25 Feb The true cost of Salesforce integration in high-tech: #1 The cost of the dream future state
by Ryan Christensen
Salesforce has become the market-leading CRM platform that promises a better way to connect with customers and manage sales, service, marketing, and more. With that popularity, the belief often exists that Salesforce should be inexpensive and simple for organizations of all sizes to implement. The reality is that migrating over to this platform is not free, nor an overnight timeline. The platform consists of multiple cloud offerings, complex implementation, integration requirements, enablement for adoption, and oftentimes the need to hire new personnel certified in the platform itself. The costs in adopting a new org or migrating to Salesforce can add up quickly, but the process itself doesn’t have to be painful.
In this series, I’ll uncover and dive into many of the anticipated costs associated with a Salesforce implementation. High-tech companies are some of the perfect customers—ready to leverage Salesforce for richer customer experiences. If you go into the process prepared and aware of the requirements outside of licensing, then reaping the value out of Salesforce can be rather straightforward.
In this first article, we will explore the hidden costs behind the dream future state for your organization and how building a proper journey now will save both time and money later.
Pricing the dream
Cloud software is marketed as being cost-effective because users can flexibly pay by the month or annually, but not incur the exorbitant costs of managing the infrastructure. This method also allows a company to tap into timely and consistent software updates based on user and market demands.
However, with the benefits of the cloud, Salesforce is not just a few basic plans with a few add-ons. There are about 1,700 products. You can easily go from $300/user/year to much more with even an edition or multiple-cloud subscription. High-tech companies often find that what they thought was a plan for a few hundred dollars is now a few thousand. This is why it is hypercritical to properly map business requirements to current licensing needs while budgeting towards your forecasted growth so that you can scale on the platform that was built to help you do so.
If making a business case is daunting, consider working with a Platinum Salesforce consulting partner, such as Simplus and our Advisory Services, to help you build a transparent and scalable journey. Remember, software licensing fees are not the only factors affecting your dream plan. Accurately implementing and integrating these, within a reasonable timeframe, also carry their own costs.
Implementing the dream
Proper implementation and integration will ensure that Salesforce plays well with your other systems of record and that existing users and their associated data can be channeled into the right applications. Ranger Louis on Quora points out that Salesforce implementations can range widely in cost. The size of your organization (total users and all of their data that must be integrated with the ability to scale into the future) as well as its complexity (how many other systems of record exist, and will you use Salesforce out of the box or require customization which can be problematic for future upgrades?) will ultimately dictate this size of this investment.
Planning for your dream
Implementing Salesforce can be one of the greatest benefits to your business if you plan ahead of the investment. As you look at your short and long-term business goals, consider the following:
- Which departments will interact via Salesforce? How will this investment make their daily tasks simpler and more natural? What transparency will be created in your organization as a result?
- How will the Salesforce platform interact with your customers? What data is lacking to date on our customers and how will you acquire it?
- What types of analytics do you want to be performed and how frequently?
- What is our channel strategy and how will Salesforce evolve this? Are we easy to do business with and is our value proposition clear compared to the competition?
Check back soon for the next part of this series, where we’ll continue our journey in quote-to-cash requirements and show how Salesforce CPQ can help answer these needs.
Ryan Christensen is the Director of Vertical Sales at Simplus. He has over 12 years of technology sales experience and a diverse background ranging from start-ups to industry-leading enterprise organizations, specializing in SaaS and its services. Ryan recently participated in the CEO keynote at Dreamforce 2017, focusing on the success Adidas is having using Salesforce globally. He is travel-obsessed, fearless on the dance floor, and bilingual in English and Italian.