Choosing the best Salesforce consultant for your Salesforce implementation may not be as straightforward as you think. In my opinion, experience really does matter! We have lots of customers that reach out to us because other firms were not able to complete the mission. Customers are sold by a senior Salesforce consultant only to get an entry level resource with less experience once the project started. When selecting the best Salesforce consultant for your project to make sure you are able to meet and interview the specific resource (or team) that will be driving your project.
Key Salesforce Consultant attributes:
- Strong experience in your industry – recommend 7+ years Salesforce with 10 + projects
- Strong experience in the functional area you are looking develop
- Consultant personality that fits with your internal team
- Self-motivated and strong work ethic to drive your project forward independently
- Strong communication with the ability to communicate with all levels of your organization
Experience in Your Industry:
Innovation comes from a new mindset but it is still very important to have experience in the industry. This will shorten the ramp-up time and also give you a perspective based on what other leaders in the industry are doing. Research has proven, beyond a reasonable doubt, that consultants will be successful in a role that where they have strong domain experience. That being said you should try to use a non-convention staffing model to build a team with various skills sets, technology experience, and project experience to expand your organization’s talent capabilities.
Experience in Functional Area:
Hands on experience with the specific Salesforce application(s) you are looking to deploy is critical so that you are not paying for on the job training. The best Salesforce consultants will come with a proven plan for the implementation. Having the experience of multiple implementations is critical to be able to push back on requirements may have detrimental impacts on the organization. Functional experience will also allow the Salesforce consultant to mentor, coaching, explain and guide your internal business and development resources.
Personality and the Right Skill-Set for Your Team:
There is evidence that creating implementation teams with complementary skills, shared values, and similar working styles create better innovations and are more efficient. Your first step should be to determine what capabilities are needed to successfully implement your strategy. We recommend the use of a capability matrix to understand if the Salesforce consultant has the right skillsets to fill the gaps of the peers’ in the current team. You don’t want a team that simply “gets along”, you need to focus instead on the right mix of skills with the right values and then create a work team that enhances their collaborative strengths. The right Salesforce consultant should respectfully challenge the team to think outside the norm and make decisions that will benefit the enterprise, not just individual business units (or individuals). The trust of the other members is critical for the consultant to be successful in this role.
Self-motivated & Strong Work Ethic:
For many people, work-life balance is a popular phrase today, and it’s important but the reality for the best Salesforce consultants is that they’re going to have to out-work his/her peers. They must be one step ahead of the game at all times which means working alongside the client during the day and researching design options after work. They must enjoy and thrive on learning new businesses, new products, features, and functionality. Salesforce has quarterly feature releases and it is important to study these early and be equipped to advise the client on the impacts and benefits of the new functionality. I meet a lot of successful Salesforce consultants and am fascinated to learn about their journey to success, which is almost always paved with the love of learning and long hours of hard work.
The single most important skill needed to be an effective Salesforce Consultant is being a good communicator. Expert communication from business leaders to technical programmers is at the core of everything we do. Every project starts by listening to our clients, learning about the systems, their business process, data workflow, and executive goals. We need to understand what is working, what is not, and determine the areas for improvement. Listening is key but also knowing how and when to ask the right questions is critical to get to the core of what the clients objective. Once we document the requirements and design a solution, we have to be able to explain what we’re planning in terms that the business can easily understand. This includes being able to clearly articulate the project successes, risks and budget to the executive team. This is what separates the best consultants from that pack!
If you would like to ensure that you have the best Salesforce consultant for your next project, don’t hesitate to contact us at www.cirriussolutions.com/contact.