Salesforce Managed Services

November 5, 2022

What is Salesforce Managed Services?

Perhaps you have heard the term 'Managed Services' before or maybe this is the first time.
Don't worry.

We will break down everything you need to know about Salesforce Managed Services and explore how to evaluate if it's the right option for your organization.

Let's start by defining Managed Services.
To put it simply, it is the process of hiring a team to support the day-to-day management of your Salesforce application environment. It allows an organization to find a highly specialized team of Salesforce Consultants that will act as an extension of your in-house team. This differs significantly from a Salesforce Consulting Partner, which you may have used during the initial implementation.

While a Consulting Partner is there to design a solution, implement it, and hand it off to your team, a Managed Services partner will deliver ongoing management, proactive improvements, user support, and continuous improvements across your entire Salesforce platform.

It is important to stress the word PROACTIVE in this definition. A Managed Services provider is an experienced team that replaces the need to hire in house resources and shouldn't need constant oversight or direction. Their role is to maximize your Salesforce investments today, address all your Salesforce issues real-time, and set the org up for future business transformations.

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Why do companies need Salesforce Managed Services?

There are a variety of reasons companies select a managed services model to support an existing Salesforce implementation but we outline a few of the primary factors here.

Managed Services are cost effective

Typically, managed services will involve a team that is partially or fully located outside the US. For example, the teams FoundHQ assembles for our customers often have a Project Leader located in the States, while most of the Salesforce Administrators and Salesforce Developers are based in Latin America (Brazil, Argentina) or Eastern Europe.

This enables organizations to remain competitive when scaling up larger Salesforce teams, not only saving costs compared to full-time onshore employees but moving at a significantly faster pace.

FoundHQ typically deploys an entire team within 14 days, while full-time searches can easily take 90 days.

Offers a proactive approach to user administration

A key difference between Managed Services and traditional Support Partners are the degree to which a Managed Services vendor acts as an extension of your internal team. This means they aren't simply waiting for inbound requests from your user base.

Instead, they are deeply entrenched in your day-to-day business operations and oversee continuous delivery. What does this mean exactly? They provide user training, develop a comprehensive roadmap to plan projects against, ensure application strategy aligns with business goals, and spearhead change management.

Helps identify new Salesforce features to implement

As part of proactive delivery, your Managed Services vendor should be your de facto Salesforce Subject Matter Expert.

While a Consulting Partner may have helped you get set up on Salesforce initially, your business is evolving, needs are changing, and your Salesforce solution needs to do the same.

You need to be thinking about other Salesforce Clouds that make sense for the organization, custom Salesforce apps that can be built and deployed, custom workflows that deliver increased productivity to your org, and business processes that may have outgrown the current functionality available.

Alternatives to Managed Services

Chances are you found (no pun intended) us through Google when searching for 'Salesforce Managed Services'. If you look closer at the other results on that page, you will find that all of them are Salesforce Consulting Partners that also offer Managed Services.

These are organizations that help companies like you implement a new Salesforce solution and also support you in the ongoing journey. While this can be beneficial experience, there are some downsides.

For starters, the primary source of revenue for these organizations is when they help with a new implementation, which means they are incentivized to convince you to use more tools instead of simply getting the most out of what you have in place. (In fact, their Partner Status with Salesforce increases when they help sell new products.)

On the other hand, FoundHQ is solely focused on supporting existing Salesforce Customers and working to build out internal teams to drive ongoing strategy. We want to help you become self-sufficient and build Salesforce experience as an internal competency, so you can rely less on outside vendors. We work a bit differently and instead of providing you with a Salesforce team is technically employed by us, we are connecting you with a network of Independent Salesforce Consultants that works for you.

Cost of Managed Services

It depends on the type of Managed Services vendor you engage.

For example, a Consulting Partner is likely to charge a higher hourly rate than a team of Independent Salesforce Consultants. We talk about this in our Comparison of Salesforce Consulting Partners vs. Freelancers and there are a lot of factors that go into it.

While the hourly rates for an Independent Salesforce Consultant vary wildly, you can typically expect Managed Services teams to fall in the range of $100/hour to $140/hour, depending on the skill sets you need and seniority of Salesforce Administrators, Developers, and Architects.

You can see a full breakdown of Salesforce Consultant Hourly Rates here.

The reason this is such a cost-effective option is because Independent Salesforce Consultants prioritize consistent work. As your Managed Services Partner, they will typically be working with you on a full-time basis (40 hours per week) for a longer period of time, so you can expect flexibility on the hourly rate they would charge for small, one-off projects.

Note: FoundHQ also offers nearshore Salesforce Managed Services teams with individuals based in Latin America. These hourly rates will be closer to $50/hour to $80/hour.

Selecting a Managed Services Provider

For starters, you want to define the comprehensive set of skills needed to work across your suite of Salesforce products. To be an effective Salesforce Managed Services vendor, the team needs to bring the right Salesforce platform knowledge and the ability to optimize your unique business processes.

Here is the approach FoundHQ takes to matching you with the right team:

Step 1

Schedule a kickoff call with the FoundHQ team. This will be a high-level introduction to your Salesforce org, a discussion of the current support services you have in place, and an evaluation of the ongoing support you need.

Step 2

We hand-select a Project Lead from our network of 800+ Salesforce Freelancers. These individuals will have spent time working at Salesforce or for a top-tier Consulting Partner, in addition to having specific knowledge of your industry, growth stage, and Salesforce products. This Project Lead will oversee a comprehensive requirements gathering, business process review, and Managed Services recommendation for the type of team we should construct.

Step 3

FoundHQ will work hand-in-hand with you and the Project Lead to scope requirements for every hire that needs to be made across Salesforce Admins, Business Analysts, Developers, and Architects. Over the next 14 days, we will build a unique talent pipeline for each individual hire that needs to be made, submitting a minimum of 5 Salesforce Freelancer Profiles for each role, and coordinating a full interview process with your team.

Step 4

We manage the full onboarding process of all Salesforce Freelancers and work can begin immediately. Pricing will be based on monthly retainers and is a fully customizable package with no minimum commitment. For example, if you hire a team of 5 Salesforce Administrators and determine you only need 3 Salesforce Admins after month 1, you can downgrade the package with no penalty or sunk cost.

Next Step: Define Salesforce Platform Goals

The reality is that your organization is making a huge investment in Salesforce and determining your resource planning strategy is a decision that will directly impact that investment.

Managed Services is not the right approach for all organizations.
In many instances, you will want to build out an entire in-house Salesforce team and invest in building out the competency the way Workday, Uber, and DoorDash have done it.

This is the right option when you are on a predictable growth path, understand your business objectives, and have a clear Business Systems roadmap. If growth is less certain, the commitment to full-time employees doesn't make as much sense and using a Managed Services strategy as a stopgap will prove effective.

However, start with defining your goals for the Salesforce platform.
Get in touch below to setup time with FoundHQ and we can pair you with a Salesforce Strategic Advisor to guide through the decision making process.

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