In today’s highly competitive landscape, it’s critical to the success of a consulting business to deliver results that meet, or even better exceed, customer expectations. Timeliness of progress, adherence to customer scope and budget are key components to customer satisfaction. But with hundreds of consultants in the Salesforce ecosystem, how can you stand up in the face of serious competition from other big-name and boutique consulting shops? Here are 6 ways to help you deliver an unparalleled experience to your clients that maximizes their ROI, and yours, and ensures that their CRM investment and your relationship continue to grow in the future. Happy Clients = Repeat Business
Under Promise and Over DeliverSure, that sounds a little cliché, but it’s really one of the keys to success. To put it in a way that’s more palatable, control expectations – not only yours, but those of your clients. Make sure your Statement Of Work is clear and concise, and written in a manner your client agrees to. Then, as a consultant, it’s your duty to make sure the project stays on track, and on the agreed-upon plan. It’s OK to tell a client that a request of theirs, while certainly valid and beneficial, is outside the original scope of the project and will have to be considered as an add-on or additional phase of the project, to be completed at a later date. Your client will respect you for keeping them on task, as well as keeping to the original budget without time and cost overruns.
Measure Progress & Report RegularlyAs a consultant, it’s your job to track your progress toward the project milestones and deadlines. Be sure to do that in a manner that is transparent and available for the client to access, whenever and wherever they want. Tools that operate in a collaborative manner are great for this. As you update information, your clients can see your progress in real time. Be sure to include budget versus actual data here as well. For many clients, the total cost of a project is one of the most important metrics they want to maintain control over, so if any specific items are running heavy (or light) on time/dollars, be sure to highlight that as soon as possible. Open communication is a major factor in project success. For those looking to encourage adoption of Salesforce by senior leadership, a great way of doing this is by utilizing a modern project management tool like TaskRay that’s native to Salesforce throughout the course of the project.
Specialize in the Hottest TechnologyA quick review of market demand in the Salesforce ecosystem will tell you that certain areas of business – Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Analytics – are expected to see significant growth over the next 5 to 10 years, and beyond. Additionally, there is an increasing trend towards a remote workforce and the use of offshore developers. Prepare your teams now by gaining knowledge in these rapidly growing lines of business and invest in technologies that make collaboration with remote and offshore colleagues, or even clients, easier. The benefits of the remote/offshore model include a lower cost to do business with, which allows consulting companies to be more competitive in the marketplace. If your team is already stretched thin, consider forming alliances with companies and solutions that already leading the way in these areas and making this internal and external collaboration effortless.
Document EverythingDocumentation is a deliverable of any project and critical for a proper hand-off. Your clients will expect you to build out a complete set of documentation that you hand over to them when the project is complete. If your clients don’t ask for that, deliver it anyway! They deserve it. They should have all the knowledge and reasoning behind why you built their solution the way you did, what the purpose for each and every field and object is, how things relate to others, etc. As a consultant, your primary job is to look out for what’s in the best interest of your client. Remember, you want them to have a great feeling about the work you did for them so they will not only recommend you to others, but also ask for your help in the future. Rather than delivering the typical spreadsheet of metadata mappings and powerpoint of end-user documentation and training, which are outdated the moment you deliver them, Spekit provides a solution that’s specifically designed to be a Salesforce data dictionary and that will automatically update with any future changes that are made to the client’s Salesforce org. It’s easy to get started with Spekit, no hoops to jump through, no high-wires to walk. Just four easy steps:
- Connect Spekit to Salesforce: Import the objects, fields and picklist values you want to document.
- Create Documentation Dynamically: Spekit makes it easy to document your metadata with rich text and videos or through the use of Knowledge Cards and customized how-tos in the Data Wiki.
- Don’t Do it Alone: Centralize your team’s collective wisdom by assigning subject-matter experts to areas you want documented to crowdsource knowledge. Assign Data Experts on your client side to help fill in the gaps on the history of fields and objects during the initial audit period, then assign experts to any new fields/objects you’re creating to have them fill it out with the training material they’ll need for maximum adoption.
- Make it Accessible: Access your customized documentation everywhere, in context, or via a searchable sidebar in any window, thanks to the Chrome Extension.