How to Reduce Your Salesforce Licensing Cost Smartly

Salesforce is the world’s no. 1 CRM with over 150,000 companies across various industries as its customers. Right from small businesses to FORTUNE 500 companies, Salesforce is helping them all grow their businesses. It is a secure and scalable cloud platform and comes with world-class applications for commerce, service, sales, and more.

There is, however, a common problem that businesses - especially small-sized and middle-sized companies often face with Salesforce. They find the Salesforce licensing cost structure a bit complex to understand. As a result, a large number of apps they install from Salesforce AppExchange, fail. The reason is the lack of complete understanding of Salesforce license pricing structure and failure to optimize licenses. To add insult to the injury, they sometimes end up paying more than they require for an app or more.

If you are also a business owner with Salesforce CRM, this post is for you. We are going to go through ways you can reduce your Salesforce licensing cost and prevent app failures and over-expenditure.

Pay for Only What You Need

“The more, the better” sounds good in general but doesn’t suit Salesforce license pricing. Consider it with a Salesforce license pricing structure on Salesforce site itself.

If you go to Salesforce licensing pricing for Service, you can see that there are four packages. They are Essentials worth $25 USD/user/month, Professional worth $75 USD/user/month, Enterprise worth $150 USD/user/month, and Unlimited worth $300/user/month.

As you can see, Enterprise edition gives unlimited access to all the standard and custom applications. It also offers additional functionalities like offline access, Salesforce Identity, Advanced Reporting Features, and more.

Most organizations don’t think much about whether they really need these many functionalities or not. They just think they are getting “more” and pay the cost. They find out several features to be of little use for their business requirements later, and realize they have paid more Salesforce licensing cost than needed.

So, don’t always run after more features. Evaluate the usability of an edition from your business point of view. Analyze all the editions, compare their features, and then decide which one would be the best for you.

There is one more example that you can understand for better clarity.

Salesforce, Salesforce Platform, Salesforce Platform Lite, are among the primary Salesforce licenses businesses choose.

- The Salesforce License provides full access to all the standard CRM apps and custom apps. In other words, it is full-blown access to anything and everything in CRM.

- The Salesforce Platform License provides full access to custom apps but not standard CRM functionality. A Salesforce Platform License user can access core platform functionalities like accounts, contacts, reports, dashboards, documents, and custom tabs.

They, however, cannot access some standard tabs and objects like forecasts or opportunities.

- The Salesforce Platform Lite license also is similar to Salesforce Platform license but comes with limits to monthly log-ins per user.

If you have your own set of custom objects to handle new data, it is recommended to go for Platform or Platform Lite. In case you need full access to standard CRM, Salesforce Enterprise Edition is the ideal choice for you.

To sum it up, make a smart choice and not a costly choice to optimize your Salesforce licensing cost.

To get help picking the right license and optimize your Salesforce licensing cost, you can contact us.


Use Force.com Licenses

Your organization can save on Salesforce licensing cost by purchasing Force.com licenses instead of Salesforce Enterprise Edition licenses. While the Enterprise license costs you around $3000 USD per user per year, a Force.com license can cost as low as $300 per user per year. This means that your organization can save $2700 per user per year.

In terms of custom objects also, Platform Starter License offers access to 10 custom objects with the same functionality as that in Enterprise.

Platform Plus on Force.com is an upgrade that offers access to 100 custom objects for $1200 USD per user per year. It still saves you $1800 per user per year.

Within Force.com license, there are two licensing options - Force.com One App and Force.com-Free.

In One App, the users can access only one custom app. It is similar to Salesforce Platform License but is restricted to only one app and read-only access to Accounts and Contacts.

With Free license, a user can run one custom app. It is similar to One App but doesn’t allow the user to access any standard CRM functionality at all.

Adopt Salesforce Modular Build License Approach

If you don’t want to have it all at once, Salesforce also offers a flexible Salesforce License Pricing scheme for you. You can call it Modular Approach.

To reduce your overall Salesforce licensing cost, you can pick an edition that has the features you need. Later as you expand and need more functionality, you can integrate add-on offerings.

There are various functionalities like mobile functionality, visual workflow, community portal etc. that come for extra charge. You can pick one or more as per your business requirements later on.

This modular approach helps save a huge upfront Salesforce licensing cost. You can begin with the minimum basic package and scale it up with add-ons.

Embrace Pro-Active Management of Users

Whichever license you take, you still can get only one user to log in with one license. You also cannot share login credentials for one user with others.

A way to circumvent this limitation is “License Reduction”. You can log a case with “License Reduction” in the subject field. When a user is deactivated, you can follow it up. This way, you don’t need to re-assign the license to someone else. Organizations that have a large number of licenses can use this technique to reduce Salesforce Licensing Cost over time.

Try Negotiation - A human Tactic

Keep track of actual app usage over time. If you find it low, negotiate with your vendor to get some relaxation in Salesforce licensing cost at the time of license renewal.

Use a Third-Party Customer Portal

Sometimes, a third-party customer portal can help cut down on your Salesforce licensing cost. If you have a third-party portal solution that lets your users extract CRM entities, it can help.

If a user can access CRM objects at say $100 per month with a Salesforce license, it can sound costly. If the same user can access CRM objects at a lower price, say $30 with a third-party portal, it can save you a lot on your licensing cost.

On top of that, you can also define user roles and grant or restrict access to various objects just like with a license. You can manage your customers and their cases as well.

In short, you can avail of all the functionalities with a feature-rich portal solution - that too at a much lower price.

Over to You

It’s pretty evident that understanding Salesforce License Pricing is not a cakewalk. Nevertheless, you can always prevent extra expenses in the licensing cost by following smart tips and using a portal.

Our Salesforce Customer Portal for Dynamics 365 is a fully scalable and flexible customer portal solution for Salesforce. It comes with robust ticket management, drag & drop builder, real-time notifications, access to unlimited customers, standard and custom object support, and more features that you seek in a portal.

Our Salesforce-certified portal solution can help reduce Salesforce licensing cost and enhance the overall productivity as well.

To explore the Salesforce portal more and integrate it, you can get in touch with us.

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