With innovation in technology, enterprises are leveraging a go-digital first approach with the best-in-class and out-of-the-box software. And, Salesforce CRM happens to be one of them as it has revolutionized the way businesses deal with and engage with their customers.
Educating oneself about Salesforce is one thing and understanding which applications, products, and solutions best suit the unique business needs is another. Hence, most of the Salesforce users turn to Salesforce experts to enter the Salesforce ecosystem smoothly—who are known as Salesforce implementation partners.
What is a Salesforce Implementation Partner?
A Salesforce implementation partner is a company that has been vetted as well as approved by Salesforce to help businesses implement solutions on their behalf. Every implementation partner specializes in certain areas of application, industry, or technology. This implies that there are Salesforce implementation consultants to address every query, need, product, business as well as industry.
Roles and Responsibilities of a Salesforce Implementation Partner
Here are some of the things that your Salesforce implementation partner will perform as a part of their overall process:
- Work closely with clients to establish their long-term as well as short-term goals for the implementation project
- Apart from making a detailed note of your specific requirements, they also document your existing business practices
- Assess existing systems as well as business operations to recommend any changes that can help clients to achieve their goals and improve the efficiency of their existing workflows
- Work closely with key stakeholders to adopt a collaborative approach for integrating Salesforce with the existing systems
- Train your in-house teams to work on the new platform
Salesforce implementation partners already possess the required extensive experience on the Salesforce platform across different industries and verticals solving unique challenges in varied business environments. A skilled partner can help you avoid common pitfalls as well as get you up and running quickly as they know what it takes to execute and deliver a successful Salesforce solution implementation.
Don't forget to check out: 3 Tactics to Optimize Your Salesforce Implementation
Why engage with a Salesforce Implementation Partner?
Salesforce CRM solutions cover the complete spectrum of business operations including sales, marketing, services, and so on. Each of these products/solutions can be further expanded by cross-platform integrations and third-party applications.
In a nutshell, the entire Salesforce ecosystem has limitless opportunities and endless capabilities. The major challenge is of aplenty—how to select the right solution with the functionality and features that best suit your needs.
Implementing Salesforce CRM for the very first time can feel intimidating. For instance, a larger organization can work flexibly with multiple technology-based solutions because of diversity in lines of business and larger budgets. They may need assistance in understanding how a particular product, say, Salesforce Service Cloud, can be integrated with their existing systems without causing any conflict.
On the contrary, a smaller company might be scaling up rapidly and will quickly realize that continuing to work with spreadsheets no longer supports its growth objectives. They would need to automate some of their processes soon, apart from developing more personalized and engaging customer experiences.
It becomes a challenging task for your internal teams or staff with no prior experience with Salesforce CRM to consider all the variables involved in its implementation and be able to handle a new instance of a highly configurable platform. Other than this, hiring full-time resources to embark on the journey of implementation proves to be an expensive option. These are some of the operational reasons that a majority of Salesforce users depend on Salesforce Implementation experts.
Bringing in an expert late in the game can prove to be detrimental to your business growth plans. It requires close collaboration not just internally, but also with the Salesforce implementation partner to derive maximum benefit from such a powerful and highly-configurable platform.
What is the right time to Hire an Implementation Partner?
To answer in short, as early as possible.
Just like every big investment, you need your due diligence first. Understand what gaps to close, needs should be met, or issues that have to be addressed. It is a good practice to establish a vision of what you want to achieve with the Salesforce CRM implementation.
Soon after establishing the goals, it’s time to bring in an implementation partner. The right one won’t just expedite the how, but will also assist you to sharpen your vision. Additionally, they’ll also help you in getting a clearer understanding of success metrics, establish realistic goals, as well as provide guidance on appropriate products. Lastly, they’ll chalk out a sound project timeline for your Salesforce implementation journey.
How to choose the Right Partner?
Some Salesforce implementation partners have generalized Salesforce capabilities while some specialize in particular areas or functions of the Salesforce platform. Though some might specialize in Financial Services Cloud and Sales Cloud, others might have expertise in harnessing the combined powers of Einstein and Marketing Cloud.
It is good to meet multiple prospective partners. You can assess them on key parameters such as certified consultants, industry experience, years in business, number of successful implementations, reviews, post-implementation training as well as a support strategy. All this helps you get a sense of who they are, how they work, and whether or not they fit your needs—don’t compromise here as this is a crucial relationship for your business.
Check out another amazing blog by Alok here: Overcome CRM Challenges With the Help of a Salesforce Consultant
What are the Challenges?
It’s a well-known fact that bringing in a reliable Salesforce partner early in the game mitigates away the implementation risks and challenges that might emerge along the way. Further, it is also important to be clear on what you want to achieve over time as well as how you measure success over that journey. Usually, dissatisfaction or confusion arises from a lack of understanding on part of the client on clear goals and measurable metrics.
If both of you aren’t on the same page, it opens doors for confusion, unnecessary assumptions, and misunderstandings on timelines and system features—only complicating the process of reaching success benchmarks and achieving objectives that you set out with.
Besides, Salesforce implementation is an expensive rollout and is a two-way street where both the client, as well as the partner, should be transparent and work in close collaboration to co-create success mutually. So, it is advised to never hesitate while asking the same questions as the Salesforce implementation process is highly technical.
Salesforce implementation partners place you at the center of their business, just as you place your customers at the center of yours. And, as customer success translates to partner success, they measure their success by the client’s satisfaction levels.
Last of all, if you are prospecting for a Salesforce implementation partner in the USA or anywhere in the world, you’ll find plenty of options. What matters the most is finalizing the right one.