Deploying your solution can present unique challenges. It can be tough to balance the need to quickly get your end customers live with the pressure to simultaneously control costs, generate new revenue, and provide a high level of service.
In our latest webinar, CodeScience Deploy Lead, Kirbie Pillette, was joined by Place Technology Founder and CEO, Brandon Metcalf, to discuss how Place streamlined their deployments with Salesforce and offer insights and advice you can use to ensure deployment success.
From Talent Rover to Place Technology: Lessons Learned
Both Kirbie and Brandon acknowledge that they had less than ideal experiences in their first attempts to kick-start deployment programs, but they learned a lot from the challenges they encountered. In particular, these experiences led them both to realize the importance of a well-planned deployment strategy for the company’s overall success. “Building the product is critical, go-to-market is critical, but deploying is what will really make you successful or not successful with your journey,” Brandon explains.
Brandon notes that much of what enabled Place Technology’s deployment success was learned at his previous business, Talent Rover, a staffing and recruiting solution built entirely on the Salesforce platform.
“One of the big things we didn’t get right was defining the company as either a product company or a services company,” he explains. The company wanted to build the product but they also wanted to implement and customize it — and they didn’t quite know where to stop customizing. He notes that one of the most brilliant things about the Salesforce platform “is you can do whatever you want, […] but the problem is you can do whatever you want! So where do you stop?”
The result of the company’s desire to better serve their customers through the endless customization possibilities made possible by the Salesforce platform was a deployment process that quickly spun out of control, going from 90 days to 180 days. While the company was ultimately successful, “It was brutal and very, very expensive.”
They decided to look to Salesforce for a better path to take, and realized they could follow in their footsteps by working with partners to help with deployment.
Finding the right partners
Brandon provides hard-won insights on how to recruit partners, what to look for, and how to ensure you choose the right partners to assist you with your deployment. He notes that it’s important to find partners who really understand both your customers’ pain points and all of the ways your solution can solve those pain points.
Brandon’s team learned this the hard way at Talent Rover, where they ended up with some partners not fully grasping the capabilities of the product. He explains, “We saw partners customizing and creating derivative solutions that worked against what the product actually did because they didn’t understand what the product actually already did those things.”
Building strong partnerships
Brandon has found a great way to address this issue and build solid partnerships at Place Technology; just as the Place team uses their own product every single day, they require all partners to use the product as well (with a steep partner discount, of course — gaining revenue from partners is not the point).
This allows partners to grasp the product from the customer’s perspective and provide product feedback to Place. “The point is, do you really understand the value this product produces?” he explains. “Because if you do, then you’re going to be able to help the customer get to the next level.”
Once you’ve found the right partners who truly understand your solution and customers, how do you maintain these important relationships? Brandon believes it comes down to having a strong understanding of your own company and values, communicating openly and candidly, and bringing partners into the fold: “If you don’t give a partner a seat at the table, then you’re not really treating them as a partner, you’re treating them as a vendor.”
You don’t have to go it alone!
Kirbie closes the webinar with a key piece of advice: you don’t have to do this alone. Just as Brandon’s team learned to leverage the Salesforce ecosystem and SI partners to help with their implementations, experienced partners like CodeScience are available to help you develop a solid deployment plan (including budget, timeline, and scope), start or scale your implementations, and refine your product and deployments based on the feedback you receive from your customers.
CodeScience “can help you start to understand what features and feature requests should be part of your core product versus what are some items that should probably be one-off customizations,” Kirbie explains. “We can also help you to deploy. And then from there, we can help you to refine your product based on the feedback that you’re getting from your customers. So there’s a few ways we can help you.”
Companies build their Salesforce businesses better with CodeScience. It is our mission that no ISV navigates Salesforce alone. If you’re looking for guidance on your product, help with deployment, or just need to ask an expert, get in touch today!