Which Salesforce Edition Is Best for You?

By Tom Wong, Liz Kao, Matt Kaufman

If you already use Salesforce, this topic might be a moot point. At the very least, you know which version of Salesforce you have.

If you’re not sure which edition you have, look at the top of your browser after you’ve logged in to Salesforce.

Here are quick reviews of five versions of salesforce.com’s service. All versions have the same consistent look and feel, but each varies by feature, functionality, and pricing. If you’re considering using Salesforce, consult with an account executive for more details about edition differences, pricing, and upgrade paths:

  • Contact Manager: Basic account and contact management for up to five users. No lead or opportunity tracking.

  • Group: Basic CRM, which includes the ability to track leads and opportunities, for teams of up to five users. This allows you to view the full sales life cycle, from the initial interaction with a lead to a closed opportunity.

  • Professional: Thorough CRM for any size organization that’s starting to nail down processes. Again, you can track the full sales life cycle from a new lead to a closed opportunity. Dashboards allow managers to track key metrics at a glance. Some optional features for businesses with more detailed process needs (such as managing marketing campaigns, creating contracts, tracking various products sold, or accessing Salesforce while offline) come at an extra cost.

  • Enterprise: More sales and service functionality for more complex organizations, including the ability to integrate with other systems within your company. This edition provides more value than if you were to pay extra for certain add-on features in more basic editions. If you absolutely need your business processes to look and act a specific way, this edition provides more ways to make that happen for you.

  • Performance: Even more customization capabilities for extending Salesforce to other business uses. You need a dedicated (and usually technical) administrator to take advantage of all the options that this edition delivers.

Salesforce also provides another edition, Developer Edition. This is a free instance of Salesforce with which developers can test and build third-party solutions. It has full functionality but a very limited license count and storage space.

Whichever edition you choose, the good news is that every edition of Salesforce is rich with features that can help companies of every size address their business challenges. You can choose a more basic edition today and upgrade later, as needed.

Upgrades happen in the background and are easy, so you can focus on the business processes that drive the need for new functionality. And when salesforce.com rolls out new releases of its service, it provides product enhancements for the different editions wherever relevant.