Finding the right Salesforce partner is essential to your project’s success. Yet, many don’t know where to start, select an overly expensive option or select a partner that cannot support them through to project completion.

The popularity of the Salesforce platform means there are thousands of consultants and contractors out there and hundreds of firms, all proclaiming to be your perfect fit. 

To help in your search, we have a list of critical considerations to utilise in your selection process. 

1. Proper due diligence is essential

Most consultancies present very well. However, slick presentations and smooth pitches cannot replace you doing proper research. If they have case studies, read them in detail, or better yet, speak to the customer at hand and get their insights on how the project went. Ensure their Salesforce credentials meet your requirements and ask your Salesforce success manager for their opinion. If you are still stuck, Salesforce themselves can provide recommendations for partners based on your needs.

2. Look for inquisitive minds

Experienced consultants will ask leading questions to test your business processes and logic. In addition, they will bring their expertise from previous projects and recommend modifying processes and procedures based on best-practice insights. If they take only your requirements and offer little input, then you’ll miss out on fundamental transformation. Experienced consultants will compare your business model to your peers, understand your market and ultimately bring more value.

3. Choose Salesforce specialists

You wouldn’t trust a restaurant that serves six cuisines to be good at any of them, and the same is true of many consultancies. So if they have a few Salesforce staff, but it looks like the bulk of their experience is in another CRM, or they support a range of CRM platforms, then I’d recommend picking another firm. Every CRM has its unique challenges and quirks, so look for a partner that lives for Salesforce; they will serve you better in the long run.

4. Look for industry expertise

A Salesforce partner with domain experience in your industry will help your project run smoothly and give you access to industry best practice and new ideas.

5. Ensure they can meet your capacity

The scale and scope of your transformation project will influence which partners you shortlist. For example, a small specialist consultancy may lack the scale to meet your timelines. Alternatively, a large consultancy may not treat your project with the care you expect or meet your budgetary needs. Therefore, it is good to ask their team size and number of active projects to ensure sufficient staffing and supervision of your project.

6. Certifications

A Salesforce certification gives you a level of confidence in a consultant, as it illustrates a level of expertise regardless of country, consulting firm or price. There are many different certifications based on specific areas of Salesforce, so it is essential to ensure that they are carrying the right ones. 

If you have a Salesforce account representative, they can advise you on which certifications your projects require. So when looking for a digital consultancy, look for one that carries many certifications (over 100). Many certifications assure that they have a diverse pool of skills and offer better solutions. 

If your project requires third-party add ons via Marketplace, make sure your selected partner is certified in those products also.

7. Set your budget

Once you have shortlisted your partners, it is important to discuss budget, timing and expectations. Your budget should be flexible, and you should be open with your partner at this stage. As you work through this process, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What add-ons are required?
  • What is your project timeframe?
  • What number of licences are needed?
  • What number of customisations to a Salesforce’s standard setup are necessary?
  • Are you willing to offshore some of the project work?
  • What delivery method are you utilising? (i.e. Agile, Waterfall)
  • What integrations are needed?
  • Are you prepared to modify your business practices or customise the platform to fit existing ones?
  • Are there any specific data requirements?

8. Ensure long-term support

Salesforce constantly updates its platform with new features rolled out automatically three times a year. These updates ensure you always have the latest technology; however, implementing new features requires a partner that stays up to date with the latest changes. Therefore, ensure your partner offers ongoing support, both in implementation and phone support.

9. Review their implementation approach

Your Salesforce partner’s implementation approach could be Agile or Waterfall and will need to allow for your internal team’s maturity, the location of development teams and your business objectives. We would recommend an Agile approach, as features can be dropped through frequent collaborative iterations, ensuring you start seeing benefits sooner in the cycle. Ensure that their approach to documentation, prototypes, and demonstrations matches your expectations upfront, as otherwise, there will be friction during the development stages.


With a core system like Salesforce that impacts many facets of your business, you need to understand that the partner you select will be helping to change the processes and culture of your entire organisation. Therefore, it is essential to evaluate their vision, approach, and people to ensure alignment and future success. At Etica, we take the time to get these processes right to ensure your digital transformation is a success. Speak to us today.