20 Questions to Ask Your Potential Salesforce Implementation Partner
With about 23% of the CRM market share, Salesforce is the most demanded environment for sales applications, integrations, marketing solutions, etc.
Salesforce Selecting the right Salesforce implementation partner is a decision that businesses looking to leverage Salesforce’s powerful capabilities have to make. This choice goes beyond mere technical expertise. It’s rather about finding a partner who aligns with your business vision and understands your unique challenges. Therefore, asking the right questions is essential to gauge their expertise, experience, and ability to deliver tailored solutions.
From this post, you’ll discover why asking your potential Salesforce partner is a must. You’ll also explore 20 solid questions that will help you understand a provider better and will guide your choosing between multiple firms.
Finding the Right Salesforce Partner: Why To Ask Questions?
When choosing a suitable provider of Salesforce services for your needs, you naturally, end up with a short list of approximately 3-5 agencies. You already scored them based on their expertise, experience, service lines, etc. Yet, you still have to make the final decision in order to get started with the best-fit company.
We recommend scheduling free strategy sessions with chosen providers and asking their representatives questions that will help you to:
- Assess expertise and experience to a deeper extent compared to preliminary research
- Clarify project scope and confirm that the expectations match the capabilities
- Evaluate communication and collaboration
- Understand collaboration and development approach and methodology
- Ensure the initial alignment with your business goals and their deep understanding
Those are rather business purposes of an initial meeting. In case you have in-house developers, the potential Salesforce service provider is expected to work with, you may want someone from your team to be present as well. It will help to discuss more technical matters and ensure that the provider understands the specificities of your digital infrastructure, should it exist, or the tech nuances of the planned software solution, better.
Do you have a development idea in mind? Contact Salesforce specialists from Synebo and let’s discuss!
Now, let’s proceed with reviewing what questions exactly are appropriate and useful to ask.
20 Useful Questions to Ask Your Potential Salesforce Implementation Partner
Here is a list of questions to ask and potential answers to them. The provided answers are grounded on the vast experience of Synebo — a provider of Salesforce development and consulting services, and they reflect the approach of this particular service provider. Don’t expect others to provide the same answers, but the information below should be enough to give you some direction on what to expect, and the benchmark to compare against:
#1 What’s your philosophy about using customization in Salesforce?
Custom means something that is not out of the box, or with a different behavior than expected by the Salesforce environment. Salesforce provides a lot of pre-built features but they don’t cover 100% of business needs.
So our philosophy is to provide customization using our expertise in creating bespoke Salesforce solutions that go beyond out-of-the-box offerings, tailoring systems like CRM, ERP, LMS, and HR systems to a customer’s unique requirements.
#2 How do you manage bugs during QA and post-deployment?
Our testing best practice is to start testing as soon as possible. So, we proceed with testing in the very first phases of feature development. But it’s just one stage, when in a project we have different levels of environments in varying combinations:
- Develop org: It’s used for development purposes
- QA: A stage where initial, i.e., functional testing is performed
- Staging: It’s there we usually make regression or pre-deployment testing. For this type of testing better to use SF partial or full sandboxed.
- UAT: It’s an environment where we conduct user acceptance testing.
Our general testing steps include:
1. Requirement analysis: QA engineers review user stories and relevant documentation and collaborate with the project team, including the Product Owner and developers, to understand project specifics and fill any knowledge gaps.
2. Test preparation: We prepare a testing checklist — a structured guide outlining necessary tests to ensure thorough coverage and track test completion and failures. We also prepare test cases — detailed scenarios with expected outcomes to verify application functionality.
3. Bug Tracking and Reporting: Execution of all tests as per the checklist and test cases, with detailed recording of results to identify and document any issues.
4. Re-testing: Post-bug-fixing. Here the product is retested iteratively until it meets quality standards and client satisfaction.
5. Regression testing: Ensuring that the recent code changes haven’t impacted existing software functionality, maintaining product integrity.
#3 Do you have a Software Development Lifecycle defined?
Yes, we do. Its form still depends on the project. We can share the Synebo development cycle that showcases our standard software development approach, which follows Agile methodology:
#4 What tools do you use to manage deployments?
We manage deployments using a mix of tools tailored to the project’s requirements, including Changesets, Gearset, Copado, and custom CI/CD solutions. Additionally, Salesforce Developer Experience (SFDX) is an integral tool for our development, particularly for custom UI elements, which has been standard in our practice since 2019.
#5 Do you run projects using Salesforce Developer Experience (DX)?
Salesforce Developer Experience (DX) is a suite of tools and practices designed to improve the development lifecycle on the Salesforce platform. Yes, currently it’s not possible to develop something without SFDX. SFDX is required to work with any custom UI elements. From 2019 we are working only with SFDX.
#6 What percentage of test coverage will you commit to as a deliverable?
We aim for a baseline of 75% test coverage on deliverables, but the emphasis is on the logic behind the tests. We believe in delivering logical testing that ensures your Salesforce solution works as intended, rather than just meeting a quota for test coverage.
#7 Do you utilize any open-source libraries to complete deliverables?
While our solutions primarily rely on Salesforce’s out-of-the-box libraries, we integrate open-source libraries in about 10% of our projects, especially when it comes to front-end development, to enhance functionality and user experience.
#8 What is your change management process?
Our change management process is highly adaptive to the client’s operations, whether it’s using emails, JIRA, or other sprint-based methodologies, ensuring smooth transitions and updates throughout the project lifecycle.
If you’re interested in learning what issues disrupt communication with a Salesforce outsourcing partner and how to solve them, read another our blog post.
#9 Can you explain your approach to Salesforce implementation and development projects?
Our approach to Salesforce implementation and development involves a thorough process including:
1. Collecting business requirements
2. Designing solutions
3. Building data models
4. Building sharing
5. Development or implementation
A trusted Salesforce consulting partner prioritizes understanding the impact on your existing processes and maintenance needs before we begin development. We ask ourselves questions like How it will be with existing sharing? What is data model? How will it look in reports? Will be it easy to maintain? Only then can we proceed with the actual work.
#10 How do you ensure data security and compliance with Salesforce’s security standards and data protection regulations?
To ensure data security and compliance, all our engineers are certified and adhere to Salesforce’s security standards and best practices. We conduct security checks and architectural reviews when necessary to uphold data protection regulations.
#11 What methodologies and project management processes do you follow for Salesforce development projects?
We predominantly use Agile methodologies like Kanban, while also incorporating Scrum or Scrumban when suitable. We are also equipped to manage projects using the Waterfall method if that aligns better with the client’s needs.
#12 What is your approach to user training and adoption during and after Salesforce implementation?
For user training and adoption, we evaluate the users’ familiarity with Salesforce and provide comprehensive training accordingly. If it’s a new solution or migration, we offer structured group training and support. We typically assume that for 1 group we need 1 business day for training and 1 business day for maintenance.
#13 What is your process for gathering and documenting requirements for Salesforce projects?
Our requirements-gathering process is collaborative; business analysts (BA) and project managers (PM) document client needs. After that, our Salesforce architects deliberate on additional questions and constraints, ensuring a comprehensive understanding before moving forward with the solution design.
#14 Can you provide a breakdown of the project timeline, including key milestones and deliverables?
The project timeline and key milestones vary depending on the type of project. For ongoing support projects managed with Kanban, we don’t set fixed timelines or milestones; tasks are addressed continuously based on priority.
However, for new Salesforce application development or product creation, establishing milestones is crucial. These can include stages like the development of a Minimum Viable Product (MVP), a Proof of Concept (POC), or a prototype.
Projects can also be divided into phases or releases, with specific numbers of epics and user stories for Scrum or tasks for Kanban. In Scrum, we track Sprint Goal Success, Sprint Burndown, and Team Velocity. For Kanban, we monitor Lead Time, Work-in-Progress, and Throughput.
Need a trusted Salesforce consulting firm? Contact Salesforce specialists from Synebo and let’s discuss!
#15 How do you manage and track project costs and budgets for Salesforce development projects?
We meticulously manage and track project costs and budgets based on hours worked when providing our Salesforce development services. Our approaches vary based on the project pricing model:
- Time and material project: Here we ensure that tasks estimated for a certain number of hours are completed within those hours. Any changes, like additional requirements, are communicated to the customer by the project manager, who seeks approval for any new hours required. Work on such tasks does not begin without prior agreement.
- For fixed-price projects: Here we guarantee completion within the agreed timeline and budget.
- Bulk support projects: Here we agree on a set number of hours for the period, allowing the customer to plan their load accordingly.
Take a look at the comparison of time and material and fixed price models in the infographic below:
We provide partners with work logs that detail completed items, hours spent, and dates to ensure transparency before invoicing.
#16 Do you offer ongoing support and maintenance services for Salesforce solutions after implementation?
We offer comprehensive ongoing support and maintenance services post-implementation. Clients can opt for:
- On-demand support for fixed changes or requests
- Bulk support, which allocates a block of hours for a specific period.
This ensures that clients have the flexibility and assurance of support as their business and Salesforce solutions evolve.
It’s worth mentioning that not only you will be asking questions to evaluate your potential provider. They will also try their best to learn more about the intended project to be with you on the same page and ensure that their capabilities, team resources, and expertise are sufficient.
#17 Do you conduct code reviews (automated or other processes)?
Absolutely. Code reviews are a critical part of our development process. We utilize both automated tools and manual review processes to ensure the highest quality of code. This combination of automation and expert oversight helps us maintain high standards and deliver robust, efficient solutions.
#18 Is your Salesforce development team in-house or subcontracted?
Our Salesforce development team is mainly in-house. We believe in nurturing a cohesive team environment to ensure seamless communication and a unified approach to every project. This also allows us to maintain a high level of quality control and project consistency.
#19 How many projects has your team accomplished?
The Synebo team has successfully completed over 1000 projects over 8 years operating on the market. This vast experience across a multitude of projects has equipped us with the knowledge and skills to handle diverse challenges and deliver exceptional results consistently.
#20 Have you developed similar solutions?
Here the provider should show extensive experience in developing solutions similar to your requirements. Their team is well-versed in handling a wide range of projects, ensuring that we can adapt our expertise to meet your specific needs effectively.
The process of choosing a Salesforce implementation partner should be approached with diligence and strategic thought. The questions above are instrumental in uncovering the depth of a Salesforce development company’s expertise, compatibility with your business culture, and commitment to your success.
Are you looking for a best-fit Salesforce app implementation partner? Consider Synebo as your primary choice. With over 1000 projects completed, 250+ Salesforce certifications, and over 8 years on the market, we can aid you in any way necessary, Drop us a line, and let’s discuss business opportunities!
- What should I look for in a Salesforce implementation partner?
When searching for a Salesforce implementation partner, consider their experience, certifications, and ability to provide comprehensive support and maintenance. Also, assess their communication skills and project management methodology.
- How important are certifications for a Salesforce implementation partner?
Certifications are a testament to a developer’s knowledge and expertise in Salesforce. They indicate that the partner has met a standard of excellence recognized by Salesforce and stays current with the latest developments.
- How do Salesforce consulting partners charge for their services?
Salesforce partners can charge for their services in a variety of ways, including hourly rates, project-based fees, or a retainer model for ongoing services. Make sure to understand the billing structure before engaging with a partner.