Market Alert! Salesforce.com Pricing Change: Is Salesforce.com’s “Lightening” About to Zap Your CRM Budget?

Author: Michael Welsh

Salesforce.com recently announced a major change in its Sales Cloud subscription programs that requires customers to act before Salesforce Q2 starts (which was May 1st) to lock in with old pricing model or automatically move to their new plan, and there are some potentially major implications for our clients. It’s imperative that you know how these changes impact your budget in the near future, and more importantly – what you can do about it.

The most interesting part of this announcement and change seems to be the creative use of the word ‘Lightening’, which appears to be not much more than a significant increase in price, coupled with some bundled features you probably don’t need (or already had anyway). In our view, most Salesforce.com customers will experience a 20% increase in overall pricing for those main functions that are critical to their business. For example, the partial use of ‘Sandbox’ in the various tiers of ‘Lightening’ service. Every one of our clients that have a need for Sandbox capability already have it and really don’t need it as a new ‘benefit’ in a ‘bundled’ package.

If you missed the Salesforce.com imposed deadline for start of Q2 (May 1 for Salesforce.com) to ‘Lock In’ to the old pricing model, here are a few recommendations:
1) Plan Ahead – Don’t wait for your agreement termination date to roll around before you start planning: Review platform levels, review subscription titles, metrics, and quantities, review subscription access privileges, review consumption of features, and analyze what contractual levers exist for modification.
2) Analyze your user environment – Most Salesforce.com customers are paying for more named users than actually access and use the services. These new bundles may force some of that on you, but don’t take any more than you have to by ensuring you’re in the right platform tier (Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited, or Performance).
3) Know the Market – Understand what companies your size and scale are paying in comparison, and leverage the market intelligence available to you. Benchmark your agreement with NET(net)’s Federated Market Intelligence engine – the world’s most precise and complete pricing benchmark available for Salesforce.com.
Your safest bet is to call us to chat about your specific situation… Don’t let the tail wag the dog on this – it’s your business and your budget and a 20% cost increase without a significant increase in value is an erosion of your business case. Complete the form HERE, and or sign up for our Premium Content page to read more insights on Salesforce.com.

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