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How to Budget to Get the Most Out of Your Salesforce Investment

Get the most out of your Salesforce Budget
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This post was originally published on April 6, 2022, and updated on October 17, 2023

Is your organization struggling to get the most out of your Salesforce dollars?

Businesses come to us because they struggle to achieve their business objectives with their current Salesforce setup or have difficulty understanding what’s possible within the Salesforce ecosystem (and how to budget for their new or existing instance).

At Red Argyle, Salesforce is our thing. Building intentional Salesforce solutions and making Salesforce work for businesses caffeinates us.

To help you leverage your Salesforce investment and budget accordingly, look at the quick outline of trends we’ve identified below. We’ve also spun up a resource to help. Get your copy of our budget checklist, Questions to Ask When Building Your Budget for Salesforce.

As always, we’re here if you need help!

Proper Care and Support of Your Salesforce Investment

Illustrated person adding a coin to a pie chart to show how to get the most out of a Salesforce Budget

Before adding fun new stuff to your Salesforce instance, ensure that what you already have is adequately cared for and supported.

Below is a quick checklist of things to help maximize what you have with Salesforce and avoid costly bloat or extras:

  • Are there upcoming business changes that will impact what you have in place?
  • Should old strategies or tactics (fields, objects, automation) be decommissioned?
  • Are there any bugs or open issues that need resolution? Is there a natural cadence or flow of this work that you should consider?
  • Is there anything in a new Salesforce release required, i.e., MFA?
  • Do you use a Salesforce partner for support? Do you need more or less support from them this year?
  • Are you adding a new Salesforce Admin to your team? Is a key person leaving or taking family leave?
  • Is your provider changing their support plan, investment, or program that will hit your budget?

Salesforce Licensing

Keep a pulse on your Salesforce licensing fees. Watch for Salesforce communication, ask your Salesforce Account Executive (AE) for fee info before changing, etc. Your annual licensing fees may seem fixed, but a few factors could cause them to change.

  • User Changes – Hiring, merging, restructuring, unused seats.
  • Limits – API Limits, Data & File Storage Limits – There are some hard limits in Salesforce that, if you go over them, will require you to purchase additional units or may force an upgrade. Know where you are against these limits and plan for possible changes.
  • New Clouds – Buying anything new from Salesforce may cause new limits to be hit (in addition to how new software impacts limits).

How to Think About New Business Initiatives

When new business initiatives roll out, below are a few things to consider when trying to best align and leverage your Salesforce.

New Features and Trends

What new feature(s) can you use, or are you still trying to figure out? It may be time to take a few trailheads.

Have you considered Artificial Intelligence (AI)? AI is more than Chat GPT but a suite of technology options that are evolving quickly. With great power comes great responsibility, and evaluating AI for the future is a worthwhile strategic move.

AI will likely have broad and far-reaching impacts on businesses in the future, and getting up to speed on the tech as soon as possible can help you be ready. A few things to consider:

  • What technology is available today that can benefit from AI? Everything from predictive analysis of your existing data to conversational efficiency enhancers to content generation is available today.
  • What security and compliance issues could arise from using AI improperly? There are many methods to contain risk. However, this must be architected to avoid pushing data to an AI with unknown consequences.
  • What can you imagine for the future? It’s closer than you think! Do you see a day when your team has AI virtual assistants to complete certain tasks? Do you have reams of text data that could benefit from different types of analysis? A lot of it is possible now, with some friction. However, more and more technology is reducing friction and risk.
  • Do you need help? It’s a complex topic; getting outside opinions is a go-to move to help get experts in the room.

Retiring Features

Are there any retiring features that touch your new initiative? It’s time to refactor this before adding in the new stuff.

User-First Approach

Take a user-first approach for any work being done in Salesforce this year. This means support: Start with the user and what they need and then worry about setting up Salesforce to facilitate the best / most straightforward use.

How can you drive a better user experience? Salesforce continues to roll out new features that will allow you to put your users’ experience first. You can also leverage your partner for UX services to help determine what changes are needed to help improve the functionality and feel of your systems–resulting in higher adoption, satisfaction, efficient processes, and more.

Ultimately, you only get value from Salesforce if it’s used.

Align Your Organization

Here are a few quick thoughts on pulling all of this together to leverage your Salesforce budget best:

  • Know your goals for the year. Understanding business and department priorities will help you define and build a roadmap for the year’s big items and initiatives. This roadmap can communicate to all stakeholders what will happen and when. It can also ensure that the order of priorities considers dependencies.
  • Create a backlog of work to be completed and prioritized for each department or initiative. Not all work brings the same value to the users, department, or company, so prioritizing it will ensure that work is done and aligns with the return on investment.

A Little Help Goes a Long Way

Illustrated person pushing an gear icon

Your company’s investment in Salesforce is significant and can be complex. So, where can you get help?

Meet With Your Salesforce Account Executive (AE)

Your Salesforce AE can help! They’re a partner and your source for answers. Don’t be afraid to share your roadmap for the year with them; don’t be scared to have them contribute.

Your AE can help you get more out of your budget, and you may end up with better pricing if they understand the totality of what might be coming this year.

Here’s a proposed agenda:

  • License review. Do you need to add or remove licenses at your next renewal cycle?
  • New Products from Salesforce. Are you aware and up to speed on the technology that Salesforce offers?
  • Is there a possible use case for Data Cloud in your business?
  • Where will AI fit in your business in the future?

Talk to Your Salesforce Partners

Your Salesforce partner has experience working with Salesforce and other customers. They can help you understand dependencies, Salesforce costs, and how to prioritize your backlog. They can also help you understand typical costs and prioritize your budget better. Sharing your budget with a reputable partner (like us!) will help you get more out of it.

Invest in an Innovation Workshop

What’s an Innovation workshop? It’s pure consulting and something that most partners have (they may also call it “Roadmap Consulting,” “Strategy Session,” etc.). At Red Argyle, we call it Innovation and Budgeting. It’s designed to understand business’ and departments’ goals to define a roadmap and investment matrix to plan and ensure you’re getting the most out of your Salesforce budget. Get in touch to schedule a Red Argyle Innovation and Budget workshop.

Resource: Try the Budget Checklist

We created a budget checklist to help you create the best budget for your Salesforce in a way that will help your organization get the most value out of your investment.

Get Moving!

The marketplace is moving fast: consolidation, staff changes, and high service demand. Get moving if you know you will lean on a partner for help this year. It’s never too early to move on to selecting a new partner (if needed) or defining and signing a contract with your existing partner. This way, work can get queued up, and everyone is ready to hit the ground running when you need to.

Red Argyle can help make Salesforce work for you (and help you budget for it). Contact us to get started.

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