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So you’ve decided to pull the trigger on a Salesforce solution. Congrats! You’re about to enter a world of better data and decision making! But now that you’ve decided on Salesforce, you need to decide on which version you need: the professional edition (PE), also known as Salesforce Lightning Pro, or the enterprise edition (EE), which is called Salesforce Lightning Enterprise.

Choosing the right version really depends on what your needs are. Are you a small firm with limited clients and no need for customization? Are you an enterprise organization with multiple users and specific needs? Or, are you like a lot of companies out there and fall somewhere in between, which makes the decision more difficult?

Since the price difference between the two is significant, you really need to compare your needs to the functionality of each version. Can you function using the professional version or is there no way out of the need for the enterprise version? For some companies (very, very large companies), the answer will be obvious. But if you’re smaller, you might not need to make the huge investment (yet).

Ultimately, it’s going to come down to volume and customization – and how much you need of each. Here is a breakdown of the biggest differences between Salesforce Lightning Pro and Salesforce Lightning Enterprise to help you to choose the right version for you.


How transparent is your organization and how many levels of access do you need to assign? The ability to carefully control user access is one huge difference between the professional version and the enterprise version.

Using Lightning PE, you are limited when it comes to configuring security. You only have the ability to create two custom profiles. Every other user in your organization is given the standard profile, which cannot be edited. That means outside of the two custom profiles, you are locked into the security settings of every other user.

In Lightning EE, you have complete control over what your users can and cannot do inside Salesforce. This allows you to optimize access and data views for each individual job function.

Integrating Salesforce Lightning

Do you have multiple systems that need to integrate with Salesforce? Will you be using APIs? If so, you need the enterprise version. Yes, you can integrate some systems using the professional version through third-party apps. However, if you can’t find the right app, you’ll need to tap into the Salesforce API. That’s an enterprise-level function.


All versions of Salesforce come with the standard web-to-lead automation. This feature allows you to capture new leads directly from your website and create new lead records automatically. You can also set up auto-response and assignment rules, so that once a new lead comes in, an action is taken and the correct person gets a notification. In addition to web-to-lead, the Lightning PE version comes with Process Builder and the ability to create five “processes.”

With Lightning EE, your ability to automate significantly increases. In addition to the web-to-lead automation and Process Builder, you get Workflow Rules, additional processes in Process Builder, and Visual Workflow. Workflow Rules basically works off of an “if this, then that” logic formula. It allows you to create a number of triggers for automation. Process Builder does everything Workflow does and then adds additional functionality on top of that. Visual Workflow lets you automate business processes by building flows, or applications, for users or systems.


The level of customization is a huge point of difference between these two versions. In enterprise, you get more validation rules, custom apps, custom fields, custom reports, mass mailings, analytics and dashboards. Here’s a breakdown of customization options between the two versions:

  • Validation Rules per object: 20 vs. 100 (PE vs. EE respectively)
  • Custom Fields per object: 100 vs. 500
  • Custom Fields on Activities: 20 vs. 100
  • Custom Tabs: 10 vs. 25
  • Custom Objects 50 vs. 200
  • Custom Apps: 5 vs. 10
  • Custom Reports: 50 vs. 200

The Takeaway

When it comes down to it, volume capacity and customization are what set the two versions apart. If you don’t need the bells and whistles that come with EE, go with the professional version. But don’t try to squeak by with the Salesforce Pro when you really need Salesforce Enterprise. You’re more likely to end up wasting time and money, because the people on your team won’t have the tools they need. Salesforce is most effective if it’s implemented and used properly.

Choosing the right edition is a big decision both financially and from an enterprise resource planning standpoint, so consider your needs and options carefully. We have an entire specialized Salesforce team here at RTS Labs, and they would be more than happy to help – just give us a shout!