What to Look for in a Salesforce Integration Consulting Company
Salesforce integration consulting helps businesses integrate their Salesforce CRM into the business’s business processes and performance culture, as well as tying it into other systems.It’s a valuable service, but not all Salesforce consulting companies are created equally. Here are some things to look for when you’re making a choice.
- A qualified Salesforce integration consulting company provides the focus, experience, and outside perspective you need to get Salesforce CRM up and running in your business.
- When you’re evaluating Salesforce integration consulting companies, look for firms that are Salesforce certified and have experience in your industry .
- Ask potential consulting companies how long the project will take, how much it will cost, and what factors into that assessment – as well as their implementation process and methodology.
Why Should You Use a Salesforce Integration Consulting Company?
Integrating Salesforce CRM with your business processes and systems can be challenging. It requires technical expertise, a detailed knowledge of Salesforce, and a familiarity with your systems and your business. If not done thoughtfully, the integration can leave you with a less than fully functional solution. Gartner, Forrester, and other sources report Salesforce integration failure rates in the 50% range, and some sources put the failure rate even higher.
According to the Harvard Business Review, many of these failures result from poor planning – not thinking the project through, having unrealistic expectations, or not having the right software or people in place. This often happens when a company tries to implement Salesforce on their own without any skilled assistance. If you don’t have experience with CRM, you’re more likely to make crucial mistakes that affect the platform’s effectiveness.
You will achieve better results when you employ a qualified Salesforce integration consulting company, such as Rainmaker. A trained Salesforce integration consultant brings multiple strengths to the project – and can make the difference between success and failure.
In particular, a quality consulting company provides:
- Focus that your busy internal staff can’t deliver
- Experience through performing hundreds of similar integrations
- Outside perspective to offer valuable independent advice
- Breadth of technical capabilities to address not only configuration, but business analysis, data migration, development, and change enablement, to name a few.
The result is a project that’s completed more efficiently than your internal staff can deliver on their own.
6 Essential Factors to Consider When Choosing a Salesforce Consulting Company
When you choose to employ a Salesforce integration consulting company, you need to make sure that the company can do the job and is a good fit for your business. Here are six things to consider when evaluating Salesforce consultants.
1. Is the Company Salesforce Certified?
It’s important to work with a consulting company that is a certified Salesforce Consulting Partner. There are different levels of certification, including Registered, Silver, Gold, and Platinum. Rainmaker is certified as a Silver Partner, which, according to CIO magazine, is only achieved by 20% of consulting companies. (The Silver level is also known as the Ridge tier.)
You also want the individual staff you work with to be Salesforce certified for your particular needs. Salesforce offers a comprehensive certification program for Salesforce Administrators, Architects, Consultants, Developers and Marketers – more than thirty available certifications in total. To obtain a specific certification, individuals have to take specialized training courses and pass demanding tests.
You want to make sure the individual consultants you engage have the proper certifications. For integration work, that means (at a minimum) Salesforce Administrator and Salesforce Developer certifications. You also want to ensure that their certifications are updated for the latest release of Salesforce.
2. Does the Company Understand Your Business?
The consulting company you choose should be trained and experienced in all things Salesforce. In addition, it’s vital for them to understand your individual business.
Any effective Salesforce consultant needs to know more than just apps and APIs. The consultant should understand what your company does and how it uses Salesforce CRM. They also need to understand your customers and the challenges they face (i.e. how you help them).
A skilled Salesforce consulting company will be able to grasp any particular issues your business faces. They need to know what you’re trying to accomplish by integrating Salesforce CRM and what you expect from the platform. You’ll want to establish a long-term relationship with this company, so they can continue to assist you as your business grows and your needs change. You don’t want a company that just sets things up and leaves. Working with a quality Salesforce consulting company involves a lot more than the initial installation.
3. How Experienced is the Team?
The Salesforce consulting company you work with must have the experience to get the job done on the agreed-upon schedule. Not only that, but they need to have the right staff to handle any issues that might arise.
You want your consulting team to include a mix of administrators, business analysts, developers, quality assurance testers, and more to execute on complex data migration, integration, custom app development, and similar tasks. Rainmaker’s team averages 10 years of experience with the Salesforce platform — which means they can guarantee a successful completion of your project on your schedule.
4. How Long Will the Project Take?
You might want the project done tomorrow, but that’s probably not feasible. Ask the consulting company how long it will take to get the job done, and compare that to your specific needs to determine which company can best meet your timetable while still delivering stellar results.
That said, be open to understanding why doing it right may take more time than you had hoped. History is riddled with companies that selected the firm that said “no problem”, only to deliver poorly in a short period. The goal is to find the firm that will lead and guide you to success, not the one that signs up to unqualified timelines. “Getting it done” is often different from “getting it right.”
5. What is the Onboarding Process?
A qualified Salesforce consulting company will lay out the process for the project from beginning to end. The onboarding process should include every step of Salesforce integration, from defining objectives and gathering requirements through training your staff and taking the solution live. Make sure you understand all the individual steps in the process and what is involved with each.
6. What is the Budget?
The final thing to consider is your budget – and whether the consultant’s services fit within that budget. You need to know what you’re willing and able to spend, what the consultant estimates the cost to be, and, most important, “why.” Different consulting companies have different approaches to scoping, estimating, and managing change orders. It’s very common for organizations whose founders started with big consulting firms to go light during discovery and leverage change orders to expand scope; something that most organizations aren’t happy about. Sometimes a higher estimate means the consultant spent more time building a scope that is more accurate. It’s quite common that paying a little more will get you higher quality service from a more experienced firm.
Let Rainmaker Help You Integrate Your Salesforce CRM
Proper integration of Salesforce CRM with your internal systems and processes is essential. The certified Salesforce experts at Rainmaker can help you with all aspects of Salesforce integration, from initial concept to post-integration support. Rainmaker is a Salesforce Silver (Ridge) Partner, which means we can provide all manner of Salesforce Managed Services to help you with your entire Salesforce solution.