How Hiring Salesforce AppExchange Partners Optimizes Your Costs

August 2, 2023
9 min

Are you contemplating launching your business idea on the AppExchange marketplace? Considering all the peculiarities of the AppExchange app development process, there are 2 options available: you can do it alone or cooperate with an established Salesforce AppExchange Partner.

Frustratingly, opting for the first approach demands significant investments and gives no guarantees that your application will successfully pass Salesforce Security Review from the first attempt not bumping into numerous other roadblocks which we outline below.

You may also want to outsource a development team for the development process, but here’s another trick: not every development team is qualified enough and has proper certifications to create apps for the Salesforce AppExchange marketplace.

With a bundle of different application types, plugins, platforms, and compliance guidelines to adhere to, only certified Salesforce Consultant AppExchange experts can provide the services that your business needs.

It is even more beneficial if your AppExchange Consultant is an independent software vendor (ISV) with solid experience in developing AppExchange software and apps.

Without further ado, let’s delve into both terms and explore why they hold significance in your AppExchange development journey.

Get Started with Salesforce Checklist

Download the e-book and get your team ready for Salesforce migration and CRM implementation while avoiding common pitfalls.

Full Name
Work Email

What Does Salesforce AppExchange Partner Stand For?

Salesforce AppExchange Partner is an umbrella term for:

  • independent software vendors (ISVs)
  • consulting and integration partners
  • cloud resellers.

Who is an Independent Software Vendor?

An independent software vendor (ISV) is a company or organization that has met specific requirements set by Salesforce and has successfully listed its product or service on the AppExchange marketplace.

Put simply, independent vendors make their own software that either integrates with Salesforce or is built on top of it.

ISVs understand the Salesforce Ecosystem inside out, so that they can guide you through the whole AppExchange app development process: from building your app to publishing it on AppExchange with further support.

But how can you check the level of professionalism of ISV?

Salesforce took care of that and created “AppExchange Trailblazer Score”. It consists of 4 tiers: Base, Ridge, Crest, Summit.

According to Salesforce’s fiscal year, partners are evaluated each quarter and can be reassigned to a new tier. A maximum score is 1,000 points.

AppExchange ISV Program Tiers

AppExchange ISV Program Tiers

The score is determined by the partner’s contributions towards the objectives established in four key areas: Customer success, Innovation, Growth, and Impact. All the requirements for obtaining total points in each category can be found here.

For example, Ascendix has recently gained Crest tier and works thoroughly to gain Summit tier soon.

High AppExchange ISV Track Trailblazer Score for partners means:

  • Their products are top-rated and based on the latest Salesforce technologies
  • Their developers have Salesforce certifications
  • They know all the best practices on submitting a product on AppExchange; hence it saves a lot of time and money for Salesforce Security Review.

Who is a Consulting and Integration AppExchange Partner?

Consulting and integration AppExchange partners are certified specialists, orgs, and companies that offer a wide range of services to Salesforce customers.

Their core offering is consultation; therefore, AppExchange partners spend a large amount of time with customers learning about their businesses, discussing options for implementing and enhancing Salesforce.

Unlike ISVs, consulting and integration AppExchange partners do not own listings on AppExchange. Their value proposition is all around consulting.

But consulting is an umbrella term for scope of services AppExchange partners provide. There is an ABC of Consultants on AppExchange that fully describes how these specialists can help your business.

Some companies go beyond just independent vendors and consultants and become both.

For example, being a CRM consulting firm first and foremost, Ascendix is an AppExchange partner that owns two listings on AppExchange: AscendixRE CRM and Ascendix Search.

We have been cultivating our presence on AppExchange since 2014 resulting in a significant exposure to thousands of active users and prospective customers.

Our 2 AppExchange apps (AscendixRE and Ascendix Search) help and support thousands of users daily from the real estate industry to generate steady revenue streams.

At the same time, we are Crest (Gold) AppExchange consultants helping companies drive meaningful results fast by managing the development, coding, configuration, user training, and integration of Salesforce products within your operating systems.

The dual expertise of being both a consultant and an independent software vendor (ISV) means we have a deep understanding of the Salesforce ecosystem from multiple angles, not just from the consulting perspective but also from the product development viewpoint, which ultimately results in better and more efficient service delivery.



Why Do You Need a Salesforce AppExchange Consultant to Publish a Listing on AppExchange

You can of course apply to become a Salesforce AppExchange Partner, i.e., an independent software vendor, yourself and start introducing your apps to your new audience, however, you must be aware of one thing: not all apps get approved by Salesforce.

There is a stringent Salesforce security check in place that all AppExchange solutions need to comply with, and if they don’t, app owners are doomed to pay another $999 for a new round of review.

Apart from the security review, there are numerous other challenges that companies might encounter when embarking on the AppExchange development journey alone:

  • Lack of technical expertise
  • Understanding the nuances of Salesforce’s policies
  • Inability to plan the development process efficiently
  • Lack of credibility from Salesforce
  • Proper data migration without losing any context or business momentum
  • Installation of Salesforce managed packages into your Salesforce org and its modification.

The best solution to overcome these challenges is to hire an AppExchange consultant and individual vendor in one – as they will not only advise you on how to best plan your AppExchange endeavors but also help to avoid the mistakes they might have faced when developing their solution.

This practice-based advice is invaluable and can significantly reduce the time, cost, and stress associated with the process.

So, what other benefits of hiring an AppExchange Partner will you get?

Assistance in obtaining or improving your Salesforce partnership. If you’re not a Salesforce customer, you must sign up as a partner and request a trial- a partner business org. In this case, the experienced AppExchange consulting team assists you with filling out the form and submitting the trial request correctly.

If you are an existing Salesforce customer, you don’t need to set up a new partner business org. Instead, you can use your existing org to build your package and do that activity before you go and reach out to become a partner.

Building your product and deploying a managed package on AppExchange. This point matters the most.

As we mentioned earlier, not every development team is certified and has experience with Salesforce products.

What differentiates Salesforce AppExchange Partners from other software development vendors?

  • They have solid experience in developing and supporting Salesforce products
  • They have published listings on the AppExchange platform that you can look through and check features, ratings, reviews
  • Salesforce trusts its Partners – the higher the level of AppExchange partnership the particular company has, the higher credibility it gets from Salesforce and customers.

Additionally, AppExchange partners take responsibility for adequately investigating required budgets, resources, and technologies.

Launching a product on AppExchange is not the end of the process. You need to track feedback, plan marketing activities, process user support, and manage licenses.

If you’re new to this, managing all these tasks can become overwhelming and may detract from your primary business operations. In this case, experienced AppExchange partners can do you a big favor – they will train your teams and keep track of all vital metrics.

Ascendix Key AppExchange Services

Ascendix Key AppExchange Services

So, a partnership with Salesforce AppExchange partner provides you with:

  • Comprehensive analysis and plan for the feature set and functionality of your AppExchange solution
  • 360-degree audit of your solution
  • Calculation of required budgets
  • Accelerated implementation process of Salesforce within your organization
  • Forecast of possible pitfalls and risks you may face during the process
  • Creating a robust marketing plan
  • Support in passing the Salesforce security review
  • Guidance in selecting and implementing suitable applications from the marketplace that aligns with your business goals
  • Support in product release
  • Valuable insights and recommendations to optimize your Salesforce instance and ensure you’re utilizing the platform’s features to their fullest potential
  • Training and support services to help your team learn and maximize the benefits of Salesforce
  • And many more!

And if your AppExchange Partner has the dual experience of being both a consultant and an independent software vendor, they bring even more value.

Benefits of Hiring AppExchange Partner

Benefits of Hiring AppExchange Partner with Dual Experience

When it comes to product development, engagement with a certified AppExchange Partner ensures the successful creation and deployment of your Salesforce-based product and its publishing on AppExchange.

Apart from this, there are other benefits a multi-faceted AppExchange Partner can bring for your product development:

  • Technical Expertise: Certified AppExchange Partners possess deep technical knowledge and expertise in Salesforce platform development. They are well-versed in Salesforce development tools, APIs, and best practices.
  • Solution Architecture: AppExchange Partners can assist in designing the architecture for your product to make it scalable and align with industry standards
  • Custom Development: Certified partners leverage Salesforce tools to build a custom AppExchange product that aligns with your product vision and requirements
  • Quality Assurance and Testing: AppExchange Partners perform functional testing, performance testing, security testing, and user acceptance testing to ensure that your product meets quality standards, doesn’t harm Salesforce ecosystem, and performs optimally.
  • AppExchange Listing and Promotion: AppExchange Partners assist with the submission, review, and approval process, ensuring that your product meets the listing requirements.
  • Ongoing Support: Certified AppExchange Partners perform bug fixes, implement enhancements, and provide timely updates to keep your product up-to-date and functioning smoothly.

On the consulting side, a certified AppExchange Partner can provide several benefits to your business when it comes to consulting:

  • Expertise and Experience: As certified AppExchange Partners have undergone specific training and certifications related to Salesforce and the AppExchange ecosystem, they possess deep knowledge and expertise in implementing Salesforce solutions, integrating apps, and leveraging the platform’s capabilities.
  • Efficient Implementation: AppExchange Partners have proven methodology and project management expertise to ensure a smooth transition and minimize disruptions during the implementation process
  • Training and Adoption: A certified partner creates customized training materials, conduct workshops, and offer ongoing support to ensure successful user adoption of your AppExchange solution
  • Support and Maintenance: After the implementation, a certified AppExchange Partner can provide ongoing support and maintenance services. They can address any issues, perform system enhancements, and provide timely updates to keep your AppExchange app running smoothly.

Choosing a reputable and experienced Salesforce AppExchange partner that aligns with your organization’s goals and values is important. Conduct research, review client testimonials, and have detailed discussions to ensure they are the right fit for your specific requirements.



Benefits of Cooperating with AppExchange Partner like Ascendix

The AppExchange onboarding process from the documentation and the assistance perspective is complicated, confusing, and difficult to navigate.

And because the Ascendix team has gone through that process both as a product company and consulting partner, we know all the ins and outs of becoming a Salesforce Partner and AppExchange app developer.

Being Salesforce AppExchange individual vendors and consultants, we know what our clients need to watch out for, what the process is, and how clients will get to their destination.

Ascendix is an experienced team of developers and AppExchange consultants with strong Salesforce development expertise. We know how to create a package, which documentation, and how much time is required to submit your solution on the AppExchange platform successfully.

So, what benefits do you get from cooperation with Ascendix?

  • AppExchange consulting: We offer a full range of services starting from support in becoming AppExchange and Salesforce partners to AppExchange app development and its publication on the AppExchange marketplace
  • Optimization of investments: you don’t need to spend time identifying all possible pitfalls, especially during the Security Review. Experienced AppExchange partner like Ascendix knows how to wisely optimize the time required for Security Review. It’s crucial because Security Review may last from 2 weeks to 3 months.
  • Unique expertise that guarantees the success of Security review from the first attempt. It’s important because, since March 16, 2023, AppExchange has charged a new security review fee – of $999 per attempt for paid apps. Cooperation with a company that has successfully published and keeps promoting 3 listings on AppExchange saves you a lot of costs.
  • Go-to-market strategy: we know how to market your solution and support it after the release
  • The in-house team of specialists: you may have an AppExchange developer, business analytics, or product owner in your team but no QA engineer or Salesforce consultant. The Ascendix team includes all specialists required for a successful AppExchange development and production, so you don’t need to hire full-time team members. We distribute the workload among the team so that everyone can do their job effectively

As a company that has experienced the power of turning ideas into thriving businesses through our real estate products and helping clients succeed, we can attest to the vast opportunities that await.

We understand how to succeed with Salesforce. Contact us to get started.

Want to Maximize AppExchange Investment?

We will teach you how to use AppExchange platform to the fullest and build an upscale solution for you.


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (7 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

First name *
Email *

Sign Up for Salesforce Best Practices & Tips

Follow us and get expert insights and guides right to your inbox.