Salesforce Negotiations Guide


It’s often said that negotiating without leverage is another form of begging, yet we commonly observe enterprise buyers approaching Salesforce purchases with little time to execute a deal, no Salesforce alternatives, and no valid reasons for the sales rep to offer a better, more competitive price. Salesforce’s sales teams are masters at executing their “land-and-expand” strategy, getting a foot in the door, winning over users, spreading across business units and processes, and growing their footprint. These activities occur as the sales team actively works to remove any and all sources of leverage you may have.


This Salesforce Negotiations report will focus on these key categories specific to Salesforce deal execution to maximize leverage in your next Salesforce deal:


1. Developing a Favorable Salesforce Deal Timeline


The average Salesforce deal requires 6-12 months of prep work in order to achieve a competitive outcome and price. This section details all the Salesforce deal activities and best Salesforce practices that need to be taken to create and preserve negotiation leverage. With an organized strategy around each of these activities, buyers can approach Salesforce negotiations from a position of power.

2. Creating Salesforce Deal Options and Alternatives


There are many alternatives and deal options available for buyers aside from Salesforce competitors. We dive into all motivations and how each can be utilized by the buyer to improve their Salesforce price. Salesforce alternatives and options discussed in this section include:


  • Multi-year term lengths: What is the impact to the Salesforce sales rep’s commission based on the length of your agreement? We detail how multi-year Salesforce deals factor into compensation plans and how buyers can improve their Salesforce negotiation position by playing with term lengths.

  • Salesforce Product Growth: Salesforce reps will be motivated by different product growth options. Understand how multiple Salesforce proposal options can put the customer in the driver’s seat when dictating Salesforce price and cost.

  • High Profile Salesforce Products: What Salesforce products are motivating sales reps to provide the best discounting? How do these Salesforce products affect sales rep commission? We detail answers to these questions and how buyers can use these products as a bargaining chip to improve their Salesforce price.

  • Salesforce Deal Timing: Salesforce is driven by key fiscal year dates. Learn how to manipulate Salesforce deal timing through acceleration or deceleration of execution dates to motivate your sales rep to provide the best Salesforce deal outcome for your organization.

  • Salesforce Deal Structure Alternatives: Certain Salesforce deal structures have a higher emphasis placed on them by sales reps due to commission and revenue allocation benefits. We detail what deal structures motivate Salesforce and how you can leverage them to improve your Salesforce price.

  • Salesforce Competition Matrix: Competition is a useful negotiation tactic when competing new Salesforce purchases. We detail competitive product offerings from the closest Salesforce competitors across the CRM, Marketing, eCommerce, and Analytics Salesforce product families.


3. Controlling Salesforce Deal Information


Like most major vendors, Salesforce’s sales teams are experts at obtaining information which eliminates their uncertainty around the deal and destroys buyer leverage. The close relationship between Salesforce and your internal business users can begin before your first purchase and strengthen over time. Salesforce information leaks can occur anywhere - on the phone, via email, in your office, at lunch or at Salesforce’s flagship event, Dreamforce. This section highlights how to proactively plan and raise awareness with business stakeholders on what information is important to protect in any Salesforce deal. An aligned organization is necessary to minimize Salesforce cost and continually control the tone of a Salesforce negotiation.


4. Salesforce Negotiation Messaging Development


In the last section of this Salesforce Negotiations report, we detail the four key features all effective Salesforce negotiation messaging has. Salesforce sales reps are built to test the buyer’s story for potential inconsistencies up to the customer’s C-Suite. When in a Salesforce negotiation, it’s important to present a unified message across any groups who interface with the Salesforce sales team, and that message must be credible, consistent, and positively impact your leverage in the Salesforce deal. This section also includes popular tactics Salesforce sales rep use to deflect common negotiation tactics and examples of messages that work effectively in a Salesforce negotiation.



To achieve a competitive Salesforce deal, you must align around a comprehensive plan to build deal leverage, protect information, and deliver a credible story in the Salesforce negotiation. By following the Leverage Management Maturity Model (LM3) introduced in this document, buyers can approach their Salesforce negotiations from a position of strength and achieve best-in-class results. For additional assistance on your Salesforce purchase, review some of the other ClearEdge resources listed below to help plan your strategy and mitigate risk.


Download Our Salesforce Negotiations Guide

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See our other Salesforce guides below.

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