Salesforce implementations, like any technical initiatives a company may pursue, are tough. There will always be challenges getting things done on time, within budget, and the way you originally envisioned.
Honestly, no project will probably ever be perfect, and that is why we stress to clients the importance of having a well thought out strategy around your Salesforce implementation and related projects. A major part of this strategy should include a roadmap for hiring and staffing. By incorporating this into your strategy it enables you to anticipate the types of Salesforce talent you will need now, and 3 to 6 months from now.
The stronger your strategy is around hiring these specific profiles, the more options you can explore – not only for what types of hires to make but where to successfully source from as well. All of this upfront planning will ensure you have the right Salesforce professionals onboard, at the right time, which can make all the difference when it comes to your implementations succeeding or failing.
You can hire full-time talent, you can augment your staff as needed, or you can even outsource projects. In most cases, our clients will do some mix of all three. It will all depend on the size of the projects at hand, timeline, budget, and existing teams – but here are two popular options outside of full time hires that you should consider.
Also known as managed services, project outsourcing is using another person or company perform job functions outside of your own organization. More specifically within the Salesforce ecosystem, outsourcing is utilizing an external firm to do part of or an entire project.
Traditionally, companies benefit from outsourcing when they can give clearly outlined tasks and objectives that they know can be outsourced and done without internal training, or heavy management of the process. For Salesforce implementations, we have had several clients benefit from outsourcing larger implementations when they did not have the expertise in-house. Luckily within the Salesforce community, there are a lot of consulting companies and smaller firms that serve the purpose of helping with Salesforce implementations.
The pitfalls of outsourcing go hand in hand with the benefits. Sure, you do not need to train these people, or be managing their day to day – but then you are trusting the outsourcer to get the job done to the time, and quality you expect. Essentially, you are releasing a lot of control.
This is not totally a bad thing, however, especially if you are giving up control to be guided in the right direction.
Staff augmentation is when companies need to add a specific skill set to a team in order to complete a project. In other words, you can partner with a staffing agency like TwentyPine who has contractors with the skill your in need of on their W2 and you can temporarily hire them. This person will be fully integrated with the team, and you can provide any necessary training. We have seen clients bring in contractors anywhere from three months to over one year – it all depends on the size of the project at hand.
Unlike project outsourcing, you will have full control over this person, but you still do not have an liability or risk like you would if you brought in a full-time hire, whose role may be obsolete after the duration of this initial project. This model allows you to increase or decrease the team headcount based off the work required, along with other benefits that we outlined in our blog, Advantages of Hiring Contract Salesforce Talent.
How Do You Choose?
Again, the decision will be dependent on your existing team, the projects at hand, budget, etc. But, the great thing about having options for staffing your Salesforce teams is that you actually don’t have to just pick one. As mentioned above, we work with clients all the time that use a hybrid of both outsourcing and staff augmentation to supplement their full-time team.
The most common strategy we see with clients that have large-scale initiatives that could last several years is they hire a senior level full-time employee to lead those projects, and then they staff the rest of the team on a contract basis. Some hire staying for multiple projects, while others are more temporary. The flip side of that would be smaller organizations who are just looking to implement a product like CPQ, in which case they can outsource to a specific consulting partner or hire a contractor to run the roll out.
The point is that you have choices and you should consider all your options if you are facing challenges with budget, headcount, or timeline.