January 1, 1970

Salesforce Implementation: In-house vs Consulting Partner

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There comes a point in any business’ lifecycle where they’re faced with the dilemma of whether or not to outsource certain services or projects. From Mobile App Development, to Creative Direction, Salesforce Implementation to Paid Marketing, some are praised for taking on the challenge themselves, while others swear by seeking help of professionals externally. In this case we’re talking Salesforce, should you outsource your Salesforce Implementation to a Salesforce Consulting Partner or handle within?Every decision should have the pros and cons and weighed up, to give you a for and against for going internal or calling in the professionals.

Benefits of Engaging a Salesforce Implementation Partner

  • Salesforce Implementations are their bread and butter. They’re professionals in their field and are well versed in Implementing Salesforce. Not only do you get specialised expertise, it will most likely take the partner less time in implementing.
  • Skill Transfer. After the technical set up is taken care of, you can be trained in best practice techniques by the partner so that you can become self-reliant with your Salesforce instance in the future.
  • Time to focus on your business. Rather than shifting internal focus to allow for a large project such as a Salesforce Implementation, let the specialists take care of it for you so that you can focus on what matters most for your business.
  • Short Term. Instead of hiring someone in for the long haul, calling a Salesforce Partner in for your Salesforce Implementation is a much smaller commitment, however if done right, the benefits should be long lasting.

On the other hand...

  • Scope. When phases and sprints draw to a close and proposals have been delivered, help is only available to you as is agreed in the statement of work. Unless you have an ongoing contract in place such as a Managed Services type deal, you’re left on your own two feet to handle it from here on out.

The Fix?It can often be the case that unforeseen things that are out of project scope, can enter the mix. Either call in your Project and Account Managers on both sides to re-evaluate the project scope, or simply add on some extra hours. Most Salesforce Implementation partners offer Managed Services deals, whereby you can purchase a set amount of hours for the upkeep of your instance if needs be.

  • Collaboration and Communication. When outsourcing work externally, it is vital that you agree on a level of communication so that nothing slips between the cracks, since the bulk of the work is often being conducted outside your office.

The Fix?If engaging a Salesforce Consulting Partner, make sure you are explicit with just how involved with your day to day business as you would like in order to avoid misunderstanding. You can also work into the project statement some hours for weekly or biweekly check ups.

  • Culture. While Consulting Partners will strive to fully understand your business and its processes before designing and developing a solution, they may not necessarily have bought into your company culture or values.

The Fix?While for most this may not be a big issue, it can cause complexities nonetheless. If you are speaking with a Salesforce Partner, try to gauge their values and company culture to see if it will align before signing anything. Since you’ll be working pretty closely with these people, it’s highly beneficial knowing that you can meet on the same level. In our experience we tend to only work with clients if this alignment exists, and we’ve gone on to harness ongoing relationships with the people we’ve done business with.

Cost of Outsourcing your Salesforce Implementation

While investing in Salesforce is by no means a cheap feat, it’s important you assess the whole picture, taking into account ROI in time and effort saved down the line. Or understanding that time is money when you commit your own internal resources to the project, when you could be accomplishing other business objectives. Taking on the project yourselves may seem cheaper at first given the hourly rate of an employee versus a partner. However, every hour of resources that you spend, could be done in a much quicker time frame by a team of consultants and business analysts externally.

How much does a Salesforce Implementation cost from a Consulting Partner?

Salesforce Implementations can cost anywhere from a few hundred euros to tens of thousands. The cost depends on a number of factors and really depends how big the investment is your company is willing to make, and what sorts of results you’re hoping to see.1. Your ObjectivesIf you’d like a standard Sales Cloud implementation to manage your lead pipeline and contact base, this will require a lower investment. If you’re after something more fine tuned to your business with some automation and in depth customisations and integrations, the project will require more resources and cost more.2. Company SizeWhether you measure size through employees or customers, the size of your company is going to play a role on the cost of your Implementation. Typically larger businesses will require larger investments.3. Type of OrganisationNo Salesforce Implementation is the same. Business, industry, stage of development, territory, model, processes, objectives etc can all differ, meaning rarely are Implementations too similar. 4. ComplexityComplexity of business processes, amount of data, need for third party integration all differ from project to project. All of these factors will affect the price in the end. 5. NeedsAre you starting out with Salesforce or migrating from another CRM? Do you need a large data migration? Does the data need to be cleaned before migrating? Do you need just technical setup or strategic consulting too? All of these will attribute to rising costs involved with implementing CRM.

How do I find the right Salesforce Consulting Partner?

You’ve made the decision to engage a Consulting Partner for your Salesforce Implementation needs. With lots of partners on your radar, how do you go about choosing the right one for your business?

  1. Research. With lots of partners in the market, it’s imperative that you choose one that is best equipped to handle your project. Choose a partner which is well versed in the cloud(s) you wish to implement, who have experience working in your industry, with companies at similar stages of development to yours. How many successful projects have they delivered? How many customers? What is their CSAT score? Are all questions you should be asking. Make sure to check their portfolio of companies and read their customer case studies.
  2. Connection. Expertise is one thing, but do you feel like you can work with these people on a regular basis? You’ll work very closely with the partner so it’s important that you get on.
  3. Second Opinion. In any case, it’s a good idea to run your project ideas, especially if it’s big, past more than one partner and going with the one that comes up with the more favourable offer.
  4. References. What are the previous customers saying about said the partner?
  5. Cost. Don’t get lured into the cheapest deal. Although cost is an important factor in your decision making, quality of output probably takes precedence. If budget requires you to lean to less expensive deals, ensure that level of expertise, experience, and availability are all inline with your needs. A shoddy implementation could cost you more further down the line.

Benefits of keeping Salesforce Implementation in-houseLearning Curve. Taking on your Salesforce Implementation yourselves internally will force you out of your comfort zone

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