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Which Salesforce Edition is Right for You?

Which Salesforce Edition is Right for You?

So you are looking for a new CRM for your company, and have been eyeing Salesforce. You know that it is heavily touted as the world’s #1 CRM, but when it comes to knowing which Salesforce Edition and which clouds to buy it can be pretty overwhelming.

This article is going to focus on the question of “which edition?” for Sales Cloud. After all, this is Salesforce and it only makes sense to start with the bread and butter of the CRM. The other Salesforce Clouds, such as Marketing and Service. are a topic for another day. A quick note, all editions available now are for Lightning only. For those familiar with Salesforce Classic, it is being phased out with the complete migration taking place fall of 2019.

So without further ado, let’s jump into the breakdown:

Salesforce Essentials

The Essentials edition is best for small companies that need basic CRM software with standard features.

As the most basic version of Salesforce available, this version of Salesforce gives you what you would expect, the basic functionalities and features to run a small business, and not much else.  

You can store, manage, search, and analyze data but won’t have access to the extreme flexibility that it provides.

For small businesses, this can be an added benefit. By keeping the package small and light, it needs little attention or maintenance, since most small companies don’t have a dedicated IT or CRM admin anyway. To let you know just how small we are talking about, Essentials limits the number of users to 5.

What you get:

  • Account, contact, opportunity and lead management
  • Basic automation
  • Cloud/mobile functionality
  • Trailhead – Salesforce’s interactive training

Salesforce Professional

Professional is ideal for mid-sized companies with finite product or service offerings and a single sales unit. Most growing businesses will look to Professional as their answer, especially as it is the least expensive option that allows for unlimited users.

Professional builds upon the features of Essentials, give you more robust functionality, customization and integration options, while still remaining easy to use. To get the most out fo this edition though you will need to have someone with Salesforce admin experience available to spend time with the system.

What you get:

Everything in Essentials, plus:

  • Increased automation, including validation rules, sales paths, lead routing and tracking and account insights.
  • Lead management with various lists and campaigns
  • Dedicated access to the Salesforce mobile app for iPhone and Android.
  • Customizable tabs within the record pages.


Salesforce Enterprise

Enterprise, as you would also expect, is for medium to large businesses with larger sales and marketing teams. These businesses likely need custom functions, access to an API, automation, the ability to send emails, and various 3rd party integrations.      

Salesforce Enterprise meets the need of complex businesses with large scale deployments. It has full flexibility and customization and has options for sales, marketers, and executives alike.

What you get:

All the features of Professional Edition plus:

  • Automated lead workflows
  • Action Plans with tasks, categories/hierarchies
  • Email Marketing – Send marketing emails from Salesforce.
  • API connections with Salesforce
  • Custom Dashboards
  • Privacy settings for individual users

If you are going for Enterprise, you will likely require an experienced Salesforce Admin to keep the system running smoothly. While this admin work can be outsourced to an outside consultant, it is often a good idea to have someone on staff for the quick fixes and everyday tweaks.

Salesforce Unlimited

This is for the big-time players. If you don’t know if you qualify, then you probably don’t. Unlimited edition is best for large companies with thousands of users. With Unlimited, you get 24/7 toll-free support, access to the premium knowledge database, developer support that facilitates custom code development and multiple Developer Pro Sandboxes for development and testing of new functionalities.

Companies with Unlimited generally require a large number of custom applications, multiple sandboxes, or have unique business needs.

What you get:

No limits on functionality or customization, and everything in Enterprise, plus:

  • Instant access to Salesforce Support
  • Unlimited custom tabs
  • Larger storage limits
  • Unlimited custom applications
  • Multiple Sandboxes for development testing

So there you have it. In the end, the best option for you and your business depends on your needs, both short term and long term.  Finally, for a quick pricing guide, and a detailed breakdown of each and every feature in each edition, take a look here.


-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team


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Determining the True Cost of CRM Ownership

Determining the True Cost of CRM Ownership

When considering taking on the initiative to implement a new CRM for your business, it is always a good idea to consider the many factors that combine to form the “True Cost of Ownership”.

When most people think of the cost of ownership, they will often consider only the upfront price of the software or hardware and look no further.

However, this is not the whole story. Price alone does not take into account many of the harder to define (but absolutely real) costs associated with a new CRM solution, such as maintenance, support, training, user adoption, and efficiency. When you add in all of these other factors, the true cost of ownership becomes clear, and it may be dramatically different than you expected!

Generally speaking, there are 3 main ways we can break down the cost of ownership: Purchasing Cost, Implementation Cost, and Support Cost

Purchasing Cost

To illustrate the different factors, let’s take the example of purchasing, implementing and maintaining Salesforce. We begin with what people typically think of in terms of cost, the price. Of course, this is simply the price you pay to buy and use the software. The purchase here will be your Salesforce licenses and the products you are interested in, such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud or Marketing Cloud.  

Also, because Salesforce has so many different options and products available, the planning, research, and negotiation usually take a couple of weeks. This time and effort should also be factored into your purchase cost. This may even include hiring a consultant to help you find the best solution.

Additionally, your purchasing cost may include the necessary pre-conditions to enable the new technology to function properly, such as new hardware or upgrades to existing hardware and software. Salesforce, being cloud-based, doesn’t have significant hardware costs, but we don’t recommend trying it with a 15-year-old computer.  Altogether, any one-time purchase would be counted towards the purchasing cost of the technology.

Implementation Cost

Once Salesforce has been purchased, it needs to be set up and made usable. If your company has a very knowledgeable Salesforce Admin and only needs a basic setup of the system, you may be able to get away with not hiring an implementation partner. So your costs here would again be the time and effort cost.

However, if you are like most companies, you will want to take advantage of the Salesforce tools to the fullest, and won’t have enough knowledgeable staff to handle this. So you will need to hire a consultant. Costs here can vary significantly, depending on how much custom development you need and what solutions the consultant offers.

Additionally, you should include the cost of training users on the new technology and the changes in both short-term and long-term efficiency. Most companies who implement a new CRM see a dip in efficiency right away, but overall improvements in the long term as the employees get the hang of things. In many cases with Salesforce, the day to day processes become significantly more efficient int he long term than they were before adopting the CRM.

This is also why choosing the right CRM is important, because if you don’t end up with good rates of user adoption, you may see overall decreases in your business efficiency in the long term, which would be a significant and unintended cost.

Support Cost

Finally, when considering the true cost of CRM ownership, we turn to the support cost. If you have gone with a cloud CRM like Salesforce, you do not have to worry about updates, upgrades and bug fixes, they will all be taken care of. But you will, of course, have to pay Salesforce a monthly fee for that service. If you have a local CRM but a support plan from the developer, that will also be a recurring fee, or if you have a local CRM, built in-house, then you will have costs associated with IT staffing and overhead.

Other support costs that may come into play are support contracts with external vendors, ongoing licenses and the potential costs of adding new features or enhancements. In the end, these all add up to allowing you to scale (or not). If you have a flexible system that can change and grow with you, you will be able to minimize many of these support costs down the road. However, if the system doesn’t have that ability then your support and maintenance costs will grow significantly down the road, and may eventually force you to replace the whole system.

So, when it comes to evaluating the true cost of CRM ownership, sometimes a system with a larger price tag, will actually cost less in the long run when you take the other factors into consideration. Salesforce is a great example, because while the system is admittedly not the cheapest option on the market, it can help you save money down the road due to high rates of user adoption, more efficient processes and simply put, if you get it set up right the first time, you will likely never need to buy and implement another CRM again.

No matter which direction you choose to go with your CRM, proper planning or budgeting using all of the above criteria will help you out significantly. Nobody wants to spend a lot of money on a system that they outgrow in a couple of years, and by taking into account the various factors of purchasing costs, implementation cost and support cost, you will be able to get a better idea of how to spend your money


-Ryan and the CloudMyBiz Team

Want to get started with Salesforce?

Need some custom consulting or development to enhance the Salesforce you already have?


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