Working with a channel partner is a unique relationship for any vendor. It warrants a special approach and a tight-knit ecosystem to ensure that customers get the right solutions tailored to their needs and the ongoing support of a trusted advisor.
Salesforce’s partner ecosystem runs across all levels of business – from start-ups through to larger enterprise – and covers a spectrum of consultants, sales partners, implementation partners and system integrators who are all focused on business transformation. Underpinning all of this are our independent software vendor (ISV) partners who have built out solutions to complement Salesforce products and our platform.
As we look to double our business by 2022, our partners – such as Vlocity, CloudSense, Tquila ANZ, Sqware Peg, Arxxus, Beryl8, Accenture, Wipro Appirio, Deloitte and PwC, just to name a few – will continue to help us drive growth. And we’re focused on the scale and enablement of the partner ecosystem to help deliver on it.
Part of our goals and objectives is to ensure our customers realise the potential of Salesforce in a faster manner, and be able to consume and transfer benefits to their customers, as well as meet business requirements. A partner’s role in helping us achieve these goals and objectives is more important now than ever.
We’ve shifted the way we address the marketplace now, so we need partners that align well with market demands. It’s no longer a one size fits all concept. For example, small businesses have different demands to an enterprise organisation, as the former generally looks to have an initial one cloud implementation and scale up from there. So, we look to partners who are skilled and knowledgeable in building cross-cloud capabilities.
As for larger transformational projects, we look to system integrators that have experience in the space.
Partners need to understand the business objectives of the marketplace that they intend to play in, which starts off the journey. This is then followed by a series of certifications and reviews, where they will qualify into various partner tiers.
A partner generally wants to address end-to-end transformation for a customer and Salesforce plays a substantive role in that regard, acting as a component of a very complex transformational tool. But on the the customer relationship piece, for a partner, involves multiple levels of engagement.
Partners often already have pre-existing relationships with our customers, servicing a number of their needs. While customers are often self-select as far as partners are concerned, the most successful implementations are those where Salesforce is engaged with both the partner and customer early on in the relationship.
In these early stages, we try to find out what the customer’s challenges are and the solutions that will address these. A partner getting involved in this stage is absolutely necessary.
A partner’s focus should be driven towards the success of the customer. The most successful ones focus on consultation, so they have various skills and expertise in predefining what the scale of work looks like.
They are focused on what the transformation project of the customer looks like, and they have a full understanding of the role that Salesforce plays in that journey and how to best capitalise on our solutions, ISV partners and the environments that surround them to achieve customer success.
In an implementation, a partner should, where possible, be contributing their own intellectual property. They should be looking at bringing in their systems, implementing Salesforce and replicating best practice in the marketplace.
They also need to work with ISVs in areas where the Salesforce product addresses customer concerns to deliver an end-to-end business capable solution. This not only delivers expertise but also creates scale in the implementation process.
Our customers have recently started asking partners to be certified in cross-cloud implementation, whereas previously, they might have looked to multiple partners with various skill sets. So, partners are being challenged to become more skilled and versed in the entire Salesforce stack, not just one part of it.
The underlying opportunity for a partner is to be bold. There’s plenty of benefits in the market today that partners can capitalise on, especially when it comes to end-to-end business transformation. We’re investing in our partners so that you can deliver on these customer needs, and make the journeys with their customers easier.
One of our partners Tquila ANZ has delivered services for more than two years to building consulting company Tyrrells Property Inspections across three separate engagements and has always had positive outcomes.
Tyrrells was initially challenged in its field processes and wanted to improve accuracy of its reports, shorten the lead time between inspection and report completion, and allow its consultants to be in charge of their own content.
Tyrrells researched and implemented Salesforce, and Tquila ANZ was engaged to customise the CRM to improve the management of leads, clients and opportunities. The successful delivery of this phase resulted in Tquila ANZ becoming a trusted partner to Tyrrells, working on subsequent projects.
Another of our partners Sqware Peg has recently been working with a Victorian utilities company to implement a new customer community. Sqware Peg introduced a Human Centred Design approach with the client to make sure it meets the latter’s current needs and provides the business with control and flexibility to evolve as needs change in the future. Throughout and following the engagement, Sqware Peg has been educating the business on available features and functionalities, as well as best practice.
Sqware Peg also implemented Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud for a media client that required cross-cloud capabilities, giving them a single source of customer truth that enabled better engagement. This implementation has enabled its client to deliver personalised information at the right time to prospects and customers.
To address these customers’ specific requirements, these partners were involved from early on in the process and able to contribute significant value to the transformation initiative.
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