Salesforce is a powerful platform that can change your business for the better, but it takes more than buying licenses and “going live” to be successful–especially during a recession. Finding success with Salesforce requires thinking about your business needs holistically and pairing your vision with Salesforce’s capabilities through well-defined goals. You need to work with a partner who can help you dig into your data and execute the “what, why, and how” of Salesforce to support your business strategy and deliver results consistently and fast. Few areas are more critical, whether you’re just getting started with Salesforce or looking for a partner to optimize your current Salesforce operations.
There are hundreds of Salesforce SIs (Systems Integrators) in the ecosystem, so what should you look for in a Salesforce partner? The key areas to evaluate for Salesforce partner alignment include ecosystem tenure, industry and technical expertise, project methodology, team integration, Salesforce relationships, and ongoing support. Let’s dig a little deeper to understand what each area can tell you about the quality of a Salesforce SI—and how the best of them can support your goals even in a tough economic climate.
Find objective metrics and feedback to evaluate an SI’s experience and performance. Look at their profile on the Salesforce AppExchange that shares verified customer reviews, the number of projects they’ve completed, and their Salesforce certifications. You should also talk to your Salesforce Account Executives to hear their perspectives on the SI’s capabilities and get more insight into what it’s like to work with them. And don’t forget the value of case studies—they can give specific examples of an SI’s work and impact.
Project Management Methodology
A partner’s project management methodology—how they’ll help you define and execute your Salesforce project—is critical to success. A strong partner can scope accurately, stick to a timeline, provide insightful support, and design strategies for scale. Not only that, but the best partners understand how to future-proof projects by avoiding over-customization and using accelerators (like ZennLab’s pre-configured solutions) to speed up development and time to market. This agile approach provides immediate and long-term savings because it reduces the time and effort required to launch and keeps the tech stack flexible and responsive to ongoing innovation.
Working styles can vary drastically from company to company. Expertise and experience don’t mean much if your partner can’t integrate well with your team. A great partner will take the time to learn about your company (working styles, priorities, team dynamics, your customers) and also ask tough questions that let you reap the benefits of an impartial party. Your consulting partner should feel like an extension of your team that brings specialized knowledge and expertise to enhance your performance, but isn’t bogged down by set internal views that might hamper progress.
The most effective partners understand the importance of integrating with your organization and collaborating with other consulting firms that may be already working with your company to achieve your overall goals. Zennify works closely with customers to facilitate multi-SI engagements, ensuring a smooth and seamless deployment process through unified communication, coordinated DevOps, and effective release management.
Salesforce is a complex platform requiring extensive knowledge and expertise. Salesforce certifications are a trusted way to evaluate a partner’s technical skills and capabilities. Take a look at an SI’s certifications (including the depth of knowledge from specialist to expert) to get a feel for their knowledge base and commitment to the Salesforce platform.
It’s also important to assess an SI’s industry-specific expertise, particularly in the technologies you use in your business. This enables your partner to develop comprehensive solutions that integrate smoothly with your entire tech stack and business operations.
At Zennify, we currently have over 580 certifications across Salesforce, nCino, and MuleSoft, a powerful combination that empowers our consultants to deliver strategic and technical assets designed to serve the business needs of financial services institutions.
Making the Business Case & Quick Wins
Finding a partner who can help you make a strong business case for your project is essential. This is particularly important in a recession when budgets may be tight, and it’s critical to justify any investment to your CFO. Look for a partner that can demonstrate projected ROI and show how your Salesforce implementation will drive revenue and improve business performance.
An experienced SI can design a progressive approach to Salesforce implementation through bite-size projects that deliver a minimum viable product (MVP). This approach allows you to get started quickly with minimal investment, and as you see the benefits, you can scale up the project. MVPs also allow you to test and validate your ideas before committing to a full-scale implementation, which can save time and money in the long run. Zennify is experienced in delivering MVPs and can help you prioritize features and design an implementation plan that aligns with your business objectives while working with a recession-sized budget.
The right partner has more than great client relationships—they also have strong relationships with Salesforce. Cultivating and maintaining ties with Salesforce means that the SI has deeper-than-average insight into new Salesforce features and products and better support if any issues arise. At Zennify, we have regular syncs with Salesforce to ensure we never miss a beat (we’ve even built them a few industry accelerators), and we’re on the Salesforce partner advisory board for Banking & Insurance.
The only thing certain in this life is change, which is why it’s crucial to have a dedicated team of Salesforce experts to keep your operations running smoothly. Some organizations opt to manage their Salesforce instance in-house. However, many of the most successful companies have a long-term partner managing the platform and designing new features and functionality to get the most ROI. At Zennify, our team of on-demand experts provides platform support, cross-cloud expertise, configuration, and development to drive efficiency and growth.
The right Salesforce partner provides a combination of agility, speed, and expertise to turn your vision into results. Zennify’s nimble teams have deep technical and industry expertise and deliver high-impact projects fast. Whether you’re looking for a new dedicated partner or need specialist support to work alongside your general SI, we’ve got your back.
Get in touch with our team of experts to learn more about how we unify data, applications, and people to help businesses grow.