Today, we are going to help solve the mystery around how to negotiate with Salesforce.
As Salesforce users, and fans, we often have a love-hate relationship with Salesforce (SFDC). On the one hand, we love the CRM and the supporting products Salesforce offers. This leading sales CRM helps us connect with our customers in ways that no other platform, on the planet, allows. In my opinion, SFDC is the best customer experience platform to manage customer relationships and expectations. There are seemingly endless plugins in this open-source CRM, and the customization options are infinite. Salesforce is truly the #1 Customer Experience Platform in the world.
On the other hand, we hate negotiating with SFDC. When buying Salesforce and negotiating license prices, there is unwanted friction. The process can be daunting – especially if you have never done it before. Even if you are a procurement professional with Salesforce negotiation experience, the rules of the game change constantly. Self-managing Salesforce procurement can be a productivity killer for businesses of all sizes.
What makes us qualified?
As a former Enterprise Account Director at Salesforce, I know the game’s rules and the blueprint to ensure that negotiating with Salesforce is easy, painless, and yields the best results. Quite frankly, it’s next to impossible to negotiate effectively with Salesforce without insider knowledge. Our team can run the plays seamlessly since we have the playbook in hand.
Before we get started, if anyone’s “expert advice” is to buy at the end of the quarter or end of the year, run. There’s much more to Salesforce’s sales process than a quarterly or annual quota. I’ve curated ethical tactics on how to negotiate with Salesforce. These tactics work whether you are part of a Fortune500 procurement team or a small business owner.
Salesforce Negotiation Tactics
Here are some expert Salesforce negotiation tactics to help you score the best CRM software for your team, at the best price.
- Trust – a successful Salesforce negotiation starts and ends with trust. Trust is Salesforce’s #1 core value and something they take very seriously. If you have a skilled Account Executive (AE), then you have likely heard how trust is Salesforce first Core Value. If trust is Salesforce’s #1 Core Value, it needs to be at the forefront of everything you do with them. Aside from Salesforce, it’s essential to establish trust with anyone you do business with. Since our team is already well connected at Salesforce, we have a baseline of trust already built.
- Open Up – the first way to build trust with your AE is to open up about your business goals. A skilled AE will know how to ask the right questions to learn about your business, but it helps if you’re willing to proactively explain your business to your AE and inform them of current fiscal year objectives. As with any other engagement, your AE can’t help solve your problems if they don’t know what they are.
- Allow yourself to be sold to – this is a great way to build trust with your Salesforce AE. Because you have opened up, a skilled AE will start to develop ideas on what products and services you could benefit with from. A well-kept secret is that AE’s are measured on their ability to get an ‘at-bat’ with their customers. Allow your AE to deliver some recommendations and product demos. This will help you develop a strong relationship with your AE. And a strong relationship will pay dividends once it is time to negotiate your Salesforce renewal or buy more licenses. Your AE is trying to build rapport with you. Many buyers aren’t aware that rapport also helps you score better pricing and terms.
- Go Shopping – wouldn’t you know…another way to build trust with your Salesforce AE! Salesforce has a massive portfolio of products. Find a product that’s interesting to you, ask your AE about it, and ask to see a demo. Part of your job is to be educated about leading technology to support your business unit(s). Let Salesforce be the educator. If you are a customer service professional, Service Cloud is a great place to start. By the way, if you’re looking for the best call center software, check out our recent post Best Call Center Software in 2022 – Ranked.
- Product Mix – as previously mentioned, Salesforce has an extensive portfolio of products, and the list continues to grow. If you are negotiating with Salesforce, you will need to create a case for why you deserve the best price. A great way to do this is to point out your product mix. For example: if you are transacting Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Slack – that’s a great mix of products from various parts of the portfolio. Salesforce loves this, and it’s an effective negotiation tactic internally and externally. Your AE will want to sell you as many products as makes sense. Bundling is in your best interest, and it will reveal lower pricing per product than if you buy individually. Whether you choose to move forward with a bundle or individual product, you’ll have a much better base for negotiation.
Using these tactics, you will be on the right path to negotiate with SFDC successfully. Procurement and vendor management is time-consuming and stressful. If you’d like to take the headache out of your Salesforce negotiation, let the professionals do it for you. Click here for your free consultation.