Engage Partners Early

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe the benefits of working with an implementation partner.
  • Identify when to engage an implementation partner.

It’s Not Just About the Technology

To solve your business challenges and keep your business moving forward, you need the right solutions. Finding a great solution for your business is the first step. The second step is successfully implementing it. An implementation partner can help you do both things.

If you’re a small to medium-sized business (SMB), you may not have much experience with enterprise software implementations. If you’re a larger business, you might not have the resources or skill set in-house to implement the solution.

Just like a rocket uses a guidance system to reach its destination, you can use experts to ensure the solution achieves your business goals. A Salesforce implementation partner is just that kind of expert. A Salesforce partner is an outside company that works with you and your account executive (AE) to select, implement, support, and expand on the right solution for your company.

A Salesforce AE guides customers in a rocket mission control setting.A good partner can:

  • Guide you to a solution that meets your business needs.
  • Make sure the solution is technically sound to avoid future challenges with data models, security, and over-customization.
  • Navigate the risks to the project’s scope, timeline, and budget.
  • Help you understand and address the change management necessary to promote adoption.

When you work with the right partner everyone wins.

Stakeholder
Benefits of Working with a Partner
Customer
  • Earn quicker ROI when up and running faster
  • Gain access to resources and expertise that don’t exist internally
  • Help the executive sponsor of your project achieve or exceed their business objectives
  • Gain access to best practices through the partner’s experience
Partner
  • Build stronger relationships with both you and Salesforce
  • Gain positive ratings on the Salesforce Consulting Partner tab rating tool in AppExchange
  • Have satisfied customers who are interested in exploring more products and solutions
Salesforce
  • Spend more time helping customers optimize their solution
  • Build stronger, trusted relationships
  • Have satisfied customers interested in exploring more solutions and services from Salesforce

It’s Never Too Early to Start

OK, so your Salesforce rep found the right solution for you, and you’ve signed a license contract. The next step is to secure the right partner for your implementation, right? Actually, you want to think about involving an implementation partner much earlier in the process. How early? Way back during the sales discovery process, when you’re identifying the solution you need, the challenges it will solve, and the value it will bring to your organization.

If you involve an implementation partner too late in the process, you might:

  • Feel frustrated when the partner asks the same questions you’ve already answered.
  • Put pressure on the partner to produce a proposal or Statement of Work (SOW) when the partner isn’t familiar with the details you uncovered during discovery.

By getting a partner engaged early, you can: 

  • Comparison shop, which in turn creates more confidence in the partner you ultimately select.
  • Gain early and consistent alignment between you, the partner, and Salesforce on the solution.
  • Eliminate the need to repeat the findings and details you uncovered during the sales discovery process.
  • Receive a more educated project estimate, often after the partner asks clarifying questions to gain better context for writing the proposal or SOW.

When the partner and Salesforce work side-by-side, you’re sure to receive the best possible experience.

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