Do you have existing Salesforce systems powering your business processes? Are you getting started with Salesforce but don’t know how? Understand and compare two of the most popular Salesforce integration approaches – Salesforce Managed Services vs Salesforce Inhouse Team, to see which is best suited for your business requirements.
Cloud-based technologies have become a must for most businesses, irrespective of what industry or scale they cater to. Productivity is the key enabler for any business to gain a competitive edge over its peers, keep its customers satisfied and maintain its position in the market. Salesforce is the go-to cloud platform for many businesses around the globe to develop customized CRM solutions that fit their business requirements. It helps them to boost sales, automate marketing and improve customer relationship management efficiency.
Salesforce MSP vs In-House Salesforce Team: Which is the right fit for me?
How can you leverage Salesforce to its full potential for your business processes? Should you outsource your Salesforce operations to a dedicated Salesforce Managed Service Provider or hire an in-house team of Salesforce experts?
Here are some immediate considerations you should consider when deciding between Salesforce Managed Services vs Inhouse Team.
- Do you currently have an in-house Salesforce Team?
- Do they take time to manage your Salesforce CRM?
- What is your company size and budget allocation towards Salesforce?
- What is the scope of the project?
- Which of the two better aligns with your company culture?
- Which of the two is more suitable for the long run of your business?
Keep these pointers in mind before making your decision. To help you get a better insight, we have compared these approaches to Salesforce implementation on several important factors. Let’s dive right into it:
Traditional Approaches to Salesforce Implementation
Chances are you already have an in-house Salesforce team or are using Salesforce to power your day-to-day operations or manage a certain aspect of your business. Generally, there are three traditionally known approaches to implementing Salesforce in a business environment:
Hiring an external vendor when the requirement arises
Pros – Pay for what you need | Cons – Unreliable, Doesn’t help prevent problems
Some companies prefer hiring external teams when their system fails. Since you only levy their services when you have a breakdown, you only pay for Salesforce services when you call them to repair your systems. This could be cost-effective since you only pay for the time errors in the system, but such an approach comes with challenges and limitations.
Following such a model can be unreliable as you might have to wait in long queues to fix your problem if the agency is already working with another client. If your problem requires urgent attention, you’re left handicapped in such situations, potentially resulting in substantial losses. Moreover, you won’t be able to prevent problems from arising; only fix things after they break, which is always costlier.
Burdening internal IT personnel
Pros – Internal Team, No Hiring Hassle | Cons – Overworked Staff, Inefficient Salesforce Implementation
Another approach not advised but practised by many companies is diverting all Salesforce updates and troubleshooting to internal IT professionals. Your in-house IT professional already has a list of tasks and responsibilities to handle daily. Adding the responsibility of learning Salesforce CRM would only burden them as it would come with a learning curve.
IT professionals don’t necessarily possess the technical skills and knowledge to implement Salesforce efficiently. This time wasted on learning Salesforce would cost the company other important IT tasks that would take a backseat.
Hiring In-house Salesforce Team
Pros – Retain Control, Instant Services at all times, Familiarity with Business Processes | Cons – Highly expensive, Needs Internal Management, Burns Company Resources
So, you shouldn’t opt for Salesforce services when things go down or burden your internal IT personnel with Salesforce tasks; what do you do then? Hire an internal team of Salesforce experts. Sounds promising. Let’s discuss this in details, Most large enterprises prefer hiring an in-house Salesforce team/administrator. An on-site Salesforce professional team enables companies to generate performance reports and provide proper guidance and feedback to keep the system running. So far, so good, but what about the cost of hiring, maintaining and retaining such experts?
This is where things get tricky. An average In-house Salesforce Developer can cost anywhere around $80,000 – $110,000 annually, which is a massive expense that most companies won’t be able to bear. Moreover, though doing so leaves the management in your hands, you also need to micromanage and inspect the processes in the Salesforce department, which would steal away from your time and mind space to strategize how to grow your business on the following front.
Pain Points of Hiring Salesforce In-house Team
- Expensive to hire a full-fledged in-house team with the right skills and experience
- Other competitors might attract your employees with lucrative offers
- Employees abandoning projects mid-way can cost the client in both monetary and time value
- The cost of training an in-house team, increments and other additional expenses get stacked on the company
We looked at some traditional methods to implement Salesforce in your organization. While each approach had its perils, it also had its pitfalls. However, another approach that is quite different from the traditional methods and could prove efficient for your company is Leveraging Salesforce Managed Services!
Also Read : Salesforce Development Best Practices
What is Salesforce Managed Services, and why is it a better alternative?
Salesforce Managed Services is a new approach to monitoring, developing, designing and fixing all Salesforce products in your company. When you opt for Salesforce Managed Services from a reliable Salesforce Managed Service Provider, they have the right skills and expertise to assist you with any problems you would be facing with your Salesforce products.
They have a team of professional Salesforce experts that will help you customize and optimize your Salesforce apps as per your business requirements and ensure it keeps running smoothly. When you outsource your Salesforce tasks to a professional Salesforce Managed Services Provider, you are able to focus better on making crucial business decisions.
Benefits of Salesforce MSP over In-House Team Model
You can choose that option if you have the budget to hire an in-house team for Salesforce. However, there are many benefits of opting for Salesforce Managed Services for small-scale, mid-scale and even enterprise-level firms. So, before you make your choice, consider these benefits of choosing the Salesforce MSP model:
Continuous Support and Updates
Your MSP provider will take care of the regular updates needed to keep your Salesforce systems up and running so that it doesn’t interrupt your business processes.
Hiring Salesforce Developers can be highly costly to the company. The average salary of an Salesforce administrator is $87,297 in the United States – Payscale, so you can imagine how costly it would be for you to assemble a Salesforce team in-house.
When you hire Managed Service Providers instead, you can cut down and avoid these expenses on processes like recruitment, hiring individual talents and fixed expenses like their salaries, increments and more.
Fit the Right Talent to fill the Skill Gap
It is very common for any company to have some or the other skill gap no matter what their scale. When you opt for custom Managed Services, they can quickly fill such skill gaps with flexible hiring options so you can get the right resources at the right time and justified prices.
Your business will always grow and expand, and so will its requirements. If you follow the in-house Salesforce team model, you would need to undergo the hiring process again to fit your growing requirements which will be time-consuming, tedious and expensive. Instead, if you choose the Managed Service Provider model, you will get instant access to the resource by updating or upgrading your contract. The hiring and integration of the new talents will be taken care of by the Salesforce MSP providers.
Access to Varied Skilled Professionals
Generally, Salesforce Managed Service Providers have access to some of the best and most experienced talents that firms can easily access to leverage their platform knowledge. A salesforce team will generally have the following talents that you can hire for your project:
- Project Manager
- Salesforce Developers
- System Administrator
Types of Services covered under Salesforce Managed Services
There are certain roles and responsibilities that any Salesforce Managed Service Provider should provide the client with. Here are some of the key responsibility areas you should ensure your Salesforce MSP covers:
Continuous Salesforce Management
You should look for Salesforce Managed Service Providers that know how to maintain your existing systems and constantly look for ways to improvise, enhance and expand their functions.
Constant Data Management and Proper Documentation
At the enterprise level, you must have various workflows configured and custom policies for data management, backups and other essential aspects. Documenting all these policies and guidelines properly can be very difficult manually. However, hiring an MSP allows you to instantly access highly customized and personally configured dashboards and reports.
Salesforce Custom Solutions
MSP service providers can build custom solutions that match your exact business requirements, making your daily operations easier and more efficient.
Monitoring each stage of your Salesforce solutions integration is important to ensure efficient Salesforce implementation in your business processes. When you hire Salesforce CRM experts, they can identify essential problem areas before they arise, giving your team enough time to take preventive measures and implement efficient workarounds.
Efficient Salesforce Integrations
Another important service under Salesforce Managed Services is the ability to integrate Salesforce efficiently into your other pre-existing business-critical systems. Experts in the field of Salesforce can easily integrate your Salesforce solutions into your existing systems to help you get the most out of your existing business solutions.
Salesforce Consulting Services
You can also look for Salesforce Managed Service Providers to conduct proper business analysis to understand your goals and business processes. Based on this information, they conduct a SWOT analysis of your pain points. They find places where custom Salesforce CRM solutions can support the business to enhance/optimize their business processes.
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Skills and Factors to look for in Salesforce Managed Service Providers
Now that we understand the importance of the Salesforce Managed Services Providers model, we should also have a look at the various skills you should look for before hiring the right Salesforce MSP for your requirements:
Level of Expertise
The level of expertise of the MSP should match the requirement of your projects. Hiring an overly experienced Salesforce Managed Service Provider for a basic Salesforce task would be overly expensive. Your project will suffer if you hire a lesser experienced Managed Service Provider.
Questions you can ask Salesforce Managed Service Provider to gauge the level of expertise:
- What kind of clients have they provided Salesforce services for before? What industries do they specialize in?
- Have they worked on projects similar to yours? How deep is their industry knowledge for your industry?
- Do they have certified Salesforce developers in their team? What is their credibility?
Their Alignment with your Business Goals
How they perceive your business goals and react to them matters greatly to check if they are a right fit for your business requirements. You should observe how they take an interest in your business goals and their efforts towards understanding them.
Questions to keep in mind to see their understanding of your Business Goals:
- Do they understand your goals and vision?
- Do they agree with your proposed business idea? If not, are they taking the proactive initiative to suggest better ideas?
How do they match the Cultural Fit of your Business?
Irrespective of how efficient or professional any Salesforce Managed Service Provider is, if their core values and work ethics don’t match that of your organization, it can be very difficult to work with them in unison, which can lead to friction, disputes and an inefficient work environment. Hence as a business professional, you also need to consider how they will fit in with your existing team and if the collaboration will result in a positive outcome or not.
Questions to keep in mind to see if they are a right Cultural Fit:
- Do they follow the same core values and working culture as your firm?
- Do you think your existing team will welcome them?
- Will they be able to understand your business processes and adapt to them?
Comprehensive Salesforce Solutions
There is no point in looking for specialized agencies that only cover certain aspects of Salesforce management or other Salesforce services. As your company grows and expands in different sectors, you will need other Salesforce services in the future. And to search for different specialists now and then will be time consuming, expensive, and difficult to manage. Rather you should make sure that the Salesforce Managed Services provider you are opting for has expertise in full-stack Salesforce Solutions so that when the time comes, you can upgrade your package to fit in the right Salesforce solution for your growing business needs.
Questions to ask Salesforce MSP to ensure they provide comprehensive Salesforce Solutions:
- Do you provide custom Salesforce app development solutions?
- What are the different ranges of Salesforce solutions you provide?
- Do you have a portfolio and case studies I can go through?
Customer Service Record
You should always check their customer service record to get a better idea about how many projects they have worked on and how they have impacted their client’s business processes. It gives you an insight into what you can expect and a fair understanding of their expertise level.
Questions to ask Salesforce MSP when checking their Customer Service Record:
- What kind of customers have you worked for previously?
- Can you provide me with client testimonials?
- Do you have any proof of successful projects you have completed?
Availability of Dedicated Team
The entire point of opting for a managed service provider is to hand over the Salesforce operations, monitoring, maintenance and other services to them, so you can focus on making strategic business decisions without micromanaging Salesforce CRM work. Hence you should ensure that the service provider has enough resources to work on your project without any interruptions.
Questions to ask Salesforce MSDP to ensure they have dedicated resources:
- How many dedicated talents do you have?
- What are the varied profiles you have?
- If a talent provided by them abandons the project mid-way, how soon can they find a replacement?
- What are their project commitment policies?
Salesforce MSP vs In-House Team Differences: Comparison Table
Now that we understand the capabilities and limitations of both approaches – Salesforce MSP and In-House Salesforce Team, we should put them side by side to get a clearer understanding of their differences on essential parameters.
|Company Knowledge||Lesser, since they aren’t directly working within the company premises||More, since they work as per the company’s guidelines and with other employees|
|Cost of Hiring and Retaining Talent||Low||High|
|Control and Communication
|Data Security Risks||Moderate||Lesser|
|Scalability||High Scalability||Limited Scalability|
|Ease of Employ Replacement
|Reliability and Support
|Expertise and Knowledge||Access to varied professionals||Depends on your team|
|Management||Easy with streamlined communication||Challenges with attrition, team handling and more|
|Work Approach||Multiple projects and deadlines can lead to inefficiency||Focused dedication on the project at hand, better delivery and goals completion|
Here is everything you need to know about Salesforce Managed Services and Hiring an in-house Salesforce team. Both approaches have their merits and demerits, but the general understanding that Salesforce MSP is only for businesses that can’t afford to hire an in-house team is false. Many enterprise-grade businesses also opt for Managed Services for their benefits. Book a consultation with our expert Salesforce professionals to start your Salesforce project today!
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