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Salesforce Consultant Cost

A complete breakdown of hourly rates for Freelance Salesforce Admins, Developers, and more.

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Finding top Salesforce Consultants

You will often hear the term Salesforce CRM, since the Salesforce platform started as a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool for Account Execs and Sales Reps.

Over the years, the Salesforce offering has grown significantly and the ecosystem of consulting services has dramatically expanded to guide businesses across different growth stages and industries toward a successful Salesforce implementation. It all starts with identifying the right Salesforce Consultant and it's not a one-size fits all - it will depend on where a company is on their Salesforce journey, the specific Salesforce experience needed for the products they plan to use (be it Einstein Analytics, Experience Cloud, or CPQ Cloud), and the exact business processes they plan to automate and build tools around.

Not all business people can be a savvy Salesforce Consultant - it takes years of specialized experience to become a Salesforce Consultant.

What does a Salesforce Consultant do?

In the simplest terms, a Salesforce Consultant helps businesses identify ways to automate current workflows and streamline how work gets done using the Salesforce platform.

The term 'Salesforce Consultant' can be used to describe different skill sets and includes Salesforce Administrators, Business Analysts, Developers, Architects, and Project Managers that have hands on experience working with Salesforce.

At the core, a Salesforce Consultant will help to:

Define Business Requirements

Before identifying the Salesforce products that make sense for a given company, Salesforce Consultants will assess business processes across the organization - Sales, Marketing, Customer Support, Finance, Legal, and HR - as well as analyze the current systems being used. Typically, they will develop a proposal or Statement of Work (SOW) outlining the projects, platform, and solutions that make sense for the org.

Business Process Design

As part of the requirements gathering, a Salesforce Consultant should assess the broader business needs to determine if changes should be made to how works get done within the organization - this can be anything from territory management to how quotes are generated for Sales Reps, and countless more complex aspects of how business is conducted. A good Salesforce Consultant will identify process improvements before recommending what solution to implement.

Understand Business Goals

A key element to a successful Salesforce implementation is understanding how the business plans to scale and change over time. When setting up Salesforce, a Consultant needs to factor how processes will evolve to ensure your technology environment can be easily re-configured, customized, and expanded on in the future. Stakeholders will always prioritize near-term objectives and it's the job of a good Consultant to take a long-term view as well.

Implement Salesforce

After identifying the business needs, designing the solution, selecting the right Salesforce technologies, and scoping the project it is then the job of a Salesforce Consultant to lead the end-to-end implementation. Depending on the complexity of what is being deployed, the team could include a single Salesforce Consultant or numerous, cross-functional skill sets spanning a Salesforce Administrator, Developer, Architect, and more. A typical career path is starting in a hands-on role (either configuration or development), progressing into more of a client-facing Business Analyst working with stakeholders, and progressing into a  Delivery Lead.

Lead Change Management

The work doesn't stop once Salesforce is implemented and it's the job of your Salesforce Consultant to help your users acclimate to the new technology - embracing the latest software is key to a company's success and ultimate ROI Salesforce. A big part of consulting is to guide the post go-live success, ensuring company team members know how to use the tool, have access to training knowledge, understand best practices, and can get their job done.

How does the Salesforce Consulting ecosystem work?

There are two ways to identify an outside Salesforce Consultant: utilize a Salesforce Consulting Partner or hire Independent Salesforce Consultants (i.e. Freelancers).

Salesforce Consulting Services

There are a variety of considerations when deciding if companies should use a Salesforce Implementation Partner or an Independent Salesforce Consultant. Considerations include if it's a fixed project vs. ongoing work, the degree of difficulty with the tasks to be done, amount of Salesforce strategy needed vs. hands-on production, amount of industry and domain knowledge required, and to what extent you have the ability or resources to oversee the deliverables internally.

We typically recommend that larger-scale, net new implementations are best suited for Consulting Partners; however, if it's ongoing work that requires <5 Consultants to deliver, you are better off finding Independent Salesforce Consultants / Freelancers.

Regardless of your choice for a Salesforce Partner vs. Independent Contractors, you shouldn't let geography constrain you.

The Salesforce platform is larger and more complex than ever, so prioritizing the core competency is crucial and a ton of incredibly talented Partners exist throughout South America and Europe, which we encourage US based companies to explore before simply defaulting to a North American Partner.

When should you hire a Salesforce Consultant?

The most common scenarios when Salesforce Consultants are hired is (1) during a new implementation; (2) if you don't know what to do with Salesforce next or; (3) when you're trying to fill a full-time Salesforce position at your company and struggling with the search.

If you are implementing a new Salesforce instance for more than 250 users, you should engage a Consulting Partner to guide the strategy, design & architect the solution in accordance with platform best practices, and ensure you are setting the tool up to scale as your business evolves. For larger projects, it's helpful to simultaneously engage a Salesforce Contractor to work alongside your Partner, helping keep the internal team in control of the decisions and in the loop on project deliverables, issues that may arise etc.

A secondary reason to identify outside Salesforce help is simply if you don't know what else you can do with Salesforce. We often hear customers say they know there is more they can do with Salesforce, they just aren't sure what to do. In virtually every scenario, there is additional functionality, automation, and data insight you can be extracting from Salesforce and finding a Consultant with knowledge of your industry, current tools, and growth-stage can jumpstart new, high-impact Salesforce initiatives. The investment you're making into technology is significant enough that you will want to find the correct Salesforce Consultants to help you maximize ROI.

Lastly, Salesforce Consultants are a good stopgap for building out your full-time team. It can often take 90+ days to hire a Salesforce Administrator, Developer, or Architect as a permanent employee and project-based Salesforce Freelancers are a good temporary option to keep the projects moving while you scale your internal team.

The Salesforce Freelancer route also gives you the ultimate flexibility. Customers can hire a Freelancer on a full-time basis (40 hours/week) or to complete smaller, urgent work part-time (5 hours/week and up).

A Salesforce Developer or Admin helps by not only supporting the implementation of Salesforce but also managing continuous improvement to your Salesforce platform. Partnering with a Salesforce Consultant that can manage various stakeholders, understand the business needs, and collaborate with different teams to implement projects on an ongoing basis is a key to success.

What to look for when hiring a Salesforce Consultant

There is no perfect solution for finding Salesforce Consultants. The primary options are using your Internal Recruitment team, leveraging a specialized Recruitment Agency, asking your Salesforce Account Executive, posting on a job board, or good old-fashioned networking.

Internal Recruiters can struggle with highly specialized roles because they require knowledge of the discipline and typically the supply of qualified candidates is small enough that you need to have an existing network of relationships. The advantage is that it's easy to identify them based on job title, so if you have a structured sourcing process then you may do OK.

There are specialized Recruitment Agencies focused entirely on Salesforce like TwentyPine, which are good options but do come at a cost. A typical agency will charge 20%-25% of the hire candidate's first year base salary.

You may have success asking your Salesforce Rep for recommendations if you are looking for project-based Salesforce Consultants but they are unlikely to have a network of individuals looking for full-time employment.

Lastly, some job boards can yield results but you are playing the numbers game and should expect a low % of applicants to be qualified for the role. A job post will deliver the most value in the first 30-60 days, so at $300-$500 per post, it can often be worth it for at least 1 month to capture that initial value - you might get lucky!

A final place to find Salesforce Consultants is FoundHQ or other speciality Freelancer Marketplaces. We offer direct access to a network of 750+ pre-vetted Salesforce Consultants available for projects.

Regardless of where you look for Salesforce Consultants, you will want to make sure they have experience:

Managing Client Relations

There is a big difference between identifying a Salesforce Consultant to solve critical business problems vs. maintain your status quo. Another big factor is that if you're hiring a solo Salesforce Consultant, this person will need to be able to work as a team of 1, helping to manage you as the client, proactively identify areas you can improve your use of Salesforce, evangelize the tool across other areas of your business, and help you extract the most value.

Following a Salesforce implementation, a company will want to account for a few key metrics to make sure they are on solid ground:

Monitoring User Adoption: how is the utilization across your user base? Does the Salesforce Consultant have experience helping to increase adoption, train users, and gather requirements on a consistent basis to understand the end user paint point?

Ensure Business Processes were Mapped: does your new Salesforce instance account for all of the processes, features, and functionality that you moved over from an old system? The Consultant should work with you to ensure coverage, de-dupe data, and setup new integrations.

Identify a Salesforce Administrator: a good Consultant will help companies figure out their long-term Salesforce resource plans. If there is a high level of support needed on an ongoing basis, they might recommend hiring a Salesforce Administrator - once a company has 30 users, it's recommended to have a dedicated Salesforce Admin.

How much do Salesforce Consultants cost?

A lot of factors go into determining the typical Salesforce Consultant hourly rates but first, a company should determine the pricing model that makes sense for their work engagement with a Salesforce Consultant.

Fixed Cost: this is essentially a flat-fee project and the most typical model for Salesforce Consulting Partners.

Monthly Retainer: you pay a set amount per month for a certain number of billable hours from your Consultant.

Time & Materials: Customers pay-per-hour and only owe money for hours worked by Salesforce Consultants. Most common for Freelancers.

Salesforce Consultant Certifications

In total, there are 40+ Salesforce Certifications covering various disciplines (Admins, Developers, Architects, Marketers) and Product areas.

There are 10 Certifications specifically for Salesforce Consultants:

Sales Cloud Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants with experience implementing Sales Cloud in a client-facing role.

Service Cloud Consultant Certification

Designed for consultants with experience implementing Service Cloud in a client-facing role.

Pardot Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants with experience implementing Pardot in a client-facing role.

Experience Cloud Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants with experience implementing, troubleshooting, and supporting Salesforce Communities instances.

Field Service Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants with proven experience administering and configuring Salesforce and are capable of consulting with customers on field service operations.

Marketing Cloud Consultant Certification

Designed for those who can set up and implement the Salesforce Marketing Cloud email application tools, providing solutions to execute both tactical and strategic email campaigns.

Education Cloud Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants who have experience implementing Salesforce Education Cloud solutions in a customer-facing role.

Tableau CRM & Einstein Discovery Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants who have experience designing and implementing on the Tableau CRM & Einstein and Discovery platforms in a customer-facing role.

Nonprofit Cloud Consultant Certification

Designed for Consultants who have experience designing and implementing Salesforce Nonprofit Cloud solutions in a customer-facing role that meet business requirements.

OmniStudio Consultant Certification

Intended for individuals who have experience consulting on building cloud applications using OmniStudio tools in a customer-facing role.

How to Become a Salesforce Consultant

It's expected that the Salesforce Economy will create 9.3 million new jobs by 2026 so it's no surprise we see a lot of people change careers and move into Salesforce. There are a ton of jobs available, individuals with transferrable skills in Sales or Marketing already have a head start, and Salesforce offers a ton of resources for individuals that want to learn how to build solutions on the platform.

While it can take time to get relevant experience, it's never too early to keep an eye on new Salesforce Jobs available, setup job alerts, and understand the skills you should gain to start a new career in Salesforce.

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