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Total Cost of Ownership for Salesforce Communities

Salesforce Communities' big gotcha – the Total Price of Ownership is huge.

Relayware Partner Relationship Management

Total Cost of Ownership for Salesforce Communities

By Karren Gurnhill

If you are using Salesforce as your CRM solution, it makes perfect sense to consider Salesforce Communities for your partner relationship management solution as well. Seamless integration, one company to deal with. One interface.

However – and it’s a big gotcha – the Total Price of Ownership is huge.

Don’t Get Yourself Priced Out of Business

Salesforce’s model is based on the sales of licenses. You need to have at least one Enterprise Edition Sales Cloud license ($1,500 per year), and then you have to buy licenses for your channel partners. How many partners do you have? Many companies have partner communities that number in the tens of thousands. Can you afford a license for each one? Do you want to buy a license for each one? And if you can’t or don’t, how will you manage your channel?

Ensure You’re Not Punished for Success

As your interactions with your channel partners increase, your revenues should increase as well. After all, log-ins to your channel portal should be something you encourage. The more log-ins, the more engagement you get with your channel.

However, one way Salesforce bills for Communities is by the log-in. If you have a modest 200 “unique” partner log-ins per month, the list price for Communities is $30,000 per year. As the number of log-ins increases, so does the price. If you have 5,000 log-ins per month, the price is $420,000 per year. If you have 20,000 log-ins per month, the price balloons to $1.5 million per year.

You shouldn’t have to weigh engagement against the potential increase in cost levied by a software vendor. The Salesforce model places a monetary penalty on your success in building engagement with the channel.

As you are looking at the pros and cons of partner relationship management solutions, make sure you are totally aware of the total cost of ownership. Don’t get sucked into what appears to be basement bargain price only to be faced with an incredibly large bill months down the road.