Salesforce is easily the most powerful customer relationship management software out there and also holds the largest CRM market share. If you’re looking to boost your sales, service, and marketing efforts from a single platform, implementing Salesforce is the way to go. The functionality and flexibility that the platform offers are just a few reasons why Salesforce continues to be the #1 CRM of choice by customers across the globe.
However, the complexity of what goes into a Salesforce implementation might leave you wondering which products your company needs and if a Salesforce implementation makes sense for your company. The good news is that with the right Salesforce Implementation Partner, you can easily determine which products fit the needs of your business, how much you’ll spend on implementing each product, and how long the project will take.
A Salesforce Implementation Partner can also provide ongoing, scalable support and user training that will help your sales, service, and marketing teams get the most out of the platform.
If you’re worried about the initial cost of implementing Salesforce and are unsure of which products your company needs, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we break down:
In order to estimate the total cost of implementing Salesforce, you’ll need to calculate how much you’ll spend on purchasing, deploying, customizing, and further maintaining your Salesforce org.
A Salesforce Implementation Partner can work with you to determine which products make sense for your business and how much the project will cost based on your budget and timeline. Salesforce implementation can cost anywhere from $10,000 for small businesses to more than $1,000,000 depending on:
In general, the more complex your Salesforce build is, the more you’ll spend on implementation services. If you decide to work with an experienced Salesforce Implementation Partner, you’ll spend a fraction of the cost that you would hiring a team of Salesforce Administrators. The average salary of a Salesforce Admin in 2022 is a little over $100,000, which means hiring a team of four can cost your company more than $400,000 in salaries alone. This doesn’t include the cost of recruitment, benefits, training, or equipment.
Working with a Salesforce consulting company can range from an average rate of $150 to $250 per hour depending on the scope of the project, customizations needed, hypercare, and training. Instead of relying on one or two in-house Salesforce Admins, you’ll have a full team of experienced consultants who can use their expertise to implement the best Salesforce solutions for your business.
If you decide to work with a freelance Salesforce Admin as opposed to working with a full team of consultants at an agency, some factors to consider include:
While freelance consultants may be a good option for smaller Salesforce projects, there are limitations to working with an individual who cannot lean on other consultants for knowledge and expertise.
Having to invest in implementation repair services for an incomplete or faulty build can set your business back despite the initial lower spend. In general, a freelance consultant will price themselves around $100 to $150 per hour.
Let’s take a look at some of the core Salesforce products, including Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and their pricing tiers.
It’s important to consider that the size of your business will affect the final cost of the Salesforce products you purchase. Salesforce offers many of its products per user, so you’ll need to strategically choose which individuals on your team need access to the platform.
The final cost will require multiplying the price by the number of key users based on the edition. Salesforce also offers discounts based on specific levels such as number of users, number of products, and time of purchase.
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud are two of the most popular Salesforce products, and cost depends on a variety of factors. While Sales Cloud provides solutions for sales automation, sales processes, reporting, and forecasting, Service Cloud provides customers with omni-channel customer service and case management.
Salesforce currently offers 4 Sales Cloud editions with different price points and features:
Service Cloud also offers a similar pricing structure with 4 Service Cloud editions:
You can extend the capabilities of your Service Cloud instance with several add-ons such as Field Service, Digital Engagement, and Service Cloud Einstein. Pricing depends on the number of users, functionality, and degree of customization required.
If you’re looking to connect both sales and service, Salesforce also offers bundled pricing for Sales Cloud and Service Cloud.
Marketing Cloud can help you deliver a successful marketing plan and includes tools for email marketing, digital marketing, digital advertising, as well as B2B marketing automation solutions. With Marketing Cloud, marketers can manage customer journeys through the entire customer lifecycle from marketing, to sales, to service, and beyond — all from one platform. Pricing is broken down by marketing goals and functionality with an annual subscription. Let’s take a closer look at each area of focus and pricing tiers.
Marketing Cloud Engagement (formerly Marketing Cloud) can help you personalize and automate email, mobile, and web journeys for every customer at scale. The Basic Edition starts at $400 per org/month and goes all the way up to an Enterprise Edition, where customers can request a quote.
Key features included in all four editions include email marketing, content creation, and integration with Sales Cloud. The Corporate and Enterprise Editions include access to Journey Builder, mobile messaging tools, and more and start at $3,750 per org/month.
Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (formerly Pardot) is aimed at businesses looking to grow and provides marketing automation solutions as well as access to advanced analytics that are included with certain editions.
The Growth Edition starts at $1,250 per month for up to 10,000 contacts. The most expensive edition is the Premium Edition at $15,000 per month for up to 75,000 contacts. Key features included in all four editions include lead generation, qualification, and management as well as email marketing and personalization tools.
Marketing Cloud Advertising helps marketers leverage data to scale their advertising efforts. Pricing is $2,000/month and includes features such as the ability to activate your CRM data for advertising, real-time lead capture, Journey Builder advertising, and more. Every license includes a two-day response time, access to Salesforce’s customer support community, interactive webinars, events, and guided journeys.
Marketing Cloud Intelligence (formerly Datorama) allows marketers to unify, visualize, and activate key marketing data. There are three editions — Starter, Growth, and Plus — starting at $3,000 per org/month with the Starter Edition. Features included with all three editions include Marketplace Data Integration Engine, Harmonization Center, data visualization, and AI insights.
A consultant’s skillset and niche industry knowledge and expertise will heavily influence the cost of implementing advanced clouds. For example, implementing more complex products such as Salesforce CPQ will ultimately cost more and require the knowledge of an experienced consultant. A consultant specializing in CPQ implementation may charge much more than a consultant implementing Sales Cloud or Service Cloud.
If you’re implementing Salesforce, you can start with something as simple as a Jump Start/Quick Start, which are offered by many firms to speed up the implementation process. These offerings include the very basics to get you up and running with the product you are purchasing from Salesforce and typically run anywhere from $5,000 to $25,000. However, it’s important to consider that a Quick Start is often not enough for most companies that are larger than 50 employees.
It’s impossible to accurately estimate the cost of implementation due to many variables, but a good measuring stick is “your implementation cost is typically 1x-1.5x the annual cost of your Salesforce licenses.” This isn’t always the case based on certain factors, such as the complexity of the products you are purchasing or integrations with other systems, but it’s a good place to start.
While customization is often considered one of the hidden costs associated with Salesforce, investing in custom tools can help your business improve efficiency and better serve your customers. Point-and-click tools that are often used for modifying default features like reports and dashboards will cost much less than customizing features with code, although it’s possible to customize your Salesforce org without the help of a Salesforce Developer.
However, if your implementation requires working with a developer, using code to create custom objects and fields or a custom discount approval process may cost more upfront, but can help you maximize your ROI in the Salesforce platform. While this work could potentially be done by a freelance Salesforce Developer, a Salesforce consulting firm can offer a full team of developers, consultants, and admins to support more complex projects that require a large degree of customization.
If you’re already using a CRM, but have decided to make the leap to Salesforce, you’ll need migration services to help you transfer data. Data migration is often considered another hidden cost of implementing Salesforce and can be costly due to the number of activities required before the actual migration.
The total cost of data migration takes into account certain data-prep activities, such as ensuring the accuracy of the data, de-duping records, and mapping the data to the corresponding Salesforce fields. Depending on the amount of data being moved and the complexity of the migration, the level of effort can range closer to 25-50 hours if your internal team is doing the majority of the data prep work, or hundreds of hours if you expect your consulting partner to do all of the data prep work.
A Salesforce Implementation Partner can help you clean up your data and match it with the correct fields in Salesforce to ensure that none of your valuable data is lost in the shuffle. Proper data migration will allow you to continue your business processes from inside Salesforce, so little time is lost between migration and getting the most out of your new CRM.
Salesforce utilizes APIs to create and manage the integration between Salesforce and various third-party systems. Whether you’re looking to integrate supply chain, ERP, sales, or software such as ORACLE or Microsoft, the possibilities available with third-party integrations are practically limitless. Integrating Salesforce with third-party systems and apps can help your business by:
One of the biggest benefits of investing in the Salesforce platform is all of the integrations and apps that are available. Some common integrations include Google Cloud, Slack, Quickbooks, MailChimp, LinkedIn, and DocuSign. You can also find plenty of apps that integrate with Salesforce by browsing the Salesforce AppExchange.
When it comes to the cost of building an integration, there are several key factors. The system you are trying to integrate with may have a pre-built connection with Salesforce. If this is the case, you can work with the company to set up the integration. Many systems have something like this in place, and the integration setup could take less than 20 hours.
If there is not a pre-built connector and you will need to write over the API, a good estimate is 50-100 hours per integration. However, this can vary widely depending on how many tables of data you are integrating, one-way vs. bi-directional syncing, and how often the systems need to push updates.
When determining how much your Salesforce implementation will cost, it’s important to consider the long-term support your business may need. You can either hire an in-house team of Salesforce Developers and Admins or choose to work with a Salesforce consulting firm that can provide Managed Services.
Managed Services is a cost-efficient way to maintain your deployment, fix issues, and provide ongoing guidance, support, and training for your team. Compared to hiring a team of Salesforce Admins and Developers, Managed Services can help you save on recruiting, hiring, and training costs.
With Managed Services, you have a full team of consultants who can work with you to achieve your goals and optimize your Salesforce org according to your needs. The cost of Managed Services will vary depending on the length of the contract and project needs. If you’re interested in Managed Services from Kelley Austin, contact us, and we’ll be happy to send you pricing information.
The length of time it takes to implement Salesforce depends on several factors, such as:
On average, Salesforce implementation for one of the core products, such as Sales Cloud, can take anywhere from 5 to 12 weeks to complete. The process can take a few months if you decide to select add-ons or if your project requires a high degree of customization.
A Salesforce Implementation Partner can help you determine what your needs are and outline the scope of the project from start to finish, which will give you a better understanding of how long implementation will take. Ultimately, the time it takes to implement Salesforce can vary significantly based on your business goals and needs and consulting costs.
If you feel like you’ve outgrown your current software, upgrading to Salesforce can help you streamline your business processes and ultimately improve the customer experience. The beauty of the Salesforce platform is that it grows with your business, so even small businesses can benefit from implementing the platform.
Implementing any new technology comes with its fair share of challenges, and the same is true for Salesforce. While project complexity, data migration, and customizations can lead to unexpected challenges during implementation, having a dedicated team of consultants to guide you through the process can ensure your Salesforce implementation is a success.
Our tips for ensuring a successful implementation are:
Whew, that’s a lot. If you scrolled this far on the page, consider yourself an expert (mostly) in the true cost of implementing Salesforce. We want to emphasize that there’s not a specific number that applies to every business looking to implement Salesforce. The true answer is this: it depends.
Factors that contribute to the total cost of implementing the platform include:
You can, however, expect the total cost to be in the ballpark of 1x-1.5x your annual Salesforce license costs.
If you’re still feeling a little apprehensive about whether implementing Salesforce is the right solution for your business, we get it. While the initial investment may seem pricey, an IDC study found that in four years, the ROI in Salesforce is between 300 - 500%. Even better, you can also expect to cut down on unnecessary sales emails by 26%, meetings by 25%, and IT costs by 43% within the first four years.
We’ve seen this level of success firsthand after helping clients from a variety of industries implement Salesforce. After implementing Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud for a client in the Technology Industry, our client has grown from just 70 employees to 225. They’ve also increased their number of operating locations by 10x in just 14 months. We love to help our clients grow and find success by improving their processes through the power of Salesforce.
To get an accurate estimate of how much Salesforce implementation will cost your business, contact Kelley Austin to get started.
At Kelley Austin we're proud to provide tailored Salesforce solutions across a variety of industries. Our expert knowledge and many years of experience in all aspects of the Salesforce ecosystem have earned us high levels of satisfaction from our clients.
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