How To Be A Good Salesforce Partner’s Partner


If you’ve hired a Salesforce partner in the past, you probably did some research first before deciding who to hire. Did this partner do a good job with previous clients? Do they have a model that works for me? Are they within my budget?

Finding the right Salesforce partner for your business is important, of course, but it’s also important to know how to be an ideal partner’s partner. Being a good partner’s partner will go a long way toward helping you get the most out of your engagement with the Salesforce partner.

How do you know if you’re a good partner’s partner? Ask yourself: Are you, as an organization, set up to make the most out of your engagement? It won’t do any good to hire a partner to fix your problems if you aren’t able or empowered to implement the changes your partner recommends. After all, the call is coming from inside your own house!

Know what a partnership is

Your Salesforce partner (and let’s say you decided to work with us, for the sake of this blog post) doesn’t run your business. We can’t tell you whether you need to track inventory or commissions, or forecast in 36 months. We can build you the tools you need for these tasks, but only if we know which ones you need. As consultants, we’re not looking for the “how-to-build” information from our customers — we’re after the “why-or-what-to-build” intel.

Before you jump into a partnership, consider writing a mission for the engagement: what do you value, what is important, and what do you care about most? What pain points are you trying to solve with Salesforce? Your statement can include your desire that the end result feels easy to navigate, or works on mobile, or includes any number of features.

Think of your Salesforce partner as a travel agent — tell us your budget, what sort of vacation you want, and how long you want to be gone for, and we do the research and make it happen for you!

Know what you want both now and later

Knowing what you want right now is great, but knowing where you are going next is even better. Tell us what you need, but also tell us what your biggest hope is — imagine a perfect next two years with insane growth and development, and tell us all about it! When we build a solution, we want something that solves for you now, but also in two years. We’d rather build to solve for those solutions now then have to return to the drawing board in a year and rebuild from scratch.

Consider Sales Territory Management. Maybe, right now, you are a small sales organization with two Sales Reps: East and West. That’s a simple territory, but if we expand the vision, we can imagine a world in which you might want a Sales Rep per zip code. Building that requires some extra thinking and design on the front end so that in two years when your company is going gangbusters, we don’t need to fix your entire territory model. Rather, we can simply start assigning folks to zip codes.

Know how you want to work with your partner

Clearly communicate your expectations with your Salesforce partner at the outset of your engagement.

  • How do you want to work with us?
  • Do you expect to meet weekly? Twice a week? Monthly?
  • Do you expect us to be prescriptive in our solutions and recommend best practices?
  • Do you have time to think through alternative solutions or redesign clunky, legacy processes?
  • Are you in a hurry and simply asking for a hired gun to knock out exactly what you want?

Misaligned expectations are a huge threat to new projects. Immediately understanding how you want an engagement to function on a day-to-day basis is critical. At Kicksaw, we’re super flexible and build our model to meet you where you are, but we need to know what that is!

Know who needs to be the point of contact

The single largest red flag for any project at Kicksaw is that there is not an engaged primary stakeholder or point of contact. Who’s in charge of the project from your side? If only a barely-paid intern is available to make all the meetings, that’s going to be a problem, because they likely don’t have enough at stake to truly be helpful to us. Identify who at your organization is going to be able to regularly attend meetings and approve/drive work. The point of contact should be empowered to make decisions for your organization, and be able to pull in relevant stakeholders as needed.

Know who you are working with

What sort of consulting agency are you looking for? If you’d like to work with people who can grow with your project, build now and for the future, flex to meet your requirements, and provide a breadth of knowledge and experience, you should start with Kicksaw. If you’re looking for a firm that is typically SOW driven, requires a change order for minor tweaks, and bills for every single meeting and email…that’s a good sign you don’t actually want Kicksaw. We’re not offended.

Kicksaw uses a Fractional Operations business model, which is why working with us is so different than working with your average consulting firm. If you want to learn more about what that means, check out this explainer video.

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