.
That means they get to make the decisions in the marketplace. Salesforce pricing per user model was one of the first of its kind. And most of the competition has followed in their footsteps.
The stated website pricing is clear enough. But there are a few additional Salesforce costs to be aware of.
Namely, all of the special customizations your unique business or sales team might require to achieve team success. And then there’s the customer support or training it’s going to require to get everyone on board.
But if you are using Salesforce and want to further achieve team success for your sales team, check out these two articles below as well:
Are you using Salesforce for team success for your sales team? Looking to enhance your sales team’s success further? Well, ContactMonkey integrates seamlessly with Salesforce and enables you to track emails, link clicks and more. Click the button below to start tracking your sales emails today! Do little, achieve greatness!