The ABCs of Consultants on AppExchange - - AppExchange
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The ABCs of Consultants on AppExchange

Consultants on AppExchange offer a wide range of services to Salesforce customers, from implementing to enhancing their use of Salesforce. They spend a large amount of time with customers learning about their business, discussing options, making recommendations, researching, and more.

I first learned about consultants on AppExchange through the Salesforce MVP program, and found that these consultants have a vast knowledge of Salesforce as a product and platform, as well as an ecosystem. It’s truly inspiring.

To learn more about consultants, here are the ABCs of consultants on AppExchange, in other words, 26 ways consultants are helping Salesforce customers.

A - Analytics and analysis

Consultants help build reports and dashboards to connect your analytics between platforms. They’ll analyze data and help you determine trends.

B – Bucketing in Report Builder

Bucketing is when you categorize report records by field, without having to create a formula or a custom field. Consultants do this in Report Builder.

C – Computer-Telephony Integration

Computer-Telephony Integration (CTI) is the linkage between a telephone system and a computer that facilitates call handling and control. Consultants often build solutions to fit your needs, or work with other Salesforce partners to integrate existing CTI solutions on AppExchange.

D - Development

Whether it is a small Lightning component or a complex custom UI product build, work with consultants to code your next project.

E – Enhancements and maintenance

Consultants take responsibility for the daily maintenance, operation, and support of your Salesforce org. They add/remove users, modify page layouts or fields, groom your data, and more.

F – Forecasting

Whether it’s forecasting based on the projected number of units sold, collaborative forecasting between teams and managers, or setting forecasting permission hierarchies, consultants set up your forecasting processes and models.

G - Global Picklists

Global Picklists share values across objects and custom picklist fields, and restrict the picklists to only the values that you specify. Consultants recommend the right picklist set up, as well as implement it and roll it out to your entire organization.

H - Help desk

No matter the Salesforce question, consultants typically have the answer. Ask them for help.

I - Integration

Bringing multiple applications together often involves different layers -- such as data and business logic -- as well as different requirements. Consultants help organizations with integrations to achieve greater levels of operational consistency, efficiency, and quality.

J – Journey building

Consultants help set up the Marketing Cloud Journey Builder for seamless customer experiences across every touchpoint including email, mobile, chat, advertising, the web, direct mail, sales, commerce, and service.

K – Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Consultants help determine the best measures and metrics to help you meet your goals. Then, they build simple or complex reports and dashboards in both Classic and Lightning, which include those agreed-upon KPIs.

L – Lightning migration

Ready to migrate from Classic to Lightning? Haven’t rolled Lightning out to the entire organization yet? Consultants work on your Lightning migration and adoption strategies to get your entire organization using the latest UI and features.

M - Migrations

Consultants develop a strategy and then execute to move your best practices and fresh data into Salesforce, without losing any context or business momentum.

N – New customer onboarding

As you grow your own customer base and clientele, consultants map and set up the customer onboarding process in Salesforce. This will create a seamless experience for your employees and your customers.

O – Omni-channel customer experience

Consultants connect the right technology for you and your customer experience, across any and all channels whether it’s phone, email, chat or text.

P - Package installations

Consultants install the contents of a managed package, such as AppExchange apps, components, bolts, etc., into your Salesforce org and modify it so that it works for your processes and teams.

Q – Quotes and document generation

You can build quotes and generate documentation inside Salesforce, which can be sent directly to your customers without ever losing visibility into your sales pipeline or process. Consultants design or build that functionality for you.

R – Release planning and preparedness

With three Salesforce releases a year, consultants will work with you to develop a game plan for upcoming releases. You’ll always be prepared to take advantage of the latest features and functionality without disrupting operations.

S - Sharing rules

Consultants set up sharing rules. These allow an admin to specify that all information created by users within a given group or role is automatically shared to, or restricted from, members of a particular group or role.

T - Training

Consultants organize and facilitate Salesforce training for your teams to help with usage, learning, and adoption of the platform.

U – Updating Salesforce data

From data enrichment to data migration and updating, consultants help ensure your data is the best it can be so that your customer records and sales pipeline is accurate and in one place.

V - Validation rules

Validation rules verify that the data a user enters in a record meets the standards you specify before the user saves the record. Consultants set up validation rules, which often contain a formula that evaluates their entries and returns an error message if needed.

W - Workflow and web-to-lead setup

Workflows and web-to-lead automates business and marketing processes. Consultants set up workflow rules and web-to-lead forms, as well as advise on tools and processes.

X – XML development

When you want a seamless experience between Salesforce orgs, SAML (or Salesforce SSO) is your go-to, and SAML is an XML-based protocol. This means that the packages of information being exchanged are written in XML. Consider a consultant for your XML development needs.

Y – Yearly planning

Whether you conduct Salesforce planning annually, monthly, or weekly, bring your consultant into the conversation. They help you prep for any Salesforce project now or in the future.

Z - Zoning and organizing data

Zones organize ideas and questions into logical groups, with each zone having its own focus and unique ideas and questions. Consultants set up zones in your org, as well as organize data for your needs.

I want to thank Salesforce consultants Geraldine Gray and Greg Poirier for their help with this post. They are E for Experts (and perhaps S is for Supporters). It truly shows that consultants will help in so many ways. This may not be an exhaustive list, but I hope it inspires you to think about how consultants can help you and your Salesforce org, no matter your favorite letter of the alphabet (mine is A).

Amanda Nelson is Director of Community Marketing at Salesforce AppExchange.
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