How I Failed to Upsell to a Customer Because I Recommended Salesforce Professional Edition
I am sharing this story because of how important it is for consultants like myself to not make hasty decisions when making recommendations on Salesforce editions. Consultants need to do their research first before making an offer since every business has different needs. A wrong recommendation could cost you thousands or tens of thousands in lost revenue per year!
How it started
Four months ago I was at an education conference in Amsterdam, where one of the customers that are currently my customer in sales consulting told me that they are interested in knowing more about Salesforce. This person said he wanted to know what it can do for their company and which features will be useful.
After the customer told me he was tight on budget, I did a quick research about Salesforce professional edition on my phone to see what the features were for that package. I found that it would be a good fit for his needs and I told him that. What I have not paid attention to - was the number of Flow automation available with the package. But we'll get back to this later.
Then I drafted the commercial proposal. This would give the customer a clear understanding of what they're getting. In addition, I explained the different editions of Salesforce and how each one is beneficial for a certain type of business and tried to convince him to go with Enterprise Edition, but he insisted to go with Professional Edition. The only reason for this decision was my failure to explain limitations.
The Project and the Launch
I began the project with enthusiasm and deep research of their business processes. I compiled a list of questions to ask, attended many webinars for reference from their industry, contacted the Salesforce customer service line weekly to verify practices and terminology, and researched other regions as well as countries. My goal was to be sure that I knew what I was getting into before starting the project.
I also wanted to be sure that I could provide the best possible service.
Don't forget to check out: How Do You Create Sandboxes in a Professional Edition in Salesforce?
The project started off well. The client was excited and so was I. We were on a tight timeline, but we made it work. Then came time for the launch. We produced a training course in video format and I've used Salesforce learning paths to implement training materials directly to Salesforce.
After one week of training and implementation, we launched. The client was happy with the project from start to finish. We ended up signing our managed services product contract.
There is always a but.
After I have successfully launched the project customer called me and said he wanted to go further with customizations that he could not do with Salesforce professional edition.
The limitations in the Salesforce editions which prevented me from further development for customers are as follows:
- You can have only 5 flows per type
- You can't have workflow rules (which is not a big deal in this case)
- You can have only 5 process builders
Here's what happened next...
When my client called me and told me that he wants to go further with customizations I was shocked. The reality hit me like a ton of bricks. It made no sense for him to upgrade since Salesforce professional edition had everything he needed in the first place! So, what did I do?
I immediately explained how it would cost more money because of this decision (he has already bought the Professional Edition package - so there is nothing we can do). We were both sad about this situation but couldn't change something which already happened. And his budget limitation would not allow him to go with Enterprise Edition. Maybe someday...
We concluded our managed service contract last month. But there's not much value in it, because we already used all the limitations the Professional edition has. So most likely, in a couple of months' time, they'll cancel their subscription.
This project taught me a lot, even though my client is pleased with the results he has received throughout his business process, it would have been much better if things had gone differently from beginning to end.
Check out an amazing Salesforce Infographic here: Differences Between Salesforce Enterprise Edition and Salesforce Professional Edition
In conclusion - do not go for Salesforce editions without deep knowledge of what you're getting into as well as how many customizations are available via each one! Make sure that your customer will be able to use all features they need or at least know about limitations before going ahead with the purchase agreement. It's always good practice to ask questions so don't forget this next time when making a proposal - chances are you'll save yourself a lot of trouble...
Thanks for reading. Make sure to check out my website and "commercial" part of this story, which is full of rainbows and unicorns, because technically this is a success. The customer is happy.