How to decide if you should hire a full-time Salesforce Consultant or a Salesforce Partner.

You bought Salesforce to take advantage of the out-of-the-box capabilities it has to offer and were amazed at how quickly and easy it was to do basic customizations such as modifying page layouts, adding and removing fields, and basic user management. The Sales Team was excited to get off of spreadsheets, and someone in your organization may have volunteered to take on Salesforce Administration duties. This is easy right!

Enhancement requests started coming in from the users and the executive team is now asking for reports and dashboards to get more visibility into the business, and it now goes beyond the skills of your part-time admin. You quickly realize that you'll need to hire some help for customizations, integrations, and on-going projects.

Implementing Salesforce can be a simple 4-6 week effort or a continuous journey with on-going projects, integrations, and support. Ensuring a successful Salesforce implementation relies on the capabilities and skills of the individual, team, or partner that ultimately implements the solution. So the question is: Should you hire a full-time Salesforce consultant or outsource to a Salesforce Consulting Partner?

What type of help do you need?

When thinking of hiring Salesforce resources and support - start with considering what type of projects you have planned and what support you will need. Do you foresee integrations with other systems? Will custom coding be needed? Do you have a large user base with 100+ users that requires advanced security around data access and visibility? Is Salesforce mission critical to your organization? Will you require on-going maintenance and support?

If you need help with these initial questions, consider using Advisory Services from a certified Salesforce Consulting Partner, such as Peak360 IT. A Consultant can help guide you through these questions and provide you with pros/cons and recommendations based on your specific business needs and objectives.

Considerations of Hiring a full-time Salesforce resource

A full-time Salesforce Consultant will cost anywhere from 75k-125k a year, plus benefits, equipment, and training. An in-house resource is recommended when there are frequent small day-to-day tasks that involve point-and-click configurations such as editing page layouts, adding and removing fields, and basic reports. If you are estimating that 40 hours per week will be needed for basic Salesforce tasks, this is a good option.

A single Salesforce Consultant rarely has knowledge of the virtually endless capabilities and applications in the Salesforce ecosystem, from the apps such as Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Pardot, Marketing Cloud, and Communities - to the technical skills required for advanced implementations such as Apex, API's (Rest, SOAP), VisualForce, JavaScript, and Mobile development.

If this unicorn does exist, plan on 150k+ per year along with factoring in the risk to your organization if they decide to leave for another opportunity. That resource will also likely not be able to support more complex projects by themselves, and you will need to hire additional in-house resources or look to augmenting with a hybrid approach. (see below)

Benefits of Hiring a Certified Salesforce Consulting Partner

The biggest benefit of partnering with a Certified Salesforce Consultancy is the access you get to skills across the entire Salesforce ecosystem and tapping into that knowledge and experience. You will also be leveraging the partnership that the Consulting Partner has with Salesforce and the benefits that partnership provides, such as higher levels of support and additional resources.

Using a Consulting Partner also provides the flexibility of increasing and decreasing hours as needed, allowing for more control over budget and planning. If managed properly, it can be more cost-effective using a Consulting Partner with cost savings of close to 50% over time.

Peak360 IT provides flexible options for Salesforce Implementations and Managed Services, and can support your business by working as your sole Salesforce implementation and support team - or act as an extension to your internal Salesforce support team.

Hybrid Approach

If you have a larger Salesforce implementation and have ongoing customization, integration, and development needs along with daily support tasks - a hybrid approach may be a good fit.

With this approach, a full-time Salesforce Admin handles the day-to-day tasks such as data updates, user management, page layouts, adding and removing fields - and the Salesforce Consulting Partner handles the more complex projects and acts of an extension of your team.

A hybrid approach has many benefits including cost, ability to scale up and down as needed, and risk avoidance by not relying on one individual that may leave your business at any time.

If you are still unsure of what your options are or how much help you need, schedule a Free Strategy Session or connect with me on LinkedIn

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