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The Wrong Pricing – Missed Opportunities

As continues to grow, it has become essential for us to adopt the right tools that will make our lives operationally little bit easier. Now is the time for us to leave spreadsheets and move on to products that will bring structure to a very chaotic environment. Two tools will be key to this strategy of operational simplification.

Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

We have adopted Contact Manager from, which is affordable and versatile enough for our needs. And we know that as grows, we have a path for increasing the CRM functionality to match with our future needs. In addition, we see as a strategic partner, so it makes sense for us to also be using their products, vice versa.


Having used Winweb for a brief period, we are now trialling Xero, a SaaS product from one of our growing customer base. I love the simplicity and the design and yet to fully test it. My gut feel says this is the right product for us. And these days, I put lot of trust in to my gut feel.


Ideally, we love our own database of users and customers to be in sync with CRM and accounts products we have adopted. So integration and free availability of APIs are fundamental to achieve this. I have been a keen advocate to see Xero and establish the ability to data exchange.

It was good to hear from Tony Rule of Xero yesterday that they have infact gone live with the integration

Pricing Dilemma

Let’s take a brief look at the costs involved for one seat license across both products for one year.

  • contact manager = £36 (we have subscribed for 2 seats)
  • Xero = £144 to £228 – the more expensive option is suitable for

Here is the problem. For me to benefit from having synchronisation of customer data across and Xero, I would need to upgrade my account to either:

  • enterprise (£1,020) or unlimited edition (£2,040) (where API is part of the licence) or
  • professional edition (£540 plus more) (where API is not part of the licence but you can add it at extra cost).


The combine cost of subscribing to Xero and now needs to go up from an affordable £264 to over £1000 to achieve integration. This is clearly not an acceptable situation for us. I love to comment more on this aspect, but as I have a half written post on pricing strategies, I think I should better leave it till then, other than to say, at this stage, we would have to operate without synchronisation. Just to add salt to the wound, products like JavelinCRM and Xero can achieve true synchronisation without any additional spend!

Published inedocr.commarketing
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  • That's quite a dilemma. This kind of integration is essential, but the providers have to get the pricing right for micro and small businesses. The integration topic is going to become a key battleground in 2010 for SaaS and Cloud companies as we all get our act together and our customers want more complete solutions.

  • ManojRanaweera

    At one hand, have reduced the price of Contact Manager to entice micro businesses such as mine, but on the other hand they have put a stumbling block by charging for API and other functionality which should be available within the cheaper priced products. Time to re-innovate pricing strategy, and find another way to differentiate between product sets

  • duncanstockdill

    With respect to Salesforce, I think it's a mistake to leave integration out of the version of Salesforce targeted at small businesses. The cloud really starts to add value when applications in the cloud integrate with each other. The small business web ( was set up to promote the idea that small business should have access to high quality, connected and open solutions and it would be great to see Salesforce get behind this too.

    We've been busy the past year integrating Javelin CRM to our customers favorite small business web apps such as Xero and while it's not easy, our customers definitely appreciate it.

  • #fail indeed…

  • ManojRanaweera

    Duncan, thanks for the heads up on Small Business Web. Just applied to be a member.

  • garyturner

    Great that you feel good about Xero, not so great that Salesforce's API costs are getting in the way of your integration requirements.

    I'll forward on your comments to my contacts at Salesforce and see what they come back with.

  • Anonymous

    Pricing of salesforce in my point of view is very high especially for small business, maybe that’s why  we decided to swith to some affordable software like

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