You now believe, as many of us do, that a suitable CRM software is essential for any business that wants a chance at not only survival but success in today’s hyper-competitive market. You have even looked for your options, compared the available ones that are most suitable for you and have finally settled on Salesforce as your CRM platform of choice.
After you’ve made up your mind of choosing Salesforce, it’s time to decide which Salesforce edition are you going to get. This is a decision worth some of your time as it will have quite an effect on your business shortly.
Comparing Salesforce editions can be quite confusing for some, and you can easily find yourself puzzled thanks to a large number of features available for each version.
This is why we are here. We want to help make the process of selecting the Salesforce edition that’s suitable for your business a smooth one. We will try to keep things as simple as we could so that you can reach a decision by the end of this article, so stick around, and maybe make a cup of coffee as you should be focused in the next ten minutes or so.
Let’s Meet the contenders:
Introduction to Salesforce Editions:
This edition is created for small businesses that need to get into CRM quickly and easily. The edition comes with intuitive walkthroughs as well as a setup assistant to help companies to get started quickly. The UI is intuitive and very easy to use, and the administration tools enable users to customize deployment as their business continues to grow.
Created for companies that need a full-featured CRM solution, the Salesforce professional edition features straightforward and easy-to-use tools for administration, integrations, and customization. These tools can make any small to midsize deployment much easier.
The Enterprise edition can meet the requirements and needs of large businesses that need something a little more sophisticated. This edition gives users advanced administration and customization tools. It can support large-scale deployment without adding much complexity to the process, and it offers access to Salesforce APIs that enable users to integrate it easily with their back-office systems.
The unlimited edition is created to maximize the success of large enterprises. It allows for more flexibility through the platform for managing and sharing all the information on demand. Of course, this edition comes with all the functionality and features included in the Enterprise edition. It also comes with full mobile access, Premier Support, Unlimited custom apps, increased limits of storage, and other advanced features that can prove useful to your enterprise.
The developer edition offers access to the lightning platform and APIs. It allows developers to create and develop new tools, applications, and integrations with other applications and services so that Salesforce’s functionality is extended further. The Developers edition provides access to some of the features of the Enterprise edition as well.
Now, it’s time to explore each of them and see what features they offer as well as the pricing.
1st- Essentials – 25$/user/month
The Salesforce CRM Lightning Essentials Edition is suitable for startups and small businesses. It can fulfill their basic CRM needs thanks to the basic features it offers. The Lightning Essentials edition can be enough for small businesses to solve the needs of their marketing and sales teams.
It offers the following:
- Contact Management
- Account Management
- Case Management
- Lead Management
- Opportunity Management
- Customizable Sales Process
- Tasks and Event Tracking
- Web-to-lead capture
- Standard Dashboards
- Customizable Reports
- Employees Collaboration through ‘Chatter’
- Mobile Application
- Supports teams with up to 5 members
2nd- Professional – 75$/users/month
This edition has no limit on the number of users, so your team can have as many members as you would like. This edition is suitable for mid-sized businesses that have a single sales unit and a finite product or service offerings.
This edition offers the following:
- Contract Management
- Campaign Management
- Quote and order management
- Case Management
- Integration with Google Apps (Gmail, Calendar, Sheets, etc.)
- Products and Price Books
- Lead Assignment and Routing
- Rules-based scoring
- Process Builder
- Developer Sandbox
The process builder automates different processes of your business – such as tasks assignment, and the developer sandbox allows for the development and testing of new functionality in an isolated environment, so it doesn’t have an effect on your production org.
Thoughts on the Limitations of the Professional Edition
The professional edition is more flexible than the Essentials and edition and more effective especially in managing relationships with customers. However, this edition may not be suitable for some businesses due to certain limitations.
Some of these limitations cannot be avoided unless by upgrading to the Enterprise editions, such as the limited number of record types, permission sets, and profiles. With time, these limitations can cause inconvenience, and you may cause you to upgrade.
Another reason you may want to skip the professional edition may be the constraints on process automation. Automation of some processes can be a huge time saver, but the professional edition limits you to building only 5 processes with the process builder, which – depending on your business’s needs – may not be enough.
Businesses that count on building some complex automation processes should look to higher editions, but not only due to the constraints, but also because the higher versions offer more powerful automation tools such as Workflow Rules, Code-based Apex Triggers, and Approval processes.
There’s a third drawback as well, which is integration limitation that limits your ability to connect the system with other solutions.
You should take some time to think about those limitations and whether they can restrict you or affect your businesses because if they are going to limit your effectiveness, you should probably consider opting for a higher edition such as the enterprise or unlimited editions which we are going to talk about right now.
3rd- Enterprise – 10$/user/month
The Enterprise and professional editions are similar in functions and features, which is why choosing between these two are not easy. However, we can still make this easy for you.
You choose the enterprise edition if you:
- Have different sales groups or teams with different products, customers, and sales processes
- Have a lead-generation team (or service team) that relies on call scripts
- Have a specific security model that has refined user access control
- Have a plan for data migration into
- Have specific workflows in place already that you want to automate
- Have approval steps in effect that you need to automate
- Need to integrate with other software systems
The Enterprise edition gives you all the features of the professional edition plus:
- Advanced forecasting
- Advanced reporting
- Team Selling
- Opportunity Splits
- Enterprise territory management
You should know, however, that to get the best out of the Enterprise edition, you need to have some experience and skills already. You may find it useful to hire a Salesforce consulting team and a sysadmin to maintain the system and get the best results out of it.
4th- Unlimited – 300$/user/month
Salesforce unlimited is created for large businesses with a large number of users. It gives businesses the ultimate functionality, support, and customizability.
Choosing between the unlimited and Enterprise editions may also be quite tricky – even though not quite as delicate as picking between enterprise and professional – but we are also going to make it easier for you with this simple comparison:
With the unlimited edition, you get access to:
- 24/7 Toll-free support
- Access to Salesforce’s premier knowledge database
- Multiple Developer Pro Sandboxes
- Custom Code Development
A Note on the unlimited Edition:
The unlimited edition offers the best of what Salesforce has to offer. This means you get quite a large number of features and extensive functionality. However, this unlimited functionality comes at a hefty price, and you should be entirely sure that you will be able to get your money’s worth.
This means that you should be able to use most or all of the features the unlimited edition features. Otherwise, we recommend taking a second look at the other editions.
5th- Developer – 0$ - Free for all
This is Salesforce’s free edition, and it is meant more towards, well, developers. It has limits on data and users because it is intended to be a testing ground for users.
The Developer edition is used for 4 main reasons:
This is their free online learning tool
- Development and Testing
This is used to isolate development and testing of new applications when users don’t have a sandbox
Used by Independent Software vendors to create managed packages. These managed packages are later released as applications on the AppExchange
- Developer Previews
When Salesforce releases a new functionality or features, it is often released to the developer edition first so developers can test it and practice with it so that any bugs or problems are fixed before it is released to the public.
For you to make the right decision, you need to understand your business. What are its needs for now? How do you expect these needs to change in the future? How far do you expect your business to go and how big do you expect it to grow? What kind of functionality does your business need from the software? And what features?
If you have a question or a comment, feel free to leave it below, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. If you are having second thoughts about Salesforce altogether, you can check those top Salesforce alternatives for 2018.