Should I Self-Implement Salesforce or Hire a Salesforce Consulting Partner?


By Max Hart

Introducing Salesforce to your business is hard because, for a lot of managers and employees alike, operational change is hard. 

So when it comes to adding or replacing CRMs, determining the best person or team to promote that change will largely depend on what your organizational goals are. 

While there are certainly distinct professionals that make a Salesforce implementation successful, let’s talk through which types of people you’ll encounter and potentially rely upon when deciding to implement Salesforce.

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Before you pull the trigger on a Salesforce investment, here are the key people you’re bound to encounter in your Salesforce implementation:

The Salesforce Account Executive

When you reach out to Salesforce for a consultation and quote, know that Salesforce AEs are trained to recommend products that make the most sense for your business needs. They’re often assigned one unique Salesforce product or are given a specific industry focus, so when it comes to understanding niche market challenges and how to apply technology best practices to resolve those challenges, they won’t let you down. Plus, the success of their customers directly correlates with their own success, so they’re not going to sell you a product that won’t deliver results. There’s no dodging these experts. They’ll always be part of your Salesforce investment journey and for good reason.

The Salesforce Consulting Partner

Salesforce sells CRM products. Salesforce consulting partners (like Canpango) tailor those CRM products to meet a specific set of business requirements, no matter the size of the company. Whether you’re a startup or enterprise-level organization, Salesforce magic only happens if a consulting partner gets these four types of consulting resources into the picture:

The Salesforce Consultant – These are the facilitators. They typically have experience with process engineering (and re-engineering) and are superb at guiding and moderating conversations within your project team (even the uncomfortable ones) to ensure your end-solution is created in accordance with your Statement of Work (SOW) and with all department goals in mind.

The Solution Architect – SA’s are Salesforce wizzes. They’re Salesforce encyclopedias that know every nook and cranny of the system. You’ll typically collaborate with Solution Architects on roadmapping calls, so when you’re chatting about project blueprints, be sure to ask them how many Salesforce certifications they have. Hint—it’s a lot. They don’t just have the Salesforce pedigree to back up their CRM expertise, they typically have the implementation experience to show for it too.

The Business Analyst – Slightly different from traditional business analysts, Salesforce business analysts know how to not only to dig deep in conversations with you and your team to gather, define and document your business requirements, they also have a profound knack for problem-solving that in-house Salesforce admins might lack. That includes spotting a problem without jumping to a quick decision from a limited number of observations.

The Change Manager – Sometimes, you encounter Salesforce Consultants who have experience leading organizations through the charge of change, but other times, you’ll be assigned a Change Manager. They’re responsible for taking your team through the emotional, new-habit-building roller coaster that exists after a time goes live with their Salesforce solution. Here are the five ways a successful Salesforce implementation facilitates change management.

The Internal Salesforce Admin

If your company is new to Salesforce, your business will likely need to either hire an internal admin or assign admin responsibilities to an existing team member who can manage ongoing Salesforce maintenance. While both options have their pros and cons with respect to the long-term health for your shiny new Salesforce org, neither will likely be able to shoulder the implementation responsibilities. And while most Salesforce consultants like Canpango offer ongoing admin services, implementation engagements require additional resources to ensure your Salesforce solution is delivered in a timely and effective manner.

In this regard, Salesforce partners are a lot like ad agencies. At an ad agency, a social media marketer knows how to employ every best practice across every channel (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc) and knows how to further maximize those best practices across almost every industry. The same holds true at a Salesforce consulting firm, a Salesforce expert will know what and how to apply org best practices that echo industry-specific operational criteria. 

This doesn’t happen just because of a Salesforce expert’s innate curiosity in being a life-long Salesforce learner, but because they work alongside coworkers and peers who are just as enthusiastic to earn the next Trailhead badge and want to be the first to know about product releases and how they will impact their future and existing customers. 

To answer your question, you need both an internal salesforce admin and a consulting partner, plus several others to make sure you get the right ROI from your Salesforce org. 

If you’re in the process of considering who to hire and when, connect with me.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Max Hart is an Account Executive at Canpango. With an extensive background in Salesforce head-hunting and recruitment, Max combines his knack for positioning CRM professionals with his experience for driving successful CRM outcomes for his clients across the country.

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