Salesforce Admin vs. Managed Services: Which Should You Choose?

The journey to a fully implemented Salesforce org can be a long one. Research, discovery, build time and training —

2 min. read

The journey to a fully implemented Salesforce org can be a long one. Research, discovery, build time and training — it probably took you and your team at least a few months. And now you’ve got yet another decision to make: Should you hire a Salesforce admin or sign on for managed services?

The answer depends on a number of factors, but I’ll start by sharing a metaphor that I found incredibly helpful. A member of our client services team recently compared managed services to a lawn care company. They’ll come by your house every so often to mow the grass, rake the leaves and water the plants. In other words, they’ll keep what you have looking nice. A Salesforce admin, on the other hand, is more like a full-time gardener: Somebody who’s there every day, likely with specialized knowledge. They’ll tend to the flowerbeds and trees that are unique to your yard. 

So, do you need a lawn care company, or do you need a gardener? 

Factor #1: Org Complexity

First, consider the complexity of your org. If you’re using a simple setup, with relatively few customizations and integrations, you may not have enough work to keep a full-time Salesforce admin busy. For an org of higher complexity — the ornately landscaped grounds of a mansion, say, complete with rare tropical plants — an in-house admin probably does make sense. They’ll be able to develop the specialized, granular skills required to tend to your company’s particular Salesforce setup (and that includes handling certain architectural changes). 

Factor #2: Company Size

You should also consider the size of your company. Do you have multiple business or product lines? Lots of employees? If so, your org (and users) will require plenty of time and attention, and you’ll probably want to consider hiring an admin. At a certain scale, even a relatively simple setup demands full-time help. 

Factor #3: Future Plans

Finally, take the time to assess your growth needs. If you’re satisfied with the current functionality of your org, an admin will help your team maintain consistency. On the other hand, if you have plans for future Salesforce projects, it likely makes sense to purchase a managed services contract. As somebody on our team put it to me, “You’ll probably want to grow faster than a single admin can take you,” and the business knowledge of a managed services team will help you identify the right future solutions.

Other Scenarios

Of course, the answer isn’t always cut and dried. In some cases, you may want to train an admin with limited Salesforce experience. If this is the case, consider bringing in managed services at the same time. They’ll be able to bring your admin up to speed and make sure everything is set up for success.

The same goes when hiring an admin who doesn’t have experience with some of Salesforce’s more specialized products. If your company is running, say, Salesforce CPQ or Community Cloud, you could pay your managed services team to train your newly hired admin.

When it comes down to it, you want to make a cost-effective decision, and I hope the points mentioned above will help you determine whether or not your needs justify the cost of a full-time hire. If you’re still unsure about your best course of action, don’t hesitate to reach out — we’d be happy to help!  



Danielle Sutton

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