Step 2: Ensure What Level of Partnership They Enjoy
Once you found a Salesforce partner whose vision is similar to yours, move on to consider ‘their level of partnership’ with Salesforce. There are various Salesforce partnership levels: ISV, Appexchange, Reseller, and others. Ensure what level of partnership does the partner enjoy and how long they have been associated with SFDC. Once convinced with their partnership standards, only then you shall take next step.
Step 3: Identify the Industries They Are Experts In
What you should look next in the partner is their expertise specific to your industry. The industry expertise can prove to be a big advantage when it comes to delineating capabilities, mapping them back to business needs, and adhering to best implementation practices.
A partner with varied industry expertise will have a deeper understanding of your specific pain points and can offer educated and well-researched solutions on how to use Salesforce to solve problems. Additionally, the partner’s experience implementing similar solutions for others in your industry should be a ready reckoner enabling faster and smoother implementation.
Step 4: Ensure if the Partner Has Sufficient Solution Expertise
The more experience a Salesforce consultant has with clients in different fields, the more expertise they will have in addressing your needs. Because every organization is different, each project will bring new learning experiences. This variety enables your partner to develop the most effective, customized solutions for various processes, domains, and customer components.
With experience comes domain expertise in how to overcome some of the common challenges, eventually leading a faster implementation and better result.
You can use a consultant’s website or their listing on the AppExchange to learn more about past clients.
Step 5: Ascertain if the Partner’s Worked on a Similar Project
If you are now certain about the industry and solution expertise of the partner, look into its previous work that is similar to yours.
Ask the partners to share documentation; like case studies. You can ask for client references and talk to the clients about their experiences with the partner. Prefer the partners who come from an industry related to yours and have worked on projects similar to yours.
Step 6: Ensure if the Partner Has Sufficient Team Size and Roles Needed
Successful projects happen with an appropriate mix of personnel. It will be handy to know if the partner has got the sufficient team for the timely delivery or not. You also must know even if they have experienced Business Analysts, Consultants, Admin, and QAs. After be assured of the size, you can proceed.
Step 7: Salesforce Certification
Salesforce certification validates if a partner has the Salesforce knowledge and experience necessary to handle your implementation. It is also a great way to make sure that the individual is up-to-date on the most recent Salesforce releases.
There are five different certifications that Salesforce offers: Certified Salesforce Administrator, Certified Salesforce Developer, Certified Salesforce Advanced Administrator, Certified Salesforce Sales Cloud Consultant, and Certified Salesforce Service Cloud Consultant.
At a minimum, your consultant should hold both Administrator and Developer certifications. The rest depends on your needs.
You can verify what certifications your consultant holds by searching here.
Step 8: Support
Another aspect which should be on your checklist is support. This is very important because Salesforce is continuously evolving. SFDC issues updates three times a year (summer, spring, and winter), so staying up-to-date is vital. That’s why you need the partner to provide support. Consider the partners who provide 24×7 support which can be on-site, off-site, onshore or offshore.
Step 9: Quality vs Price
Conduct proper research and prepare a budget. The budget should be flexible because your needs will continue to change. It all depends on your implementation: sales cloud or service cloud?
- How far from out-of-the-box are you planning on moving?
- Will you move your business processes to conform to the platform? Or will you be moving a platform that bends to meet your needs?
- Any integrations?
- Any third-party add-ons?