There are many cloud based platforms, also known as CRMs, Customer Relationship Management systems. CRM is the old term because these cloud systems used to be used to just manage customer relationships but now they can manage any process.
Salesforce is the leading cloud platform.
Highly customizable. You can do anything pretty much.
Tons of existing add-on apps give you unique processes needed immediately.
Salesforce continues to improve and add features with 4 new releases each year.
How do I Implement Salesforce?
Determine which edition you need.
Editions range from $5-$150/user/month.
Self Implement OR get a Consulting Partner to help implement like us.
Get Implementation estimate from consulting partner.
Understand total cost and decide to move forward.
What Salesforce Edition Should I get?
Editions have different features and capabilities and range from $5-$150/month/user.
Different Editions come with out of the box features and capabilities so you don’t need to develop it. But the Platform/Force.com is a blank slate so you can build anything.
Contact Edition – $5/user/month
Track accounts and contacts, use Chatter for collaboration, record activities like tasks you made for each account or contact.
Great for simple tracking of your contacts, their status, add some custom fields, access this info from anywhere including mobile phone, and track activity history as well as set tasks due in the future.
Powerful report builder.
You can’t create your own custom objects.
Limited to only 5 users.
Group Edition – $25/user/month
Now you get more out of the box sales tracking with Leads and Opportunities.
With Opportunities you create a record for each potential business deal with the customer and track it’s own status and amount.
Leads allows you to have a separate place to import or record leads from website so you can put them in one area and qualify them and convert them to real potential Opportunities.
Use web-2-lead to put a form on your website to insert that directly into Salesforce.
Create email templates.
Just standard dashboards, that you can’t customize. Dashboards display graphs of data from your reports on a single page. Good source for quick view of metrics.
You can no customize fields and objects to track any extra data you need.
Professional Edition – $75/user/month
Now you can track your products and prices and add those products to your Opportunities.
Create quotes for opportunities, generate simple quote templates with PDF and email.
Useful if you actually plan to create quotes or want to see pricebooks inside salesforce.
Customize your Dashboards to show the data you need if standard dashboards are not working.
Campaign tracking feature. Track any type of campaign manually by creating a campaign and child campaigns. For example a trade show is a campaign. Then you can add people to that campaign and track the ROI. This is NOT automated out of the box and provides some good but basic tracking of campaigns manually. Not a popular feature we have seen used but can be useful.
Case tracking. Allows you to track cases (support tickets), their status. Web 2 Case allows you to put a form on your website and creates the Case record in Salesforce. Good out of the box functionality to track customer support. You can also get this type of functionality on Group Edition and integrate with Zendesk which has more features but costs between $1-$25/user/month.
Mass Emailing. You can send mass emails to your leads and contacts in Salesforce. Limited to sending 250 emails at a time and up to 1000 per day. If you plan to email more than that, you should not try to use this feature. Also if you want more metrics that you get from a dedicated email marketing service like delivery rate, bounce rate, open rate, click through rate, unsubscribe features, etc then you will want to use an email marketing platform that integrates with Salesforce like iContact, Mail Chimp, Pardot, etc. You can also integrate Mail Chimp and other email marketing apps to Group Edition.
You can get API access as a paid add-on. API allows you to do integrations with other systems. API can also be used to develop some creative work arounds for automation without Enterprise Edition.
Sales Cloud and Service Cloud is basically the same thing.
Enterprise Edition – $150/user/mont
Use Workflows to send automatic emails, create tasks, and update field values. Workflows is a very powerful tool to allow for some automation. This could be critical to your business process and provide an extreme improvement in process or it could be a “nice to have” feature in some cases that will save a few clicks or a few moments.
Approval processes. Setup complicated approval processes. For example if you need the Sales Rep to get the Quote approved on an opportunity before they will send it out.
API is included.
APEX custom code. You can create apex triggers, classes, visual force which basically allows you to make Salesforce do anything you want. Automate things, and display information in any way you want. Full control to use what ever custom code to do anything. Very powerful tool of course and can be critical to improving a business process or a “nice to have”.
With a Service Cloud license at this level you get more customer service features like Entitlements tracking, Service Contracts, and a Service Console. The standard Console is ok, and the Service Console looks and is much better and allows you to have a more efficient interface to navigate records. The entitlements and service contracts tracking is ok out of the box features for this purpose. Not amazing.
Platform/Force.com – $25-$80/user/month
This edition basically gives you the power to customize like the Enterprise Edition with Accounts and Contacts, Apex, API, and Workflows.
But it does not include any of the out of the box functionality you get like Opportunity tracking, leads, Campaigns, Cases, Products, Pricbooks, etc.
You will need at least one Force.com Admin licenses which costs $50/user/month. This license allows you to author and modify your salesforce.
The different editions of Platform/Force.com is about how many custom objects the user needs to access. 10 objects for the cheaper one and only one app. App is really just about what tabs are shown at the top. I find most companies can get away with Force.com usage of 10 objects if focused on a certain department.
Platform/Force.com Edition + RS Order Tracking App – $30-$85/user/month
Having Workflows, Apex, and the API really gives you so much more possibilities to automate and integrate and customize your Salesforce platform and improve processes. But Enterprise is very expensive.
We built an app called RS Order Tracking that when installed into the Platform/Force.com edition you then get out of the box functionality to track Orders/Opportunities, pricing, Products/Items, shipping, invoicing, accounts receivable.
It does not include Leads, but does include Accounts/Contacts which works for most companies.
It does not include Campaign tracking but there are ways to get this if desired.
You can use Platform/Force.com Enterprise or Basic edition for $80 or $25/user/month.
Our RS Order Tracking App costs $5/user/month.
Total cost with basic Platform/Force.com Edition is $30/month/user.
Your first Force.com Admin user license will cost $50/user/month for the first admin license.
This is the most cost effective solution to get up and running quickly with the most commonly used features and valuable features.
Why Get a Partner to Implement?
Utilize experts with this process/platform to have smart strategy and structure.
Help navigate options
Start on the right foot.
Don’t tie up internal resources to learn and setup.
What is the the Process to Implement Salesforce?
Typical implementation process is as follows whether you self implement or get a consultant.
Review business processes involving key players
Identify how to manage the process using the Salesforce platform and write a plan.
Know your tools, be creative, and think of a full working solution to meet goals.
Spec out what customizations and development and tasks need to be done.
Make the customizations and development in Salesforce.
Test and Review the new system.
Train the trainers and key people.
Roll out to everyone else in the company.
How Much Will It Cost to Implement and How Long will it take?
Our most cost effective implementation package for a quick start costs $700 and could take you 1-15 days depending on you.
Doing one 4 hour remote screenshare session with one of our Salesforce Consultants.
This is designed for someone who can retain information fairly quickly if shown and needs help to get started then can maybe use help resources available for next things or ask us for help later.
Designed to get you quickly started with basic customizations and training focusing on the most used features and needs we have seen with clients.
Training is a crash course to give you an idea. Depending on your learning curve you can pick up quickly or continue to read /watch training resources or get more training from us.
Reviewing your business process
Showing the Salesforce platform and capabilities
Making modifications to the platform to fit your business process needs like