To get the most out of Salesforce, you need someone to manage it. The question is: Who? Your sales managers and reps already have a lot on their plates. It’s time to make a decision between hiring a full-time administrator or outsourcing your Salesforce administration.
Finding the Right Person
Hiring a Salesforce administrator to join your staff means you have someone in-house who can focus completely on Salesforce. This can be a powerful motivating force for your staff, who sees this person in the hallways and experience a constant reminder about Salesforce.
However, hiring comes with pros and cons. The first challenge – and it’s a big one – is finding an advanced administrator who has the robust skill set and strategic ability it takes to manage a Salesforce instance. The common misconception is that administering Salesforce is simple, but in reality, it is quite complex.
Anyone can put “Salesforce expert” on their resume, but you need to know if it’s 100 percent true. The administrator you hire should be a verified and certified Salesforce professional. Click here to use Salesforce’s official verification page to check the qualifications of potential hires.
Do They Know the Lingo?
If you’re going to hire someone, hold thorough interviews to reveal whether your candidates have the Salesforce skills to backup their claims. You might even want to give them an admin exam or short tasks to accomplish in Salesforce, right there as you watch, to test their expertise.
Your Salesforce administrator should understand all of the relevant lingoes. Quiz them on common Salesforce terms like:
- Chatter collaboration software
- Sales forecasting
- Roles and Profiles
- Validation rules
- Workflow rules
If you get blank looks when you bring up topics like the ones listed above, the person does not have what it takes to administer your Salesforce.
Expensive Employee Packages
Hiring an employee to administer your program also comes with challenges like paying health care costs, allowing vacation time, creating schedules, and handling day-to-day management issues. You have to provide them with a computer, workspace, and other physical needs.
A study by LinkedIn and Glassdoor found that hiring a new Salesforce administrator ended up costing most companies between $80,000 and $120,000 a year, accounting for all costs involved. That’s a staggering number – and one that’s hard to recoup by closing more deals.
The Ins and Outs of Outsourcing
Now let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing your Salesforce administration.
If you go with a trusted Salesforce-certified company, the issue of qualifications is really a non-issue. These companies put their employees through rigorous training and constant updates to maintain Salesforce certification. Salesforce is well-known for insisting that partners follow their rules.
Of course, you will face the challenge of determining whether your outsourcing partner truly provides excellent Salesforce support. Ask for testimonials from satisfied customers and request case studies that help you understand how they serve their clients.
Outsourcing can be a serious money-saver when it comes to Salesforce administration. Instead of paying around $100,000 a year to retain an employee, you can put a fraction of that toward partnering with an outside company.
For example, think about the issue of training. When you outsource, you can rely on your vendor to keep their employees totally up to date on the latest Salesforce features. But when you use an employee, you are responsible for keeping them trained, which can be very costly.
An Issue of Timing
It’s also more time-consuming to rely on an employee than an outside vendor. It might seem like it’s going to be quicker to consult with an in-house employee on any Salesforce-related issues, but they’re not always fully equipped and on-hand at a moment’s notice.
Here’s an example. What if you need a very complex, custom solution for a major client – and your Salesforce employee is on vacation for a week? There’s not much you can do but wait. However, if you’re using a Salesforce administration company, they have dozens of people standing by to help.
Not only can an outside vendor usually help more quickly, but they also have the power of collective thinking. Together, they can share ideas, discuss your issue, and develop the best solution possible based on a wealth of knowledge.
The Bottom Line
For many companies, the scale tips in favor of outsourcing Salesforce administration. It’s faster, more thorough, more reliable, and much more financially feasible.