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Finding the Salesforce Consultant That’s Right for You

By: Lisa Gilham

Congratulations — you got your Salesforce project approved! Maybe you’re moving from spreadsheets into your organization’s very first CRM. Maybe you have the opportunity to integrate some of your favorite tools with Salesforce. Or maybe you’ve been watching the Development team find new insights into their data and create more efficient processes, and your team is now ready to make the leap. You’re probably looking forward to better reporting, process automation, and consistent data.

Now you just need to find the right Salesforce consultant to partner with you on this project. 

On the surface, it might seem like any consultant can get you where you want to go, but in reality, some consultants will be a better match for you than others.

By taking the time to figure out what you want from a consulting partner, you’ll get more out of the experience and the process will be smoother for everyone involved. Let’s walk through five considerations to keep in mind while searching for a Salesforce consultant.


Know What You Can Do Internally

Internal Salesforce expertise and support varies between organizations. Some organizations don’t have any sort of dedicated Salesforce administrator, while others may employ a team of technical experts. This internal setup will affect what you expect from your consulting partner and how you want to work with them. 

If your organization has a full-time admin or a team dedicated to Salesforce development, you might want a Salesforce consultant to focus on the heavy lifting, like custom code, large data migrations, or integrating external systems with Salesforce.

On the other hand, your organization might be completely new to Salesforce or might not have staff dedicated to Salesforce administration and development. In that case, you might need a Salesforce consultant who can guide, support, and train you as you adopt and customize the platform to meet your organization’s needs.

Recognizing where you are in your Salesforce journey will help you identify a consultant who can give you the appropriate support. Idealist Consulting works with clients on both ends of this spectrum and customizes the experience for the team we’re working with.


Identify What You Need Salesforce to Do

At the start of your project, the consultant will guide you through a discovery process to identify and understand your business processes and further define what you need Salesforce to do. But you’ll need to have a high-level idea of what you want to accomplish even before you begin.

Every consultancy has a different set of specializations. There are agencies that focus on working with higher education institutions and others that specialize in Sales or Commerce Cloud. There are big agencies that can work quickly but can’t give you a lot of personal support, and there are small agencies that work best with small organizations.

Idealist Consulting focuses on supporting mission-driven, progressive organizations. We specialize in helping nonprofits implement and optimize Salesforce’s Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) for fundraising and program management. We are experts at setting up online communities with Experience Cloud and facilitating marketing at scale with Marketing Cloud Account Engagement (powered by Pardot). We excel at helping organizations connect or move complex data across systems through data migration and transformation. And above all, we work to guide, educate, and support you throughout your journey with us. We want to make sure the success of your mission and your use of the platform extends past your engagement with our team.

When you search for a Salesforce consulting partner, it’s important to know what that firm specializes in and whether they can best serve the needs of your organization.


Assess Your Long-Term Needs

Even as you’re readying for your current project to meet your present needs, you should also begin to consider your long-term needs and what kind of support your organization will want after a project is complete. This is particularly important if your organization doesn’t have a dedicated Salesforce admin. Consider how you’ll tackle requests for new features or processes from your users, who will handle system updates, and how you’ll train and support new users.

We build time into every project to accommodate testing and user adoption. But sometimes your needs will expand beyond the defined scope of the initial project. That’s when an admin support agreement can come in to help you plan for further customization or general administration of your Salesforce instance.


Consider Mission Affinity

In the end, it’s not about the tech — it’s about your mission. You use Salesforce to support your mission and do good in the world. To that end, consider partnering with a consultant whose values align with your own and who’s driven to support your mission. That mutual concern will go a long way in ensuring you identify the best solutions and build the optimal system to support your organization and your community.


In the end, all of these considerations are aimed at helping you feel confident as you embark on the journey of choosing a consulting partner to work on your Salesforce project. If you’re facing a big Salesforce project, it’s important to “Be Prepared, Not Scared,” which is the name of our guide to technology change. Read it for more advice on how to prepare for a big Salesforce project with confidence.

Download the Guide


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