Let me break a bubble for you. Salesforce solutions are not as easy to implement as they advertise. Without the technical expertise and active engagement, CRM projects are bound to fail for reasons amounting to data quality, unrealistic expectations, and unsupervised project management.
Congratulations on choosing the best CRM platform in the world! But there is just so much to consider before you start your Salesforce project, budget, and compounding costs of using every application, such as data migration, being significant. Therefore, it is paramount that you look for an optimal solution before jumping right in. The best solution is to leverage the expertise of a Salesforce consulting company.
Now you know the first step, yes, but how do you decide which Salesforce partner is right for you? There are 1635 Salesforce consulting organizations listed on Salesforce AppExchange, as of today.
Here’s a curated list with the top tips to select the right Salesforce partner for you:
1. Research, research, research
Sounds funny, yes. Even funnier is that we mean it. First research without actually researching. Find all the prospective areas, listing websites, and rating agencies where you can discover and create a shortlist of good Salesforce consulting companies.
The second research is about finding Salesforce implementation use-cases related to your industry vertical and business. The third research is about confirming the credibility of the companies you have shortlisted. You may find the official Trailblazer community and Salesforce Chatter groups very helpful in this regard.
2. AppExchange is your best friend
Salesforce AppExchange, as we mentioned before, lists 1600+ consultants to choose from. Each one of them has a designated profile and you can filter them according to your needs. Find the reviews and testimonials of all the prospective partners. Look for the certifications and judge the versatility. Algoworks is the Most Popular Salesforce Consultant on the list.
3. Avoid zeroing down in the first go
Don’t just select the first consulting company that sends the proposal. Take your time, compare them, ask for demos, case studies, or proof of concept. A good Salesforce consultant will prepare an implementation plan and understand your requirements before onboarding you.
4. See if they disagree with you
A good partner shouldn’t look to just close the deal but offer their business insights and understand the scalability of your vision. They shouldn’t hesitate from asking questions that may sound inconvenient, to the extent of interrogating the entire logic of your requirements. Let me tell you why.
Experienced consultants would have seen firsthand how a flawed business model may lead to failure. There may be a lot of developers who will execute exactly what you ask them to, without caring about the base problems. Your Salesforce implementation partner is right for you if they are able to take an interest in your vision and understand your model from the ground up.
5. Cost is just a cog in the wheel
Salesforce projects are expensive, no doubt. But don’t go searching for the cheapest Salesforce implementation. Your decision-making unit should endeavor for the most comprehensive and time-efficient implementation. According to Gartner, more than 80% of data migration projects fail to get executed on account of low budget and unrealistic schedules.
If the cost is still of concern, it would be better to estimate the Total Cost of Ownership which considers the cost of the product licenses, internal labor, and long-term cost of maintenance.
6. Know the accountability
Try to extract as much information as you can from your interactions with a potential Salesforce consulting partner. This would help you in future project meetings as well. The accountability for various project functions and key roles of each person involved should be clear to you in order to have better control over the process. Key roles, for instance, a project manager for internal requirements, should be well-defined and assigned based on competency.
7. Decide on Long-term Engagement
After going through this rigorous process of selecting the right partner for your needs and achieving project success, it would be great if you engage a long-term relationship with the consulting partner. Apart from saving your future efforts, it becomes pertinent to continue with the same partner as they can provide continuous support in the future. The Salesforce consulting company of your choice would be the best team in place for identifying any risks or issues, should they arise, in a proactive manner. Also, they know your evolving needs and capabilities. A continued engagement would save you both, cost and efforts.