Chances are if you’re a Salesforce customer, you have enlisted the help of a Salesforce partner for at least some of the process – implementations, customizations, integrations, and ongoing projects. Working with a certified Salesforce partner who can share their technical and business expertise helps you get the most out of your Salesforce investment.
Of course, we are a Salesforce partner, so of course, we advocate for working with a partner! But we aren’t pitching ourselves here. You will find the most value in working with the right Salesforce partner for you.
Maybe you feel your current partner isn’t providing the value you need. Or maybe you are on the lookout for the right partner. Working with an experienced partner – the right partner for you – is very important for longterm success with Salesforce.
The Value of a Certified Salesforce Partner
Salesforce has a multitude of products. Hiring a Salesforce partner with a team of experienced specialists ensures that you’ll be working with someone who has experience with your specific Salesforce products and needs.
An experienced Salesforce partner can help you navigate the nuances of Salesforce lingo, understand how your data model is/should be structured, consult you on internal processes, and more. They bring alignment to your people, processes, and technology, getting to the core of operational success that touches so much more than “just” Salesforce.
There are many options when looking to hire a Salesforce partner, team, consultant, or some combination.
Finding the Best Partner for You
We often work on cleanup jobs – helping companies get back on track after choosing to DIY with no Salesforce partner or after working with the wrong partner. It can be a huge headache to pick up the pieces, so the sooner you can recognize issues and fix them, the better! This doesn’t always mean leaving your partner if they are the right ones for you – sometimes it takes getting on the same page. Communication is key.
But if your partner is a bad fit, it’s important to figure that out soon and get on the right track with someone who is right for you.
7 Signs Your Salesforce Partner is a Bad Fit
From our experience, these are many of the signs our clients have demonstrated when they were with the wrong Salesforce partner:
- Timing – “My partner takes too long to get back to me.”
This could be an issue of communication, so always make sure timelines and expectations are clearly communicated. Then, if your partner still seems to be falling behind or is less responsive than you’d like, they might be a bad fit.
- Don’t feel valued – “I feel like a number to my partner, and I don’t get one-on-one support.”
Salesforce is a very successful business. There are so many Salesforce customers and a relatively small pool of experienced Salesforce partners. So, many partners have consultants working on dozens of clients at a time. If you feel you need more one-on-one attention, a huge partner or one who can’t dedicate the attention you desire might be a bad fit.
- Can’t solve all my needs – “My partner is very skilled in my CRM products, but they don’t have anyone who knows about another product I have (like Marketing Cloud).”
It can be a logistic headache to deal with multiple partners for Salesforce products that seem so integrated. The reality is that each Salesforce product is vastly different. As partners we are constantly having to expand our knowledge – it’s our job. Finding a partner with broad experience and expertise is important as you continue to scale your Salesforce growth. If you are working with a partner experienced in one of your Salesforce products but not another (check out their certifications), they might be a bad fit.
- Workaround central! “My partner didn’t consult me on the long game, and now I’m stuck with a mess of workarounds.”
It’s easy to be shortsighted when it comes to Salesforce products. An initial implementation or work early on in a project can have very longterm, sometimes unforeseen, effects. Working with an experienced Salesforce partner who isn’t afraid to offer consultation and best practices is key to longterm success. If your partner shies away from recommendations for any reason (cost, timing, red tape, etc.), they might be a bad fit.
- Botched implementation – “We implemented Salesforce on the cheap, and it hasn’t been what we wanted from the beginning.”
Salesforce has the ability to completely transform a business, and it requires a dedicated effort to get there. Most clients we work with realize (or eventually realize) they don’t have the time and resources necessary for internal Salesforce management. Dedicating the adequate budget for an experienced partner will make the process more efficient and cost-effective in the long run – and it will help you see the best return for your technology investment. If your partner’s cost seems too good to be true, they’re probably only able to offer minimal support, and they might be a bad fit.
- Lack of business/industry knowledge – “Our partner doesn’t understand/specialize in our industry.”
It’s not always realistic to find a partner that specializes in your specific industry. And it’s not always necessary. A good partner will rely on you for subject matter expertise. They should be curious about your sales process, marketing strategy, operational tools, and they should uncover things you don’t already know. It’s the partner’s job to provide you with a customized perspective on Salesforce for your unique business – not a blanket solution per industry. If your partner is not curious about your business or has not gathered enough information to understand your needs, they might be a bad fit.
- No chemistry – “Our partner may be knowledgable, but we don’t have an enjoyable relationship.”
It’s important to work very closely with your partner. Since you’ll be spending a good amount of time communicating with them, personality is important! If your partner just isn’t jiving with you or your team, they might be a bad fit.
If you are evaluating a new partner, there are plenty of things to consider. Bottom line is, if you’re not happy with your partner, they might be a bad fit. It might be worth researching additional partners to see if there is a better fit for you. A good partner is an invaluable resource, but only if they are the right partner for you.
To find the right partner, start by reaching out to your Salesforce Account Executive or poll other customers on Salesforce user groups. You can also check out partners and their reviews on the AppExchange.