Salesforce Fractional Consulting: Everything You Need To Know

June 27, 2023

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FoundHQ's network of over 3,000 Consultants is how Deel, Auditboard, and ACV power their Salesforce teams.

You bought Salesforce to improve your business operations. It offers the potential to unify Sales, Marketing, and Customer Success into a single, unified one Rev Ops channel, which delivers incredible data visibility and operational efficiency.

But Salesforce CRM isn’t cheap — and it’s most valuable when highly customized to your business, which makes it even more expensive to implement and maintain (depending on your business needs).

The solution is fractional Salesforce Consultants. By allowing companies to pay only for productive hours worked, this model is the only way to cost-efficiently maximize your Salesforce operations.

Companies have never been more motivated to make every hiring dollar count. In our current economic climate, there is no justification for any wasted hiring budget or staff hours. Today, we’re explaining exactly how you can use fractional consultants to get the best possible ROI from your Salesforce development strategy.

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What is fractional Salesforce resourcing?

The idea behind fractional resourcing is simple. Instead of full-time employees (FTEs), you’ll hire part-time consultants to work on nearly any part of your Salesforce ecosystem.

Because these consultants are external contractors, they’re paid only by active, productive hours worked. Fractional Consultants charge a slightly higher hourly rate than an equivalent FTE salary but much lower than a Consulting Partner — and represent massive overall cost savings, either way.


  • A Salesforce Administrator's fully loaded FTE cost (salary, benefits, payroll tax, PTO, bonuses/stock) is $150,000+ per year
  • That same Salesforce Admin as a Freelancer costs $85-$120 per hour

Want to check out more consultant hourly rates? Check out this page.

Ultimately, the goal is to assemble a pipeline of qualified Consultants who will be available and on call as needs and demands arise. Like an on-demand Salesforce expert ready to go. You can work with these fractional consultants on an ongoing part-time basis, known as Managed Services, or bring them in Ad Hoc for special demands, projects or a customized solution.

FoundHQ specializes in connecting companies with vetted Salesforce Consultants in both capacities.

Why fractional resourcing works for Salesforce

The more advanced and customized your Salesforce instance is, the more value it will generate for your company. But these systems come with a much greater cost and labor burden to implement and maintain.

Salesforce is an expensive tool. But there’s a reason companies rely on it — a high level of data management is now critical to meet business goals and compete. The automation that the Salesforce platform enables organizations with is almost unmatched.

Because it’s such an integral part of a company’s infrastructure, teams should expect to need 4-5 skill sets, if not more, to manage your Salesforce org, especially if it spans multiple Salesforce solutions. You need more resources if you’re managing Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, and Experience Cloud in the same company.

And yet, there’s no guarantee you’ll have full-time work available every week, from all of these competencies. That’s why working with fractional consultants is so powerful — you’ll pay only for the work you need done, and nothing more.

Who should hire fractional Salesforce Consultants?

Hiring multiple FTEs for Salesforce alone can feel like a pipe dream at smaller and mid-sized businesses.

Obviously, resource constraints are nothing new, especially for startups and smaller organizations. But today, budgets are squeezed even tighter. Every hour and dollar spent is being scrutinized to make sure it delivers measurable ROI.

That’s why fractional consultants are such a good fit for startups and mid-market companies.

If you need multiple skill sets but the hiring budget is limited, there’s only one solution: engage the same number of people for a smaller number of hours.

Of course, enterprise Salesforce teams can use fractional Salesforce consultants, too. But in these situations, the best use-case is typically fractional advisors or strategic consultants. These qualified contractors can support CIOs and other leaders with planning for large-scale projects instead of executing day-to-day management and maintenance.

Why you need fractional Salesforce Consultants, right now

Working with fractional Salesforce consultants means one thing — less wasted money and time.

Companies are facing unprecedented challenges around access to resources and capital. They can’t afford to waste a single productive hour; every dollar invested into Salesforce must translate into increased revenue.

If companies want to maintain their Salesforce architecture in this environment, fractional resourcing is one of the only realistic solutions. It’s an incredibly precise model that allocates productive hours (and budget) only when and where they are needed.

Radically efficient transparency

The alternative to fractional consultants is, of course, full-time employees or external contracting vendors.

Since employees come with obvious costs like healthcare benefits and bonuses, partners might seem like the obvious solution. But both employees and partners share a critical problem — lack of transparency around what’s getting done.

It’s notoriously difficult to understand the actual productive hours you’re getting from a salaried employee. With partners, who typically work from flat project fees or monthly retainers, the return on investment is even vaguer.

By contrast, you’ll pay fractional consultants only for the productive hours worked — and you can see exactly what was done with those hours, right down to 5-minute intervals.  

Flexibility, scalability, and expertise

Cost isn’t the only advantage of working with fractional consultants, though it might be the most compelling.

Like other consultant and contractor models, fractional offers greater flexibility, scalability, and access to high-quality talent who’d be otherwise unavailable.

  • Flexibility: Easily scale up or down your consultant’s workload as needed. Bring in (and move on from) new skill sets, as your own needs and strategies change.
  • Expertise: Hire the best contractor for the task at hand, rather than ‘making it work’ with the talent you have in-house.
  • Broader talent pool: There are more Salesforce experts looking for freelance work than there are looking for full-time positions. Marketplaces like FoundHQ make it easy to connect with this wealth of talent — and have the knowledge to source it from all over the world.

Getting it right: Best practices for working with fractional Salesforce Consultants

For most small and mid-market companies, fractional Salesforce consulting is a better model. But it still needs to be approached carefully for best results.

Here are the best practices to follow as you plan your fractional Salesforce strategy.

Combine fractional Consultants and FTEs

Many companies worry about constantly cycling through consultants, wasting time in repeated onboarding, and failing to build niche knowledge of their organization and industry.

But our own domain expertise has revealed something surprising: at many organizations, turnover among consultants is lower than in-house employees.

Generally, it does make sense to retain a small number of Salesforce FTEs. But these employees are well-supplemented by fractional contractors — and companies are often surprised at just how strong and long-lasting consultant relationships can be.

Employees provide the institutional knowledge, while experienced consultants support and execute their plans. And you retain the ability to move on from consultants, and seek out new competencies as your in-house needs change.

Plan out  the work

The advantage of fractional consulting is to only pay for productive hours. But unless you hire a fractional advisor, you need to determine the desired outcomes and goals. The consultant’s job is to show up, follow directions, and do the work established in the roadmap.

Before bringing on a fractional Salesforce consultant, plan exactly what needs to be done. Of course, many companies need assistance with the planning itself — which is the perfect use case for a fractional advisor or strategist. These folks have a bit more years of experience and can guide you through your decision-making process.

Measure and monitor output

There is a tradeoff to paying only for productive hours — per hour, you’re paying slightly more for a consultant compared to an FTE.

That investment will (more than) balance out. But companies should still carefully assess how consultants are spending their allotted time. Ensure that tasks and processes are getting done on a timeline that aligns with your expectations.

Clarify expectations

A fractional consultant will feel embedded in your organization in many of the same ways an employee would — they’ll use your project management tools like Asana or Jira, and be reachable by typical channels like email, Slack, and Zoom.

But one key difference is that you cannot expect the same availability and response times from someone who isn’t engaged full-time.

When onboarding your fractional consultants, set clear standards around how soon they’re expected to reply to messages (like 24 or 48 hours) and when they need to be online and available.

Who is FoundHQ?

Learn more about how FoundHQ matches you to the exact Salesforce Consultant or team you need to get work done.

Hiring fractional Salesforce Consultants with FoundHQ

At FoundHQ, we focus solely on Salesforce resourcing and personally match each company with its ideal candidates, no matter the specialty needed. From a CPQ expert to an advisor who’ll guide you through your Salesforce implementation, we have the talent you need.

We take the time to understand your business processes and needs and match you to Salesforce professionals who have the right experience and background to deliver.
Enhancing your team with FoundHQ means getting top-notch talent at a fraction of the cost of Consulting Firms.

How it works

  1. You tell us about your project or the work you need to get done.
  2. We narrow our community of 3,000 SFDC Consultants to the top 3 for you.
  3. You evaluate our recs through each freelancers’ in-depth profiles.
  4. We’ll arrange interviews with your picks so you can make a final decision.

Why work with FoundHQ?

✅ All Freelancers are subcontractors of FoundHQ.
✅ We handle all on-boarding, timesheets, payroll, and compliance.
✅ We’ll send a monthly invoice with the approved hours.

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