Now that you have decided to work with Salesforce to create a robust digital HQ, the big question is how to choose the right consulting partner. There is more than one variable to consider when selecting the right Salesforce SI (Systems Integrator). Some of these include the skills and areas of expertise, certifications, rating on their completed projects, methodology and tools, and support for specific use cases that are relevant to your industry.
Groundswell is one of the top-rated Salesforce partners with more than 500,000 hours of project experience and greater than 800 certifications, plus a 4.7/5.0 CSAT score. We leverage our cross-cloud implementation expertise to tackle unique implementations across various industries.
#1 – Talk to The Right Salesforce Experts
One of the biggest resources available to all Salesforce clients is your assigned Account Executives. Their role is to help you achieve industry success and grow your competitive advantage using Salesforce products and services. This also includes having a list of the best SIs in your specific industry and use cases. While you may want to still do your own research, it is also a good idea to also get some recommendations from your trusted contact at Salesforce.
The first thing to consider, as you choose the right SI is to pay attention to their company rating and the number of completed projects, not only to gauge the size of their team and resources but understand the value you need for your project, i.e. speed of implementation. It’s also good practice to request customer references and case studies of similar projects to scope their success rate and experience with clients in your industry and the Salesforce use cases you have in mind. Each Salesforce SI should also be transparent about their total Salesforce certifications and their recognitions, such as partnership logos and accreditation badges.
Groundswell is known among Salesforce Account Executives as an agile and consultative partner that solves technology and business challenges to unlock client ROI fast. Read how we implemented chatbots in just seven days for Sally Beauty, as well as how to create a dynamic forecasting app with Sales Cloud for Udemy under budget and in less time.
#2 – Use Your Network During The Research Stage
Once you’ve figured out your company’s requirements and goals to know which services will be required from Salesforce, it’s important to conduct additional research by going to your network. As you seek advice from other industry contacts that have gone through a similar process it is important to look for a Salesforce SI that knows how to identify the real needs of your business, analyze market trends, and is able to develop a custom solution for your business model.
Your network will be able to provide an unbiased and honest review of their experience working with a Salesforce partner. Knowledgeable companies understand that finding a true collaborator to work with shares a similar company culture, vision, and language for communication. Compared to just having the right technology skillset alone, the right SI will perform beyond the tasks required, advise what will be better for your project from all aspects, and provide support in all stages of your implementation.
Learn how Groundswell worked closely with Splunk to streamline processes and revitalize their online support services. Leveraging Salesforce functionalities, Groundswell facilitated sustainable scalability where they lacked automation and integration to track their support efforts. With these improvements, we removed unnecessary workflows that are no longer used, provided assessments to revamp their system security, and prepared them to achieve the SaaS industry standards for CSX.
#3 – Consider the Project Management Methodologies
No matter the industry, project complexity, or budget, your Salesforce partner needs to have a technically solid team that can properly project timely deliveries, support, and propose business strategies that you can easily scale. Not only that, every SI needs to ensure that your solution is technically sound to avoid over-customization and challenging future updates. This can include improving workflows through a selection of AppExchange apps instead of investing time and money in only custom development.
I found all along the process, whatever’s been promised to us has been the way it was delivered. Their technical team and project management team were great!– Radhika Guptam, Netgear
It’s also important to ensure that your chosen SI has a strong understanding of your industry challenges and needs, as well as long-term proven expertise. Groundswell has built experience in several specific industries. Our extensive experience and refined methodology will guide your digital transformation and accelerate your time to market. Our results-focused and flexible process does not end at deployment, either: training, change management, and comprehensive knowledge transfer planning are critical ingredients to your success, and we ensure these are part of your implementation roadmap.
#4 – Understand Implementation Partnership Models
Implementations are usually accomplished in three different models. Before your Salesforce partners can support your digital transformation, your team needs to clearly define what model will work best for your upcoming project. Depending on the amount of input you will require on the project throughout, your partner will complete all of the implementations, you can co-pilot the project, or your team can complete the implementation with SI guidance. In all three scenarios, we’ve found clients have the most success if they request to have completed work demoed early so they can see first-hand how your new system works, not only to test features but also to allow for faster user adoption.
If you decide to complete your implementation project internally, it’s vital that you take time to calculate the total cost of ownership (TCO), which includes the cost of licenses, services, and maintenance costs. Do not underestimate data migration costs, as they usually are steep and play a deciding role in a successful implementation.
Groundswell delivers the right safeguards for your team by harnessing the power of the cloud to integrate Salesforce seamlessly into your existing technology stack. Experts in cross-cloud implementations, we make sure you never get lost within the Salesforce ecosystem or lose sight of the real business value your organization needs.
#5 – Look for Certified Experts
Certifications are not just badges that Salesforce partners use as icons on their portfolios to impress potential customers: they are one of the indicators of expertise showcasing the investment technical consultants put in their Salesforce knowledge, ensuring they have the right amount of experience to estimate the optimistic, pessimistic, and overall most likely scenarios for your project timeframe and budget. While certifications are one measure to look at, they do improve the ability of consultants to surface the challenges and risks and suggest the most cost-effective solutions for data migration, customization, and app development.
Groundswell experts can leverage Salesforce to create custom forecasting apps, knowledge and support portals, chatbots, and AI-powered internal sites. We have completed implementations in more than 150 countries and 46 languages, with more than 10 million users active on Salesforce. When it comes to our certified experts, our vibrant team includes developers, functional and technical consultants, as well as administrators. For example, our Marketing Cloud Team is a small yet mighty group of 11 consultants and administrators ready to support all your marketing and engagement needs.
#6 – Get Ongoing Support and Cement A Long-Term Relationship
A successful implementation ensures you are getting the highest value for money, leveraging Salesforce to its full potential for your organization. Some of the ways you can unlock value include customizations, support, training, and easy user adoption. The right Salesforce SI will already have post-implementation support and ongoing maintenance planned from day one.
Across the industry, over 40% of projects fail because of poor execution and inefficient data management; don’t let this happen to you! By contrast, Groundswell values the success of each and every client project we undertake. We focus on building trust by planning, developing, and testing toward a cost-effective launch. Our highly consultative collaboration style working with clients ensures project success, and we make sure to always provide access to Case Studies and White Papers on Salesforce industry best practices.
Choosing the right Salesforce consulting partner should be more than just entering a business transaction or contract. The right Salesforce SI will support your team by focusing on the process outlined above. Go through the entire set of services and certifications outlined on their AppExchange profile or company website, and most importantly, talk to them to understand their company and see if you like them, which goes a long way to finding the best fit for a long-term partnership. Contact us today to find out how we can be partners for a successful Salesforce implementation.