How to Make Your Consulting Partner an Extension of Your Team
Choosing to take on a consulting partner is a big investment, but one that can steer your business closer to your overall goals. That being said, not every consultant/customer relationship is a match made in heaven. However, in our experience, the ones that tend to work the best are the relationships in which the consultant feels like an extension of the customer’s team. This is an ideal partnership in our minds, and while Lev will work hard to make this happen, it goes both ways. Here are a five ways a customer can help.
Invite them to participate in your marketing planning sessions.
Our strategic services team is staffed to provide subject matter expertise in all areas to run a successful marketing program, not only when it comes to Salesforce initiatives. When the team understands the breadth of your marketing program and goals, they can better provide suggestions and strategic advice that will get you closer to those goals. Plus, our team has been known to jump in to cover client-side PTO or maternity leave a time or two, and having this background makes that all the more seamless. It’s when our team can get into the trenches, and fully understand all the moving parts of your business when the magic really happens.
Help them understand your company culture and working style.
Our team will pick up on some of this as you work together, but laying the foundation early on can do wonders for your partnership and foster an environment where Lev is an extension of your team. Sharing company values and perspectives is just as important as being clear about working hours and the best way to get a hold of each other.
Invite the team to use your tools.
Does your team live in Slack? Teams? Basecamp? Assuming your company allows it, invite Lev to participate with you. While we may have our own tools internally, we want to communicate with you in the way you most prefer, and we’ll feel more like a teammate if we’re doing that in the way that is the most convenient for you.
Communicate, communicate, communicate.
Tools aside, the best way to turn a transactional relationship into a true partnership lies in communication. Share weekly challenges that might be a blocker to whatever is currently in flight. Be very upfront about expectations, and check in on them regularly. It’s easy for a consultant/customer relationship to become hyper-focused on deliverables, but an extra layer of intentionality around communication can go a long way.
Celebrate your successes together.
This is the fun one. We all love to celebrate, and celebrating joint wins within these consultant/customer partnerships is so important. It truly makes Lev feel like they’re an honorary member of the team. Jump on a Zoom happy hour. Send Slack shout outs. Be excited when you reach a milestone with your Salesforce program, big or small. Our team is so proud when customers have a breakthrough and they want to celebrate with you.
We’ve been lucky to see some truly incredible partnerships between our customers and our team members, and it’s amazing what can be accomplished when the guard comes down and we’re working as one team toward our customer’s goals.