Q: What is meant by an “edition” in the context of Salesforce? Which edition is right for me?
In the past 20 years, Salesforce has grown from a focused product product providing a CRM solution into its current incarnation as a full platform offering a suite of services to businesses of all sizes. As a result of such growth, it has been forced to constantly reorganize its offerings, both in terms of products and in terms of editions.
Are you a Netflix subscriber? If so, perhaps you’re familiar with their “plans,” which are the same as editions in a Salesforce context. Depending on your monthly budget, you can pay more to get 4K streaming video on 4 screens at the same time (which is amazing by the way). Salesforce editions operate in the same way, but since it’s a little more complex of a service than Netflix, it requires a bit more discussion.
Editions are tiers of functionality that Salesforce provides at different price points. A small business who simply wants a good CRM solution for their Sales team that can integrate with their website probably doesn’t need all of the same features as a Fortune 100 company with global operations.
Ultimately, each organization will need to find a balance between what they can afford and which features they would like to utilize. As of mid-2019, Salesforce offers up to four tiers, depending on the product. These tiers are…
- Salesforce Essentials
- Professional Edition
- Enterprise Edition
- Unlimited Edition
If you simply buy Sales Cloud or Service Cloud, you can decide which edition is right for you. If you’d like a combination, Sales and Service Cloud, only Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited editions are available. Other products available, such as Marketing Cloud, Community Cloud, Analytics Cloud, etc., each have their own pricing schemes.
Let’s look into Sales Cloud, the most popular product and break down each edition (without going into too much detail!)
With Essentials, you get access to some basic functionality which helps your Sales team be more efficient managing their deals. Among other possibilities, you can integrate a form with your website to capture leads, and you can do some declarative customization (such as with Process Builder), and you can create Reports and Dashboards to see how things are going.
Upgrading to Professional Edition, you get a lot of the missing features which help you automate processes – you get access to a few custom roles, profiles, record types, you can score leads, and you get access to a developer sandbox, among other possibilities.
Enterprise and Unlimited are similar in terms of functionality, truly offering the “Platform” of Salesforce — allowing your team to customize Salesforce essentially to your heart’s desire and use it as more than a simple CRM. Most of the differences between Enterprise and Unlimited deal with data storage – Unlimited naturally removing many of the limitations imposed by the lower tiers.
Given that this is a conversation, and that this information changes often as new features and integrations become a part of Salesforce’s offering, going into further detail probably isn’t necessary. If you’re looking to buy Salesforce, get in touch with a Sales representative and work with them to figure out what’s best for you, as well as to negotiate a discount, as this is very common.
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