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  • Writer's pictureCorey Schwitz

The True Cost of Salesforce Implementation

Salesforce is hands-down one of the most powerful sales and marketing tools out there. But let's not forget, it comes with a price tag.

Depending on your business goals, the cost of Salesforce implementation could range from a few thousand dollars to $100,000+!

So, if you're wondering how much Salesforce really costs, brace yourself, as the answers to these questions may surprise you! But don't worry, we've got you covered. To help you avoid any financial surprises, we've created this Salesforce implementation guide that will take the guesswork out of the equation and clarify everything for you.

The initial costs of Salesforce implementation

Salesforce has an enormous catalog of products with a mind-boggling number of variables. We won’t be able to cover every Salesforce pricing possibility here, but we’ll give you a rundown of a typical Salesforce activation.

First, there are the initial Salesforce setup costs.

Licensing fees

The base pricing for the Salesforce CRM depends on your plan and your number of users. For the Sales CRM alone, your potential costs are as follows:

  • Starter Suite: $25 per month per user (with a maximum of 10 users)

  • Professional: $80 per month per user

  • Enterprise: $165 per month per user

  • Unlimited: $330 per month per user

As a business, you’ll probably at least need to use the Professional plan. With that in mind, your licensing costs can add up—fast. For example, an organization on the Enterprise plan with 15 users will spend nearly $30,000 per year on licensing alone.

This estimate doesn’t include other Salesforce products, such as marketing automation ($1,250 per month).

Customization and setup

As you make your way, step by step, through a Salesforce implementation, you’ll quickly realize that Salesforce may not do exactly what you need out of the box.

For Salesforce to fit your needs like a glove, you’ll likely need some customization.

However, personalization comes at a premium—mostly because it takes time.

If you want an implementation firm to properly set up and customize your new CRM, a “getting to know you” period (often headed by Salesforce experts) is necessary. This service can cost upwards of $5,000–$20,000, depending on the complexity of your business.

Data migration and initial training

Finally, you’ll encounter another of the classic CRM implementation costs: data migration.

Whether you’re moving from Hubspot to Salesforce or transitioning from a different tool, you can pay to have your data moved into Salesforce. Depending on the amount of data you have, this migration could cost anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000+.

There’s also the matter of onboarding and training your reps on new processes. Salesforce certifications start at $200 per user but can reach as high as $6,000 for some roles.

Recurring and hidden Salesforce costs

Even after your CRM implementation is finished, the expenses just keep on coming! Salesforce requires updates and maintenance to run smoothly, which can really add up. Unless you have an internal Salesforce administration team, you'll need to fork over some dough for this upkeep.

Don’t be left in the dark about these hidden costs of Salesforce—let’s go over them

Ongoing support and maintenance fees

After launching Salesforce, you may encounter bugs or have questions about features. Either way, you might want to have an expert on call.

If you hire a Salesforce expert, you could pay a $100,000/year salary. But if you don’t anticipate needing internal support, you can always outsource those responsibilities.

Retainers and per-project fees vary for these services, so it’s hard to pinpoint an exact amount. However, you’ll likely spend less than you would on a full-time employee.

Custom features and third-party integrations

Your final Salesforce implementation expenses involve add-ons to Salesforce.

For example, you may use a marketing integration tool like Pardot. Depending on your plan, implementation can cost from $1,250 to $15,000 per month.

Keep in mind that each third-party product you integrate will improve your Salesforce experience—but it’ll also leave you with a bigger bill. So, think wisely about which tools you want to use; a CRM implementation firm can help you decide.

Estimating the total cost of ownership

Your total cost of ownership can be a valuable budgeting consideration, as it paints a full picture of your expenses. To estimate your total cost of Salesforce ownership, add up your:

  • Licensing fees

  • Salesforce setup costs

  • Training expenses

  • Maintenance fees

  • Third-party integrations

Naturally, your TCO will change from year to year. You’re paying for licensing, setup, and frequent support in your first year. As your team becomes familiar with Salesforce next year, your support expenses may drop—and your implementation fees will disappear.

Maximizing your Salesforce investment

Your TCO is also important when it comes to your Salesforce ROI. For most businesses using Salesforce well, revenue will be magnitudes larger than Salesforce expenses. But there are surefire ways to boost your ROI.

The trick is to use your CRM to its full potential before seeking new solutions. In other words, milk your implementation for everything it’s got.

Asking a Salesforce expert how to maximize the CRM is far more cost-effective than asking them to design new architecture that makes your dreams come true.

You may have to change how you do things, but your bottom line will thank you.

Choosing the right Salesforce implementation partner

The truth is that Salesforce comes with regular expenses; there’s no running away from spending here. But when you choose a transparent, value-focused Salesforce implementation partner, it’s money well spent.

We at Skydog Ops pride ourselves on being one such firm.

From building systems architecture to post-launch training and maintenance, we’re your hands-on, on-the-ground partner in all things Salesforce. Whether you’re starting from scratch or migrating from a different tool, we work tirelessly to understand your business and budgetary needs. Then—and only then—do we help you with a best-for-you implementation.

Use our Salesforce Implementation Cost Calculator for an estimate today, or get in touch with our experts for an exact quote.


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