There’s no way to sugarcoat it: Going through a Salesforce implementation is stressful. It’s one of the biggest investments you’ll make, and it goes without saying that mistakes can be costly.
Not only are you betting on Salesforce as your best solution, but also the implementation to fit your business needs.
It’s a high risk, high reward situation. Which is why seeing a return on your investment is always top of mind.
Your best bet? Working with an experienced Salesforce partner.
Now, you may be thinking “of course you’re going to say that, it’s what you do.” And while that is true, we aren’t necessarily making the case for us. Rather, we’re going to show the value that the right Salesforce partner can add to your technology investment.
We’ve worked with more clients than we like to admit that come to us after the fact. After having gone the less expensive route with either an under-qualified Salesforce partner or DIY’ing their implementation internally only to realize that their Salesforce org wasn’t living up to their expectations.
It’s easy to get sticker shock when looking at a project proposal. But trying to cut costs doesn’t always pay out. In listening to our clients’ experiences over the years and knowing the industry first-hand, here’s why an experienced, strategic Salesforce partner is worth the price tag.
Understanding the terminology and semantics of the tech is absolutely essential.
An experienced Salesforce implementation partner will know the difference between a Prospect, Lead, and Opportunity in Salesforce; the hierarchy of an Account, Contact, Activity, and Campaign and what it means for your processes; how your internal approach, whether you’re more agile or traditional waterfall, will effect if you adapt Cases or Projects in your CRM, and so on.
You may think Ideas, Knowledgebase, and Libraries are all describing the same feature, but a knowledgeable Salesforce partner will be able to explain their differences and translate it to your business.
Along with talking the tool’s talk, the right Salesforce partner will work to the core of your business. Experience in your industry or knowledge of best practices is an important qualifier when you’re choosing an implementation partner. They’ll be able to dive into your processes and tie your technology to your business goals.
Salesforce is highly customizable. This is both a blessing and a curse. Knowing the tool is one thing. Knowing how to best apply it to your business is another.
What a Lead in Salesforce means for one organization could mean something completely different to another. That is the beauty and the overwhelming power of today’s technology. It can be built to suit you. But if you don’t know how to accurately relate Salesforce’s features to your business processes, you’ll never realize a real return on your investment.
Lead scoring, workflows, and dashboards create a CRM that is uniquely your own. Maybe you know what data you want on your dashboard, or maybe you have no idea where to start. What about rolling in your legacy systems, integrating third-party apps, or building custom automation triggers?
Customization and integration experience is key to getting your best Salesforce implementation. Without it, you’re simply using the shell of a tool with no real substance – but it’ll come with a pretty licensing cost nonetheless.
A good Salesforce partner will make sure you get your money’s worth. Like a good tailor, they’ll take that off-the-rack product and expertly nip and tuck at the right places to give your organization the perfect fit.
One size fits all never really works – in clothing and in technology.
You know that great feeling when you come home from a long day at work to find dinner already cooked and waiting for you? You can get that same feeling with your Salesforce implementation too.
From requirements gathering to system design, data migration, and change management, a Salesforce partner will do all the hard work “in the kitchen” to serve you up a timely, perfectly cooked
A lot of organizations tend to focus on the hard costs, and they overlook the opportunity costs at stake. If you want Salesforce to improve your business, it requires dedicated effort. Rather than designating internal time and resources you likely don’t have to spare, working with an experienced implementation partner will help you capitalize on your technology investment.
What good is a fancy tool if no one actually uses or understands it?
Enter change management.
Getting your team to use and accept a new business tool can be huge hurtle. But having a knowledgeable, go-to resource for questions and training is your best change management strategy. Your Salesforce partner will ramp up your team and train them on how to best use your new CRM solution. Not only will your Salesforce partner understand your business, but they’ll be able to explain the system so your team “gets it.” And understands what it means to their role.
When you work with a skilled Salesforce implementation partner, you gain a strategic adviser for your business. Not only do they know Salesforce CRM like the back of their hand, but they can offer valuable guidance on how to best capitalize on opportunities you may not have considered.
Keeping your CRM implementation stagnant through the years, despite organizational and operational change, is a toxic practice. But it happens far more than we care to admit.
Leaders today need to view their business systems like their most valuable employees. And what do you do with your all-star staff? You grow and nurture them so they continue to perform. Reviewing your tools on a regular cycle and continuing to develop them over time will keep them working along with your business objectives. And this is where the right Salesforce partner can help. They’ll help you frame up your goals and how they relate to your CRM. You’ll be able to develop a roadmap for the future so you see a return on your investment for years to come.
So here’s where we bring up that often debated “it’ll save you money in the long run” argument. But the truth is, the right Salesforce partner will.
When you take into account the internal overhead required to manage a project of this size – from scope to training and continued improvement – you can make a pretty solid case for the price of a Salesforce implementation partner.
But, not every partner.
You need to do your research and know what’s available in your market – and what you expect.
Set your non-negotiables and use your resources. Many geographies have Salesforce user groups you can tap for recommendations, or just ask Salesforce. They have partners of choice they frequently refer for implementations.
D.C. Lucas is technology business advisor with Eide Bailly’s Salesforce team. He’s the business connector, meeting with business leaders and helping them find and implement the best-fit CRM solution for their industry needs.
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