With the current global situation, it is no surprise more companies are investigating outsourcing all or part of their Salesforce development, administration and support. With the right outsourcing partner, businesses are able to reduce their overheads while still delivering essential work and seizing any emerging opportunities.
Unfortunately, not all partners are alike. While some are experienced, flexible partners capable of delivering, others are less likely to do so, as they simply cannot scale resources effectively.
As someone who has been on both sides of finding and supplying outsourcing services, I want to share my experience so you can avoid common mistakes. Here are seven things you should look for in the right Salesforce outsourcing partner.
1. Define your Salesforce outsourcing needs
Before you start looking for a partner, it is prudent to outline what you need for your outsourcing arrangement. This process involves taking stock of the work you are currently looking to outsource, as well as possible future projects that you might need additional resources to address.
With a clear set of fulfilment requirements and wishes, it will be significantly easier to search for potential partners, at the same time eliminating anyone unsuitable.
Protip: Make sure you consider likely or potential needs in the future. While not crucial, these can be a useful way to make a final decision between seemingly identical partners.
2. Broad expertise
You need a partner who can cover the whole breadth of the work you set. No one wants to enter into an outsourcing agreement with a partner only to find that they don’t have the knowledge or experience to complete the work they need.
A partner’s ability to deliver might not be apparent when signing an agreement, but unforeseen scope can lead to unexpected needs that some partners can’t meet. Finding an outsourcing partner who has experience and knowledge not only in your industry and services but broader areas ensures your projects will be successfully completed.
Protip: Look at possible partners case studies, Salesforce AppExchange listing and past experience. If you can see similar businesses and projects to your own, there’s a good chance they can help you out. Remember, some work may be under NDA and anonymised.
3. Flexible low commitment contracts
One of the primary benefits of hiring an outsourcing agency is having flexibility and reducing costs rather than requiring a set in-house team. For outsourcing companies this presents resourcing issues and leads most to require fixed contracts to maximise utilisation and predictable income, but doing so binds hiring partners into fixed expenses.
The best outsourcers build flexibility into their contracts allowing clients to scale up or down resource hours as their demand fluctuates and without financial penalty.
4. Deep bench
At VRP Consulting, we have taken the approach of having a deep bench of wide-ranging experts. Our bank of resources allows us to reallocate those resources to other accounts when one partner’s needs have reduced. Our approach also means our resources develop their skills across different companies and industries, providing them with unique insights.
Even if your outsourcing partner has more rigid contract requirements, it’s useful if they have additional resources which you can call upon to help ensure that you can deliver projects on time. If you need to hunt around for a particular expert or just more resources, then delays are all but guaranteed and other projects will have to wait.
Protip: Partners who develop their own solutions and accelerators can often pull resources from these internal projects to address urgent client needs.
5. Accessible and clear communicators
When picking a partner, you need to make sure that you can have open, effective communication channels. This includes factors such as compatible contact and office hours, level of English and established procedures so that delivery cadence is maintained and issues mitigated quickly.
6. Experience in remote work
As many companies make the forced and possibly painful transition to remote working situations, you don’t want to be collaborating with an outsourcing partner who is going through the same process themselves. Even if you are experienced with a 100% remote working situation, having a similar partner who is familiar with remote work is a great benefit. A partner who is familiar with the project management methodology and systems you use ensures that you don’t need to spend time training when they come onboard.
These benefits are magnified when you can draw upon the same staff who are familiar with your team for subsequent phases of work.
7. Compatible company values and mission
Some companies have very different values and ways of working. Entering into agreements with such companies have the risk of incompatible work cultures as well as bad press over poor business practices from your outsourcing partner. Finding a partner who shares similar values helps to ensure compatibility in your day to day operations.
If you are outsourcing customer-facing aspects of your business then these issues become even more important as every interaction reveals your values and any misalignment can be costly.
VRP Consulting’s history of outsourcing
We have provided outsourcing IT services for 21 years with the last 10 years fully focused on Salesforce solutions. Over that time, we have developed a nimble outsourcing service with our deep bench of experts. Thanks to our nearshore technical hubs, and investment in developing the knowledge and skills of our employees, we can have resources on standby while providing flexible, low-commitment contracts for our clients.
Our success and unique position has attracted partners including Salesforce Services, other Salesforce Platinum partners and ISVs as well as other Salesforce customers looking to augment their in-house teams.
VRP Consulting outsourcing is the low-cost, flexible way to deliver essential Salesforce projects
You can continue looking for another outsourcing partner who can provide you with the same flexibility that we do, or you can contact us, and we’ll show you exactly what you get with VRP Consulting as your outsourcing partner.
Founder and CEO
About the author
Roman Medvedev is the Founder & CEO of VRP Consulting. He has led VRP Consulting since its inception in 1998 as a general IT outsourcing company. In 2010, Roman started to transition VRP Consulting into a global full-service Salesforce Gold consulting, development and outsourcing partner which has successfully completed over 1,000 Salesforce projects.