5 Tips to Start a Salesforce Consultancy

Share this article...

A few months after joining a European wide consultancy as a Business Analyst at age 25, I was thrown in at the deep end and was asked to lead the London office’s growth as Managing Director. Admittedly, there wasn’t too much to lead, with the office consisting of three people, a couple of clients, but masses of opportunity.

The chance to take an existing Salesforce brand, and bring it into a new market was too good to pass up. I learned a lot in my 4 years in this role, and I’ve recently written a book titled “Secrets of Building a Salesforce Consultancy” to help the next generation of founders.

In this article, we will go through 5 core areas that you will need to focus on to start a Salesforce Consultancy…

1. Define Your Market

I’ll never forget some advice that was given to me by a Salesforce employee a few weeks into joining the world of Salesforce Consulting, “Find your Niche”.

It’s easy to come into the world of Salesforce and say you focus on all products, and all industries. After all, that’s the way to get the most customers right? Wrong.

Focussing on all markets means you will be a jack of all trades, master of none. Salesforce customers want to work with a consultancy that knows their industry inside out. You might have implemented Salesforce for 100’s of clients, but if you have never worked in Financial Services before, you won’t know the common pain points and optimal solutions for this specific industry.

Salesforce has now split their entire sales teams by industries, to ensure their Account Executives are all experts in their own domains. This way, they are much better at connecting with prospective clients about their pain points, and how they can solve them. The same goes for you!

2. Engage with Salesforce

There are various ways to build a sales engine inside a Salesforce Consultancy, but one of the best ways is to join the Salesforce Consulting Partner Program. This will give you access to resources inside of Salesforce to help you get clients, advice, and train your staff.

Salesforce is growing at such a rate that they need to constantly bring in new Salesforce consultancies to cope with the demand of customers. This means that they are incentivized to help your business grow. By engaging with Salesforce, following their advice, and bringing value to their customers and prospects, you will become a valuable asset!

3. Focus on Pre-Sales

Building a Salesforce Consultancy has a huge emphasis on Pre-Sales. You will be running workshops, scoping sessions, and presenting demos to Salesforce customers and prospects to show them how you can help them.

It’s in this part of the sales cycle that you really get to prove your worth. This includes not only your technical experience on the Salesforce platform, but also your previous experience in the customer’s industry, or with the particular Salesforce product you are working with. If you impress the customer with your knowledge, and you have confidence in solving their problem, it lowers the risk on their side of engaging you as a partner.

4. Find your USP

Salesforce is no secret, and the consultancy market is booming. London was already a busy market when we entered in 2016, but since then a large number of other Salesforce consultancies have been founded. This doesn’t mean that it’s too late, far from it, but you have to ensure you stand out from the crowd.

This partly ties back to finding your niche and defining your market. It’s worth doing your market research and speaking to Salesforce about gaps they have in their partner network in terms of products or verticals.

But apart from defining a niche, it’s also important to not be afraid to do things differently. Think of innovative ways to engage new customers, what about a particularly efficient way to deliver projects so customers get maximum impact as quickly as possible? Apart from market and product focusses, Salesforce consultancies do largely the same thing, so it’s important to give people a reason to want to work with you.

And finally, have fun with your brand. One of my favorite examples of a brand that defied the trend of most consultancies having the word “CRM” or “Cloud” in their name was “Tquila”. With a bright orange logo and being named after Tequila, they grabbed your attention. In addition, they grew to Europe’s largest Salesforce consultancy and sold to Accenture a few years later!

5. What do you stand for?

Starting a consultancy might be the most exciting thing you have done in your life, but how about the employees you will hire in the future? What is going to get them excited? What is going to give them a reason to stick around?

Salesforce professionals have it really good at the moment, they can pretty much choose the exact type of company they want to work at and get a job there. So as we all know, culture, vision, and purpose are some of the most important aspects of a company to the workforce of this generation. And just because you are going to pay your employees above market rate, doesn’t mean that they will stick around.

This is why your consultancy needs a purpose. Why are you different from the 10’s of other consultancies around your city? Are you redefining how Salesforce projects are delivered? Are you giving back to the community through delivering cloud implementation? Or are you trying to grow crazy fast and make everyone rich? Whatever it is, make it clear.

Secrets of Building a Salesforce Consultancy

If you’ve enjoyed this article, I’ve written an entire book called Secrets of Building a Salesforce Consultancy that is out now!

This book should give you everything you need to get started, and also includes templates that I spend many months trying to put together at the start of my journey. This includes templates for, Statements of Work, Quick Starts, Workshops, NDA’s, Consulting Agreements, and presentations.

If you would like a 10% discount, and a chance to win a 1-1 consultation session with me, then sign up below and I will be in touch!

    3 thoughts on “5 Tips to Start a Salesforce Consultancy

    1. This is all good. But, Salesforce should pitch-in some investment dollars to start the consultancy. There are many consultants who have good industry experience may be in terms of IT, Financial Services, Healthcare. However, they may not have the capital to sustain setting up, running the office and hiring a few consultants to run the show. With out the capital, it may be difficult to sustain the consulting practice. This is where Salesforce can play a role.

      They can pay an initial amount, say USD 100k or 200k and help to set up a consultancy office say in India. They could also acquire ownership interest in the organization (for example I have registered a consulting organization in USA in 2020, own 100% of the shares and operating it from India. I utilized my investments, built the website, acquired the office space, ran the office to provide training and consulting services in Salesforce. However, it needs some more funding and had to suspend the operation a few months back)

      These funds can be used to pay salary for the staff, run the office, hire resources, run marketing campaigns for providing training, consultancy, there can be even train-the-trainer as well as certify-the-trainer type of programs. It could also be utilized to hire marketing, HR consultants to provide training, as well as get consultancy projects from clients and work upon the project. Once the organization starts making the revenue, salesforce can getting a share of the revenue, use the organization to augment its needs, scale up the organization etc

    2. Hi Ben,
      Cheers for this article. Would be interested in your book – however the form submit on that email field is not working 😉
      Bug or Feature? Thanks

      1. Christine Marshall

        Reply

        Hi Hendrik,

        Sorry to hear you are having issues. We’ll add you to the list manually so don’t worry, you won’t miss out!

        Best, Christine

    Add Comment