salesforce consultant

Today, businesses are looking to Salesforce consultants more than ever to help fill their Salesforce development needs. This is understandable when you consider one of the main selling points of using a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model. This model does not require extensive IT resource to run efficiently. However, this does not mean that companies will not need knowledge experts along the way. This is critical in order to get the most value for their Salesforce investment. When deciding on a Salesforce Consultant for your organization there are three key areas to consider. Here’s what you need to know about firms before you decide.

When it comes to choosing the right Salesforce Consultant for your project, you should look for three things. Effective Communicators, Knowledge Experts, and Innovative Solution Providers.

Communication is a Two Way Street  

One of the most important jobs of a Salesforce consultant is to be able to listen and understand what the client’s business objectives are. You may know what your ultimate business goal is. However, your consulting partner should ask the right questions to ensure ideas can be translated into designs.

Before any work begins you should be confident that your ideas were properly understood. You should be provided with documentation of exactly what your consulting partner understands the scope of your project. Another key aspect in developing a relationship with a Salesforce consultant is to choosing someone that can adapt to change. Business moves quickly and so do your business requirements. Your consulting partner should be agile enough to be able to make adjustments to minor changes in requirements. Choosing an agile company will provide flexibility and a happier outcome. Agile companies work on time and materials vs the old requirements of heavy waterfall fixed prices. Going with a T&M and agile methodology will ensure project success. A quick note: be sure to understand how the company keeps your project on a budget when working in an agile manner.

Salesforce Consultant Who is a Knowledge Expert   

When choosing a consulting partner you will want to be dealing with Knowledge experts. You may not need a full-time developer guru but you should have top talent! Salesforce has made it easier for you to find companies with the proper amount of knowledge for your project. They’ve broken their certifications of knowledge experts into three tracks:. These tracks are Administrator, Developer, and Implementation Experts.

  • Salesforce Certified Administrators are experts in user management and security, automation of workflow and approvals. They also understand the core features of both Sales and Service cloud.  Your Salesforce Certified Administrator is your front-line go-to person for managing and maintaining your Salesforce Org.
  • Force.com Certified Developers are experts in both the declarative, or clicks-not-code, functionality of Salesforce. They also excel in identifying use cases and best practices for building custom applications using Apex and Visualforce. Your Force.com developer partner will be able to provide expert guidance. They’ll know what goes into designing an effective data model, evaluating and configuring your security settings, developing advanced business logic, and customizing your user interface.
  • Implementation Experts – There are two separate certifications that Salesforce offers to demonstrate expertise in providing initial implementations. Certified Sales Cloud Consultants or Certified Service Cloud Consultants have demonstrated their ability to meet the demanding challenges of implementing customer-facing solutions.
    • Sales Cloud Consultants are able to design Sales and Marketing solutions, Design applications and customize the user interface to increase productivity, and design analytic solutions to track key metrics.
    • Service Cloud Consultants are able to design solutions for businesses that are focused on building long-term customer success. Your Service Cloud Consulting Partner will design Customer Contact Center Solutions that can incorporate key Service Cloud features such as Cases, Customer and Partner Portals, and Knowledge Bases.

Innovative Solution Providers

These combinations of skills and core competencies are the key to a successful Salesforce Consultant. There are many ways in which to design and implement a Salesforce solution. A successful consulting partner will be able to advise on Best Practices, and find innovative solutions designed specifically to meet your individual business requirements. Salesforce and the Force.com platform are flexible because all businesses are not the same, and their technology solutions must be equally unique to maximize efficiency.

Company Stability

How long the company has been in business is important! You want to ensure this company isn’t just a “Salesforce boutique company” but a full solution provider for all of your technical needs. If the company has a winning track record and has been in business with more than just Salesforce they have the ability to supply more than just one area of solution. This is an excellent choice in a company because they will have the scalability and in-house knowledge to meet any need you may have. Also, if they have been around for 10 years or more they probably won’t take your money and run or you won’t be finding out that they are closing their doors anytime soon. Ask how large their balance sheet is and insure they have the staying power.

Trustworthy Reputation

Are they having customer satisfaction issues? We certainly hope not! One way to understand is to ask for a non-disclosure agreement right away. Next ask for references so you know who you are dealing with!

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