Today, more and more companies are integrating Salesforce solutions in their workflows in pursuit of business results improvement and process optimization. Numerous studies conducted by Salesforce prove that their solutions rightfully stay among global CRM leaders: by implementing Salesforce products, companies save up to 25% of IT costs, increase employee productivity by 26%, or see a 27% increase in sales win rates.
However, Salesforce implementation is a complicated transformation, where adopters have to meet numerous challenges like shortage of qualified resources, customization and configuration issues, data integration issues, implementation delays, low user adoption, and more. One of the most efficient ways to eliminate the related risks is to hire a reliable Salesforce implementation company. Here are top 7 aspects to take into account when selecting a trusted Salesforce implementation partner among hundreds of officially accredited partners.
7 aspect to consider when hiring a Salesforce partner
Experience and expertise
Salesforce certifications are one of the easiest and most reliable ways to prove the company’s expertise and credibility. What is more, Salesforce offers a variety of certification types, so we advise you to first explore the full scope of existing certifications, understand what each of them means (e.g., a Salesforce architect has different capabilities than a Salesforce developer), and then decide which specialists are needed for your project. Thus, if you are looking for a partner to help you with Salesforce Marketing Cloud, make sure they have relevant certifications and expertise with this tool.
Apart from that, you should also consider a Salesforce company’s knowledge of your industry. A partner that knows the ins and outs of your domain, as well as business processes and trends, is more likely to implement a Salesforce solution so that it would bring tangible value. Both technical and industry expertise can be proven with the number of projects completed using a particular tech stack and for a particular industry, together with customer references and testimonials.
What is more, Salesforce offers the AppExchange platform where you can find short descriptions of reliable vendors, their ratings, and customer reviews.
Working with a Salesforce partner typically implies establishing a long-term business relationship. This is why you need to make sure your potential partner’s values and culture align with your company’s own. Mutual values, enthusiasm, and dedication to the best result lay the strongest foundation for successful communication and collaboration in the future, including the implementation of important security measures such as a Comodo SSL certificate. Therefore, when selecting a Salesforce partner, be sure to consider not only their technical expertise but also their approach to security and their commitment to your shared values.
Even if at the moment you are interested in a solely out-of-the-box Salesforce solution, your needs can evolve as your business grows. Changing multiple vendors throughout Salesforce implementation and then support and maintenance is highly resource-intense. So, instead of changing your vendors half way through, it is better to choose the partner you genuinely like to work with from the very beginning.
When selecting a Salesforce implementation partner, don’t make low costs your primary decision criterion. Salesforce projects are not cheap per se, so you should neither be enticed by an affordable price nor lose interest when seeing fairly high costs. Companies tend to take different approaches when making first project estimates, with some just scratching the surface of the full scope of upcoming work, whereas others go for more detailed calculations.
So if your favored Salesforce company has a slightly higher price than others, don’t be discouraged and just ask them to explain their calculations. Remember, it is better to pay more but be confident about the partner’s capabilities than go for the lowest bidder and get disappointed in their competence afterwards.
A proactive Salesforce partner doesn’t simply implement the solution, but instead gets involved into important aspects of the project, like business needs definition, and takes the initiative to identify and address potential issues before they turn into problems. A proactive Salesforce team is genuinely interested in your business improvement and doesn’t hesitate to provide valuable insights and recommendations. They also keep you informed about future Salesforce updates and changes that can potentially affect your business processes.
Approach to implementation
Ask potential vendors to provide a detailed description of how they are going to approach the implementation process considering your Salesforce product and your business and industry specifics, and your reputation management services needs. A good Salesforce services provider should have established risk management processes to minimize the impact of any unexpected issues that may arise during the project.
Also, make sure you are on the same page regarding project communication, meeting frequency, updates regularity, and decision-making process. A professional partner will establish several implementation phases, making the process time and cost-effective, and adopt a suitable project management software to control the implementation process. Overall, a partner’s reasonable and consistent approach to the project is critical to ensure successful and trouble-free Salesforce implementation.
If you want to make the most of your implemented Salesforce solution, consider the company’s ability to provide at least basic training to your employees when shortlisting your potential Salesforce partners. The best option would be a partner that offers various training options, such as self-service portals, knowledge bases, educational videos, webinars, after-training support, and more. A good understanding of the solution’s features and capabilities and how to use them among employees will help speed up user adoption and ensure the software is used to its full potential.
In case you lack in-house IT resources for comprehensive support of your Salesforce solution or want to reduce after-implementation costs, entrusting the process to a third-party software development company is a perfect way out. So when selecting your Salesforce partner, consider if they can provide continuous maintenance of your solution post-implementation. While Salesforce itself delivers product updates three times a year so that Salesforce clients can enjoy new features, improved performance, and fewer bugs, most companies would still need technical assistance during software updates to ensure their seamless implementation, business process continuity, and stable software performance.
To sum up
Although implementing a Salesforce solution can bring numerous benefits to companies, the transformation itself poses many challenges that can be mitigated only by a certified Salesforce partner. Working with a third-party vendor, you are not hiring a company to simply implement software but to transform your entire business instead. So, do not be deceived by first impressions, be careful when selecting the right candidate, and prioritize experts with deep technical and industry expertise, passion for innovation, and willingness to help.