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When it comes to implementing Salesforce CRM, the stakes are high. As a best-in-breed Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM), purchasing Salesforce licenses is a sizeable investment for many organisations, and certainly one you will want to capitalise on. The Salesforce industry is structured as a widespread and diverse partner network. Salesforce sell the CRM licenses, but outsource technical implementation to the carefully curated network of trusted consulting partners. Once you purchase Salesforce, you have a choice: to seek out professional services to tailor your Salesforce, or force your business processes into the out-of-the-box tool. The first clearly promises a better outlook for return on investment (ROI).The thought of any additional cost makes many nervous. When your business’ operations rely on the capabilities of your CRM, making the investment not only becomes necessary, but one with tremendous untapped value. This post covers 6 reasons why your organisation should seriously consider bringing a Salesforce consulting partner (referred to simply as ‘consultant’ from here onwards), derived from observations from our own client engagements, and how we have added value.
The first stage of engagement between you and your chosen consultant is commonly known as the ‘discovery’ stage. It is often the most crucial, in fact, for the implementation consultant, who will use the information you share in order to deduce your requirements - and the project cost, as a result. Your contact, in this pre-sales role, will be well-versed in the subtle art of scoping, probing into your business’ background, objectives and processes. At first, it may seem like a tedious task to relay details about your company, but suddenly, you may see your business’ processes with new-found clarity. There is no shame in experiencing these revelations, for this is the first point that a consultant can add value - a fresh pair of eyes. Think of the analogy: ‘seeing the wood through the trees’; a structured approach is the solid foundation to business transformation.
Some skill-sets are only mastered through experience, and CRM consulting is one of those business services. The Salesforce consulting partner network is carefully curated thanks to a number of requirements that regulate the partner program. The number of certified professionals is a key qualifier, as the exams professionals test not only technical expertise, but knowledge application, too.Successful Salesforce consultancies identify their niche, then plot their way towards winning projects in order to build up their client portfolios, and their credibility. By focusing on clients with a certain profile, the consultancy will encounter a wide variety of industry-specific use cases over time. Knowing how to re-model Salesforce, deploy non-standard solutions faster, and watch out for pain points, are all strengths of an industry-targeted consultancy.
A tailor-made Salesforce system will allow you to avoid wasted potential in your company. By breaking down your business processes and fine tuning how each step corresponds with the next, consulting partners will optimise your business, saving your team time and money. Plus, with greater transparency for reporting, you’ll be able to identify trends and patterns and capitalise on your better decision making.
Data is valuable, frequently referred to as a ‘new currency’ in the corporate world. For many, it is the lifeblood business, placing a heavy reliance on customer data in order to operate efficiently. With this in mind, the way data is handled data is crucial, and is best left to those with experience. One that is involved in almost all implementation projects is data migration, how data is transferred from the old system to Salesforce CRM. Data migration comes in the final stages of implementation, once the rest of your CRM has been tailored; however, this task should never be underestimated, as complexity can escalate quickly..Engaging a consultant will give you peace of mind, able to handle the data correctly, in a process they have done many times before. With consultancies being a pool of knowledge, it is likely that your assigned consultant, or one of their colleagues, will have encountered the same ‘rip-and-replace’ as you are attempting, saving time and mitigating the risks that data migration carries.
Every successful and ambitious organisation defines key performance indicators (KPIs) that drive the business in a particular direction.Many businesses are guilty of acquiring data, but not being able to leverage it when making business decisions. Reports and Dashboards are one of Salesforce CRM’s strengths, but as always, they need to be customised for a business’ unique KPIs. Consultants know that the best reporting for end users is KPI-focused, easy to generate, and instant, making it essential to have from day 1. Dashboards are invaluable, transforming reports into a visual format that’s easy for business users to manipulate and get the insights they crave. Consider the potential dashboards can have for your team, and note that consultants have the skill to build dashboards for different audiences, with permissions where applicable to protect sensitive data.In addition, Consultants are also keen to get onboard with your KPIs as a measure of their own success as an implementer. Success metrics vary depending on the project; for example, for a CPQ implementation, average deal size will be monitored, whereas for a marketing automation project, an increase in lead conversions will represent success.
Continuing on the theme of metrics, there is one success metric that applies to any CRM implementation: user adoption. User adoption will determine the ROI on your Salesforce investment. In order for process improvements to become apparent, users need to actually use the new CRM. End user training is critical to increasing the chance your team will uptake Salesforce. Training will leading users through how to navigate the new CRM, how it works, and how it will support their roles. Logically, the best option available is the consultant who implemented, as they know the specifics of your tailored CRM. There are often multiple ways to get something done in Salesforce, which can result in confusion or rogue behaviour; consultants come fully-loaded with knowledge on best practices, to readily share with users. Finally, consultants are perhaps better equipped to handle the emotions related to the broken habits, frustrations, and defensiveness over role security that potentially arise without internal politics and relationships interfering.
A professional Salesforce implementation may appear a cost at first, but when you consider the many purposes partners serve and the value they can add, the cost is reframed as an investment. When your business’ operations rely on the capabilities of your CRM, seeking a professional consultancy optimises your unique processes, mitigates risk, and empowers users. Hopefully this post has made you reconsider engaging a Salesforce consulting partner, or has prompted the start of your search for one. Whichever stage you are at in your Salesforce journey, we, at EMPAUA, are interested in hearing about your business as you start your business transformation. As a gold Salesforce Implementation Partner, we have worked closely with our hypergrowth customers to ensure they are setup to scale with the Salesforce platform. With 50 employees based in offices across London, Berlin, Barcelona, Madrid & Zurich, we are proud of our diverse Salesforce knowledge and experience.Not sure what CRM is or how it can help you? We've compiled a list of reasons you might need one.Header Image Source: Nik Macmillan, Unsplash.com