Written by MICHAEL MORRIS 04/15/2021

Salesforce CRM is the leading customer relationship management software on the market. With revenue of more than 5 billion dollars for quarter 4 of 2021, they clearly are the leader in the CRM space. It's no wonder where all of this revenue is coming from, their ridiculously high pricing.

If you're in the market for a new CRM system you may want to think twice before signing a contract with Salesforce, especially after reading this article. I will break down the Salesforce pricing model, and show the stark difference between their pricing in comparison to their competition.

Another thing to note when considering if Salesforce is worth the hefty upfront outlay of cash is if you're getting something that you cannot get elsewhere for less money, and the truth is you don't. In the CRM software market today, all of the best CRM systems have the same feature set, including Salesforce.

The reason Salesforce can charge so much more than their competition is due to name recognition. Organizations looking for a CRM system feel safe when choosing a company they have heard of, especially a public company on the dow jones industrial average.

Another reason Salesforce can get away with such high pricing is that large organizations are willing to pay top dollar to ensure that the system they choose will be around for the long haul.

Unfortunately for Salesforce, the customer is catching on, and recently the market share of CRM has been leaving Salesforce. Primarily due to the fact that their prices continue to rise, and the cost of CRM alternatives continues to decrease. In 2021 you can easily find a comparable CRM, if not a better CRM than Salesforce for a fraction of the price. One of the best Salesforce CRM alternatives is Snapforce, which is a fraction of the cost and has all of the same features without the extra software bloat that you get with Salesforce.

Pricing Structure for Salesforce

The pricing structure for Salesforce CRM is the same as all other CRM systems on the market (with the exception of Snapforce CRM). Salesforce CRM has four different editions, each edition has more features than the next and costs more per month.

Salesforce charges per user, each employee at your company who needs to use the CRM has to pay for a license.

Salesforce has a minimum one year contract, where you need to pay upfront for a year for each license to get started.

Essentials Edition

Salesforce's Essentials edition costs $25 per user per month, billed annually. The Essentials edition is the least expensive system they offer.

The Essentials edition is just a contact manager, it lets you import your contacts and log notes for them. It is a completely different software than their other higher editions.

A few years back Salesforce purchased a smaller software company and renamed that software the Essentials edition of Salesforce. It is has a completely different look and feel than the higher editions they offer.

There are very few features to discuss withe Essentials edition, it only offers two things Contacts and Notes.

To get started with Salesforce Essentials for 10 users it will cost $3,000 upfront for the year. If you need ongoing support and help with the setup and configuration of the system you will also need to pay an additional upfront cost. Setup is important when deploying a new CRM system, if you don't get the system configured and setup correctly right from the start it can really hurt your user adoption when you roll the system out to your team.

Alternative - Snapforce CRM pricing is $12 per user per month, it includes the same features as Salesforce Essentials plus account management, lead management, opportunity and pipeline management, email, event scheduling, task management, standard reports and dashboards.

Professional Edition

Salesforce's Professional edition costs $75 per user per month, billed annually.The Professional edition is their full CRM system, unlike the Essentials edition which is just a glorified contact manager.

The Professional edition includes a sales feature set, including opportunities, forecasting, lead scoring, and rules to automatically assign leads to specific users.

The Professional edition is the lowest priced Salesforce edition you should choose if you need a real sales based CRM system.

To get started with Salesforce Professional for 10 users it will cost $9,000 upfront for the year. If you need help with setup and configuration there is an arbitrary setup fee the salesperson will quote you for depending on your requirements.

Alternative - Snapforce CRM pricing is $12 per user per month, and includes all of the same features as Salesforce Professional but is 20 percent the cost.

Enterprise Edition

Salesforce's Enterprise edition costs $150 per user per month, billed annually. The Enterprise edition has some key functionality that their Professional edition does not.

The primary features you will get with the Enterprise edition that you will not get with Professional edition is workflow automation, territories, and the full Salesforce calendar. It seems odd that these features wouldn't be available in all of the Salesforce editions, but that's Salesforce for you.

There are not too many more features in the Enterprise edition when compared to their Professional edition, mostly you're getting more volume. For example in the Professional edition you can only create three campaigns per opportunity, but in the Enterprise edition you can create five campaigns per opportunity.

To get started with Salesforce Enterprise for 10 users it will cost $18,000 upfront for the year. Again if you need help configuring the system, there will be a custom setup fee quoted to you by your Salesforce sales person.

Alternative - Snapforce CRM pricing is $12 per user per month, and includes the same features as Salesforce Enterprise, with the exception of campaigns and territory management. To add campaigns to Snapforce it is an additional $8 per month, and territory management is an additional $5 per month. Everything else is already available in Snapforce's core CRM for $12.

Unlimited Edition

Salesforce's Unlimited edition costs $300 per user per month, billed annually. The Ultimate edition is Salesforce's highest priced CRM edition, and is far higher than any other CRM in the industry.

Surprisingly there is no more features and functionality in the Unlimited edition versus the Enterprise edition. The only difference is 24/7 unlimited support.

It seems outlandish to charge so much for customer support, but Salesforce is notorious for their outragous support costs. It is not uncommon to be quoted between $10,000 to $30,000 for custom setup and configuration.

To get started with Salesforce Unlimited for 10 users it will cost $36,000 upfront for the year.

Alternative - Snapforce CRM pricing is $12 per user per month, and includes the same features and all of the same functionality as Salesforce Unlimited with a few exceptions. Campaigns is an additional $8 per month, territory management is an additional $5 per month, and the same custom report and dashboards as Salesforce Unlimited is an additional $8 per month. Snapforce also offers many other modular add-ons to increase the functionality of your system, including a built-in cloud pbx phone system, two-way mail sync, asset management, payments and expenses, and more.

Final Thoughts

Salesforce is a legacy CRM software system, and has been in business for more than 20 years now. Their pricing continues to rise, while their system continues to suffer from software bloat; a condition where a system becomes too bogged down with rarely used options and functions that make the system overly complex.

There are many newer, faster, and less expensive CRM systems available today compared to when Salesforce first opened their doors for business. This means you have many more options to choose from, and I would strongly recommend looking around before signing that long annual contract with the grandfather of cloud CRM.

About Snapforce's Pricing Model

Snapforce CRM is a cloud based CRM software that offers a large suite of features. Unlike all other CRM's that charge based on the Edition you purchase, we offer optional modules that you can add-on to the core CRM product. These modules are offered "a la carte" in which you can add modules for just the users that need them. This means if one user needs access to the Campaigns module, you do not need to add this feature for all of your users, only the one user that will be using it.

This a la carte pricing model provides you the flexibility and comfort that you are only paying for what you need.