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How Your Partnership with Idealist Consulting Begins

11.10.21 By: Alison Wandschneider

Let’s Set the Scene…

After doing the research, thinking through both our short and long-term goals, and of course saving the money, my husband and I made the decision. We would build a deck on the back of our new house. We smiled in excitement and began imagining how we might use it. Of course, the anticipation didn’t last long, and pretty quickly, worry struck. Who was going to build our deck? How would we go about finalizing our plan and vision? How could we be sure we found the right person to build it? Had we saved enough to make our dream come true? Where should we start? When would it be done?

All of these questions and concerns made me realize I needed a partner in this process. Someone who can help me understand the path, help me reset expectations (no dinner parties yet), and of course make it happen. So, I brought in a design consultant friend. She organized design meetings, helped us research contractors, and facilitated visits to our house. Finally, we had a design, a contract, and a plan to move forward. Although it felt hard at moments—even with a partner—having someone else to help sketch out the path, answer our questions along the way, and keep things moving at the right pace, alleviated my fears and brought me confidence.

Thinking about it further, I realized this was exactly the type of work I did every day with our own clients as we walked through the sales cycle in partnership and at the right speed. For those new to technology migration or augmentation projects let me share a little bit more....  

What Happens Once You’ve Reached Out to Idealist Consulting?

At this point, you’ve taken the first step and made the decision to move forward with a project. You reached out to Idealist Consulting for Salesforce support, maybe on your own, or maybe in conjunction with your Salesforce Account Executive. But, instead of connecting you with a consultant you got me, an Account Executive. Disappointed? Don’t be! I'm your secret to success and I’m here to be your guide, prepare you for your first meeting with a consultant and, ultimately, to help set up your project for success. Allow me to explain:

As your primary contact at Idealist Consulting, my first goal is to get to know you and your organization, to understand your vision and goals, as well as to make sure we are a “good fit.” We are partners in this process after all and I am here to ensure you understand where we’re headed, give you a space to ask questions, and help you feel confident that you are correctly understanding all of your options. Rooted in this solid partnership, here is what you can expect from the journey. Trust me, it is worth it! 

1. Vetting and Sales Discovery Calls: Are We a Good Fit?

This stage includes one or two conversations with the goal of establishing fit. Sometimes this is very straightforward: Do we have the technical expertise to accomplish your vision (can we build a covered deck)? Do we have the capacity to deliver your project and meet your timeline? 

Other times this process is more nuanced. Does your vision work within your budget and timeline? If not, what other options can we explore? We try to be transparent at Idealist Consulting, we are not trying to upsell you on things you do not need but rather, help you get what you want. Going back to my deck example, my husband and I shared with my designer friend everything that we wanted. We also told her we wanted it built in three months! She was quick to call us out on that and to give us options. She said, “Either we can stick with your plan and extend your timeline or scale back the vision.” 

The same can be done with your project around budget and timeline. This is where I will use my expertise and experience to help align your vision with realistic expectations. Although hard at first, it is essential to a project’s success. 

2. Scoping Call: Getting into the Details

Now that we have shared a goal, budget, and timeline, we need to dig into the details on a scoping call. A member of our services delivery team guides you through a conversation to dig deeper into the technical requirements involved in the project and gather the information necessary to produce a robust scope of work. 

3. Creating a Scope of Work: Finalizing Our Plan

This is where our partnership and collaboration is really important and a chance for us to be iterative, creative, and work together to make sure we are meeting your needs. 

I’ll present our estimate and, if necessary, work with your team to make adjustments. This an opportunity for you to highlight your “must haves.” For my deck it was a roof because I live in Portland, Oregon where it rains a lot! This phase is also used to refine plans necessary to support user adoption, timelines, and budget. The key here is for us to work together. There are a number of ways we can be creative about refining your estimate, but we need to do it in partnership. 

If you’re interested in learning more about how we scope at Idealist Consulting, read this article

4. Kicking Things Off: Getting to Work 

Once we’ve signed a contract and you’ve paid a retainer, I will facilitate our project kickoff. This is the point where I will introduce you to your consulting and client success manager and we will review the project,  goals, and our project methodology the Idealist Way. Finally, we will get to work!

Where to Next?

My hope is that by walking you through the Idealist Consulting process you will know better what to expect and you will feel confident knowing you have a partner and guide to support you. 

This is your project and our sales process was designed to make sure we understand your goals, requirements, and processes and work alongside you to develop a project rooted in your needs and best aligned with the Salesforce ecosystem. 

Before you know it you will be pulling reports, streamlining processes, and will better understand your constituents, maybe even from the comfort of your back deck! 

Interested in working with us? Contact Business Development Representative, Ivy Farrell, to begin your conversation.

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