Salesforce Editions Comparison: How to Choose the Right One 10 min 09.11.2023

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Implementing a customer relationship management (CRM) platform like Salesforce can transform business productivity. But with Salesforce’s different editions – Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited – how do you select the right one for your needs and budget?  

In this guide, our experts will compare the Salesforce editions across key factors like features, pricing, use cases, and limitations. Read on for insights into choosing the best fit Salesforce license for driving sales growth.  

Differences Between Editions of Salesforce

Salesforce is available in four primary editions:  

  • Essentials 
  • Professional 
  • Enterprise 
  • Unlimited 

While all editions share core CRM capabilities like contact management, each tier builds on the functionality of the lower versions with additional tools for customization, automation, and support.  

Generally, Essentials is designed for small teams, Professional and Enterprise are better for growing businesses, and Unlimited is made for large enterprises. However, you still need to look closely at the distinct features and limitations of each when selecting an edition. Let’s dive into what each edition offers.  

Salesforce logo with Astro captain in the mountain view

Salesforce Essentials Edition

Cost: €25/user/month  

Key features:  

  • Contact and account management 
  • Opportunity tracking  
  • Leads and campaigns 
  • Mobile access 
  • Custom reports and dashboards 
  • Salesforce app marketplace  

Best for: Startups and small teams on a budget  

Salesforce Essentials provides a basic CRM toolset for sales teams of up to 10 users. While features are limited compared to other editions, Essentials still enables small businesses to centralize customer data and sales workflows.  

Key capabilities include tracking leads and accounts, customizing reports, accessing Salesforce on mobile, and leveraging AppExchange apps. Essentials allows for some process automation to trigger actions like sending emails.  

However, Essentials lacks key sales features like forecasting, customizable lead scoring, contract and order management, and advanced configuration options. It also restricts usage to 10 users.  

Essentials provides a simple starting point for teams migrating from spreadsheets. However, with very limited customization and integration, growing data and automation needs may require upgrading. Our experts can guide you on whether Essentials works as a basic system of record or if greater functionality necessitates a Professional or Enterprise.  

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Salesforce Professional Edition

Cost: €80/user/month  

Key features:  

  • All Essentials features 
  • Unlimited users 
  • Lead scoring and routing 
  • Sales forecasting 
  • Quotes and proposals 
  • More customization 

Best for: Growing businesses that need customizable CRM  

Salesforce Professional builds significantly on Essentials by adding sales-focused tools for qualifying leads, managing opportunities, and predicting revenue.  

With Professional, you can score and route leads based on engagement, build quotes and proposals, and leverage forecasting to gain pipeline visibility. The edition lifts user limits, allowing businesses to scale.  

This edition also allows for more customization than Essentials, with additional record types, page layouts, and validation rules. However, complex automation and processes still require Enterprise or Unlimited.  

For rapidly scaling businesses that want greater CRM customization without the full power of Enterprise, Salesforce Professional hits the sweet spot.  

Image shows how AppExchange can help add capabilities

Professional balances stronger sales-focused tools with reasonable customization options at a moderate price point. Once records exceed 1.000, the Professional better handles automation and tracking quotes, contracts, orders, and products. While integrations cost extra, more AppExchange access adds capabilities. 

Our experts can dive deep into your workflows, objectives, and anticipated needs to determine if Professional has the right mix of flexibility, user support, and features or if the more robust Enterprise would be a wise investment. With our guidance, growing companies can feel confident they are choosing the edition that aligns with their budget without sacrificing must-have capabilities.  

Salesforce Enterprise Edition

Cost: €165/user/month  

Key features:  

  • All Essentials and Professional features 
  • Advanced workflow automation 
  • Unlimited customization 
  • Role-based access and security 
  • AI-powered predictions  

Best for: Mid-size to large companies needing workflow automation  

Salesforce Enterprise brings process automation and extensive configuration capabilities that allow larger businesses to customize Salesforce to their complex workflows.  

With this edition, you can build automated workflows triggered by events like changes to records or dates. Advanced security features like role-based access provide granular control over who sees and edits data.  

Enterprise allows for unlimited customization, ensuring Salesforce aligns perfectly with your sales processes. The edition also unlocks Einstein AI capabilities for predictive lead scoring, next-best actions, and other insights. 

Salesforce Einstein AI logo

While Enterprise suits most larger organizations, companies who want premium 24/7 live support and absolutely no feature limits can upgrade to Unlimited.  

With this extensive automation and unlimited customization unlocked, will your larger organization utilize those advanced capabilities enough to justify the higher price point compared to Professional? Or does Professional potentially provide what you need at a lower cost? Our consultants can collaborate with you to deeply evaluate your current pain points, objectives, and future trajectory. We can provide large companies with definitive recommendations on whether Enterprise is the right edition for their needs or if Unlimited should be considered.  

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Salesforce Unlimited Edition

Cost: €330/user/month  

Key features:  

  • All lower edition features 
  • Unlimited customization 
  • 24/7 live user support  
  • Additional training resources  

Best for: Large enterprises needing unlimited configuration  

Salesforce Unlimited provides the maximum capabilities for large global enterprises. While Enterprise offers robust CRM functionality, Unlimited takes it further by providing unlimited customization and live user support 24/7.  

With Unlimited, organizations can customize Salesforce extensively by creating unlimited custom apps, objects, and tabs along with up to 2,000 custom fields per object. Unlimited also offers premium training resources and services.  

However, the high cost means Unlimited is only ideal for large companies running complex deployments at scale that will utilize the maximum configuration options.  

Most smaller and mid-size organizations will find their feature needs met by lower Enterprise or Professional tiers at a more affordable rate.  

Salesforce Astro dancing happy

Unlimited provides unmatched investment in customization and support – but not every global enterprise necessarily requires unlimited custom apps and objects. Our team can partner with your large organization to determine if Unlimited’s premium capabilities are truly must-haves that warrant the high costs.

Or if Enterprise may offer the bulk of functionality and customization your complex deployments require at lower total expenses. Our guidance can help large enterprises make the optimal choice between feature needs and budget realities.  

Tips for choosing the right Salesforce edition for your company

When selecting a Salesforce edition, keep these tips in mind:  

  • Evaluate your current and future needs – Assess your workflows, teams, and objectives to determine must-have capabilities now and in the coming years. Plan to avoid frequent upgrades. 
  • Compare feature differences – Check the edition comparisons closely to identify which tiers offer the specific tools you require. List your “must-haves.” 
  • Consider your budget – While Unlimited is the most robust, its high cost may not align with most budgets. Select the edition with the features you need at a reasonable price.  
  • Prioritize customization – If you want to extensively customize Salesforce to your workflows via apps, fields, and automation, choose Enterprise or Unlimited.  
  • Calculate per-user costs – Editions have a per-user monthly fee that adds up across your team. Calculate the total cost for different tier options.  
  • Get expert guidance – Consult an experienced Salesforce partner to determine the right edition and pricing model for your unique business needs.  

Let our Salesforce professionals help you thoroughly assess your short and long-term needs, budget considerations, and functionality requirements to determine the optimal edition for your sales teams.  

Conclusion

Selecting the edition of Salesforce that aligns with your sales team’s size, workflows, and objectives is key to maximizing value. Essentials provides core CRM capabilities while Unlimited enables unlimited customization for large enterprises.

Salesforce Editions Comparison

By reviewing the differences across editions and collaborating with experts, you can implement the ideal Salesforce solution to boost sales productivity and growth. Let us know if you need any guidance picking the Salesforce edition that best fits your sales processes and goals. Our team is here to help!  

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