Why , when should i upgrade from proffesional edition to Enterprise edition and what to consider

For existing salesforce users who are using proffessional edition, there is always the question on when to upgrade to enterprise edition, what is the value it brings to my organization and how do i measure the success or result is an open question. There are lot of blogs who explain how to do it but they do not address this from a strategic perspective. So this article addresses the following questions. When would you decide to upgrade to enterprise edition, What are the things i need to do to get the upgrade done quickly and how do i realize the ROI for it.

When would you decide to upgrade to enterprise edition
You should start the upgrade now based on the following reasons.
1. If you feel that there will be a significant growth in your revenue and sales within the next 6 months like More partners added, more accounts, more territories to be explored, then the timing is immediate for you to upgrade.
2. If you feel that your sales is broken and there is no insight into your pipeline, forecasting and operation, you should do it now.
The decision to upgrade can wait for a year or two based on the following reasons.
1. If you are in the process of building your sales team, products and services which would take atleast 6 months to finalize and get the approval from your management, then I think it is worth while to wait for a year for the upgrade.
2. If you have recently migrated from another crm system like Dynamics etc and most of your users are above 45 years old, then it would make sense to upgrade to EE in a year so that these users get use to PE edition of salesforce and do not impact adoption.

Areas which would take more effort for the upgrade and what can you do about it.
Once you made the decision to upgrade, it is important to create a readiness plan so that you are prepared for the upgrade and address key issues which would take more time to upgrade.
a. If you have the api version available for you in your PE or don’t have the api edition, your current integrations with external systems would be impacted with the upgrade and will involve changes. So the best way to get this done quickly is to start working on a sandbox and have a separate team work on the integration. If you have done real time integrations with visual force pages, these pages will have to be moved to the sandbox and tested with EE edition right away.
b. With the Enterprise edition, you would now need to decide on lead, account and contact owners , what kind of permission do you need your users to access the data and who can edit and manage this data. This would involve significant data conversion changes which has to be fixed before your Enterprise edition is upgraded completely. So to mitigate this, create a plan for security which involve roles, profiles, data access and come up with a game plan for fixing the current data. Create transformation rules if needed to fix the data.

Realizing ROI or measuring business success with the upgrade.
From a management perspective, the question would be the value for the upgrade and how can i measure it. Here is some simple pointers to be used to measure the upgrade.
These are immediate benefits which you should realize within 6 months after the upgrade.
a. Will my sales revenue grow 10% by implementing EE in 6 months?
b. Will my lead conversion increase by 10%?
c. Will there be a hike in hot opportunities which can be closed immediately by 10% after the upgrade?
Long term value.
a. Partner relationship value and number of opportunities referred by partners and won.
b. Effectiveness of marketing campaigns and opportunities created by them.
c. Sales operation effectiveness.
So with these criterias, a decision can be done quickly on the upgrade and business results obtained immediately. Please feel free to post your comments, and click on like if you like the post or email me at buyan47@gmail.com for additional questions.

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