How to Find a Salesforce Partner That's Best For Your Company

Published on
January 5, 2018

Your Salesforce customer relationship management (CRM) system should be one of your organization's most prized possessions. The data that lives in Salesforce is unique to your organization, and the CRM holds everything you know about your customers and prospects.

But technology can only do so much, especially software that is not customized for your team and goals. Customization is where Salesforce truly shines.

Most organizations employ only a Salesforce administrator, who handles everyday Salesforce activities. Their focus is on taking care of Salesforce and training users. These individuals tend to not to have the knowledge to customize Salesforce or to do Salesforce development. This requires a different set of skills and a person who knows Salesforce from the inside out.

In fact, some organizations customize Salesforce only during initial implementation or when they need to tweak the CRM to better meet their changing needs. These organizations can still benefit from the power of Salesforce, but they are missing out on the transformation that Salesforce can bring to their sales process.

The Value of a Salesforce Partner

If you want to get maximum value from Salesforce, consider customizing the platform to match your company goals and needs. And if you want to get maximum value from customization, take time to find the best possible support and service in a Salesforce consultant.

A Salesforce consulting company devotes all its energies and resources to making Salesforce work for their clients. Their employees should be certified in Salesforce, and they should know current best practices.

These consultants have worked on a diversity of Salesforce projects. They know which issues to watch for and can take care of them on the spot. They know how to optimize Salesforce based on each organization's needs.

When you first start using Salesforce, think of it as clay that is ready to be molded into anything. Your "clay" can be turned into a simple bowl or transformed into an intricate work of art.

Some Salesforce consulting partners can create works of art while others do just the basics. The key to success lies knowing what you need — and where it lies on the spectrum between art and basics. You don't want someone who customizes features that you do not need — and overcomplicates the process. And, you also don't want a system that gets you almost what you need. A good Salesforce consultant can help ensure you get the results you need from Salesforce.

Additionally, a trusted Salesforce partner gives you a go-to resource when you run into an unusual or unexpected issue. You will not waste a minute searching for information or someone to help. You just contact your Salesforce consultant to get immediate advice and support.

How to Search for a Salesforce Consultant

AppExchange offers a directory of Salesforce consultants with ratings for each one. You can filter available consultants based on your needs, such as regions, languages, programming languages, and special designations like Silver Partners.

AppExchange is a great starting point to compile a list. While ratings and testimonials help, they do not reveal a consulting company's industry experience, business acumen, or technical skills. Furthermore, the individual consultant who receives rave reviews from Client ABC may not be the same person who worked with Client XYZ, so the actual consultant you get may not be the one that received the high ratings.

You should also decide whether you want a partner or a contractor. Partners act like advisers. Contractors do what you ask.

Do you want an order taker or an adviser?

Think of a contractor as the cashier in a fast food restaurant. The cashier takes your order and serves it up. At most, they might ask if you want fries with that.

On the other hand, when you go to an upscale restaurant, waiters offer the specials of the day, describe dishes in detail, and make suggestions. They serve as advisers, who are experts on the restaurant's food. Salesforce consultants are your advisers on all things Salesforce.

You also want a company that specializes in Salesforce. Some companies work with multiple CRMs and may not have the depth of Salesforce knowledge you need. A data migration project requires a different set of knowledge and skills than an integration project, and Salesforce consultants know how to do both and much more.

A consulting company with deep Salesforce experience can manage different types of projects. The advantage is that you can call on them for anything related to Salesforce, and you are not limited to specific types of issues.

Questions to Ask to Find the Best Salesforce Consulting Services

Once you have your short list of candidates, make a list of questions to ask during interviews. To help, we offer for download a comprehensive list of questions to find the best Salesforce Consulting Services, which covers every type of Salesforce project: integration, development, migration, and more. Most of the questions even work with other systems. See below to get the guide.

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