Salesforce Consulting Rates

Everything you need to know about how much Salesforce Consultants charge

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Salesforce Consultants and Contractors have 3 basic pricing models.

There are 3 payment structures you can use when hiring Salesforce Consultants. The right solution for your business depends on the project complexity, size of team needed to meet the objective, and ongoing support you require.

Fixed-Cost Project Pricing

This is the most common model when working with established Consulting Partners.
The Partner will conduct a thorough discovery process and present a State of Work (SOW), which is a proposal outlining the specific deliverables, delivery timeline, and total cost of the project.

Provided the scope of the project doesn’t change, a fixed-price project can give you cost certainty. However, it’s harder to change the requirements of a fixed-price project, so they can be more limiting and is generally a more rigid commitment for customers.

Engaging a Salesforce Consulting Partner makes sense if you’ve identified a specific business need or new platform to implement and need several different types of Salesforce Experts to deliver the project.

Monthly Retainer

This is a common model for organizations that have ongoing Salesforce requirements.

If you’re looking for someone who can support/maintain your Salesforce instance, or you have a series of projects that need to be completed over several months, a monthly retainer could be a great option.

Some companies might refer to this type of arrangement as ‘managed services’ and it’s essentially an outsourced alternative to hiring in-house Salesforce Experts. Consulting Partners and Independent Contractors both offer this type of monthly retainer structure.
The arrangement usually consists of a flat monthly fee for a set number of billable hours, which you can use for whatever tasks come up during the month. If you don’t use all your hours, you still pay the same fee but if you go over your allotted hours, you’ll be billed by the hour for the extra time.

You’ll usually be able to negotiate a discount off the service provider’s standard hourly rate because you are guaranteeing a block of hours for them to work each month, thus providing more stability.

Hourly Rates

This is the most common structure for Salesforce Contractors (i.e. Freelancers) and it offers the maximum flexibility for customers. You can start and stop work whenever you want and have the ability to increase or decrease the number of hours your Salesforce Contractor works on a weekly basis (provided your chosen Contractor has room in their schedule to increase work on your project at the exact time you want it). It can sometimes be more expensive but you also won’t pay for hours you don’t use and depending on how you communicate expectations, it may not result in a higher cost.

With hourly rate projects - also known as Time and Materials - you pay for the Contractor's time only as it's used and simply pay at the end of each month.

FoundHQ provides a list of hourly rates for various types of Salesforce Consultants on this page and you can use those as a basis for estimating the costs of monthly retainers and fixed-cost projects.

Salesforce Consultant Hourly Rates

Pricing for fixed-price Salesforce projects will depend on the scope of the project and there’s way too much variability to cover all the options on a single webpage. However, hourly rates for Consultants are fairly predictable and retainers will be based on those.
FTEs are basically the full-time equivalent of a monthly retainer except that you’ll pay a lower equivalent hourly rate in exchange for paying employment benefits like and heath insurance, paid time off, stock option grants, and other employee incentives.

Cost to hire a Salesforce Administrator

The skills and experience of these Salesforce Experts vary, so the hourly rate for Salesforce Administrators is wide. Developing a clear idea of the scope of your project will help you determine which end of the scale to aim for.


Top tips for determining how much you should pay for a Salesforce Administrator Consultant.

Not sure if a Salesforce Administrator is the right type of consultant for your needs? Read more about the role of a Salesforce Administrator.

A safe estimate for a solid, mid-level Salesforce Administrator (3+ years of experience) that can help with support, maintenance, configuration, and AppExchange integrations is around $85/hour. You can find a Jr. Administrator in the $65/hour-$75/hour range but these individuals will need clear direction from your team and concentrate mostly on basic support, maintenance, reporting, and dashboards.

A senior-level Salesforce Administrator (5+ years of experience) will often also act as a Business Analyst and have the ability to work with your stakeholders to proactively identify workflows, automations, and enhancements to Salesforce while working self-sufficiently alongside Salesforce Developers and remaining hands-on with complex configuration work. A Sr. Salesforce Admin will start around $95/hour and can range up to $115/hour but you should expect anyone at the top end of that range to play the role of a CRM Platform Manager and contribute to product strategy and roadmap initiatives as well

(As a comparison, most Certified Consulting Partners will charge an hourly rate of $160/hr-$180/hr for Salesforce Administrators.)

Cost to hire a Salesforce Developer

A strong Salesforce Developer can either focus exclusively on production or they can help you prioritize features, streamline your Dev Ops process, and contribute more proactively.


Top tips for determining how much you should pay for a Salesforce Developer Consultant.

Not sure if a Salesforce Developer has the skills you need for your project? Read more about the role of a Salesforce Developer.

If you're looking for a Developer just to write code, you can easily set them up in JIRA, assign tickets with deadlines, and let them work on their own schedule - this will often reduce the hourly rate they charge because it's more flexible.
Additionally, companies that need a production-focused Salesforce Developer have a lot more options, since many Developers that have a full-time job are interested in side projects to work nights/weekends.
In general, expect a mid-level Salesforce Developer Contractor to cost $90/hour - $110/hour.

If you have especially complex work (dealing heavily with integrations, use of custom APIs etc) or want a Senior Developer that can contribute to platform strategy alongside your stakeholders / Administrators, you'll be targeting 5+ years working on the platform and a track record in client-facing roles. These Senior Developers cost in the range of $115/hour - $140/hour.

(As a comparison, most Certified Consulting Partners will charge an hourly rate of $175/hr-$200/hr for Salesforce Developers.)

Cost to hire a Salesforce Technical Architect

There are two types of Salesforce Architects - a Solution Architect (strong business knowledge and understanding of what the platform can do) and Technical Architect (similar business acumen & platform expertise but can also be a hands-on Developer). This will be the biggest factor as it relates to hourly rate.


How do I know how much I should pay for a Salesforce Technical Architect Consultant?

Technical Architects are often found in larger Salesforce orgs, where the scale and complexity of the work warrant someone that can not only spearhead platform design but also account for integration strategy, data management, proper documentation standards, and longer development cycles. You will typically engage a Technical Architect to work alongside other Salesforce professionals, setting strategy, scoping work, and directly managing Developers while contributing to some hands-on work. However, if you are working on smaller engagements, you're better off pairing a Solution Architect with a Developer.
Expect a Technical Architect to cost around $160/hour - $185/hour and a Solution Architect hourly rate to be $130/hour - $160/hour.

(As a comparison, most Certified Consulting Partners will charge an hourly rate of $250/hr-$350/hr for Salesforce Technical Architects. Properly evaluating the type of Salesforce Architect you need and devising the right resource allocation strategy is the single most cost effective hire you can make when determining Salesforce resource strategy.)

Cost to hire a Salesforce Solution Architect

While a Salesforce Technical Architect is typically reserved for larger scale projects & teams, a Solution Architect is beneficial for both startup & enterprise orgs.
(Note: Customers frequently hire 'CRM Product Owners' or 'CRM Platform Managers', which is a similar skill set to Solution Architect.)


How do I know how much I should pay for a Salesforce Solution Architect Consultant?

Solution Architects understand the full capabilities of Salesforce and will strategize and architect a long-term product roadmap; however, they look at problems through the lens of a business stakeholder. While they know what can be done with configuration vs. custom development, they need to be paired with a Salesforce Developer or Technical Architect to create in-the-weeds technical specifications for how to customize the platform.
Often, Solution Architects will work in tandem with Administrator & Developers, helping direct strategy and Project Manager the deliverables and project scope.

Typically, Solution Architects will be around $130/hour - $160/hour, depending on the size & complexity of customers they have worked with in the past.

(As a comparison, a Consulting Partner will often bill their Solution Architects at a rate of $250/hour - $300/hour.)

Cost to hire a Pardot Consultant

Pardot Consultants come in two forms.
Application-focused: help implement the tool.
Campaign Strategist: focused on Demand Generation, lead nurturing, lead scoring best practices, and conversion.


How do I know how much I should pay for a Pardot Consultant?

While there are some individuals that can do both, you will typically find this blended skill set more in the early-stage startup context. It's best to define if your challenges are more technical / systems focused or Marketing Operations oriented - often, the best Technical Specialists will come from a background working at a Consulting Partner (therefore, implementing new Pardot instances for a living), whereas the best Marketing Operations Strategists will have worked as a Manager/Director of Demand Generation inside a company in the past.

In general, Pardot Consultants are $90/hour - $120/hour but as you start to look for more holistic Demand Generation / Marketing Operations strategy, expect the hourly to increase and fall in the range of $120/hour-$145/hour.

Cost to hire a Marketing Cloud Developer

Similar to the two different Pardot skill sets, Salesforce Marketing Cloud Developers come in two forms - Application Specialists are Developers that help with setup, integrations with the API etc. and Campaign Strategists work within the SFMC application.


How do I know how much I should pay for a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Consultant?

Application Specialists / Implementers will often come from a Consulting Partner and their focus is on deploying, integrating, and setting up Salesforce Marketing Cloud in new environments - a big part of this skill set is the ability to work with Product Engineers to design and set up custom integrations and work with APIs.
A Campaign Specialist is partnering with the Marketing team to build and deploy campaigns - they mostly live in HTML, CSS, and AmpScript.

Regardless of which type of Marketing Cloud Specialist you need, the platform has grown in complexity, so individuals with exposure to the full set of feature will often command a premium rate - this includes Mobile Studio, Interaction Studio, Datorama, and others.

Depending on seniority, expect a Salesforce Marketing Cloud Engineer to fall somewhere in the range of $100/hour-$145/hour with the lower end of that range being more on the Campaign side.

(As a comparison, most Certified Consulting Partners will charge an hourly rate of $175/hr-$225/hr for Marketing Cloud Engineers.)


Where to find Salesforce Consultants

Find Salesforce Consulting Partners on the Salesforce AppExchange

Salesforce AppExchange. If you’ve never used it before, here’s an overview of what the Salesforce AppExchange is and how you can use it.

On the AppExchange, there are two places to look for Consultants: Partner Listings or Salesforce Developer Consultants. The Partner Listings is a well maintained directory of Certified Salesforce Partners, searchable by their specific cloud or industry expertise, location, practice size, ratings, and more. The listings are verified by Salesforce, so there are quality mechanisms in place to ensure the accuracy of what's listed here.
Consulting Partners are best suited for larger scale projects and you should expect to pay a premium when engaging this type of vendor.
The Salesforce Developer Consultant Listings are, unfortunately, more challenging to use. Those listings aren’t verified by Salesforce and many of them are outdated, so you may find a Consultant that is no longer available.
Additionally, you cannot contact listed consultants through their profile pages, so you’ll need to manually search for that individual on LinkedIn or elsewhere.The alternative is to search for the consultant you need via Google, which is a time-intensive, manual process.

Using FoundHQ to hire Salesforce Consultants

FoundHQ, which is the number one Salesforce Freelancer Platform, lists over 1,00000, pre-vetted, independent Salesforce Consultants. These consultants range from Salesforce Administrators to Salesforce Architects and can lend their expertise in everything from CPQ Cloud to Marketing Cloud and more.
Every Consultant Profile details their full work history, Salesforce Certifications, Salesforce Cloud expertise, location, and hourly rate while enabling you to schedule interviews directly through the platform. The FoundHQ pre-vetting process verifies their technical skills through detailed assessments and their past performance through reference checks.

Hire in-house Salesforce Consultants through recruitment agencies

Most recruitment agencies focus on full-time, permanent staffing for companies looking to hire employees. However, some also provide access to temporary, contract or part-time staff.

Hiring through a recruitment agency can be a good option if you want someone else to help find and pre-vet experts according to your own bespoke requirements, but that service isn’t free. TwentyPine is a reputable recruitment agency that’s been in the business since 2014 and has helped companies like ESPN, Workday, General Motors, and Yelp build their Salesforce teams.

Salesforce Professional Full-Time Employees

Full-time salary for Salesforce Admins and Developers.

New York

Salesforce Admin: $95K/yr
Salesforce Developer: $115K/yr

Dallas, TX

Salesforce Admin: $85K/yr
Salesforce Developer: $105K/yr

Boston, MA

Salesforce Admin: $95K/yr
Salesforce Developer: $120K/yr

Seattle, WA

Salesforce Admin: $105K/yr
Salesforce Developer: $135K/yr

San Francisco, CA

Salesforce Admin: $105K/yr
Salesforce Developer: $148K/yr
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