End-User vs. Consultancy: Which Should You Choose? Part Two

We previously spoke about what you should consider before moving into a Salesforce end-user and, whilst the final decision will always come down to personal circumstance and your own individual preference, there are pros and cons to working for an end-user, and it’s always good to understand both sides of the story.

If going into an end-user doesn’t tickle your fancy, however, the other option to consider is working for a Salesforce consultancy. And whilst, again, there is no definitively right or wrong answer when it comes to where you should work, there are definite upsides – and downsides – that you might want to consider.

So, to help you out, and to close off our two-part series on end-users vs. consultancies, here are the pros and cons of working for a Salesforce consultancy.

Consultancy Pros

For the uninitiated in consulting organisations, you are essentially loaned out to businesses to do something for them. Whether it’s developing new Salesforce capabilities, working as an administrator during implementation, or scoping out the business need for the platform, you are basically borrowed by different organisations to help them achieve their goals. As a result, when you work for a consultancy you are basically guaranteed to gain a wide range of experience, and quickly, simply because there is a lot more variety in what you do every month or even every week.

In line with this, when you work in a consultancy you will often get to work with the latest and greatest technologies, such as Salesforce Einstein or Salesforce Lightning Platform. Whilst with an end-user you are often limited by a business’s strategy or product plans, with a consultancy – and by nature of the fact you are moving businesses and positions pretty rapidly – you are much more likely to encounter the technologies that you need in order to develop the specialised skills that could make you a more marketable professional later on.

In line with this, many consultancies are judged and targetted on how certified their consultants are, or how many Trailhead badges they have and, as a result, are more than likely to encourage you to expand your knowledge base with structured learning opportunities. From their perspective, it looks much better to market their consultants as certified and up-to-date with the latest Salesforce technologies – and from your perspective, you are being actively encouraged by your employees to take the time necessary to further your Salesforce learning. So really, it’s a win-win situation!

Working for a consultancy is also one of the quickest and most effective ways to build a vast and valuable network because you’re out there every day, working with different people and in different businesses, and basically showing them how you can transform their organisation. As you work with multiple clients and stakeholders through the course of your different projects, you’re given a unique opportunity to build relationships across multiple organisations that could potentially turn into job offers, freelance consulting roles, or even into mentorships.

It goes hand in hand with increased access to the latest technologies and gaining wider experience, but working for a Salesforce consultancy mean you’ll quickly become an expert. Projects are often fast-paced, and you’ll typically be working in teams, meaning you get to learn quickly from those who are more experienced in your field. Not only this, but with the speed at which the Salesforce ecosystem evolves, consultants are expected to stay ahead of trends in order to best serve their clients, and so you’ll naturally become an expert in the world of Salesforce.

Consultancy Cons

One of the drawbacks of consultancy work to consider is that it often involves a lot of travel, and you could be called to work in different locations throughout the months or even in the same week. Alongside this, whilst being a Salesforce consultant does afford you the luxury of gaining a wide range of experience, and quickly, you do have to remember that you are employed by the consultancy – and they will ultimately determine where and when you work. So, even if you really aren’t keen about implementing Salesforce Lightning for a not-for-profit, that might be where you’re sent three days a week.

In line with this ‘must-work’ mentality, consultancies can sometimes fall foul to the problem of not developing a strong internal culture. Businesses sometimes cannot validate pulling employees from projects for a team day out, or an early finish, because – at the crux of it – they make money when their contractors are on site working with clients. That’s not to say that consultancies won’t have a good internal culture; the majority of them do understand the importance of building a strong team and will invest in the likes of team days out, but whereas those in an end-user could get away with going to the pub at 5 pm on a Friday even if they haven’t finished everything on their to-do list, employees in a consultancy won’t always have the luxury of clocking off if their clients are waiting on deliverables.

Similarly, whilst consultancies will encourage you to spend time on certifications and completing Trailhead, you are less likley to have a personal development and learning plan than if you were working for an end-user, for instance. That’s because there is a lot more on-the-job training and development when you’re a consultant; that being said, it does come down to personal preference whether you’re willing to forgo structured training and objectives for more hands-on and as-you-go learning.

The final thing to consider is whether you would be happy not seeing the outcomes of your hard work; when you’re put on-site with a particular client, you are often there to do the job and get out. You rarely stick around to see how your work has impacted the business, and how you have contributed to their growth and development, so if that’s something you care about then consultancy might leave you feeling a little hard done by when you have to leave a client and never hear how their implementation of Salesforce Einstein impacted their top-line.

Basically, the choice of whether to work in a consultancy or not comes down to you and your personal preference. Working for a Salesforce consultancy definitely has good and bad attributes, but only you can determine whether it’s right for you. If you want to have a conversation about working for a consultancy, and herd about the latest roles, get in touch with our specialist Salesforce consultants for a chat!

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