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Salesforce Implementation: In House vs Outsource


Oliver Kenwright - January 22, 2019 - 1 comment

 

There have been several changes in the past years since I have worked in the business of new technologies and innovations for organisations, and probably the biggest one has been the rapid increase of technology, which has also pushed companies, and every human being, to join the digital transformation era. When companies start wondering whether to give that decisive step or not, they encounter the dilemma of how to do it. At this point, many questions might have arisen, like: “Do we need new technologies? What is the best in the market for my business? Should I manage the transition in-house or find professionals?”. 

From Mobile App Development to Creative Direction, Salesforce Implementation to Paid Marketing, some are praised for taking on the challenge themselves, while others swear by seeking the help of professionals externally.

In this whitepaper, we cover Salesforce Implementation: should you outsource Salesforce Implementation to a Salesforce consulting partner or manage it internally? What are the benefits and the negatives of diving into this huge digital transformation? 

According to Salesforce, digital transformation is “the process of using digital technologies to create new — or modify existing — business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. This reimagining of business in the digital age is digital transformation. It transcends traditional roles like sales, marketing, and customer service. Instead, a digital transformation begins and ends with how you think about, and engage with, customers. As we move from paper to spreadsheets to smart applications for managing our business, we have the chance to reimagine how we do business — how we engage our customers — with digital technology on our side”. 

If you are thinking about Salesforce Implementation, we have gathered a list of pros and cons to clarify your mind and make the best decision afterwards. We strongly believe every decision should have the advantages and disadvantages weighed up when it comes to deciding to find a Salesforce partner or not. This guide aims to give a for and against forgoing internal or calling in the professionals.

 

 Why Engaging a Salesforce Implementation Partner?Benefits of engaging a Salesforce Implementation partner.

a) Expertise: Salesforce Implementations are their bread and butter, Salesforce partners are professionals in their field and are well versed in implementing Salesforce.

Some partners have worked on hundreds of implementation projects and fully understand the challenges and solutions. No matter what industry your business operates in, or which stage of development it is at, undoubtedly there will be a partner who has implemented projects at companies just like yours.

Not only do you get specialised expertise and knowledge, but it will also most likely take the partner less time in implementing.

b) Agility: Instead of hiring someone in for the long haul, calling a Salesforce Partner in for your Salesforce implementation is a much smaller commitment. However, if done right, the benefits should be long-lasting.

After the technical set up is taken care of, you and your team can be trained in best practice techniques by the partner so that your company can become self-reliant with Salesforce in the future.

c) More time to focus on business: Rather than shifting internal focus to allow for a large project such as a Salesforce implementation, let the specialists take care of it so that you can focus on what matters most for your business.

d) Best practices: Tying into the previous point, since Salesforce implementation partners often have areas of expertise with proven experience and certificates, your business will be placed in best hands for ensuring state of the art solution is implemented with best practices in mind.

Whether you need Sales Cloud, Marketing Automation with Pardot or a multi-cloud implementation further down the line, seeing the partner’s certifications will give you an idea of their skilled areas.

You might also want to review what their customers have said about them too, so you can balance real results and compare them with your needs and expectations. 

Negatives of Engaging a Salesforce Implementation Partner

Scope

After the technical set up is taken care of, you and your team can be trained in best practice techniques by the partner so that you can become self-reliant with your Salesforce instance in the future.

The fix

It can often be the case that unexpected things that are out of project scope can enter the mix. Beforehand, try to make sure your RFP is as detailed as possible.

If it does so happen that unforeseen items enter the project, either call in your Project and Account Managers on both sides to re-evaluate the project scope, or simply add on some extra hours.

Most Salesforce implementation partners offer Managed Services deals, whereby you can purchase a set amount of hours for the upkeep of your instance if needs be.

Benefits of managing Salesforce implementation in-house.

a) Long-Term

If you are considering using Salesforce as your core business system aligning it thoroughly with your product or service, it might be worth be hiring some Salesforce professionals to handle the administration side of things long term.

If you just require a Customer Relationships Management (CRM), economically speaking, it might make more sense to open long-term cooperation with a Salesforce partner.

b) Learning Curve

Throwing yourself into the deep end is a great way to learn organically and can be useful for personal development of the team.

While you may face setbacks, long-term speaking, you will create a Salesforce knowledge base internally.

c) Cost

If you already have Salesforce professionals on the payroll and decide for them to configure the solutions, you won’t experience the costs involved with engaging a Salesforce consulting partner.

Negatives of handling Salesforce implementation in-house

a) Slowed productivity

Time is money. Depending on the skillset of the internal resources, handling a Salesforce implementation in-house could end up taking much longer than if a partner were to do it.

The size of the team is also vital, letting a smaller team take care of the implementation could run up costs in the long term versus getting access to numerous Admins, Developers and Architects at a Salesforce Partner.

b) Underestimating Projects

More often than not, the focus can diverge when setting out the roadmap in Salesforce Implementations. The team may be keen to make use of Salesforce’s latest developments and products, but can sometimes leave data migration or integration as an afterthought.

To hit a significant hurdle not correctly considered beforehand, can be costly nearing the end of the scheduled sprint. Integrations and data migrations specifically, often require a high level of experience, knowledge and practice.

c) Experience or lack of

While the team may boast some Salesforce experience and have some Salesforce certifications to show, do they possess implementation experience in your market or industry?

Conclusions

While both in-house and outsource options, each poses pros and cons, it is vital that you understand needs and resources before making a decision. Drawing up a business case with factors for and against in-house or external can be useful.

On the other hand, more and more companies today are making use of a hybrid approach, taking advantage of both internal and external resources to drive business growth. Growing your Salesforce knowledge base internally, while working alongside experienced professionals to troubleshoot problems or to take care of more complex solutions, while transferring knowledge to your team, has its advantages in the Salesforce space.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written By: Ben McCarthy, Managing Director EMPAUA London. 

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