Salesforce Lightning Professional v.s. Enterprise Edition - a Partner's Perspective

01 June, 2016 | Salesforce

Deciding which Salesforce Lightning edition to run with is a big decision. Your edition affects more than your organisation's monthly license costs and the features you have access to. It impacts the entire architecture of your system. That is, how your business's processes are brought to life on the Salesforce platform.

At the outset, let's acknowledge that every business will have different considerations when deciding which edition to run with, both financial and functional. And there a huge number of differences between them. You can download the full list of feature comparisons here (as at time of publishing).

Below you'll find our perspective on the most common considerations that dictate which edition your organisation chooses to run with. We hope this will help you in your decision making process.

Do you need to automate manual processes?

Workflow automation allows you to put manual tasks on autopilot across sales, service and production. Some common examples of workflow include automating email sends, assigning tasks and creating or updating records based on field value changes or time-based criteria.

If your company has defined business processes with set variables, workflow automation makes a world of sense. The opportunity to ensure that teams are working to a defined, automated process can be nothing short of transformative.

Professional Edition is incredibly limited, only allowing for 5 workflow processes, while Enterprise Edition allows for unlimited workflow. If automation is important to you, Enterprise is likely the way to go. If your processes are more bespoke and change significantly from customer to customer, Professional Edition will likely do the job on this front.

Do you need Salesforce to connect to your other business systems?

Salesforce's industry-leading API is one of its biggest differentiators and developers find it great to work with. Data can push from Salesforce to other systems, or vice versa. The data can then kick in workflow processes, or be used for segmentation, reporting, or to give a full view of the customer from within Salesforce.

Both editions give you access to the Salesforce AppExchange, the world's largest B2B apps marketplace. There are literally thousands of apps that have pre-built connectors to Salesforce for quick and affordable integrations. Common examples of connectors are Xero for accounting, DocuSign for eSignature and Skedulo for job scheduling. However, some AppExchange connectors only connect to Enterprise Edition so you need to check the specifications of the app you require.

When your business needs to connect Salesforce to systems not on the app exchange, you'll need full API connectivity which is a feature only included with Enterprise Edition.

Do you undertake regular product, service or process updates?

These all need to be reflected on Salesforce. Pushing these changes straight into your live Salesforce environment can have disastrous consequences. That's why Salesforce has made partial and full developer sandboxes available on Enterprise Edition (full sandbox has an extra charge). This is a safe environment where your development team or implementation partner can design and test updates or enhancements before deploying them to your live system.

Salesforce also gives developers the ability to write custom code to make your system do things that are more "out of the box." Custom code can only be deployed after it's been tested in the Sandbox environment first.

If you don't see yourself making significant changes to your system, you probably won't utilise a developer sandbox and Professional Edition will do the job in this area. However if you have custom development and larger system updates on your road map, a full or partial sandbox on Enterprise Edition is a must.

Do you have a more complex structure than management versus Team?

Roles, permissions and page layouts are the cornerstones of a scalable and secure organisation structure on Salesforce. They ensure the right people see the right information. For larger organisations with many departments and roles, a one-login-sees-all approach won't cut it.

Professional Edition allows for 2 user roles, permissions and page layouts. This is suitable for a "management v.s. team" split. If your organisation has a more intricate structure, Enterprise Edition will be a better fit from this perspective.

Is Salesforce just for Sales?

Salesforce is a platform that can be utilised across virtually every customer interaction, including customer service, marketing, production, custom applications, customer communities and more.

Salesforce has specific solutions for marketing (Pardot & Marketing Cloud), customer service (Service Cloud & Desk), customer-facing apps (Heroku), communities (Community Cloud) as well as the Force.com platform which allows apps to be custom-built for any business process.

If you need more than core CRM functionality, make sure you consider this to get the right mix of solutions on the Salesforce platform from the outset.

In summary

As a certified Salesforce consulting partner, LavaBox can help you navigate through these considerations, but the ultimate decision is yours to make. Your Salesforce Account Executive has in-depth product knowledge at their disposal so be sure to leverage their expertise around the specific mix of features and functions you need.

Disclaimer: We've done our best to offer our perspective on some of the common buying considerations many of our clients encounter in this article, but please make any purchasing decisions based on your own due diligence.

Salesforce Lightning Professional v.s. Enterprise Edition - a Partner's Perspective


Deciding which Salesforce Lightning edition to run with is a big decision. Your edition affects more than your organisation’s monthly license costs and the features you have access to. It affects the entire architecture of your system. That is, how your business’s processes are brought to life on the Salesforce platform.


At the outset, let’s acknowledge that every business will have different considerations when deciding which edition to run with, both financial and functional. And there a huge number of differences between them. You can download the full list of feature comparisons here (as at time of publishing).


Below you’ll find our perspective on the most common considerations that dictate which edition your organisation chooses to run with. We hope this will help you in your decision making process.


Do you need to automate manual processes?


Workflow automation allows you to put manual tasks on autopilot across sales, service and production processes. Some common examples of workflow include automating email sends, assigning tasks and creating or updating records based on field value changes or time-based criteria.


If your company has defined business processes with set variables, workflow automation makes a world of sense. The opportunity to ensure that teams are working to a defined, automated process can be nothing short of transformative.


Professional Edition is incredibly limited, only allowing for 5 workflow processes, while Enterprise Edition allows for unlimited workflow. If automation is important to you, Enterprise is likely the way to go. If your processes are more bespoke and change significantly from customer to customer, Professional Edition will likely do the job on this front.


Do you need Salesforce to connect to your other business systems?


Salesforce’s industry-leading API is one of its biggest differentiators and developers find it great to work with. Data can push from Salesforce to other systems, or vice versa. The data can then kick in workflow processes, or be used for segmentation, reporting, or to give a full view of the customer from within Salesforce.


Both editions give you access to the Salesforce AppExchange, the world’s largest B2B apps marketplace. There are literally thousands of apps that have pre-built connectors to Salesforce for quick and affordable integrations. Common examples of connectors are Xero for accounting, DocuSign for eSignature and Skedulo for job scheduling. However, some AppExchange connectors only connect to Enterprise Edition so you need to check the specifications of the app you require.


When your business needs to connect Salesforce to systems not on the app exchange, you’ll need full API connectivity which is a feature only included with Enterprise Edition.


Do you undertake regular product, service or process updates?

These all need to be reflected on Salesforce. Pushing these changes straight into your live Salesforce environment can have disastrous consequences. That’s why Salesforce has made partial and full developer sandboxes available on Enterprise Edition (full sandbox has an extra charge). This is a safe environment where your development team or implementation partner can design and test updates or enhancements before deploying them to your live system.


Salesforce also gives developers the ability to write custom code to make your system do things that are more “out of the box.” Custom code can only be deployed after it’s been tested in the Sandbox environment first.


If you don’t see yourself making significant changes to your system, you probably won’t utilise a developer sandbox and Professional Edition will do the job in this area. However if you have custom development and larger system updates on your road map, a full or partial sandbox on Enterprise Edition is a must.


Do you have a more complex structure than management versus Team?


Roles, permissions and page layouts are the cornerstones a scalable and secure structure on Salesforce. They ensure the right people see the right information. For larger organisations with many departments and roles, a one-login-sees-all approach won’t cut it.


Professional Edition allows for 2 user roles, permissions and page layouts. This is suitable for a “management v.s. team” split. If your organisation has a more intricate structure, Enterprise Edition will be a better fit from this perspective.


Is Salesforce just for Sales?


Salesforce is a platform that can be utilised across virtually every customer interaction, including customer service, marketing, production, custom applications, customer communities and more.


Salesforce has specific solutions for marketing (Pardot & Marketing Cloud), customer service (Service Cloud & Desk), customer-facing apps (Heroku), communities (Community Cloud) as well as the Force.com platform which allows  apps to be custom-built for any business process.


If you need more than core CRM functionality, make sure you consider this to get the right mix of solutions on the Salesforce platform from the outset.  


In summary


As a certified Salesforce consulting partner, LavaBox can help you navigate through these considerations, but the ultimate decision is yours to make. Your Salesforce Account Executive has in-depth product knowledge at their disposal so be sure to leverage their expertise around the specific mix of features and functions you need.


Disclaimer: We’ve done our best to offer our perspective on some of the common buying considerations many of our clients encounter in this article, but please make any purchasing decisions based on your own due diligence.