Start 2020 off the Right Way: 10 Top Tips for Salesforce Consultants

It’s that time of year when you’re undoubtedly overrun with “New Year, New You” emails and blogs. Not withstanding, as you clear your head from all of the holiday cheer and get your mindset back into work mode, we’re sending you another. It’s our hope that, at any rate, this one really does help bring you some focus in the year 2020. 

Below are the top Salesforce consultant tips to keep in mind whenever you’re working with a client, or if you are that client, this is what you should be looking for from your consultant. Print it out, keep it handy, and never stop looking for opportunity this year. 

1. Your Colleagues are a Great Resource for Answering Questions, so Always Ask!

When something doesn’t make sense, don’t waste time being frustrated. 

  • No one knows everything 
  • USE CHATTER (create Chatter Groups) 
  • Use the Salesforce Success Community 
  • Use Partner/Vendor support to create cases 

Clean up your collaboration. 

  • Keep all your requirements in one place, and out of email! 
  • Everyone should have their documents in SharePoint, Google Drive, Box, etc. 
  • All notes should be in OneNote 

2. Believe in Yourself, but Double-Check

Peer review all of your work before it’s presented to a client or your exec. 

  • This includes: designs, estimates, code, etc. 

Search before you create something. 

  • If you need functionality that’s not standard check AppExchange and Accelerators 
  • Review Tip #1 

Use data and documentation. 

  • Make decisions from facts, not your gut, whenever possible 

3. Think Like a Customer and Know the Customer; Know the Business Need

If the requirement doesn’t make sense, call it out. 

  • If the requirement fits the black-and-white, ask if it works in greyscale 

Does the person you’re working with have any Salesforce experience? 

Do they have any IT Project experience? 

  • Based on the answers to the two previous questions, ask yourself how to frame your questions to get answers that make sense in a customer-mindset and a delivery-mindset.

4. Only Using Email Causes Problems

Don’t use email as a work tool, it should only be notifying you of work in your requirements hub. 

When you do receive an email: 

  • Is it a notification or communication? 
  • Should the email be tied to a specific ticket? 

             – Break emails, cases, and feedback into distinct components which can each be resolved 

  • How many different decisions are carried within that email? 

If you are using email, put the client name in the subject line. 

  • This makes separating them much easier 

Email can’t replace talking 

  • If you’re upset or confused, speak up 
  • Don’t email when something could be cleared up with a five minute conversation 

5. Iterate!

Start small, start simple. 

  • Start with configuration 

Deploy, learn and repeat. 

6. The End Goal is to Enable Self-Sufficiency

Always assume your client will develop their own skills and run implementations without you. 

  • Enable them!  People always remember who helped them learn something new. 
  • Ensure it’s easy for them to do this 
  • Never make them feel dependent on you as a consultant 

7. “It’s Broken,” isn’t an Option

It may be broken, but you should have a solution or plan to fix it. 

  • What are the options? 

If it’s broken and you are not in a position to fix it, create a case or idea. 

  • This goes for internal, client facing, or general life issues 

8. A Picture Speaks a Thousand Words

Visualize and document concepts so that everyone has the same representation of the idea to either agree or disagree with. 

  • Use Flowcharts for business processes 
  • Use Wireframes and demo orgs for mock-ups 
  • Use ERDs to describe data models and integrations 

Body language and reactions hold valuable feedback, so use video conferencing. 

9. Keep an Eye on Functionality and Budgets

When clients learn more about what’s possible they ask for more. 

  • This is good and bad 
  • Clients need to understand the opportunities within the platform, but the work done needs to fit within the available budget 
  • It’s important to work with the PM to prioritize and plan 

Do timesheets promptly! 

10. Think Scalability

Salesforce supports businesses with 5 to 500,000 users. 

Therefore, assume that: 

  • Your customers will want to grow 
  • They will grow 

Always build with the above two assumptions in mind.