salesforce

Salesforce License Types – A Comprehensive Guide for 2023

Introduction to Salesforce License Types

  1. Salesforce Licensing: It’s a lease agreement defining the functionality of the customer organization, including user access and custom objects.
  2. License Types: Salesforce offers varied licenses providing different access levels and functionality.
  3. License Selection: Choosing the proper license is crucial, requiring evaluating business needs and understanding each license’s features and limitations.

Understanding Salesforce Licensing

Salesforce licensing can be likened to a lease agreement. In this scenario, Salesforce is the property manager, and the customer organization is the tenant.

A Salesforce license, or a license definition, is a metadata description outlining the Salesforce features and services accessible to your organization.

The licensing agreement is responsible for defining the functionality of the customer organization.

It encompasses specific details such as:

  • Start and end dates
  • The number of users who can access Salesforce
  • The number of custom objects the organization can create

Activating your licenses and enabling functionality in your organization is known as provisioning. This process occurs when:

  • You make an initial purchase to set up a Salesforce organization.
  • Purchase an upgrade or add-on.
  • A Salesforce patch release includes changes to a license definition

Activating your licenses and enabling functionality in your organization is known as provisioning.

This process occurs when you initially purchase to set up a Salesforce organization, buy an upgrade or add-on, or when a Salesforce patch release includes changes to a license definition.

Salesforce License Types

Salesforce offers a variety of license types that provide different levels of access and functionality.

The license type determines the Salesforce products and features a user can access, the user’s permissions, and the number of custom objects that can be created.

salesforce license types

Here is a comprehensive list of Salesforce license types:

  1. Salesforce User Licenses: Determine the baseline of the features a user can access. A user may only have one user license. Examples include Salesforce, Identity, and Platform Starter.
  2. Salesforce Feature Licenses: Entitle users to access an additional feature not included with their user license (base edition). Users can be assigned multiple feature licenses. Examples include Marketing User, Flow User, Knowledge User, and Service Cloud User.
  3. Salesforce Platform Licenses: Available on Enterprise and Unlimited editions. They include Accounts, Contacts, Reports, and automation tools like Process Builder, Flow, and Apex. They also have standard individual and mass emailing functionality. There are two types of platform licenses:
    • Platform Starter (Formerly known as Lightning Platform) – access to 10 custom objects.
    • Platform Plus (Formerly known as Lightning Platform Plus) – access to 110 custom objects.
  4. Salesforce Identity Licenses: Enable a user to log in via the Salesforce single sign-on (SSO) without requiring a full CRM license.
  5. Salesforce Einstein Licenses: Salesforce Einstein is not a single product – it’s a technology layer woven into the Salesforce Lightning platform and various Salesforce Cloud products. There are different ways to approach getting hold of Einstein features.
  6. Salesforce Experience Cloud (Community) Licenses: Experience Cloud gives external users (customers or partners) a window into your Salesforce org. There are five license types: External App, Customer Community, Customer Community Plus, Partner Community, and Channel.
  7. Marketing Cloud Licenses: Marketing Cloud pricing can be challenging to understand, with many modules available (Studios and Builders) according to your organization’s needs. Each bundle is split into editions, following a per-org billing model.
  8. Pardot Licenses (Account Engagement): Pardot (Account Engagement) follows a ‘per org billing model,’ sometimes called a ‘bucket’ license. This means that by purchasing one license of Pardot, you can give as many users access as your organization requires.

Salesforce License Costs

Salesforce offers a range of licenses to cater to different business needs and budgets. The cost of Salesforce licenses varies depending on the license type and the specific features it includes. Here’s a brief overview of the costs associated with different Salesforce licenses:

  1. Starter: This license is designed for businesses just starting with Salesforce. It includes sales, service, and email outreach tools. The cost is USD 25 per user per month, billed annually.
  2. Professional: This license is a complete CRM solution suitable for any size team. The cost is $75 USD per user per month, billed annually.
  3. Enterprise: This license offers a deeply customizable sales CRM for your business. The cost is $150 USD per user per month, billed annually.
  4. Unlimited: This is the ultimate platform for growth, offering the most comprehensive set of features. The cost is $300 USD per user per month, billed annually.

In addition, Salesforce also offers add-ons like CPQ & Billing, Sales Cloud Einstein, Marketing Cloud Account Engagement, Salesforce Engage, Sales Dialer, Quip, MuleSoft Composer for Salesforce, and more at additional costs.

Salesforce License Features

Each Salesforce license type offers unique features that cater to different business needs and requirements.

Here’s a breakdown of the features associated with each license type:

  1. Salesforce User Licenses: These licenses provide the baseline of features a user can access. They include Account, Contact, Lead, and Opportunity Management, Email Integration with Gmail or Outlook; Workflow and Process Automation; Forecast Management; and Pipeline Management.
  2. Salesforce Feature Licenses: These licenses grant users access to additional features not included in their licenses. This could include Marketing User, Flow User, Knowledge User, and Service Cloud User features.
  3. Salesforce Platform Licenses: These licenses are available in Enterprise and Unlimited editions. They include Accounts, Contacts, Reports, and automation tools like Process Builder, Flow, and Apex. They also have standard individual and mass emailing functionality.
  4. Salesforce Identity Licenses: These licenses allow users to log in via the Salesforce single sign-on (SSO) without requiring a full CRM license.
  5. Salesforce Einstein Licenses: Salesforce Einstein is a technology layer woven into the Salesforce Lightning platform and various Salesforce Cloud products. It offers AI-powered features for predictive analytics, automation, and more.
  6. Salesforce Experience Cloud (Community) Licenses: These licenses give external users (customers or partners) a window into your Salesforce org. They offer features for building personalized experiences for your partners.
  7. Marketing Cloud Licenses: These licenses offer B2B marketing tools to generate more pipelines, close more deals, and personally connect to your customers.
  8. Pardot Licenses (Account Engagement): These licenses offer B2B marketing automation tools to generate more leads, close more deals, and accurately measure marketing success.

Comparing Salesforce Licenses

Choosing the right Salesforce license is crucial for businesses to meet their needs. The key elements to consider when comparing licenses include the features they provide and their associated costs. Here’s a simplified comparison:

License TypeFeaturesCost
StarterOffers basic CRM features suitable for small businessesMost affordable
ProfessionalProvides a complete CRM for any size teamModerately priced
EnterpriseOffers deeply customizable sales CRM for businessesHigher cost
UnlimitedProvides the most comprehensive set of featuresMost expensive

For instance, while being the most budget-friendly, the Starter license provides fewer features compared to the Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited licenses. Conversely, despite being the priciest, the Unlimited license offers the most extensive set of features.

Top 5 Recommendations for Choosing Salesforce Licenses

Choosing the right Salesforce license is crucial for fully leveraging the platform’s capabilities.

Here are the top 5 recommendations for choosing Salesforce licenses:

  1. Understand Your Business Needs: Before selecting a license, understand your business needs and objectives. This will help you identify the features you need.
  2. Consider Your Budget: Salesforce licenses come at different price points. Choose a license that fits your budget without compromising on the essential features.
  3. Evaluate the Features: Each Salesforce license comes with a different set of features. Evaluate these features and choose a license that offers the ones you need.
  4. Consider Scalability: As your business grows, your CRM needs will evolve. Choose a license that can scale with your business.
  5. Seek Expert Advice: If you’re unsure which license to choose, seek advice from Salesforce experts or consultants.

FAQs

What about Salesforce Inbox licenses?

We have written a blog for you to find out everything about Inbox.

How do I optimize my Salesforce licensing?

t requires reviewing your users and what they need access to; read our salesforce optimization guide.

Does Salesforce offer enterprise agreements?

Yes, Salesforce offers enterprise agreements; they are called SELA.

How to negotiate with Salesforce?

Salesforce is known as one of the most challenging vendors to negotiate with. However, we are sharing our experience and expertise in our negotiation guide.

How does Salesforce licensing operate?

Salesforce licensing is like a lease agreement between Salesforce (the property manager) and the customer organization (the tenant). A Salesforce license, or a license definition, is a metadata description of the Salesforce features and services available to your organization. Activating your licenses and enabling functionality in your organization is known as provisioning.

What is the cost of a single Salesforce license?

The cost of a Salesforce license varies depending on the type of license. For instance, the Starter license costs $25 per user per month, the Professional license costs $75 per user per month, the Enterprise license costs $150 per user per month, and the Unlimited license costs $300 per user per month. All these prices are billed annually.

What are the differences between various Salesforce licenses?

Different Salesforce licenses offer different levels of access and functionality. For example, the Starter license is designed for small businesses and includes basic CRM features. In contrast, the Unlimited license offers the most comprehensive features and is suitable for large organizations with complex needs.

What does a standard Salesforce license entail?

A standard Salesforce license provides access to the core features of Salesforce, including Account, Contact, Lead, Opportunity Management, Email Integration with Gmail or Outlook, Workflow and Process Automation, Forecast Management, and Pipeline Management.

What is included in the Salesforce Sales Cloud license?

The Salesforce Sales Cloud license provides access to Sales Cloud, Salesforce’s flagship product for sales automation, contact management, and sales forecasting. It includes features like Account and Contact Management, Opportunity Management, Lead Management, Email Integration, Reports and Dashboards, Mobile Access, and more.

Choosing the correct Salesforce license is critical to your business’s success. Each license type has features and limitations, making evaluating your business’s needs essential to determine which license is best for you.

By understanding the differences between each license type, you can make an informed decision to enable your business to achieve maximum productivity and efficiency.

While you may be tempted to opt for a cheaper license, it may not give your users access to the required features. Therefore, be careful when purchasing Salesforce licenses on a budget.

We hope this guide has given you the information to select the best Salesforce license for your business. If you have questions or require further help, don’t hesitate to contact a Salesforce expert who can guide you through the process.

Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson possesses 20 years of experience in Oracle license management. Having worked at Oracle for 9 years, he gained an additional 11 years of expertise in Oracle license consulting projects. Fredrik has provided assistance to over 150 organizations worldwide, ranging in size and tackling various Oracle licensing challenges, including Licensing Assessments, Oracle audits, Oracle ULAs, and more.