4 Problems with Most Salesforce Managed Services

If you’re considering engaging Salesforce managed services to support the RevOps function of your SaaS company, you want to make the best possible choice for your organization. But with over 2,000 different consultants on the Salesforce AppExchange, you have an overwhelming number of available options. You need to find the Salesforce managed services provider who will best enable your business to achieve scalable, efficient growth—and avoid the common challenges that most Salesforce managed services present. 

While there are many excellent Salesforce consultancies, not all managed services providers (MSPs) are created equal. SaaS companies need to be particularly careful about the MSP they choose to partner with, as they have a unique set of needs and considerations that not every consultancy is able to meet.

Over the last 15+ years in business, the team at OpFocus has worked with many SaaS organizations as a Salesforce Certified Managed Services Partner. Through that experience, we’ve identified the common challenges they face with other Salesforce MSPs. 

In this article, we’ll address the four biggest problems with most Salesforce managed services to help you identify red flags. We’ll also show you how to find the right partner for your engagement. 

4 Issues SaaS Companies Encounter with Most MSPs

The right Salesforce MSP should expand your capacity, increase your efficiency, and give you access to a broader range of technical expertise. You’ll need to address core issues like clearing your backlog, optimizing your systems, improving reporting, and wiping out tech debt if you want to build an effective infrastructure that allows you to scale. 

More broadly, however, you need a partner who understands your goals and can deliver on your desired outcomes. And that’s the root of the most common challenges that SaaS companies face during Salesforce managed services engagements.

1. Lack of SaaS knowledge

4 Problems with Most Salesforce Managed Services - 1: A Lack of Knowledge

As a high-growth SaaS company, you need an MSP with a deep understanding of the software-as-a-service business model—starting with the knowledge that SaaS is a business model, not an industry. 

Many consultants might not be aware of the priorities and challenges that are unique to SaaS organizations. You want a partner who walks into an engagement with an understanding of your imperative to grow rapidly, the need to scale in technology and operations, and the complexity of your quoting process. 

Another consideration is finding a partner familiar with the distinct vocabulary used by SaaS companies. Unless your Salesforce managed services provider is SaaS-savvy, you’ll have to teach them about CX, CBI, and PQLs before they can help you properly report on CAC, CLTV, ARR, and ACL. Ramping up a new partner to “speak SaaS” proficiently can take significant effort—and might require more bandwidth than you have available. 

Even if your MSP can figure out how to support you while learning your business model and the appropriate terminology, any time they spend getting up to speed is time they aren’t solving your problems. It’s true that any new provider will require some ramp-up period. But an experienced partner with comprehensive knowledge of the SaaS business model—someone who has seen and solved problems like yours many times before—can shorten that timeframe considerably. 

A consultancy like OpFocus, for example, specializes in helping SaaS companies with their Salesforce tech stack. Our team of growth advisors, operational consultants, data specialists, and Salesforce architects can provide end-to-end services designed specifically for SaaS.  

We love the challenge of supporting companies that are seeking to double or triple in revenue year over year. And we have the experience to make prescriptive recommendations for our clients that ensure success rather than learning as we go. By narrowing our area of expertise, we’ve been able to offer clients greater value.

2. Lack of holistic guidance

4 Problems with Most Salesforce Managed Services - 1: A Lack of Guidance

Many Salesforce MSPs are unable to mitigate present problems while simultaneously setting your team up for future success. They may have deep technical expertise but lack the acumen to offer a 30,000-foot view of your business.

When you’re addressing challenges with your RevOps function, you need the ability to swiftly decipher the “must dos” from the “nice to haves.” You need to understand which initiatives are important, which ones are urgent, which are both, and which are dependent on the others—and what the impact of each project is on your overall business outcomes. 

Technical expertise is invaluable, but without a way to assess the importance of each initiative, you risk investing significant resources without gaining traction—it’s all too easy to get lost in the minutiae of Salesforce projects. To ensure you achieve the meaningful results your stakeholders are looking for, you need to see the forest for the trees. 

But all too often, Salesforce managed services engagements simply aren’t set up to deliver this level of service. It’s not that Salesforce MSPs aren’t good at what they do; rather, the issue is that they don’t offer advisory services as part of an ongoing monthly contract (or at all). If you have a fully built-out leadership team, you may not need this kind of holistic guidance—although any team can benefit from third party validation from experienced advisors who have worked with dozens of companies. But especially if your team is still growing, you might want a partner who can provide high-level strategy and tactical support to help fill knowledge and experience gaps. 

Unlike many other consulting firms, OpFocus can include a strategic advisory component, which we call Growth Advisory Services, to help you identify and prioritize systems changes that immediately improve business performance and architect the supporting pathways to success.

All of our managed services engagements begin with a Salesforce health check. This comprehensive assessment highlights the core issues in your business and helps our team determine what projects will give your company the fastest, most impactful results.

3. Lack of customized solutions

4 Problems with Most Salesforce Managed Services - 3: Custom Solutions

Another common problem with most Salesforce managed services is that many MSPs are generalists rather than specialists. They rely heavily on templates, formulas, and “one-size-fits-all” solutions when serving clients. While these models can be efficient to implement, they aren’t necessarily effective. 

We already discussed the unique needs that SaaS companies have when it comes to Salesforce. But SaaS companies are not a monolith. Out-of-the-box solutions might not work for your particular business model, industry, or company processes. If your provider isn’t sensitive to the complexity of your product catalog or the specific way you identify and manage client accounts, for example, you could end up with subpar solutions that create more problems than they solve. 

The phrase, “when you’re a hammer, everything looks like a nail,” comes to mind—and since your company is not a nail, the hammers can stay home. 

Some consultants will also place too much stock in their past experience. It’s a balancing act: experience is extremely important, especially in the SaaS space. But at the same time, a Salesforce consultancy must be able to develop solutions for the company in front of them. Look for a partner willing to customize an approach that complements the nuances of your business. The right managed services provider will not make decisions solely based on their background but instead use your data to inform their recommendations. 

At OpFocus, for example, we’ve spent 15+ years taking a data-driven approach to deliver managed services for our clients. Our breadth and depth of Salesforce and RevOps knowledge lets us go beyond one-size-fits-all solutions to create custom solutions that are based on foundational best practices.  

4. Lack of flexibility within your partnership

4 Problems with Most Salesforce Managed Services - 4: Flexible Partnership

When you partner with Salesforce managed services companies, investigate the fine print in your agreement. Many consultancies will have contract terms that are inflexible and difficult to adapt if your priorities change. 

You might find yourself paying for services you no longer need or lacking access to the right expertise when required. Getting locked into an agreement with a partner who can’t quickly pivot as new demands arise runs counter to the core purpose of a managed services engagement. 

The right MSP should help you scale your talent bench quickly and easily. This on-demand expertise saves precious time (and budget) you would otherwise have to spend recruiting and ramping up in-house hires. 

At OpFocus, we know that your priorities can change quickly, and when they do, time is of the essence. We’ve designed our managed services engagements to be as flexible as possible, allowing you to scale up or down as your needs for strategy or execution or specific subject matter guidanceevolve. Some changes can be completed with an email request; other adjustments require a simple change order process to ensure we can allocate the appropriate resources to your team. We’re committed to streamlining processes and simplifying operations, and that starts with the way we contract with our clients.

Finding the Right Salesforce Managed Services Partner

Finding the Right Salesforce Managed Services Partner

As a high-growth SaaS company leader, you’re always looking for ways to accelerate impact and achieve your goals. The right Salesforce managed services team can help you get there. Avoid the common issues that most SaaS companies face by looking for an MSP who: 

  1. Speaks SaaS. Find a managed services consultancy that is well-versed in the SaaS business model and understands your company’s terminology so they don’t have to waste critical time learning on the job.
  1. Offers holistic guidance. Technical support alone isn’t enough—look for an MSP to help assess your company from a 30,000 foot view in addition to offering technical expertise.
  1. Provides customized solutions. Your company is unique, and your Salesforce partner should design solutions customized to complement its nuances and complexities. 
  1. Allows for ease and flexibility. SaaS companies move exceptionally fast, and you need an MSP as agile as your organization. Look for a partner who can scale up execution & support when mission-critical projects escalate or scale down when there’s an unexpected lull. 

Ultimately, your Salesforce managed services provider should be an extension of your team and bring clarity, focus, and ease to your organization. You need a partner who can deliver on their promises, solve real problems, and scale resources to support the growth of your organization. 

OpFocus has the knowledge and experience to help SaaS companies like yours scale. Learn how our Salesforce managed services can help you reach your goals.

    Contact Us

    By submitting your personal and other information, you are agreeing to OpFocus’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.

    Brian Waterson

    about the author

    Brian Waterson

    As Senior Director of Operations, Brian’s job is to ensure that his colleagues in Marketing, Sales, Delivery, and Finance have the systems, tools, and processes they need to excel in their daily work. For him, the role is most rewarding when he is enabling the rest of the company to do their job even better. 

    His Salesforce career spans about a decade, split almost equally between client-facing consulting work and internal system administration and product ownership. Like many people, Brian fell into Salesforce work accidentally and was quickly hooked. Some of you may remember him from his previous days at OpFocus in 2013-2017 where he worked with many fantastic clients.

    Brian holds a BA in International Relations from Boston University and a MA in International Conflict Studies from King’s College London.

    For Brain, one of his favorite Salesforce features is Analytics CRM (formerly TableauCRM / Einstein Analytics / Wave.) Compared to standard Salesforce dashboards, he feels it provides much more flexibility when visualizing and joining data. It has been great to introduce it into the OpFocus product mix!

    We often forget that it is now Salesforce, but he is also a huge fan of Slack. Brian is excited to see how Salesforce better integrates the two platforms in future releases.