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2019 is Coming to an End. Is Your Salesforce Budget Ready?

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It is that time of year again, budgets.  We’re sharing a few ways to think about how to budget for Salesforce annually. 

To make this simple from the get-go, let’s break your annual budget around Salesforce into 4 buckets:  

  • License Fees
  • Strategic Initiatives
  • Ongoing Support
  • Employee Development

Before we get into what should go into each bucket, below is an outline of a few things to consider.  

Proper Care and Feeding

Salesforce needs proper care and feeding all year, every year.

This isn’t just a Salesforce thing, all CRM solutions need proper care and feeding. Why? Well, think about where the most innovation and strategy changes happen. For most organizations, this is around customer acquisition and retention, which is what most organizations have purchased Salesforce for. Think about a midyear adjustment to your sales strategy, a new process in customer support, a new vertical, and a new product offering. All of these impact how Salesforce might be set up and configured to support these new strategies. 

Costs vs ROI

If Salesforce is a cost that doesn’t drive positive ROI, it’s time to ask why.

Hundreds, if not thousands, of companies have seen positive ROI yearly from their investment in Salesforce. Some of the items driving ROI are more effective and productive employees to realizing an increase in the acquisition of new customers and measurable reductions in custom attrition, all of which can be traced back to a well-implemented and supported instance of Salesforce.  

Strong Foundation 

While maintaining what has already been implemented, most organizations tend to look to Salesforce to do more and more every year.  As organizations look to build out Salesforce, it is important that the foundation is strong and has followed best practices.  

Things to consider:

  • Is your Salesforce solution healthy, aligned to the process, and used? 
  • Have you been keeping current with Salesforce upgrades? 
  • Have you taken advantage of the new features that have come out 3 times a year since you first installed Salesforce? 
  • Has your instance of Salesforce been updated and aligned to new strategies and processes over the years as your organization has changed over the years? 
  • Just as important as things have changed, have you removed configuration and data that supports old strategies and tactics?  
  • Does the staff talk ill of Salesforce and complain about it? 

The Business Needs

Talk with your department heads about changes that might be coming in their departments for the upcoming year. In addition to what they are talking about addressing in the upcoming year, ask them about the challenges and opportunities they face. They might not know what is possible, so they may have never thought to ask for it. 

Things to consider: 

  • If the department uses Salesforce, assess if any of the proposed changes will impact the current setup or require new configurations to Salesforce. 
  • Listen to what the department heads that are not currently using Salesforce are hoping to accomplish in the upcoming year. Do any of the items discussed impact any aspect of the current setup?  Can something already in place be leveraged to help this department succeed more quickly? Is there an opportunity to move any of the new strategies into Salesforce for the first time to leverage your existing investment in Salesforce?

Licensing Fees

Licensing fees relate to what you pay Salesforce to use their solutions.  

Things to consider: 

  • What solutions are you paying for? 
  • When do they expire?   
  • Are you using the solutions you are paying for? 
  • Are you over or close to over on any limits like file storage or data storage?
  • Do you have any other 3rd party solutions in place as a part of your Salesforce solution? 
  • Do you have the correct number of users today, and do you think you might need more users this and coming year?  

Strategic Initiatives 

These are really new things you want Salesforce to do for you.

Things to consider: 

  • Do any of your departments have any major changes coming with their existing use and setup? 
  • Do any of your departments have any new initiatives for the upcoming year?  

Ongoing Support

Anything needed to maintain or do simple refinement to your existing solution should be considered support.  What you need to spend on support really depends on what you have implemented, customizations, and data integrations in place.  

Employee Development

Abby Wambach, the leading scoring in Women’s Soccer, would have never made this happen if she was just ok does not just get by kicking around a soccer ball. A master carpenter does not struggle with how to use their hammer. To win the game of business, your staff has to be masters of the tools their profession uses. Business is hard enough, don’t lose the game because you skimping on the basics.  

Things to  consider: 

  • Does your in-house Salesforce Admin know everything they need to to expertly maintain your Salesforce solution? 
  • Do your managers know how to use Salesforce to do their jobs, or are they still doing things outside of the solution in Excel? 
  • Do your end-users know how to use the solution to do their jobs expertly within the solution?  


Your organization investment in Salesforce for a reason. Like any large investment, it will last longer and provide better returns if taken care of.  Salesforce and any technical solution require proper care and should be up-to-date and refined as strategies and tactics change. Like any tool, these tools are only leveraged if people know how to use them.

Looking to include Salesforce in your 2020 budget? We’re here to help. Get in touch!

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