September 19, 2022

Types Of Licenses In Salesforce

To help you leverage Salesforce to its fullest, we will uncover the role of licenses in accessing different features and functionalities.

I. Introduction

As a powerful tool for managing leads, sales, and customer relations, Salesforce provides a range of features and integrations that can be customized to meet the specific needs of businesses. However, the features you have access to and the cost you will incur may vary depending on the license you select.

Licensing in Salesforce refers to the process of granting permission to users to access specific features and functions within the system. These licenses determine the level of access that a user has to the system and the features that they can use. Luckily, the Salesforce licensing model is flexible - organizations can easily manage their licenses as their or their employees’ needs change over time. We’ve drafted a Salesforce licenses comparison uncovering how they differ and what features they offer.

II. Introduction to Different Salesforce Editions

Each Salesforce edition provides different functionality and customization options, making it easier for businesses to choose the perfect one for their specific requirements.

Salesforce Essentials

Salesforce Essentials is the most basic edition of Salesforce aimed at small businesses with up to ten users. This edition offers a complete CRM solution for managing leads, contacts, and deals. It also includes email integration, mobile access, and customer support.

Users can get started with Salesforce Essentials within minutes and access all of Salesforce's core functionalities at an affordable price.

Salesforce Professional

Salesforce Professional is the next edition of Salesforce that offers more features than Essentials, making it an ideal choice for mid-sized businesses. It comes with advanced features like mass email, workflow automation, and lead scoring. It also offers more extensive customer support options than Essentials and can integrate with other applications seamlessly.

Salesforce Professional is perfect for businesses that need a more comprehensive CRM solution that can scale as their business grows.

Salesforce Enterprise

Salesforce Enterprise is a highly customizable edition that caters to the needs of large businesses. It includes advanced customization options, such as custom objects, page layouts, and APIs, making it easy to tailor the CRM to specific business requirements. It also offers more sophisticated reporting and analytics features, making it easier for businesses to gain insights into their sales data.

Salesforce Enterprise is ideal for large corporations needing more advanced customization options and a CRM solution that can integrate with other enterprise applications.

Salesforce Unlimited

Salesforce Unlimited is the most comprehensive edition, providing access to all of the platform's features and functionalities. Its target audience is large enterprises with advanced customization requirements, integrations, and extended support. It includes advanced features such as unlimited customizations, multi-currency support, and 24/7 customer support. It also provides higher API call limits and access to additional data storage options.

Salesforce Unlimited is the perfect choice for businesses that need the most advanced CRM solution and want to leverage the full capabilities of the Salesforce platform.

III. User Licenses

Salesforce User License types come in three primary different tiers.

1. Salesforce Platform User Licenses grant access to a wide range of Salesforce tools for data, sales, and customer interaction management.

  • The Platform Starter license offers limited access to the platform and includes basic features like account and contact management, lead tracking, and basic customization options. It is best for users primarily focused on managing their customer data.
  • The Platform license is the most common Salesforce license, offering a much more comprehensive set of features, including advanced customization options, workflow automation, and app development capabilities. A nice bonus is that it gives users access to Service Cloud and Sales Cloud.
  • The Platform Plus license delivers added functionality beyond what the Platform license has to offer: access to features like the Lightning flow tool, additional custom objects, and advanced analytics.

2. Salesforce Customer 360 offers user licenses to cater to the needs of diverse businesses. They are:

  • Salesforce CRM User serves internal users who need full access to Salesforce Customer 360 to manage their sales, marketing, and customer service operations. The core CRM features such as lead and opportunity management, account and contact management, activity tracking, reporting, and dashboards are at the users’ disposal. Some advanced features like email integration, mobile access, and collaboration tools are also available.
  • Salesforce Platform External caters to external users needing specific Salesforce Customer 360 features, such as partner portals or customer communities. The license provides limited access to core features like case tracking, knowledge base, and account and contact management. External users can collaborate with internal teams and receive the support they need to engage and interact with their customers.
  • Salesforce Platform High Volume Customer Portal grants access to self-service support tools and resources. This license is an admission to an online portal where customers can find answers to their queries, submit and track support requests, access the knowledge base, and collaborate with other customers. It is ideal for businesses with a large customer base that requires an efficient and automated customer service experience.

3. In the Salesforce Community Cloud, organizations create branded online communities where customers, partners, and employees collaborate and share information. These communities are created using Salesforce Community Cloud User Licenses, which determine each member's access type and permissions. In this context, we will describe three types of those licenses:

  • Customer Community License serves the customers or clients of an organization who want to interact with the company and each other through a community platform. It is ideal for companies looking to provide self-service customer support, facilitate peer-to-peer collaboration, or drive brand engagement. Users can access FAQs, knowledge articles, and product documentation with this license. They can participate in forums, submit support cases, and interact with other customers. Customer Community Licenses are available in both Lightning Experience and Classic Communities.
  • Partner Community License caters to the company’s partners who are willing to collaborate and share information with the company. It helps organizations build stronger relationships with their partners, improve communication, and enable joint selling efforts. Users can access marketing collateral, sales training, and product information, collaborate on deals, register leads and opportunities, and communicate with the company’s sales and support teams. Partner Community Licenses are available in both Lightning Experience and Classic Communities.
  • Employee Community License is designed for employees of an organization who want to collaborate and share information. Employees can get company news and updates, collaborate on projects, share knowledge, and provide feedback to the company. They can also access HR resources such as policies, benefits, and training materials. The license helps improve employee productivity, gather feedback, and create a culture of innovation and collaboration. Employee Community Licenses are available only in Lightning Communities.

IV. Permission Set Licenses

Salesforce Permission Set Licenses are essential for managing user access to certain aspects and functionalities of a Salesforce organization: an administrator grants individual permissions to certain users or groups of users without changing their profiles. These licenses come with predefined sets of permissions that can be customized and tailored to the specific needs of each user or group of users.

Along with providing custom access to objects and functionalities, Salesforce Permission Set Licenses also have several use cases, such as:

  • Provisioning permissions to specific users or groups of users: an administrator can assign permission sets to users, enabling and granting specific permissions to users who require additional access to standard functionality;
  • Supporting managed packages: Permission Set Licenses are required when adding access to managed packages. This method helps ensure that users only have access to features they need to use within those packages;
  • Customizing user access requirements: permissions can be easily adjusted within Permission Set Licenses, enabling software development teams to limit user access, and creating a secure environment for testing and development purposes.

Salesforce Permission Set Licenses are particularly useful for organizations with complex user access requirements. They provide added security to the organization, as users are given access only to what they need to be productive. For example, a customer service representative may only require access to case management features within Salesforce, while a sales manager may require access to both case and opportunity management features. This way, businesses also have more control over their spending: they can purchase a limited number of User Licenses and then supplement them with Permission Set Licenses.

V. Feature Licenses

Salesforce Feature Licenses grant access to additional features beyond the standard Salesforce capabilities. They can be added to Salesforce editions, such as Professional, Enterprise, and Unlimited. Companies can unlock specific functionality and get more flexibility and customization to design and deploy solutions best suited to their unique requirements.

Some of the most common Feature Licenses are

  • Sales Cloud Einstein helps sales teams optimize processes via predictive analytics, AI-powered insights, and automation tools. It empowers sales reps to close more deals faster by leveraging predictive lead scoring, proactive recommendations, and guided selling.
  • Service Cloud focuses on customer support and service requests. Support teams have the tools to handle customer inquiries in real time while reducing the overall response time. Service Cloud also comes with field service capabilities that help organizations manage their field technicians and appointments seamlessly.
  • Marketing Cloud is tailored to marketing teams’ needs in creating, managing, and tracking marketing campaigns across multiple channels. It generates data-driven insights for better decision-making, personalized content, segment customers, and more. It can help businesses engage with customers at every stage of their journey if used correctly.
  • Community Cloud helps companies connect and collaborate with their customers, partners, suppliers, and employees on a single platform. It allows organizations to build custom portals or communities where users can access information, share ideas, and collaborate in real time.
  • Einstein Analytics Plus has powerful data visualization capabilities that help analyze, explore, and interpret complex data sets. Users can build custom dashboards and widgets, combining different data sources in a single view. This license empowers businesses to make data-driven decisions and easily identify critical trends and insights.
  • Salesforce Mobile App grants access to the platform on the go from smartphones or tablets. This license lets users view, edit, and update customer and prospect data, manage their schedules, and track their opportunities from their mobile devices. The Salesforce Mobile App is user-friendly and provides a seamless experience for busy, on-the-go professionals.
  • Lightning Experience improves UX via faster and more efficient task completion. It introduces a modern design layout, optimizing the UI for productivity and ease of use. This license includes features like Kanban view, which organizes tasks visually, and an updated Sales Pipeline Dashboard.

VI. Role-Based Licenses

Salesforce Role-Based Licenses give users access to the features and functionalities required for their specific organizational role. This means users are only given the tools they need to do their job without paying for unnecessary features.

There are several different types of Salesforce Role-Based Licenses:

  • Salesforce Platform License grants access to the core features, such as accounts, contacts, and opportunities, and is ideal for users who don't need advanced functionalities like automation or analytics.
  • Sales Cloud License is designed specifically for sales teams, providing access to advanced sales functionalities such as lead management, opportunity tracking, and forecasting.
  • Service Cloud License comprises features such as case management, knowledge base, and email-to-case. It is intended for customer support representatives and agents to streamline their work and enhance customer satisfaction.
  • Marketing Cloud License equips marketers with tools for managing and engaging with customer data, creating email campaigns, and tracking marketing performance across various channels.
  • Community Cloud License is designed for external stakeholders such as partners, customers, or employees. The license gives access to communities and portals, allowing external stakeholders to collaborate with internal teams, share feedback, and access resources.
  • Salesforce CPQ License provides access to Configure, Price, and Quote (CPQ) solutions. It is meant for teams responsible for the sales process and offers users a streamlined way to create proposals, contracts, and invoices.

VII. Considerations for License Management

Following these tips will help you get the most out of your licensing:

  1. Review UsageRegularly to ensure you’re not overpaying for licenses you’re not using or that you have enough licenses to meet business needs. With proper usage review, you can optimize your licensing costs and make sure you are not getting charged for licenses you do not require.
  2. Understand Your Licenses. Salesforces offers a range of licenses, including full, partial, and read-only licenses. Knowing their differences and selecting the appropriate license for each user can help save money and streamline operations.
  3. Invest in Training and Support to ensure employees and users leverage the full platform’s capability. Better license feature utilization results in higher ROI, improved productivity, and reduced usage issues.
  4. Implement Security Measures enforcing security protocols to prevent unauthorized users from accessing your licenses and reduce the chance of fraud or accidental violations.
  5. Take Advantage of Licensing Flexibility. Salesforce allows for license swapping or conversion for users as their needs change. Taking advantage of this can help you avoid purchasing new licenses while also providing your team members with the necessary functionality to increase productivity.
  6. Avoid Sharing Licenses. One of the most common mistakes that companies make is over-sharing licenses. Sharing a license between two or more users might result in system crashes, loss of data, and other operational hiccups. Each license should be designated for a specific user.

Monitoring and Optimizing License Usage

Monitoring license usage involves keeping track of the number of available licenses versus the in-use ones. Salesforce’s comprehensive reports and dashboards visualize license usage metrics in real time so you can identify trends and patterns, forecast future needs, and make informed decisions about license allocation.

Optimizing license usage requires a more proactive approach. One effective strategy is regularly reviewing usage data to identify inactive or underutilized licenses. They can then be repurposed or deactivated, freeing up resources and reducing costs. The process can involve identifying opportunities to switch to more cost-effective licensing plans or leveraging usage-based models to align licensing costs with actual usage better.

Note that monitoring and optimizing license usage is an ongoing process that requires collaboration between IT, finance, and business stakeholders. Regularly reviewing usage data and reviewing licensing policies and procedures helps organizations stay consistent in their operational efficiency.

License Renewal and Scaling Options

Whether you are a small business owner or a large enterprise, Salesforce allows you to choose a licensing plan that caters to your specific needs. When the expiration date of any of your subscriptions approaches, you will need to renew the license contract. You have the option to renew a percentage of the entire product and its covered assets if you're employing an asset-based renewal strategy.

How you handle renewals depends on your use case and the renewal model for your account. Salesforce CPQ generates a renewal opportunity and renewal quote, regardless of the approach you take. All of the products you are renewing are included in the renewal quote. The renewal quote also allows for the addition of new products.

One of the most convenient ways to renew Salesforce licenses is auto-renewal. When a customer's subscription is set up for auto-renewal, it means that when their current term ends, it will automatically renew for the same duration. A consumer will have thirty days to modify or cancel an auto-renewal. Subscription buyers will automatically be notified when their subscriptions are about to expire. A 90-, 60-, and 45-day email notice of renewal will normally be sent to the account's most recent billing contact.

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