Love ’em or hate ’em, documents are an important part of being a Salesforce Freelancer or running a consultancy. They help us get deals through the door in the form of presentations, and they help set out the deliverables and expectations of a project in the form of a Statement of Work.
While running a Salesforce consultancy for four years, I compiled and produced hundreds of documents for all kinds of reasons. In this post, I want to highlight five of the most important documents we use to run our business, as well as the key elements within them.
1. Workshop Presentations
Workshops are an important part of being a Salesforce Consultant. This is the chance to find out everything about the customer – their pain points and goals – and dive deeper into their business. If you are scoping out a greenfield implementation of Salesforce such as Sales or Service Cloud, workshops often follow a similar process.
With Sales Cloud, you are often running through a customer’s business model and then finding out about their sales cycle, from lead to closed-won opportunity and beyond. With Service Cloud, you are diving into the customer’s case management cycle in a similar fashion.
Workshop presentations enable you to follow a structured methodology to analyze a customer’s business, as well as their sales, service, or marketing processes. They also help provide transparency to the workshop by allowing a customer to follow the process easily, as well as supporting the consultant in ensuring they cover all aspects of the business and process.
Workshop presentations usually follow the business process chronologically (e.g. Lead to Opportunity). They also contain examples, diagrams, and questions to be answered.
2. Industry Presentations
Switching over to the sales side of things now, presentations are of course a core part of any business involved in B2B sales, and Salesforce is no different. This is something that becomes increasingly important as you scale your business, and start working with multiple Salesforce clients across multiple industries. As Salesforce is such a generic platform that can be used by practically any business, it’s important to highlight your expertise in a certain industry to win clients over.
Specific industries will have common pain points and solutions, and if you’ve “been there, done that”, then clients will be more likely to work with you than someone who hasn’t. That’s why, when pitching, it’s important to highlight similar customers. Generally, customers are less impressed with client references if they have nothing to do with their own business.
3. Statement of Work
The Statement of Work (SoW), or proposal as it’s sometimes called, is one of the most vital templates in running Salesforce projects. The SoW is a document that is provided to the customer after workshops have taken place in the Pre-Sales phase. It sets out the customer’s pain points, the scope of the project, and then – the most important part – the solution.
The SoW is ultimately the document that is going to convince the customer that you have understood their needs and positioned a suitable solution. This is why it is so important. If you knocked it out of the park during pre-sales, but have put together a sub-par SoW that appears to be unprofessional or too high level, the customer may lose faith in you.
As a minimum, the SoW should contain an overview of the customer’s project – their goals, requirements, and the solution you have positioned, as well as the associated costs and timeline. This is also a chance for you to show off your skills, so additional information (such as customer references, your project methodology, and any support diagrams) is always a bonus.
4. Quick Starts and Accelerators
Two terms that are thrown around a lot in the world of Salesforce Projects are Quick Starts and Accelerators. Both of these terms take a “templated” approach to projects, meaning that projects can be bundled up and deployed to multiple customers.
Quick Starts are generally aimed at smaller customers, helping them get up and running with Salesforce’s core features while keeping costs lean. Some of the most common quick starts are for Sales and Service Cloud, along with Pardot and Marketing Cloud.
Accelerators on the other hand are usually aimed at a particular industry (or sub-industries) where businesses usually have common processes that can be templates. For example, a consultancy might develop a Wealth Management accelerator to help companies get up and running quickly, with all of their industry-specific processes.
Both of these project types can be templated, and therefore have a relatively easy Statement of Work to put together. If you are the type of business that uses Quick Starts and Accelerators, SoW templates are a great idea to ensure you can have a document in front of the customer ASAP.
5. Health Check Checklist
A lot of the documents covered so far have been aimed at greenfield implementations of Salesforce, but there is still a huge market with existing Salesforce customers. Projects such as implementing additional Salesforce features, or creating a custom business process on top of Salesforce can be very lucrative.
But before diving headfirst into a fresh project with an existing Salesforce customer, performing a health check of the Org is good practice. If not properly maintained, Salesforce Orgs can turn into a bit of a nightmare. This can frustrate users, and signal to managers that they are wasting money on this tool.
A templated Health Check checklist is a fantastic way to structure a comprehensive deep dive into a customer’s Org. This means that whoever is carrying out the checklist can perform a well-rounded evaluation of the Salesforce Org, and provide recommendations and solutions to any areas that might not be performing too well.
Read more: How to Conduct a Salesforce Health Check
Documents are a vital part of running any business, but creating templates can rapidly accelerate some of the bottlenecks in your sales and operational processes. Here are just a few ideas based on my experience, but I would love to hear about any Salesforce consultancy templates you use in your business?
If you are interested in saving time and money, then I recommend checking out my “Secrets of Building a Salesforce Consultancy” package, which contains a comprehensive book on founding your own consultancy, as well as some of the templates discussed in this post.