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7 Tips to Find the Right Salesforce Implementation Partner | Coastal Consulting

It’s no secret that automation and analytics are revolutionizing the digital sphere.  

However, adopting new technologies comes with new challenges. 

Although dozens of people at your business may leverage CRMs like HubSpot or Salesforce, very few have experience implementing these tools. Further, as you accumulate more data in your CRM, you may find that you need to clean up your data through a Salesforce or HubSpot audit

In particular, Salesforce can have a steeper learning curve and be more difficult to manage. 

That’s why we’ll walk you through the process of Salesforce implementation and discuss why your business needs a Salesforce implementation partner. 

What is a Salesforce Implementation?

A Salesforce implementation is the process of designing and building a Salesforce instance for your organization to use. This will require an initial and ongoing implementation along with maintenance. The initial stages may include employee training and technical account setups. 

Ongoing maintenance will include several factors, such as data hygiene (e.x. Salesforce Opportunity management) or third-party integrations via HubSpot, Slack, or any other tools you use. 

Due to the complexity of the Salesforce platform and the amount of resources required for its ongoing management, we recommend hiring an in-staff Salesforce expert (or two!) or a third-party Salesforce implementation partner. 

What is a Salesforce Implementation Partner?

A Salesforce implementation partner is a third-party consultant specializing in Salesforce implementation or one particular field of Salesforce. Each Salesforce implementation partner is reviewed and accredited by Salesforce as a partner. 

You can hire a Salesforce implementation partner to set up and manage your CRM or audit and adjust your existing Salesforce ecosystem.

Salesforce implementation partners may specialize in any of the following fields within Salesforce’s robust CRM:

Generally, you will need to hire a Salesforce expert during your Salesforce journey, whether you choose a company or a freelancer. 

Hiring a Salesforce implementation consultant company or individual depends on your needs and budget. A consultant may specialize in more areas and bring a wider array of knowledge to help you manage your entire Salesforce ecosystem. 

On the other hand, individuals may be better versed in one particular aspect of Salesforce implementation that could save you money. 

As with all industries, hiring a company may be more affordable in the short term, but hiring a full-time staff member may be more costly in the long term. 

The Benefits of a Salesforce Implementation Partner

According to Salesforce, 90% of customers rely on a third-party application or consultation to manage their CRM. 

Hiring a Salesforce implementation partner ensures your Salesforce CRM is properly optimized and your data is accurately recorded and stored so that you can act on that data. 

Overall, the benefits of hiring a Salesforce implementation partner include:

  • Assist in Salesforce implementation and training
  • Customize Salesforce CRM to best match your business’s needs and model
  • Facilitate smooth data migration or integration with other systems 
  • Organize CRM data to make it manageable
  • Employ various automation that streamlines processes
  • Identify errors in internal processes that are impacting sales or marketing performance 
  • Ensure the safety of data collection and systems to prevent future errors and threats
  • Greater cost efficiency than hiring a full-time data analyst or Salesforce expert

Salesforce also offers its App Exchange platform, which features over 7000 third-party apps, experts, and consultants ready to assist customers in implementing and managing their Salesforce cloud. 

We also stress the importance of using a Salesforce implementation partner early to avoid costly CRM repairs or changes requiring more upfront labor to fix your system. 

So, with these benefits in mind, how do you choose the right partner?

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7 Tips for Choosing the Right Salesforce Implementation Partner

  1. Search for partners specializing in your particular needs
    Are you looking for a Salesforce app developer, administrator, or integration consultant? Before choosing a consultant, be sure to read their credentials and check out their services. Search across Salesforce’s AppExchange and filter your search for individual services.
    Of course, if you’re looking for broad or general services, we recommend hiring a company with knowledge in all areas of Salesforce. 
  2. Read reviews and testimonials
    So, you narrowed down your list to a few companies specializing in Salesforce implementation but don’t know which one to trust. Gain social proof from third-party reviews and testimonials.
    However, it’s essential to look for reviews on third-party sites like Google or Salesforce’s App exchange for the most objective reviews.
    Many companies can easily manipulate reviews on their native website, so look for companies with lots of reviews on third-party sites that are also detailed. 
  3. Look for tutorials and educational content
    Unfortunately, reviews don’t provide a candid picture of the company we’ll be working with. Consider reading that company's content for greater proof of knowledge and specialization.
    Educational blogs, tutorials, and ebooks provide an excellent resource for customers to troubleshoot problems with their Salesforce accounts. Most importantly, this content helps demonstrate that companies know what they’re talking about and can solve problems associated with your Salesforce account.
    We suggest researching problems on Google, Reddit, or any other source to see which content comes up first, as users typically consider this content the most valuable.  
  4. Consider searching on directories
    The App Exchange is one of many directories and sites that offer reviews and company descriptions of top Salesforce consultants in the industry.
    Many websites also provide third-party directories for services, such as Salesforce implementation or audits.
    Of course, be wary of sites that list their company at the top of any list for people looking for Salesforce implementation partners. 
  5. Ask your personal network
    Know of any companies that also have a relationship with a Salesforce implementation partner? Ask for personal referrals to help find a third-party consultant over your personal network.
    Social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn are also great for acquiring more reach if you can’t find any consultant within your immediate network. 
  6. Contact a Salesforce account executive
    A Salesforce account executive could give you the insider’s scoop on the best companies they’ve worked with or are knowledgeable about. Contact an executive directly to ask for their personal referral of any third-party consultant they’ve worked with or had a good relationship with in the past. 
  7. Find a consultant that fits your culture and values
    Finally, one overlooked part of finding a CRM partner is one that meshes well with your company’s mission, culture, and values. Most Salesforce consulting partnerships are long-term partnerships that involve tons of back-and-forth. So be sure to find a consultant you feel comfortable with and that represents the values you search for in your company. 

Coastal Consulting is a certified Salesforce implementation partner specializing in Salesforce implementation and HubSpot integration. Contact us for a free consultation and to learn how we can assist your business. 

If you want to learn more about how Salesforce and HubSpot work together, click the link below to take the integration course. 

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Frequently asked questions: Salesforce Implementation Partner

What services do Salesforce implementation partners offer?

Salesforce implementation partners offer a range of services aimed at helping organizations successfully deploy and optimize Salesforce solutions. These services may include:

  • Consulting and Strategy: Assessing business needs, defining implementation objectives, and creating a roadmap for Salesforce adoption.
  • Customization and Configuration: Tailoring Salesforce to meet specific business requirements through custom development, configuration, and integration with other systems.
  • Data Migration: Migrating data from legacy systems to Salesforce while ensuring data integrity and accuracy.
  • Training and Change Management: Providing comprehensive training programs and change management strategies to facilitate user adoption and maximize ROI.
  • Support and Maintenance: Offering ongoing support services, including troubleshooting, system maintenance, and upgrades to keep Salesforce running smoothly.

How long does it take to implement Salesforce with a partner?

The timeline for implementing Salesforce with a partner can vary depending on factors such as the complexity of the implementation, the scope of customization required, and the availability of resources.

On average, Salesforce implementations can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months to complete. A simple implementation with minimal customization may take around 6-12 weeks, while more complex projects may take 6 months or longer.

It's essential to work closely with your implementation partner to establish realistic timelines and milestones based on your organization's specific needs and requirements.

What factors should I consider when comparing implementation partners?

When comparing implementation partners, consider the following factors to ensure you choose the right partner for your organization:

  • Expertise and Experience: Evaluate the partner's level of expertise and experience with Salesforce implementations, including certifications, industry knowledge, and track record of success.
  • References and Reviews: Seek out references from past clients and review feedback and testimonials to gauge the partner's reputation and reliability.
  • Alignment with Business Goals: Ensure your partner's approach aligns with your organization's goals and objectives and that they understand your industry and unique business requirements.
  • Communication and Collaboration: Assess the partner's communication style, responsiveness, and ability to collaborate effectively with your team throughout the implementation process.
  • Cost and Value: Consider the partner's pricing structure, value proposition, and ability to deliver results within your budget constraints.
  • Support and Resources: Evaluate the partner's post-implementation support offerings, including training, ongoing maintenance, and access to resources and expertise as needed.

By carefully considering these factors and conducting thorough due diligence, you can select a Salesforce implementation partner that meets your organization's needs and sets you up for success with your Salesforce deployment.