Before joining Torrent, I didn’t know what a Salesforce consultant was. Experience had taught me that consultants were focused on large-scale business processes and strategy, while SaaS products were just cloud-based tools that were relatively easy to set up. I didn’t understand why you’d need a whole team to help your company implement Salesforce. I think a lot people are in the same position when they first hear the term “Salesforce consulting.”
What does a Salesforce consultant actually do?
To understand the need for a Salesforce consultant, you first need to know how Salesforce is different from other technologies. Unlike the kinds of platforms that provide the same functionality to every customer, Salesforce is built to be completely customized based on your company’s unique structure. The kinds of data you want to store, the processes you want to automate, the other systems you want to integrate with — it’s all up to you.
And that brings us to the second thing you need to know: No matter how well you understand your own business, building out Salesforce in a way that supports your company’s processes and structures demands a deep platform knowledge. Think of it like designing and constructing a house. A first-time builder might feel confident about the kind of living experience they want, but without the help of an architect, they probably won’t be able to turn that experience into reality.
When it comes to Salesforce, the consultant is your architect. They’ll take the time to understand your vision and then put their business and technical knowledge to work to design the ideal solution.
How do they do it?
The first thing a strong Salesforce consultant and their team will do when they begin to work with your company is define your business processes. This stage of the implementation begins with a meeting — or meetings — where you and your stakeholders walk through whatever key business processes are relevant within sales, customer service, etc. You’ll explain how your organization currently functions, and highlight any pain points. From there, the right consultant will create a visual flow of those processes so that they’re easily digestible. They’ll take into account what you hope to accomplish as well as Salesforce best practices and work with you to make any necessary changes. Then, once everybody’s on the same page, they’ll create a plan — or blueprint — for your platform.
Next comes the build itself. The consultant will make sure this a collaborative effort, offering regular reviews of work done. Their goal will be to make sure everyone is aligned and happy along the way, so that no major overhauls are required once the project has been completed. That means you and your team will have plenty of time to ask questions and offer feedback.
Once the build is complete, your consultant will help with everything from user acceptance testing, to training, to creating a go-live plan. These are necessary aspects of ensuring a successful Salesforce implementation, and that means they fall within the consultant’s purview. It’s kind of like if an architect gave you a tour of your new home, showed you how the kitchen appliances worked and then helped you plan a housewarming party.
Ultimately, a great Salesforce consultant is the bridge between two worlds: Technology and business. Their dual skillsets make them qualified for the unique kind of problem solving that Salesforce requires. If you think your company might be in need of Salesforce consulting services, check out our eBook to learn more: