3 Tips for Selecting a Salesforce Implementation Partner


By Lauren Keepers

Companies need a consultant after purchasing Salesforce because Salesforce is only as good as the processes driving it. If you implement a bad process into Salesforce, you are only automating that bad process and not addressing the core need(s) of the business.”

– Dan Nolan, Sales Engineer at Canpango.

So you’ve purchased Salesforce, and you’re wondering what’s next on the docket for your CRM efforts. First off, congratulations – pulling the trigger on anything CRM-related can be a hefty decision to make. But arriving at your next milestone decision – selecting your Salesforce implementation partner – is equally, if not more critical to maximizing the capabilities of your CRM investment. Here are three things to keep top of mind as you search for your perfect implementation partner.

Salesforce Implementation Roadmap

If you need a quick refresher on what your Salesforce project looks like after you select an implementation partner, download this guide.

1 |  Communication

There’s one universal need that must be met in any Salesforce project: Effective and frequent communication.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION: If an implementation partner kicks off your project by getting in front of a whiteboard to teach your team the ins and outs of Salesforce, they’re not the right fit. Rather than diving headfirst into business process design, the initial communications and discovery sessions with your implementation partner should focus on establishing a deep understanding of your company’s unique needs and goals. From there, your partner delivery team can help determine how to best address your needs and goals while achieving the success benchmarks you want your CRM system to deliver.

FREQUENT COMMUNICATION: It’s critical for your implementation partner to understand the current state of your business operations in order to help create the ideal future state. It’s just as critical to regularly touch base with your partner throughout all stages of your project. If your implementation partner does not break down the project into clearly outlined deliverables and milestones, you won’t get the opportunity to voice your feedback as their team is configuring the system. Ultimately, frequent communication will prevent disappointment when the overall project is delivered and has been signed off.

PRO TIP: Want in on a little secret? Every business, no matter how organized, needs help improving their processes. Introducing a new set of eyes and ears to observe and listen to the needs of your teams is crucial. Without a third-party’s perspective and recommendations, you can easily skip past the business areas that may require the most attention. You’re obviously the expert of your organization, but a Salesforce implementation partner’s fresh point of view can help you work together to redefine the vision for your CRM system’s role within your company – and the key to doing so is to always be on the same page.

INDUSTRY EXPERTISE

Looking for a Salesforce implementation partner that knows your industry? We’ve got you covered.

2 | Skills & Experience

As a certified Salesforce partner, you better believe we’re committed to delivering the highest quality of work for every client. And you should expect nothing less from your implementation partner. After all, the sky’s the limit when it comes to streamlining your sales and marketing efforts through Salesforce – if your delivery team has the right skillset.

TECHNICAL PROBLEM SOLVERS: At Canpango, we embrace how important it is for our consultants to maintain their innate and genuine curiosity when learning about each client’s business models, process gaps and inefficiencies. That deeply-rooted desire to drive success – not only through building and implementing highly customized solutions, but also by bringing years of invaluable technical expertise across business types and industries – allows our team to get to the root of specific business issues that need to be addressed.

If your implementation team isn’t comprised of problem solving “people-persons” with strong facilitation skills, run for the hills. The ideal partner uses their vast technical experience and knowledge of your specific business to make educated, data-driven recommendations and ensure every member of their delivery squad, as well as the client, is on the same page about every piece of documentation and progress at all times.

PRO TIP: A highly qualified implementation team may have countless numbers of combined senior consulting hours or certifications. But unless your implementation partner is dedicated to setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Timely) goals for your project and your new solution, the likelihood of your Salesforce org meeting your expectations is slim to none.

3 | Transparency

Without transparency, there is no trust. And simply put, honest partner relationships are essential to carrying out a healthy and a productive implementation effort.

PROJECT MANAGEMENT VISIBILITY: Not only is it vital to develop and communicate concrete timelines, deadlines and due dates, but selecting an implementation partner whose communication style errs on the side of total visibility into the project breakdown is key. We highly recommend selecting a partner who utilizes a project management solution to keep you well informed and keep their delivery team on track. Managing approvals, milestones and critical feedback in an easily accessible platform will help eliminate confusion and declutter your inbox.

RESOURCES & MOTIVATION: Consider the resources that will be made available by your potential partner. Is your partner company’s senior leadership engaged and directly accessible? Have you been provided senior level technical resources for the life of your project? Our advice is to monitor and evaluate whether or not the Salesforce implementation partner you select is committed to increasing your organization’s overall success, or if they’ve made it a goal to continue to upsell you on apps and integrations you may not need.

BUILDING TRUST: Transparency means your implementation partner is really good at proactively communicating all parts of your project’s progress, including the pain points. Your CRM should help build strong relationships with your current customer database, as well as your untapped pool of potential prospects, while also working to reduce operational costs, increase systematic efficiency and boost customer loyalty and satisfaction. With such a broad scope, complexities and troubleshooting instances are destined to arise throughout your CRM project.

Selecting a partner who prioritizes transparency helps you build trust quickly, allowing your implementation team to manage your expectations in an honest, credible way from day one. More importantly, your long-term business relationship will be built on a foundation of reliability and trust, which will be invaluable for future collaborations.

Choosing the right implementation partner is the first (and arguably, most important) step toward CRM success. To state it in the humblest sense, Canpango rocks at everything we’ve covered here. Want more information on how we can support your Salesforce implementation efforts? Contact us today.

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