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Get Started with Consultants on AppExchange

Learning Objectives

After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:

  • Describe the consultants listed on AppExchange.
  • Describe the Salesforce Partner Navigator program.
  • Differentiate between Salesforce Partner Navigator levels.

Return of the Superhero Admin

The AppExchange Basics module regales readers with the story of how you became an AppExchange superhero. As an admin at Ursa Major Solar, you learned to navigate AppExchange, find, and install mission critical solutions. You saved the day by increasing Sales Cloud user adoption.  

It’s been 3 years since you started at Ursa Major Solar. Your Salesforce admin career is even sunnier than it was on day one. You’ve aced one important project after another, while enjoying the pace of back-to-back challenges. 

Your latest challenge is a Service Cloud implementation project. Sita, Ursa Major’s CEO, personally asked you to prepare a high-level project plan, including resource needs. She wants the project completed by the end of the next fiscal quarter. 

No matter how you look at it, there’s a serious problem. Ursa Major doesn’t have enough people to complete the project by Sita’s deadline. 

So today we’re back to help you build a new superhero skill. In this module, you learn how to find a consultant on AppExchange who can help Ursa Major implement Service Cloud.

Who Are the Consultants on AppExchange?

Before you start your search, let’s make sure that when we talk about consultants on AppExchange we’re talking about the same thing.

Consultants on AppExchange are: 

  • Trusted Salesforce experts who join forces with our customers to select, implement, and support exceptional solutions, no matter the industry.
  • Superheroes too!

The Get Cloudy consultants are hard at work.

There are more than 1,200 consulting companies on AppExchange. All are keen to help you solve your business challenges.

How Can Consultants Help You?

Fly higher with help from consultants on AppExchange

There are more than 15 Salesforce product areas and 10 industries that consultants can specialize in. Do the math and you quickly realize the potential variety among consultants. That’s good news. It means there’s a consultant out there who can help with virtually anything you need help with. Here are a few examples to inspire you to think about how consultants can help on your projects.

Analytics and analysis: Consultants help build reports and dashboards to connect your analytics between platforms. They also analyze data and help you determine trends.

Bucketing in Report Builder: Bucketing is when you categorize report records by field, without having to create a formula or a custom field. Consultants do this in Report Builder.

Cloud implementation: Consultants implement Salesforce products, such as Sales Cloud and Service Cloud, so you can better engage and retain customers.

Let’s stop at C, but you can find more inspiration in The ABCs of Consultants.

How Consultants Become Superheroes

Luckily, it doesn’t take radioactive spiders or a distant home planet to create superheroes. At Ursa Major Solar, you became a superhero by learning to navigate AppExchange and install solutions. Consultants become superheroes by earning Salesforce product and industry certifications and successfully completing projects.

And a consultant’s superpowers are measurable. The metrics we use are Salesforce product and industry certifications, plus customer stories, references, and satisfaction scores. Certifications indicate the depth and breadth of product knowledge within a consulting company. Customer stories, references, and satisfaction scores tell us how happy a company’s customers are.

Salesforce tabulates these metrics as part of our Partner Navigator program. As consultants earn certifications and the company they work for completes successful projects, the company becomes eligible for the Navigator program. It can then rise up through the levels, starting at certified, then reaching specialist, and ultimately master level. 

Navigator Level Consulting Company Expertise
Certified
  • Meets the minimum certification requirements necessary to be deemed proficient in a Salesforce product.
Specialist
  • Has at least one specialization in a product area or industry.
  • Demonstrates repeated success in the area or areas of specialization.
Master
  • Possesses deep industry or product knowledge, or both.
  • Demonstrates extensive experience and repeated customer success across an entire product or industry.

The trajectory isn’t guaranteed to be up. For example, if a specialist-level company lets its only product specialization lapse, it’s at risk of dropping to certified or lower. 

You can easily find out where a company is on its Navigator journey. Later in this module, when we look at a consultant listing on AppExchange, we review the company’s Partner Navigator achievement details. That includes the company’s current product and industry specializations, as well as the Navigator level for each. We publish this information to help you find the right consultant for your Salesforce implementation.

Now you know who the consultants on AppExchange are, how they help customers, and how to quantify their expertise. You’re ready to develop a strategy to find your ideal consultant. 

Superheroes Strategize First

When you became a superhero, you learned that a little strategizing up front goes a long way toward finding an AppExchange solution that makes your users happy. The same holds true when you’re looking for a consultant. To develop an AppExchange strategy for finding a consultant, ask yourself these questions.

  • Stakeholder needs—What business challenge do you want the consultant to address? Make sure that you meet with your stakeholders to understand their needs and expectations.
  • Areas of expertise—What skill sets are essential for project success? Do you need help with a Salesforce product? Are you trying to solve an industry-specific problem? Determine what types of expertise are must-haves and which are nice-to-haves.
  • Timeline—When do you want the company to start and what’s your project completion timeline? Make sure that the company is available when you need it.
  • Company size—What size company do you want to work with? In Salesforce terms, a small consulting company has 1–10 certified experts, a medium has 11–100, and a large company has more than 100.
  • Location—Where do you want the company to be located? Do you want a local company to regularly work side-by-side with you? Do you need help across globally distributed offices?

Answer these questions in terms of Ursa Major Solar’s requirements, and you’ve got your AppExchange strategy.

Criterion
Requirements
Stakeholder needs
  • Provide superior customer service.
  • Resolve customer issues faster.
  • Increase customer satisfaction.
Areas of expertise
  • Salesforce Platform
  • Service Cloud
  • Call center integration
Timeline
  • Complete the Service Cloud implementation by the end of the next fiscal quarter.
Consulting company size
  • Small, medium, or large? You prefer medium.
  • Small companies can’t always provide the required expertise.
  • Large companies frequently prefer longer-term projects.
Location
  • Keep it local.
  • Ursa Major Solar is based in the southwest United States.
  • You prefer a consulting company that has an office nearby.

It’s time to find a consultant for your Service Cloud project. Let’s head over to AppExchange to apply your strategy to your consultant search.

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