Removing Shelfware from your Salesforce Renewal


  • Measuring user adoption, software utilization and projected growth is a prerequisite to the Salesforce renewal.
  • CRM software that has been procured but not used or underutilized creates a renewal savings opportunity.
  • The Optimizer App and a CRM Blueprint remove renewal contract guesswork and specify exactly what should be included in the renewal contact.
Johnny Grow Revenue Growth Consulting

Getting the best deal on your Salesforce subscription renewal starts with buying only what you need. But with complex contracts, changing product names, a constant introduction of new product SKUs and vague product descriptions that can be tough.

You will want to collaborate with your Salesforce (SFDC) sales rep, but it's important to go into the conversation informed. The sales reps are compensated to increase each customers spend (measured in ACV or annual contract revenue) and disincentivized to renew at the same or lower spend.

The two actions to objectively define what application software is needed and should be procured in the renewal are to measure your existing utilization and forecast future use.

SFDC Utilization Measurement

Almost all companies have some technology shelfware. That's software that has been procured but not used. It is particularly wasteful with Software as a Service (SaaS) applications as the company pays for that unused software every year.

The first task to reduce shelfware and overbuy is to run the SFDC Optimizer App. If you need help with this app check out the Optimizer training at Trailhead.

The company recommends you run this app as part of your monthly maintenance, before installing new software and before each CRM software release. However, that good advice often goes unheeded as many companies do not take advantage of this report.

Salesforce Optimizer

For purposes of the Salesforce renewal, we want to run the report to identify unused or underutilized application software as well as price implication factors such as orgs (instances), sandboxes, data storage, API use and developer tools.

Salesforce Optimizer Report

The report is a good starting point, but you need to drill down. A Salesforce consultant or expert can go beyond the simple metrics and verify if you are using the features, functions and capabilities in the CRM product edition purchased.

That's important as many customers buy a higher product edition than what's needed and lowering your edition can reduce your renewal cost significantly.

Salesforce Pricing

One caveat though, depending on how you negotiated your SFDC contract, you may incur challenges and reduced cost savings when leveling down product editions.

SFDC Utilization Forecast

The Optimizer app and report show your software utilization history.

A CRM Blueprint and road map is the most common tool to show your future. It replaces vague software requirements that lead to overbuying with specific software capabilities. It forecasts CRM software user growth and capabilities that will be needed to support planned business growth. It's typically a dynamic forecast that is essential to negotiate the right renewal.

A Blueprint identifies application software scope (product edition, subscription tier, feature sets, support services), software timing (when software is needed), defined users for each part of the application and the relative or measured value for each application.

The Blueprint should project software requirements over a 3- to 5-year horizon. It is essential to collaborate with key users and departments to understand their expected growth and any new software capabilities.

The CRM Blueprints we produce for clients are graphical and interactive diagrams with reference architectures, supporting footnotes for explanations and dynamic models that calculate budget, total cost of ownership (TCO) and Salesforce ROI. We find this type of model is simple to consume and easy to update.

With these two actions, the Salesforce renewal shifts from emotional bartering and overspending to negotiating and procuring exactly the amount of software needed for the contract term.