Salesforce is an innovative platform that combines the functionalities of a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool and Cloud technologies. Being a widely used cloud-based and SaaS-based model, Salesforce is implemented by many small and mid-sized organizations around the world for managing business relationships and interactions with customers. Its clientele includes some big names, including Fortune 500 companies. If you are here, then it's safe to say that you are evaluating Salesforce implementation cost for your organization/organizations. We’ve laid out the factors involved in evaluating the Salesforce implementation cost.
In the present times, investing in a Customer Relationship Management system has become a prerequisite to running a business and improving customer relationship strategy. It is a viable option for transforming your sales, marketing and customer service efforts. What that solution will cost in total is one of the factors that influence your decision.
Salesforce pricing model
The Salesforce pricing model is rather straightforward but with some constraints, covered later in this article. Salesforce bases its pricing on the software as a service model software, which means you only pay for the use of software per month billed on a yearly basis, and the pricing is fixed for every year. Your annual bill depends on the number of employees using Salesforce in the organization. While Salesforce has free trials for its services, they do not have any free plans. Salesforce implementation cost varies for different Salesforce services and customizations. Putting a rough estimation could cost anywhere between $10,000 to $50,000. Cheaper one generally is the out-of-the-box pricing, while the pricier one is a highly customized solution.
For an accurate estimation, you’ll have to learn more about Salesforce pricing. For instance, Salesforce Sales Cloud and Service Cloud starts at $25 per month per user for Essentials. This will help you calculate how much you’ll have to spend on purchasing, implementing, customizing and managing your solution.
In the Essentials edition of Salesforce, there are restrictions such as a limited number of users. What that means is, Suppose there is a small company with a sales team of 10 individuals and a manager. They would require basic functionalities to satisfy their sales needs. In the Salesforce Essentials edition, the basic edition of sales and service cloud would suffice their needs. But Essentials is for up to 10 users for Sales and service clouds only. Therefore the company will have to buy the Lightning Professional edition instead, which would solve their problem of the number of users but would cost them nearly 3 times more than Essentials.
Secondly, the availability of certain features for the extra price is another constraint. This shows the problem of "hidden costs", which means you are probably not going to be able to utilize the out-of-the-box solution without paying a little extra. Even the Unlimited edition comes bundled with several paid add-ons. Therefore, certain additional features will require investment on your front to enhance the efficiency of your custom Salesforce CRM.
Factors contributing to the cost of Salesforce implementation
This is the cost of initially setting up Salesforce CRM for your company's marketing and sales needs. Like we mentioned before, an out-of-the-box Salesforce CRM implementation for some employee users could result in minimal spending and require a lesser set up period. A more complex implementation or edition could cost up to a higher six figures and month-long period to set up. It’s always advised to start small and fast in the beginning and then gradually move towards complex implementation if and when your organization needs it.
Don't think of CRM as a tool. It brings out capabilities which eventually help to reduce costs and improves revenue. Its sole purpose is not to reap a return on investment. CRM is a necessary investment with which a company benefits overtime. To get the best of CRM, treat it as a platform and not a tool. For that, you need to take care of recurring costs that generate from maintaining the platform. Which includes licences, technical support, ongoing maintenance and enhancements, and programmatic costs.
Keep in mind that everything you want with the platform is going to be built, purchased, or integrated. Which means you will need to work with Salesforce consulting companies and experts to help you implement Salesforce in your company. The consulting cost depends on who you hire to run your implementation.
When we talk of implementation, anyone you partner to work with the Salesforce ecosystem has an hourly rate and is going to charge you that. The hourly rates of freelance consultants will differ from those of Salesforce consulting partners. They will charge you comparatively lesser than partners, however, the quality may also differ for both cases. One can also opt for a freelance offshore consultant. If you are on a tight budget, then this might be your best option as the rates for an offshore Salesforce consultant are significantly lower.
Data Migration cost (Migrating to Salesforce CRM)
This is when you are already using a CRM but planning on switching to Salesforce, in that case, you will need data migration services. Data migration is a costly process since it involves several processes before the data import itself. Like checking the data's accuracy first, then cleaning it for errors and redundancy, and finally mapping the data to its corresponding Salesforce entries. Migration may also require creating custom tools for automated data transfer. These efforts can cost you an average estimate of $10000 based on your company's possible needs.
The customization cost depends on the complexity of the company’s requirements and technical methods used to solve those requirements. Customizations that can be done by point and click tools, like default reports/dashboards or user-profiles and permission sets, are cheaper than the modifications done with code like code-based workflows. So it depends which kind of customizations a company needs, which in most cases, are both point-and-click and code-based customization. The cost of customization for an average use case can go up to $50,000.
User training cost
User training means training your employees to use every component of Salesforce CRM. Its cost depends on the training mode, whether it's self-learning or instructor-led training. We say this because self- learning is significantly cheaper than the other but doesn't guarantee an efficient result. Other factors include the number of users, their type (end users or Salesforce admins), and the hourly rate of a training provider. A company is better off if they prepare an in house admin and cater to the training needs of various specialists in sales, marketing, and customer service.
By taking this short guide of impactful factors into consideration, you can start to estimate Salesforce implementation cost for a well-executed CRM. Remember the easier the requirements, the cheaper the implementation will be. To simplify this setup, you can first make a list of your company's requirements. Put a note for every requirement, whether it's essential or not. This will sort out all the relevant ones, and you can put the rest on the side until you determine the cost and complexity of your requirements.