11 Feb 2020

5 tips to select the best implementation partner

By: Emiel Hartog

5 essential qualities an implementation partner should have to impact your business


As soon as you have decided to go for the world’s #1 CRM system, the next topic arises. How are you going to get this running? Or… should you consider to involve your implementation partner sooner and work with him in an earlier stage? From an implementation perspective I share 5 key criteria to get the most out of Salesforce after purchase, plus tips how to connect with the right partner.

1. Engage in time

Deciding to implement Salesforce probably took some time. Usually, it takes 2-4 months before a complete sales cycle ends and the decision is made to integrate Salesforce in business processes. For a successful implementation, design is key before you start the project.

A proper design makes sure that the right scope is determined in time! With the right scope in place at the right time, there will be less or no surprises when running the project. Besides that, it gives you more time to really co-create with other key-users and your implementation partner.

2. Trust in technology expertise

Make sure you choose a partner that truly understands the power of the Salesforce Platform. This works two ways: on one hand it is important to know all about future possibilities and possible extension to guide you through possible future needs.

On the other hand, it is important to start the project in a realistic way. This enhances the chance for your internal organization to adopt Salesforce and ensure success. So, your selected implementation partner should have a clear and complete overview at all times.

3. Check if your implementation partner has profound industry knowledge

Salesforce gives you many great (technical) features you can implement. Continuous focus on your core business process will make sure that the right choices are made which will result in a realistic MVP. Pick an implementation partner that can really challenge you on business processes.

To be able to do this, industry knowledge is key: your partner should guide you through the process based on past experience and knowledge of your business. The technical process should be supporting the business process and should never be leading. Imagine that you have to explain your industry and business from scratch to your partner: it would be impossible for them to guide you and make proper impact.

4. Make sure your core values match your partner’s DNA

During the implementation of Salesforce, you will be working very closely with your implementation partner. Your employees will collaborate with a team of external consultants. Therefore, it is very important that you share the same values and create the best (team) atmosphere. So, first do a DNA check to see if there is a match!

In my experience, I have seen several cases where implementation projects weren’t that successful, because the team spirit wasn’t right. Main reason for this was that there wasn’t a good match between the collaborating teams.

5. Aftercare is key!

The real fun begins after Salesforce is implemented! You key-users are enthusiastic, the set-up of the system looks great: you have everything you wished for. But how are you going to create a good vibe along your largest group of customers: the end-users? Ongoing adoption is essential: impact isn’t only made when launching Salesforce. This is just the beginning! Make sure you get the right support from your implementation partner during the whole process: so also after the go-live.

In practise, you often see that the impact and relevance of Salesforce implementation is very high after the go-live. The challenge is to keep the momentum along the way. You can only assure optimal adoption and usage of the Salesforce Platform if you constantly focus on your end users. Make sure you keep Salesforce relevant for all users at all times. Because adoption is an ongoing process, relevant training should be available on a constant basis.

Are you considering Salesforce for your business?

Get in touch now. We’d love to inspire you on how to make the most of it and optimize impact from a design phase to full adoption.