Salesforce CRM has emerged as one of the topmost strategic tools to help businesses in their growth. As a result, it is always optimizing and evolving its services. Traditionally, every business that utilizes Salesforce has an administrator in place for maintaining operations. With the growth of a business, the capabilities and responsibilities needed for highly effective and responsive maintenance and support of the Salesforce.org system tend to grow. This makes it challenging for a single administrator to exploit and manage the full potential of the platform. The answer to this problem is customized Salesforce Managed Services. It is a flexible and innovative solution to managing and gaining the most from your Salesforce investment without having to hire a full-time staff.
Salesforce Managed Service Providers are the external entities that specialize in offering Managed Services to boost the performance of your CRM while improving the experience for users. They address your Salesforce CRM issues in real time, meet your business needs, and set up your organization for future success. Your business can leverage the expertise of these providers depending on its specific needs, resources, and strategic objectives. However, when it comes to choosing a managed services provider for yourself, you need to consider certain questions to ensure you get access to the right professional.
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Questions to Ask While Selecting a Salesforce Managed Services Provider
1. What are the Service-level Agreements (SLAs) of Engagement?
It is important to know what you can and cannot expect from your Salesforce Managed Service Providers. SLAs are the channel through which you can communicate your requirements. These SLAs offer definitions for contractual obligations, such as response times, availability, and performance indicators, among other things. The response time ranges that the Managed Services team guarantees you when you raise an issue are among the most crucial SLAs to understand.
The response time ranges are categorized by the severity or priority of the issue and can look like the following:
Urgent: These issues need immediate attention. Urgent items have the shortest response times ranging from a few minutes to a few hours.
High: Issues that are high-priority are significant but their level of immediacy is less than those of urgent items. The response time of these items is usually within a few hours to a business day.
Medium: Medium-priority issues are important but don’t call for immediate attention. The response time for these issues can range from a few hours to several business days.
Low: Issues that are low-priority are non-critical and have very little effect on business operations. The response time for these issues can vary from a few business days to a week or longer.
2. What are the Scope and Boundaries of the Project?
By getting an in-depth understanding of the scope of the Managed Services team’s duties, your team can easily identify the services and/or systems that they maintain and support. To make sure that there are no coverage gaps or disagreements over who is in charge of what, it is also important to define the lines of support between your team and the Managed Services team.
It is important that specifications are offered for activities such as incident management, system monitoring, problem resolution, security management, and performance optimization. Clear guidelines need to be established to make sure both your team and the Managed Services team know who is responsible for each service.
3. What is the Documentation and Knowledge Transfer Process?
Understand the documentation created by the implementation team and that will be retained after go-live. This will prove to be the foundation for the Managed Salesforce Services team’s understanding as well as the understanding of your team. The documentation is essential for your team, particularly if they were not directly involved in the implementation process. Also, it is important that your team participates in the knowledge transfer process between the implementation team and the Managed Services team. Set time for your important stakeholders to be involved in the process and make sure that your team understands the functionality offered.
4. What is the Inter-team Communication Plan?
The Managed Services team needs to be aware of your team’s primary stakeholders, but it’s equally important that your team understands who else is involved in the endeavor and how communications will be handled in the event that a problem needs to be escalated. Generally, an Account Executive (AE) or Project Manager (PM) is assigned to your team from the Managed Services side. These individuals handle regular updates and reporting to your team and might run a monthly or weekly check-in to make sure issues are handled in a timely manner.
5. What is the Incident Management Process?
Learn about the incident process that the Managed Services team follows. Ensure to indicate in the SLAs if your team would like the Managed Services team to follow your issue resolution criteria and use your ticketing system (e.g., Zendesh, Jira, etc.). In case not, make sure you understand the tool or application being used as well as how issues are managed.
6. What is the Change Management Process?
Though the issue resolution process also includes certain aspects of change management, a system-wide change might need the involvement of a data governance team or other important stakeholders from your organization. The team of Salesforce Managed Service Providers needs to have clear guidelines as to how they depict changes, receive a complete understanding of the implications, and obtain approval to make the required changes.
Choosing a Salesforce Managed Service Provider is a strategic decision that can highly impact your organization’s success and efficiency with the Salesforce platform. By asking your provider the above-mentioned questions as you plan or begin an engagement with a Managed Services team, you can build a strong partnership. This will make way for quality support, proactive maintenance, and reliable performance from your Salesforce system. Take your time to thoroughly evaluate potential service providers as this will contribute to a successful, long-term partnership that boosts the advantages of Salesforce for your organization.
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