If you’ve found your way here, odds are you are a business or technology leader who is already sold on using Salesforce to be a central part of your business operations and technical architecture. Now, you have to make a decision about how to hit the ground running so that you can reap the most business value from your decision to use Salesforce.
Depending on your use cases for Salesforce and the size of your team, there are a few ways to ensure you are getting the best Salesforce talent to accomplish your objectives. It is not uncommon to find that the best approach for you business is a combination of the options we’ll go through below.
Internally hiring is often a comfortable idea, because it is probably how most of your company operated in areas like marketing, sales, and HR. This can be a great decision if you deeply value the structure of working with the same people in the longer-term and are willing to give up some flexibility to do so.
There are two common challenges with hiring though: speed and talent. Hiring takes a long time. And according to Harvard Business Review studies, it typically takes 8 months for a new employee to reach their expected level of productivity, after the time it takes to hire!
The best Salesforce talent (Salesforce administrators, business analysts, developers, architects, etc.) have a lot of choices, making recruiting and retention difficult and costly. These challenges can be overcome to build a core team internally with Salesforce expertise over time, but it is difficult to move at the speed you want by exclusively hiring internally.
Consulting firms are the heavyweight champ of the Salesforce implementation world. Consulting firms can deliver a team with a great track record of Salesforce implementations to solve your business needs. These projects tend to be well documented and well staffed.
After evaluating Salesforce consulting firms and the Salesforce consultants who will be responsible for your project’s success, be prepared to negotiate contracts (MSA and SOW) to limit potential change requests and any unforeseen problems down the road. Depending on the consulting firm, costs can be significant, so it’s important to plan accordingly so your budget doesn’t run out before your project is complete.
One meaningful additional value of using a consulting firm is the clear process and project management. The best consulting firms have best practices for everything from kicking off a new project to training the users at the end of an implementation. As a business leader, when getting a contract with a consulting firm in place, be sure there are clear milestones along the way and that payment is attached to truly meeting those milestones that help your business. This ensures alignment throughout the lifetime of a relationship with a consulting firm.
Due to the significant cost of working with a consulting firm, it becomes really important to define the beginning and end of the project. It’s common to have the implementation done by a consulting firm and then have the maintenance and support work handed back to your internal team. In this case, be sure your team gets up-to-speed before the contract ends so they are ready to take over. In this way, a combination of internal hiring and consulting can get your business where it needs to go if managed carefully.
Pinkus Partners falls into a somewhat more specialized and niche category, what we call Specialized Staffing for Salesforce talent. We found that specialized staffing is the most flexible and efficient way to augment either (or both) of the above two options. It is much faster and a lower commitment than either hiring internally or committing to a major engagement with a consulting firm, so can be used on its own or to easily fill out specific skillsets you are having difficulty finding on your own.
In the case of using specialized Salesforce staffing, you can tell us exactly the talent you want (no more, no less) and we will connect you with folks that have already been vetted for those skills and have experience with similar projects. It is generally more affordable than retaining an entire consulting team, particularly if the project is smaller or ongoing. Given the wars for top talent in technology in general, and Salesforce talent specifically, it can be nice to simply have specialized staffing contracts in place without having to worry about the recruiting and retention of hiring internally.
Let us know if you would like to connect with Pinkus Partners to discuss the needs of your business and how we can help.