Archives for July 2023

Are You Set Up to Attract, Engage, and Partner with Independent Salesforce Consultants?

Traditionally employed Salesforce experts know customer demand for their expertise is growing, and the talent supply is tightening. Many are capitalizing on this moment to become their own boss and go independent with their consulting career. 

I’ve recently spoken with some independent consultants who took the leap into entrepreneurship within the past six months. For most, the move to entrepreneurship was a calculated risk (look no further than 2022’s 19% growth in global talent demand, despite the buzz of a recession). The way these experts see it, trading a corporate security net for true freedom was a bet worth taking. 

Why customers need to get agile in the search for Salesforce talent

The demand for Salesforce talent isn’t slowing down. At the same time, more than 50% of independent Salesforce consultants have no intention of going back to full-time work.

Salesforce is a rapidly evolving and complex system. To make it sing, customers will need to augment their teams and partner with the growing pool of independent Salesforce experts. The good news is that elevating your Salesforce recruiting strategy to include independent consultants is a win-win scenario:

  • Bring in niche skills for specialized projects 
  • Gain flexibility to scale up or down as needed to meet deadlines and expand bandwidth 
  • Save dollars on recruiting and hiring costs
  • Engage with highly motivated and experienced Salesforce experts who are invested in their customers’ success

Read on for some pointers on attracting, engaging, and partnering with independent consultants. 

Break your Salesforce projects into sprints for efficiency and flexibility

Bring in the right talent resources at the right time.

Is your internal Salesforce team stretched too thin? Or do you need a specialized skill set for an upcoming implementation project? The beauty of working with independents is they’re available in a fractional capacity, ready to scale up or down based on your needs. Organizing your Salesforce projects in sprints will allow you to identify where you need extra support and when. 

Another major benefit of partnering with independent consultants is they’re able to get started faster, and you only pay for the hours you use. While you may find that hourly rates for independent consultants vary across a wide range, their value comes down to far more than rates. It’s about finding the talent you can trust, who will be there when you need them, and without the overhead of a large consultancy or a drawn-out, expensive recruiting process. 

This leads to faster results, more productive teams, and a better return on your Salesforce investment.

Give independent consultants an option to apply 

Once you’ve determined where independent consultants can fill in the gaps in your Salesforce team, look closely at your job listings and job descriptions. Include keywords that search filters will make applicable for independent consultants. 

As mentioned, organizing your Salesforce initiatives into sprints will help you create project-based opportunities for independent consultants. Make sure your job postings – with LinkedIn, Indeed, etc. – use language that caters to project-based opportunities. 

Most employers are only sourcing and hiring full-time talent. Building out strategies to hire project-based workers will take some leg work, but having the right processes to work with independents – relationship management, contracts, payment, etc. –  will help you partner with the talent you need to keep projects moving. 

Simplify how you engage with independent consultants 

Onboarding an independent consultant doesn’t have to be complicated. If you make their barrier to entry as simple as possible, you’ll get work started faster and set up the foundation for a healthy partnership for future projects. 

Good independents are in-demand and entertaining multiple project opportunities. Your engagement process needs to be efficient and streamlined. Winded interview processes, complicated contracts, and other red tape will encourage independents to choose another customer’s project over yours. 

The skills vetting process is, of course, still incredibly important. An on-demand consulting partner like 10K can connect you with proven talent ready to jump on a project in less than a week. They will also shoulder the most time-consuming burdens – sourcing, vetting, managing, billing, etc. – so everyone can focus on the work that matters. 

A few closing thoughts for talent management leaders

A one-size-fits-all approach to recruiting and hiring Salesforce talent won’t cut it anymore. The independent workforce is growing; they’re also here to stay. Shifting the mindset of your hiring teams will be key to keeping pace with the rapidly evolving Salesforce talent landscape.  

10K resources to help you partner with independent Salesforce consultants 

On-Demand Salesforce Talent Guide

​​3 Essential Questions for Vetting a Salesforce Consultant’s Soft Skills

3 Bite-Sized Salesforce Tasks You Can Get Off Your Plate Today

Why You Need an On-Demand Salesforce Architect 

We know firsthand that experienced Salesforce talent is difficult to find and not easy to keep, especially when it comes to technical and specialized roles. 

Companies continue to invest in digital transformation initiatives, and experts in specific platforms like Industry Clouds, Experience Cloud, CPQ, Mulesoft, Einstein, and Tableau are becoming increasingly harder to find. The result is technical architects are in especially high demand, and these experts are aware of the value their skills bring.

Technical Architects are still just 1% of the overall talent supply.

This isn’t to say it’s impossible for Salesforce customers to find experienced Salesforce Architects to work with – they just need to know where to look. 

Some of the ecosystem’s best architects are independent consultants who work on demand. To connect with them, customers must look no further than on-demand Salesforce talent marketplaces and on-demand consultancies.  

Do Salesforce customers need a full-time, in-house Salesforce Architect?

The reality is most Salesforce programs don’t require the hours of a full-time architect. Not only that, but it’s also a costly and time-consuming challenge to hire one. Even if you were able to land an architect worthy of hire, all the money, bonuses, and perks you could offer wouldn’t be enough to entice exceptional talent to stay. It’s a candidate’s market, and good architects are in the driver’s seat. 

The reality is most Salesforce programs don’t require the hours of a full-time architect.

For Salesforce customers planning their next implementation project, systems integration, or technical challenge, here are a few reasons to partner with independent, on-demand Salesforce Architects. 

Salesforce talent supply is tight, and customer demand continues to climb  

Global supply growth decreased by 2.4% from 2021 to 2022 

And not only that, technical architects are still just 1% of the overall talent supply. 

Unfortunately, this makes it incredibly challenging for customers to find and connect with the ecosystem’s top Salesforce Architects. Anecdotally, we also don’t see this changing anytime soon. 

Additionally, our 2022 Salesforce independents survey found that 43% of independent Salesforce consultants said their long-term goal was to grow their business, and 55% said they were unlikely to return to a full-time position or large consulting firm. And it’s no wonder because independent consulting allows experts to be their own boss or subcontract to boutique partners that treat them less like resources and more like partners. 

Despite the buzz of a recession, global demand grew by 19% in 2022 

Growing talent demand only compounds the challenge of hiring a Salesforce Architect. Customers can offer all the money, benefits, vacation, and perks, but there will always be another company that will outbid your offer. 

The good news is that most customers don’t need to hire a full-time Salesforce Architect (hence the beauty of partnering with an on-demand Salesforce consultancy). On-demand architects should be hired at the onset of an engagement to ensure the right decisions are made in a fractional capacity throughout the project. 

Salesforce instances are getting more complicated 

Developers can do a lot, but they can’t do everything. 

Like building a house, you don’t call an architect when the walls are going up. You hire an architect for the design process starting from Day One. 

Salesforce Architects can not only validate the type of technology you want to use but also provide contextual insight and call out the risk areas of any plans while helping with design decisions about integration architecture or data migration strategy. 

Read how this Salesforce Architect increased user adoption by 20x

Our Project to Program research survey also found that regular use of architects strongly correlates with the highest ROI. The vast majority of respondents who report A-grades (73%) and the highest return on investment (82%) always work with a technical or solutions architect.

Developers can do a lot, but they can’t do everything.

Architects aren’t cheap, but their value typically more than justifies those rates. This is why we’ll tell you, if you have to choose, to engage an architect at the beginning, as this is where their expertise will make the difference. Without an architect, you run the risk of blowing past your budget or timeline. 

Get started faster and partner with an independent Salesforce Architect 

Hiring a full-time employee takes time, money, and focus. Going with a large consultancy is one option, but even after you’ve run the gauntlet of the traditional sales and SOW process to get in their queue, it can still take 6-9 weeks to get started. Working with an on-demand consulting partner like 10K can kick off your project 50% faster than a traditional consultancy. 

To partner with a proven Salesforce architect you can trust, reach out to our team to get started. 

7 Things I’ve Learned Since Starting 10K

It’s been seven years since I started 10K – an on-demand Salesforce consultancy built for the new way people want to work. Every year we get to celebrate a business anniversary is truly an honor. It’s also fun to recognize the serendipitous timing of 10K’s anniversary and its alignment with our mission – Independence Day. 

Our mission is to give people the freedom to do more of the work they love. For Salesforce customers, that means building solutions that speed innovation and take their business to new heights. For our community of independent Salesforce experts, it’s about providing exciting projects and a support system to help them thrive as entrepreneurs. 

Our team is thankful for the major milestones, from signing our first contract in 2016 to growing our global expert community by 143% and hiring three impactful internal team members over the past year. We are also grateful for the wonderful people we are privileged to work with every day. It feels great to love your work. And we want to help more people to achieve that, too. 

So, as I reflect on our past seven years of business, here are the most important lessons I’ve learned since starting 10K:

1. Your first hires have to be passionate about your mission.

These are the people that will set the tone and foundation for your company’s culture. Sharing genuine excitement about the vision will lead to more innovation, collaboration, and growth. Don’t rush the hiring process just to fill seats. In the early stages of building a new business model, passion trumps experience.

2. The best type of loan is interest-free, and it’s called profit.

Too many businesses put growth ahead of profit. Growth proves you’ve developed a good idea or product. Profit proves you’ve developed a good business model. If you can do both effectively then you know you’re really onto something.

3. A brilliant solution to the wrong problem is still the wrong solution.

It’s easy to spend a lot of time chasing what seemed like a good idea without first fully vetting the reason why. Don’t be afraid to rumble with your team and ask the tough questions that reveal the true problem that needs solving.

4. It’s okay to start small and stay small for a while. 

It’s not a badge of honor to give up a large chunk of your equity to investors or hit $1M in revenue your first year. The real badge of honor comes years down the road when your business is humming along, successfully and sustainably.

5. Your team will not always do things the way you would have done them.

And that might make you uncomfortable. But it’s your job as a leader to give them space – to make decisions for themselves, to succeed and fail on their own, to take ownership of their outcomes. Creating that space will help all of you grow.

6. No matter how much you think you’re zeroing on what’s important, there is always room to focus more deeply. 

I remember at a 10K leadership meeting four years ago, one of the themes I brought to the team was “Focus.” I realized that I had spread our priorities so thin that we weren’t excelling at any of them. When you pick the right things that truly differentiate your business, that’s when you can really move the needle.

7. When you find customers whose problems are highly aligned with your go to market strategy, do everything you can to keep them for life.

As a startup, every customer you earn the right to work with makes a significant impact on your business. That’s why picking the right customers to invest in early is so important. If you are lucky enough to find a few who take full advantage of your offerings, are great to work with, and who can help you further iterate on your business model – do everything you can to keep earning their business! They will be the foundation on which your future business is built.

Independents Week 2023

Join us in celebrating Independents Week 2023! Stay tuned to our LinkedIn, where we will feature the stories of 10K Experts who bet on themselves to build their dream job and change their lives with independent consulting.