Top 10 Countdown for Salesforce.com Purchase Negotiations

By Jeff Muscarella

EVP, NPI

August 29, 2017

Salesforce.com’s evolution from SaaS pioneer to cloud giant has been one for the history books. Today, SFDC is one of the largest cloud solution providers in the world – currently tied with AWS and just behind Microsoft.  But like most IT vendors that have been around for a while, its offerings have begun to take on traditional pricing and licensing characteristics. 

One of these is the company’s willingness to negotiate. Historically, SFDC’s offerings, pricing and terms have been pretty cut and dried with firm pricing and very limited negotiation flexibility. But things are changing. Customers purchasing and/or renewing with SFDC will find there are a dizzying number of levers that can be pulled to drive savings and deal flexibility, and that it’s now more complex to determine your best-fit license types.

How can you save on your next SFDC deal? Here are NPI’s top 10 suggestions:

10. Push for best-in-class price caps on renewals.

9. Negotiate appropriate data ownership, extraction and transition assistance clauses.

8. Carefully examine all extra charges (e.g., security, performance, reporting, etc.).

7. For existing customers, examine actual usage (by user types and by items like storage, objects, tabs and fields). Reconcile your purchase/renewal accordingly.

6. Tap into benchmark analysis to know what’s truly a “special” offering and what is not.

5. Examine license types. Some options may provide the functionality you need at a lower price.

4. Be sure to shop for implementation assistance. We see a wide variation in quality and cost across providers.

3. Consider whether you need true-down rights, as well true-up rights to higher levels at agreed-upon pricing.

2. Be sure you understand how your license rights may permit or prohibit “indirect access”, and how that maps to your technical environment and usage needs.

1. Negotiate custom licenses/user types to match SFDC licensing to your needs.

Remember – preparation is key. Begin at least 4 to 6 months ahead of time and work closely with IT and business stakeholders to truly understand your needs, use and credible alternatives. Of course, consolidating your agreements/purchases (we often see companies with fragmented purchases across multiple divisions) and timing your renewals around quarter and year ends helps as well.