For customers new to Salesforce, understanding which edition they need often presents the most confusion. Essentials, Professional, Enterprise, Unlimited: Which one will best suit your needs? Salesforce’s own website offers useful information about the features each edition includes. But it’s one thing to see the features, and another to understand which one’s right for your business.
In a previous article, we discussed Salesforce Essentials and what it provides. But what if your small business needs a technology solution more robust than Essentials? Will Salesforce Professional Edition work for you? Or would a more powerful version serve you better?
Here, we take a deep dive into Professional Edition: What it offers, what it doesn’t and who it’s best for. We’ll show you how this edition helps small businesses understand the flexibility of the Salesforce platform and how to tell if it’s right for you.
Salesforce Professional Edition Features: What It Offers Your Business
The easiest way to speak to Professional Edition’s capabilities is to compare it to Essentials. While Salesforce designed Essentials as an out-of-the-box solution, Professional Edition serves as an introduction to the power of the Salesforce platform. Put another way, Essentials helps your team to hit the ground running. Here are the most impactful examples:
- Marketing Features: Professional Edition lets you organize and track leads using automatic assignment and campaigns.
- Sales Features: Sell and plan better with products and forecasting.
- Service Features: Resolve cases quickly with automatic assignment and solutions.
- Customizability: Add new functionality to the platform with custom apps and objects.
- No User Limit: Include as many employees as you want in Salesforce, all for the same per-user cost.
- Testing Environments: Create sandboxes, where you can test new changes before releasing them to your users.
These features allow customers to move past out-of-the-box Salesforce and design custom solutions that bring their specific business processes to life through technology. That’s Professional Edition’s chief benefit, offered at a lower price than other Salesforce editions with this kind of power.
Salesforce Professional Edition Limitations: Where You Might Need More
Any business using Professional Edition will want to keep some considerations in mind as they try to add more complex functionality to their solution. Here are some nuances to note:
- Process Automation: While Professional Edition allows you to automate processes (unlike Essentials), you can only use it to build 5 such automations. Some users have reported making more, but Salesforce may audit your org and remove additional ones.
- Limited User Flexibility: While Salesforce Professional Edition allows an unlimited number of users, it limits your ability to customize your security settings through customer roles, profiles and permission sets. So larger teams with more complex security needs may find Professional Edition restricting. Similarly, it doesn’t support territory management or collaborative selling through account and opportunity teams.
- Apex Code: Advanced functionality through custom coding is generally not supported on Professional Edition. However, any code included in third-party apps downloaded from the Salesforce AppExchange will run without issue.
- Integrations: Although exceptions exist, Professional Edition generally does not support API access, meaning that you can’t easily integrate it with other products or even use some connected apps like Data loader or IDEs.
Across all of these notes, you can see a common trend line: You can customize Salesforce Professional Edition for any team, but as your company scales, needs greater security flexibility or desires more robust automation, you may outgrow the features that this edition offers.
Is Professional Edition Right for You?
From these benefits and considerations, we can develop a clearer picture of the perfect customer for Professional Edition. If your small business needs a tool more powerful than out-of-the-box Salesforce and if you want to customize the platform to suit your business’ needs, then looking at Professional Edition is a great place to start. This is especially true if your sales and/or service teams are reasonably unified and need the same level of access to Salesforce.
But if the teams using Salesforce in your business are diverse, or if internal security is a significant concern, then the Enterprise or Unlimited editions may serve you better. If your organization is technically minded and wants to expand Salesforce’s capabilities through custom code, if you already know you want other systems to integrate with Salesforce, if your employees keep mentioning the word “automatically” when they talk about their future technology, then Professional Edition might prove too simplistic for your needs.
In short, Salesforce Professional Edition is best for smaller businesses ready to feel the power of the Salesforce platform, but willing to scale with their technology instead of immediately jumping into the deep end.
Have more questions about the pros and cons of Professional Edition? Send us a message: We’re happy to help you determine which edition is right for you.