Engaging with a certified Salesforce partner benefits your organization at any point in your Salesforce journey. They can guide new implementations, assist with strategic projects and assessments to optimize your system, and offer staff augmentation solutions to support your growing instance.
Do any of these scenarios sound familiar? Your company decided to invest in a CRM platform, and you are about to launch a new Salesforce implementation. Or, maybe you have used Salesforce for years but recently added new license types. Perhaps your business expanded along with your Salesforce user base, and you can no longer support your growing system.
In any of these cases, you might wonder when to engage with a Salesforce partner and what services they provide to guide you. Below, we outline some of the best – and most common – reasons why there’s no bad time to engage with a certified Salesforce partner and the types of support they can provide.
Starting Your Salesforce Implementation Project With a Partner
Launching Salesforce for the first time may feel overwhelming. You might not know where to start, making this an ideal time to bring in a Salesforce consulting partner for your initial implementation.
By engaging early with a certified Salesforce partner, you can trust you will make informed decisions from the start and avoid making costly mistakes that lead to longer-term problems or unforeseen costs. During your Salesforce journey, the early partnership will help you align your business needs, budget and timeline with the right offerings.
For example, a Salesforce partner can help you determine if an industry-specific cloud, such as Financial Services Cloud, Manufacturing Cloud or Health Cloud, makes sense for your business or if you need a more generalized solution like Sales and Service Cloud.
A new Salesforce implementation is often a significant undertaking, even for an experienced internal team. Configuring a new system frequently exceeds the availability of your internal resources, even when your team members are experts. A Salesforce consulting partner can provide a dedicated project team to set up Salesforce, which helps accelerate your timeline and allows you to realize the benefits of your investment sooner.
Partners can provide specialized training, project management resources and organizational change management (OCM) needs, which your team might not be staffed to handle. Since partners are often experts at new system implementations, they share learnings from numerous past projects, helping you avoid the most common execution mistakes. They can also customize projects to meet your organization’s specific requirements.
Strategic Projects and Assessments with Salesforce Partner Support
Once you’re up and running with Salesforce, you will undoubtedly want to maximize your investment. Many Salesforce customers start with Sales and Service Cloud and then expand other offerings to implement marketing automation, customer portals or e-commerce, taking advantage of Salesforce’s Customer 360 Data Model to maximize the opportunities for their organization.
A trusted Salesforce partner will evaluate the various products (clouds) and determine which ones make the most sense for your business given your existing implementation, goals and budget. A good team will evaluate your licensing needs, making sure the right users have access to required licenses – without overprovisioning – and assist with strategic short- or long-term projects designed to take your Salesforce implementation to the next level.
An experienced vendor will also be able to provide a Salesforce assessment, which is a worthwhile investment for organizations with mature instances. An assessment evaluates your current implementation, architecture, licensing types and processes to ensure your business maximizes its investment while minimizing waste with underused products or licenses.
An assessment is an ideal solution when you are uncertain of the next steps for your instance and want to realign with best practices. Assessments also help uncover and resolve security risks and update data and file storage requirements.
Partners can also help you adopt new features offered through the platform, such as helping you upgrade from the soon-to-be-retired Process Builder to Flow and helping you better understand any new offerings. They have experience resolving issues and opportunities uncovered through the Optimizer app or routine health checks you may already conduct regularly.
Salesforce partners also bring data and integration expertise to your strategic enhancements. The most effective systems are those connected seamlessly to other systems and processes. Salesforce partners offer direct experience integrating Salesforce to other platforms and applications and advise on the most beneficial connected applications for your situation.
Experienced partner data architects have the knowledge and experience to extend the Customer 360 data model to other applications and systems throughout your organization, where it’s beneficial to have a deep understanding of your customer. By providing strategic insight into your system architecture, Salesforce partners will maximize the effectiveness of your entire customer-focused technology stack.
Partners are particularly helpful when navigating your internal support and governance model for a more established system. As your Salesforce instance grows, strategic decisions and overall governance become important considerations. You may want to create a Salesforce center of excellence (CoE) – a crucial solution – when you have multiple departments, business lines or user bases using a consolidated instance.
A vendor has the resources to lend support to develop a governance structure and help launch a Salesforce CoE, providing examples of best practices successfully used at other organizations.
Working Together for Staff Augmentation
Many Salesforce instances start small and grow over time as the business grows or realizes the benefits of Salesforce and internal demand increases. It’s easy – and common – to start with a handful of users and have dozens or even hundreds of users in a few short years. If you’re lucky, you can add internal administrators and analysts to help manage your instance. But, internal support needs frequently grow faster than hiring allows – that’s when a Salesforce partner can save the day by providing temporary or long-term staffing solutions.
Staff augmentation provides your organization with a flexible staffing model to support your growing instance and provide expertise in the specific area needed – Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Experience Cloud and so on – or fill another specific requirement, like end-user support or training. Certified partners can provide specialists to augment your in-house team with short-term talent designed to flex with your organization’s changing needs.
Managed Services with Your Salesforce Partner
Rather than staffing an internal team, your organization may decide to outsource your Salesforce launch support, and that’s where Managed Services fills the gap. Salesforce partners often provide Managed Services as part of their offering portfolio, providing an even more flexible support model you can tailor to meet your organization’s specific needs.
Partners generally have a deep bench of expertise, which they use to provide a full support model, including the ability to provide ongoing enhancements. Managed Services allow your business to focus on its core capabilities and leave the administration of your Salesforce instance to experts, improving operational efficiency and ensuring that your business has access to the best talent and updated technology.
Managed Services can also provide a seamless means to get your newly implemented system off the ground without the hassle of hiring and training a Salesforce admin team. Experts can be ready to start almost immediately and can even transition directly from an implementation project to a longer-term managed service support model in some cases.
There’s no wrong time to engage with a Salesforce partner. They possess the expertise to assist at any step along your Salesforce journey, providing experience, support and advice. Certified Salesforce partners work together with your internal Salesforce team as well as with your Salesforce account team to ensure your implementation is as successful and productive as possible. Numerous support models and offerings are flexible enough to provide the assistance you need to maximize your Salesforce investment and ensure its success in your organization’s future.