We commonly get asked the following questions in varying forms:
Before we get into the specific answers to the above questions, let us share a brilliant unsolicited quote from one of our recent multinational clients regarding the motivational differences between TNG and a Salesforce Partner:
Expecting a registered Salesforce Partner listed on the AppExchange to give you completely impartial advice on Salesforce pricing is like expecting a court room prosecutor to share their notes with the defense before every trial.
Why, you might ask?
The answer is simple: All Salesforce Consulting Partners have an unavoidable conflict of interest with their clients. Why? Because of the inherent need for these “Partners” to make both their client and Salesforce happy.
In this article we’re going to cover this conflict of interest and why TNG is different.
Salesforce Partners Always Have Two Clients (and one isn’t you)
Salesforce Partners have two customers:
The fact of the matter is that your Salesforce Partner is, by design, incentivized to keep both its client and Salesforce happy. The difficult truth is that you, the customer, are the least important of the two clients. Yes indeed, more often than not, your Salesforce Partner has a greater long-term interest in keeping Salesforce happy. Yes, we know this sounds horrible, but we hope you appreciate our directness here.
Let’s dig into two key, but interrelated, reasons:
1. Business Relationships
Your Salesforce Partner focuses heavily on keeping a strong business relationship with Salesforce. Why? Because Salesforce is their single most effective sales channel to acquire new business. When Salesforce identifies a new or existing client that needs custom development work, they have the entire Salesforce Partner community to consider when providing a recommendation to their customer. Naturally, those Salesforce Partners that are “supportive” to their sales process will be referred more and more business.
More referrals = more business = more money.
Back in the 18th century Edmund Burke once said “…never bite the hands that feed you.”
Presenting this differently, if you were a Salesforce Account Executive and you had a Salesforce Partner repeatedly suggest changes to an account that materially decreased your sales compensation revenue, would you continue using that Partner when you have others options available?
To be clear; we are not saying that all Salesforce Account Executives are unethical in how they conduct business. However, we are stating that there is an inherent fundamental conflict of interest for the Salesforce Partner who commercially needs to appease both parties.
The unfortunate situation is that while a Salesforce Partner may know a customer is being sold more products and/or services than they actually need, they rarely speak up for the reasons above. We’ve even been told there is an informal blacklist inside of Salesforce that keeps track of these Partners that raise cost avoidance opportunities during the sales process.
We don’t like writing about this topic but we know every customer wants the truth.
Why TNG is different
Quite simply we are only focused on keeping you, the client, happy. When the firm was founded we only included a “pay for performance” compensation option to ensure our incentives were aligned with the client. Over the years, we added an “advisory fixed fee” option purely based on repeated client requests.
TNG’s Right Size & Right Price Process
Part of our secret sauce is a deep focus and understanding on 1) how Salesforce works, 2) you as a customer, and 3) best practices on how to quickly drive savings in your environment. While strategic negotiation is an art, our Right Size & Right Price process is more of a science based on its repeatability across all industries.
The Right Size process focuses on identifying consumption based savings opportunities within your organization.
Our three most commonly identified opportunities within this process are 1) “shelfware” elimination, 2) license optimization, and 3) governance enhancement.
On average, we identify 24% savings opportunity within this process alone.
The Right Price process purely focuses on your product and service price points within your specific Salesforce contract. The vast majority of our clients reach out to us for this service alone. Specifically, they want to know how their prices compare to their peers and if they’re getting a “good deal.”
We have the largest database of Salesforce rates in the world and can quite easily identify if there is a price optimization opportunity within your various SKUs. Unlike other large market intelligence firms, we are able to isolate your realistic “should cost” price points based on your industry, annual revenue, and annual contract value. The others simply will share a “best in class” rate which is ambiguous and often self-serving.
On average, we identify a 22% savings opportunity here but your specific opportunity could be as high as 305% (yes, this was a real client).
Fit-for-Purpose Engagement Style
The Founder of TNG, Dan Kelly, feels strongly about providing our clients options on how they engage our firm depending on each individual client’s needs. Some clients want a “negotiation-as-a-service” approach while others simply want the output of our Right Price process to identify target price benchmarks to use within their own negotiations. We welcome you to start a conversation with our firm to determine how we can most effectively and efficiently support you.
For those of you that may have skipped to the end (😉), here are the basic points of what we’ve covered in this article: