What is the cost of implementing Salesforce for a small business or team?

Cost of Implementing Salesforce

How much does it cost to implement Salesforce? Trust me, there is good news! Everyone (yes everyone!) can access Salesforce implementation support services at a level of investment that suits their budget and desired return on investment. This article discusses several options available to you as a start-up, scale-up or shake-up business or team, looking to make an impact on your business development initiatives leveraging the power of Salesforce.

What methods are available to me for implementing Salesforce for my small business or team and what are the costs?

Self-implementation is “Free”

Salesforce has a wealth of functionality that you can rely on to manage your inbound leads or enquires, track your opportunities or deals and log your conversation history and reminders straight out of the box delivering a generic solution for you to get started with immediately. It even comes with an extensive array of reports and dashboards ready-made for you to work with and a configurable connection to Gmail via a Google Workspace subscription or Outlook via a Microsoft Office 365 subscription.

It is our experience, and that of our many customers, who have initially decided to take the self-implementation route, that one of two scenarios present themselves.

Very quickly you recognise that you have grown out of the pre-configured solution.

Shortly after you get to grips with the standard template and the basic functionality it provides, you will want to personalise it to match the way you do business, and use your own business language and you will no doubt have some very specific reports that you need to build to track your success.

Salesforce has thought of this. They have provided a vast learning and education library that takes you through all the possible areas of configuration and personalisation that you are likely to need, step by step, in a non-technical way. Trailhead is free, you do not even need to be a Salesforce customer to access its powerful and informative content.

The key thing to remember here is that this approach (self-implementation of Salesforce using Trailhead) is a learning exercise and whilst it is a free and valuable resource that will serve up everything you can possibly need to personalise your Salesforce solution, there is an investment required. Your time. You will need to start at the very beginning, building your knowledge and then making the appropriate changes along the way.

This approach may well suit you and so will be a good choice for you. If on the other hand, you feel your time is best suited to running your business, you will probably prefer to get some help.

Your skill set does not match your need for personalisation.

Shortly after you get started (that is you log in and have a look around) you become overwhelmed with the possibilities and struggle to focus on what is most important to you, what to work on first, and where to look for the training that will get you where you want to be. This typically happens when your priorities are around building the business at the coal face rather than building a solution. You are a professional business development, sales, or marketing executive, not a certified Salesforce consultant.

Getting help with Salesforce personalisation.

Both scenarios will certainly be alleviated by engaging with a Salesforce Partner with certified Salesforce consultants right from the beginning saving you time and removing frustration. It is worth reminding yourself that a certified consultant is an expert in their field, who has trained for many years in the art of crafting Salesforce solutions, and you are professional and expert in what you do.

Implementing Salesforce with the support of a registered partner (investing in getting help from a certified professional)

As with all businesses, Salesforce partners come in all shapes and sizes. Some focus on certain sectors such as

  • Financial Services
  • Professional Services
  • Engineering
  • Manufacturing
  • High-Tech Sales
  • Equipment Sales and Installation
  • Property Development
  • Construction
  • Property Services
  • Event Management
  • Waste Management
  • Distribution

The list goes on and on.

A selection of partners will be highly experienced in implementing Salesforce in many, if not all, of these sectors who, in addition, will specialise in providing affordable implementation services specifically tailored for start-up, scale-up and shake-up businesses and business development teams and initiatives. They will typically be long-standing Salesforce partners that often work closely with the Salesforce sales teams to ensure that customers get the very best experience from the start. Maximising your investment by fast-tracking the implementation and adoption of a tailored and personalised solution. We will be involved from a very early stage of your interest in, and engagement with, Salesforce to make sure we are fully aware of your precise objective for selecting the world’s number one customer relationship management (CRM) solution.

Here are some examples of the implementation and support packages that New Era Cloud, a long-standing Salesforce Partner in the UK, offer your start-up, scale-up or shake-up business or team.

Quick Start for Salesforce

Quick Start for Salesforce is a range of consulting and implementation packages specifically designed for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), sales departments or business development teams to deliver the maximum value out of your Salesforce subscription right from the very beginning. There are generally several levels set out by Salesforce partners who specialise in this area, which act as a guide to what your project might entail both from a scope point of view and the potential cost or investment that may be necessary.

A specialist partner that offers Quick Start packages will likely have their own way of presenting the different levels, although, over the passing of the years, these have tended to converge into a similar structure and content.

What really sets one partner’s offer apart from another is the experience of the consultants (both in terms of project and industry best practice) and the longevity of the partner’s participation in the Salesforce ecosystem. It is this unique combination that will dictate how quickly your project will take, and ultimately the best solution you can get for your budget.

Now let’s look at some of the Quick Start for Salesforce options that New Era Cloud offers so you can get an idea of what might be included, the estimate of a cost for each, and the types of areas that would need to be considered as additional work and therefore investment.

Before we do, it is worth mentioning at this stage that it is not necessarily the number of users or the volume of data that drives the level of investment in implementing Salesforce, it is the complexity of the process(es) and how comprehensive the solution needs to be which extends the amount of time that a certified Salesforce consultant needs to spend analysing and tailoring it for you.

It is therefore important that you are clear about what functionality is, and what process(es) are essential and what are nice to have. It is also useful to consider breaking your requirements down into parts so that you can focus on what is important now, and what can wait for the future. This will help your Salesforce partner to be able to guide you to the most appropriate option for you, whilst keeping the future firmly in mind.

What is involved in tailoring and personalising a Salesforce solution?

What we tend to experience when personalising a Salesforce solution for a start-up, scale-up or shake-up business or business development team or initiative, is that additional data items need to be captured and recorded for each of the main areas (Leads, Accounts, Contacts and Opportunities). These take the form of different field types that hold the attributes that are specific to your needs.

Imagine you need to have different categorisations of Accounts for say “sector” or “region”, or that you want to have some checkboxes that show certain qualification questions have been asked of a person making an enquiry. All these require additional configuration.

Also consider the reports that you might need, this may be more in number to ensure that you have the full suite of management reports you need to track your success.

You may need to have more comprehensive data imported or perhaps you have multiple income streams that follow a different sales process.

All of these things add complexity to the configuration that whilst your consultant will e fully versed on what is needed, it will take time to complete. This is when other, extended versions of the Quick Start implementation package will become relevant.

24 Hour Quick Start for Salesforce

An entry level implementation package. Streamlined, efficient and economical this option is ideal for solutions that need to build on top of the pre-configured options that Salesforce provide as standard, that augments and refines it to your own personalised version. There are typically limitations to this style of service. As a broad idea it should include the following areas of configuration as a minimum.

  • Inbound enquiries (Leads).
  • Customer, Prospects (Accounts) and associated Contacts.
  • Deal tracking for a single sales process (Opportunities).
  • Revenue categorisation and prices (Products / Services / Proce Book).
  • Conversation history (Tasks, Events) including integration with Gmail or Outlook.
  • A selection of reports (circa. 6).
  • A dashboard (based on the above reports).
  • Simple data import (for Lead, Accounts and Contacts).

 

How do Salesforce consultants find out what I need?

You can expect to have a kick off call, at New Era Cloud we call this a Design Workshop, which will take up to an hour, so that your consultant can get all the details they need from you. Rest assured, they know what questions to ask and so will use your own business language to help make this process easy.

The personalisation of the solution is done by the consultant behind the scenes, enabling them to work at speed. It is likely they will have some additional questions as they proceed which will help them complete their work.

How do I learn about my Salesforce solution?

You should also expect to receive a detailed handover, we call this a Solutions Workshop, again for an hour or so, which is used to run through the personalisation to make sure it is what you communicated in the design workshop. It is also a session used to get you familiar with what information goes where and how to navigate your new solution.

Can I get support after my Salesforce solution has been built using Quick Start?

It is highly recommended that you select a package that provides an amount of time set aside for after the solution has been finished for handholding, knowledge share or for some additional small configuration items that you may not have thought about at the beginning of your mini project. On the basis you have used the 24 Hour Quick Start for Salesforce a short amount of time, say 4 hours over the following 7 days will be included as standard (certainly we do), or should you feel the need for more you can always look into extending this to say 8 hours over the next 30 days to give you even more peace of mind. Your Salesforce partner will be able to advise you what might be most appropriate and what options they offer.

Once you support entitlement with your selected partner comes to an end, at this point you should expect to be handed back to Salesforce when you will have access to the standard Salesforce support or, if you have subscribed to it, the support services offered under their Premier Success Plan (a premium added to your base Salesforce subscription) which provides configuration support and knowledge share.

What will a 24 Hour Quick Start for Salesforce implementation cost me?

As at the time of writing this article, we would estimate that you should expect to pay somewhere between £1,250 and £2,000 plus VAT for a simple implementation which will depend on the scope and additional support time that you sign up for. This is an upfront, one-off fee charged by the Salesforce partner which is in addition to the subscription you have agreed directly with Salesforce for their out if the box solution.

What is the cost of more comprehensive and advanced tailored solutions?

Now that you know what an entry level implementation looks like, you may be thinking that you will need a more comprehensive solution with more personalisation and a more complex data model. This where more extensive Quick Start for Salesforce implementation packages will need to be considered. As an example, New Era Cloud offer several different options, which can be summarised as follows.

What project areas might not be included in a Quick Start for Salesforce Project?

Quick Start for Salesforce is intended to be an accelerated method for implementing the solution enabling you to get on with using it at the earliest opportunity, maximising your investment. Typically, the Quick Start method of implementation is expected to be low risk providing the central functionality needed to manage the Sales and Business Development parts of the process. As such it is usual to expect that this will have a fixed scope of agreed requirements It will have a fixed timetable of specific set dates and benefits from a fixed price. There may be additional areas that are formalised in order that your budget can be utilised to the max. With this in mind, the following areas are most likely to be explicitly excluded in a Quick Start for Salesforce implementation.

Integration with other systems.

For example, integrating Salesforce with and accounting solution such as Xero or Quick Books. This is absolutely possible to do, although because it is so unique to you it would most likely need to be approached in a different phase.

Output of documents merging data from Salesforce.

Think about more advanced Quote formats that cannot be accommodated using the standard available in Salesforce or perhaps a work sheet or confirmation document. It is likely that your Salesforce partner will have several preferred third-party products that they will need to introduce to add flexibility to the out if the box solution.

End user training, administration and report writing training.

All Salesforce partners will offer bespoke training, tailored to suit your individual needs and so will provide separate pricing for these if required. It is important to remember that you will have become familiar over the course of your engagement with Salesforce and partner through demonstrations, design workshop and solutions workshop. Salesforce is an intuitive solution and it is your process that has been built and so training requirements will fluctuate dependent on the customers specific needs.

Advanced Salesforce Products

What we have spoken about above is a method for implementing the core Salesforce products of Sales Cloud or Service Cloud. Partners, such as New Era Cloud, will have other Quick Start packages and Accelerators for other products such as Communities, CPQ or Marketing Cloud to mention the most popular.

Documentation

As we have mentioned before, Salesforce is intuitive, and it is your process that has been configured. You are most likely best placed to write you own documentation if you feel this is needed.

Project Management

Quick Start for Salesforce is a smaller scale project approach and as such does not need the overhead and formalisation of project management. Typically, the partner will manage their resources and you, as the key stake holder, will be responsible for your internal resources should they be required.

FAQs about the cost of implementing Salesforce for Small Businesses and Teams.

What does it cost to implement Salesforce?

The cost of implementing Salesforce for a start-up, scale-up or shake-up business or team, looking to make an impact on business development initiatives leveraging the power of Salesforce will range between £1,500 and £20,000 depending entirely on the scope of the project.

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