One of the big perks of working with an Oceanforce Solutions consultant is that we are Salesforce certified. We’ve written in the past about why you should choose to work with a Salesforce certified consultant. Today, we’re explaining the mechanics of how to work with a Salesforce certified consultant.
But let’s review why you would choose to work with a consultant in the first place.
Why work with a consultant?
Some businesses choose to keep Salesforce Administrators and Architects as permanent hires. Other companies use consultants to perform maintenance and administrative functions as needed.
While it’s different for each business, there are pros and cons to both approaches. Having a permanent team member incurs various other costs, including benefits, health insurance, and taxes. Hiring a consultant could cost more on an hourly or contract basis. However, it usually doesn’t require those same internal hire benefits. Consultants often charge higher hourly rates because they possess the keen balance of knowledge and skills. This balance can get the job done faster and more efficiently than it might take to build out with an internal team.
A large multi-national business may have both permanent Salesforce administrators and certified consultants managing their Salesforce account(s), depending on how their needs grow and change. This set up provides the highest degree of flexibility.
What does a consultant do?
At the most general level, Salesforce consultants work with businesses to implement or make changes to improve their Salesforce account. This can include everything from making updates, managing and cleaning data, reviewing and disseminating reports. Some consultants even train employees to take over when the contract has ended.
Consultants work closely with teams to find solutions through Salesforce for their business problems. The consultant is the person who will be approached with problems, inquiries, and status updates on the overall projects as well as minute details. The relationship between the consultant and the business team is an important one. The consultant needs to deliver on what they say that they can accomplish. The business has to be forthcoming and provide the necessary information to help the consultant succeed.
What should I expect from my consultant?
If you’ve already chosen a consultant to work with, you’ve hopefully chosen one that is certified and seems to be a good fit, both for your business and overall team dynamics. If you’re still looking for the right consultant, we wrote a few tips for making the right hire here.
When you first sign on to work with a consultant, you’ll want to have a kick-off meeting with everyone on the project you will be working on. This meeting can be in person or virtual, but it’s good to get everyone on the same page right from the beginning. The consultant should help guide the meeting conversation with important questions and expectations.
It would also be wise to set regular check-in meetings, whether that’s on a weekly basis between the consultant and team leader or monthly for the entire group. Whatever works best for you, your team, and the consultant.
You should expect your consultant to be readily available and communicative with you about the project plan and current scope of the project work. While you can’t expect anyone to be available every minute of every day, your consultant shouldn’t go days without responding to your calls and emails.
If you ask for a walkthrough of the current stage of Salesforce deployment, integrations, or architecture being built, the consultant should be able to walk through what has been completed. They should also explain what still needs to be accomplished. Consultants are there to do the heavy lifting for you and your team. Good consultants will be happy to explain what they’ve done so far, and what you should be able to look forward to in the future.
If you choose to work with a consultant on a limited term contract (for a specific project, for example), your consultant should meet the agreed upon deadline. That is, unless all parties involved have agreed to a change in the expected time table. Project scopes can change as work begins, but both you/your team and the consultant should agree to those changes and the solutions as they arise.
What if the consultant hasn’t met my expectations?
Not every consultant is Salesforce certified, and that’s why we constantly emphasize the importance of working with a Salesforce certified consultant. A lot of the work that we are hired to do here at Oceanforce Solutions involves repairing and re-implementing work on a client’s Salesforce account that fixes something that was previously implemented.
The contract you sign with your consultant should include terms of what the procedure is going to be if you and your team aren’t happy with how things are going. Maybe the solution is as simple as additional communication and clarification. It could also be better to terminate the contract and find another consultant to work with. Each situation, every consultant, and all businesses are unique and will have different solutions.
Working with a consultant, when the partnership is right, can make your team better in terms of capabilities and efficiency. Trusting your business needs to a Salesforce certified consultant can feel risky if you haven’t worked with an outside consultant before. However, certified, well-reviewed and referred Salesforce consultants are always worth their going rate.
We’re naturally a little biased and think that our Salesforce certified consultants are the best in the business. If you’re looking to learn more about what a consultant can do to help with your business, get in contact with our experts today