There are thousands of Salesforce consultancies (2166 on the AppExchange, to be exact), working to implement and optimize the Salesforce product suite for organizations. On the surface, consultancies appear to ‘do the same thing’ – go to any consultancy’s website and you will see the same phrases with different artwork.
Choosing the wrong consultancy will result in poor delivery outcomes, unsustainable business transformation, and wasted budget – not to mention frustration.
What makes a consultancy a front-runner? Salesforce projects are an art, with numerous contributing factors balanced to either make or break the success of a project. You shouldn’t trust just anyone with the keys to your Salesforce org (the ‘beating heart’ of your operations), which is why research is essential. But don’t be left more ‘blinded’ than you were at the starting point.
Scoring a Salesforce Consultancy
What if you could quantify how well a consultancy performs – a number that takes nuance into consideration? This helps organizations, like yours, cut through marketing and Salesforce jargon to identify a partner offering the right fit.
This is what InVisory has achieved. Their proprietary (their own original) vendor categorization and analysis methodology that scores consulting firms on factors, including projects completed, certifications, expertise by Salesforce ‘cloud’ (product), and industry specialization, among others. You have to admit, this is revolutionary for the Salesforce ecosystem.
So, InVisory ran the analysis engine. They were struck by the high score that one consultancy gained. With a score of 9.3, Digital Mass stood out from the crowd. But why? Some contributing factors are obvious, while others that were uncovered were less so:
- ‘Cloud’ (product) expertise: Strong ‘cross-cloud’ expertise in Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, and especially in Marketing Cloud. Their managed services offering is also solid.
- Industry specialization: Subject matter experts in Financial Services (consumer and commercial banking, including retail, lending, and fintech/e-banking), Insurance, Manufacturing, Construction, Healthcare (networks, insurance, e-medicine), Consumer Goods, Non-Profit, and High-tech.
- Local expert resources and a culture of collaboration: Digital Mass has an in-office ethos; collaboration, knowledge sharing, and mentorship (for upskilling team members faster) are all core to this ethos. This not only aids newcomers, but – with Salesforce technology always changing – also keeps even seasoned professionals ‘on their toes’ with the latest technology. The resources (people) that work on client projects are all based locally.
- Strong business analysis: Key to making business transformation stick, Digital Mass prides itself on emphasizing business analysis within each engagement to ensure stakeholders (e.g. managers) are ‘on the same page’ and moving towards a shared goal. Transformation gains longevity, as opposed to clients drowning in chaos, or causing disruption during and after the engagement.
- Competitive rates: Salesforce consulting services are a significant investment. Digital Mass’s rates are compelling according to InVisory’s price benchmarking data.
- Customer satisfaction (CSAT): With competitive rates, you could jump to the conclusion that the consultancy may be sacrificing service quality in some areas. Looking at Digital Mass’s CSAT score, this is not the case; InVisory were able to validate customer reviews through analysis.
Building the “Modern Way” of Salesforce Consulting
Digital Mass has a team of 30+, including 25 Salesforce-certified experts based in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
We’ve already seen that local expert resources, a culture of collaboration, and an emphasis on business analysis are differentiators for Digital Mass. They call this the “modern way”.
We had the opportunity to meet with Digital Mass to better understand their expertise that has driven successful outcomes for their clients. In doing so, we uncovered another differentiator: the origin story.
Digital Mass started with two full stack developers supporting clients in a variety of engagements. Martin Davis built, and eventually sold, a web technology agency. Martin Davis, JR (MJ) was sharpening his skills as a developer/solution engineer. If you haven’t clocked it yet, Martin Davis and Martin Davis, JR (MJ) are a father and son duo.
Like many others, the Davises were drawn to the explosive growth of Salesforce. They set out on a mission to educate themselves, dedicating an immense amount of time to learning the nuances of the Salesforce platform.
Their earliest customers came from the local Minneapolis business community. Minnesota is a leading Healthcare & Medical Device hub, so it is no surprise that their first clients were from this sector.
Not only did this grant them industry specialization early on, but they could also ‘flex their muscles’ with challenging use cases around data security, complex integration processes, and critical patient experiences.
Martin and MJ aimed to create a consultancy that prides itself on lean development; overstaffing projects unnecessarily was something they had witnessed firsthand.
Walk the Walk: Successful Project Examples
It’s one thing to ‘talk the talk’, and another to ‘walk the walk’. Following five years of fast growth, the Davises continue to deliver on their promises.
Martin remains hands-on in engagements, and advocates that everyone (not just the delivery team) gain Salesforce certifications and other credentials.
The result? You won’t find their salespeople making false promises that the delivery team cannot execute on – a flaw that’s common in many consultancies, and causes immense frustration for clients.
In fact, one of our customers, who had used Digital Mass for a Marketing Cloud project, shared glowing feedback. Here are examples of successful projects from three industries:
Example: Fully-Federated Identity Solution
An employee relocation solution to connect employees with moving services, provided through Salesforce Experience Cloud.
Organizations wishing to support their employees as they relocate for their job, would turn to a service provider like this Digital Mass customer.
This organization needed to improve how their customers authenticated with their services. With the tightening security environment, this organization was determined to meet the heightened standards for their Silicon Valley customer base.
Experience Cloud was to work in parallel with their own SaaS platform (for companies to provide their own relocation offerings). Digital Mass extended SSO protocols in Salesforce to build a web of trust between the organization’s customers’ own identity providers and their Salesforce-hosted web application.
- The organization was kept competitive in a tightening security landscape.
- With a focus on ‘white-glove’ services, they were able to upgrade the relocating of employee user experience.
- A battle-tested chain of trust that could be audited by both parties using the platforms.
Example: Commercial Lending
Commercial loan processing for one of the Midwest’s largest regional banks, provided through custom apps on Sales Cloud and robust DevOps practices.
The commercial lending unit of a large Midwest bank wished to streamline the qualification process to better serve the applicants seeking capital required to grow their businesses.
Digital Mass’s Salesforce experts joined forces with the bank’s team to build custom applications inside Sales Cloud that are rapidly integrated, highly automated, and user-friendly.
This organization was unique in that across their multiple Salesforce orgs, the majority of automation and functionality was code-driven.
The Digital Mass team was able to hit the ground running in this complex environment by leveraging modern methods for Salesforce code deployment. The CI/CD pipeline and change control process resulted in valuable code committed to source control, instilling confidence in deployments, and reducing the time to respond to regulatory changes.
- Changes to keep in line with loan issuing and servicing regulations were cut from ~2 days to ~8 hours.
- The number of screens for a user to review a loan application was reduced from 3 to 1.
- Self-serve applications for designated persons to submit was achieved with a custom form composer that could also reference data that was not housed in Salesforce.
- The CI/CD pipeline and change control process instilled confidence in deployments.
A transmission and distribution construction firm upgraded their estimation and bidding process from a constellation of connected spreadsheets to a centralized digital solution.
Find Out More
With thousands of Salesforce consultancies appearing to ‘do the same thing’, it’s refreshing that consultancies can now be ranked with a score. This quantifiable metric puts a number to the nuance – in other words, all of the contributing factors that make or break project success.
InVisory continued the conversation with the Digital Mass team by focusing, in depth, on one of their unique success stories – you can find the report here.
If you’d like to learn more, you can also reach out to the Digital Mass team via [email protected].