So finally, you have decided on the CRM your company will use to boost your sales!
It’s a great decision to choose Salesforce ; not only because of the great endorsement it receives from all leading research firms like Gartner etc. as world’s no 1 cloud based CRM; but also because of the way CRM users love its user-friendly features, next to no downtime, mobile friendliness, modern UI, Artificial Intelligence augmentation, and last but not the least, the great, ever increasing and collaborating community of consultants, developers and users that Salesforce offers.
Like it or not, even after going thru the rigorous exercise of selecting your CRM from a bunch of them, you are still far from the point of grabbing a coffee and relaxing. Now, the next challenge in hand is to ensure an effective implementation of this newly purchased CRM for your company. To do that well, you need an implementation partner, who will play a critical role to make this investment on a new CRM worthy. And believe me there are plenty of them in the market to choose from; many more than you had to deal with while selecting your perfect CRM.
Here are seven few points, you should consider while choosing your implementation partner for Salesforce CRM.
Salesforce Partners Only: Being a proprietary software package, Salesforce CRM is well maintained and upgraded by Salesforce. As a matter of fact, each year Salesforce deploys three releases, rolling out several patches and upgrades. This type of upgradation frequency makes it practically impossible for any company or individual to keep their Salesforce knowledge up to date, unless they work very closely with Salesforce thru a formal consulting partnership. If your Salesforce implementation is done by a non-partner company, you may very well run the risk of getting an outdated implementation of this state of the art software. So, ask your implementation company, whether they are a consulting partner of Salesforce.
Salesforce, Cloud and CRM Focus: Due to its vast size and ever changing nature, acquiring proficiency in Salesforce implementation skill needs focus. It is a niche software with its own development platform and programming languages, namely Apex and Visual force. Off late it has come up with a new framework called lightning, which is still in the transformation phase. Now, that’s a lot of unique things to work with. Moreover, the software is very featureful and has multiple products like Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Community Cloud, App Cloud, Marketing Cloud etc. Go for an implementation partner who maintains a focussed practice for Salesforce.
Domain Knowledge and Understanding: It is always easier to work with partners who understands your business well. To make it a success the entire CRM implementation exercise must be a very collaborative one. The implementation consultants and developers must closely work with future users of your company to understand the existing business process, CRM requirements and, even at times, they may have to suggest process changes, if required. This journey become easier when the implementation partner already has a fair understanding of your business domain.
Admin and Support Offering: For a growing and vivid organization, change is the mantra of growth. To remain relevant in the ecosystem, any good organization will go thru several process changes in the course of time; and CRM is no exception. Expect some changes in you Sales or Customer Service process in future, that will call for implementing small changes in your CRM now and then. It is always, convenient, if your CRM implementation partner can provide you post-implementation admin or production support. Considering the robust availability and reliability of Salesforce, in most cases, an 8x5 support is normally good enough, which brings the benefit of economy over a 24x7 support.
Flexibility: Look for an organization that is flexible in their dealing. Usually Salesforce CRM implementation projects are light weight, and can be best delivered in Agile or iterative approach. Companies that have flexibility in their DNA are the best fit for such projects. Expect changes in requirements in the middle of project. A flexible partner will be easier to deal with when you have change requests during UAT or other late phases of the project.
Reliability: It is safe to go with someone who has proven track record in Salesforce implementation, and has been around for some time. Yes, there are start-ups who are wonderfully tech-savvy, but many times they have the additional struggle to manage their finance and employee base. Being with a partner whose survival is uncertain, will put your implementation and future support at risk.
Right Size Company: Salesforce has different sized implementation partners; while there are few very large partners with thousands of Salesforce consultants, on the other hand, there are small boutique companies and free lancers, as well. Consider the size of your implementation partner while choosing them. Go with someone for whom your business is important, at the same time who has the required employee strength and capability to deliver.
These seven points should give you good starting point in your partner hunt. Using these parameters rate your prospective Salesforce CRM partners.