We have just published a new guide to getting better results from your external Salesforce delivery team. You can access it for free here.
If you are working in the arena of Salesforce Product Management, then we take our hats off to you. It’s no easy role. Your challenge is to work with your business to deliver products and services on the platform that no one has ever seen before.
Innovation is exciting, but it’s also tough.
Ultimately, delivering on your product is going to mean that you will need to challenge the status quo and bring in new ways of doing things.
At Desynit, we have worked hand in hand with a range of organisations, partnering with them to deliver complex Salesforce products and services. No matter what the sector, or the main function of the Salesforce product, there are certain constant, universal factors that play a big role in governing how much success a business will see.
The fact is that while the technology may be complex, the golden rules for working with a technical partner (and getting great results) are actually relatively straightforward to pin down.
This new eBook, ‘Partnering for Success’, is a handbook written with this real-world knowledge and experience at the core. Our aim was to put together genuinely useful content, designed to help Salesforce Product owners, managers and VPs work more effectively with their Salesforce partner, and ultimately deliver more successful projects. We think we have achieved that in this guide.
What’s more, in order to give a more holistic view of how to approach the challenges, we also took time to speak to a number of clients about their experiences of working with a partner to deliver Salesforce products. We asked them what had prompted them to seek outside expertise and specifically what they needed from their Salesforce partner. Also, what did they value the most when it comes to delivering great technology products and services? Effectively, what had made the biggest difference when it came to delivering successful outcomes. We hope that we have managed to reflect this wisdom, driven from hard won lessons, in this guide.
So, in a nutshell, what will you find out in this eBook?
Let me give you a whistle stop tour of what you can expect in this guide to partnering for your Salesforce product development journey, and why it’s worth spending some of your valuable time and attention.
1. At what point should you engage with a Salesforce technical partner?
Bringing in outside expertise comes at a cost. It’s important to know that you know where this external team will be adding value. It can be difficult to determine what you can manage in-house and when it becomes more cost efficient to outsource. We talk through the indicating factors that it’s time to invest.
2. How do you sell the need to invest in a Salesforce partner?
OK, so now you are confident that it’s the right time and the right strategy to bring in a Salesforce partner.
The journey doesn’t stop there.
You still need to make sure you have articulated these benefits to the wider business. The minimum benefit the business needs to see of course, is that your partner delivers the Salesforce product or service, scoped out in the brief. However the value a good Salesforce partner can bring goes a lot further than that. You should be looking for a team that can showcase great Agile working practices, introduce a culture of innovation, be champions for Salesforce and keep you up to speed with platform development and the possibilities it can bring. You will find a section in the guide dedicated to all the benefits you should be tapping in to with a good Salesforce technical partner.
“There are two main benefits that we are looking to gain from our Salesforce partner. First of all, access to a wide set of skills – more diverse than we would or could hire for internally. Secondly, staying on top of changes to the Salesforce platform on the development side is becoming harder, with significant shifts in the last few years. Staying current is becoming challenging for small internal teams.”
Ross Crooke, Head of Global Operations Development, BTS
3. How to choose the right partner for your project
“Smaller partners are often more invested in the outcome and can provide a specialised, highly skilled workforce that can deliver and deliver quickly.”
Rob Hingston, VP of Products, Sigma Systems
There are a lot of Salesforce partners out there. I mean, a lot. How is it possible to know beforehand which partner to go with? Before you even get near to narrowing down the specifics, you also need to give some thought to the category of partner e.g. are you going to for one of the big Platinum partners such as Deloitte or Accenture, or are you thinking that you would rather go for a smaller, boutique-style consultancy? Both choices have pros and cons for you to consider and a few factors that may not have occurred to you. For example, would it surprise you to know that a partner with a very different culture to your own can be the best choice? Again, check out the guide if you want to see these guidelines in full.
4. Do you need a Salesforce generalist or a specialist?
“We identified Salesforce as a platform to support our customer journey from recruitment to BAU. Although we had technical capabilities in house, we knew there was more that Salesforce could do for us.”
Tariq Muhammad, CEO at Invatech Health
Salesforce is a really great platform for your sales, marketing and service. For the majority of customers, they will not need a huge degree of customisation. A lot of the functionality they require can be set up efficiently by a good Salesforce Administrator. Building a brand new Salesforce product is a different challenge however.
The team working on it will need skills in platform development, integration with external systems and interfaces, potentially data architecture, probably Lightning Component creation. This is when it makes sense to bring in a specialist team. While they have not built your product before, they have plenty of experience of working in an Agile way coupled with a great knowledge of the complexities of the platform.
“We don’t live and breathe Salesforce every day. They do.”
Isobel Wales, Director of Operations, Thermal Energy
5. Golden rules on communication
Getting more from your Salesforce partner calls for some cast iron communication management. Partnerships are all about two parties accepting that they both have a responsibility for working on their relationship. That may sound like hard work, but once you’ve got the baseline in place, we guarantee you will reap the rewards. Project communication best dos and don’ts are an important topic we cover fully in the guide.
6. Bringing in Agile
Finally, and I touched on this earlier when I mentioned the benefits of introducing a new culture with your Salesforce partner, it may be that your business does not currently work within a truly Agile methodology. Introducing a Salesforce partner is a great way to get all the benefits from these working practices in terms of results, without the time and effort that an organisation-wide cultural change programme would require. If you are sceptical about how this would work in reality, then take a look at the guide – we have included a short case study outlining just how this approach delivered great results for one of the world’s largest multinationals in their development of a complex price calculation product, built on the Salesforce platform.
To sum up, choosing the right Salesforce partner and getting the maximum benefit from your working relationship will make a big difference to your outcomes when it comes to product development. We believe this content will guide you to getting great results for your organisation.
We hope you find it useful.
If you have any questions at all relating to Salesforce Product Development, please don’t hesitate to get in touch via our contact page and someone from our team will get back to you straight away.