If you’re reading this article there are likely a few possibilities. It could be you’ve made the leap and decided to purchase Salesforce or you have Salesforce already and want to add third-party products from the Salesforce App Exchange. Regardless, when you are in the Salesforce Ohana for any period of time you will certainly encounter Salesforce implementation partners that offer to help you get Salesforce aligned to your business processes through consulting, applications, or both. This is certainly an exciting time, but how do you know you’re getting the best bang for your buck? How do you know this partner truly holds your enterprise’s best interests in mind? I believe in this article you’ll gain some insight on how to best vet a potential partnership you are considering making with a Salesforce partner.
Below are some questions you should consider when vetting a potential Salesforce Consulting / App Exchange Partner for your Salesforce journey!
1. During our implementation how often will you provide us with updates?
This question is very important to ask for many reasons. If you are going through a lengthy process with your Salesforce partner you should expect consistent communication and project status updates. This practice alone will help prevent potential roadblocks and give you the insight to share with your executive sponsors about your Salesforce implementation. If your partner does not know the answer to this question you should use this time to create and set expectations of methods and patterns of communication you expect. After all, this is your project!
2. What potential difficulties or roadblocks are anticipated during this project and how can we avoid them?
Roadblocks, problems, and other mishaps are very common during projects of almost any size or shape. The point of this question is not to undermine the consulting partner and see if they will admit to past failures or pretend they’re perfect.
This question allows you to understand if your partner is looking at your project holistically and if they have backup plans for if things don’t go well. For example, if you’re doing a brand new Salesforce implementation some potential problems that could arise could be lack of understanding of data quality for all of your leads and contacts (this takes time to clean and frankly you don’t want bad data in Salesforce!) or you as the client may not even know how to export your data from your previous CRM to load into Salesforce. Other problems could be around deciding whether or not to use the app exchange for existing products with SaaS pricing or having it custom built for a one time fee. All of these concerns could affect delivery timelines and dates, so it is up to you to decide if this partner will meet their commitments — and if they don’t how they will adjust their timelines accordingly!
3. Who will be my main point of contact during the entirety of this project/implementation?
Too often clients say that they experience a change in points of contact throughout a project. This leads to confusion, duplication of explanation, and unfortunately sometimes delays in delivery. It’s important to establish upfront that you are looking for a single point of contact that will be with you for your project length. (However, things happen, we’re all human after all and sometimes people leave unexpectedly. Just keep that in mind!) Also, be prepared to answer this on your side as well, understand who on your team needs to be available during discovery, training, go-live, and post-implementation. Having an open line of communication is crucial for success!
4. During the discovery phase of this project who on our team will you need to communicate with?
A detailed discovery is a very crucial and necessary part of any successful project. This allows your potential partner to understand your needs, understand your processes both as users and business processes, and much more. It’s critical to make your team available and give them enough notice to be prepared for this phase.
This is also critical for you to again understand the Partner’s process. Some discoveries are done through shadowing end users, interviewing managers or other leaders, through group online interviews, or any combination of methods. However, if your consulting company has no interest in discovery this should be a red warning flag.
You’ll notice, in closing, I did not mention or discuss negations, pricing, timelines or delivery. This is not to say that they are not valuable parts of choosing a partnership for your Salesforce journey (They 110% are!). I believe these are too situationally focused to assume generalizations but are extremely important for creating expectations!
It’s extremely important to know that Salesforce has a partnership program that they use to analyze partners to ensure Salesforce partners are providing the highest quality services to you. These partners are put through a thorough processing that analyzes their commitment to the Salesforce ecosystem, ethics and ethics statements, business processes, and several other facets of their business before they can receive this status.
Ready to get started on your implementation with an award-winning Salesforce Registered Consulting Partner? Contact us today to discuss your needs and get a quote!