9 Key Considerations for Selecting a Salesforce Managed Services Partner
You Need Salesforce Help but You're Not Sure Whether to Stay In-House or Go Outside
Of course, relying on internal resources for your Salesforce administration looks good on paper (especially the accountant’s paper) but do you realize how much you’re missing out on when it comes to additional efficiency, functionality, scalability, and security?
Salesforce has over a dozen unique products (with more being released or acquired every year) and no one person can stay up-to-date and certified on all the products that can help your organization succeed, let alone keep your existing systems optimized and running smoothly. That’s why you need the support of a Salesforce-Certified Managed Services Team.
What’s a Salesforce-Certified Managed Services Team you ask? We go into more detail on that in our blog post that you can read here:
RELATED: What is a Salesforce Certified Managed Services Team?
If you’re short on time, the TL;DR is a Salesforce-Certified Managed Services Team is an invaluable part of an organization’s technology strategy that can supercharge and futureproof your Salesforce platform to create greater customer success while helping you save time and money. Salesforce Managed Services Teams enable organizations to leverage a full spectrum of Salesforce capabilities without the high costs (hiring expenses, salary, bonuses, health care, vacations, etc.) of establishing that level of talent in-house.
In addition to all the savings and increased technical capabilities, another benefit of enlisting the aid of a Salesforce Managed Services Team is the speed in which they can respond to issues while leveraging best practices learned from a variety of clients and industries. In short, Salesforce Managed Services Teams can handle everything from routine tasks to large projects more quickly, more reliably, and for less out of pocket costs. This means your Salesforce platform is constantly secured, updated, and optimized to work seamlessly with your entire organization.
Now, you might be thinking, “But with so many potential Salesforce Managed Services partners out there, it’s downright overwhelming trying to find the perfect one that can help my team succeed.” And you’d be right. That’s the purpose of this blog post: to help you efficiently separate the scam artists from the experts.
Before we begin, we need to make a few assumptions:
- You own at least one Salesforce license.
- Your Salesforce is helping you create success, but you know / have the feeling there is more than your limited team and resources can deliver.
- You have a Salesforce Account Executive (AE)
- In this case, it might be helpful to ask your AE for some partner suggestions as they know lots of partners as well as your current needs.
- Maybe you either don’t like your AE, don’t have the kind of relationship with your AE that is conducive to asking for recommendations, or you just didn’t think to ask them.
- You understand this blog post is going to extol the virtues of hiring a Salesforce-Certified Managed Services Partner like Cloudblazer.
- The Salesforce ecosystem is built on Trust and so we’d be remiss if we didn’t call out the elephant in the blog post. But great news, this post is designed to help you find the best partner for YOU! We hope that’s us, but if not, we are happy to help you find the right one.
RELATED: 7 Questions to Ask a Potential Salesforce Managed Services Provider
With that out of the way, let’s get into what you really need to know! In no particular order, here are 9 key considerations to use when selecting a Salesforce-Certified Managed Services Partner for your organization!
What are the Key Considerations When Selecting a Salesforce Managed Services Partner?
When thinking about what makes a great Salesforce Managed Services Partner for your organization, make sure you know which of these considerations are most important to you and which you can live without. Knowing where your greatest needs are prior to interviewing partners will help you expedite the selection process and quickly find the best fit for your organization.
- Transparency: Salesforce is or should be your system of record… your single source of truth… the oracle you consult to understand your customers at the deepest level. If your Managed Services team won’t document EVERYTHING and help you to understand / train you on how the systems they create work, why would you pay them? Beyond documentation, will they proactively communicate with you, or will they wait for you to report issues or concerns?
- Individual Attention: Will you be able to get them on the phone when you need them? Will it feel like you are their only client (in a good way)? Are they willing to adapt how they work to suit the unique quirks and expectations of your leadership team? Will they lead the meetings with your team, or do they expect you to do that for them? Are they trying to fit your issues into one of their cookie-cutter service packages or are they customizing a proposal that fits your unique needs and situation?
- Strategic Thinking: Will the team a group of glorified order takers or will they fully integrate your team and your strategy into their thinking? When you bring them an issue, will they just blindly dive right into a solution, or will they ask questions first? Will they provide you with best practices from both your industry and other clients to help you architect a solution that’s built for the long term? Will they assist you with helping others in the organization understand the need for change and teach them how to leverage the new tools? Can they help you reduce or eliminate existing technical debt and help you avoid it moving forward?
- Key Skill Sets: Do they understand your current tech stack? Have they worked with your current 3rd party apps before? How many years of experience do they have in each of the Salesforce Clouds you’re currently using? How many certifications does the team have in your current product mix?
- History of Success: Will they share case studies from previous clients in your situation or industry? Can they speak to successes they’ve had solving problems like yours? What is their average customer rating on the AppExchange?
PRO TIP: Salesforce makes it easy to quickly understand who has done right by their previous customers. Visiting the Salesforce AppExchange, you can find customer service ratings for every consultant listed. These ratings are from verified Salesforce customers so you can trust the data you see.
- Expertise in Your Business/Industry: How many of their consultants have experience working in your industry, both at the firm and beyond? What’s their length of experience working in your field? What types of clients do they currently have in your industry? Will they provide endorsements or references from current / former clients with needs like yours?
- Security: How will they share industry and clients’ best practices while also keeping your competitive data secure? How will they architect your solutions to ensure the utmost security once you launch? How do they handle data security internally during the design and development phases?
- Chemistry: Does the partner share the same values as your organization? Will they listen more than they talk? Will they adapt their demeanor to match that of your team? Will they approach sticky situations with the attitude of an understanding and guiding mentor versus an impatient, authoritarian expert? Will they partner with you to help create buy-in for new solutions and out-of-the-box recommendations?
- Clear SLAs / Pricing: Will they provide you with itemized proposals, so you understand what each service costs? Will they provide you with clear details on EXACTLY what’s included in each option of their Service Level Agreement (SLA)? Once the engagement begins, will they be consistent and honest about what work is in-scope and what isn’t? Will they communicate regularly on the status of your remaining hours per contract to ensure you get the most value for your spend?
We Would Love to be Your Salesforce Managed Services Team!
Cloudblazer provides Salesforce-Certified Managed Services to customize, optimize, maintain, and evolve your Salesforce platform and products. From Sales Cloud and Service Cloud to Experience Cloud and Marketing Cloud, our teams provide strategic and tactical support for clients primarily in the Manufacturing, Financial Services, and Automotive Industries. Plus, unlike many providers, we don’t charge our Managed Services clients up-front retainer or monthly fees. You only pay for the work when we do it.
Our Salesforce-Certified Managed Services experts can handle your most routine jobs and most complex projects faster, more reliably, and for less than the costs of most “a la carte” 1099 consultants. So let our experienced, certified Salesforce consultants help you manage and customize your Salesforce so that you start seeing ROI fast.
To learn more about how our Salesforce-Certified Managed Services Team can help you make the most of your investment in Salesforce, contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.