A customer relationship management (CRM) platform is a key part of doing business in the twenty-first century. It can transform your company by keeping your clients in good stead while ensuring that new and prospective ones aren’t lost in the chaos of day-to-day business.
One of the biggest names in the world of CRM is Salesforce, with a client roster that includes some of the biggest brands in the world right down to the average small business owner.
This popular CRM platform comes with some upfront costs, but the fact is the best CRM platforms are not free.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at Salesforce’s costs to help you figure out if this is the right CRM system for your company.
Sales, Marketing, Service, and Commerce are the primary clouds Salesforce offers. Beyond that, the company has a variety of other services, including a development platform for building Salesforce-powered apps, online forums connected to CRM data, and more.
For those just starting out, however, Sales Cloud is the place to start.
For pricing, Salesforce offers a variety of pricing levels. Essentials is for teams of five or less, and applies only to the Sales and Service clouds. For regular-sized teams, there’s Lightning Professional, Lightning Enterprise, and Lightning Unlimited.
As you go up in pricing tiers, Salesforce becomes more customizable and adds higher levels of support.
Salesforce Typical Pricing (per user, per month):
Sales or Service Cloud
Sales and Service Cloud
Compare Salesforce Costs to Other CRM Providers With Quotes for Your Business
What you’ll notice from the pricing table above is that Salesforce – and pretty much all CRM platforms – charge on a per user, per month basis. Salesforce Essentials for Sales Cloud, for example, charges $25 per user, per month.
If you need a CRM system for a full five users, that means you’ll be paying around $1,500 per year for Salesforce. If you’re a small company of 10 people moving up to the Lightning Professional tier, then you’ll be paying about $9,000 per year.
This is a typical pricing scheme for business software. It means the pricing structure is scalable, so it won’t break the bank for the smallest companies that only need Sales Cloud for a few users, while also charging a fair price for larger companies.
Salesforce Service Cloud Costs
Service Cloud is a key part of Salesforce’s products. It’s a fully functional customer service platform that integrates seamlessly with Salesforce, putting your customer data at the fingertips of all those in your company that need it.
The Community 360 feature, for example, allows customer service agents to see if your clients have looked for help already on your website or filed any support tickets. This helps the agents get a better picture of what’s going on with any given client.
With Service Cloud, Salesforce says you can reach any customer on any device to meet their needs as they arise.
The costs for Service Cloud are the same as the Sales Cloud table above. Essentials is $25 per user, per month, Lightning Professional starts at $75 per user, per month, Lightning Enterprise is $150 per user, per month, and Lightning Unlimited starts at $300 per user, per month.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud Costs
Marketing Cloud, Salesforce’s one-to-one marketing platform, integrates with other Salesforce “clouds” for a more complete understanding of your customers’ history.
The idea with Marketing Cloud is to meet your customers wherever they are. You can use Salesforce’s platform to send out marketing emails, advertise to them online, send them mobile alerts, and encourage them to land on your e-commerce pages.
Salesforce says this can all happen at scale, giving your customers a more personalized experience without handcrafting every single message that goes out the proverbial door.
Marketing Cloud’s pricing is a little different from the Sales and Service Clouds, which have standard tiers. Salesforce doesn’t publish any public pricing for Marketing Cloud; instead of pricing tiers, there are packages based on what you want to do. One package, for example, is for email, web, and mobile marketing.
Then there’s a separate one for social media, another for online advertising, and another for business-to-business marketing automation.
Each tier offers specialized tools for the needs of each user case.
There are choices that are far cheaper than Salesforce, and others that are far more expensive. Cost is not the only issue to consider, of course: you also have to decide whether the CRM platform you pick has the right features and customizations for your needs.
All CRM systems are definitely not the same; some of the cheaper options may not have the features you need, while other options may have way too much.
The best way to find a CRM platform that’s right for you is to use our handy Get Quote button. Following a brief questionnaire detailing your business, you’ll get customized price quotes from a number of CRM platforms to find the right one for your needs. In the meantime, here’s a quick pricing breakdown of five popular CRM platforms, including Salesforce.
Ian is an independent writer based in Israel who has worked as a technology industry reporter and critic for more than ten years. He’s written for PCWorld, Macworld, TechHive, Yahoo, Lifewire, and The Huffington Post. He primarily covers Windows, PC and gaming hardware, video and music streaming services, security software, and browsers.