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I have customers running the Enterprise Edition (EE), as well as customers running the Professional Edition (PE). These are 5 questions you need to address to help make that call. [divider]

Question 1 : What kind of Products / Services do you market?

If your company markets a simple product or service offering, using a single Sales process, it is safe to start off with the Professional Edition (PE). If your company markets both products and services, or if multiple divisions market different things, in different ways, then you will probably have more than one sales process. In this case, the Enterprise Edition (EE) is the right choice for you. As opposed to the PE, the EE allows you to create multiple Record Types for Opportunities, multiple Page Layouts which can be attributed to different Profiles. For instance, selling products, you might want to track pieces of information such as Service levels agreements or license terms, whereas if your company markets services, you might be more interested in tracking effort day rates, which resources are going to take part in a project, or other relevant info. To avoid losing Salesforce users in the process, best practice points to presenting the right piece of information to the right set of users. This requires the use of Record Types, Page Layouts and Profiles, which come with the EE. [divider]

Question 2: Does selling consist of many, repetitive tasks?

If so, you will benefit from Workflows, Approvals and other automation features in Salesforce, which requires the EE. For example, one customer I worked with used Workflows because their business model was to provide a fixed term licence for products, without autorenewals. A significant amount of Workload for Salespeople was to get customers to renew their agreements. To achieve this goal, workflows alerted the right people in the organisation 2 or 3 month before the term of agreement, to automatically jump-start the renewal process. [divider]

Question 3: Do Salespeople work alone or do you work in teams?

If you work in teams, then you will love Team Selling, which comes with EE. Opportunity Teams is one aspect of Team selling, which allows to share opportunity details with different users, from different parts of your organisation. As of the Summer ‘13 release, Opportunity splits helps you organise revenue recognition between members of an opportunity team, as well as involving others, not part of the Sales team per se, to take part in revenue recognition schemes you may have. [divider]

Question 4: Do you/will you integrate CRM within a call center environement?

If so, take a look at what the Service Cloud Console has to offer. This major feature is only available with the EE of the Sevice Cloud. What’s more, the Service Cloud EE comes with a Softphone toolkit to integrate Salesforce with you Softphone of choice using CTI 3.0 and 4.0 standards. Other practical EE features for the Call Center are Case Feed and Chatter Answers. All these goodies are only available with the EE! [divider]

Question 5: Will you need (one of) the Salesforce APIs?

This isn’t an easy question if you are starting out with Salesforce. Both the EE and the PE support the main data import/export/sync tools which are dataloader.io and the Excel connector (however, the Apex Dataloader does require EE or above). You will need an API in any of the following cases:

  • Deploy SSO (Single Sign On). Users sign into multiple apps (including Salesforce) using the same login mechanism.
  • if you want to go beyond Web to Lead or Web to Case
  • integrate you Web App with Salesforce. – Connect Salesforce with an ERP, billing, othe back-office systems.
  • There are many other use cases for using the API.

If Salesforce is to be a standalone application in your company, lightly coupled via web to lead of Data import/sync, then PE will work fine. If you will be integrating Salesforce into an existing, multi faceted IT environment, there will be requirements popping up which will require the API (available in the EE). [embedit snippet=”author-rich-snippet”]