Salesforce is one of the most robust CRM platforms today, and it’s also one of the most widely used among businesses of all sizes. As such, there’s a growing need for Salesforce consultants to aid businesses in Salesforce implementation and provide expertise on how to get the most out of the Salesforce platform.
One reason it’s such a popular CRM is the many Salesforce integrations available, allowing users to connect it to other apps such as project management tools, data management and analysis tools, and more. Which is where Salesforce consultants often enter the picture.
Salesforce consultants help identify issues with the business’s current configuration, determine and implement the most appropriate integrations and customizations, build automated workflows to improve efficiency, and optimize usage of the platform.
But what should you keep in mind if you’re thinking about—or in the process of—hiring a Salesforce consultant? We reached out to a panel of Salesforce consultants and business leaders and simply asked them:
“What should companies keep in mind when hiring a Salesforce consultant?”
Meet Our Panel of Salesforce Consultants & Business Leaders:
Keep reading to learn what our panel had to say about the most important consideration to keep in mind when hiring a Salesforce consultant.
Rohan Kapoor is an experienced CRM Consultant specializing in Sales Strategy, Operations & Technology. Currently working as a Senior Consultant at Deloitte, with 5+ years of experience, and 10+ Salesforce projects.
“Companies hiring Salesforce Consultants should consider:
- Project Experience: Has the consultant worked in this industry before? Do they know our line of business and what sort of org we have?
- Company: Is the consultant independent? If not, are they part of a reputable Salesforce partner? This can be found on Salesforce’s website.
- Certifications: Is the consultant certified in the cloud we run? (Sales, Service, etc) Look at the consultant’s trailhead website for their badges and certifications.
- Team: Is the consultant working alone? If so, do they have all the skills required? (Dev, Functional, Training) If there is a team, what is the breakdown?”
Adam Korbl is the Founder & CEO of iFax, Amplify Ventures, and Fill App.
“Apart from certification, communication and understanding are GOLD. The Salesforce consulting partner should have a good understanding of your business, your goal, and also your pain points and ultimately bring you a customized solution, regardless of the time frame.
Of course, you don’t want a consultant who will just blindly do what you ask. A real Salesforce consultant will communicate no matter how hard the conversation is. This is a sign of someone who truly wants the best for your business. These people have seen failures that come from business models so they can stop you from making mistakes. If there is a problem, a consultant should be ready to help you solve it.”
Ryan Fyfe is Chief Operating Officer at Workpuls, a workforce productivity and analytics platform that helps organizations drive productivity, benchmark performance and improve efficiency. Ryan is also the founder and former CEO of Humanity.com, a global leader in employee scheduling software with 1m+ users in more than 40,000 workplaces.
“When looking for a Salesforce consultant, it’s important to be sure that you hire someone who shares your same morals and ethics. This way, they will also share the same priorities and there will be no miscommunication on either end.
If this seems like too much of an issue to go into, don’t fret—you can actually search through the background of each Salesforce consultant by performing a LinkedIn Recruit or LinkedIn Recruit Advanced Search via their profile page or website.
It’s also important to make sure that you take all the time necessary before making any type of Salesforce hiring decision because sometimes companies mistakenly hire people with high-end qualifications but who struggle with middle-level functions such as managing inventory, invoices, etc.”
Andie Monet is a Business Optimization Expert who has advised Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses, and foreign and domestic governments for over three decades in 13 countries and 22 industries. She teaches about strategic business growth principles, but especially about how to create explosive profits without adding any costs.
“Looking back on my having been through several Salesforce consultants, I think there are five critical steps to plan ahead of time:
- Define Specific Objectives – The less clear your goals and objectives are, the more hours and money are wasted creating a Salesforce solution that really doesn’t work the way that you want it to. Know exactly what you want to accomplish. Know how it is working now. Know what you want it to do instead or in addition to.
- Implementation, Migration, or Improvement – Be prepared to tell your potential Salesforce consultant if you are implementing a new Salesforce system, migrating from another CRM system, or improving an existing Salesforce system. Each of these will require a different type of consultant. Also, if you are implementing or migrating, create a workflow chart or list that identifies every place that the data will be pulled from (e.g., email, website, phone calls, etc.).
- Size of Business/Complexity – Salesforce is a robust and sometimes complex system. It is not always for the faint of heart. That being said, make sure that the consultant has worked with a company of your size. Bigger companies typically require more complex solutions, in part because there are more people in the “sales journey.” Smaller companies only have a few people, which often require a less complex architecture.
- Live Demo – A “demo” can sometimes just be a presentation of what the environment looks like or what to expect. But I caution to ask for a “live demo.” This means that they are actually working within a real Salesforce environment. I would also recommend a trial period where you can work inside of an actual Salesforce environment as well. If you already have Salesforce and are improving the existing system, I would recommend an understanding explanation of how they will go about making the change. It’s not just about asking, “Can you do it?” It’s about asking, “How will you do it?” You don’t need to understand it. You just need to ask it.
- Experience – I highly recommend asking how many years the consultant has been in business, how many Salesforce clients they have had, and how many clients they have had in your size business. It never hurts to ask for a reference as well.”
Daivat Dholakia is the VP of Operations at Essenvia.
“When hiring a Salesforce consultant, you’re looking for someone who has relevant experience and a solid client base. Ideally, they’ll be able to discuss similar projects they’ve worked on in the past as well as provide documentation of their projects.
Technical expertise is another necessary quality, as you want someone who knows how to use the programs and complete the tasks that will need to be done for your organization.
Communication skills are also paramount, as there’s a major difference between a Salesforce consultant who can express their ideas and one who can’t. Ask questions that give you insight into how the candidate handles client inputs, trains staff, and ensures proper information flow between departments.”
Caleb is the Inbound Marketing Manager at The Pedowitz Group.
“Here are three things to look for, aside from the obvious such as certifications, etc.:
- How well do they understand integrations? With Salesforce, there are hundreds of potential integrations to think through. Does your potential consultant or vendor understand how your tech stack works together? If not, you’re setting yourself up to need other resources.
- How well can they explain / design lead management? Being able to talk through how sales, marketing, customer service, and other departments interact with each other on the platform can quickly show how the scope of projects a consultant has worked on in the past.
- Can they tie their work to business impact? Doing a list of tasks is one thing … showing its value is quite another! That’s why you want someone who integrates an eye towards business impact throughout every project, because it’ll make selling a project / need upward much easier in the future. And this is more than building a great dashboard or set of reports—can you tie the work inside Salesforce itself to business goals? (We do that with what we call value engineering.)”
Kate Rusakovich is the Business Development Director at iTechArt Group. Kate brings 6+ years of experience working with Salesforce across 30+ business verticals. She’s responsible for establishing effective business development strategies and helping businesses unleash their full potential through top-notch digital solutions.
“When hiring a Salesforce consultant, you should pay attention to the following factors:
- Consultant’s domain expertise. For example, if you are a gaming company, try to find a Salesforce consultant who has delivered CRM solutions to other gaming companies. But don’t be too strict; if there are not many competitors in the market (lucky you are!), pay attention to the experience in verticals that have similar processes. For example, Salesforce implementation for a gaming company is quite often similar to the one you have in trading companies or airlines.
- Approach, enthusiasm, and proactivity. Ask your potential consultant to prepare a proposal for the implementation and to guide you through it, allowing you to ask questions about the suggested approach. If they are excited themselves—if they really would like to add your brand to their portfolio and establish a long-term partnership with you—this significantly increases the probability of success. And you can easily distinguish that from their sales pitch and further conversations.”
Dragos Badea is a co-founder and CEO of Yarooms, hybrid work management software. Over the past 10 years, he has helped multiple companies across the globe in their workplace digital transformation journey.
“Hiring a Salesforce consultant should usually be the last step of a rather involved process internally. You can’t just say you’re struggling with Salesforce or your sales funnel and hope that hiring a consultant will fix the problem because really you need to ensure you’ve done enough legwork to identify where all of your pain points are. Finding these pain points is a key first step and one that will help whatever consultant you hire to be more effective in the end.
Companies looking to hire Salesforce consultants should look for key differentiators and specific things that they can bring to the table during the interview process. It’s probably not a shock to hear that consultants can wildly vary in quality, so finding the best ones means doing enough
homework to ask the kind of pointed questions that will get you answers on whether they’ll be reliable or not.
Companies should keep in mind that a good Salesforce consultant needs to be more than a platform expert; they need to also be an expert relationship manager. The job can be difficult and often stressful, so finding the right personality is often as important as finding the right skills.”
Denis Leskovets is the CEO & Product Specialist at Office Consumer.
“Here are a few key points to consider when hiring a Salesforce consultant:
- Business acumen: A consultant should be able to understand your business and your challenges so that they can frame the right questions to ask and present solutions that are meaningful to you.
- Expertise: It’s important to hire someone who has the technical knowledge, skills, and experience to be able to do what they say they will do. So make sure you ask them about their experience working with Salesforce applications, how long they have been an expert in the platform, and what their specific role was in any projects they worked on.
- Personal fit: Ideally, you want someone who is easy to work with from a personality standpoint. You’ll be spending time together throughout the implementation process and beyond—including collaborating with other people on your team involved in the project—so it’s important you get along well with this person!
- Good communicator: This is true for any interaction you have with anyone in an organization, but especially for a consultant assignment. You’re going to need someone who can clearly articulate their thoughts on every step of the process and explain every decision made along the way.”
Joe Manna is the Content Manager of Alyce, a corporate gifting platform businesses use to strengthen their sales outreach and customer engagement.
“Choose a consultant who is up-to-date with Salesforce features. Salesforce consulting, in my opinion, is a constantly developing field of business. Salesforce consultants must stay current and trained on Salesforce software, especially when new updates or features are released!
Additionally, consulting firms provide appropriate training and certifications to their Salesforce consultants to ensure they remain current in this fast-paced sector. This is why Salesforce consulting firms frequently conduct their own training and certification. If you’re recruiting Salesforce consultants, ensure they have a firm grasp of the platform.”
Travis Lindemoen is the Managing Director of Nexus IT Group.
“Discuss the process of execution.
When working with Salesforce consulting businesses, you must agree on the scope of work that must be accomplished. After the terms have been agreed upon, the how must be discussed. Inquire with your Salesforce professional about how they will carry out your requirements. Certain aspects should not be dealt with on the fly. Prior to initiating any job, you should discuss duties, SLAs, and a risk-mitigation strategy.
Make a list of long-term objectives.
Hiring a Salesforce consultant for a single project is not a good idea. It’s critical to establish a working relationship with a company. If you ever need a consultant for a future project, you’ll want to hire someone you can trust who is already familiar with the industry. You should approach a firm with the intention of finding someone who can help your company grow. A long-term connection will benefit your company for many years to come.”
Marc Stitt is the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) at FMX. The company allows organizations to manage work orders, plan preventive maintenance, manage assets and inventory usage, track staff and equipment performance, schedule events, and more.
“Evaluate the customer portfolio of your Salesforce consultant. A salesforce consultant, in my opinion, should have a sizable portfolio of previous initiatives. It’s critical to analyze their portfolio before hiring them for your project. This will help you understand what they have to offer and how they can assist you with your business demands.
A Salesforce consultant is extremely knowledgeable about the Salesforce platform, but should also understand the business demands of any firm: it’s critical to ensure they’ve worked with other businesses in a comparable industry. You may be unable to determine whether they are a suitable fit if you are unfamiliar with their work history or the types of projects on which they have worked. This information will enable you to make an informed decision based on a balanced analysis of the benefits and expenses.”
James Angel is a Co-Founder of DYL, an all-in-one business growth tool designed with email campaigns, lead generation, and telemarketing.
“You need to think about your money. The thing you need to think about before hiring a Salesforce partner is how much money you have. It’s not the same for each company. So, you should cut out the companies that aren’t in your price range and only look at the ones that are.
Salesforce partners can cost a lot or a lot little, depending on things like their experience and how well they’re known. People who have more experience in a specific field are more likely to charge more money. The location also plays a big role. If you’re moving your business to a less developed country, then you can expect to pay less. People who want to get help on the other side of the world will pay more for it. When setting a budget, you should also think about things like how much data you already have, how much automation you need, and how many software integrations you need.”
Jamie Opalchuk is the Founder & CEO of HostPapa. HostPapa provides cloud-based web hosting with 24/7 award-winning multi-lingual customer support provided by a team of experts.
“Find a match in the industry. I believe that working with a certain Salesforce consultant may be acceptable for businesses in the same niche. Such a consultant may specialize in a particular industry, which is not recommended if it’s irrelevant to yours. As a result, consider collaborating with a Salesforce consultant that specializes in your industry, such as entertainment or transportation.
Organizations operating in specific niches should select a consultant with expertise in that field. A Salesforce consultant with a broad range of industry specializations may not be the best choice. As the proverb goes, a jack of all trades is a master of none—this is a red flag that the consultant is not the ideal fit for you.”
Kavin Patel is the Founder and CEO of Convrrt, a landing page platform for SaaS providers like CRM, email marketing, and demand generation companies trusted by high-growth SaaS companies.
“One thing to think about is how the people who are working on real-world apps work together. That’s when it’s important to ask for demos. Despite the fact that most Salesforce partners follow the best practices, they have different ways of making sure they do. Some of your partners follow the plan you gave them or talked about at the meetings. But some people use an agile-based incremental approach in which they deliver the apps in stages and iterations. If your partner does this, your project will be done on time and on budget. In my opinion, some businesses even go one step further. They use Salesforce consultants to look for ways to improve their products. You should hire people who will help you achieve that goal.”
Trevor Larson is the CEO and Founder of Nectar, an employee recognition HR software company that helps teams and businesses of all sizes unlock the power of employee recognition.
“Start by defining your project goals and objectives. Doing so will help you determine the skills and experience your consultant should have. The scope of what you want a consultant to do is directly proportional to what they will charge, so it’s important to be clear about your needs from the start.
You shouldn’t work with anyone who doesn’t have a good portfolio to back up their claims. Make sure to review their case studies and see if they have any happy clients who are willing to vouch for them.
The best consultants will be those who have a deep understanding of your industry and can provide insights that you may not have thought of. They should also be up-to-date on the latest sales trends and technologies.”
Joshua is the CEO and founder of Bullseye Locations, which helps capture and convert more high-intent prospects with the right content, right when and where they’re looking for you through effective location marketing strategies.
“Salesforce consultants play a vital role in optimizing the returns on Salesforce investment. Here are two things you must keep in mind when hiring a Salesforce consultant:
- Budget: Before hiring a Salesforce consultant, companies should consider their budget and keep in mind the jobs that they expect them to take care of. When on a tight budget, you can consider hiring an entry-level sales consultant. They can help the business complete tasks that include data cleaning, data migrations, configuration tasks, etc. These consultants will gain hands-on experience over their working years and will be able to perform the jobs of mid-level and senior consultants, which may include, but are not limited to, designing solutions, leading projects, etc.
- Skills: When hiring a Salesforce consultant, you must first make sure that the candidate has the required skills and is well capable of performing the job. One skill you must look for in your prospective Salesforce consultant is communication skills, which differentiate a competent consultant from an average one. A Salesforce consultant’s job also entails persuading clients and managing relationships, which is why it is necessary that they are not only able to convey their message clearly but also confidently.”
Craig Boyle is the Co-founder and Sales and Marketing Director at MSP Blueshift, an IT service provider specializing in delivering IT consulting for small and medium-sized enterprises.
“When hiring a Salesforce consultant, companies should keep in mind their needs and goals for the platform. They should also ensure that the consultant has the necessary skills and experience to meet those needs. Additionally, it’s essential to establish a clear budget and timeline for the project, and make sure that both parties are on the same page with regards to expectations. Finally, companies should always get references from the consultant’s previous clients to get a better idea of their work style and results.
In my experience, these are the most important factors to keep in mind when hiring a Salesforce consultant. By following these guidelines, you can be sure that you’ll find the right consultant for your company’s needs.”
Matt Brown is the CEO at Bonsai.
“To assess whether or not the Salesforce consultant is a suitable fit for your project, you must know what questions to ask. Consider the following factors while hiring a Salesforce expert:
- Implementation Approach: Despite the fact that most Salesforce consultants would follow recommended techniques to handle problems, their approach varies.
- Work Experience: Hiring a Salesforce expert with the right experience is a good idea because their sales know-how and skills are essential. You require a specialist that is well-versed in the most recent sales approach.
- Effective Communication: A reliable Salesforce consultant has the capacity to disagree and express themselves, even if it isn’t acceptable to the customer. It is critical for Salesforce consultants to have an effective communication system that provides a safe and strong path for your organization.
- Certifications: You must evaluate your potential consultant’s Salesforce certifications before hiring them. The more relevant certificates your potential applicant has, the better.”
David Reid is the Sales Director at VEM Tooling, one of the fastest-growing mold manufacturers in the world. They currently operate in over 5 countries with an aim to grow across borders. The company has served multiple businesses including giants from automobile, steel, and other production houses.
“Your Salesforce expert should assist you in establishing or upgrading your Salesforce implementation to match your company’s unique needs. They should review options, offer appropriate suggestions, monitor development and implementation, and maintain contact until the project is completed. They also should, ideally, provide post-implementation support and training to your employees.
Another crucial attribute to look for in a Salesforce consultant is technical expertise. Examine their credentials and areas of competence. Are they Salesforce administrators, programmers, or solution architects? Are they design experts? Your decision will be based on your specific needs and what they have to offer.
A good Salesforce consulting firm should be able to comprehend your needs and develop unique solutions to meet them. They should also be able to provide you with recommendations for best practices. Salesforce AppExchange, an online directory for firms participating in the Salesforce ecosystem, is a wonderful place to start looking for a Salesforce consultant. You can also seek advice from your Salesforce account executive or your network.”
Cody Candee is the Founder and CEO of Bounce, a platform that powers luggage storage and package acceptance in local shops and hotels in over 1,000 cities worldwide.
“Businesses that have successful hiring practices have a well thought out onboarding process, and the same could be said for Salesforce consultants.
Bringing on this type of advisor is more than just paying a fee; they need to have a well-constructed start-up process that takes a methodical look at your business and moves forward in a series of organized steps.
From engagement to objectives, to control processes, to training and documentation practices, making sure that their onboarding process is thorough is critical for building a solid foundation for the relationship to move forward. A Salesforce consultant who lacks a comprehensive onboarding process is a red flag, as it could represent shortcomings in other areas.”
Lattice is the founder of Lattice & Co and a Business Coach, leadership mentor, and social sales expert at LatticeHudson.com.
“Long-term assistance should be one of your top goals when choosing a Salesforce consultant. In other words, once the first CRM project installation is over, what will be your deal? You want a consultant who will offer continuous assistance and potentially after-sales service. Before investing in any Salesforce partner, it’s critical to understand this. Inquire about their commitment to your company and their goals following the initial installation. If they are willing to assist you in fixing problems, updating your program, and assisting with other project areas, inquire about whether they will favor other firms over yours, especially if you have concerns that require immediate care.
A Salesforce consultant’s services also rely heavily on communication. Even though it appears complicated and uncomfortable, one of the characteristics of a dependable Salesforce consultant is the capacity to disagree and express one’s opinion, even if it does not sit well with the customer.
A good consultant should also be able to ask probing questions. This will provide them with insight into your firm, allowing them to have a thorough grasp of how your process operates. You can rely on their years of experience. They are aware of what works and what does not and will assist you in avoiding such blunders. This entails working with a consultant that is not scared to express their views rather than simply following you.”
Sergio Diaz is the CEO of Keynote Speakers, a talent management company for business experts, celebrities, athletes, and authors.
We recently hired a Salesforce consultant, and the challenge with finding the right person is making sure they understand the company’s business model and objectives. So here is what we did:
- We created a clear outline of our objectives, challenges and set of questions for our consultant.
- When we interviewed potential consultants, we asked them to demonstrate their expertise in understanding our needs and solving our concerns.
- We asked each consultant to write a brief summary of their understanding of our business model and asked them to make suggestions of what they think we should do with Salesforce.”
Radhika Gupta is the Marketing and Sales Officer at 365Solutions.
“When employing a Salesforce consultant, firms should seek the following qualities:
- Expertise: Your Salesforce specialist should help you set up or improve your Salesforce deployment to meet your company’s specific requirements. They should discuss ideas, make appropriate recommendations, monitor progress and performance, and maintain contact until the project is completed.
- Technical Knowledge: Another important quality to look for in a Salesforce consultant is their ability to communicate effectively. Finally, look over their qualifications and areas of expertise.
- Salesforce Certification: Many people call themselves Salesforce experts or consultants. However, you’ll be better off hiring a Salesforce expert who holds a current certification.”
Every company has unique needs when it comes to Salesforce, and Salesforce consultants likewise have unique sets of skills and capabilities. These tips will help you navigate the process and hire the Salesforce consultant who best meets your needs.