If you’ve chosen to go with Salesforce as the primary technology for your business, you’re in good company. Salesforce currently holds about 20% of the overall CRM market share and has over 150,000 paying customers.
However, it’s important to remember that because Salesforce is such a big piece of technology, you don’t want to go it alone when it comes to implementation. You will get the most out of Salesforce by enlisting the help of a salesforce consultant who knows the platform well. However, what exactly is a Salesforce consultant, and how do you know how to find a salesforce consultant? We cover all of this and more in this post so you can feel prepared to pick the right Salesforce consulting partner for your business. Read on to get the information you need.
What is a Salesforce Consultant?
Before we go into how to find a Salesforce consultant, what is the exact role of a Salesforce consultant? The person or entity you choose to partner with for Salesforce should be equipped with the skills to help you achieve your business goals and achieve higher success than you would otherwise see if you were using Salesforce in a DIY method.
A Salesforce consultant has multiple certifications to demonstrate their expertise in the software, and they also have experience in getting to know different businesses, their goals, and be seasoned at being able to make an optimal plan in Salesforce to achieve those goals.
What Does a Salesforce Consultant Do?
In a word, a Salesforce consultant helps a business get the maximum benefit possible from Salesforce. Their responsibilities may include:
- Maintaining a positive client relationship with a smooth flow of communication.
- Conducting discovery and status meetings.
- Implementing a Salesforce solution tailored to the client.
- Seeking opportunities for business growth within Salesforce.
- Staying up-to-date on Salesforce training and certifications.
- Investigating possible solutions and add-ons for the client into Salesforce.
- Gathering and compiling a list of requirements.
- Creating and managing project plans;
- and more.
A Salesforce consultant should be a client’s main source for everything having to do with Salesforce, and while it is an investment, a consultant will help figure out how to get the best cost for the most output from using Salesforce.
What to Look For in a Salesforce Consultant
If you’re very new to working with Salesforce, with a consultancy, or both, there are some items that are important to bear in mind when you start trying to hire a Salesforce consultant and seeking help and advice.
Get someone who is experienced
You want to find someone as early in the process as possible, as it is more difficult and time-consuming to try and get Salesforce up-and-running without a consultant. You also want to be sure that this person or the consultancy has experience with Salesforce, preferably on projects similar to yours. You can even ask a consultant to share documentation and case studies from previous projects to get a better idea of how they could help your business.
It is critical that the Salesforce consultant have deep expertise in your particular industry, which means it would be easy for them to adapt to your business because they have a process in place.
Look for a business analysis
In addition to being experienced, the entity you work with should be able to do a full business analysis so they can best know how to optimize Salesforce for your company. This helps them understand your business on a more intimate level before proceeding forward and can even open up new insights into your business that you didn’t have before.
Bear in mind that during this process, your expectations may also be challenged, as it is often the case the analysis shows new gaps or opportunities that had not been identified before. You Salesforce consultant should be able to communicate this effectively and steer you in the right directions with a technology solution.
Have ongoing communication and support
Salesforce is not a “one and done” deal. It is an ongoing process with different milestones along the way and should evolve and change just like your business does. It’s important to partner with a Salesforce consultant who understands this and who will not only “implement” but also give ongoing “support”.
Ask you Salesforce consultant what ongoing support looks like for them, how much it costs, and how often they will be working on you as a client and checking in via meetings. As Salesforce is a technology that is constantly being updated, it is vital you have a source of ongoing support and a consultant that will fill you in on important changes and how they impact they want your business is using Salesforce.
Make sure they understand both the technology and business side
Whether you’re working with a Salesforce consultancy or a single individual, it’s essential that they have extensive knowledge of both Salesforce from a business goals perspective but also a technology perspective. You cannot have one without the other if you want to see your business reach its maximum potential within Salesforce. That might mean you speak with one person in a consultancy who handles client communication, and then with another team member who works purely on the technology side. Either way, having all of those skills at work for your company is important in succeeding with Salesforce.
Factors in Choosing the Right Salesforce Consulting Partner
Making your ultimate decision on which Salesforce consulting partner to go with, even with the guidelines mentioned above, can be tricky. Here are some important factors you should consider before deciding to work with a Salesforce partner:
Is this a “budget” partner?
Be wary of a consultancy that will offer you a too-good-to-be-true deal. Your focus in choosing a Salesforce consultant should be the quality of service offered over price. Going with the “cheaper” partner may result in bad implementation, lack of ongoing support, and less than insightful business advice. In the end, it is likely that a budget partner will mean you make less profit in the end because you have to spend more money to fix issues, lose time in trying to find a new partner or both.
How credible is this Salesforce partner? Do they have testimonials on their website or other clients who are willing to refer them? How many clients have they worked with? Do they have the proper Salesforce technology certifications? All of these are questions are things you should ask before agreeing to anything. You want to be sure the partner you work with is credible.
A good indicator of credibility is also the Salesforce consultant’s website. Do they have testimonials? Do they exhibit their expertise via an online blog or downloadable materials? Already, a website will give you a lot of upfront information about what this partner will be like to work with.
Do you feel understood?
When you begin speaking with potential Salesforce consultants, do you feel that they actively listen to your biggest business concerns and needs? If the communication is not good up front, this may be a sign that your business goals will not be accurately met or understood by the consultancy. Make sure you go with a partner that will offer a listening ear and create a tailored plan for your exact needs.
When working in Salesforce with an experienced consultancy, your needs as the client should always be heard.
Ask what kind of structure the consultancy uses with their clients. You should know clearly from the first step who will be working on your business and what each of those roles is meant to do. If you’re working with one consultant, what other companies/entities do they partner with? There could also be many roles involved in the project, such as a project manager, a dedicated architect, and developers as well.
Finally, look for the values upheld by a Salesforce consultant. If they don’t have a value system at all or if they’re values to match well with those of your organization, it may not be the best match. Values can often get overlooked in this process because they are more abstract rather than technical, but establishing that you and the Salesforce consultant are coming from a similar place will make working with them much more seamless.
Vantage Point Consulting
Now that you have a better idea of what you should look for in a Salesforce consultant, here are a few things to know about Vantage Point:
1. For over 10 years, we’ve been consulting and creating custom cloud and technology solutions for companies going through rapid growth. Our strength is in our extensive experience with different types of clients and goals of bringing value to each business we work with.
2. Our Salesforce offerings include:
- Sales Cloud
- Financial services Cloud
- Service Cloud
- Marketing Cloud
- App Cloud
- Community Cloud
- Pardot Services
3. We have an intense focus on the overall team. Our team of dynamic experts in different areas means we can create an environment that will help you accomplish more as a business.
We hope this information has been helpful in giving you a more precise idea of what it takes to find the right Salesforce consulting partner for your business. Discover more about Vantage Point here, or contact us today to see if our consultancy could be a right fit for your business.