The Salesforce consulting journey is never a straightforward one. With so many factors impacting the outcome of the engagement—from how active the customer is, to how much they’re willing to pay, to the complexity of their existing org, and more—creating an optimal consulting experience can be tough.
In past lives, our team spent over 15 years as Salesforce consultants and more recently, we’ve worked with hundreds of Salesforce consulting partners. We know how quickly things can change, and the friction points that pop up throughout the client journey.
Your current Salesforce consulting process
Let’s start by walking through what Salesforce consultants typically come across when embarking on a new project.
1. The beginning
A consultant engages with a lead and begins crafting the SOW (Statement of Work) for the project. Typically, this phase is a time of discovery, rapid change, and estimations. It usually starts in one direction, then after speaking to a different stakeholder at the organization, they find something new and the SOW needs to be changed.
When asking questions during the initial scoping phase consultants may discover there’s an existing Salesforce environment to build upon, but they’re only able to uncover a part of the picture without actually being able to see the client’s org.
Once the SOW has been agreed upon, and the deal is signed it’s time for the handoff.
2. The handoff
Depending on how much your team overlaps from Pre-Sales to Delivery, many consultants only have an hour call to align on the project handoff. This handoff can become a friction point. Maybe the delivery team didn’t share all the details about the current state of the client’s environment, or overlooked key dependencies that could impact the project.
The Delivery team begins to look under the hood of the org and start their work. They may find landmines (in the form of hidden org complexity) that need to be addressed before the team embarks on the project agreed on in the SOW.
Fast forward a few weeks, the Delivery team has to put in a change order to address unplanned prerequisite work; a definite hiccup in the implementation. It turns out their org has some newfound complexity that the solution is dependent on, changing the scope.
You can try your best to avoid it, but it happens, and we’ve seen it time and time again.
3. The outcome
From here the outcome can vary. It could lead to a red account, unhappy clients, and the unplanned reassignment of your most sought after experts to get the project back on track—affectionately known as the “delivery swarm”. But you always get through it and figure out a way to reach your go-live.
Typically, we found this stage was a huge sigh of relief. However, living in this constant reactive state is not a sustainable solution. Even the best consultants can’t prepare themselves for unforeseen org complexity, which we’ve found results in 40-50% of “goodwill hours” that consultancies offer at no charge to a customer to “make things right”.
Tips to streamline the Salesforce consulting journey
The consulting journey will never be a perfectly seamless experience, but there are ways to improve your process to ensure you’re delivering the optimal experience for both your customer and your team.
1. Make sure you have the right stakeholders in the room
To reduce these friction points and save yourself a ton of time, it’s important to identify the right decision makers on your customer’s side from day one. If you’re in contact with the right stakeholders, the chances of hiccups occurring, and change orders following will be minimized. Again, we know this isn’t always possible, but it’s always smart to have all your bases covered.
2. Consider a managed service offering
If you’re working in the Salesforce ecosystem, chances are you’re quite familiar with some form of a managed service offering. If you’re not, it’s ongoing support and maintenance for Salesforce customers. During our previous time as Salesforce consultants, we saw the value a managed service offering brought to customers who might not have the capacity to take this on themselves. Many projects run the route of being transactional–you scope out the work, configure the solution, and go live. However, customers often need the most support after all that heavy lifting is done.
They may need guidance on a simple question, or maybe something broke within their org. But a managed service offering is a great way to ensure your customers feel properly supported throughout their lifecycle with Salesforce and allow you to proactively take responsibility on the health of your customers' orgs.
3. Utilize technology
Salesforce consultants are more than familiar with the benefits of using the best technology for their clients, but are they applying the same logic to their own business? There are some powerful tools within the ecosystem that empower Salesforce consultants to make accurate estimates, track their progress, uncover new opportunities to help their customers, and more.
A couple of our favorite tools include:
- ORGanizer Chrome Extension: Helps you organize, recognize, and log in to all your client (and internal) Salesforce orgs using a simple Google Chrome plug-in.
- Salesforce Inspector: Adds a metadata layout on top of your org to help improve Salesforce configuration, development, and integration work.
- Dataloader.io: A tool that helps you import, export and delete data for your Salesforce org.
- Hubbl Diagnostics: (Of course our favorite) Our free Salesforce org intelligence platform that enables consultants to understand the current state and complexity of a Salesforce org with one simple scan.
The consulting journey is a process, and having technology that enables consultants throughout the project life cycle is imperative.
Improving the Salesforce consulting experience with Hubbl Diagnostics
No two orgs are alike, and the same can be said for consulting engagements. You have ups and downs. Some are simple, many are complex. But what if there was a way to know exactly what a client’s org looked like from the beginning? Consultants would be able to accurately estimate project scope, minimize change orders, and track org health to add continuous value—building that long-term trust consultants dream of.
This is where Hubbl Diagnostics comes in.
Built by consultants for consultants, Hubbl Diagnostics is an org intelligence tool that empowers teams across the entire project lifecycle. With Hubbl Diagnostics consultants can:
- Create accurate estimates: Uncover org complexity, risky objects, and tech debt from the outset. With dependable org understanding, consultants can avoid scope creep and build trust.
- Improve efficiency: Reduce manual, time-consuming work. Saving hours on tedious org diagnostics means more time for your team to get back to the projects they enjoy.
- Avoid red accounts: Access clear, actionable insights that clients can visualize. When everyone is on the same page, the path to digital transformation is always easier.
- Drive ROI: With a holistic understanding of your client’s org, Hubbl Diagnostics reduces unseen risk and allows you to get to value faster.