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  • Writer's pictureMichael Kolodner

Things You Don’t Need: Sales+Service

I’ve written about and maintain a Crowdsourced Salesforce.org Pricing Guide because it can be hard to figure out what various Salesforce products cost, particularly user licenses. I wish Salesforce.org, in particular, were better about making prices transparent.

Freebie as a Used Car Salesman

What You Need: Lightning Enterprise Edition 😍

A “Lightning Enterprise Edition” license is the Salesforce.org branding of a Sales Cloud license.


These cost $495/year and give full access to everything in the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), all parts of standard Salesforce Sales Cloud (including Campaigns), and even parts of the platform that are technically part of Service Cloud (the Case object, case routing, etc.)


These are the kind of licenses you get free with your P10 donation.


What Orgs Often Get: Lightning CRM Edition 😢

“Lightning CRM Edition” is a branding of a Sales Cloud license + a Service Cloud license and it costs $576/year.


The Features

That’s 16% more expensive, so you probably would like to know what you get for that extra cost.


Not much.

Freebie looking at a gauge that might be empty

The addition of the Service Cloud license allows that user to create and edit Knowledge articles. So having at least one of these licenses in your org is the prerequisite to actually publish a knowledge base. (Other users have Read access on Knowledge articles, but nobody could write any.)


If you don’t use Salesforce to publish a knowledge base, then the Service Cloud license isn’t doing you any good. (And while a Salesforce Knowledge base may be a good way to write and maintain your documentation, there are free and cheaper options.)


We’re Talking NPSP/EDA Today

Everything I wrote above has to do with licenses for Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) and Education Data Architecture (EDA).


The new offerings (Nonprofit Cloud and Education Cloud) have additional permissioning that is granted via an overlay to the base license (a "permission set license"). Those licenses are a separate SKU at $720 per user.


I believe there are a lot of nuances to Nonprofit/Education Cloud licensing and I don’t understand it yet. (I’m not even sure Salesforce.org understands it all yet.) Someday I’m sure I’ll have articles about all that. But not today.


Why Do Orgs End up with Sales+Service?

It is disturbingly common for orgs to be sold their 11th license at $576. And once that first paid license is on the contract, it’s very likely that all future licenses will be of the same type because the org just won’t realize what’s happened. You can only add licenses self-serve through the Your Account app of types that are already on your contract.


It really makes me angry when Salesforce sells a small nonprofit a higher priced license than they will ever actually take advantage of. That’s just taking money away from the nonprofit’s mission.


I don’t know if it happens because the AE is ignorant or venal, but it seems to happen quite a lot. If it’s ignorance, then Salesforce.org’s sales team needs to do some training. But it sure seems like this happens a lot because it’s AEs selling a higher priced SKU to pad their commission.

Freebie walking through a flurry of cash

As I noted, it’s extremely unlikely that orgs need a Sales+Service/Lightning CRM license. The features it unlocks aren’t ones most nonprofits use. And it just wouldn’t be that hard for Salesforce.org to put systems in place to watch for sales of this license type and look into whether it was actually needed. That they’re not doing so means they don’t care. This problem has been called out in the community many times over the years. I’m pretty comfortable being strident about it today.


Bottom Line

You should pay only $495/year for your 11th and later licenses.


If your AE sends you a contract with something higher, give them one quick chance to correct it. If it’s not corrected fast, ask to talk to their manager and give that person an earful.


You’ll be doing a service to the nonprofit community.

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