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  • Writer's pictureAlexey Nayda

Salesforce Advisory Services: Finally Explained in Detail

If Salesforce is out-of-the-box and ready to use, why does it even come to custom development?

Implementing Salesforce CRM sounds like a perfect solution to the “chose a perfect CRM” request, but with all its benefits, it brings tangible challenges.

According to customer reviews on platforms like Trustpilot and Capterra, businesses often face complexities when stepping out of standard features. The most common issues arise when a business grows and expands its product or service lines, diversifies its pricing proposition, and grows customer (or/and partner) segments. It gets hard to adjust the platform to their specific needs, integrate it with existing systems, and ensure smooth cooperation for their teams. These hurdles can hinder the successful adoption and utilization of Salesforce, limiting its potential benefits.

In-house or outsourcing? How Salesforce advisory and development differs from other tech stacks


According to customer reviews, the Salesforce support team is hard to rely on when an issue is urgent, complicated, or requires answers, not listed in tonnes of FAQ and self-help pages. So users have to load in-house teams, like BA, developers, and CX designers.

And here, a classic dilemma appears on the table of a decision-maker: in-house or outsource?

Should a company hire Salesforce admins, consultants, and engineers to maintain, scale, and fix the internal Salesforce environment? Or is it reasonable to call out for external consulting, and therefore save costs on hiring and internal people management? Spoiler alert: one can be a first step before another.

​PROS

​CONS

  • Sensitive data is kept internally;

  • The team serves only one client;

  • Deep understanding of context, legacy, and strategic goals.


  • ​High operational cost;

  • Additional load for business processes and company’s management;

  • Big Salesforce team with an additional manager;

  • Limited expertise and experience;

  • Cost on education, as Salesforce technology changes fast;

  • A need for additional Salesforce advisory for complicated cases.


External Salesforce advisory

​PROS

​CONS

  • ​Broad business and tech expertise;

  • Lower cost;

  • No operational burden for internal teams;

  • Fresh, helicopter view on context and problems;

  • Disruptive solutions to existing challenges;

  • Transparent expenditures plan;

  • Clear outputs, measured in time.

  • ​Risk of insufficient goal setting, if lacking outsourcing experience;

  • Sharing data with an external vendor;

  • Choosing the right vendor.

When comparing in-house Salesforce teams with an external vendor, note, that Salesforce outsourcing is not the same as, for example, .NET, Java or C#. When working with Salesforce, the executant must not just be a good coder but deeply understand the company’s market’s goals and its business architecture, as CRM is the heart of a business. Therefore to reach a sustainable result, it’s vital to have a whole team focused on implementing, scaling, and fine-tuning a company’s custom Salesforce environment. Such a team should keep in focus both strategic and tactical goals, and make sure Salesforce is perfectly aligned with a company’s business processes, including excellent customer care, advanced sales tools, omnichannel marketing, and more. So the Key difference between an in-house Salesforce team and an outsourced Salesforce partner is that an internal team helps with daily challenges while external Salesforce advisory enables the implementation of a company’s custom digital strategy via Salesforce and hence drives innovation.


Simply saying, hire an in-house team to keep it going; hire a Salesforce partner to build a competitive advantage.

This is why most companies, who start from an in-house team, at some time engage outer consulting partners. With its omnichannel capabilities, Salesforce will be able to provide seamless and personalized experiences across multiple touchpoints, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, a properly-tuned Salesforce empowers fast and efficient customer service, enabling timely responses and issue resolution.


Salesforce advisory: how it works


Salesforce advisory encompasses various stages to ensure successful utilization of the platform. It typically begins with a discovery phase, where consultants assess the company's individual processes, goals, and challenges. It is important to emphasize a company’s unique approach to understand how to make Salesforce CRM a perfect reflection of its vision.


Based on this evaluation, a tailored strategy is developed, outlining the roadmap for Salesforce implementation, adjustment, and optimization. Ongoing development and support are provided to address evolving needs and ensure continuous scaling to help Salesforce keep up with a company’s business strategy and market expansion.


For example, with its omnichannel capabilities, Salesforce will be able to provide seamless and personalized experiences across multiple touchpoints, leading to enhanced customer satisfaction and loyalty. Additionally, a properly-tuned Salesforce empowers fast and efficient customer service, enabling timely responses and issue resolution. Cooperation models may vary, ranging from project-based engagements to long-term partnerships, depending on the company's requirements and budget.


Salesforce advisory service refers to a specialized consulting service that assists businesses in leveraging the capabilities and functionalities of the Salesforce platform. It involves providing strategic guidance, best practices, and expert advice to organizations seeking to optimize their Salesforce implementation and maximize their return on investment.


Components of Salesforce Advisory Services


The activities involved in the advisory process of Salesforce typically include:


Assessment

The advisory service begins with a comprehensive assessment of the client's current Salesforce setup. This involves evaluating the existing configuration, business processes, data quality, integration, and overall system performance.


Requirement Gathering

The advisory team collaborates with key stakeholders to understand the organization's goals, challenges, and specific business requirements. This includes identifying areas for improvement, potential bottlenecks, and desired outcomes.


Solution Design

Based on the assessment and requirements, the advisory team develops a tailored solution design. This involves creating a roadmap that outlines the recommended enhancements, system optimizations, and strategic initiatives to achieve the desired business objectives.


Implementation Planning

The advisory service assists in developing an implementation plan, including resource allocation, timeline, and dependencies. It helps the organization prioritize initiatives, plan for data migration, integration with other systems, and define user adoption strategies.


Configuration and Customization

Advisers provide guidance on configuring and customizing the Salesforce platform to align with specific business needs. They offer best practices for setting up workflows, automation, security settings, and custom objects.


Data Management and Migration

Advisory services support data management strategies, ensuring data quality, cleansing, and migration. They provide recommendations for data governance, integration with external systems, and establishing data maintenance processes.


Training and Change Management

The advisory team assists in developing a training plan to ensure smooth user adoption and change management. This includes creating training materials, conducting workshops, and offering ongoing support to help users maximize the benefits of Salesforce.


Performance Optimization

Advisers monitor system performance and provide recommendations to optimize the Salesforce instance. This may involve identifying and resolving performance bottlenecks, fine-tuning system configurations, and advising on scalability and reliability.


Ongoing Support

The advisory service continues to provide post-implementation support and assistance. This includes addressing user queries, troubleshooting issues, and staying updated with Salesforce releases and updates to ensure the organization remains up to date with the latest features and enhancements.


 

Already partnered with Salesforce but unhappy with their performance? Consider the cost of making a switch: Changing Lanes: Unpacking the Financial Realities of Salesforce Partner Transitions.


In summary, Salesforce advisory services involve assessing an organization's Salesforce implementation, understanding their requirements, designing a tailored solution, planning the implementation, configuring and customizing the platform, managing data migration, providing training and change management, optimizing performance, and offering ongoing support to maximize the organization's Salesforce investment.


Oleg Minko, CTO at Sparkybit
Alexey Nayda, CEO at Sparkybit


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