Alok-K Alok Khandelwal | Salesforce

One of Salesforce’s strongest features is its ability to be customized to suit the needs of a business. The Customer Relations Management software is an excellent tool in aiding a company meet its goals provided that it has been configured correctly for the job. While buying and installing Salesforce is an important step for a business, the next few steps of customization, training and implementation are what decide the success of the CRM.

Large companies might have their own in-house tech teams that can help with the configuration and working of Salesforce, however smaller businesses might not have the same resources. If this is the situation, the smart choice would be to take on a Salesforce partner. Choosing a reliable Salesforce partner can be tricky because of the myriad of choices available. To get the maximum mileage out of Salesforce it is crucial to find the right partner as early as possible and get started. These five points can help you choose the best Salesforce partner for your business.

  1. 1. AppExchange

    AppExchange is an online marketplace where users can not only find Salesforce apps but also partners. At last check there were 786 consultant partners registered on the app. These partners have all been registered with Salesforce and have all be divided into tiers according to their performance and other criteria. The tiers include: Global Strategic, Platinum, Gold, and Silver, and Registered Partners. Partners are also categorized under Popular Consultants based on customer ratings, and New Consultants who have just joined.

    Salesforce partners in USA

    AppExchange is the best place to shop around when looking for a Salesforce partner in USA. The platform allows you to check ratings, customer reviews, specialties, and the number of certified experts among other things. By looking at the reviews you can also find out if companies in a similar business to yours have used the partner and were happy with their services.

  2. 2. Shortlist partners

    Once you’ve gone through AppExchange and looked at the various options you can shortlist a few partners that you would consider working with. Some shortlist criteria could include location of the partner, previous track record, whether or not they have worked in your industry, and so on. The shortlisted consulting partners need not have worked with companies in your industry but could have handled projects similar to what you are working on. For example, if you are planning on launching a new product and you need a target specific campaign, you can look for a Salesforce consultant that has worked with targeted product launches before regardless of the kind of product.

  3. 3. Talk to the partners

    Interviewing Salesforce partners is just as important as interviewing a job candidate. Your company will need to work closely with the partner during the setup and training stages and you need to be sure that the association will function well. When you talk to a representative of the Salesforce consulting partner firm, make sure to ask them specific questions pertaining to the projects that your business handles.

    Also, as about their work experience and how many consultants they have on their team. If you are a large company, then you need a Salesforce partner with adequate resources to serve all your departments. A small consulting firm with just one or two experts might prolong the installation, customization and training processes. This will lead to longer downtime and possible business loss.

    When talking to Salesforce partners, make sure that they are competent in data migration, and can give you a close estimate of the time involved. You don’t want to risk any loss of data and you want to be prepared for the time that your systems will be offline. You can ask the partner about cloud storage backups to decrease the risk of data loss.

  4. 4. Get a cost estimate

    Hire Salesforce partners

    Interviewing the shortlisted Salesforce partners will help you narrow down your list even further. However, before you settle on one make sure to get a cost estimate from two or three potential partners. If you haven’t already budgeted for the adoption of Salesforce, then the estimates can give you a clearer idea of what the rates are. If there are a range of rates you can choose the partner that matches your financial criteria.

    Keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better and if an offer is too good to be true you might want to dig around a bit more before zeroing in on one consultant. A Salesforce partner in USA usually costs $150-$250 per hour just for the implementation.

  5. 5. Use The Power of Us Hub

    Salesforce Partners

    The Power of Us Hub is a great platform where non-profits can look for Salesforce Partners at discounted rates. Some consultants also offer their services for free on the platform and it is definitely worth a look if you are a registered charitable organization.

    Your Salesforce partner will play a major role in implementing the Salesforce CRM, customizing it to suit your business requirements, and training your staff to use it. Choose a reliable partner and make the most out of this valuable resource.

About the Author

Alok-K

Alok Khandelwal VP - Salesforce Practice linked-in icon

CRM & Technology Consulting leader with over 15 years of experience in designing enterprise scale products and solutions. Dreamforce Speaker, 10x Salesforce Certified Application Architect. Have led several mid-large-scale implementations end-to-end, delivering success and cost savings to the customers.