Salesforce offers new pricing option with 'Easy' subscription
The Salesforce Easy subscription offers CRM, customer service and rudimentary email marketing in a self-service subscription and lower per-seat price.
Salesforce has been working on a new entry-level subscription all year. The offering, called Salesforce Easy, is now available.
Salesforce Easy includes CRM features, as well as customer service and rudimentary marketing automation tools such as email outreach to customers. It also includes new customer onboarding tutorials for populating Salesforce with contacts and syncing calendars, basic automations, to-do lists and default dashboards.
Salesforce pricing for its CRM and customer service package runs from $25 to $325 per user, per month; Salesforce Easy is $25, the same as Salesforce Essentials. More features will be added over time as Salesforce considers what e-commerce and marketing tools make sense to bundle with it, said Kris Billmaier, senior vice president and general manager of Salesforce Easy.
Salesforce Essentials targets small and medium-sized businesses, which typically means companies that employ up to 1,000 people. Salesforce Easy continues that, going head-to-head with competitors such as Zoho, HubSpot and Zendesk, but makes it a self-service model with more features than Essentials, which will also continue as a subscription option.
The self-service component of the Easy subscription gives Salesforce the ability to invest in more features, said Rebecca Wettemann, longtime Salesforce analyst and principal at Valoir. It enables Salesforce to add more complex tools from Customer 360, because it eliminates the overhead costs of customer success and sales staff support.
A more feature-laden entry-level package may tempt larger businesses that want to give Salesforce a test drive for a department or large sales team. The timing of the Salesforce Easy subscription release comes just weeks after Oracle decimated its CX applications division. That's coincidental, as Salesforce has worked on -- and piloted -- this new package for months, Billmaier said.
Oracle CX customers are typically large organizations used to complex technologies that take a long time to roll out, Wettemann said. But if a hypothetical Oracle customer were to consider switching to Salesforce because their confidence in Oracle has waned, Salesforce Easy would pose a cost-effective means of giving Salesforce a test-drive.
Rebecca WettemannPrincipal, Valoir
CRM systems and the sales force automation tools that go with them are some of the most-changed applications in many companies' tech stacks because new leaders use the tools they know to run sales operations.
"A new chief revenue officer comes in and says, 'I use Salesforce, make it so' and they switch," Wettemann said. "What Salesforce is doing here is making the switching costs lower."
Automation is also a major factor in Salesforce Easy. While millennials and Gen Z are leading the charge to self-service subscriptions without the phone conversations the typical customer must have with their sales reps, Wettemann -- and Billmaier, too -- say they see more demand for it across the board.
"What we're really trying to do is make this a new front door for Salesforce where users can try before they buy and understand the power of the platform from a very base level, and regardless of [your] company's size," Billmaier said.
Wettemann noted that Salesforce is getting back to its roots with Salesforce Easy, taking care of its smaller customers -- including department-level implementations at large companies.
"When Salesforce started, it was a lot of SMBs, and a lot of small teams within large organizations," Wettemann said. "Salesforce didn't start with large enterprise deployments."
Many enterprise tech buyers now perceive Salesforce as a complex, expensive system. In recent years, Salesforce Essentials offered the beginnings of a turnkey Salesforce instance. Salesforce Easy expands that to an automated program for not just SMBs but also organizations of any size, she concluded.
Don Fluckinger covers enterprise content management, CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, customer service and enabling technologies for TechTarget Editorial.