Have you ever considered hiring a Salesforce nonprofit consultant to help you configure your nonprofit success pack? A Salesforce nonprofit consultant can help you integrate into the new Nonprofit Cloud. Choosing the right consultant for you can be difficult, but critical things must be noted to make the interview and decision process more manageable.
Why should you hire a consultant?
First things first- why should you even hire a consultant? Salesforce is a vast CRM tool that offers many different features to help you with all your needs. There are two solutions that Salesforce offers for nonprofit organizations specifically: the Nonprofit Cloud, which is a platform that connects nonprofits with donors, tracks volunteers, and manages campaigns (Check out our blog on the Nonprofit Cloud here), and the Nonprofit Success Pack which is the foundation of the Nonprofit Cloud that adds pre-built management components to allow nonprofit organizations to operate in Salesforce faster.
Because of the platform’s vastness, Salesforce can be challenging to learn to use in a limited time. There are many different aspects of Salesforce, specifically the Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP), as the features are constantly upgraded (read more about the future of NPSP here). Keeping up with the existent features and learning about the new ones may take time and resources to be spent making an impact on society and keeping up with the goal of your nonprofit. Salesforce can help you in many ways, but navigating the terrain can also be challenging without a trained guide. This is where hiring a consultant can help.
By engaging a consultant, you can ensure the optimal utilization of comprehensive services for implementing the Nonprofit Cloud or Success Pack. The consultant will customize a technology implementation plan aligned with your goals and provide ongoing coaching and support to your team beyond the basic understanding of the technology.
Once you’ve decided that you should hire a consultant, finding the right one might be difficult. To ensure you find the right partner for your organization’s journey into Salesforce Nonprofit technology, think about these eight steps.
8 Questions to Ask When Finding the Right Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud Consultant
Finding the right Salesforce consultant is essential to ensure they work well with your company, but there are other factors. There are vital questions you can ask yourself to ensure that you are getting the right person for the job.
- What are my goals for the company using Salesforce?
Without setting goals for your company to achieve, it can be challenging to determine whether you even need a Salesforce consultant. Ask yourself what you want to accomplish simply by switching to Salesforce (many benefits switching to Salesforce can provide, including a personalized touch and a vast platform that offers many features) and numeric goals (how much impact do I want to see in a certain period, how many people will be working on the team, etc.). Setting goals is the first and integral step to hiring a Salesforce nonprofit consultant and can make the difference between finding one and not finding the right person for your job.
- What is my budget?
Salesforce nonprofit consultants can be expensive to hire, so setting your budget before you start looking into options is essential. There are factors when calculating this budget, such as
- Salesforce NPSP deployment costs
- third-party software for integration
- consultation charges
Implementing Salesforce CRM has several costs in addition to the subscription fee. To make sure you can afford to take on a Salesforce consultant, consider consulting expenses (which will vary based on the type and scale of your project), Salesforce implementation fees (which will differ depending on the number of users you have), and integration costs (which may occur if you need to integrate third-party applications purchased on AppExchange).
- How will hiring a Salesforce consultant impact my projects?
Be sure that you know what you need from your consultant. When searching for one, the consultant may ask questions to help you determine whether they can help. Salesforce nonprofit consultants have experience and unique skills and can help with many things. There are different types of consultants to help with various things; for example, one consultant may be able to help with advanced website design and CRM integrations, whereas another may be more helpful to assist with training and continued support.
To make sure you’re asking the consultant the right questions, know how well your current technology strategy is working (if you’re not using Salesforce, is your existing platform positively impacting your organization? How many users rely on your technology?), and your goals for Salesforce (what features do you think will be most helpful to you? Where do you need the most help? How detailed will your consultant need to be when providing training?), and even if you’re ready to work with a consultant.
- Does this consultant have relevant experience?
There are different types of consultants, each one with different experience. During the hiring process, ask the consultant questions about the past projects they’ve worked on and relate them to your company’s goals. Questions about relevant experience are essential to determine the technology they have had the most experience with (even though all consultants should be proficient in Salesforce, you should also consider what other software vendors they are familiar with, especially if you plan to migrate data or integrate multiple platforms). Even asking what kind of projects they’ve completed and organizations they have worked with can tell you whether their goals and passions align with your mission. Your chosen consultant must know how to help your nonprofit achieve your goals.
- What is the consultant’s process?
This question can help you identify the consultant whose implementation and customization approach aligns best with your needs. The first question to ask is about the consultant’s process of discovery and evaluation (the consultant needs to be able to understand the nonprofit’s current processes and Salesforce requirements. When interviewing a consultant, ask how they determine if your project is a good fit for them and how they believe they can help you).
Of course, you should keep a timeframe in mind, ‘how quickly can the consultant get started on the project?’ is an essential question since you need to determine if this aligns with your projected timeline. Finally, ask the consultant about training methods (is the consultant willing to stay on your team even after launch to help with technical errors and train staff? Would they work with your team in person or virtually? Do they offer individual training or work with the team simultaneously?).
- Does the consultant have any references?
Many consultants will be a good fit for your organization. Sometimes, verifying that the consultant has delivered what they promised by asking for references can ensure you do what is best for your organization. Ask the consultant’s previous nonprofit partners questions such as the level of their involvement (to determine how much they will be willing to work with you in the future because understanding the consultant’s method of working will help you ensure it aligns with the vision of how well they will work with you), whether the project was completed on time, and whether the previous projects were completed to the satisfaction of the nonprofits to help determine if the consultant will be a good fit for your organization.
- How long will the consultant stay on?
Thinking back on your goals, would you like your Salesforce consultant to stay on for additional projects? Do you have a long-term plan for further integration or expansion of your technology? Ask your consultant what role they see themselves playing in the future of your software reconfigurations. Ask your consultant what they can offer in terms of communication after the project has ended. (if your Salesforce solution is unique to you, the consultant may need to provide support even after the project is complete; make sure you ask them how long they are willing to stay on your team). Even methods of communication can be essential to ask about (discussing communication preferences can help you find out how you can reach them after the completion of the project to see if it is convenient for you as well) to make sure it aligns with how long you are willing to communicate with the consultant.
- Can this consultant empower my team?
The consultant should prioritize strategic processes (by looking at your current practices, the consultant should offer solutions to improve your operations and understand best practices to educate you on tactics that can help you grow), thorough documentation (keeping documentation of everything that you can refer if you have a minor issue can save both you and the consultant time as you wouldn’t need to reach out to them for everything), and staff engagement (your consultant should make your team excited about technology and make everyone comfortable enough to ask them any questions).
When considering hiring a Salesforce nonprofit consultant, these questions are essential. Make sure you are getting the best service you possibly can. Salesforce understands the impact you want to make in your community, and so does Prudent. With patience and communication, we can provide you with a thorough understanding of what we can do for your nonprofit organization and community through Salesforce. Click here to ask us questions and find your new Salesforce nonprofit consultants!