As a Salesforce consultant, it is always satisfying to hear a client recount the vigorous research process of selecting a CRM, ultimately choosing Salesforce.com – a clear winner above the rest. A smile invariably creeps across as the ideas begin to swirl with visions of workflows, sales teams, Apex triggers, VisualForce and mass uploads via the API. However, those thoughts are diminished when the client completes their original statement with, “we’re going with Professional Edition.”
Professional Edition is a safe and simple solution for companies that have finite product or service offerings and single sales divisions. The price point and ever increasing pressure on management to keep new processes as simple as possible, compound the lure of Professional Edition. However, organizations that aren’t bound by a single sales track or who want to take full advantage of cloud computing and automation need to consider the lost opportunity cost of selecting Professional Edition.
After the discovery sessions, configuration, implementation, and training have been completed, the platform is what you make of it, regardless of license. Governance and nurturing long-term vision will ultimately make your Salesforce.com implementation a success. However, when thinking about which edition is the right fit for your organization consider the following:
With Enterprise Edition or above…
- You get a sandbox. Here, future iterations of your instance will be built and tested before being released to your team.
- You get profiles, record types, and field level security. Customize your users’ experience to streamline workflow, ease burden, and enhance analytic insight.
- You get access to the Salesforce API. Data in Salesforce becomes collaborative – what users enter and what ancillary systems generate.
- You get workflows, triggers, and general automation. Make your team’s day easier by automating workflow and enhancing their access to customized data points.
- You get so much more from your investment. The above points are a mere glimpse of the enhancements championed by Enterprise Edition but are readily identifiable quick wins.
As pointed out earlier, Salesforce is what you make of it. In the past, CRM has been looked at as a glorified Rolodex. Today, CRM is about enabling processes and building a data culture so that day-to-day work is streamlined, automated, and yields greater output. As a Salesforce consultant passionate about the platform and the ecosystem that Salesforce.com has built, the edition that is right for me and for my clients will always be, “Enterprise Edition or above.”