If you have gotten this far through our series of questions, chances are this consultant is looking pretty good! There are still a few more things to ask. Let’s talk about the next question: Who do you work for?
No, not “Who have you worked for?” but “Who do you work for?” Is your potential advisor an independent consultant, or does he work for a consulting firm? Depending on the answer, you will want to delve a little deeper.
If the applicant is independent, that means that he has no one else to turn to when he needs help. He has no formal system of support to fall back on, no coworkers to consult with. He is his own resource. That will make all of the other questions we’ve discussed all the more important. If this advisor falls short, you can’t have him replaced easily—you have to either stick it out or start the entire hiring process over again.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t hire an independent consultant. It just means that you need to take the interview process all the more seriously. Remember how much influence your consultant has on your company’s progress (or regress), and subject him to the same routine you would any other potential full-time hire.
If the consultant represents a consulting firm, there’s a whole slew of new questions for you consider:
- Are you on AppExchange?
We’ve mentioned the AppExchange and some of the information it gives you about Salesforce’s consulting partners. You can look up the number of projects a consulting firm has completed, its customer satisfaction scores, specialties, preferred industries, and how long the company has been in business. You can even see its Salesforce partnership level.
- What is your Salesforce partnership tier?
Salesforce ranks its partners internally into four basic tiers. These tiers are determined by Partner Value Score (or PVS) and are indicators of a company’s expertise and the maturation of its Salesforce business. This score is calculated by combining a number of metrics, including customer reviews, certifications, company expertise/ specialization, and customer success stories.
Consulting partners can also earn further recognition as a Global Strategic Partner if they are able to achieve Platinum-level stats in multiple countries. There are a lot of partners out there. Fortunately, the AppExchange allows you to sort through the partners according to ranking.
- How many developers and project managers do you have?
The great thing about working with a firm is the wealth of talent you can draw upon, especially when a single advisor might reach his or her limit. Get a feel for the size of the team at your disposal. Ask what certifications and badges team members have earned through Salesforce.
Whether you opt for an independent contractor or an advisor working for a consulting firm again comes down to the needs of your organization. In the next blog, we will get a bit more philosophical with the candidate and ask about specific implementation methodologies they might employ in your Salesforce environment.