Companies take a big risk when they choose to implement Salesforce themselves. Because Salesforce is as complex as it is powerful. Like a siren luring sailors to their deaths, it promises the moon: flexibility, the ability to support your entire enterprise, magical business intelligence reports – and ultimately increased sales and revenue which can then lead to growth.
And Salesforce can absolutely deliver the moon – IF you do it right.
In order to get everything you want from Salesforce, all the right variables (implementation, user adoption, customization, and more) have to be in place. Unless you’re a Salesforce expert or have a team of Salesforce experts working for you, you take a big gamble with your investment by trying to implement and customize Salesforce without outside help.
Take a company we worked with recently who called about their lack of results from Salesforce. (We get these kinds of calls frequently, so we weren’t surprised by their story.) While their implementation went well and they got the program up and running quickly, it didn’t solve their core business challenges. The problem? Turns out they hadn’t gathered all their business requirements at the beginning of the project.
The root cause was that people in charge of the project had never been through a Salesforce implementation before. They didn’t know what questions to ask and weren’t sure what to expect. At the time, they thought they were getting a bargain on the price. Eventually though, they realized they were losing money and called us in to fix the situation. If they had called us in the first place, they could’ve saved money and avoided the initial lost revenue.
The role of the Salesforce business partner is to guide you through your implementation, not to offer false promises or give in to what you want without understanding what you do. So, what are the qualities to look for when you need a top Salesforce partner?
10 Qualities of a Top Salesforce Partner
1. Highly motivated and passionate.
Your Salesforce partner should feel as strongly about your project as you do. You want to work with someone who will approach your project with a great amount of energy and passion. Passion is often the driving force behind successful human endeavors. With motivated and passionate people working on your Salesforce implementation, the details will magically seem to take care of themselves.
2. Team player.
The last thing you want on a team is an uncoachable player or a “ball hog” trying to steal the limelight all the time. A strong Salesforce partner will bring a highly functional team of people who work well together in order to complete your project. Team players show genuine commitment and flexibility. They are reliable, responsible, active listeners, and always ready to help. They respect others and their talents. These qualities are what you need to finish the job and get your Salesforce up and running properly.
3. Good problem solver.
Good real-life problem solving requires more than just logic. It usually takes a healthy dose of intuition, too. Good problem solvers can tolerate ambiguity, listen, and analyze issues objectively. They also have the courage to decide and act once they’ve gathered their information. You want people who will keep digging to find and address the root cause of a problem, not just the symptoms.
You can’t trust someone who doesn’t do what they say they’ll do when they say they’ll do it. Trust is earned over time through good experiences. You may never have worked with a Salesforce partner before, but you can listen to what their other clients have to say about the results they got from working with them. A good partner will offer testimonials, references, and/or case studies as proof.
5. Good communicator.
Good communication skills should never be overlooked. They represent one of the highest forms of human ability. Strong communicators stay focused on the goal and practice active listening to ensure all participants in a conversation are equally heard, understood and respected by showing empathy, being positive, and staying open-minded.
We take our role as a Salesforce business partner quite seriously at RTS Labs. Past experience has taught us that in order to make your project turn out the way you expect it to (or better), it’s our responsibility to work closely with you and educate you before and after your implementation. If you’re working with a Salesforce partner now or plan to hire one in the future, use this article to make sure you aren’t being underserved.
Of course, in addition to best practices, there are negative qualities to avoid, too. We’ll be covering these “worst partner practices” in an upcoming article. In the meantime, stay tuned for our next article the other five of our recommended 10 qualities of a top Salesforce partner.