Salesforce Pricing Guide (Mar 2019)

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Last updated: Mar 27, 2019

Salesforce Pricing

ITQlick rating
(4.5/5)

Starting from $25 Per month/user

Salesforce is a cloud-hosted customer relationship management (CRM) software suite that offer solutions for small, mid-level and enterprise organizations focusing mainly on sales and support. The software offer


Salesforce Pricing - The Ultimate Guide

Salesforce Total Cost Grade: (6/10)

Salesforce has various editions to choose from, namely: Contact Manager, Group, Professional, Enterprise and Unlimited. Prices start from $5 and you will be charged depending on the version you pick.


When it comes to selecting software product, buyers are primarily concerned about its cost. In fact, it is the cost that determines whether a potential buyer would go with the product. True, there is no one-size-fits-all formula to determine the “worth” of a software product, but as a software buyer, you want to make sure you get the best value for your money, without having to dig a big hole in your pocket.

Understanding the exact price of Software isn't easy as The overall cost of software includes the cost of software license, subscription fees, software training cost, customization cost, required hardware, and the cost of maintenance & support and other related services. It's critical that you account for all of these costs to gain an understanding of the system's "total cost of ownership."

3 Software Pricing Models:

There are primarily three common pricing models – Perpetual License, Subscription, and Commercial open source.

  • Subscription/Software-As-A-Service: Relevant for Salesforce
    Under this software pricing model, the software is accessed over the Internet, as opposed to installed on-premises. The payment is made either on a per user basis or subscription basis. Ideally, customers are required to pay a recurring monthly fee until a specific period for using the software. Subscription pricing model is more common with Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) apps.

    • Upfront cost for customization and integration is less compared to perpetual license cost because there is not much flexibility with SaaS systems in this area.

    • Recurring cost is greater as customers are required to make monthly payments as subscription fee. Additionally customers using premium support services must pay an extra fee.

    • All in all, the total cost of ownership in the both cases is almost the same and may span over a period of 7-10 years, though you may have to pay a higher perpetual license fee upfront. The software cost may vary from starter to mid range to enterprise level apps in both cases.

  • Perpetual license: Not relevant for Salesforce
    A common pricing model for on-premise applications, perpetual license requires a customer to pay an upfront sum to own the software or other intellectual property on-premises for a fixed term.

    • Upfront cost involves the fee for installation, customization, integration with existing systems, besides perpetual license fee.

    • Recurring cost is low in this pricing model and may include cost for updates, maintenance, upgrades, and patches. Some vendors do offer premium support services, which come for an extra price.

  • Commercial open source: Not relevant for Salesforce
    The customer can acquire the software free of cost without having to incur any upfront license fee. As a customer, you’re solely responsible for the ongoing maintenance, upgrading, customization, and troubleshooting of the application to meet your specific needs. You are on your own for providing end-user support, since you are not locked in with a vendor-supplied software solution.

Salesforce - cost of customization:

If you need specific features in your software catering to your specific business requirements, the vendor will charge customization cost, depending on your needs and feature requirement. Ideally customization cost is more complex to calculate compared to licensing cost.

Some apps allow you to easily combine data from multiple sources, without any complicated query requirements, while some others can be embedded into different applications to provide enhanced reporting. If you seek products that support customizable dashboards and predictive analysis to identity possible trends and facilitate decision making, you may have to pay higher for all the customization features.

Additionally, the following factors may affect the cost of customization:
  • User interface changes
  • Configurable dashboards
  • Data elements required for tracking
  • Forms to collect additional data
  • Dashboard, management and operational reports that are needed.
  • Workflows and how complex they are.
  • Forms to collect additional data.
Here are some questions to answer: How much customization is needed? How many system you want to integrate to? Does your company work like industry standars or has it's own customize processes? What kind of special reports are needed?

In order to calculate the cost of customization you can use the following estimates:

  • Minimal customization - integrate with 1-2 systems: $2,500
  • Standard customization - integrate with 3-5 systems: $10,000
  • Fully customized system - integrate with more than 5 systems: $25,000

Salesforce - cost of data migration: Relevant for Salesforce

Most companies opt for data migration services from a vendor, which raises the cost of product ownership. If you choose to transfer data on your own, you can avoid paying the cost of data migration.
Data migration cost depends on the amount of data to be transferred, your current software, availability of migration tools, complexity of data, and gaps between the existing system and the new system.

If your data is stored in excel spreadsheets, then it may incur you a lot of time and money to migrate data from excel.
By involving a software services provider in data migration, you are asking them to offer additional services, for which you may have to pay extra.

As a rule of thumb the cost of data migration depents on how many records you want to migrate. Records can include number of Customers, invoices, financial transactions, products, versions, etc. Here is a list you can use as a rule of thume:

  • 1,000 records: $500
  • 10,000 records: $2,500
  • 100,000 records: $10,000
  • 1,000,000+ records: $25,000

Salesforce - cost of training: Relevant for Salesforce

As a software buyer, you are required to pay extra for in-person training, though some vendors offer web-based training as part of the package. Training cost may involve end-user training, video/self training, group training, department training, and train the trainer.

Training cost derived from the training approach that you select for your organization:
  • End-user training.
  • Group/Department training.
  • Video /self training.
  • Train the trainer approach.

Here are some questions to answer: How many training groups (different departments, usages, type of users) are needed?

In order to calculate the cost of training you can use the following estimates:

  • 1-2 Training Sessions: $500
  • 3-4 Training Sessions: $1,500
  • 5-7 Training Sessions: $2,500
  • 8-10 Training Sessions: $5,000

Cost of Hardware & IT: Not relevant for Salesforce

This can be a major expense for on-premise software buyers that need their own servers and other infrastructure to install the solution. This may be a costlier alternative than cloud solutions. In that case, you may want to go with cloud services that do not involve infrastructural investments and you can rely on the vendor’s web-based solutions.

Software pricing may also depend on software capabilities, including marketing automation, sales automation, help desk, and call center.

Cost of support for Salesforce - An Important Factor:

As a customer investing in a software product, you are looking for constant support, besides the price of the software. Support has become a crucial part of value-based pricing that you are willing to pay as a customer.

There is no use buying a software product and facing inconvenience due to some technical glitches that you know nothing about and are reliant on the vendor to give you a solution. It is crucial that you go for a product from a vendor that provides solutions to ongoing problems.

Shift From Licensing Fee to Subscription Fee Models: Not relevant

In an effort to build more sustained relationships with customers, most software vendors have chosen to offer the managed services model to accommodate changing customer behavior. There has been a significant drop in licensing revenue, thanks to the emergence of software-as-a-service model and downfall of the packaged software.

The new pricing model requires customers to pay little upfront fee and ongoing subscription fee on a monthly basis. The alternate pricing model stretches payments over a period of few years compared to lump-sum licensing fee.

Customers are happy to pay small monthly installments for subscribing to the ongoing support and maintenance services from vendors, without having to pay large upfront payment which can be too much for small businesses.

Compare Salesforce pricing to Alternarive solutions:

When comparing Salesforce to their competitors, in a scale between 1 to 10 Salesforce is rated 6, which is similar to the average software cost.

The science of software cost/pricing may not be easy to understand. If you seek to understand software pricing model, get in touch with ITQlick experts. Contact us today and find solutions to all your questions. We will match software vendors that offer the best pricing on technology that fits your needs.

Salesforce Vs. alternatives

The two main competitors of Salesforce software include Hubspot CRM and Zoho CRM. Similar to Salesforce CRM, HubSpot CRM is a cloud-hosted customer relationship management software suite that is designed to serve businesses and organizations of every size to track and nature business leads, as well as analyze the various business metrics.

Both platforms support Windows, Linux, Android, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Web-based platforms. HubSpot software offers Online, Business Hours, and 24/7 (Live Rep) client support whereas Salesforce offers its customers support through Business Hours and online channels.

Salesforce CRM is a product of Salesforce Company but in comparison, HubSpot CRM is a solution by HubSpot Company. Just like Salesforce, Zoho software is a cloud-hosted customer relationship management system tailored to tackle the needs of small, mid-level businesses in areas like Customer Support and Service, Sales, Marketing and more.

Zoho offers Documentation, Webinars, and In-Person modes of training but in comparison, Salesforce offers Documentation, In Person, Webinars, and Live Online forms of training. Zoho CRM is a solution by Zoho CRM Company while Salesforce CRM is a product of Salesforce Company.
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