Which one of the SalesForce.com implementation partners and consultants should you select for your enterprise CRM transformation? This is not as simple as it sounds as there are many SalesForce.com implementation partners of all stripes, sizes, costs and solutions. Choosing the right business consultant or IT services partner is important for the CRM transformation endeavor to be successful.

SalesForce.com Implementation Partners:

Affiliation Status: SalesForce.com has multiple types of partners in terms their ranking – Global Strategic, Platinum, Gold, Silver, Registered, and Lightning Accredited.

Services Offered:  SalesForce.com categorizes the partners based on the type of service offering, such as Business Consulting, Custom App Development, Systems Integration, Training, Preconfigured Solutions Commercial App Development. Obviously, some partners will be a part of multiple categories given their SalesForce implementation offerings and services.

Industry Specialization: Last but not the least, you can also find SalesForce.com implementation partners based on their expertise of the industry. This may become particularly relevant if there are nuances in terms of the customer relationship patterns, and the sales and service models of a particular industry.

  1. Communications
  2. Education
  3. Financial Services
  4. General Business – No Focus
  5. Government
  6. Healthcare & Life Sciences
  7. High Tech
  8. Manufacturing
  9. Media
  10. Nonprofits
  11. Professional Services
  12. Real Estate
  13. Retail

Global Strategic Partners: These are big time players, and a selective group of partners including NTT Data, BlueWolf, Acumen Solutions, Appirio, Accenture, and Wipro.

Platinum Partners:  There are more than 50 Salesforce.com partners listed at the platinum level.

There are also about 70 Gold-level partners and more than 175 silver-level partners.

What these levels, industry focus and areas of expertise tell you is one part of the story of the track record and profile of the Salesforce.com partners and consultants.  Equally important are the internal factors.

Internal Factors involved in choosing a SalesForce.com implementation partner:

  1. Size of your company, the geographic location, the industry and other factors.
  2. The scope of your transformation – whether it is a true enterprise business transformation with extensive changes to process, people and business models? Or just a simple and small onboarding exercise for a small sliver of functionality. The CRM Transformation Roadmap makes a huge difference in your decision.
  3. The amount of integration effort involved in making the platforms work together
  4. The predominant type of services needed – business, technical, training and change management.
  5. Internal team’s familiarity and comfort level with the SAAS offerings and the cloud paradigm.
  6. The data migration challenge
  7. Cultural fit with the prospective Salesforce.com implementation partner

Obviously, the specific number, affiliation status and the services all keep changing from time to time. Please visit SalesForce.com partner listing page to do a more comprehensive and focused search.

If you need help in jumpstarting a transformation effort, please check out CIOPages.com Enterprise Transformation Toolkits.  If you need help in figuring out which partner to select, CIOPages.com advisory services team can conduct a rapid partner selection review.