When is it Time to Hire a Salesforce Consultant?

Salesforce is everywhere. If your organization has reached a certain size — and deals with external stakeholders — you’ve probably contemplated using it.

But using Salesforce isn’t as simple as installing some software and jumping in. There are many different products, from Sales Cloud to Service Cloud to integrations, Customer 360, and more. How do you know which ones are right for you? If you’re going to use Salesforce, how can you ensure that you’re taking full advantage of the investment?

If you’re reading this, mastering Salesforce probably isn’t a significant part of your day job. That’s why you might consider a consultant for implementation, troubleshooting, and setting you up for long-term success on the platform.

But consultants are an investment, and they don’t know the ins-and-outs of your company as well as an internal resource would. Salesforce will cost you — is a consultant worth the additional cost or should you just wing it and figure it out through trial and error?

As Salesforce consultants, we lean heavily into the “pro-consultant” column on this question. But we also acknowledge that Salesforce consultants aren’t always the right fit, for any company of any size at any stage.

Here are the most common scenarios that we’ve seen, across a variety of clients, that indicate a Salesforce consultant would be beneficial. Here’s how you know it’s time to call on a Salesforce consultant (like Lab5).

1.“We know the problems we need to address, but we don’t know how to apply Salesforce services to those problems”

You’ve identified the biggest challenges for your business and you know that Salesforce has solutions. But, you don’t have the Salesforce expertise on your team and you have limited resources to invest in learning the whole suite of Salesforce products. Which Salesforce products are right for you? What is the best approach? Where do you even start?

A Salesforce consultant should be able to come in and apply their expertise to understand your most important business challenges, identify the right priorities based on your needs and then propose solutions that leverage the right Salesforce products for your business and your budget. They should be able to take all the guesswork out of a Salesforce implementation leaving you to worry about your business.

2. “We need customization on top of Salesforce”

You may have already invested in Salesforce as your CRM solution and have a simple org up and running. But to truly see an impact on your business you know that customization is key. Many teams lack the resources to customize Salesforce in a way that addresses their specific business challenges. But without customization, you could be leaving a major opportunity unexplored.

A Salesforce consultant will meet with you, listen to your unique business challenges and capabilities, and then work with you to craft the perfect solution. Out of box, Salesforce might have the basic functionalities you’re seeking, but the power of the platform is in building a tailored solution for your specific business. Consultants can build process automations that simplify your business processes, integrations that bring in or push out the data your teams need, or specialized views, reports, and dashboards to help make every member of your team’s job easier. If you don’t want to settle for generic solutions, a Salesforce consultant can help you get more out of Salesforce.

3. “We’re paying for the licenses, but we aren’t using the product”

Most people don’t love learning new technologies. In fact, it’s normal to dread the adoption of new tools. You had the best intentions when you purchased your Salesforce licenses, but new habits are difficult to form. Not only do you need to use Salesforce, you need to make sure your team does too.

And while online tutorials and blog posts are helpful, sometimes it’s painful to wade through vast libraries of information online to figure out how to use it. There has been so much written about Salesforce over the years, and you can’t tell what is good, what is bad, and what is outdated. At the end of the day, you may default to not even going into Salesforce at all. You avoid it for a day, and suddenly, you’re avoiding it for weeks at a time and your licenses are languishing, untapped and unused.

In this case, it’s clear — you should call in a consultant. Even your quickest, brightest team members who pick up new information easily don’t have the depth of knowledge of a full-time Salesforce consultant. Salesforce is always adding new features and updates; your consultant will be up-to-date on these. They can ensure that your business processes in Salesforce are user friendly and easy to understand. They can build how-to guides that show your team the value in using the product. Plus, they can dedicate the time and effort you probably don’t have to focus on increasing adoption among your team.

4. “We’ve tried to optimize Salesforce tools, but we know we’re leaving money on the table”

So you’ve purchased your Salesforce instances. You’ve taken some tutorials, you’ve gotten comfortable, and your team is using the product. However, the world of Salesforce is very large, and very complicated. You hear about new releases, see bulletins about product updates, and encounter webinars, ebooks, and other Salesforce reading material. There are thousands of apps in the AppExchange. Keeping up with Salesforce is sort of starting to feel like a part-time job. And you don’t have the time. You get the feeling that you’re not seeing as great a return on your investment as you could.

It might be time for you to call in a consultant. Salesforce consultants specialize in swooping in and diagnosing missed opportunities. That part-time job you don’t want to do? It’s their full-time job. While you’re doing your work, they’re attending the conferences, webinars, and new release info sessions in Salesforce. Salesforce consultants will make sure your Salesforce toolkit is making you every dollar it possibly can. Overall, they can upgrade the quality of work that you’re doing within the Salesforce system.

5. “We want to take our business to the next level, and need tools that can scale”

Your patchwork of systems has been working up until now. Maybe you use a plethora of simple business tools to cover all of your ground. Email is in one place, analytics and reporting is elsewhere, and customer success happens still elsewhere. But you’ve got your eye on the future. As you grow, you need tools that will scale with you. Most elementary SaaS tools have data caps, maximums, and ceilings for large amounts of users. Plus, once your numbers really start to climb, supporting a bunch of disparate tools is not optimal.

Salesforce was built for scale. Almost every large enterprise organization uses it in some capacity. If they use it in the right way, even smaller companies can do industry-leading work through Salesforce. If you’re looking for seamless implementation and integration, a consultant will be well-practiced in this area. It’s likely that they’ve seen plenty of cases just like yours, and have worked to migrate from a businesses existing system to a solution that can scale.

6. “We need more visibility into our customers post-Salesforce implementation”

Are you painfully aware of your limitations in dealing with your customers in spite of using Salesforce as your CRM? If you feel like you don’t fully understand who your customers are or what they want, if their pain points are unclear or their complaints are keeping you up at night, you should look deeper into your Salesforce system.

Optimizing Salesforce for the different parts of your business can deliver tremendous impact on your bottom line. Bringing your sales, marketing, customer support, and operations teams the customer data and insights they need can increase your leads, conversions, and happy repeat customers. If you haven’t considered how to make Salesforce work for each of your teams, it’s probably time to call in the experts.

In conclusion…

Salesforce consultants come in all shapes and sizes — some will support you in ongoing ventures, and even keep staff onsite with you. Others will teach you key workshops and deliver playbooks that help you with implementation. Salesforce tools themselves are just one part of the equation. The more you know about using them, the likelier you are to see real impact on your business and your bottom line.

If you’d like to discuss how to put transformative Salesforce solutions to work as soon as they hit the market, get in touch.

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