The Right Salesforce Partner Can Transform Your Business – Here’s How
Countless enterprises, from big to small, leverage the Salesforce platform in some capacity. In fact, you may be hopping over from the Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, or Marketing Cloud to quickly read this blog right now. When used to its full potential, Salesforce can unlock the power of your data, help you to truly understand your customers, and fuel your organization’s growth in a myriad of ways. But just owning the tool isn’t enough, you’ll need to know how to best leverage that tool and customize it to the unique needs of your enterprise. A Salesforce Partner should be the first call you make before you embark on the ever-evolving Salesforce journey.
While Salesforce is the Ferrari of enterprise technology platforms, Partners are the horsepower behind the engine and the mechanics that ensure you have a ‘smooth ride’ on the platform. Here we’ll take a closer look at what a Salesforce Partner is, how leveraging a Partner will benefit your business, and how to best position your people and enterprise processes to realize those benefits.
What is a Salesforce Partner?
The Salesforce Partner program primarily focuses on two types of Partners.
- Consulting Partners help businesses grow by providing intelligent, personalized, and connected experiences that leverage your platform as a piece to the whole of which is your enterprise tech stack.
- AppExchange ISV Partners build apps with the Salesforce Customer 360 Platform and then market and sell the apps on the AppExchange.
Salesforce Partners undergo rigorous validation before being accepted into the program. To start, they must meet strict requirements for training and certifications. Once a Partner is accepted into the program, there is an ongoing evaluation by Salesforce to ensure the Partner remains in good standing.
Consulting Partners, of which Kenway is one, are tiered at four levels (Base, Ridge, Crest, Summit) based on the Partner’s Trailblazer Score. The score measures a Partner’s contribution against Salesforce-set targets across three categories: customer success, innovation, and engagement.
How to Find the Right Salesforce Partner
Organizations consider working with a Salesforce Partner for several reasons. It may be to help them optimize the use of their unique Salesforce instance, implement a new cloud, engage their channel partners in a more effective manner, or integrate existing application data from an array of other sources into a Salesforce instance aimed to improve their 360-degree view of a customer.
And depending on what it is that you’re hoping to achieve from a business perspective, finding the right Partner to fit your needs isn’t as simple as it seems. Careful consideration should be given when vetting potential Partners, and these are some suggestions to help you in your search:
- Make sure the Partners you are vetting are authorized by Salesforce and not selected based solely on a LinkedIn profile with a title such as “Salesforce Consultant.” All official Partners are listed in the AppExchange.
- Take the time internally to define your specific business and technical requirements, as you understand them, to identify the Partners that align with your needs by filtering the AppExchange listings by cloud expertise, industry expertise, location, number of certified experts, and rating.
- Another helpful resource is the Salesforce Trailblazer Community. Search for the Partners in your consideration set and investigate their involvement in the Community. You’re looking to see if their answers and guidance align with what you are seeking.
Our best tip, and one that is often overlooked by an enterprise in need of finding a Partner, is not only to identify their Salesforce-specific expertise, but to look closely at a Partner’s experience outside of the Salesforce platform from a technical capability and a service perspective.
Depending on the complexity of your needs, a Partner that works solely within the Salesforce domain may be more than capable of helping your organization with straightforward configuration, object setup, field setup, etc. However, as your needs expand in complexity, additional considerations must be made.
In this case, you would be better served with a Partner like Kenway Consulting that has the expertise to look at the entirety of your tech stack, assess your needs in totality, and design an optimal architecture and solution that includes Salesforce, but doesn’t necessarily need to revolve around it. Our years of experience have proven just how essential it is to consider how your Salesforce instance should interact with and impact your people, business processes, and the rest of your technical applications to ensure a solution that scales with your organization now and in the future.
The Advantages of Working With a Salesforce Partner
So, you found your Salesforce Partner match, but perhaps you’re still a bit unsure if you really need them, or how best to leverage them to help you achieve your goals. At Kenway, we see many companies hesitant to add another vendor to their roster, worried about the internal overhead of managing them, or their judgment is clouded by $$$.
Think about all those “nailed it!” social media posts where the professionally made cake is alongside the home baker’s cake. Like a DIY project gone wrong, there are substantial risks to trying to execute a Salesforce-centric initiative on your own.
While maybe counterintuitive, chief among the benefits of working with a Salesforce Partner is that you will likely save your business time and money on the execution. Kenway Consulting’s staffing model is structured to avoid the expense of hiring a full-time Salesforce expert. We not only provide you with the Salesforce services you need to achieve your objectives but ensure that you are set up for future success by augmenting those Salesforce services with our other capabilities and services at the right time, for the right duration resulting in a scalable Salesforce platform that you and your team can effectively manage moving forward.
Kenway designs and architects a Salesforce solution informed by industry best practices via time-tested methodologies and delivery frameworks from a myriad of past engagements. As examples, our team provides:
- Evaluation and optimization: We evaluate, optimally design, and deliver bespoke Salesforce implementations that result in streamlined time-to-value on your platform investment.
- Data integration: Bring disparate data sources into a unified Salesforce platform with custom integrations, event-driven architecture, and iPaaS solutions.
- Custom development: Define, create, and launch custom buttons, triggers, and pages that enhance the UI/UX of Salesforce and set up complex processes with Apex.
- Custom workflows: Use actions, validations, approvals, and escalation rules to automate business processes and streamline repeatable processes.
- Custom analytics: Define KPIs for sales lifecycle management and expand reporting functionality to include robust operational tracking for all organizational activity captured by the Salesforce platform.
- Custom object configuration: Create custom objects and implement Salesforce Paths designed to streamline business processes and highlight milestones throughout the various user journeys.
Why Kenway is a True Salesforce Partner
That’s an impressive list of Salesforce services but remember that Kenway is not a “one trick pony.” We differentiate ourselves among other Salesforce Partners by assessing the problem statement and desired future state through a consultative lens that considers the entirety of your enterprise tech stack. We align, design, and architect a Salesforce solution while keeping your organization’s higher-level business and technology strategies top of mind.
As an example, Kenway Consulting worked with one of the largest premium finance companies in North America to help it realize the true power of its Salesforce instance. The client wanted to move away from a heavily manual process to an automated client loan application process. Kenway designed a solution that allows applicants to complete all the required paperwork in an online portal via Salesforce Experience cloud and automatically syncs the data back to the company’s Salesforce and ERP platforms.
What’s important to keep in mind with this scenario is that Kenway didn’t just walk into the client and immediately implement a Salesforce solution. It held a series of in-depth discovery sessions with key stakeholders to solidify its understanding of current state processes and existing technical capabilities. Kenway identified the gaps to inform an optimally designed future state solution before any Salesforce-specific customizations even took place.
Discover a Salesforce Solution That Captures the Entirety of Your Enterprise
Think of Kenway as management and technology consultants first, Salesforce Partners second. Kenway approaches Salesforce engagements through people, process, and then technology – in that order. This rationale is because we believe in building a holistic enterprise solution that includes Salesforce – not a Salesforce only solution that excludes the rest of your enterprise’s systems.
Connect with us to learn how a long-time, trusted Salesforce Partner could help with your organization’s needs.