Selecting a Salesforce systems implementation partner that will prove to be dependable, accountable, and trustworthy can be a tedious process. You conduct many interviews trying to assess who can help you achieve your desired outcomes. You need to ensure you ask the right questions when considering potential Salesforce systems implementation partners.
At theCodery, about half of our business is generated when an implementation goes awry, and the client needs a new, more-focused partner to help fix it.
Sometimes the internal IT team did not have the bandwidth and resources to implement Salesforce to get the total value out of it.
Or another systems implementation company did not set up the engagement right, so the value after launch was not realized.
Or there were too many communications challenges with a systems implementer that is based overseas.
Projects can go wrong for many reasons.
We see the patterns and put together this quick guide of critical questions to ask a Salesforce systems implementation partner to help you. These questions will help guide you through the decision process to find the right Salesforce partner for your business.
Here are some questions to ask a potential Salesforce systems implementation partner before you hire them:
How well do you know Salesforce, and what specific Cloud products have you worked with? Can you give me some examples of how you have implemented it before?
Many SIs will take whatever work they can get, even if it is outside their area of expertise. Make sure your chosen SI knows the product really well to save you time and money. They should be able to give you examples of similar projects they have worked on and they should be able to speak intelligently about the Salesforce ecosystem.
What is your role in product ownership?
There are many different models of systems implementation. Some SIs tend to just play a pure development role, meaning you tell them what to build, they build it. Others help you validate market-fit and help you design the product to meet specific goals you establish upfront. Make sure you know what kind of partner you want to work with. The model of a pure development role may not be what you ultimately need.
Will you dedicate staffing to the planning, design, and implementation phases?
Defining the Salesforce implementation’s scope, business requirements, and functional design in advance is critical. The delivery and project team should have a solid foundation of the business priorities and expectations from the start. You need to ensure that the partner assigns senior business consultants and technical resources to the implementation plan and does not hand off your project to a junior team after kick-off. You will also want to confirm that those technical resources will be dedicated to your Salesforce project for the entire lifecycle of the project. You want one team focused on your project from the start through delivery because switching out teams mid-stream can create delays and an inconsistent product experience.
Do you have expertise in my vertical?
While hundreds of Salesforce partners specialize in Salesforce, some partners may or may not have vertical experience. For example, a Salesforce Experience implementation in a retail organization is very different compared with one in a healthcare organization. Try to understand the partner’s experience in your vertical to ensure they can meet your business needs.
What happens after the initial kick-off call?
The most effective partners have a detailed delivery methodology that balances the expertise of the project team members vs. best practices that every project needs to be successful. Key considerations are:
Does the partner dedicate time for functional and technical experts to plan out the scope as contracted?
Does the partner set success criteria for all work done? Has your partner established an agreement with you to define what ‘being done’ entails?
Does the partner report scope completed, scope remaining to complete, estimated completion date, budget remaining, and risks in regular status intervals?
What do launch and post-launch look like?
Most implementations need a solid launch plan and a post-launch strategy to drive adoption and usage. Change management is frequently overlooked but is one of the most critical factors in a successful go-live. Make sure the partner you select can outline what a comprehensive plan looks like around the launch and post-launch.
What challenges do you foresee?
If they do not have a good answer for this question, it could be that they don’t have much experience in your industry or cloud product. They should be able to outline some of the key challenges you will face for the cloud product you are implementing and have examples of how to solve those challenges.
What guarantees do you offer to ensure that the project finishes within a reasonable time and budget?
Scope creep is an issue for almost every implementation. This is partially why it is vital to establish precise business requirements and objectives for the Salesforce implementation at the beginning. Salesforce Systems Implementation service providers should also make sure to give a realistic budget before the project starts. Some SIs try to go in with a low price to win the business, just to require additional funding later in the project. You want a partner that is clear and transparent early in the process.
Are you integrating other 3rd party tools?
Integrations of disparate apps and your overall integration strategy should be one of your priorities. Integration is essential because silos of data result in the inability to see holistic metrics. Often, we see organizations hacking together” band-aid” fixes that are not scalable. Speak with potential partners about data integrations for point solutions (e.g., sales enablement, marketing automation, finance, QuickBooks, Monday, Netsuite, Calendly, etc.). Also, ask about more complex integrations for internal sources (e.g., product stack, data warehouse, and industry-specific systems.
theCodery understands the challenges in modern tech stacks. We have developed a personalized approach for each Salesforce Cloud implementation while leveraging our deep been-there-done-that and best-practice expertise to ensure you get the most value from your Salesforce deployment. We take an agile approach with all development, optimization, and integration projects.
Whether you are trying to broaden your engineering and development capabilities, reduce technical debt, integrate tools you are unfamiliar with, or create new applications, theCodery has a proven track record of solving problems and streamlining complexity.
If you have questions about theCodery, please reach out to us at: https://www.thecodery.io/contact-thecodery
theCodery: Accelerate your time-to-value on Salesforce with a trusted partner that delivers scalable architectures that are tailored to delight your customers.